James Cummings has proven he's not afraid to take on older horses when he has a promising three-year-old working its way through the grades - the likes of Malahat, Piracy (both winners) and Beacon (narrowly beaten) have been prime examples of that in recent weeks.
He is set to do it again here with Regent, a son of Lonhro and five-time stakes-winning mare Wild Queen. First up from a spell, Regent tackles the older gallopers here and appears to be a colt with some decent upside.
He was a nice winner on debut over the 1100 metres at Canterbury back in April, before he was sent immediately to the Gold Coast for the group three Ken Russell. He didn't have much luck when beaten a little more than two lengths by the talented Taking Aim.
He returns here with two trials under his belt, which should hopefully help him see out the 1300 metres whilst still fresh. It wouldn't surprise if they were aggressive early from that wide gate and attempt to try and sit outside what appears to be the obvious leader in the race in Red Knot.
If he gets there without working, expect him to prove his promise and account for what is essentially a limited field.
Around the grounds
It's not very often that Godolphin offload a horse and it goes on to be a city class horse elsewhere, but their former Blue Diamond Preview winner Cohesion shapes as one that could potentially break that fairly established pattern.
He's clearly a galloper with speed, but whether he just simply lost form or had some other sort of physical issue that prevented him from racing at his best for his former stable, I'm not sure. He appears here for astute Cessnock trainer Todd Howlett first up from an eight-month spell.
Howlett has given him the one trial in preparation for this, taking him to Newcastle where he led and held on under minimal pressure over 900 metres, and looked pretty good doing it.
He gets into this with no weight after Blaike McDougall's claim, and with the other genuine speed in the race Timing drawn outside him. I think he can cross and lead the others - at the almost double figure quote I'm willing to take the gamble that he's fit enough and fast enough to hold on late.
I have been awaiting this filly's reappearance for the Spring but figured it could well be in black type races, instead we see her in a midweek restricted fillies race, and accordingly I think she's going to be extremely hard to beat.
Plenty of others must think the same as she's been a big firmer since markets were opened late Tuesday. It's not surprising given what she displayed ability wise in her first preperation when she was a comfortable Wyong maiden winner which was followed by a narrow loss in town on a Saturday to Silence.
She's had the two trials to have her ready for this first up assignment, given a very quiet hit out in the first, followed by a more prominent effort in the second, whilst still having little pressure applied.
I believe this daughter of So You Think, like most of the breed, will improve further at three and will probably be better off over a mile. Whilst this field has some other fillies with decent upside engaged, she's the one I want to be with moving forward and she should be going close here.
Many would have seen Positively High's eye-catching effort last start over the same track and distance he tackles here. He really knuckled down late to be beaten a length and a half behind Carraig Aonair a fortnight ago - considering it was just his third start and he was coming off his maiden win, it looked an effort of a very promising galloper.
A superbly bred son of High Chaparral, from an imported daughter of major US influence Storm Cat, the Mick Price trained gelding took a while to wind up when coming from well back in that race. The winner, who had enjoyed the perfect run behind the three leaders, was able to obtain a few lengths break on him after straightening and that proved to be the difference. When Positively High did balance up and begin to hit top gear, he made up a stack of ground, especially in the last 100 metres.
He stays at the mile, but he does draw much better this time around, and you can be sure Mark Zahra will be looking to have him much closer to the action in the run. Barring traffic issues, I expect him to prove that he is at the very least Saturday grade, and perhaps they can target a stakes race somewhere over the carnival if he continues to improve.
I know she's won just the two races from seven starts, but you could easily make the case that Petition could have won six of those. Outside of her debut defeat, when she found a hot maiden won by dual group winner Legless Veuve, her other three losses have all been in quality company and all have been narrow and without much luck.
In fairness, her get back racing pattern has had some hand in that, but it's plain to see she's a mare with a big motor, and this could be the prep that all things come together for her to really leave her mark.
As far as this race goes, she takes on restricted grade mares, and although there's a couple of others that are lightly raced with some scope for improvement in the field, none possess her upside and none have the race performances close to what she's done. She's likely to be in the back half of the field in running, but she'll finish hard and she'll finish right over the top of them.
Over the odds
He certainly hasn't got the ability of some of the other imported stayers that also call Chris Waller's Rosehill stables home, but I think Exoteric is at least getting close to a win in this type of grade now that's he's had the three runs back. At good odds, he has some appeal in Race 6 at Warwick Farm.
A three-time winner in his previous racing life in England, Exoteric had the one Australian run back in April before being spelled.
He then returned with two average efforts in unsuitable races at big odds, before he finally got to a suitable trip last time out at Warwick Farm - that was a better effort and with further fitness under his belt, he might be ready now to show his best.
He'll win a race in this type of grade at some stage, let's hope it's here at the juicy quote.
Leg 1 - 3,4
Leg 2 - 2,3,4,9
Leg 3 - 10,13
Leg 4 - 2,4,13
($100 = 208.33%)
Leg 1 - 5,6
Leg 2 - 4,6
Leg 3 - 3,6,7,9
Leg 4 - 2
($100 = 625%)