The winners of the Group One miles in Sydney and Melbourne, the George Main and the Makybe Diva, clash in the main event and both hit it breathing fire.
Verry Elleegant has been at her best third up and at 2000m, winning four from five and beating Addeybb (the only horse to have beaten her in this spot) in the Ranvet at this point of her autumn campaign.
Incentivise, who won a group race by the widest margin in 40 years up in Queensland over the winter, put to bed any worries about the worth of that form winning the Makybe Diva and looks a credible rival but the mare deserves to edge favouritism - and she does.
There is enough substance to the others, chiefly Sir Dragonet and Colette, to make hard work of edging a bet out of things as the markets stand and so for that we head elsewhere.
The Danehill looks like making into the best three-year-old race run in Melbourne this spring so far. Six last-start winners line up, all having impressed to some degree, but it is last-start loser Ingratiating who catches our eye.
He was beaten fair and square by Ranch Hand at the course and distance in the Poseidon. In fact, some would argue (and they would be fair to) that had Ranch Hand had a cleaner run through he would have beaten him by further, but (there is always a but) Ingratiating looked to run about as well as he had in the Vain and may just have laid the foundation for a big peak here.
The Vain was steadily run and Ingratiating was able to coil up and let rip. The Posiedon provided a much truer test and perhaps that just caught Ingratiating out off the slow/fast Vain. If that is the case, he now has a big platform to peak and that can make things even tougher for Ranch Hand who was 12/1 there against even money Ingratiating. Now we are getting close to 3/1 and the case for the favourite might be even stronger.
We will be hoping that Ollie and the Blue Jackets will be in form come Ingratiating because the race prior (now hear me out...) Kementari goes up as our each-way play.
It is very true that, since a failed attempt at stud, Kementari has not been the horse that he once was. In fact, he was already tailing off before heading to stud and winning has been fairly foreign to him since his three-year-old days.
But he did flip the ears back and fend off the useful Celebrity Queen in the west over the summer and he shaped with just as much promise in the William Reid and All Aged in the autumn. Both of those runs saw him poorly placed in-running.
In a small field down the straight that is (surely) not going to be an issue under Ollie who has his first crack with him.
He was able to settle within striking distance in the same race last year when he finished within a length of Zoutori and Kemelpasa who rightly head the betting off their good returns - but 12/1 is an appealing each way bet about Kementari. Yes - I do actually believe that.
THE MELBOURNE MAIL
Bet Of The Day: Race 5 #1 Ingratiating @ $3.80
Each Way Play: Race 4 #4 Kementari @ $13.00