CHAVOR - Chavo was formerly with Jason Coyle in Sydney where he didn’t set the world alight with his only win from nine starts coming over 1100m at Canterbury when a 50/1 outsider but he was rarely far away. Since joining Steven Lee’s stable Chavo has had two outings and run on solidly at both. This 1200m Class 1 should suit and at his third run from a break should be nearing peak fitness. The 3kg claim for Clayton Gallagher gets him in with 56kg and from gate three Chavo can get a good run throughout and run over the top of these.
BERAHTR - Beraht hasn’t run a bad race with two wins and five placings from ten starts and his recent trial was strong. The 1000m first up suits and whilst some might say he can find it hard to win it is worth noting that last preparation he was able to beat Amanaat who went on to win the Weetwood. Stuart Kendrick should have him ready to go first-up, Tiff Brooker knows him well and whilst he has drawn gate eight, he has the speed to be hard to run down.
CORTESTA - The Gary Portelli-trained Cortesta is a filly I have always had some time for, however she is yet to repay the loyalty but reckon that will change in the Gallagher Insurance Brokers Maiden Plate (1200m). A winner of her only trial leading into her debut run, Cortesta turned in one of the better runs in the Gimcrack Stakes settling back in the field after drawing a wide gate and working home nicely. Cortesta disappointed in her two remaining first preparation runs but made a promising start to her current preparation finishing successive thirds at Hawkesbury before failing to run out the 1400m at Kembla when a beaten odds-on favourite last start. Lucky I don’t bet in the run because I would have loaded up at the 250m mark last start but Cortesta simply didn’t run out distance. Back to 1200m and getting all the favours in running from the inside gate Cortesta gets one more chance.
SOKUDO - Based on their efforts in the Fernhill Handicap when there was less than a length between the two, bookmakers have posted Sokudo the early $3 favourite for the two-year-old maiden at Newcastle with Rheingau at $4.20, but I believe the market differential should be wider. Rheingau didn’t see out the mile of the Fernhill and coming back to 1400m would be the primary reason the Godolphin colt is so close to Sokudo in the market, but the Snowden colt’s effort was terrific. After jumping awkwardly Sokudo was last early before improving along the fence to settle seven-lengths from the leaders at the 800m and was still five lengths astern straightening at Randwick. After being held-up at the 250m Sokudo only saw clear running over the last stages and should have finished closer whilst Rheingau had the perfect run throughout settling two out two back and being in a position to win on straightening. Racing is all about opinions and I believe Sokudo.
JUVENTUS - The Angela Davies stable have been good to me over the years and I am reluctant to tip against them however I'm making an exception in the Squealing Pig Benchmark 64 Handicap (1300m) and having something on the Kris Lees-trained Juventus to defeat the early favourite Dylan’s Dynasty.Dylan’s Dynasty was our best bet at Muswellbrook last start and gave us no cause for concern however there was plenty to like about the win of Juventus at Port Macquarie resuming last time out.Juventus was forced to race four-wide without cover at Port Macquarie and was still to good for his rivals and is drawn to get the gun run in transit launching from barrier two on Saturday. If the market order of Dylan’s Dynasty and Juventus was reversed I may see the race differently but at their current odds the latter is clearly the value in the race.