Bred to get over a bit of ground, Semper Fidelis looks a decent style of a filly that's definitely got a win in her this time in.
A homebred for John Cornish's Torryburn Stud, Semper Fidelis had two starts in the latter part of last year. She ran home eye-catchingly on debut, from well back in what was a leader-dominated affair, and then started odds-on when stepped up in trip only to be found wanting over the last bit behind smart stablemate Higher Ground.
She was tipped out by Chris Waller and had two trials before she was sent to Wyong for a maiden a couple of weeks ago. She started favourite, but things didn't go to plan. She travelled well behind the leaders approaching the turn, but Kerrin McEvoy couldn't keep her momentum going as she struck some traffic issues; before he knew it, the others outside him had gone past and Semper Fidelis could only battle away to finish less than two lengths from the winner in fifth.
Forget about that latest run, and she's much better off with this race being up to a mile and drawing wide. McEvoy should be able to settle her off the pace and keep to the outside when he's attempting to get her into the race, rather than being held up.
She looks the type that will improve as the trips get longer, and I think she'll be too strong late for this lot.
Around The Grounds
After a stunning debut, Limbo Soul lined up in a Magic Night Stakes as a well-supported favourite only to find the likes of Tulip and Alizee a bit too good for her at that stage of her career; nonetheless, it was evident Tim Martin had a pretty handy filly on his hands. The daughter of I Am Invincible didn't race during the spring, and she resumed after a couple of very quiet trials to run almost a month ago. She held her position behind She Will Reign in the Inglis Sprint on this track, and that was a satisfactory effort after such a long break.
She looks really well placed here in a restricted midweek fillies event, with just the four rivals, even taking into account that a couple of them have some decent ability themselves.
Adam Hyeronimus should be able to sit just off the very quick Legadema and have Limbo Soul ready to pounce as they turn for home; she's better than these, class wise, and she'll be winning if she's fit and ready to get to somewhere near her best.
Han Xin had the two trials in Sydney before the Waterhouse/Bott team decided to send him down to their Flemington base, and that decision may pay dividends here as he looks to have found a suitable maiden to get a win under his belt.
First up after six months at Moonee Valley last month, he looked a bit one paced and wasn't able to quicken with the first few when the pressure was on. Looking back to his two starts last year, he showed good early speed in both and I would be surprised if he doesn't now take a very forward position -- probably lead -- in this event over a mile, especially with the blinkers on.
I can envisage Mark Zahra hustling Han Xin out of the gates from the wide barrier and look to cross and dictate proceedings. If he's able to get to the front without doing too much work, and he's improved fitness wise off that first-up effort, I can see him proving very difficult to run down.
Over The Odds
I liked the way this colt looked to improve significantly from his first trial to his second, and he could possibly improve again into raceday and be right in the mix with the Godolphin juveniles seemingly going well of late.
He's from a lovely family, as his mother Seances, a stakes-winning daughter of Canny Lad, was a half-sister to the ill-fated Unworldly, Jack and Bob Ingham's insanely talented Flight Stakes-winning filly that seemingly had the world at her feet when she shattered a sesamoid during a track gallop one morning at Warwick Farm.
He was only OK in the first trial, but he showed a lot more zest in the second -- displaying nice early pace and travelling on the bridle well into the straight before being overrun late without being placed under any real pressure.
There's a few that have shown something in this race, but none appear to be anything special. At the double-figure odds I'll be finding out whether he's made that leap out of his trials.
Leg 1 - 2,5,6,7
Leg 2 - 2,3,4,5
Leg 3 - 2,3
Leg 4 - 1,3,11,14 ($100 = 78.13 percent)
Leg 1 - 1,3,7,9
Leg 2 - 4,5,6
Leg 3 - 5,10
Leg 4 - 5,8,9,10 ($100 = 104.17 percent)