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Suggested: - Jorda (No.1), Arctic Angel (No.2), Split Lip (No.4) & Moet Rose (No.13)
Dangers: - Roomooz (No.5) & Elle Gagne (No.11)
Racing in Melbourne returns to headquarters this Saturday for an outstanding Group One spring race meeting. It is Makybe Diva Stakes Day and spring has well and truly sprung. It is a super race meeting, with every race on the card providing plenty of interest. There is plenty of rain about in Melbourne in the lead up to this meeting. Rain is forecast Thursday as well as Friday night and Saturday morning so I think we will be racing on a track that will have a fair bit of give in it. It will just get into the soft range I think but Flemington typically drains so well so I think it will be right on the borderline and I wouldn’t be solely looking for wet trackers. The rail is in the true position and I would expect the track to give every horse their chance.
I am kicking the day off nice and early. It is a race for the three year old fillies down the straight over the 1100m. I thought Jorda trialled exceptionally well prior to her first up run in Sydney behind Pariah where she ran really well and I think that form is going to hold up pretty strongly here. This filly won on debut back in October last year and we then didn’t see her at the races until three weeks ago when she was really good behind Pariah in a fast race. She settled in behind the leaders there and just was unable to work into the clear at the top of the straight when she appeared to be travelling really well. Instead she had to wait while Pariah ran past her with full momentum. She got out and worked to the line well once clear but the bird had flown by then.
Certainly that race looks to be a stronger form reference than what a lot of her rivals here come through. There are a few question marks though. She is second up off a long break having come through a testing and fast race first up but I am hopeful the three weeks between runs will offset that. She draws out here which looks to be an advantage down the straight here. She should be able to land just off the pace and if she can settle one pair back of the leaders with a horse to take her into the race I can see her easing into the wide land and really hitting the line powerfully. I think she is clearly the horse to beat and I am keen to be with her. I don’t think the race is clear cut though and I am going to save on a few horses at double figure odds.
Arctic Angel was just awful first up at Caulfield. The market indicated that she would struggle in that race and that is exactly what happened. She ran poorly and has had four weeks since that run to recover. She has gone back to the jump outs since then and performed quite well and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her turn her form around dramatically here. This stable typically gets their horses to fire on their home track and around the $20 mark I think she is worth a ticket here.
Split Lip comes over from Adelaide and is another horse I think can be competitive at good odds. Her run first up against the older horses in Adelaide when poorly ridden was very good. She jumped out of the gates well there and landed right on the speed. From there the jockey proceeded to restrain her right out the back and she ended up last at the 400m. In a 1000m race she was then asked to then go forward again after being restrained back for the first 600m of the race. That is a big shift of momentum and while she hit the line hard late, the damage was done when being restrained out the back. I thought the run contained plenty of merit and with Linda Meech on here I would expect she may be ridden more positively and around the $20 mark is worth a ticket.
Moet Rose is the other runner at odds that interests me. She went around big odds on debut at Bendigo but was able to get the job done in fast time. She beat Our Crown Mistress in that race who came out and won at Sale on Sunday and the race has also produced another winner with the sixth horse winning at Mornington on Wednesday. If you overlook the starting price it was a win full of merit and with the good form behind her I think she is another that can run well here. She is around $20-30 in the early markets and at those odds I am happy to have something on her.
Betting Strategy: - I will have $50 the win on Jorda here and save with $10 on each of the three at odds in Arctic Angel, Split Lip and Moet Rose!
Race Outlay: - $80
Suggested: - My Nordic Empire (No.2), Veladero (No.4) & Royal Navy (No.10)
Danger: - Imposing Lass (No.1)
Racing in Sydney returns to Randwick this Saturday for the big George Main Stakes meeting. Winx goes in search of her 20th consecutive victory and with those two perfect runs under her belt to kick off her campaign she looks ready to rumble on Saturday and only the inside gate should cause any heart flutters this week. I think she might really get back to her crunching and dominant ways and put a bit of a margin on them come Saturday. The weather in Sydney continues to be dry; if only they could have this weather in the autumn when their major carnival is on. As a result we will be racing on a good track with the rail nine metres for the majority of the circuit.
Typically with the rail in that position and on a dry Randwick track it will be advantage on pacers. Dry Randwick has been playing quite fairly in recent times and while I think it will be a natural advantage to be up on speed I wouldn’t be discounting horses sitting off the speed as a result of this rail position. I am kicking the day off in the second race of the day which is over the mile. This market could change quite significantly as could the shape of the race with Imposing Lass still in this race as well as the big fillies and mares race at Newcastle on Friday as I write this on Thursday afternoon. I would certainly look at this as a bit of an interim preview. I am going to kick the preview off anticipating her in the race.
With her in the race there does look to be good speed and I think that will set it up for Royal Navy third up with the mile run under his belt to sit off the speed and really hit the line hard. He has had two runs back from a spell now in midweek grade and both runs he has got back and found the line well. First up he was a big drifter in the market and ran accordingly before being very firm in the market last start when second up and just failing to run down the runaway leader in Art Of Excellence who was able to run the field off their legs and hold on for a narrow victory.
That run should have Royal Navy primed here third up and I just feel if they do go a little bit hard up front he has the right platform to be strong at the end of the race coming from off the speed. He also looks to be the horse on the up potentially that could go on to better races in a field of a few well exposed types so I am keen to be in his corner.
The interesting runner here is Veladero who was very heavily backed first up at Randwick two weeks ago when resuming. He had trialled well leading into that first up run and I also thought he would be very hard to beat. He received a baffling ride from Glyn Schofield. The horse jumped well and Glyn spent the whole race trying to restrain the horse while he pulled his head off and sat three and four wide on speed with no cover. In the end he had to weaken but had Glyn just let him roll forward and sit outside the leader or take up the running I feel he could have been right in the finish. Let’s see what the tactics are here on Saturday.
He draws an inside gate and Gordo on the Racing Rant touched on his theory of liking Waller horses from inside draws when discussing Zumbelina’s win last Saturday. He feels that they are often ridden more positively and Glyn was on Zumbelina last week and rides Veladero again here. I would be hopeful that he is pretty positive and pushes through and holds the lead. Even if he concedes the lead, as long as he is not over racing then I think he can be right in the finish here. His mile record is good and he has performed second up in the past so I am keen to keep him on side here in this race.
My Nordic Hero is another Waller runner that looked like one of the slowest horses I have ever seen in his trials before his Australian debut. As such I didn’t give him much hope here two weeks ago behind Washington Heights, but he actually hit the line quite well and it was quite a nice run. He is a winner over the mile in Europe and if he can improve from that first up run and gets the fluke lucky runs through the field from gate one here in a fast run race he could potentially be right there at the business end of the race. At around the $15-20 mark I am happy to be having something on him here in this race.
Betting Strategy: - I think I will leave this one until I know exactly what Imposing Lass is doing, so make sure you check the website on Friday/Saturday for the final update as the whole race could change complexion from a betting point of view as well as how the race will be run should Imposing Lass run at Newcastle on Friday!
Race Outlay: - TBA
Suggested: - Manias (No.4), Lothario (No.6) & Mercurian (No.12)
Dangers: - Brotherly Secret (No.2) & Plucky Girl (No.13)
Racing in Brisbane is at Doomben this Saturday. Next week we are at Ipswich, so let’s enjoy this weekend at Doomben while we can. It is a tricky meeting. I wouldn’t say they jumped off the page at me, but hopefully the races that I have identified to bet into will bring us some joy. Not much to report on the weather front. It is just the usual in Brisbane, sunny and dry and we will be racing on a dry track with the rail out half a metre and we will again be expecting a fair racing surface.
It is a bit of a later start to the day here and I am not getting involved until the fourth race of the day which is over the 1350m. It is a big field and there look to be a few winning chances. When I first looked at the race my first natural instinct was to try and look for a horse to beat Manias. Even though I backed Manias last start and he beat home last Saturday’s winner Sabkhat when doing that; he just got a perfect run that day and everything fell into place for him. I went through the race a few times though and I still came out with him clearly on top here.
He is certainly going to be greatly advantaged again by the fact that he looks to get a perfect run up on speed. He draws gate six for Jimmy Orman and he should just park one or two pairs back off the speed and from there you would think he only needs a touch of luck to be winning again. He has been running good times in his wins too, the only thing that looks to be a negative here is that he is starting to creep up in the weights slightly, but that all depends on how much credence you give to weights. I am not sure if he carried this weight last start whether he would have won by a smaller margin, he seemed to do it all pretty comfortably.
He is obviously racing in great heart, he seems to be relishing racing around this Doomben circuit at the moment and this distance range looks ideal for him as he has been really strong through the line in fast run races at his last two. I just don’t have enough reasons to not back him again here and I certainly don’t have enough reasons to see why he won’t be winning again, so keen to be in his corner.
I think Lothario is the horse that might have come up slightly over the odds in the early markets. He looks to have come back well this time in. He seems to be a horse that is at his best when racing on firm surfaces, so he is enjoying what these Brisbane and south east Queensland tracks are throwing up at the moment. He hit the line hard first up off a freshen up at Doomben behind the low level flying Tycoon Ace before he went to the Gold Coast last start and hit the line powerfully to win well when sitting back off a fast tempo.
He draws in gate two here so he is going to get a lovely smothering run in behind the speed and if the breaks come his way in the straight, with just 54kgs on his back he looks quite dangerous. He relishes this distance range also so around the $8-9 mark here he looks to be a good saving bet.
The other horse I am going to have something on in the race is Mercurian who I thought ran well enough first up three weeks ago at the Gold Coast over 1200m behind Tycoon Ace. He was caught wide with no cover in that race but stuck on quite well to not be beaten too far. He has a very good second up record and will appreciate stepping up to the 1350m here. He has Jimmy Byrne on from a middle gate and around the $15-20 mark I am happy to be having something small on him here.
Betting Strategy: - I will have $60 the win on Manias here, $20 the win on Lothario who I will lock the $8.50 in about and also have $10 the win on Mercurian!
Race Outlay: - $90
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