The first group 1 of the season won last year by Black Heart Bart and a long list of previous champions.
As with most WFA Group 1 races, horses in the betting come to the fore with four of the last five favourites winning.
Katelyn Mallyon rated Charmed Harmony perfectly last start and looks to get the lead again here in a race with genuine pace.
Vega Magic looks to sit outside the lead.
All the main chances look to get a nice run off pace to midfield.
Doubt any excuses for anyone.
Vega Magic ($2.70)
Stepped up to new personal bests at each of his last two starts.
He obviously has the scope to step forward again at this his third run for Hayes.
The Market may doubt him second up to 1400m and I expect him to drift from his early quote.
Deserved favourite who I think will represent good value closer to race time.
Le Romain ($6.00)
The cries of ‘SF’ Sydney Form rang out last Spring and rightfully so.
Le Romain comes into this off a nice Autumn preparation.
His PB came when winning the Cantala Stakes, interestingly the last time he saw a good track.
I thought he was moderately disappointing first up even with a tough run.
Wouldn’t surprise but I’m happy to work around him.
Black Heart Bart ($5.50)
Trainer Darren Weir noted he would need the run first up (PB Lawrence) but he couldn’t win given the race shape where the whole field basically followed in each other around maintaining their positions.
His last three runs have been some way off his best.
He had excuses in all of them and his record at the track and distance is impeccable.
Weir’s charge could certainly bounce back to his best at a fair price.
Hey Doc ($6.00)
Raced to a career peak first up when solid in the market and leading all the way down the Flemington straight.
His position on the outside rail provided a clear bias that day and as such may have been slightly flattering.
Looks a four-year-old on the up but well found in the market.
Group 1 Australian Cup winner Humidor returned with a sound effort first up (PB Lawrence).
Feels like he has been forgotten here and is unlikely to be suited but one to watch over the coming months with a big win sure to follow, particularly when trainer Darren Weir reaches for the blinkers.
OFFER: Get over $5,000 in BONUS Free Bets!
Always a risk backing a horse off a PB but I think Vega Magic will win.
I think we’ll get a better price than the current quote, so I’m prepared to wait.
Back him straight out and have a tiny spec on Humidor who represents some value.