ALL STAND - The Todd Howlett-trained All Stand has a couple of things against him in the MPC Earthmoving – GJC Lightning Showcase Handicap (1000m) but with any sort of luck will be sending punters home on a winning note. Similar to Unbiased, All Stand is still eligible for class races winning four of his 11 starts and goes to open company for the first time, albeit with a wide gate to overcome. A Highway Handicap winner at Randwick last preparation, All Stand was a beaten odds-on favourite at Newcastle resuming however will be a fitter horse on Sunday. As a noted speedster, barrier nine in a field of 11 with the likely early speed drawn inside him doesn’t look advantageous for All Stand and although the four-year-old has led in eight of his races to date he doesn’t necessarily have to take up the running. Arguably All Stand’s best two runs were at Randwick when he took a sit chasing the leader before winning and a photo finish second when he was nailed on the line by the Country Championship winner Victorem after sitting outside the leader. If the likes of I’m Imogen and Azzie’s Ready drawn inside All Stand go quickly, there is a scenario that could see the Aaron Bullock ride settle third two wide with the drop on the leaders.
MORPHEUS - Morpheus is the two-year-old I was referring to with the son of Snitzel taking on the older horses in the Douglass Blinds and Security Screens CG&E Maiden Handicap (1300m). A Mitchell Bell ride, Morpheus has only raced twice, well beaten at Randwick on debut last year before finishing 2-1/2 lengths from Royal Celebration in a Warwick Farm maiden on May 9 after enduring a wide run.The race has turned out to be an excellent form reference with the winner Royal Celebration and the second horse Whitely on a four day back up after an impressive Wyong win on May 22 filling the placings behind the promising The Autumn Sun at Randwick on May 26. With the statistics telling us we have nothing to fear from a two-year-old coming off a metropolitan run taking on the older horses in a country maiden, happy to declare Morpheus as the stand out bet of the day.
HOSTWIN MERAKI - Back to country grade gives the Gary Moore-trained Hostwin Meraki the chance to return to the winner’s list in the Goulburn Carpet Court Class 2 Handicap (1400m). After a promising start to his career winning his first two starts at Newcastle and Hawkesbury, Hostwin Meraki hasn’t been able to finish in the placings in eight subsequent starts however each of the runs has been in metropolitan or provincial class including a last start fourth at Scone during the two-day Cup meeting when less than two-lengths from the winner Savatiano who made the form look good with an explosive five-length win at Randwick on Saturday. Running out a strong 1400m looks the only concern for Hostwin Meraki but he will get every chance to see the trip out with a soft run launching from the inside gate. Happy to have something on at the $3.50 available in early betting.
GODZONE GIRL - This is one of the few races left where there are more than eight runners and Godzone Girl appeals on an each-way basis. Trained by Barry Lockwood she has proven herself previously on a heavy track when she won at the Gold Coast over 2200m four starts back. She resumed from a short letup with a strong effort here last start running on late over 1400m and should be improved by that run. Godzone Girl has a good record over 1600m with two wins and and drops 5kg from her previous outing for this class four contest. With Luke Rolls to ride she should get a good run in the race and may be too tough in the run home.
MEWSTONE ROCK - Trained by John Symons and Sheila Laxon, Mewstone Rock looks to me like a horse that could emulate their stable stalwart Irish Constabulary by building a good career from a late start. Mewstone Rock has had long injury layoffs during her career but has talent being a six-year-old mare who has had only 10 starts and finished top four in all but one. Since resuming she has won a class one and ran on well when runner-up last start in a Benchmark 75. On both occasions she was ridden by Steph Lacy but will lose nothing with Michael Hellyer who has won on her previously. A well-bred mare by Fastnet Rock out of an Australasian Oaks runner-up Star Of Gretchen I think Mewstone Rock has a future beyond this class and on a track that suits over what should be her optimum distance will be too good.