The first three races on the program on Wednesday at The Meadows are 525m Maiden heats, with a number of runners on debut.
In Race 1, Plan Ahead looks a winning chance in a race devoid of a lot of exposed form. He stuck on fairly for third on debut at Sandown, clocking 29.94, and then didn’t get all favours there last start when finishing fourth in 30.30. He appears to be getting stronger with every run, and if he lands near the pace, he could be hard to beat.
Race 2 is a similarly difficult race to assess, but Sunnyside Pride appears to be a leading contender in the event. He can be forgiven for his luckless last start miss; his debut effort for third prior at Sale was meritorious when he jumped last, and made up significant late ground to grab third in 25.66. He’s expected to hit the line hard again on Wednesday.
Westar Misty has been knocking on the door to get her maiden victory, and she gets an excellent opportunity to do so in Race 3. She is generally a safe beginner, and jumped fast at Warrnambool last week, eventually finishing second in 22.36. If she lands on the pace again on Wednesday, she could be hard to catch.
Race 4 is an interesting 600m event, where a case can be made for a number of greyhounds. However, Stay Focused narrowly gets the nod, based on her recent strong efforts over the trip. She was nailed right on the line here last week after being near the pace throughout, and a repeat performance would see her go close to winning on Wednesday.
In Race 5, Flying Lantern comes up with Box 1, and he looks dangerous from the draw. He has drawn Box 8 in both of his previous race day appearances, and he hunted down to the rails early on both occasions. He’s demonstrated that he’s got some early pace, and looks capable of leading throughout on Wednesday.
Former NSW chaser Utah Blues has been costly for punters since arriving in Victoria, but he deserves one more chance on Wednesday. His times in NSW, especially Bulli, suggest he’s more than capable of winning on Wednesday, and he only needs to jump cleanly to be in with a winning hope.
Coughlin’s Law is worth consideration from Box 1 in Race 7. She drew the inside two starts ago at Ballarat when she came in off the ballot, and she quickly got into her work, extending away late to win easily in BON 25.33. Her confidence is up and she looks the one to beat.
Zipping Walter comes into Race 8 with consistent form, including a last start victory at The Meadows on Saturday. He landed near the pace on that occasion, and was too strong late, clocking 30.14. At his previous start, he was beaten by a handy type in Barooga Dodge. He is improving with every 525m race, and there’s no reason why he can’t add another win to his tally on Wednesday.
In Race 9, Argyle Audrey has come up with Box 8. She hasn’t been far away in her recent 600m races, and has had a lot of support on some of those occasions. Although Box 8 isn’t ideal, she should be able to stay out of early trouble, and providing she gets an unimpeded passage, she will be strong right to the line.
Moon Flower looks a big chance of making it back-to-back wins in Race 10. She pinged straight to the lead here last week off Box 2, and never gave anything else a chance, winning in 30.33. If she begins like that again on Wednesday, she’ll be hard to roll.
Majestic Way has the benefit of a vacant box to her outside in Race 11. She is a brilliant beginner who has only been collared late in her recent races. If there’s any trouble in behind on Wednesday, she could be off and gone.
In Race 12, Tanami Express is a leading contender. He was sent out the $2.50 favourite at Warrnambool last start, and he caught the eye extending late for fourth in 25.55. If he gets clear air, he could be too strong for them late on Wednesday.
- Liz Whelan