SANGLIER - A placing in the Merson Cooper Stakes at Sandown looks a strong form reference for a provincial maiden and that is what the Godolphin two-year-old Sanglier brings to the Servers Australia 2YO Maiden Plate (1000m). Sanglier was spelled after finishing 1-1/2 lengths behind Long Leaf and Oohood after leading until the 150m before seemingly struggling when resuming from a break stepping up to 1100m for the first time in the Talindert Stakes won by Prairie Fire on February 17. It is highly doubtful there are any Long Leafs and Oohoods in the maiden at Wyong on Saturday and Sanglier should be winning.
JUST DREAMING - With a NSW Benchmark Handicap rating of 90, the Kris Lees-trained Just Dreaming is the top-rated horse in the Polytrack Provincial Championships Qualifier four rating points ahead of the second top rated horse Echo Effect. With two rating points equalling a kilo in racing terms Just Dreaming should be giving Echo Effect 2kg weight, however is only required to give the Kristen Buchanan-trained gelding 1kg. Whilst a 1kg differential isn’t substantial the advantage these two gallopers have over the rest of the field is best exemplified by looking at the third highest rated horse in the race, Virgilio who is the equal top-weight being asked to carry 57.5kg giving Just Dreaming a half kilo compared to receiving 6kg if the race was run under handicap conditions. Reckon it is a race in two but I do believe Just Dreaming has the edge over Echo Effect coming into the race second-up after finishing just over a length from the winner Faraway Town in the Group III Triscay Stakes at Randwick on February 17. Unbeaten in two runs at the track and distance and twice a winner second-up, Just Dreaming gets all the ticks for mine.
ZUCCHERINA - The Bellamy-trained Zuccherina has been mixing her distances in recent starts and looks well placed back to the 1506m of the McGuigan BMW Port Macquarie Benchmark 65 Handicap. A Coffs Harbour winner over a mile on January 14, Zuccherina struggled when stepped up to 2018m at Taree at her next outing before coming back to 1512m at Port Macquarie to win a benchmark 61 handicap on February 2. Zuccherina went back to 1400m at Ballina when a close second two runs back before finishing off her race off nicely when runner-up to Flaming Aces over 1305m at Coffs Harbour on February 25. Back to 1506m on Friday, Zuccherina gets her chance to return to the winner’s list.
DREAMY BELLE (Port Macquarie Race 6 No 4) I haven’t seen the Kris Lees-trained Dreamy Belle in the flesh but looking at her replays she is only a small filly so the decision to tackle class two company in the BMW Premium Selection Handicap (1006m) looks a deliberate move to keep her down in the weights. Lees took advantage of the 3kg claim for apprentice Louise Day with Dreamy Belle carrying 52kg to win her maiden on debut at Scone before carrying 54kg when fourth at Hawkesbury in her remaining first preparation. After an impressive trial at Gosford when a close second to a subsequent race winner in Magic Era, Dreamy Belle kicked off her current campaign finishing less than four-lengths from the winner Sheikha carrying 53kg in a three-year-old fillies benchmark 73 handicap over 1100m when the daughter of Dreamy Belle led until to the 250m. Once again Lees has looked for a light-weight option with Louise Day back in the saddle reducing Dreamy Belle’s impost after her 2kg claim to 54.5kg which looks a winning weight back in grade over the slightly shorter journey on Friday.
SERKET - The statistics give me added confidence with my best bet of the day, the Greg Hickman-trained Serket who will be chasing her first career in the Weddings At The Post Function Centre 4YO+ Maiden Plate 1300m. To be ridden by Jess Taylor who piloted More Energy to victory in the Parramatta Cup at Rosehill on Saturday at big odds, Serket has turned her form around in recent starts. A four-year-old daughter of Nicconi, Serket should have finished much closer in a race at Hawkesbury three runs back when she never saw daylight before finishing runner-up at Cessnock in her latest two outings when a firmer in betting on both occasions. In a maiden restricted to horses four-year-old and upwards, Serket won’t get a better chance to win a race.