Sandown (Hillside) Race 8 No.17 Magicus – $3.90
Admittedly this is a very handy field with some smart types engaged, but think the most talented out of all of them is the Chris Waller trained Magicus. Unbeaten after two starts, Magicus easily won his maiden on debut beating two subsequent winners, then was thrust into a restricted race at Moonee Valley up against some much more experienced rivals, and was again too good, and, although the margin reads only half a length, it was actually quite a soft win and he had plenty up his sleeve. Only good horses can make that leap between grades straight away. This is clearly his hardest test to date with the likes of Camdus, El Greco, Into The Mist, and Fast Cash all better than handy sprinters, but Magicus is flying and as long as he doesn’t get trapped wide form the gate, he’ll make it a hat trick of wins to begin whats looks set to be a lucrative career.
Rosehill Race 2 No.9 Sleek – $4.20
Judging by her recent trial win, Sleek is set to return to the track a much more complete race filly and a more mature specimen. The daughter of Commands, out of smart Lonhro mare Trim, did everything right in that trial, jumping well, showing nice speed without having to be hustled into it, accelerated nicely when asked and pricked her ears as she went past the line – it was the performance of a filly ready to fire. She draws a nice alley here and J-Mac will give her the sweet run behind the leaders – she’s at least Saturday class and that will be the next stop after she beats this lot.
Rosehill Race 4 No.2 Southern Legend – $2.90
Tim Clark took the race by the scruff of the neck at Southern Legend’s last start, taking the Les Bridge trained gelding straight to the front when no one else looked like they wanted to lead, and it proved a winning move (and a profitable one for The Wolf’s followers). It was a long time coming as Southern Legend had been set to make his re-appearance on several occasions but rain and bad barriers had thwarted those attempts. He’s got above average ability this bloke, and although he meets a couple of those that he beat there worse at the weights here, he does look set to get a gun run and he should be quite close to his peak fitness even this early into his campaign due to having the three trials prior to that first up win. Think he makes it two straight.
Sandown (Hillside) Race 2 No.5 Achi Baba – $7.50
A well bred son of Helmet, Achi Baba is out of superb producer Dawn Attack, making him a half sibling to the likes of Hazard, Java, and Antelucan, and loving what we’ve seen from the striking chestnut colt thus far at the trials. His latest one he finished a couple of lengths from stablemate Astern, who of course won the Silver Slipper on the weekend and will be well and truly in the Golden Slipper mix. Now Astern was under very little pressure in the trial and was a comfortable winner, but Achi Baba was basically under the same amount of riding from his jockey (basically none) and didn’t lose any ground on Astern, it was a very nice performance and holds him in good stead for a race like this. They’ve brought him down to Melbourne to kick him off and unfortunately they’ve copped barrier 13 here, but think this guy can be ridden quietly and take advantage of the long Sandown straight. Just add him into the long production line of quality 2yo’s from the Godolphin camp.
Gold Coast Race 5 No.6 Loceano – $4.20
He hasn’t won in more than 18 months, but this looks a lovely race for Loceano to return to the winners circle. The ex-Sydney galloper didn’t have much luck in his first prep north of the border, striking trouble in a couple of his races and never really got to show his best. Has been given a good spell of almost five months and resumes here with a quiet trial under his belt where he wasn’t knocked around. He’s always performed well first up (2 from 3) and looks quite well in here, can see them riding him off the speed and being produced for one last crack at them. If he gets the race run to suit and the gaps appear when he needs them, he’s definitely up to winning this.
Rosehill Race 8 No.3 Nazca – $17
It’s not often you want to be with the Godolphin horse in a race where they have two runners and J-Mac is on the stablemate, but that’s the case for The Wolf here as Winona Costin gets the ride on capable mare Nazca. The daughter of Medaglia D’Oro was just ok first up against the boys, probably settling further back than ideal and never really getting all that much room. But she’s shown previously that she’s able to bounce back quickly from ordinary fresh efforts, she is 2 for 2 second up, and at this sort of a trip she has beaten a mare as handy as Sweet Fire. Expect Winona to try and find a spot midfield and if she gets the right run in transit she can salute at odds.