Feature race action takes us to Caulfield this Saturday for the Group 3 John Monash Stakes (Race 8) over 1100m with Robbie Laing’s Lord of the Sky looking to break a winning drought that has stretched out to two years.
The Cranbourne-based trainer was bullish about his chances after Lord of the Sky romped to a seven length win in a barrier trial back in May but there’s a huge gulf between his best and worst efforts and our traders are keen to oppose him on the weekend.
Miss Promiscuity upset Lord of the Sky in this race last year and the Hayes-Dabernig camp are likely to have a major say in proceedings once again with seasoned sprinter Fast n Rocking atop the betting in our early pre-post market.
The five-year-old galloper acquitted himself admirably against some very smart horses during his last preparation and has raced well at Caulfield previously with Dwayne Dunn, who now trails Craig Williams in the metropolitan jockeys premiership.
Dunn is set to take the ride after Stephen Baster partnered the horse to a competitive fourth behind Black Heart Bart in the Goodwood.
Williams is riding in stellar form at present, notching another double at the Valley on Wednesday to go with the five he booted home last weekend and he’ll look to extend his lead aboard Girl Guide, who has also endured a frustrating time of it over the past 18 months.
Ciaron Maher has always had a high opinion of this mare and she ran a super race first-up here last preparation when narrowly beaten by Sheidel in the Bel Esprit Stakes, a race ultimately decided in the stewards room.
With the track currently rated a heavy 8, her trainer will be hoping for dry weather between now and the weekend after she battled to get through the ground in the Wangoom Handicap during the Warrnambool carnival.
Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir set a new season benchmark during the week and he’ll be represented by three runners with Thermal Current appearing the best of that stable’s sprinting hopes.
A last start winner of the Gold Topaz out at Swan Hill, Thermal Current should get a nice run from barrier 4 and will have the services of Dean Yendall.
In an open race with plenty of uncertainty, our traders were also expecting a good first-up run from Atmospherical, who has already won four times over this trip during his career and should have derived plenty of benefit out of a couple of recent trials.
While the query runner is undoubtedly The Cynic, a recent acquisition from Hong Kong who will be making his first Australian start.
Tips and Preview provided by UniBet.com.au