Across The Ditch - This Week's Runners
CAULFIELD – SATURDAY
DRAGON STORM [SANDOWN CUP]
Son of Shocking, a Melbourne Cup winner who’s had three disappointing runs in Australia since landing here in September. However he has got to his credit a win over 3200 metres, something few of his opponents have. Watch betting.
INTO RIO [SANDOWN CUP]
Made ground late at Cranbourne last time and has always shown staying ability since being purchased as a yearling. Tougher here but consider.
LADY IN THE SKY [SANDOWN CUP]
Another Moroney runner who caught the eye at Bendigo last start when placed over 2400 metres. Although rising substantially in grade here could fluke a place.
Former Kiwi galloper who’s performed well in this grade and trip. Returned from a break last time and finished powerfully after meeting interference at Flemington over this journey. Six tries for two wins and two placings at the thousand metres and is worth plenty of thought.
BELLE PLAISIR [SUMMONED STAKES]
Only had three starts in Australia since landing from New Zealand. She had an excellent record at home and her efforts here have been full of merit. She is now ready to peak following an eye-catching placing at Cranbourne last start.
BLUE ARMY [SANDOWN GUINEAS]
Lightly raced three-year-old who looks perfectly positioned to earn some black type here. Was successful last start at Warrnambool over 1400 metres when backed for substantial money. Superbly bred by Savabeel from Kiwi mare Keyarna Blue. Drawn to get the run of the race from gate one and will be hard to toss.
DEFIBRILLATE [ECLIPSE STAKES]
Very nice horse who is a multiple city winner but facing his toughest test here. Although he’s had just two starts at 1800 metres for two wins he showed very little fight at Ballarat in the Cup last Saturday when beating only three home. Rider told stewards that the horse raced like a “very tired” galloper however trainer Paddy Payne has decided to back the horse up, a move that should be followed.
HO HO KHAN [ECLIPSE STAKES]
Very smart former Hong Kong stayer who has been entered and scratched many times in the past two weeks. He raced well in Hong Kong after being sold to owners in the David Hall stable. The horse relishes wet ground so if the expected rain does come, watch betting.
EXCELMAN [ECLIPSE STAKES]
Looked good winning the greys’ race at Flemington over the four-day carnival. Sizeable leap in grade here to a group three event however the horse is racing well and must be considered.
SURPRISE BABY [HEFFERNAN STAKES]
One of the most interesting runners for the day as this gelding has not started since running second favourite in the 2020 Melbourne Cup behind Twilight Payment. Is extraordinarily lightly raced having started 14 times for five wins and three placings. He is on trial for an Autumn carnival and his effort first up last time in when second in the Bart Cummings Stakes showed the quality the horse has. It’s 1400 metres here, a distance he has never competed over and is racing for a new stable but is well worth watching for the future.
AGE OF CHIVALRY [HEFFERNAN STAKES]
In grand form and struggled at Cranbourne over an unsuitable distance and on a heavily rain-affected track. Back to 1400 metres here and easier opposition and this will suit.
SUNDAY – WARRNAMBOOL
BORDER LEICESTER (THE JERICHO CUP)
Won once this prep at Cambridge 12 runs back, best he has run is 2nd in all nine starts as a favourite. Racing back from metro track but appears tested.