The current equal favourite for the Everest, Nature Strip faces a fairly even line up and should kick off his Spring campaign on a winning note.
Rated 129 by Timeform he is the highest rated horse in the country and while off his game in the Spring last year expect him to atone in this year's Everest, as they say third time's a charm.
The Team Hawkes trained Masked Crusader gave his rivals a touch up last weekend and with all things being equal we can expect Nature Strip to do the same on Saturday.
From the inside draw he should lead for McDonald and while he will have improvement to come, he ran 126 first up last preparation, a figure his rivals can't get near.
We were very keen on the chances of Cascadian first up and while unable to fill a minor placing it was hard not to like his return in the Winx Stakes [1400m].
Bumped at a crucial part in the straight he still finished off well when just peaking on his run late.
From the inside draw he is expected to settle a lot closer with very little speed engaged.
The step up to the mile is a tick and while this isn't his Grand Final, under the WFA conditions he looks well placed and should get every chance to return to the winner's stall.
The early price of close to 3-1 looks more than acceptable.
We will be on weather watch for our second selection with the Team Snowden trained King Of Sparta.
Only lightly raced he stepped out onto a good track at Kembla Grange for the first time last start when winning easily over 1200m.
Ridden by James McDonald he won with a leg in the air, ran time and the race has already produced three subsequent winners.
Faces a tough ask from the draw on Saturday but as a result we get a much better price and trust in McDonald to weave a bit of magic.
Simon Dinopoulos' Tips:
Race 8 #2 Cascadian @ $3.60
Race 9 #13 King Of Sparta @ $4.80