There’s Group One racing from Rosehill with the Golden Rose and Flemington with the Makybe Diva Stakes. The Wolf’s best bet comes from the Danehill Stakes.
Defcon (Flemington Race 5, No.1)
Defcon was brilliant in winning the McNeil first-up. He is a colt that has always possessed a lethal turn of foot and that was on display at Caulfield. He has to transfer that to down the straight in the G2 Danehill Stakes but doubt it’ll pose too much of a problem. Go back through his two-year-old form and you’ll notice he ran second to Astern in the Silver Slipper, and it was off a wide run. He’s the real deal this three-year-old and suspect we’ll see him line up in the Coolmore later over the spring. This is the perfect way to get him familar with straight racing.
Double Down: He’s dynamite when covered up in the run and saved for the last shot at his rivals. Press the button if he gets that cover. Don’t want him exposed.
Bullrush (Rosehill Race 3, No.4)
All you can do it keep winning and this gelding has won five on the trot. His last three have been by less than a length but that also suggests his desire to win. A very likable trait in a race horse! And typically a very profitable one. Don’t mind the wide draw as he’ll get to roll across to a handy spot in his own time. Sir Bacchus is the benchmark in the race and his fresh win was impressive but concerned the 61.5kg is going to really take away from his big finish. Might have too much to do.
Double Down: He’ll carve across from the wide barrier to join Caped Crusader and Highly Geared. Don’t want to see him trapped wide or working too much early.
Sir John Hawkwood (Rosehill Race 5, No.2)
He’s not get any younger as an eight-year-old but his winter preparation and trials since suggest he is racing as well as ever. Resumed last campaign over 2000m and beat Messene. He followed that up with a third to It’s Somewhat while his Queensland form was all around Real Love who has since run second in the Feehan. It all points to a very forward showing from this Metrop-bound stayer. Happy to play at the each-way odds on offer.
Double Down: Barrier 3 should give him a very similar run to the one that saw him win first-up last preparation. Should box seat.
Badawiya (Flemington Race 8, No.1)
The G2 Let’s Elope is a typically open affair for mares but The Wolf can’t help but be drawn to the $7.50 about Badawiya. She was brilliant winning the Kewney first-up over the Flemington 1400m last campaign. She is starting to creep up in the weights but she’s a classy mare. Don’t Doubt Mamma possesses a deadly finish but barrier 1 looks very sticky for her. At the odds on offer, it allows you to save on Mamma and back Badawiya with confidence.
Double Down: Will balance up midfield before being let rip down the middle of the track. Just want to see plenty of clear space on her outside.
Crosley Hotshot (Rosehill Race 2, No.7)
Was just there for a look at Newcastle first-up over a trip short of his best and without his blinkers on. That all changes here out to 1800m and the headgear reapplied. Bjorn Baker is a master of using blinkers. Another thing in his favour is being able to get his toe into the ground. His key rivals including the Waller pair Dubaiinstyle and Antonio Giuseppe will keep finding the line but few in the race have a turn of foot to match Crosley Hotshot.
Double Down: Wouldn’t be too concerned if he settles last. Just as long as he travels kindly. No obvious leader so if he can settle closer, it’s a bonus.
1,2,8,10 / 3,4 /1,2,3,12 / 3,6,7,13.
Bobbie Lewis Quality (Flemington)
Under The Louvre did his usual thing in The Heath of getting back and hammering the line. It was too late though. He ran a narrow second in this race last year. He rises 2.5kg this year but he’s in much better form. Like the wide draw as it gives him plenty of room. At the prices, much prefer him over Xtravagant. Santa Ana Lane was very good fresh and meets Louvre much better at the weights. Don’t discount the chances of Faatinah either. He’s underrated. Louvre and Santa quinella.
Theo Marks Stakes (Rosehill)
Southern Legend is a very firm favourite, despite this being his stiffest test to date. He couldn’t have been more impressive in his first-up win over 1000m though and he drops 7kg from that. Most of his rivals have found their mark. He still has so much upside. Love the way Counterattack has trialled. Suspect we’ll see the very best of him this spring carnival. The sneaky hope in the race is Mackintosh. He flew through the grades last preparation before failing in the QLD Derby. Has looked strong in his trials. Southern Legend to win again.