I’m suggesting the Australian 2yo HARDLINE is going to be very hard to beat here. Looking back on the history of this race (7 years) it is quite strange that no last start winner has managed to win it. So it appears that it is better to choose a horse that might be ready to peak on the day rather than at it’s previous start
In it’s 7 year history two Australian horses have won, and another has finished runner up. That runner up (Sarge In Charge) and one of the winners (Sister Havana) were trained by Liam Birchley ,who aslo saddles up Hardline today. At face value this horse was disappointing at Rosehill last start when highly fancied, but apparently the track was leader biased, and those nearer the rail in the straight were advantaged. This horse got too far back in the race after missing the start slightly, and then got pushed very wide in the straight after suffering minor interference. It’s important to note that Blinkers are being added today (seemingly not shown on Australian websites), which are expected to ‘sharpen up’ the horse. That hopefully means it will at least begin better and put itself in a midfield or slightly better position early. I strongly suspect that is the intention.
I think it is capable of beating some quite impressive local 2yos given it’s formlines. On debut it beat home Lady Mercury who subsequently ran third to Gold Coast Magic Millions winner Le Chef. Third behind Hardline in that race was In his Stride who subsequently finished in front of Pepparano at Toowoomba. Many pundits believe Pepparano should have won the Magic Millions race subsequently at the Gold Coast.
The local NZ form looks very solid, and I think the one to beat might be MARITOMO. It has the best formlines and should be better for it’s run at Ellerslie recently at this distance. It overraced early and fought back bravely when challenged by the eventual winner Marky Mark. Strata Lady goes to a right handed track and 1200m for the first time but was extremely impressive winning on debut in good (adjusted) time. The runner up Bella Court has since franked the form and also runs here. It didn’t seem to handle it’s first run right handed too well but still managed to win, and will be better for the experience The Justice League won in moderate time on debut but by a big margin. He was quite ‘green’ that day and needs to do everything right in this. Interesting that stablemate Showboy has been scratched which now enables him to get a start. Showboy wasn’t far from Maritomo last start so that could give us an idea of how highly the stable regard TJL.
3. THE JUSTICE LEAGUE
4. STRATA LADY.