Pakenham on a Thursday night is starting to feel like a regular thing. Last time we saw a couple of handy types emerge from the Pakenham card, and we may just find a couple of city-class gallopers early in the piece this week. The rail is in the true position and the track is rated a Good 4, but a near-perfect forecast suggests we should see an upgrade to a Good 3 on the night. The first of eight at Pakenham is set to jump at 6pm AEDT.
Best Bet: Shojiki
Having run into a couple of classy gallopers in her two runs this campaign, the Phillip Stokes-trained Shojiki looks hard to beat in the second leg of the Pakenham quaddie. Her last-start third on January 30 at Caulfield behind the handy Vespertine, who competed in The Vanity last weekend, suggests the drop back in grade should suit perfectly. From barrier 11 we expect Shojiki to push forward under Lachie King, while the winkers going on for the first time indicates she will look to take up the running. With a bit of metro class on her side, she looks hard to run down.
The Danny O’Brien stable’s Signoria trialled up a treat at Cranbourne on February 8 and looks hard to go past with Damian Lane sticking onboard. The three-year-old filly out of Zoustar showed she has a fair amount of early speed, but when Lane snagged her back behind the leaders she settled beautifully. She went on to win the trial by almost a length under hands and heels, suggesting she had plenty left in the tank.
Returning from a spell, the Matt Cumani-trained Prince Romany looks well placed resuming at a mile. His debut campaign showed he has plenty of wins in store, and his victory at Cranbourne on October 29 over 2060m means he will get better over further. His second-place finish at Kilmore the run prior came after veering dramatically towards the centre of the track after leading the field up. Despite throwing away the win, the way he balanced back up after giving away a few lengths suggests there’s a bit of talent, and we are happy to be with him in the opening leg of the quaddie.