FONTAINEBLEAU - With a 6:0-3-0 record since joining trainer Lindsey Smith and what at first glance was a lacklustre first-up performance on Saturday, this mare might fly under the radar when next she steps out. Beaten three lengths into ninth when resuming in a 1400m affair doesn’t necessarily scream black book however video watchers will know it was among the better runs in the race. Settling well back and coming under pressure approaching the turn, the mare was ridden only hands and heels by Glenn Smith with a wall of horses in front of them for much of the straight, yet once Fontainebleau struck clear air wider out she made good ground late through the line in competitive closing sectionals. As a Listed winner, she is always going to be weighted up to her best in Benchmark grade however with class on her side and plenty of suitable races at a mile or further in the programming it’s likely she is in for a profitable winter.
SONG OF VINCENT - If the winner Send my Love is on her way to the Belmont Guineas and Oaks, then surely Song of Vincent will get his chance to score in a lesser-quality race in the near future. The son of Group I-winning sire Your Song has made steady progress this preparation since taking out a Pinjarra maiden first-up four starts ago and arguably put in his best run to date on Saturday. Settling third behind a solid tempo, Song of Vincent got the better of the leaders halfway down the straight and looked home until he was joined late by Send my Love but fought hard to be beaten only narrowly on the line. The data supports the strength of his effort too, with the first 1000 metres carved out in just over 61 seconds – around six lengths quicker than the other two mile races on the card including the Group III later in the day.
PEARL TRADE - This Alan Mathews-trained filly may start a touch of value when next she steps out. Having her second start back from a break on Saturday, Pearl Trade was a noted market drifter after opening favourite on Thursday, eventually starting $4.60 in a competitive betting race. Everything was going well in the run when landing midfield on the rail and saving ground to be behind the leaders turning for home. But that’s when things went pear shaped for this otherwise consistent filly; after angling for a split between the leaders that never fully eventuated she went to the line not fully tested to finish out of the placings some 3 1/2 lengths behind impressive winner Danny George. First-up prior, Pearl Trade was a brave second to the unbeaten Fabergino in decent time – a sure sign she is in good order this time in work and can pick up a win soon.
CALIFORNIA SURPRISE - I Am Invincible filly Californiasurprise won the Greg Cribb Memorial on debut last November with Winona Costin in the saddle and the combination look set for a unique double in the 2018 edition on Sunday after the change of programming. Californiasurprise hasn’t finished in the placings in four subsequent runs but has contested provincial and city class races on each occasion. After racing without success in Victoria at her first two runs, Californiasurprise was given a 43-day let-up with Sunday’s race in mind and was far from disgraced taking on the older horses when fourth beaten 2-3/4-lengths in a class one at Kembla on May 29. Back to her own age and the desire of the Snowdens to win the race, Californiasurprise stands out as the day’s best bet on form but the emotions will get a work out as well.
CLEAR SAILING - I tipped this Wayne Nugent-trained mare last start and she wasn’t suited by the tight Gold Coast track but still ran on well over 1400m, doing her best work late. When in Canberra with Matthew Dale Clear Sailing placed only once in six starts but was rarely far away and always gave the impression she wanted longer which is unsurprising as her mother Laguna Lake won a Parramatta Cup over 2000m. The 1800m on a big track looks suitable and senior rider Michael Cahill takes the mount. Clear Sailing should get a good run throughout and can run over the top of them in the straight.