Speculative how the field settles. GIRONDE (2) was back and wide on debut here but caught the eye running home well. The extra trip suits and with the extra fitness expect him to take beating. TAKE ON MANHATTAN (3) is a debutant from a sharp Sydney yard and has had four trials dating back to January. The market needs to be monitored closely with him as well. BRENNAMAN (1) was last seen in the G3 Black Opal and didn't get into it as the market suggested. Draws out but gets McDougall and a forward run is on the cards. THE GURU (4) will be better second-up and will be around the mark.
Annie's Gift is fast and can cross over and lead. FAST STRYKE (7) is an ex Victorian who just missed first-up for the new yard at the Sapphire Coast. He has more to offer and can use the low draw. Could surprise each way. POLYXENA (4) resumed at Grafton a month ago and was just beaten. She's improved and has reportedly jumped out well. Will be very hard to beat with a good ride from the 4kg claimer. EMERALD FORTUNE (1) came hard winning the BM 70 Federal here two weeks ago in a return to form. Finds easier, but has to manage the big weight. ANNE'S GIFT (5) returned at peak winning at Nowra and then was on speed again at Bathurst, but didn't manage to see out the extra trip. Finds a bit shorter and with high course striker McDougall booked has to be given a chance.
Expect Amiens, Flight Commander and Balkan Ruler to be prominent from the jump. FLIGHT COMMANDER (1) just missed resuming here off a long break as favourite and then was backed again at Goulburn, but didn't quite see it out. This trip and circuit suit better and he gets his chance with the extra fitness. AMIENS (5) debuts for Waterhouse-Bott and has trialled twice at Randwick. She will run along and gets the blinkers applied. Is sure to have ability and the market will tell the story. A tougher form assignment the rest. COSTA CHIN CHIN debuts and is likely to be better than the trials suggest. McDougall's booking interests. PERSISTENCE PAYS (6) is lightly raced and has shown enough to suggest he can make the finish if presented on song. SPANISH RAIL (7) resumes and no surprise if she comes back better.
Eskimo Commander a likely leader from Successful Day. SUCCESSFUL DAY (4) won by a space here three back on debut and then got caught wide also heavily backed. Went to Albury after and was beaten 1L on the heavy track. She peaks now and gets her chance to break through back home. VELLICHOR (6) improved sharply winning the Maiden here at the last meeting and presents today for the Potter yard. She draws well and is a genuine chance to repeat. LADY TYCOON (5) has been good the two runs back and is an improver who can make the finish with a good ride. GUNGA DIN (2) resumes and will be very competitive if presented forward. Draws out but gets the high-stable striker aboard.
Dezzy and Imanacheeva can make the pace. This is a competitive race on paper. IMANACHEEVA (4) has been threatening to win but things haven't been working out with a 4kg claimer aboard. He's off today and McDougall takes over. He will push forward and no surprise if the gelding gets the win. OPPOSITE (10) hasn't had the best of it since the near miss here two back. He gets the winkers again and another chance. REIGN OVER ME (7) was back to form placing behind Stratum's Rose at the last meeting. Not sure where she gets to from the rail but expect her to be hitting the line. DEZZY (1) runs along and won the Maiden by a space at Wagga. Went to the mile after at Albury on the heavy, but snapped late. The blinkers come off and the winkers go on and expect him to be in it for a long way.
Eurosay, Black Star Bowie and Plucky Chance will be prominent from the jump. EUROSAY (4) resumed off stronger and was good placing behind Vellichor this track and trip. Keeps Ward and has more up the sleeve. The on-pacer gets his chance. BLACK STAR BOWIE (1) brings strong form to his third race start. Was beaten a lip heavily-backed at Bathurst the latest and Lever sticks from that. He sits handy and is a genuine hope. SECRETARY GENERAL (6) resumes for the Vella yard with the blinkers applied first time. A forward run wouldn't surprise. GLENLEIGH LAD (3) has just missed the last two and is on a 4-day turnaround. He can fill a slot.
Not clear-cut who leads. O'PRINCESS (5) is up in grade but couldn't have been more impressive winning here two weeks ago. Sat handy and bolted in and keeps a low gate and the 3kg claim. She looks to have more to offer. PALAMEDES (3) won over further at Narrandera and that rates well for this. Has to manage 350m less but is in good hands and expect him to race well. GENTLE ANNIE (2) wasn't beaten far and then lost a plate in town. She's been threatening and has to be considered. SWEET KNUCKLE (6) has disappointed the last two on the grass, but the win here prior was big and she will be right in it with a return to that.
Sky Mission can lead from Action Shale and Eokalio. EOKALIO (6) raced handy and was tough winning the CL1 here resuming. He has got more to offer and rates to repeat with Ward using the rail. ACTON SHALE (5) is a Nick Olive stablemate who is up to this at best. He goes well fresh and has the speed to sit handy. Keep a close eye on the market with him. FLIGHT ZONE (8) resumes for a Sydney yard and expect her to come back further improved. She has trialled well and the claimer can use the low gate. ADDCHAN (7) resumes off a strong 58 win and is another with a chance if presented on-song.