Mel’s Secret’s course record of 94.58 sec seems safe for another year in tomorrow’s Fairview Mile.
Red Barrel, from the Tara Laing yard, could have a go with 61kg on his back – the same weight Mel’s Secret carried on 7 December 2001. However when he won over this course and distance in his second-last start, his time was 96.88 sec.
Jacques Strydom’s charge Gogetthesherrif, who finished fourth in that 1600m race won by Red Barrel and who is 3kg better off, must also be in with a big shout.
It must be noted that Laing’s other runner, Mercurial Brave, will have the stable’s No 1 choice Raymond Danielson in the saddle and the five-year-old could be a huge runner, despite a poor No 10 draw.
He finished third behind Red Barrel in his Fairview debut on 12 January but is 2.5kg better off for a 2.75-length beating. He will carry just 54.5kg and will improve in his second run for his new trainer.
Also in Mercurial Brave’s favour is that in his most recent 1600m start, he completed the trip in faster time than Mel’s Secret – 94.39 sec.
Another Laing-trained runner, Main Dane, has the form to finish in the money. Barend Vlooh will be in the saddle.
Justin Snaith-trained Indian Hawk and Gavin Smith’s charge Kono are both capable of taking the honours should the morefancied horses underperform on the day.
So we look set for a thrilling finish.
In Race 6, a Pinnacle Stakes for fillies and mares, 10-time winner Yoshie stands out as a banker.
She is a honest sort and looks hard to oppose on paper. She loves the course and distance and is the best-weighted horse in the race.
Racing starts at 12.35pm with a Maiden Juvenile Plate over 1000m.