Earlier, the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (Race 5) over 1000m should be a lively affair with Heatherly expected to take all the beating despite drawing the outside gate.
The Ellerton-Zahra mare resumed her spring campaign with a comfortable enough win in the Carlyon Stakes here a fortnight back, opening up a race winning lead before the turn and fending off the fast-finishing Viddora.
Indeed, the McEwen represents the second leg of a trilogy of runs over this course and distance with the Moir Stakes firmly on her radar later this month.
A likely meeting with ace sprinter Chautauqua, who win this race first-up 12 months ago on his way to the Manikato, awaits should she come through Saturday’s race in reasonable order.
We’re expecting her to push forward and prove hard to run down again but there’s a price for everything and we’re happy to accommodate punters wanting to back her on Saturday.
Her main opposition is expected to come from Mark Kavanagh’s Wild Rain, who has been freshened up after a powerful win the John Monash over 1100m back in July and looks the obvious danger.
The inclusion of the speedy Shiedel and Furnaces, who ran a creditable third in this race last year on his only previous appearance in Melbourne, gives the field greater depth with the Godolphin runner entering this race on the strength of some hot trial form.
Tips and Preview provided by UniBet.com.au