Worth a closer look …

The ThoroughbredNEWS team look at different aspects of the form ahead of another top weekend of domestic and international action. There may or may not be winners, but there are definitely some interesting points of view worth a closer look…

Odds with as at Friday 8.00am. Race times are all Australian Eastern Standard Time

Morphettville Race 5 - 2:17pm Marshall & Brougham Handicap (1400m)

RECKONING had entries for both Saturday and Sunday in Victoria but looks to be making the trip across to Adelaide for this Benchmark 76 Handicap. Trained at Flemington by Nick Ryan, this 6-year-old is a four-time winner over the distance and recently finished a very close-up fifth behind the highly-regarded import He’s Our Bonneval (GB) — the big spring hope of the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young stable. The Adelaide scene has been a happy hunting ground for Victorian-trained gallopers in recent times and Reckoning could become the latest winner in a growing list. — PF Odds: $3.10

Flemington Race 5 - 2:35pm Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m)

Patience has rewarded the connections of KING OF SPARTA with the Snowden trained four-year-old I Am Invincible gelding winning the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes over 1200m at Caulfield on July 23rd first up for this campaign. The win was not looking that likely at the 400m when King Of Sparta was seventh, however Jye McNeil brought him home very well for a narrow victory. He carried 58kg and on Saturday drops to 57kg with Mark Zahra up. Well supported off the back of the Bletchingly victory, the interest is in watching to see if King Of Sparta has become a consistent racehorse and then how high the Snowdens can guide him in the early spring. - RB

SHOOTING FOR GOLD is a get-back Queensland sprinter with a withering finishing burst that could well be suited by straight course assignments during his first visit to Melbourne. Trained out of the very astute Steven O’Dea & Matthew Hoysted stable, this lightly-raced son of Shooting To Win has always appeared to be a work in progress and might just fulfill his undoubted potential this spring on his travels. An impost of just 54.5kg with Jamie Kah in the saddle makes Shooting For Gold a genuine winning chance of landing the Aurie’s Star even at his first go down the ‘straight-six’. — PF Odds: $2.70 & $3.90

Randwick Race 8 - 3:35pm Group 2 Expedo Missile Stakes (1200m)

A good field of proven performers in this year’s renewal of the Missile Stakes. It is not expected that Matthew Smith’s NIMALEE will win the Missile with the six-year-old So You Think (NZ) mare needing further than the sprint distance, however this will certainly give a guide on her future spring prospects. Nimalee finished off the autumn in the best possible manner, winning the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf over 1600m at Randwick on April 9th. The track was a Heavy 10 that day and she will relish the current soft tracks. - RB Odds: $12.00

Flemington Race 9 - 5:05pm Jockeys Celebration Day Sprint (1100m)

PAS MALOTRU (GB) is a fascinating addition to the Lindsay Park racing team as a former European galloper that has landed in Australia via an undistinguished stint in Hong Kong where he faced the starter on just one occasion. The 6-year-old’s only appearance at Sha Tin came in December 2020 and he hasn’t been seen in action since. Beforehand, however, Pas Malotru finished a relatively close-up third in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Deauville behind the mighty Pinatubo and the highly-talented Lope Y Fernandez. Anything like a return to that form will see him winning Group races for the Hayes boys at some stage over the coming months. — PF Odds: $13.00