It’s a big Saturday with Group 1 action at Morphettville and Doomben as well as competitive action at Flemington and Rosehill.
Desleigh Forster’s stable star CHAPTER AND VERSE ($2.81 TopBetta) is perfectly drawn and ideally weighted here and looks the bet of the day. The Rothesay gelding is a model of consistency having missed a top three finish just once in 13 starts. He is stepping up to Group Three status here but has shown enough potential to suggest he can handle the class rise. Yet to win at Doomben, he has three runner-up prizes from four starts here which suggests a win is not far away. If he can stay in touch with them, he will be producing his best in the run home.
FIDELIA ($2.35 MadBookie) looks a complete moral again. She as well-backed two starts ago at Sandown and couldn’t get clear room between the 500m-200m, but when finally clear ran the second-fastest last 200m of the race. Her last start victory at Flemington was even more impressive. She found herself in a seemingly impossible position at the top of the straight and was still 9th at the 200m mark. She somehow flew home to win by a length. She stays in Benchmark 78 grade and the step-up in distance from 1400m to 1600m should be no issue. She is too good for these.
We backed Absolute Flirt last start and she got the money but I’m against her here and am with the Tony McEvoy-trained BALAABEL ($2.81 TopBetta). I thought she was outstanding on debut behind Absolute Flirt who was given the perfect run from Ollie and I have real question marks on her stepping up from 1050m to 1200m, six-furlongs looks right on her limit. Balaabel looks a good bet to start the program.
STAR OF THE SEAS ($3.51 MadBookie) just about appears to be a permanent fixture in recent Sydney Saturday races with the Chris Waller-trained mare set to line up for her seventh start since February. The four-year-old has won or placed in all of those and is set to be there again at the business end. She won two on the trot at Rosehill in March and gets back to her favoured track after missing out recently at Randwick. She was luckless in the most recent of those when being forced out wide around the bend. The 2kg claim for the apprentice hoop, Robbie Dolan brings her right into this and with even luck from the barrier she should be hard to hold out.