NEWS PREVIEW

The Melbourne Mail - August 26

The return of the Cup winner is always a big deal and Almandin steps out for the first time since his Cup heroics on Saturday.
In all likelihood he's just there to dust of the cobwebs, though, and we're happy enough to be betting around him.
Stablemate Hans Holbein left a strong impression in the autumn and the stable have already signalled their intent to be positive from the get-go. The lead is there for his taking and with his tactics out there in the public space potential challengers for the front may be scared off.
That leaves him looking fairly appealing at each way odds, but it also leaves long-time friend of The Melbourne Mail Second Bullet looking well placed with a run under the belt and the ability to roll on into a nice position tracking Hans.
Second Bullet's cards are all face up on the table but he's got a solid hand and it may be enough to get him through here.
He's second favourite in the early betting, with Darren Weir's improving Pacodali heading the betting, but his second to Aloft is the best recent rating and he has the ability to lift on that to a peak that if produced would leave him mighty hard to beat.
The feature on the card is the listed McKenzie Stakes for three-year-olds where we get a classic early season clash of fit versus fresh.
We'll side with the fresh on an each way basis, taking the very much in-form Lindsay Park's Muraaqeb at around the $7.00 mark.
The map may be a cause for concern here but he showed before a break that he has tactical speed should they wish to use it and most importantly he showed himself a good horse with the potential to find his way into some of the spring's better races.
THE MELBOURNE MAIL

Bet Of The Day: Race 5 #4 Second Bullet @ $5.00
Each Way Play: Race 6 #7 Muraaqeb @ $7.00


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