WELCOME to Tim's Tips - Selections for main Melbourne race meetings by former Herald Sun sports journalist Tim Habel. He is now a contributor to The Age so his tips for major city meetings will be in The Age formguide.
CAULFIELD SATURDAY FEBRUARY 24. Rail true. Track good 4.
HOUSEMAN 1, Almandin 2, Bedford 3, Gallic Chieftain 4
Intriguing race with Cups class stayers and stablemates Houseman and Almandin resuming. Houseman is lightly raced, a Group 3 2000m winner at the Curragh and last start start third in the Belmont Derby.
ASTORIA 1, So And So 2, Belfast 3, Amaninto 4
Astoria was never closer than three wide without cover resuming in the Autumn Stakes and stuck gamely to his task. A Victoria Derby placegetter, the extra 400m is ideal.
OVERSHARE 1, Prevailing Winds 2, I Did It Again 3, Piracy 4
Overshare was gallant in a close defeat resuming after racing three wide on pace.
MISS WAHOO 1, Smart Coupe 2, Earth Angel 3, Summer Sham 4
Miss Wahoo was brave last start holding off the smart Freehearted who has won since. The McEvoy-Kah combination are hot and she's likely to push forward and make her own luck.
JESTER HALO 1, Silent Sedition 2, Samovare 3, Flippant 4
Jester Halo will lead from the coveted rails draw and appeals as the best each-way bet of the day. Second last in the Orr but she overraced on a slow pace and still clocked 11.89 for the last 200m. Silent Sedition is clearly the class runner but didn't finish her race off first-up. Blinkers go on, out the jury is out on whether she is as good as she was.
BRAVE SMASH 1, Tosen Stardom 2, Mighty Boss 3, Showtime 4
The Weir pair Brave Smash, desperately unlucky not to win the Orr, and Tosen Stardom, who had a torrid run three wide on the pace, can fight this out.
LONG LEAF 1, Oohood 2, Qafila 3, Plague Stone 4
An open Blue Diamond but the unbeaten Long Leaf appeals as a model racehorse, will tuck in behind the pace and run out a strong 1200m, the ideal Blue Diamond recipe. Among many other chances are Oohood, provided he mends his manners, Plague Stone and first-upper Qafila- if they overcook the early speed she can be the late swooper.
RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 1, Catchy 2, She Will Reign 3, Booker 4
Often a blow out race the Oakleigh Plate, cast as wide a net as you can afford for the quaddie. Staying with Russian Revolution, unbeaten fresh, (if the rain arrives so much the better, he won the Galaxy on a heavy 10), and the three year-old fillies down in the weights Catchy, She Will Reign, who will improve ridden back and Booker.
HARTNELL 1, Gailo Chop 2, Silent Gaze 3, Lord Fandango 4
Match in two, Gailo Chop will lead and Hartnell can overhaul him late, the forecast rain would be a bonus.
BEST BETS: Astoria, Long Leaf. VALUE BET: Jester Halo.