Group performer She’s A Thief (NZ) (Showcasing) recorded her fifth win from 24 starts and continued her rich vein of form with a dominant on-speed victory at Caulfield when taking the Neds Same Race Multi Handicap (1100m).
Tavirun (NZ) (Tavistock) may be having his fifth start this preparation at Flemington on Saturday, but it will be the first time his trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young have been satisfied with his fitness level this campaign
12 months ago Travimyfriend (NZ) (Tavistock) broke through for his first Australian win and the seven-year-old gelding repeated the dose in the equivalent race this year when taking out the Neds Same Race Multi Handicap (1400m).
Four-year-old gelding Tavidance (NZ) (Tavistock) was a comfortable winner at Caulfield on Saturday when landing the Neds Bet Back Handicap (1400m) for trainers Mick Price and Michael Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr.
Southern Lad (Ocean Park) has been knocking on the door of a win this campaign and trainer John O’Shea is hopeful the potential for a drier surface will enhance the sprinter’s winning chances in the Listed Ramornie Handicap at Grafton.
Veteran sprinter Lord Von Costa (by Van Costa de Hero) again showed his penchant for the famed straight sprint course of Flemington when closing late in the final stages of the $128,000, Listed, VRC Furphy All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) to post his third victory over the course and distance.
Not by design, the Greg Eurell-trained Victoria Star (NZ) (Tavistock) goes into the Listed Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) at Flemington having not raced for five weeks.
But Eurell is hopeful that proves and advantage rather than a hindrance to the lightly raced six-year-old gelding in Saturday’s mile race which has been a target for him.
Victoria Star has been entered to race the past two Saturdays in Melbourne but has been left stranded as an emergency and not gained a start.
It means he has not raced since finishing third in a heat of the series on May 30 at Caulfield, which was the second start of his current campaign after winning impressively at Cranbourne first-up.
Eurell is hoping for rain in the lead-up to Saturday to aid the gelding’s winning prospects in the race in which he has drawn wide in a capacity field.
“Finally we get a run with this horse so I’m looking forward to that,” Eurell said.
“It’s his first time over the mile so it will be interesting to see what he can do but he’s in great shape.
“We’ve been trying to get a run the last couple of weeks with him and just couldn’t get in there but one thing about it is I don’t think he’s a horse that has to race consistently to get the best out of him.
“He’ll go into this with a fresh set of legs.
“I have no doubt in my mind he will run out a mile and if it happened to be wet it would enhance his chances for sure.
“He’s very dynamic on a wet track.”
Victoria Star – who has won three of his five starts since joining Eurell’s stable having previously raced in New Zealand as Rocstock and Hong Kong – was at $12 in an early market on Wednesday.
In-form Heptagon (NZ) (Jimmy Choux) was the $5.50 favourite, just ahead of Shot Of Irish (Canford Cliffs) ($6) and Plein Ciel (Mamool) ($7).
Well-bred filly Le Gai Soleil (NZ) (Tavistock) made it three wins in succession when scoring a comfortably victory on the Kensington track at Randwick on Wednesday over 1550m under leading jockey James McDonald.