BEZZINA - The Chris Waller-trained Bezzina looked a run short for 1500m at Kembla when resuming last start but looks a genuine winning chance todaywith that run under his belt. Yet to place in five city runs, Bezzina looks a genuine provincial class horse and his two runs away from town back up the assertion. After three unplaced city runs, Bezzina went to Kembla to break his maiden status and was less than three-lengths from the winner Destiny’s Hero resuming at Kembla last start in what has the potential to develop into a strong form race. Wouldn’t want to be much shorter than the $5.50 available at the time of writing but is value at that quote.
SEABABE - Connections thought enough of Seababe to contest a couple of Stakes races in the spring over middle distance journeys and the filly gets to a suitable trip for the first time this preparation in the Vital Hospitality Group Benchmark 66 Handicap (1900m). Trained by Gary Portelli, Seababe has just the one win on her resume from 11 starts with the maiden win coming at Newcastle over 1850m on September 16. On the back of that maiden win, Seababe was less than four-lengths from the winner in the Dulcify Stakes at Randwick on September 30 before finishing down the track in the Group III Ethereal Stakes at Caulfield. Seababe has been close-up in her three runs this time in and is ready to win stepping up to 1900m fourth-up on Tuesday. The bet of the day in my opinion.
POETIC CHARMER - Similar to All Stand in an earlier race, the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Poetic Charmer only need to be close to his best to win. Returning to racing as a gelding, Poetic Charmer has shown he is a genuine city class horse in his seven starts, finishing in the placings on three occasions with his only foray to a provincial track resulting in an easy maiden win at Newcastle on November 4. Poetic Charmer looked ready to go first-up when runner-up in a recent trial at Randwick and with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle looks primed for a first-up win. An obvious pick for the black book but all things equal she probably wins next time out. A winner of five from six starts before Saturday, the daughter of Redoute’s Choice was resuming over an unsuitably short 1100 metres yet was still all the rage at a very short quote. Finding herself around five lengths off the pace on the turn, Galaxy Star peeled to the outside and ran on strongly to just miss. Her final 600-metre sectional was run in 33 seconds and change – more than half a second faster than anything else on the card. With added fitness, a rise in distance and better luck in running it’s hard to see anything in similar company holding her out.
FINALLY FRENCH - This veteran of only three starts measured up nicely in his first attempt at Saturday grade and can secure a win or two as we head into the cooler months. Showing good speed to settle one out one back in harness parlance, Finally French got a little lost on the turn when runners moved around him. Pushing into the clear at the top of the straight, the son of Oratorio stoked up strongly to just miss behind the favourite Masquerade which had secured a softer run in transit and benefited from the vigour of William Pike late. That was a run full of merit, especially considering it was Finally French’s first attempt at the 1200 metres. Expect him to continue improving and if able to dodge the better ones resuming with the winter classics in mind he should be back in the winners’ circle soon.
SIR SNUGALOT - If Finally French is a horse to follow then this one must also make our list by default. Sir Snugalot did all the bullocking work outside the leader in a solidly-run race before forging to a narrow lead straightening for home. It looked curtains when short-priced favourite Arcadia Prince worked into the clear and began to steam home but to his credit Sir Snugalot dug deep to prevail narrowly on the line with a decent gap to the rest of the field. The overall time was around half a second faster than some decent three-year-olds (including Finally French) ran earlier in the day which adds further merit to the performance. An interesting statistic – Sir Snugalot has now been ridden by female claiming apprentices nine times in his career for two wins and seven placings. We should watch for a similar spot next time he goes around.