HORSE RACING: The temperature is starting to heat up, as is the racing action, with a number of star-studded efforts on the weekend.
Menari ($2.30 fav) stamped himself as the horse to beat in the Golden Rose, proving far too classy for a quality Run to the Rose field at Rosehill.
Russian Revolution ($3.40) was the recipient of a stellar ride from Mark Zahra to run away from Heatherly ($7.50) and Houtzen ($2.45 fav).
Finally, the Sydney stewards came up with an absolute howler, somehow determining that Interlocuter ($3 fav) interfered with Wayanka ($15) in the last at Rosehill.
Here's hoping that we don't experience a repeat of that over the spring.
Shoals (Moonee Valley Race 6)
This three-year-old filly is as tough as they come.
Defied a huge betting drift ($2.90 to $4.80) and a solid tempo on the speed to fend off challengers which were entitled to run her down.
Interlocuter (Rosehill Race 9)
Whilst it's no consolation for the questionable decision by stewards, the five-year-old horse won fair and square.
His run was superb, making a surge near the fence and unleashing a pleasing turn of foot.
Stick with him throughout his preparation.
Bonny O'Reilly (Rosehill Race 6)
I've got nothing against the mare, but I just feel that she isn't quite up to black-type this prep, which is the level she will have to compete at due to weights.
Lady Lark (Doomben Race 1 No 1)
The small field won't be a problem for the topweight, coming off a dominant win in a five-horse field at Ipswich last start.
The distance suits, and the filly should be able to get a cosy run despite the big weight.
Classay (Doomben Race 3 No 5)
Despite not being able to break through for a win, the four-year-old mare has been super impressive in her last two starts, going down narrowly at the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
The step up to 1350 metres should be ideal now, and she is certainly at decent each-way odds of $6.50 currently with UBET.
THE WEEK AHEAD
° KEEP your eyes out for the debut of an incredibly bred filly at Canterbury today.
Woman, from Frankel and More Joyous, makes her highly-anticipated debut in the third race on the card, and is currently a $2.00 favourite with UBET.
° IT'S hard to not get excited about racing in our own backyard on Saturday, when the Allora Cup takes place at Allman Park.
The local community has put a lot of effort into ensuring a fantastic day, and I'll be looking forward to attending.
Stay tuned to the Daily News sports pages for my race-by-race analysis of the five-race card as we strive to back a few winners.
° Winx looks to win her third successive Colgate Optic White (George Main Stakes) at Royal Randwick against a hot field, including Happy Clapper, Foxplay and the daring Red Excitement.
° The Makybe Diva Stakes is the main-race on the card at Flemington, featuring nominations of Hartnell, Le Romain, Black Heart Bart, Yankee Rose and Humidor.