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Say From SA: Morphettville – Saturday, 24th February 2024

3 minute read

Exciting day at Morphettville on Saturday with the running of Lord Reims, City of Marion and Cinderella Stakes.

GRAND PROMENADE winning the Bart Cummings Stakes at Flemington in Australia.
GRAND PROMENADE winning the Bart Cummings Stakes at Flemington in Australia. Picture: Racing Photos

Saturday marks one of the better days on the South Australian racing calendar outside of the carnival period, with racegoers treated to three black type events on the nine-race card.

The Open stakes features, in the Group 3 Lord Reims and Listed City of Marion, have both attracted enticing fields in what shapes to be two of the finer editions of the time-honoured contests.

For this week's best we head to the Lord Reims, where I'm confident S Jackson's stable star Grand Promenade can go a couple better to take out this year's edition, after falling 0.7L shy last year.

On the numbers it looks a two-horse race, the market very much suggests the same, with GP and current favourite The Map both holding prices sub $3.

While admittedly, it's the five-year-old The Map that has the scope for improvement as he solidifies himself as one of the state's best stayers, it's our eight-year-old combatant from over the border that already has the runs on the board and doesn't have to go to any new heights, or even be at the peak of his powers to be getting involved in the finish.

Grand Promenade sets up perfectly to play a major come the weekend, with his last start Caulfield rating of 112 good enough to take out all but one of the last 10 editions of the Lord Reims. Furthermore, GP's last start figure not only stands 14 pounds better than The Map's impressive return victory, which equivalates to around 6-7 lengths, but also five pounds above The Map's career best – which caught the eye of many on Melbourne Cup Day last year.

With a much more favourable racing pattern and a stack of superior ratings behind him, if GP can find the front or a spot close to the speed without spending too many pennies early, I don't see them being able to reel him in.

As for the best value play, we head to the City of Marion where the A & S Freedman-trained Miss Take looks over the odds.

The four-year-old was an eye-catcher first up at Moonee Valley when bursting through late to score, with the win suggesting she's come back in great order and has plenty more to offer.

With more room to work with at Morphettville on Saturday, Ben Price will be looking to land close to the speed from another kind draw and have a fair bit under the bonnet when they sprint.

Say From SA

Best: Race 7 #3 Grand Promenade @ $2.80

Value: Race 8 #14 Miss Take @ $7/2.85

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