Peaceful State has a long way to go to live up to his famous sibling's deeds, but Weekend Hussler's half-brother certainly has his fair share of ability and he can begin to fulfil that by winning the C.S Hayes Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
He flashed his potential when a fast-finishing second in the Sandown Guineas in the spring and he looked good again when we saw him reappear two Wednesdays ago at a Sandown midweek meeting. Darren Weir put him in a race against older horses -- make no mistake, it was a pretty decent field for a midweek restricted race -- and Peaceful State gave weight to most of his rivals, despite the age difference, and produced a withering late burst to grab the win in the shadows of the post. It takes a very good three year old to do what he did there.
He comes back to his own age group, albeit in a Group 2 against some high-class rivals, but gets a little bit of weight from some of those better-performed counterparts and draws to get a nice run midfield with some cover.
I'm confident he's a member of the top tier of his age group, and he can possibly secure favouritism for the Australian Guineas by winning this.
Around The Grounds
Stunts might be a little under-rated among the two year old brigade, and he can show he's one to watch heading into the big juvenile races by winning the Pierro Plate.
He's had the two starts, and he got a long way back first up in one of the very early two-year-old races in Sydney. He ran home strongly on that occasion, behind one of his main rivals here in Legend Of Condor, who controlled that from the front, then he tried very hard when beaten by Neutrality at his next outing. I believe Neutrality is going to be a huge player in the Golden Slipper, and is as impressive a juvenile as we've seen thus far.
James Cummings has given Stunts the one trial, in which he was ridden quietly and couldn't get a run for most of the straight, before being pulled across heels late and running on hard; it was a lovely effort.
He draws a touch wide here, and no doubt he'll be in the second half of the field judging by what we've seen from him in his two starts; but if he's definitely capable of getting home over the top of them if there some pace on up front.
It's been 853 days since Dothraki last won a race -- the 2015 City Tatts Lightning, and he's had 18 starts since that victory - and I can understand punters being wary of putting their hard earned on something that hasn't crossed the line first since a month into Malcom Turnbull's appointment as Prime Minister.
But I believe this is a great opportunity for him to break his drought, and, let's be honest, it's not like he hasn't been performing well over that period. He's always running in high-class sprint events and a few times he looked the winner only to be outdone for the most part either by genuinely better horses or rivals that enjoyed a better run during the race.
As far as Saturday goes, 1200 metres is probably his best trip these days, especially if there isn't a heap of pressure up front. He's also got the fitness edge on a few competitors here, despite not running since Magic Millions Day a month ago, and I think the race is going to be set up perfectly for him. He can most likely let Oxford Poet and Deploy lead, and he should be able to tuck in behind them and get a soft run throughout before hopefully outsprinting that pair late.
Today's the day people. Don't let him under your guard!
I thought Missile Coda's first-up effort behind the flying Once More A Lady was superb, and I think she's ready to win again with that run under her belt despite the rise in grade and going up against the boys.
She drops in weight for starters, she wants the 1200 metres, and she also wants some pace on -- which she's going to get here. I know she's got some upside to her, and I can envisage Winona Costin being able to tuck her away a bit better than midfield from that good draw. When that occurs, Missile Coda has proved before that she's got a very good turn of foot. This is as good a field as she's faced but I'm willing to take the risk that she can hopefully top off a great day's punting.
I have been waiting with bated breath for Tony McEvoy to take Pierro Belle to raceday since her outstanding trial at Morphettville around a month ago; finally, after being nominated for two weeks straight, we get the chance to see how smart she is.
Let me just say right now that I've got vested interest in this tip having nabbed 100-1 odds about her to win the Blue Diamond about 12 seconds after the trial was over, so I am naturally thrilled that she'll at least be given the chance to possibly start in that race. I've got no doubt that McEvoy won't back her next week, though, unless she comes out and wins this with some conviction.
She doesn't look to have struck the strongest juvenile field we've seen in Melbourne the past few weeks. Sure, there's a couple of talented ones who've shown their hand on the track -- including Prairie Fire, Sanglier and Khulaasa -- but I'm in no way convinced that trio, or any of the others, are among the top-tier youngsters.
McEvoy, as has been well publicised, has an outstanding crop of two year olds in his stable, and current Blue Diamond favourite Kinky Boom actually won a trial the same day that Pierro Belle won hers; lining up the two efforts, I actually thought Pierro Belle went better despite the fact that Kinky Boom won hers by eight lengths.
She needs to overcome inexperience, and deal with the straight course, but I'm sure Pierro Belle is up to this and much more.
Over The Odds
Notio has won just the two from 11, but he is a very consistent gelding who puts in almost every time he goes to the track and I see this race setting up very nicely for him despite the rise in grade.
Team Hawkes, after a Sydney campaign with the son of Duporth during the winter, have settled him back into Melbourne this prep, and he's had the two runs since a break. First up he ran home well behind Sohool, and then he just missed out in a three-way go behind Runson at a Caulfield Saturday meeting in late January.
He now gets to his best trip of a mile, drops significantly in weight with the class rise, and draws perfectly to be able to take a much more forward position. I wouldn't be surprised if Dwayne Dunn looks to force the issue and try to lead them up here; either that, or he possibly lets Downhearted take up the running and gets the drag in behind him.
Notio beat Fortensky at level weights at the end of last prep, and that looks a pretty nice scalp to have claimed considering that horse now is two from three this prep -- including a Saturday metro race. Lets' hope the form holds up, and Notio takes the next step now.
Quaddie Selections Randwick
Leg 1 - 2,3,6,9
Leg 2 - 2,4,5,7,8
Leg 3 - 3,6
Leg 4 - 2,6,13,17
($100 = 62.5 percent)
Leg 1 - 1,2,3,7,8
Leg 2 - 10,17
Leg 3 - 1,2
Leg 4 - 1,10,12,16
($100 = 125 percent)