Deane Lester’s Mornington Top Tips

Deane Lester’s Preview


The annual Mornington Cup Saturday meeting is always a challenge with big fields around a tight circuit and locally trained horses are always well to the fore. One local with a good each way chance is A LOTTA LOVE when she contests the Fillies and Mares Benchmark 78 Handicap (1200m). The Sam Pritchard- Gordon trained mare resumed from a spell with a 5th behind the in-form FRENCH EMOTION over 1200 metres at Moonee Valley on March 18. The soft track and the burden of 60kg were against her on that occasion so that unplaced effort is best forgiven. She gets the benefit of in-form apprentice Dylan Dunn’s 3kg and looks drawn for a good run. It’s an evenly graded race with several chances, however A LOTTA LOVE can be expected to bounce back to form here.


The Mornington Sires’ (1500m) is the first race for the Victorian two year olds beyond 1400 metres which is a test for the juvenile gallopers, however RESORT gives the impression that he will relish this distance and appeals on an each way basis. The John O’Shea trained gelding showed tactical speed on debut when finishing 7th behind REVOLVING DOOR over 1300 metres at Sandown on February 24. At his next run, he was ridden off the pace and finished stoutly when running 4th behind POP over 1400 metres at Pakenham on March 17. He has enjoyed a great preparation for this race and Ben Melham takes the ride here; terrific winning chance at a price.


VELOX appeals as the best bet on a tough punting program when he contests the Benchmark 90 Handicap (2000m). The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained import worked to the line steadily when finishing 4th behind NEVIS in the Golden Mile (1600m) at Bendigo on March 19. He will be improved by that run, should appreciate stepping up in distance and wears blinkers for the first time. He has the benefit of Dylan Dunn’s 3kg and should box seat from a good door. His main opposition will come from MASTER OF ARTS, who is close to peak fitness and also wears blinkers for the first time, however VELOX is dropping in grade on his last run and should prove hard to beat.

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