CHAMPION jockey Zac Purton gets his first ride of the season for the Douglas Whyte stable when taking over from Jerry Chau aboard Harmony Fire in the Kokura Handicap (1.15pm) over five furlongs.
It seems strange that Chau has been substituted having won twice previously on the progressive four-year-old, but maybe the narrow nose defeat by Harmony N Blessed last month counted against the young jockey and Purton has picked up a plum ride.
With cheekpieces fitted for the first time on Harmony Fire, you can guarantee the ex-Australian galloper will start at short odds and there could be better value offered about some of his rivals, notably from near the bottom of the handicap the Manfred Man-trained CANTSTOPTHEFEELING.
Man’s yard has been on fire since the season started with a dozen winners to their credit and stable star Trillion Win recently completing a hat-trick.
The city track has also been a happy hunting ground for Man, who has saddled a winner at each of the last four meetings.
Cantstopthefeeling suffered a desperate journey in his latest effort behind Harmony N Blessed, when continually impeded along the rails after losing a good early position, and that form can be ignored.
Last season, he recorded a course and distance victory by being up with the pace throughout before holding off his late challengers, including Harmony Fire, and that rival is now another 15 pounds worse off.
Harmony Fire, of course, has progressed further since then, but with an inside draw in his favour and in-form Ruan Maia riding, Cantstopthefeeling can spring a surprise.
Cantstopthefeeling (e/w) 1.15pm Happy Valley