KING’S AUTHORITY - This Mick Price-trained gelding is already a Flemington winner having scored down the straight course on debut as a two-year-old. He subsequently went around in three strong races early in his three-year-old season, placing twice and finishing a creditable four lengths behind Merchant Navy in Group III company. King’s Authority was gelded during his most recent spell which often switches them on – who could forget the enormous step forward Price’s sprinting star Lankan Rupee took after the unkindest cut of all? He’ll get a nice suck along in a small field with decent speed up front and looks well treated giving inferior rivals 3.5kg or less.
ALL OUT OF LOVE - Punters could be forgiven for skating straight past this gelding when doing the form but the more I look at it the more I’m convinced he can run a race. The city winner kicked off his preparation with solid efforts at Caulfield however on paper his past few efforts have been lacklustre with defeats of nine lengths, eight lengths and a dismal last-start failure at Geelong. There were, however, excuses for the most recent effort because he was trapped wide for much of the journey and just didn’t seem focussed with the blinkers off. The step back to this 1800 metre looks ideal, as does the reinstatement of blinkers with a senior jockey back on board. In a race where rivals are hardly flying the double-figure odds seal the deal.
TIFFANY’S LASS - To my eye she went too fast outside the leader last start in Benchmark 84 company. Entitled to knock up in the straight, Tiffany’s Lass instead fought hard after being headed inside the 200-metre mark, eventually finishing less than two lengths back in fourth and beating home Winklemann which she meets again today under better terms after the claim for apprentice Lachlan King. Interestingly, trainer Danny Laws has opted to fit pre-race earmuffs to Tiffany’s Lass for this run to suggest he is trying to have the mare save more energy for the race but still show her customary speed to settle up front. With arguably the best last-start form in the race she should give a great sight.
DARAJILLA - Thought the Joe Pride-trained Darajilla did enough at Hawkesbury resuming to get the money here. After racing on the speed Darajilla was no match for Military Academy first-up however he battled on well to finish third, less than three-lengths from the winner. Darajilla won’t spend a penny in the run launching from the inside gate and with Corey Brown in the saddle, the daughter of Redoute’s Choice gets her chance to record a maiden win.
ALL STAND - Barrier one looks the key for the Todd Howlett-trained All Stand which returns to racing in this 900m scamper. A winner of four of his 10-starts, All Stand hasn’t trialled, however would only need to be close to the form he displayed winning a Class 3 Highway Handicap at Randwick on December 30. All things being equal, All Stand looks too quick for his rivals if anywhere near peak fitness and the Kerrin McEvoy booking suggests that may well be the case. If the betting support comes I want to be on.