The return clash between Alligator Blood and Catalyst after their stirring duel in the CS Hayes, combined with a fitter Chenier, a last start Group One winner in Alabama Express, and some X-factor from the west in the form of Superstorm has the stage set for a classic edition of the race.
That's a hard market to beat, however, and our best of the day comes in the slightly less anticipated Roy Higgins Quality for the stayers.
Dabiyr is the one that appeals here coming off a Moonee Valley win where he sat outside a very slow tempo (surprise surprise for a staying contest in Melbourne these days!) and managed to outmuscle his in-form stablemate in the run home.
That was a nice step up to the trip for him and it shouldn't have knocked the wind out of him which leaves us thinking he will have plenty more to offer come Saturday. His key danger, King Of Leogrance, jumps to the trip quickly and while he has the talent to match Dabiyr he might not have the set up coming off (shock horror again) a very slowly run race first time out over 1800m. This is Dabiyr's chance to catch him out.
Speaking of slow tempos, the Dillon was a walk to the corner and a dash home and Morvada did well to get the better of an in-form Yulong January there. He was probably a little bit undersold in the betting there, after little had split the pair the run prior, and again he looks undervalued at each-way odds in an even looking field for the Shaftsbury Avenue Handicap.
He should roll on into a good spot again here and from there it's just a matter of him turning up again on the day to be in the finish.
THE MELBOURNE MAIL
Bet Of The Day: Race 2 #2 Dabiyr @ $2.80
Each Way Play: Race 5 #7 Morvada @ $7.50