1. Mirage Dancer
Mark Zahra takes over the reins of Mirage Dancer who is second up from a spell. He sat midfield and finished well in the Heatherlie Handicap. Three of his four wins have come over the 2400m, and his 2000m stats are poor on face value, having had 5five starts at the 2000m for one placing but he did run a good third to Miss Saskia and Kings will Dream at 1800m second up last preparation. A repeat of that effort would see him very competitive here.
2. Quick Thinker
A little plain first up in the Makybe Diva but this is easier. A wet track and the step up in the distance will be to his liking. He has never missed a place on a Heavy track or second up. One of the chances in an open race.
Settled in a nice spot behind the leaders in the Makybe Diva but did not find much in the straight. Cut out of the ground is to his liking but big questions over whether he can recapture his group one winning form from 2018.
4. Platinum Invador
Beaten seven lengths first up with the 62kg. Not easy to make a case for him here.
5. Al Galayel
His form reads well. Last start he beat the subsequent Naturalism winner Orderofthegarter. Whats more is he loves this track, having finished first or second in four of his six starts here. Yet to be tested on a heavy track but if he gets through the going he will be right in the finish.
6. Miami Bound
The talk out of the stable prior to her last run was that she was back to her best. She was subsequently beaten 58 lengths – too bad to be true? Back on a wet track and Damian Oliver to ride – he has a great affinity with her – could see her bounce back strongly.
7. Plein Ciel
Raced a little keenly in the Heatherlie Hanicap and finished virtually alongside Mirage Dancer. He did a good job to chase down and dead heat with Shot of Irish at his one go at Moonee Valley in the middle of the year.
Mantastic is fourth up into this race and should now be rock hard fit. He hugged the rails to be only beaten 1.7 lengths at Flemington last start. One placing from four starts on a wet track, that has to be a query.
9. Vin De Dance
Vin De Dance, the Kiwi, found a good spot one out and one back at his first Australian start – he whacked away fairly on that occasion. The wetter the better for him.
10. Mongolian Marshal – SCRATCHED
Tavirun will almost certainly come across and lead from barrier 10. He has had a month off since failing in a small field at Caulfield, there were potentially a couple of excuses for him on that occasion with wind about that disadvantaged leaders and perhaps he didn’t stay the 2400m. He loves the cut out of the ground and ran well at this track and trip two starts back finishing in third behind Polly Grey and Mahmadeis. Would not surprise to see him in this for a long way.
12. Royal Crown
This lightly raced son of Helmet resumed with a solid third in a benchmark race at Sandown. Another who will be suited by the step up in trip.