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RACE 1 – 12:20PM
Listed Inglis Debutant Stakes (1000m).
Extremely difficult race to bet with any confidence. Not every horse in the field has been seen in public. Double Jeopardy chased home the very talented Madeenaty in the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes last start and that form should prove to be very strong. Ciaron Maher has an opinion of Jukebow, while Wait For No One ran smart time in a barrier trial at Cranbourne.
RACE 2 – 12:55PM
Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m)
Prince Of Penzance has the top weight of 60 kilograms and that means that Howard Be Thy Name gets into this race very well in the weights with just 53.5 kilograms on his back. Howard Be Thy Name has improved each time that he has been seen at the races this preparation and he found the line fairly in the Underwood Stakes. He will relish the step-up to 2400m and he is well-placed to hit a new career peak that would make him very tough to beat in this race. Assign is the main danger following his second place finish behind Almandin in the Harry White Classic and he has the benefit of already having a start over 2400m under his belt. I think they are clearly the two to beat, I’m giving the edge to the SA Derby winner Units Howard Be Thy Name.
RACE 3 – 1:30PM
Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m)
This is the most open race of the afternoon and there are plenty of winning chances. The majority of the Melbourne horses come out of the Scarbrough Stakes at Moonee Valley and there have to be question marks over that form, while early favourite In The Vanguard has not been seen at the races since she finished second behind Scarlet Rain in the Sweet Embrace Stakes in February. There are simply too many question marks about this race to bet with any great confidence. If your looking for value the best backed runner and clear early market mover is the Gai Waterhouse trained prompt response, $15 into $8.
RACE 4 – 2:05PM
Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m)
It is no surprise that Chetwood has come up as such a short-priced favourite in Weekend Hussler Stakes betting markets. He has gone from strength to strength this preparation and he hit a new career best to beat a strong field in the Cameron Handicap at Newcastle last start. This is another challenge for Chetwood, but he has now gone to a level that is well clear of the current form of the rest of this field and he will be extremely tough to beat.
Suggested Bet – Chetwood to win, $3
RACE 5 – 2:40PM
Group 3 Cape Grim Beef Steaks (1200m)
Secret Agenda absolutely flies fresh, as we saw first-up in the Ladbrokes Odds Boost Stakes, but her second-up record is not great and I have to take her on in this race. Sheidel is building towards a third-up peak following more than credible efforts in both the McEwen Stakes and behind Hellbent last start. She has recorded three wins from her four third-up starts and the wide barrier draw is perfect as it will allow her to build into the race. This looks like the perfect race for the Holy Roman Emperor mare and there is still plenty of value at her current quote
Suggested Bet – Sheidel to win, $4.50
Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m)
Winx has scared away her rivals and she will take on just Black Heart Bart and He Or She in the Ladbrokes Stakes. With the 3rd horse collecting an appearance fee check of $54,000. Black Heart Bart has been racing in excellent form this preparation, but he is still a level behind Winx and the star mare still has more improvement left in front of her. I obviously can’t recommend a bet on Winx at $1.16, but if anybody was crazy enough to offer $2 I would snap it up extremely quickly. Ladbrokes are doing just that and offering a $2 promotion with a max bet of $20.
RACE 7 – 3:50PM
Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m)
The market suggests that the Sydney fillies have the clear edge over their rivals and I agree with that assessment. Foxplay was far too strong for her rivals in the Furious Stakes and she produced a rating that has not been matched by any other filly in this field outside of Global Glamour. She did not rate at the same level again in the Tea Rose Stakes, but she had very little luck in running and she was still able to get the job done. She maps to get a dream run into this race with Hugh Bowman in the saddle. Global Glamour had very little luck in both the Furious Stakes and Tea Rose Stakes, but she showed what she was capable of with a tough front-running victory in the Flight Stakes. There was plenty of merit in that performance and the fact that she is on the quick back-up will actually be a positive. The one outsider that does appeal at his current price is La Luna Rosa. She savaged the line in her Australian racing debut in the Thousand Guineas Prelude and she still has the scope to improve on that performance.
RACE 8 – 4:30PM
Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m)
The Caulfield Guineas is always one of the most exciting races on the Australian racing calendar and this year’s event is no exception. The Stan Fox Stakes has proven to be the key form reference to the Caulfield Guineas for a few years now and that makes Impending very tough to beat. He has produced an improved performance each time that he has been seen at the races this preparation and he still has the scope to improve. The Stan Fox Stakes was not run to suit him and he was still able to run down his rivals, which indicates that 1600m will not be an issue. The best roughie is Saracino. Saracino made his Australian racing debut with an impressive victory in the Danehill Stakes and he had no luck whatsoever in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude. You can put a line through that run and he is worth of another opportunity at his current price
RACE 9 – 5:10PM
Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m)
He’s Our Rokkii has developed into a genuine Group 1 level horse and he has the chance to record a well-deserved maiden Group 1 victory. He has won his past four starts in impressive fashion and he has had the perfect preparation for the Toorak Handicap with two tough runs over 1400m under his belt. He’s Our Rokki brings the highest last-start rating into this race and he has the scope to improve on that performance. There is no doubt he is the horse to beat. Royal Rapture has been an absolute revelation this preparation and he is more than deserving of a maiden opportunity at Group 1 level. Darren Weir has a truly remarkable ability to keep his horses at their best for long periods and that is exactly what he has done with this gelding. Another veteran that is racing at close to career best form is Jacquinot Bay. He just missed the placing in the Underwood Stakes and the mile is his best trip. He was beaten by black heart bart and drops 4kg on that effort. He will make his own luck and is a great bet to finish in the placings at a big price
RACE 10 – 5:45PM
Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m)
This is a very interesting edition of the Schillaci Stakes. I have a big opinion of Star Turn and this looks like nice placement from Team Hawkes. He was only narrowly denied by Astern in The Run To The Rose and the stable has kept him fresh for this race. Extreme Choice showed that the three-year-olds are capable of matching it with the older horses at this stage of the season and he has more upside than the rest of this field. Flamberge absolutely flies first-up and he has an excellent record over 1100 metres. He won the Oakleigh Plate over this track and distance in the spring and a repeat of that performance would be more than good enough to win this race. $11 is well over the odds. A lack of fitness just told on Hucklebuck late in the Testa Rossa Stakes. There is no doubt he will improve on that effort and his second-up record is outstanding, with genuine early tempo I’m looking for him to hit the line strong.
BEST INTERSTATE BET
LADY LE FAY (Randwick Race 8 No 4)
Chris Waller’s mare is the best bet on the card at Randwick. A class conveyance with outstanding stats over the mile (6:3-0-2), she is perfectly placed under set weights and penalties off a gun draw. It’s worth noting the only time she missed a placing at the mile was when she ran fourth behind Azkadellia/Heavens Above/Noble Protector in the Group I Queen of the Turf Stakes. Her first-up run this preparation against the boys in the Bill Ritchie was outstanding, clocking the fastest final furlong (11.36 secs) in the race. Tommy Berry should be able to keep her within striking distance off the good barrier and as long she gets a crack at them in the straight, she’ll be winning.