FITNESS could give two outstanding mares, Southern Speed and Secret Admirer, the edge in today’s features at Flemington and Warwick Farm.

Both are taking on opposition which are mainly getting a foundation for the Caulfield and Melbourne cups and open to improvement. Southern Speed has been tuned by two Adelaide sprints for the Makybe Diva at Flemington, while Secret Admirer is ready to explode in Warwick Farm’s Chelmsford.

Certainly the Makybe Diva is the stronger race, boasting proven weight-for-age performer Manighar, trained by Peter Moody, and to a lesser degree, but not by much, another import in Mawingo, which has greater scope for improvement.

No doubt December Draw, outstanding until he went amiss in the Caulfield Cup last year, is a query on condition if not ability, as he is returning after a long spell.

”Manighar probably hasn’t got the residual fitness he had in the autumn but I’m hopeful he will be competitive. He wintered in Queensland and is a good deal heavier than when he last came into the stable,” Moody said.

Mawingo, a German stayer, holds a lucky decision over Manighar in the Doomben Cup but indicated he would get better considering it was his first Australian campaign.

With Anthony Freedman, Mawingo, carrying blinkers for the first time and with two lead-up barrier trials under his girth, has been set for a bold first-up showing. The 11 gate, though, could be a worry, while Southern Speed comes from six under the astute navigation of Craig Williams.

The five-year-old mare scored over the Morphettville 1400m on August 25 and the Racenet video expert reported: ”Quickly gathered in leaders at the 100 metres with a brilliant turn of foot. Came right away – she has come back super this prep.”

After a track gallop this week, the learned Leon McDonald, her co-trainer said: ”She’s going terrific.”

With weight-for-age races, tactics and tempo are vital, thus Williams will come in handy. Pace is anticipated from Midas Touch, about which Will Norman (TattsBet) said: ”Has a similar profile coming into this as he did last year when a close third.”

Verdict: Southern Speed ($3.20).


Lights Of Heaven, a member of the Moody team, has credentials to be a top chance in the Makybe Diva but bookmakers are likely to gamble against her in the Chelmsford. The Brisbane Cup winner was only 11th, albeit beaten less than four lengths by Pinwheel in the Warwick Stakes at the Farm when resuming recently. Maybe Moody is bringing her along slowly to peak closer to the Caulfield Cup. No so Southern Speed, winner of the Caulfield Cup last year. ”Secret Admirer is not carrying a hell of a lot of condition, which can be a good and a bad thing, but certainly early in the campaign it’s a very good thing,” Racenet’s Randwick clocker Craig Tompson reported. ”She ran so well without having a heap of work under her belt first-up, so she’s obviously come up well and looking at her at the track this week, she just did her normal work and did everything you want to see her do, so I think she’s made the right sort of progress. The mile second-up will suit her.” The mares have a NSW rating of 112, superior to Lamasery (104) , another chance. Despite being a six-year-old, he is very much on an upward spiral.

Verdict: Secret Admirer ($3.10).


”Punters have been prepared to forgive Sumarand’s last-start defeat with the notification that blinkers are going back on,” Gerard Twomey (IASBet) said regarding the $3 to $2.50 firming of the favourite in the Ming Dynasty. Sumarand, prepared by Gai Waterhouse, had bolted in at Hawkesbury but the trainer dropped blinkers and the three-year-old lacked lustre in the Up And Coming over the Warwick Farm 1300m on August 25. The colt was beaten home by Tatra and Toydini, which meet him again today. Waterhouse’s Strawberry Boy is ”red hot” in the Noble Mile. ”Mum says he’s a Caulfield Cup horse and he was super impressive first-up. He’s been $1.70 to $1.65.” Tom Waterhouse (tomwaterhouse苏州美甲学校) said.

Verdict: Strawberry Boy ($1.70) and Sumarand ($2.60).


Moment Of Change, favourite in the Tramway, is Will Norman’s lay. ”Meets a stronger field than he did first-up and surely can’t get as good a run in transit,” the Tattsbet bookie said. In a tough race, Said Com will be out to re-establish his promise after a disappointing third at Rosehill recently. Said Com, on instructions, raced handy when he is better suited off the pace. Chris Waller said he planned to have him ridden no closer than midfield today.

Verdict: Said Com ($4.20).

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