Today I’m riding at Geelong. The rail is out 8 metres from the 1700 to the 800, and then 11 metres for the remainder, with the track rated in the soft range.

Race 2 is the ATC Insurance Solutions Two-Years-Old Maiden Plate over 1147 metres. My ride here is BEWITCHINGLY who is trained by Anthony & Sam Freedman. This filly by I Am Invincible is having her first start today, as are most of her opposition. She has been well educated having taken part in official trials at Cranbourne and Traralgon. This will be my first time riding her and after watching her replays she looks to be a nice, solid filly that has trialled up well. She has settled back in both of her trials and has stayed on nicely under limited pressure. I’m really looking forward to having my first ride on her and seeing how she performs under raceday pressure.

Race 3 is the Bay Building Services Maiden Plate over 1247 metres. My ride here is SANDY PRINCE who is trained by Ben & JD Hayes. This two-year-old gelding by Pride of Dubai had two starts last preparation for two second placings. He was narrowly beaten on debut at Ballarat over 1200 metres by a horse called SAIF, who then went on to run second in the Group 2 VRC Sires Produce before winning a Group 3 race in Sydney, so that is a strong form reference. At his next start at the same course and distance he ran second again when beaten a length behind Swamp Vixen and was subsequently sent for a break from training. He is resuming as a gelding today and will have the cross over-noseband added to his head gear for the first time. I rode him at his most recent jumpout last week and was really pleased with his performance. He is a very strong horse and being a two, almost three-year-old, he gets a nice weight advantage against the older horses today. If he runs up to his form from last preparation and his recent jumpouts, he is the horse they all have to beat provided he handles the track conditions, which I am confident he will.

Race 4 is the Hollard Commercial Insurance Maiden Plate over 1447 metres. My ride here is MR BRIGHTSIDE (NZ) who is trained by Ben & JD Hayes. This three-year-old gelding by Bullbars has had two starts for a second placing. He made his debut in New Zealand in February this year on rain affected ground over 1400 metres where he finished fifth and 2.3 lengths from the winner. He was very unlucky and didn’t get clear running until quite late, there is no doubt that with clear running he would have won. He resumed this preparation in Australia when favourite at Bendigo on July 1st where he ran a narrow second over 1400 metres and he closed the race off really well. He looks like a horse that is progressing well and he will be very competitive in this.

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