After having won the race in 2013 and running second as the $3.50 favourite in last year’s edition, Darren Weir’s Platelet is back for her third start in the William Hill Classic – formerly the Robert Sangster Classic, at Morphettville this Saturday. The now 6yo mare runs into a crack field of fillies and mares however and bookmakers believe she’s only an outside chance of figuring in the finish again, rating her an $11.00 chance in early markets. Vying for favouritism in an open betting affair are Miracles Of Life ($4.80) and Vain Queen ($5.00). Originally with Adelaide trainer Darren Clarken, it’s a home-coming for the popular Miracles of Life who is now under the care of Peter and Paul Snowden. The Snowdens have won two from four starts with the daughter of Not A Single Doubt, both victories coming when racing fresh so no surprise to see her tackle this race off of a five week let-up. Adding intrigue into the race are a pair of smart and in-form 3yo fillies in the shape of Sabatini and Wawail with the former a $10.00 shot and the latter, specked at big odds when markets first opened, $21 into $17.
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1. MIRACLES OF LIFE – H Bowman (7)
Excellent win first up from a spell in the G2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) and backed that up with another good effort when third (2.4 lengths) to Sweet Idea in the G1 The Galaxy (1200m). Drew the second-to-widest gate in The Galaxy in a field of fourteen and was near enough to last as they turned. Will settle handier to the speed here from a more favourable draw and be right in the thick of it over the final stages.
2. MAGNIFISIO – J Brown (4)
Western Australian galloper who recorded a head win in the G1 Winterbottom (1200m) over the summer and returned to racing in the G3 Irwin Stakes (1100m), finishing fourth (3.3 lengths) to Daytona Grey. Always improve second up, has won five from six, and a drier track than last time out will be much more to his liking.
3. PLATELET – B Rawiller (1)
Ran second in this race last year to Drieftontein and has followed the same lead-up program into this event. The Darren Weir trained galloper secured a lovely run throughout first up and under 59kgs, narrowly defeated Gregers over 955m at the Valley before running an uncharacteristic second to last in the G3 Irwin Stakes a fortnight ago. Has the runs on the board to be forgiven that run, especially when she should get a lovely run throughout here form the inside gate.
4. AVOID LIGHTNING – T Clark (16)
Back to her best after a disappointing effort in the G1 The Galaxy Stakes (tenth, 4.2 lengths) with a tough on-pace head win over Griante in the G2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m). Drawn wide but she’ll enjoy the solid pace that will be set up front and with a clear path, be rocketing home. Has only finished worse than fifth once in her past nine starts, all bar win of them being at Group level.
5. VAIN QUEEN – N Hall (13)
Two runs back from a spell have been very good for this. The 5yo mare finished well first up to run fourth (1.7 lengths) behind Shamal Wind in the G1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) before being caught three deep throughout in the G1 William Reid Stakes but sticking on well to claim second (1.8 lengths) behind impressive winner, Lucky Hussler. Lucky Hussler has raced well since in the G1 TJ Smith Stakes in Sydney. Only a touch of luck in running from an awkward gate is required for this daughter of Artie Schiller to be winning here.
6. GREGERS – C Williams (8)
Had every chance first up at Moonee Valley over a 955m scamper but was nosed out on the line by Platelet before another honest effort on-pace saw her finish third (0.9 lengths) behind the fast-finishing Politeness in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m). Very rarely runs a bad race does the Hayes/Dabernig runner and is more than capable of at least equally her third placing in this event last year.
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7. POLITENESS – D Dunn (14)
Well ridden by Dunn to produce a big finish from worse than midfield and claim the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield a fortnight ago, her first run in two months. Lightly raced mare going very well and still may yet have the best in front of her. Will be charging late and represents good each-way value for mine at $9.00.
8. TYCOON TIARA – B Melham (11)
Lead all the way when making it consecutive victories at Caulfield two runs back, winning the G3 Premiere Stakes (1400m) by a neck from Choose. The Symon Wilde galloper was given a seven-week freshen up after that run with this race in mind and returned with a good fourth (1 length) behind Red Bomber at Caulfield a fortnight ago. Drew wide, got back, and was doing her best work late with Jockey mindful this was her goal. Will push forward from gate eleven but the even weight scale of this race, may see her under pressure late fighting off the numerous challengers that are sure to be charging at her.
9. RUNWAY STAR – D Oliver (3)
Well ridden by Glen Boss to score in the Listed Matrice Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville two starts back before lining up as the 4/1 favourite in the Bel Esprit Stakes at her following and most recent start. She drew wide, settled back in the run and never really raised backer’s hopes, finishing eleventh and over four lengths from winner Politeness. Drawn much better here but being her first shot at beyond G3 level, would’ve liked to have seen much more from her last start before going with her here.
10. I LOVE IT – S Baster (2)
Caulfield trainer John Salanitri has clocked up the miles with his lightly raced 4yo mare over recent months, having taken in Hobart and Sydney at her previous two outings. She’s made the trips worthwhile however, winning the G3 Bow Mistress and running a close third (half a length) to Griante in the G3 Wenona Girl. I Love It has been freshened up since whilst Griante made Avoid Lightning work very hard for victory in the G2 Sapphire Stakes. Giving her best every time she steps out but at this level and weight-scale, would rate several in front of her.
11. TEXT’N’HURLEY – D Tourneur (12)
Has been set quite the assignment by her new trainer Marilyn Smith and lines up here first up off a nine month break. Best efforts have been 12 months ago now and over further ground than this. Not here.
12. MISS STEELE – M Zahra (17)
Closed steadily first up from a five month spell and finished third (2 lengths) behind Miss Promiscuity in a BM 90 (1100m) at Caulfield a fortnight back. Winner of the G3 Proud Miss (1200m) at this track just shy of a year ago, her most recent win, but actually rising 0.5kgs in weight on her first up effort for this race, and hasn’t got the form on the board to worry the leading contenders here.
13. SCARLETT BILLOWS – D Yendall (15)
Closed well to boast a second placing behind in-form galloper Under The Louvre in the Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) two starts ago before finishing lame and a distant last in the G3 Irwin Stakes here at Morphettville a fortnight ago. Not the ideal lead-up run but if prepared to overlook and forgive that one, some kind of rough chance could be argued for this Street Boss mare given her previous efforts.
14. FINE APPROACH – T Pannell (9)
Made it two wins on the trot with a solid one length win in a BM 80 (1200m) here a fortnight ago. The Ryan Balfour trained galloper has built up an impressive strike rate – six wins from fourteen starts, but each of those victories have come in races of much easier quality than this one and should be well accounted for here.
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15. NATUARAL DISASTER – R Stewart (5)
It will be for punters if this 6yo mare wins. Her last win came fifteen starts and over twelve months ago now and it’s hard to see how she’ll finish in the first half of the field given that her recent runs have been in BM and RST races, where she only a couple of placings.
16. SABATINI – B Shinn (10)
Flashed home as the 2/1 favourite in the G2 Kewney Stakes but was a half-length second behind Wawail when crossing the line before catching the eye again late, when fifth (2.1 lengths) to Politeness in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes.
The Street Cry filly has drawn poorly in both of the above runs and had to settle well back in the field. Barrier ten should give Shinn the option of positioning up closer to the speed on Saturday. Going very well and at double figure odds in early markets, is worth inclusion.
17. WAWAIL – M Walker (6)
Just found the mile with 57.5kgs a touch too tough last start when finishing third (1.5 lengths) to Fontein Ruby in the Listed Alexandra Stakes at Moonee Valley. Given five weeks off after that run for the return to 1200m and given her starts prior to the above run saw her claim the G2 Kewney Stakes – defeating Sabatini, and running third behind Sweet And Speedy and subsequent G1 winner Fenway in The Vanity, no reason why the daughter of Lonhro, who has drawn ideally in six, won’t be in the mix again.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Always like shopping at the top of the field in these set weight races for females and Miracles Of Life is number 1.
She’s produced two smart wins for the Snowdens and was just as good in her other two starts. Bowman can place her to advantage from the jump and at close to 4/1, is great value. Vain Queen is coming of tough second in the G1 William Reid, has the same weight here and the form out of that race has stacked up well. Avoid Lightning and Politeness are sure to be steaming home late but may not be able to reel in some smart mares who’ll have a head-start on them turning for home under the set weights, whilst Sabatini and Magnifisio shouldn’t be underestimated both at double figure odds.
1. MIRACLES OF LIFE
2. VAIN QUEEN