Sir John Monash Stakes draws eight
Australia's famous army general has many things named in his honour, including a freeway, a university, a federal electorate, a local government area in Melbourne, an SA town, a medical centre, a Canberra suburb ... and a Group 3 sprint over 1200m run at Caulfield in July. While a small field for the $150,000 feature, it is packed with quality. Dan McCarthy is talking a bid for the Memsie Stakes with Ashlor after his last-start win carrying 63kg, while Inn Keeper is out to continue his unbeaten streak with Linda Meech, the pair 7/7 together. Group 3 winner Jukebox makes a long-awaited comeback for Ciaron Maher, while Stakes winner Crystal Dreamer also resumes for Mat Ellerton and Simon Zahra. Add in the Valley's 55 Second Challenge winner Sunday Escape, the Darren Weir-trained colt Ducimus and in-form SA galloper Showpero, for Wayne Francis and Glen Kent, and it looks a handy race.
Talented Tasmanians challenge in town
Hellova Street was game last weekend at Flemington, but the Apple Isle invasion continues this weekend with Mystic Journey (Adam Trinder), Life On The Wire and Mandela Effect (both Scott Brunton). Two-year-old filly Mystic Journey won her first three starts all by the same margin over the same horse Gee Gee Secondover in Tasmania, and is set to run first-up from that successful summer campaign. Life On The Wire is a very smart mare, already twice a winner in Melbourne and also started a $7 shot in the G2 Sunline Stakes in the autumn, when finishing fifth. She won an 800-metre Hobart trial by four-and-a-quarter lengths from Tshahitsi on June 26.
NZ influence on Saturday card
Trainer Wayne Walters made waves at Flemington recently with an eye-catching win to his stayer Choysa, and he's set to give a stable debut to another New Zealand native this Saturday. Mr Clarify has won five of his 30 starts in Kiwi, including the G3 Manawatu Cup in December last year. Following his run in the 1700-metre race, there is more NZ influence in the next event over 1400m, with Redefine continuing his Melbourne campaign for Otaki trainer Rachael Frost, having finished midfield at Sandown last week.
Theanswermyfriend, Modern Wonder debut for Weir
The wind was blowing last week at Flemington, and now we have Stakes winner Theanswermyfriend at Caulfield a week later in a 1400-metre handicap, now with his third stable preparing for start no.19. And Modern Wonder is another stable debutant for the record-breaking trainer, the Stakes-winning mare down to run in the 1200-metre handicap for mares.
Keys at the double again?
Last time at Caulfield he brought up a maiden Saturday city double, can popular trainer Ken Keys do it again? His roughie winner Al Passem is aiming to make it two in a row over 1400m, with Ben Thompson aboard from barrier two. Thompson also takes the ride on Glayva, handed a wide draw from 11 of 13 for the 1200-metre event for fillies.