It's hard to deny the talent that Star Fall has shown so far in his career, even though he's yet to be tested in stakes grade.
The son of Zoustar showed glimpses as a juvenile and has since looked the goods in both of his three-year-old starts. On those occasions he beat older horses by simply being too fast and too classy, and he still had a little up his sleeve at the end of each of those wins.
Star Fall's trainers decided to not push on to the Gold Coast after he drew horribly up there, and it would have been a huge ask for him first-time at seven furlongs to overcome that draw.
Instead, they lob at Randwick into a race where he draws well and can either lead or get a perfect run behind something else that wants to lead. I dare say they would love for him to learn to take a sit and win, and he'll get the chance to do that right here.
There's a black type on the horizon for Star Fall, and it may only be a few weeks away.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
Judging by that first up win in The Nudgee, Manicure looks to have taken the next step that can often be difficult for a promising three-year-old to do; come back and improve again in her four-year-old season.
She had back to back stakes placings during the Autumn, and in her last start she sat up on a decent speed before using a sparkling turn of foot to leave her rivals in her wake.
It was the win of a mare that has turned the corner, and she appeared to be a better physical specimen than what we had seen the prep before.
Manicure draws well here, plonks herself on speed again, and with the extra trip of no concern she should be winning again.
Physical and mental improvement has transferred into performance for Exhilarates -- the beautifully bred daughter of Snitzel -- and in my opinion it's going to culminate in a Magic Millions victory.
Few juveniles can do what she's done, and by that I mean few can progress in the manner she has in her first prep. That win last weekend was a scintillating one, leaving a pretty decent colt in Lubuk behind her.
They'll go as hard as you'd expect in this, and a few of the real speedsters have drawn wide. I can see Kerrin McEvoy being able to sit a few pairs back -- one off the fence ideally -- and just get her into the clear as they come around that slightly awkward Gold Coast turn into the straight.
The rest will be up to the filly. If she shows the same acceleration she did last week over 1100m, we'll be getting the same result at the end of the 1200 metres this week.
OVER THE ODDS
This is absolutely no knock on Outback Barbie -- she's an extremely classy filly that completely warrants being favourite for the three-year-old Magic Millions -- but she is one of those horses that just seems to find trouble.
In this type of company, and the type she's been racing in for most of her career, more often than not that will get you beat.
For that reason, I'm prepared to work around her and think Smart Elissim is the one at silly odds in this race.
The Lindsay Park gelding has always shown enough to make you think there's more to come from him, and at $26 I'm be willing to find out if he'll fulfil that potential on Saturday.
I thought his two runs back in -- both against older types -- have been good, and he seemingly had that race at Caulfield in his keeping on Boxing Day before his condition gave out late and a couple of swoopers got to him the last bit.
He's now peaking, has drawn well enough and will relish a fast run seven furlongs. He should be half that price, so that's enough for me.
Leg 1 - 1,5
Leg 2 - 1,7,8
Leg 3 - 1,5,7,8,14
Leg 4 - 5,11,12,13
($100 = 83.33%)