MOUNT BULLA - The Mary-Moses-trained Mount Bulla is a last start class one and maiden winner (dead-heat) and it is difficult to arrive at a reason for the gelding to be a $4.20 chance in early betting compared to $2.35 for the early favourite, the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Aurora Rose in the PGH Bricks and Pavers Benchmark 60 Handicap (2300m). Aurora Rose contested the same class one and maiden plate at Newcastle on November 19 and finished over five-lengths from Mount Bulla, Aurora Rose has since won a benchmark 65 at Goulburn but meets Mount Bulla worse at the weights for being beaten by a big space at their last meeting. Sure, Aurora Rose won over 2300m at Goulburn and Mount Bulla goes from 1850m to the trip for the first time, but would suggest that if the trainer’s names were reversed the betting order would follow.
MAGICALEASE - Magicalease from the Alan Scorse stable and a Robert Thompson ride goes from a class one victory at Newcastle to the Hit 106.9 CG&E Class 2 Handicap (1400m). Magicalease is unbeaten in two runs since returning from a 454-day break between races winning a Scone maiden which has produced an additional two winners in subsequent runs prior to the last start Newcastle victory. Magicalease is drawn to get all the favours in the run from barrier three and is the one to beat again.
YOUR WITNESS - The Jason Coyle-trained Your Witness is chasing back to back wins in the Robert Thompson Cup Benchmark 65 Handicap (1200m) after a benchmark 63 victory at Newcastle resuming last start running down Mad Fox who is one of his main rivals again on Sunday. In each of his three preparations to date Your Witness has improved his ratings second-up in a preparation and his career statistics back up the ratings with two wins and a third coming from his three second-up runs. If the pattern from previous preparations holds up on Sunday Your Witness looks excellent value at $5.50 in early betting markets.
OLIFANTS - Penza rides Olifants for James Cummings and Godolphin in the Christmas Racing At Kembla Grange 3YO+ Maiden Plate (1000m) with the Animal Kingdom colt ready to win. Olifants had three runs in his first preparation with the best of them a length fourth on debut at Kembla. Olifants will be second-up on Saturday after a promising return to racing at Newcastle on November 19 finishing second to Oakfield Captain in a maiden which was run in quicker time than a benchmark 71 race run over the same distance. With the first-up run under his belt and the advantage of the inside gate, Olifants looks set to give punters a winning start to the day.
KENNEDY - Penza will be in the Godolphin blue again when he rides Kennedy in the UTH Christmas CG&E Class 1 Handicap (1200m) with the three-year-old son of Excel and Exceed standing out as the day’s best bet. Kennedy hasn’t finished worse than four lengths from the winner in any of his seven career starts including a maiden win over the Kembla 1200m and placings at Warwick Farm and Rosehill. Kennedy was a beaten favourite resuming at Hawkesbury on November 9 going down narrowly to Junglized with the first two spacing the rest of the field and the winner adding plenty of merit to the form by going on to win at Canterbury 20 November 22. Expecting Kennedy to go one better fitter second-up.