Today I’m riding at Mornington. The rail is out 8 metres and the track is rated in the heavy range.
Race 3 is the Kathleen Griffiths Plate (maiden) over 1200 metres, my ride here is NOT A ZAK (NZ) who is trained by Jason Warren & Dean Krongold. This three-year-old gelding by El Roca is raced by Grand Syndicates. He is lightly raced having had four starts and is building a consistent record with three placings and the only time he has missed the top three was on debut where he finished fifth. His last three runs were all at the end of last season and I rode him in two of those in 2YO Handicap grade, at Moonee Valley and Sandown respectively. He has very good form lines coming into this and has been competing against Spring contenders. I feel this horse has above average ability and I’m looking forward to riding him again. I have ridden him in a jumpout in preparation for today’s race and felt that he has strengthened up since the last time I saw him. We will start from a wide barrier and this will be his first attempt racing on heavy ground. If we have luck from the wide draw and he handles the track, on his best form, he will take a lot of beating.
Race 4 is the Douglas Wong Plate (maiden) over 1000 metres for three-year-old’s, my ride here is ALL STARDOM who is trained by Jerome Hunter. This gelding by All Too Hard is raced by Graebar Park and is making his debut today. I rode him in a jumpout at Sandown last week in the lead up to his debut and he gave me a nice feel. He was very new to it all at Sandown but he showed me glimpse of really good ability. If he puts it all together under raceday pressure and conditions for the first time, he can win this.
Race 7 is the Class 1 Barry Weller Handicap over 1200 metres, my ride here is MENSA MISSILE who is trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott. This four-year-old gelding by Smart Missile runs in the colours of First Light Racing. He’s had three lifetime starts, all last season when he raced in NSW. He races first up today and I’ve ridden him in two jumpouts at Flemington in preparation for his return to racing. His first jumpout was without blinkers where he went nicely, but with the blinkers added to his head gear for his next jumpout, his effort was very good on the Flemington course proper. He wears the blinkers on raceday today for the first time and also has a tongue tie added to his head gear. He hasn’t been exposed to heavy ground so that is an unknown factor if the track doesn’t improve throughout the day. If he handles the ground and runs up to his recent jumpout efforts he will be right in this at the finish.