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The Melbourne Mail - February 17

The Lightning Stakes is invariably one of the best races on the Australian calendar but it's another race down the straight that has piqued the interest of The Melbourne Mail this week.
The Darren Weir-trained Handsome Thief finds himself in a competitive but ultimately very winnable 6 f handicap in the fifth race on the Lightning Stakes Day card.
The key point there is 6 f. Twice in as many runs this time in Handsome Thief has found himself with too much to do over 5 1⁄2 f - perhaps just slightly beaten for speed over the trip.
At 6 f on the straight course he gets a chance to coil the spring. What we have loved about his two runs back is that he has crushed the line and been well in front 0 past the post. This time we are expecting him to be arrive before the post does...
For an each-way play we roll on to the feature itself - the Lightning Stakes.
Australia's current top dog in the sprinting ranks, Redzel, is out to add another major sprint to his C.V and he has a terrific chance of doing just that.
The problem is that not only his his chance a terrific one, it's an obvious one. He's deep odds-on in early betting and it's hard to see what the market is missing. Probably nothing.
That leave edges on the outer and we think there is a small edge in good each-way prices about last year's winner Terravista.
He won a weak edition last year but he was terrific in a good one the year prior and he has met Redzel over the Flemington 5 f in the past and given him plenty to think about.
In fact, back over the 2016 Cup Carnival, it was Redzel that took the prize but a moral victory for Terravista who gave him weight and ran terrific closing splits to just miss a well-ridden Redzel.
Since then Redzel has gone from strength to strength while Terravista has become fairly hit and miss but fresh at 5 f is a favourable scenario for him.
Last time out there was less than a length separating the pair. There was more separating them in the betting though. Terravista was 30-1 there and Redzel 3-1. Redkirk Warrior, who also runs here with a hope, was 8-1 that day.
It's a different race, and Redzel probably further enhanced his reputation in the Darley but those SP ratios make for interesting reading here.
THE MELBOURNE MAIL
Bet Of The Day: Race 5 #13 Handsome Thief @ $3.75
Each Way Play: Race 8 #2 Terravista @ $9.00


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