LETTER TO JULIETTE - It’s a case of girl power at Orange on Friday with the Garry White-trained Letter To Juliette set to claim the Inland Digital Orange Showcase Cup (2100m) with Mathew Cahill in the saddle. A close second in a benchmark 74 handicap at Canterbury three runs back looks the form reference to rely on when assessing Letter To Juliette’s chances. With Tye Angland the rider, Letter To Juliette took off at the 600m to lead clearly straightening before being run down late by Domed over 1900m. Although competitive in her two subsequent runs when a close fourth in the Stayer’s Cup at Kembla and third at Randwick last start, Letter To Juliette arguably has found the 2400m a touch too far on both occasions. Back to 2100m looks perfect for Letter To Juliette with the mare a terrific chance to give the girls both feature race wins on Friday.
GOLD CODES - It looks a case of where there’s smoke there’s fire for the Kim Waugh-trained Gold Codes who will be having his second career start in the Panthers Mega Kids Playground – Coming Soon Maiden Plate (1206m). A three-year-old son of Smart Missile, Gold Codes was backed into $1.90 on debut at Hawkesbury however was found wanting at the end of 1300m but there appeared to be genuine excuses. Slow to recover post-race at Hawkesbury, the addition of a tongue tie to the gear of Gold Codes suggest there were significant issues first-up. From a perfect barrier with Aaron Bullock in the saddle Gold Codes looks set to make amends.
HIGHLY INFLUENTIAL - The Blake Shinn booking for the Mark Newnham-trained Highly Influential suggests the three-year-old son of Sebring is primed for a big run first-up in the Patioworld Maiden Handicap (1000m). With successive placings at Gosford from three runs in his first preparation, Highly Influential looked ready to go winning his latest trial at Warwick Farm on March 23. Highly Influential led in the trial and the speed displayed has been evident in his three career starts to date settling in the first three in running on each occasion. Launching from barrier one, Highly Influential gets his chance to record a maiden win.
CROIX DE VIE - “When you are on a good thing stick to it” may well be the adage adopted by connections of Croix de Vie who chases back to back wins in the TAB Federal Benchmark 60 Handicap (1400m). 2kg claiming apprentice Patrick Scorse rode Croix de Vie to a four-length win at Canberra on January 5 but wasn’t in the saddle when unplaced in two runs at Canberra and Albury before being reunited with the Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones-trained gelding for a 3-1/2 length win at over the Canberra 1400m last start carrying 57.5kg. With the same impost on Friday after the claim Croix de Vie is in with a winnable weight and is the horse to beat.
BALLET ROSE - With a 50 percent winning strike rate for favourites first-up at Hawkesbury and a 2.7 percent profit on turnover the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes trained partnership can be relied on and that looks the case with promising filly Ballet Rose who resumes in the Ascend Sales Benchmark 66 Handicap (1100m). A three-year-old daughter of Exceed And Excel, Ballet Rose has only raced on two occasions and the form around her has been solid. In her maiden win on debut over the Hawkesbury 1100m on December 17, Ballet Rose accounted for Fifth Affair who will be one of her rivals again on Thursday and meets the Garry White-trained filly 2kg better at the weights for beating her. The speed figures produced in the maiden win by Ballet Rose were comparable to Sasso Corbaro who won a class two on the day over the same distance and went straight to town to win. Ballet Rose chased home Soothing in her remaining start at Wyong on January 6 and that galloper has a metropolitan placing on her resume from two subsequent runs. Brenton Avdulla was the winning jockey at Hawkesbury and is back on the filly on Thursday and in a positive sign, the leading jockey was on board Ballet Rose in her lead-up trial at Warwick Farm when third