Jockey Jamie Kah (Image: Racing Photos)
Blue Diamond contenders on show at The Valley?
Two competitive juvenile races kick-off the night with a bang.
Of the 17 two-year-olds racing in the two events, five have been announced as third acceptors for the $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes on February 24.
Those for who the dream is still alive are Ifyouknowhatimean (Team Hawkes) and Metronome (Mick Kent) in Race 1 and Dharma (Ken Keys), Paper Plane (Lindsay Park) and Viennese Star (Aaron Purcell) in the fillies event.
The unraced Viennese Star has so far shown speed to match her pedigree in recent weeks at her home track of Caulfield, impressing in a jumpout on January 23.
A relation to Snitzel and Hinchinbrook, the two-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible also got a beneficial first look at The Valley on Monday morning, where she clocked the fastest 800-metre course proper gallop of the morning.
The Purcell stable have a nice opinion of Viennese Star and are expecting a forward showing on debut.
Weir the one to watch again
He's Victoria's leading trainer and it's no surprise to see him train winners in the double figures each week, but Darren Weir is currently enjoying an extra-hot streak at the metropolitan level.
From 36 metro runners since Flemington's meeting on January 20, Weir has saddled 11 winners - a city-grade strike-rate of 31 per cent. The master horseman trained half the card last Friday night at The Valley and this week looks well placed to have a big night again, highlighted by the odds-on Eyes Are Blue in Race 3 (3000m) and quality mare Quilista, who is the current $2.20 favourite in Race 4 (955m).
Kah continues Melbourne rally
Jamie Kah is set to continue her presence in Melbourne, taking the ride on handy South Australian mare Mystified.
The Adelaide-based senior jockey has won four metropolitan races in Victoria this season and is positioning herself to significantly add to that tally in the coming weeks.
Backed primarily by Tony McEvoy, Kah is bidding to make her presence felt across the border and will follow on with it on Saturday at Caulfield, where she is down to take five rides for a mixture of Victorian stables.
Kah is well placed to kick-off the weekend with a winner aboard Mystified, who has had a frustrating preparation in the eyes of connections, but trainer Ryan Balfour believes the mare finds a race at The Valley that ticks all the boxes.