WITH rookie trainer Jamie Richards’ stable in top-form at present, it makes sense to keep a close scrutiny on his raiders, especially when jockey Zac Purton climbs aboard at the city track.
Richards and Purton already have a near 25 percent win strike-rate record and team up with four contenders, all of whom can be given first-rate chances.
Any rain falling during the action will be a major plus to Ready Player One – a winner on a soft surface in Australia – in the first division of the Kalanchoe Handicap (12.45pm) over the extended mile, while Happy United is guaranteed to step up on his encouraging debut in the first division of the Oncidium Handicap (2.15pm) over six furlongs.
Purton will be seeking to complete a hat-trick on progressive Hoss, who, although up in class, sees the champion jockey riding at his minimum weight in the Primula Handicap (3.50pm) over six furlongs.
Unfortunately, he will probably start at prohibitive odds and instead it may be worth siding with the John Size-trained ELON, who races off six pounds below his last winning mark.
This former course and distance winner, ridden this time by Luke Currie, looked particularly enthusiastic and sharp in a recent trial and has the all-important inside draw in stall one.
Interestingly trainer Ricky Yiu, who has been saddling winners for fun in the past month relies on only one raider at the Valley; well-drawn Loriz in the first division of the Oncidium Handicap (2.15pm) over six furlongs.
Also, take note of Invincible Missile in the Lavender Handicap (1.45pm) over the extended mile. This dual track and trip winner is much better than his recent form suggests.
Elon (e/w) 3.50pm Happy Valley