Race 1 - Sky High Stakes

We kick off with the Sky High Stakes, which is boosted in prizemoney by $200K from last year. Hartnell won this race 12 months ago as a long odds-on favourite and he certainly looks hard to beat again in this race.

HARTNELL ran into the good mare, Winx, on his last start and finished fifth in that race in the Chipping Norton Stakes. The son of Authorized would have taken plenty of benefit from the outing. The biggest positive for this galloper is the step up in distance to 2000m. The imported gelding has an excellent second up record and can further build upon it here in what looks a suitable Set Weights plus Penalties assignment for him.

PEMBERLEY has been racing well but does make a rise in class here after his dominant win on his last start at Flemington over the same distance. He is going to be tested with this class but the fitness he has gained from this campaign will help him over the final stages. GRAND MARSHAL has been building this campaign and will be racing third up here today. He has won third up in the past and it looks a race that he can play a part in.

MESSENE was fair in the Peter Young Stakes on his last start. A rise to 2000m is a query but it might be what he needs at this point of his career.

SELECTIONS: No1 HARTNELL, No8 Pemberley, No4 Grand Marshal, No5 Messene
VALUE RUNNER: No7 Sir John Hawkwood
Hartnell - 1pt @ 1.75

Race 2 - Cafe Culture and Insitu Pago Pago Stakes

This is a very hard race to analyse through the early stages. Most of the gallopers are maidens and need to improve to match it with the better types in this race.

There should be plenty of early speed in the race, with Souchez, The Reverend Demon and Lionhearted all looking likely to be pushed out of the gates and urged forward.

SOUCHEZ was getting tired in the late stages when third in the Skyline Stakes upon resuming. He has shown that he has plenty of class and he should benefit from that performance. With that run under his belt, he will be very hard to beat.

MOUNT PANORAMA is improving with each of his career outings and on his last start was closing nicely into a third when contesting the Silver Slipper Stakes. He will not be overawed by this company after mixing it with Defcon and Astern in his last couple of starts. From an inside barrier he should enjoy all of the favours behind the speed in transit. From there, the son of Sebring could take some holding out.

The Skyline Stakes continues as the form line to follow heading into this, with runner up LIONHEARTED the next elect. The well-bred Fastnet Rock colt was prominent throughout on that occasion and was just reeled in over the final stages. With the speed and fight that he showed throughout that performance, he will again be hard to rundown with that extra fitness.

SELECTIONS: No1 SOUCHEZ, No2 Mount Panorama, No3 Lionhearted, No9 The Reverend Demon
VALUE RUNNER: No9 The Reverend Demon  
Souchez - 1pt @ 4.2

Race 3 - Bede Murray Magic Night Stakes

This race has been named in honour of the great Bede Murray, who passed away earlier in the week. Murray had a filly named Victory Vein that won this race before being beaten by a lip in the Slipper and then winning the Sires/Champagne.

Murray was a wonderful trainer over many years and was loved by all who had the privilege of coming across him at the track.

It is also hard to not get excited about the race, with not a lot separating the two-year-old fillies.

PROMPT RESPONSE warrants plenty of respect first up after a short but sweet maiden preparation which yielded a Group placing on debut at Flemington. The filly was a convincing trial winner over 737m at Randwick in readiness for this and is drawn to receive all of the favours here from barrier one.

CALLIOPE was scratched after becoming fractious at the barriers in the Reisling Stakes last Saturday. If she can maintain her composure, a repeat of her debut win in the Gimcrack Stakes would make her hard to beat. Sadly, though, the filly tends to be her own worst enemy on race day and can often run the race before even starting.

TWIST TOPS impressed last start, closing well when fourth in the Sweet Embrace. The filly now has the Blinkers applied first time and this gear change could see her as the value runner of the race.

SELECTIONS: No5 PROMPT RESPONSE, No2 Calliope, No1 Twist Tops, No4 Kentucky Miss
VALUE RUNNER: No1 Twist Tops  
Prompt Response - 1pt @ 3.5

Race 4 - APN Outdoor Handicap

This is another interesting race to analyse, with some talented three-year-olds coming up against the older horses. There appears to be plenty of speed in the race, with Off The Rails and Self Esteem likely to both want the lead.

WORD OF MOUTH has improved with each start this campaign and ran second in his latest effort over 2000m at Flemington. He looks much harder to beat fourth up and fitness is definitely on his side now.

OFF THE RAILS was prominent throughout when second in the Canberra Cup last Sunday. Those form lines should hold up here and James Innes Jnr’s ride looks one of the main chances.

ANOTHER COCKTAIL might be ready to enter the winner's circle. The horse from Great Britain’s four race day outings in Australia have all possessed merit. The blinkers going on the son of Dalakhani could also make the difference and give him the victory he deserves.

SELF ESTEEM raced just off the speed on his last start before attacking the line strongly and winning by a nose. He is a progressive type with plenty of class and we will find out after this if he can match it with the class in this race.

SELECTIONS: No3 WORD OF MOUTH, No2 Off The Rails, No4 Another Cocktail, No10 Self Esteem
VALUE RUNNER: No10 Self Esteem
Word of Mouth - 1pt @ 5.5

Race 5 - Smooth FM Maurice McCarten Stakes

This race does not appear to have a lot of speed but Alberto Magic and Craftiness should find the lead and dictate the pace through the early stages.

ALBERTO MAGIC resumes after a solid spell which followed a short but sweet two start campaign last autumn when he won each of his starts. The gelding has won both of his trials in readiness for this and is unbeaten first up from three prior outings. This shapes as an excellent first up assignment for him and he looks to have the most positives in the race.

CRAFTINESS looks good when doing the form but, sadly, the Bar Plates go on and that’s enough to give reason to lean towards Alberto Magic. ANGELS BEACH also has plenty of positives coming into this race. She races very well when fresh with a great record and her new trainer also is noted for producing a first up winner. This team might have some early success.

SELECTIONS: No5 ALBERTO MAGIC, No2 Craftiness, No4 Angels Beach, No3 Bachman
VALUE RUNNER: No8 Tahitian Black
Craftiness - 1pt @ 4.60

Race 6 - Cellalbrations Phar Lap Stakes

This is one of the open races of the day and it represents value for the punters.

OLD NORTH is the up and comer who makes his debut at Group level following an eye-catching win at Warwick Farm. You cannot help but be impressed with what we’ve seen so far and we’ll find out now if he is as good as he looks.

SINGLE GAZE has appeal at her each way quote. The filly was strong after a freshen upon her last start when second to the talented Ghisoni in the Surround Stakes. The form from that race is expected to hold up so she looks as though she can play a part in this race.

TORGERSEN is close to the best value bet of the day. He has had plenty of excuses in this campaign but from the barrier he should be able to settle midfield and then run on strongly.

SELECTIONS: No5 OLD NORTH, No8 Single Gaze, No6 Hattori Hanzo, No3 Torgersen
VALUE RUNNER: No3 Torgersen  
Single Gaze - 1pt @ 5.5

Race 7 - Coolmore Classic

This is the race of the day and what a spectacle it appears to be on paper. We have two quality Godolphin fillies taking on 11 quality mares, with plenty of the runners putting their hands up to win a race like this.

AZKADELLIA gets her eighth different jockey on start number 12. At least a couple of those jockeys have felt the heat of riding a mare that does not often make things easy. She was well supported on her last start and managed to just get there in the closing stages. There is no doubt that she is a top grade mare and, with the speed in the race, she will be rattling home late on.

GHISONI was superb off a setback when making all of the running over 1400m in the Group 2 Surround Stakes a fortnight ago. The daughter of Lonhro has long shown an abundance of promise and, while this is clearly her toughest career assignment to date, she will not know what to do with herself when carrying only 50kg. With that weight advantage over the older mares, she could take a power in just her fourth career start.

SOLICIT was rewarded for her consistency on her last start with an impressive victory. She has a lot of class but there is a small question about whether she is capable of winning a G1 over 1500m.

SELECTIONS: No7 Azkadellia, No12 Ghisoni, No8 Telepathic, No3 Solicit
VALUE RUNNER: No10 Slightly Sweet
Azkadellia - 1pt @ 4.80

Race 8 - Ajax Stakes

This is a race that on paper lacks plenty of speed. We have seen gallopers like Good Project race forward in the past and Gai Waterhouse might even instruct Excess Knowledge to lead the race first up over 1500m.

GENERALIFE ran fourth in the Liverpool City Cup where he never got into clear running. The gelding should be approaching his best performance here fourth up and has an excellent record at the track. That Liverpool City Cup is clearly the pick of the form races heading into this contest and he looks very solid contender.

SADLER'S LAKE races well when fresh and has won first up in the past. The gelding of High Chaparral is drawn well and will be looking to add to his 38% winning strike rate.

GOOD PROJECT did find himself in the first pair on a number of occasions on his last preparation. If the tempo is slow, as anticipated, the four-year-old could prove hard to hold out. This was the case when he won the Railway Stakes over in Perth. He produced an eye catcher first up when closing strongly into third behind Charlie Boy in the Liverpool City Cup. He will take improvement from the outing and brings a nice profile into the contest.

SELECTIONS: No2 GENERALIFE, No9 Puccini, No10 Sadler’s Lake, No4 Good Project
Generallife - 1pt @ 5.00

Race 9 - TAB More Than Just Winning Handicap

Although not the most talented bunch going around in the final race of the day, it does appear to be a very competitive field and there is plenty of speed through the early stages.

LOFTY'S MENU looks a major player in the race after taking out a Country Championship Qualifying Heat at Goulburn three weeks ago. He will strip fitter third up and, like Nancy, will be working into calculations late.

OPEN BOOK has had barriers against him in his latest two but now returns to Rosehill where he won his previous two.

NANCY will relish any speed, with the mare being one to settle back and rattle home. The daughter of Big Brown always savages the line, however, she often runs out of straight. She has long proven a frustrating betting prospect but she certainly has an abundance of talent. The lack of depth in this race may see her get another victory.

SELECTIONS: No11 LOFTY’S MENU, No8 Open Book, No14 Nancy, No12 El Doute
VALUE RUNNER: No11 Lofty’s Menu
Lofty's Menu - 1pt @ 8.00