After a first-up effort where she didn't enjoy the best of luck, this looks a perfect race for Mintha to notch up the third victory of her career and continue her progressive trajectory.
She got a long way back in the Summond at Sandown a fortnight ago, and ended up in a messy spot in between runners. Those on her outside, including her stablemate and eventual winner I'm A Princess, were swooping from similar positions in running.
She goes back to restricted grade now, she's run well at The Valley previously, and the small field will be to her advantage. I can see Luke Currie ensuring that he stays off the fence and allows her to wind up, as she's a mare that needs room and time to make a run. She's down on the limit, and given her upside, I'm very confident she'll be winning here.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
This tip is relying on a bit of trust, but if Invincible Star is even 80 percent right, she'll be winning in this grade.
We all know she's a very classy sprinting mare and she's a proven commodity against some of the best in the nation, but unfortunately she's either not been at her best, or simply found one of two better this campaign. It has resulted in no wins from her five starts.
This is a massive drop in grade, enormous really, and I'd like to think that if the Tulloch Lodge team didn't think she was capable of running to somewhere near her peak, then we wouldn't be seeing her line up.
The 1100 metre journey is perfect, she's not that badly in, and she draws to do whatever Tim Clark wants to do early on in proceedings. If she lines up, I'll be surprised if she doesn't win, unless there's a larger problem at hand.
A hulking four-year-old gelding, Unlikely Story has always flashed above average ability, but he had some issues early on that kept him away from the race track.
It looks like things are coming together now for the son of Star Witness, and his last start win at Ipswich was the type of victory that I was wanting to see from him. It wasn't all easy, as caller Josh Fleming described he had to "knuckle down" when attempting to chase down the leader, after they straightened. Once he did balance up, he did exactly that and went away from him late, and in the end it was quite soft.
I think there's still a bit of upside there, and this looks a lovely race for him to take another step forward, especially after he drew well. I thought he might be a touch shorter than what he's come up in the market and I certainly want to be on him at that quote.
OVER THE ODDS
The Highways aren't usually where I go looking for a tip for ESPN readers, but this isn't a bad race on Saturday. I reckon Legion Of Boom is a pretty handy galloper, with genuine city grade upside.
His racing manners have improved each time out, which is a big tick, and I like the fact that he's showing some genuine desire to perform at his best. Unfortunately that wasn't enough to get him home at Newcastle last week, when he just failed to catch the leader after getting caught up upon straightening. Even still, it was a solid effort and impressed me.
He just needs Jason Collett to make sure he gets in somewhat from that awkward draw in the big field. With a little more natural improvement, I think we'll see the son of Duporth go "boom" late, win, and go on to bigger and better things.
WINTERBOTTOM STAKES TIP
I don't think it's a deep edition of the Winterbottom and there's no doubt Viddora is the clear, proven class in the race, and deserves to be a short-priced favourite. The Bob Peters/Adam Durrant/William Pike combination, as has been the case for large portions of the racing year in WA, is on fire right now and I think they can bring down the star Adelaide mare with one of their own in Enticing Star.
She had genuine excuses last start when suffering her first defeat, with the daughter of Testa Rossa being in season. Who knows, maybe she also simply found her mark, but I'm prepared to give this lethal trio the benefit of the doubt and assume she is, in fact, very good, and that wasn't a true reflection of her ability.
She draws close to the outside, but you just know Pike will find a spot, and given the difference in price between her and the favourite, she's the way I'm leaning.
Leg 1 - 2,3,4,7,8,9
Leg 2 - 2
Leg 3 - 2,3,5,6,8,9,10,11,12
Leg 4 - 2,4,5,13
($100 = 55.55%)
Leg 1 - 1,2,3
Leg 2 - 1,3,10
Leg 3 - 1,2,6
Leg 4 - 6,7,8,12
($100 = 92.59%)