Mitchell Lamb from TAB.com.au assesses the midweek form at Sandown, Randwick and Ipswich.
Over And Above was narrowly defeated by Summer Sham in what was a stirring duel on debut a couple of weeks ago at Ballarat, the two first starters racing away from their rivals and going head-to-head over the last 150 metres.
Over And Above, a gelding, and Summer Sham a filly, both look to have a decent dose of talent and displayed a strong will to win, and the selection here, in particular, looked to have good level of improvement from a fitness perspective.
The Team Hawkes-trained son of their former star All Too Hard now travels to town for what appears to be a maiden without much depth. The favourite, Masuta, also was an eye-catching run at his debut but could be more a miler type in the making whereas Over And Above appears to be, and his breeding certainly suggests, that he's a genuine sprinter.
I thought Over And Above, who should be able to sit right on what could be a slowish speed, would be favourite prior to markets going up. I'm very keen on his chance to rack up win No.1 before being aimed towards something a little stronger.
Around The Grounds
Former Godolphin foreman Brad Widdup is certainly making a name for himself as a trainer, racking up some 30 winners in New South Wales, including six metro winners, from just 115 runners in his first season on his own. Clearly he is a trainer with a huge future, and those in the know are probably not surprised by his superb start.
He might have a handy filly in Ridicule, a lovely bred daughter of So You Think from Commands mare Russeting, which Bart Cummings saddled to win the Group 1 Winter Stakes.
Ridicule has been to the track just the once, when she tried valiantly to run down stakes-placed filly Memento at Warwick Farm last September with a fair gap back to the third placegetter. She has now been given time to mature, and we did see her trial recently at Rosehill; she wasn't asked to do too much there, holding her position late in proceedings.
I think she'll be in front of what appears to be her main danger, Swaffham Bukbeck, and if she's got enough in her from a fitness perspective that may prove the decisive factor in her breaking through. She looks the best in Sydney for mine.
I was extremely keen on Torgersen last Saturday, but the meeting was abandoned; they've shifted the race to this midweek meeting at Ipswich, and I see no reason not to stick with him.
Torgersen has only won the one race since being shifted to the Queensland stable by Chris Waller, but he's been placed multiple times and is yet to finish further back than fifth in any of his seven starts.
That fifth placing came at his latest run, when he got well out of his ground in the Sunshine Coast Cup before running home strongly behind comprehensive winner Most Important. That was an eye-catching effort in a much better and deeper field, and now he goes up trip to his more favoured mile journey.
Expect Robbie Fraad, who's been riding extremely well, to have Torgersen a lot closer to the action up front than we've seen over the shorter trips in his recent starts; they should be able to get a sweet run in transit here.
He's certainly short enough for a horse that doesn't necessarily win out of turn, but he needs only hold his current form to be too good for this lot. This really does look his race.
Over The Odds
This a very handy field assembled for a midweek Benchmark 70 race, with some improving types engaged, but I think Kaching is a galloper with better-than-average ability, even if he's yet to truly live up to it, and I'm willing to take the risk that we might be about to see the best of the son of So You Think. From the family of wonder mare Sunline, Kaching's former trainer, Ciaron Maher, thought enough of the entire to run him in a Caulfield Guineas at three, as well as a couple of hot form races in the early part of the 2017 Autumn.
He was no match for the likes of Hey Doc, Mr Sneaky and Theanswermyfriend, and he was then brought back for a spring campaign that lasted only one run -- a close second to Ballet Master at Sale. I'm not privy to why he was tipped out, but he returns here now with Aaron Purcell and, interestingly enough, they still haven't gelded him; that leads me to believe they think he's still got some group potential in him.
The 1300 metres is perfect for him fresh -- in essence he's probably more a miler -- and he gets the services of one of the best, if not the best, Victorian jockeys in Damian Lane. A midfield spot one off the fence will be ideal, and we'll see in the straight whether he can produce the quality turn of foot he's shown previously.
Leg 1 - 1,2,4,5,7
Leg 2 - 1,2,6
Leg 3 - 4,5,6,7,10,11
Leg 4 - 9,10,11
($100 = 37.04 percent)
Leg 1 - 7,10
Leg 2 - 4,5,6,9
Leg 3 - 2,5,10,11,13
Leg 4 - 2,4,5,9
($100 = 62.5 percent)