KIRONA - I have no hesitation in suggesting this Ryan Balfour-trained mare is going much better than the form reads. She has been far from disgraced in her past two starts against much tougher company than what she meets in this. She is a query over this longer 2032m but I do think she deserves a chance to be tried over longer than her recent trips, another reason why we are keen to jump on board in a moderate Benchmark 70 affair. No issues with the soft track, in fact her best form is when there is sting out of the track. At $15 she rates as a terrific each-way wager.
RED ALTO - Victorian-trained visitor that has gone down by the barest of margins in each of his two recent South Australian starts, both when driving hard late and just missing. Now steps up to the 2500m, a trip we expect this High Chaparral gelding to relish. No issues with the likelihood of a wet track having finished in the money in three out of four of his previous heavy track runs. Appears to have been underestimated in the early markets with the $7 appealing.
KABINI - Underrated Barry Brook-trained filly that is racing much better than her form reads having had no luck in four of her past five runs. Meets a similar line-up to the one she met last start, a race given any clear running and she would have been right in the finish. Has again opened up at succulent overs and is terrific value. Having said that Thompson's Reward came with a big sprint to score brilliant first-up win and must say thought for sure he would open at less than the current $5.50 whilst the country Victorian visitor Alberts Lad ($5) presents as the big query runner.
LAST WITNESS - Prepared to have a throw at the stumps at one in the last race of the program with this ex-Sydneysider having his first South Australian run for new stable. Comes into this off a recent trial, one I thought was an absolute cracker where he made up a stack of late ground when still under a firm hold. Has the ratings to give this a big shake and I’m not bothered by the wet track - four of his five previous wins have come rain affected ground. By the last race they will be tracking out wide and swooping, a pattern which would suit ideally. Impossible to pass up at the opening $41. For quaddie players suggest Mystified ($3) is the huge danger whilst My Unicorn ($4.80), Hard Empire ($13), Good Luck Chuck ($14) and Bryan ($16) are also worth including.
BOCELLI - Brown rides the promising Bocelli for Tash Burleigh in the Divall’s Earthmoving Benchmark 65 Handicap (1400m). A winner of two his four starts winning at Canberra on debut and a comfortable victory over 1200m two runs back, Bocelli tackles 1400m for the second time in his career after a closing third in a Highway Handicap at Rosehill last start. Although down the track in his only 1400m run, it was the Goulburn Country Championship Qualifier and it is worth remembering Bocelli tackled the class five race at his second career start and started at $61 so it was no surprise to find out the gelding wasn’t competitive. With an additional two runs under his belt, Bocelli is looking for the journey now and rates as the day’s best bet at Goulburn.