CHARLEE BEAR - The Greg Kilner-trained Charlee Bear will wear the blinkers for the first time when the daughter of Choisir lines up in the Paron & Philip Builders Benchmark 60 Handicap (1010m). A winner of five of her first six career starts, Charlee Bear has struggled in recent times. However, her recent form, including an Armidale second two runs back would suggest the daughter of Choisir and a fourth-place finish at Grafton last start would suggest the mare is close to returning to the winner’s stall. The last two runs have been over 1100m and although a winner at the trip, the journey is at the outer limit of her distance range and her overall statistics back up the assertion with five of her six career wins coming over 1000m. With the blinkers on, back to her preferred journey and well-weighted after the 3kg claim for apprentice Leah Kilner, Charlee Bear has to be given one more chance.
NOTHINGFORTHEPRESS - Just one win from 13-starts is a concern for the Stephen Lee-trained Nothingforthepress, but the four-year-old has been a consistent performer throughout his career finishing in the placings on eight occasions including the last five on the trot. After finishing third in a class two at Grafton two runs back and a similar finish at the same track last start carrying 59.5kg in benchmark 55 company, Nothingforthepress looks well placed back to a set-weight class one. Nothingforthepress wore blinkers for the first time on May 1, 2017 with the gear change getting immediate results when the son of Pressday recorded his solitary career victory. The blinkers came off after one more run and are back for the first time since on Monday. The gear change looks the catalyst for Nothingforthepress to end a frustrating run of minor placings with a win.
MR TINDALL - A runner-up finish at Hawkesbury resuming last start for the Kris Lees-trained Mr Tindall looks a solid form reference for the Rediguard.com.au. GJC Lightning Prelude Benchmark 65 Handicap (1000m). After being held-up straightening, Mr Tindall finished his race off nicely to be less than a length from the winner Prime Candidate taking on benchmark 65 company and looks well treated with a half kilo more back to country grade. With the first-up run under his belt and the gun run in transit from barrier five settling behind the speed, Mr Tindall will be the horse hitting the line hardest.
SUPER CHASE - With the early favourite Loud Enough asked to carry 66.5kg in the Arthur Gore Memorial Benchmark 65 Handicap (1400m), we have to go looking for one to beat the favourite and the horse we have come up with is the Stephen Edwards-trained Super Chase who looks the value in the race at $9. Unplaced in his three runs this time in, it is worth considering the career statistics for Super Chase. His 15 runs first, second and third-up in a preparation has yielded just two third placings with the statistics substantially better when the form is filtered to fourth run in a preparation and beyond. Four wins and six placings from 19 starts reads considerably better and it is worth noting Super Chase improved considerably fourth-up last time in to win at Warren. Monday’s assignment looks a target race for mine and happy to have something on at the odds.
TERRA SANCTA - Two years ago, Tony Pike brought Sacred Elixir over to Queensland, gave him a first-up run at the Sunshine Coast, which he won, and then went on to win the JJ Atkins. He also brought an unheralded filly Provocative, she was given a first-up run at Ipswich which she won and at her next start won the Queensland Oaks. When the Kiwi trainer arrives with a Pierro filly out of a Galileo mare who has only had four starts for an Avondale win over 1400m and two unplaced runs in group races including the New Zealand Oaks he has my undivided attention. Jim Byrne gets on in this class one over 1666m and even though she has the visitor’s draw I am expecting Terra Sancta to be too good and the $201 in Sportsbet’s Oaks market to be no longer available.