Awoke beat her more illustrious stablemate Foxplay as a two-year-old, but she went off the boil for a couple of preps. This time in though, it seems that Chris Waller has got her back on track with her two efforts since resuming full of quality.
First up she accounted for a subsequent Saturday city winner in The Pharoah, in what was a narrow but relatively soft win that made you think straight away "she's back". She then went to Saturday mares grade only to run into the very progressive Philosophy. She couldn't catch the Godolphin mare, hard as she tried in the last 200 metres, but nonetheless it was a very encouraging effort.
It will be almost a month between runs when she lines up in this, but she has had a trial in between at Rosehill, which she won, so fitness wise she's been kept up to the mark.
Her best is too good for this lot and Bowman should be able to get her home.
Around the Grounds
It was a tough school two weeks ago if you were on Lifesaver, and weren't one of the numerous punters who had been part of the plunge on first-starter Another Sin. I wasn't surprised they didn't uphold the protest, but I do think the bump Another Sin gave Lifesaver with 75 metres to go was much more significant and had a bigger effect on the result than the nudge Lifesaver gave Another Sin at the 300. You won't get $5 again here, but you can perhaps get your cash back if you are happy to take the shorts and stick with the Matthew Dunn-trained gelding.
Angland sticks and he draws nicely, and there does look to be a bit more speed in this race so don't be surprised if they take a sit on him. He's going to win better races than this, so let's hope there's no hard luck stories here.
Loresho, a French import, who had almost two years off before appearing for Darren Weir at Flemington in June, has been slowly building up his fitness levels in his four Australian starts -- and his fourth behind Aloft last time out gave the indication he's just about there.
Perhaps of even more significance, he's been looking like an out-and-out stayer all prep and I suspect we are about to see the best of him now that he finally gets to the 2500m trip.
His last two starts in France resulted in a Group 3 win and a placing at Group 2 level in a race that often produces Prix de l'Ard de Triomphe runners so he certainly has a class factor that none of his rivals here possess.
A win here is essential if connections are looking at better staying events during the spring.
Very keen to see what this superbly bred daughter of Golden Slipper hero Pierro can do at three because she always had the look of a filly that was going to improve as she got older.
She was in the top bracket of two-year-old fillies last season; a close-up effort in the Blue Diamond, a comprehensive Magic Night Stakes win, and a fantastic third placing in the Golden Slipper when very wide for most of the race attest to that.
She did all you could ask for in a recent trial, splitting subsequent Silver Shadow winner Formality and Blue Diamond heroine Catchy, both stablemates of Tulip, in the process.
She gets the big tick here of being a winner at Moonee Valley plus she looks so well in under the set weights and penalties conditions of this event. Expect Craig Williams to keep her out of any trouble and sit off the pace, probably looking to make his move down the side and get her rolling. A lucrative campaign awaits and she can kick it off in style by taking this out.
El Divino, the half-brother to Winx, hasn't quite lived up to the initial hype that surrounded him.
He was shifted Tulloch Lodge in Sydney to Darren Weir prior to his summer/autumn prep, and, outside of a great first-up effort, when narrowly beaten at listed level by subsequent Group 1 winner Tivaci, he was relatively disappointing.
But I believe the son of Snitzel has more to offer, and I'm hoping that Melbourne's premier trainer may now have worked out El Divino and we'll see the best of him this time in. If he can get him to fulfil his ability, he would be going very close here.
Over the Odds
Chauffeur had a solid two-year-old campaign, winning more than $500,000, mainly through his runner's-up cheque in the Magic Millions, but wet tracks put a real dampener on the latter part of his prep as he struggled in both the Golden Slipper and the Sires' Produce.
The valuable son of a former Magic Millions winner in Mirror Mirror has since shifted stables from Gerald Ryan to Team Hawkes, and perhaps a change of home will produce a change of luck.
In essence, I think he's one of Sydney's better three-year-old colts -- perhaps not the very top level but right in the mix behind that, and he could well take that next step if he's developed further into his three year old season.
His two trials have been solid in preparation for this, and he finds himself in a race that looks set to be run on a firm surface and appears to have some early pace, which could set it up for a backmarker late; at very attractive odds, let's hope he's the one.
Leg 1 - 1,2,5,7,8,9,10
Leg 2 - 1,4,5,9
Leg 3 - 2,4,7
Leg 4 - 1,3,4,7
($100 = 29.76 percent)
Leg 1 - 1,3,5,6,7,9
Leg 2 - 8,10,11
Leg 3 - 1,4,5,9
Leg 4 - 8,10,12
($100 = 46.3 percent)
Leg 1 - 5,6,9,11,13,15
Leg 2 - 1,3,4
Leg 3 - 2,3,4,5,6,12
Leg 4 - 5,10
($100 = 46.3 percent)
TAB Early Markets Movers and Big Bets
Race 1 - Lifesaver $2.50 - $2 ($2,000 @ $2.50)
Race 3 - Marsupial $5 - $4 ($250 @ $5, $1,000 @ $4.60)
Race 4 - Alward $3.60 - $2.60 ($350 @ $2.80, $260 @ $2.60)
Race 9 - Selita $11 - $6 ($500 e/w @ $11/$3.10, $250 @ $9, $250 @ $8)
Race 1 - Yogi $3.80 - $2.90 ($200 @ $3.80, $408 @ $3.70, $500 @ $3)
Race 3 - Tulip $3.70 - $3.20 ($500 @ $3.20)
Race 7 - Heatherly $3.30 - $2.25 ($900 @ $3.30, $1,500 @ $2.40)