It's always a deep and competitive meeting at Bendigo, which often feels like a bit of a transition meeting from the summer/autumn carnival in Melbourne as horses destined to keep our attention into the winter start to step out and get their campaigns rolling.
That is certainly the look of the Golden Mile itself where nine resume including the expensive import English King who kicks off his time in Australia having been highly regarded in the UK.
When first entered in the Golden Mile, English King had the makings of a sucker's play, particularly after he drew to be inside a wall of runners. But bookmakers didn't fall in, making him near enough to 20/1 in early markets which deseves more than just a quick look about a horse good enough to have started $4.33 in The Derby and $6.50 in the Grand Prix De Paris.
He absolutely trounced the smart Berkshire Rocco at Lingfield and he must have a reasonable winning hope at Bendigo despite the fairly obvious little knocks. 20/1 seems reasonable compensation for those.
It's also noteworthy that several recent winners of this race have had a very similar look. Jet Away and Observational were listed winners from the UK - rated shy of English King - and Nevis was remarkably similar having won the same Derby Trial at Lingfield. That isn't going to make English King faster but it shows that the race can play to that sort of horse.
For our best of the day we will roll back a race to the Guineas where a swag of promising horses - including six last start winners - line up along with current race favourite Annavisto.
Like English King, Annavisto might have a bit of a sucker vibe at first glance. She was unlucky last time, though largely of her own doing, her manners in need of some work. However, a change of gear here from a smart yard looks important and the addition of Jamie Kah is rarely a bad thing.
We've only seen glimpses of it to date but there have been hints that she is a bit better than these and this might just be the day to back her to prove as much.
THE MELBOURNE MAIL
Bet Of The Day: Race 7 #8 Annavisto @ $3.20
Each Way Play: Race 8 #11 English King @ $21.00