MISS LILLIAN - This filly began this campaign with a second to Iconoclasm at Ararat when beaten eight lengths over 1310m. Two runs later she won her maiden at Edenhope over 1850m and then progressed to get within four lengths of Runaway at Geelong over 2219m, that was an indication that she could stay. She tried ever so hard at Flemington next time out to run within 3-1/2 lengths again to Runaway in the St Ledger over 2800m after being five wide coming down the side and on the turn. Tie that Runaway form in when he ran third in last week’s SA Derby and she should go close. At her next and last start won with ease over 1755m at Geelong cruising home 3-1/4 lengths clear. Let’s hope Stephen Baster can give her a quiet ride and let her finish off.
JAKE’S HILL - At his first Australian run for the Chris Waller stable he did enough, given the ride, when he closed off the third fastest last 200m of the race and was held up for the last 60-70 metres with no galloping room. That was the race won by Another Bulls Eye with Galaxy Raider running second over 1600m here at Flemington. He had two quiet trials leading into that race so he should be fitter, he’s a winner second-up, I applaud Craig Newitt’s engagement as he has been good to us on Waller runners in the past and I envisage him coming to the outside in the straight not sticking to the inside as was the case last time out.
PILOTE D’ESSAI - He resumed two weeks back when three and four wide in the run and wider on the turn to be beaten four lengths by Land Of Plenty. He kept trying up until the 200m when his condition gave out, but, to his credit, kept on giving or the margin would have been much further. He’s the winner of the Ballarat Cup in 2016 and the Pakenham Cup the same year and in that he carried 58kg. After the claim for Lachlan King he gets in here with 57kg. There are showers predicted in the forecast and his soft track form reads (4:2-1-0) and his second-up form reads (4:0-2-1). At the odds I give him a good chance and will play two others, Akavoroun and So Si Bon in exotics, if they have any luck they can figure.
FREE FLY TOO - This lightly-raced gelding by Teofilo resumed his current campaign when beaten 4-1/2 lengths by Flying Murty at Pakenham, that horse then went to Caulfield and won in Saturday class. In that first-up run he came five wide on the turn but the wide run and the 60kg told in the run home. Next start, his last run he carried 60kg at Geelong over 1525mM and won despite having a decent bumping duel when he came off the rails early in the straight, he was unbalanced for several strides after that. Hinchin Time which ran second to him then went to Pakenham and won. He drops a massive 8kg after the claim for Fred Kersley and his soft track form reads (2:1-1-0). Play him with Masculino (good sections last start) Groundbreak (wide and strong last start) in exotics for a good return.
WINNING PARTNER - Putting our faith in Michael Dee to get Winning Partner into clear air from the inside draw to kick us off with a winning start to the day. He cost himself on debut missing the start before a spell. He then rose sharply in grade taking on the Listed Queen Adelaide stakes first-up where he only got warm late, both starts over the short 1050m and on each occasion he’s looked like he’d thrive getting out over longer trips. Fitter for the run and multiple gear changes that could be the key to having him a bit closer, if he finishes off like last start I doubt they’ll hold him out. There’s not much between the top three behind him and I wouldn’t be leaving Mirette out of any exotics.