Sandown (Lakeside) Race 3 No.3 He’s Our Rokkii – $2
There was plenty of speculation that He’s Our Rokkii would be winning first up on the Hillside circuit three weeks ago, but he couldn’t go with the highly impressive French Emotion who looks to be a stakes class filly judging by that win and her next one. He goes straight to the mile second up now and perhaps of most importance, gets the blinkers back on, something he has yet to wear since being transferred to the Hayes/Dabernig yard from his original New Zealand stable. There’s no doubt this guy has some talent – he was within a length of Mahuta at level weights in the Carbine Club during the Flemington Carnival, but I don’t think we’ve seen the peak of him yet and perhaps the gear change and some extra fitness will bring out his best and start him on an upward spiral of form. Although it’s a small field engaged here, there does look to be a few who race at their optimum when dictating, so expect some speed on which should give He’s Our Rokkii every chance to run home late over the top of them.
Warwick Farm Race 1 No.4 Rock And Swing – $4.80
This guy is one of the best bred gallopers in Australia – by Fastnet Rock, Rock And Swing is out of a full sister to one of the modern era’s greatest racehorses, and outstanding sire, High Chaparral. Now we all know that may mean very little when it comes to his ability, but judging by the way he improved from his first trial to his second, there’s definitely some underlying talent there and he starts his career in a winnable midweek maiden. Looking at those two trials, he was completely outsped in the first, but without being knocked around his last 100m was very good. He then made up nice ground in the second trial, again without too much pressure being applied, behind Saturday’s Skyline Stakes winner Good Standing and probably could have finished second if he hadn’t have run out of room the last little bit. Think they’ll be keen to take advantage of the inside gate and attempt to be behind the leaders, whether he has enough speed to do that remains to be seen, but either way the small field helps. Rather Sweet will be a deserved favourite after finishing within 2 1/2 lengths of Astern last time out, but she’s had five starts now and is yet to win, and now has to give weight to the boys here.
Warwick Farm Race 3 No.6 Realise Potential – $7.50
Always had plenty of time for this gelding, he’s always given the impression that he’ll be a quality galloper that may start to come into his own as the races get towards the mile range. He was fantastic winning first up, they were very positive on him that day at Wyong and he displayed nice versatility to lead, which he’d never done previously, and dominate the race. They were less positive on him second up, and he made up some ground behind the talented Southern Legend without ever looking a likely threat, but it was a pretty good effort considering the circumstances. He clearly wants further, and he starts to get it as he tackles 1400m in this. Expect them to go back to being a bit more aggressive here out of the gates, there doesn’t appear to be much speed engaged and we now know that Realise Potential is capable of taking a role closer to the speed, or even in front, and still perform very well. If they do that, he will be going very close.
Warwick Farm Race 7 No.15 Ultimate Shock – $4.40
Ultimate Shock made a lovely impression in his Aussie debut when winning impressively at this track in December, displaying a nice turn of foot. The ex-Kiwi then went to Randwick and got fizzed up pre-race, pulled his head off during the run, and tired late behind runaway winner Stravigo – he’s clearly a horse with some head issues and some behavioural problems, but he’s got ability and when he sorts those troubles out he’s going to make a nice sprinter. It’s will have been almost two months since that start when he lines up in this, but he did trial a fortnight ago at Randwick, and again sweated up before the trial before winning it without being asked to do much. He draws a good alley for this and Jason Collett should be able to place him wherever he feels comfortable during the run – the preference would be to have him just off the pace because he’s got a nice burst of speed on him and is down in the weights, so love to see him get to the front not long after straightening and hold off any late challengers rather than chase something down.
Sandown (Lakeside) Race 1 No.6 Thinking Of You – $2.20
For a 1200m race there isn’t many in the small field of eight engaged here that are genuine sprinters and even though Thinking Of You is probably more a seven furlong horse herself, she is clearly the one in the field that has the best turn of foot when fit and firing. The daughter of Thorn Park has competed against some quality gallopers, of course she’s group one placed when running third in a Flight Stakes behind First Seal and Winx – pretty decent company that! She ran two nice races in Sydney at the start of last prep before coming back to Melbourne and failing in group three company after which she was immediately spelled. This is definitely the easiest race she’s been in for quite some time and if she were to bring her best here, she’d be way too good – happy to take the risk that she’s healthy and ready to fire, otherwise think she’d be off to the breeding barn already.
Sunshine Coast Race 6 No.7 Fifteen Love – $16
Fifteen Love isn’t the sort of mare you can back with a whole heap of confidence – she’s limited and you’d want double figure odds to be having your dough on her in anything she contested. But she comes back in grade here after competing in a Saturday Class 6 behind Heart Of A Warrior, prior to that she was going ok being placed in similar grade to what she faces here and running a close-up fifth to Once Again in a 75 rater. She should be suited by the open spaces at the Sunny Coast circuit – one of her only two race wins was here, plus she’ll appreciate the slight step up in trip as well. No doubt any sting out of the track would help, as would some genuine speed in the race – if she happened to get both of those then she’d be well in the mix.