The metropolitan Victorian race meeting for Saturday is a whopping 10 race card at Mornington with some top quality thoroughbreds in action.
The headline races for Saturday at Mornington are the $120,000 Hareeba Stakes (Race 8) and the $300,000 Mornington Cup (Race 9). A race by race analysis for each of the 10 events can be read below, hopefully providing you with a winner or two.
Race 1 Benchmark 84 Handicap 3400m
Real Jazz finished alongside Now and Zen last time out, the latter went and demolished his rivals last start (albeit over hurdles). He also beat quite a few of these at Moonee Valley in February at huge odds. Sly Romance had some money last start before failing miserably, willing to give him another chance second up after the freshen. Prospector runs well at Mornington and after the claim has only 51kg to carry; he can certainly put in a bold performance at long odds. Deliberate generally finishes hard but stepping up 1000m in distance? never won further than 2500m? $3.20? no thanks. He has more upside than the rest of these so he goes in for fourth.
Best at odds: For the reasons mentioned above, deliberate could be worth a shot each way at $21.
Race 2 Benchmark 78 Handicap 1200m
Our Harmony is back to her pet distance here, should slot into a nice position from barrier 5 and is unbeaten at the track. Shacarde is super consistent. She runs very well at 1200 and also has an unbeaten record at Mornington, should be prominent at the end. A Lotta Love was well backed first up and didn’t fire, she has a much better second up record and might be ready to win now. Mefnooda’s first up record says 1:0-0-0, although two of her last three wins have come off a freshen up (32 days and 50 days). Has run well behind some talented types in the past and could be right up to this.
Best at odds: I don’t particularly like the roughies in this race.
Race 3 Mornington Sires 1500m
These 2 year old races are never easy. Mr Markou finished hard in the Morphettville magic millions, the step up in trip looks ideal and is impossible to tip against. Resort finished hard from last at his previous outing; might be able to turn the tables on the winner Pop who was much closer to the speed. Smartson led in that race and could give a sight at nice odds here today.
Best at odds: Bogong Road is from a good stable, something may have gone wrong at his first start and might put in an improved race at $41.
Race 4 Benchmark 78 Challenge Final 1600m
Native Land broke through with a narrow win last start; she loves 1600 and should be hard to beat again. Honourable Tycoon started short odds last start before going down by the narrowest of margins, usually finds a way to get beaten. Hokkaido beat home eljetem two starts back. His two runs at 1600m unplaced have been a 0.5L fifth and a 1.1L fifth, can win. Iteration was backed at odds last time and didn’t do a whole lot. Drops in class and usually runs better second up, $14 appeals.
Best at odds: Steep beat the talented Mawahibb last start, wouldn’t surprise me at 17$. Likes it a bit shorter though.
Race 5 Benchmark 90 Handicap 2000m
Am a big fan of Master of Arts. He’s always competitive and loves the longer trips, should be peaking fourth up and think he can turn the result last start in his favour. Loving Home beat home the top pick last start and I had him included in last weeks analysis before he was scratched. Confident he can figure here. Bondeiger can run well out to 2000m, his last race was on paced dominated and he was last, put a line through it. Velox was very well backed in the same race as Bondeiger last start, should run well second up. Never won at 2000.
Best at odds: Bondeiger
Race 6 3YO Benchmark 70 Handicap 1200m
Raffle. Magna Rossa looks to have talent. 1200 is her go and if she runs up to her new years day effort she should be winning this one. Stoker is dropping back in grade after an average performance down the straight behind some pretty good horses. I like that stellar collision form! The wide barrier is the concern for Prussian Vixen. Runs well at the distance and is flying at the moment. Call me Curtis can also go well back in trip.
Best at odds: Inner City Girl is first up after a long spell. Wasn’t too far away (but wasn’t too close either) from some very talented fillies last preparation. If she’s right could be worth a punt each way at $26.
Race 7 Mornington Guineas 1500m
Not an easy start at all for quaddie punters, ill be going very wide. Amadeus was no match for Silent Sedition last start, it was his first go at 1400 and looks well suited to run a strong 1500 here. Would’ve been more confident if he drew better than 14. Sir Sagamore smashed Gold Fields two starts back and started a short favourite doing so. Gold Fields subsequently came out and blitzed the field at Sandown, looks unders at 4.40 but can win. Lahqa is better suited back to 1500m and his 1.25L fourth to Tally reads well for this, drawn well. Tarquin is now a gelding after two flops in sydney this preparation, look for an improved showing.
Best at odds: Lahqa looks a good each way bet at 11$.
Quaddie numbers: 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14
Race 8 Hareeba Stakes 1200m
Thermal Current will get every possible chance to improve his 1200m record today. Should be fitter second up and Miss Promiscuity came out from its first up race to account for a handy field last saturday. Looks a nice bet at $7. Reldas always shows his best at Moonee Valley, although it was a good win last start $4 looks unders for a horse who will be getting a long way back from barrier 19. Mirage first up for Weir has to be kept safe. Has a good record over 1200 and has drawn well. Not a big fan of the Sydney form over the border but Meursault can’t be faulted on his recent form. Fast Cash has also drawn well and is flying at the moment, might be back to his form of old.
Best at odds: none
Quaddie numbers: 2, 6, 7, 15, 16
Race 9 Mornington Cup 2400m
Tom Melbourne looks to be a potential star, didn’t beat much in the Albury Cup but the way he did it was outstanding. Should go on to bigger and better things. Big Memory ran second in this race last year. 2400 seems his go, i’d be a lot more confident if he had a run at 2000 prior to this race. Tunes is super genuine and despite sharply dropping back in distance, he is out of the best formline and is $31. He raced wide throughout the Adelaide cup and arguably should have won. Pemberley can bounce back after being rolled as the $1.65 favourite; never running this distance before is the major issue. Take the dart board out for the rest.
Best at odds: Tunes
Quaddie numbers: 4, 8
Race 10 Benchmark 78 Handicap 1000m
Not an easy race to finish with. Face Forward if she’s right first up should beat this field. Has run against much better opposition in the past. The failure at Mornington previously is the query. Petite’s Reward should take up the running and has a very good first up record. Well Sprung has some race fitness over his main rivals and must be included on his best form in this class.
Solar Duchess loves the track, loves the distance and got there just in time last start at the Valley. Could be worth a crack at 14$. After the scratching its now confirmed Rock ‘n’ Gold will get a run, his form ties in with Petite’s Reward and must be included.
Best at odds:
2, 6, 9, 11, 13
Best Bets of the Card
Race 2: Our Harmony W@5.50
Race 9: Tom Melbourne W@2.50
Race 5: Bondeiger E.W@16.00:4.20
Race 8: Thermal Current E.W@7.00:2.70