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She's a mare that's had some issues, but Almanzora is talented and the daughter of Lonhro is set to pay back her followers with a win on Saturday.
Yes, anyone that was on her first up was burnt when she started a similar quote to what she is here. However, that was in a restricted midweek race at Canterbury and she was given little to no hope in that. She got way out of her ground and never really had the room she needed to hit her top gear and be a chance.
It's a different scenario this weekend at Randwick. James McDonald can be a little closer in the run, and as long as he can get the splits when required, Almanzora will get home over the top of this lot late and justify that shortish quote.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
After being a significant drifter first up, Danawi put in a massive performance when beaten in the last stride by Military Zone at Randwick a fortnight ago. The son of Exceed and Excel was first up there after being a late scratching in a midweek race due to throwing his rider on the way to the gates.
I have little doubt he was yet to peak in that race, especially given the fact he missed a run due to the scratching. As difficult to watch as it was for those who had backed him, Danawi's followers would have been encouraged by the effort. He had to work a little early to get to the front, and it took all of the Randwick straight for Military Zone to run him down, with a decent gap to the third horse.
Danawi does draw a little awkwardly for his first crack at stakes grade, but I can see him coming across with Master Ash, drawn a couple inside him. Depending on how hard they are going, Corey Brown can either push on to the front or sit outside the Tulloch Lodge galloper.
Danawi's a genuine group class sprinter in the making, and hopefully he gets the luck needed to grab what might be the first of many black type wins.
A mare that must have had some issues along the way, Rillito is now a six-year-old with only 11 starts to date. She's really only just beginning to shine on the track.
The daughter of Street Cry was superb first up over the 1000 metres when flashing home at the Valley. She was brilliant second up at this track when winning easily, and then looked all over a winner here last start but was just nosed out by Sharpness. Let's not forget Sharpness is a handy mare who is flying and will compete in stakes grade in Sydney on Saturday. Rillito had to give her 3.5kgs that day.
Rillito's best trait is that she can accelerate quickly off any type of speed. I'd expect Craig Williams to just watch what unfolds in front of him here and keep Rillito out of trouble, before pulling her wide and hitting the go button.
Going back to the 1100 metres doesn't concern me, and this girl is destined for a black type race very soon.
I got it wrong with this girl first up thinking she could compete with a rock-hard fit Nature Strip. She simply couldn't go with the hulking speedster when the pressure went on, but in fairness to her, Nature Strip may well be the best five-furlong galloper in the country.
Sunlight comes back to her own age and gender under set weights and penalties conditions. She only has to give a maximum 3.5kgs to rivals that she should really be giving up to 10kgs to, and she draws to do zero work in the run.
The fact is, unless one of these others is a star in the making and we just don't know it yet, or Sunlight hasn't come up, then there's just no way they can beat her. She's just too well suited in a race like this and I'll be surprised if that $3 quote is still available come Saturday morning.
OVER THE ODDS
He's arguably a bit of a wet tracker, but after two very encouraging runs back from a spell, ex-French galloper Mask of Time is ready to peak here. In this sort of grade, he's absolutely capable of winning even on a firmer surface.
He's been given two very cold rides in those two runs back, both times getting back to a clear last but really hitting the line well.
Now, up to a mile, drawn middle of the field, and in a race where there's a few staying types engaged and not a whole heap of speed, I expect them to try and make sure Mask of Time settles closer in the run. If he can do that and get a clear passage when needed, he should be in the finish of this at almost double figure odds.
Leg 1 - 7,10
Leg 2 - 1,3,7
Leg 3 - 1,3,8,9,10
Leg 4 - 5,9
($100 = 166.67%)
Leg 1 - 1,10
Leg 2 - 1,5,13,14
Leg 3 - 3,4,5,6,7,8,10
Leg 4 - 3,5,7 ($100 = 59.52%)