Sandown-Lakeside // 28th May

It’s Australian Hurdle and Steeplechase day at the Lakeside course at Sandown. Plenty of rain over the past week has dished up a Soft 7 track. We’ll be limiting our betting at the Melbourne metropolitan meeting this week despite our stellar form over the past few weeks. It’s important to find a horse that can handle the wet track with the weather forecast showing potential of getting into the heavy range.

The headline races for Saturday at Sandown-Lakeside are the $125,000 Australian Hurdle (Race 1) and the $125,000 Australian Steeplechase (Race 4). All 9 races will be covered below providing the race prediction, one for exotics, best bets and quadrella selections.

Race 1 Australian Hurdle 3400m

Leaning towards Arch Fire. He gets a nice weight swing on Gingerboy from the last meeting and turned the tables in a recent trial. This seems to be his pet distance and has won at Sandown before. He loves it wet also. Gingerboy is unbeaten over the jumps. He is clearly the one to beat and is still competitive on the flat. Didn’t like his recent trial enough to be taking the shorts here. Earthbound beat home Valediction three back and drops a whopping 7.5kg on his latest effort. His best is good enough. I’ll’Ava’Alf wasn’t disgraced at Ballarat after finishing strongly at Warrnambool prior. Jumps record? King of Dudes best is certainly good enough.

One for exotics: Earthbound ($16)

Race prediction: 1-3-4-6

Verdict: Taking a punt on Arch Fire to turn the tables here. Arch Fire W@3.60.

Race 2 2YO Handicap 1200m

Willing to forgive Bringaroo after his first up flop. He did a bit wrong on that occasion and also raced wide throughout. Look for a much improved effort here today. His one win was on the soft track. Winning form is good form and that puts Perpetual Crisis right in the mix. His win at Donald on the soft track was solid and I like the If Not Now When form. Preemptive has drawn wide but wants every bit of 1200. He’s still a maiden but actually beat home the top pick at Caulfield last time. Ridgway the debutant has been backed off the map with the early money. His trial on heavy going was impressive but this is an entirely different challenge here.

One for exotics: Follow any significant money for long shots.

Race prediction: 2-1-4-8

Verdict: Not a fan of this one. No bets.

Race 3 Benchmark 90 2400m

Master of Arts has a stack of weight here but he looks primed to back up his Warrnambool Cup win. He appreciated the wet track and the step up in distance to comfortably claim a high quality race last start. Up in the weights but well off after the claim looks very hard to beat in this field. Black Stardom finally clicked into gear this preparation with a narrow win over the talented Monteux last start. If he runs here he should give plenty of cheek at $31. Golden Mane beat all bar the potential star in Raw Impulse. Looks ready to win after a nice claim from Jake Bayliss. Spur On Gold seems to be getting better with every run. He looks like he’ll relish the rise in trip but the wet track is somewhat of a concern. It might be hard to pick on form but I think San Padre is better than his record suggests.

One for exotics: Black Stardom ($36)

Race prediction: 2-9-5-8

Verdict: Master of Arts should be too good, Black Stardom is worth an each way ticket. Master of Arts W@2.50.

Race 4 The Australian Steeplechase 3400m

Going with the in form Angelology. He was set an impossible task with 73 on his back and still finished close up behind Hucknall at Ballarat. Drops a whopping 9 kilos here and looks very hard to beat. Urban Explorer may be going better than his record suggests. He was backed off the map at Oakbank before putting in an average performance. Won his last steeple run and Pateman sticks. Wells hasn’t done much jumping since his scalp of Bashboy in the 2014 Grand National. His best is clearly good enough but I think he’s more suited over a bit further. King Triton is edging closer to a win but it’s been a while between drinks. About the Journey and Zataglio go in next.

One for exotics: Urban Explorer ($13)

Race prediction: 6-2-1-4

Verdict: Think Angelology is the one to beat here. Angelology W@2.70.

Race 5 Benchmark 78 1200m

Good luck having a bet with confidence here! Coram split My Poppette and Olivier second up. Both of those horses ran crackers last week and if he can repeat that effort he should be winning. Caprese beat a similar field here and theres no reason he can’t do it again. Likes it at Sandown. Jungle Edge grows another leg on wet tracks. He looks outclassed here but could definitely run into the placings at $31. Benchi Pegasus is another who likes a wet track. Generally performs well fresh and looks well placed from the good barrier and after the 3kg claim. Marwood loves a wet track and is edging closer to a win. Looks short enough in this field. Armada is a punters nightmare but does look fit and ready to show his best here.

One for exotics: Jungle Edge ($31)

Race prediction: 10-9-6-12

Verdict: Coram could be worth an each way ticket at $6.00 but just too many unknowns. No bets.

Race 6 3YO Handicap 1400m

Divine Mr Artie probably should have won last start after being held up at a vital stage. He looks well suited out to 1400m and surprised he’s come up at $7.50 in this field. Ticking along very nicely this preparation, the wet track is the big query. The lightly raced Mr Individual was found to be lame after his below average performance in the Group 2 Euclase first up. Unbeaten second up and has very good soft track form. Think Twisting Typhoon has a bit of talent. Was very impressed by his run at Moonee Valley in January before getting too far back at Flemington. If he wants ground the 1400m fresh should suit. Lord Tennyson has been backed off the map after his demolition job at Warrnambool. His form around Nats the Boss ties him in nicely here. Makatiti has track form and although he only won his maiden last start has been competitive in tougher races. Robert De Hero goes in next.

One for exotics: Twisting Typhoon ($10)

Race prediction: 2-1-6-8

Quaddie selections: 1, 2, 6, 8, 10, 14

Verdict: Pretty open race to kick off the quaddie. No bets.

Race 7 3YO Fillies Benchmark 78 1600m

Whirlpool savaged the line in the Adelaide Guineas and looks the one to beat here. Gets a nice weight swing on Laqha after defeating her. The big straight will suit at Sandown but she’s an unknown with sting out of the track. Miles Of Krishan has plenty of upside and was a bit stiff at Caulfield last time. She hit the line hard late and looks as though the mile will suit. Laqha does her best racing at this distance. She’s conceding plenty of weight to the rest of the field which is a big concern but she is the best horse in the race. Fife looks a live hope here. She does her best racing on wet tracks and her 1.7L second to Holy Cow reads well after the latter ran a bottler in Adelaide. Street Spun might be able to improve back to the mile. Wasn’t far of C’est Beau La Vie her last attempt at 1600 and that form looks good. No knock on Gingie. Prefer Miles of Krishan out of that race.

One for exotics: Street Spun ($21)

Race prediction: 6-7-1-8

Quaddie selections: 1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11

Verdict: These mares races usually throw up some big priced winners. No bets.

Race 8 Open Handicap 1600m

Lord Durante was the best of the on pacers last start in a race where it favoured the closers. He runs well on the rain affected track i’m willing to give him another crack here. Longeron strips fitter for his third run after a spell. Another who has the talent but might want a bit further now. Kenjorwood has been freshened after something wasn’t quite right at Sandown last time. His best is good enough for this field but at $4.60 theres no value. What to do with Petrology.. Happy as Hell could be the blowout. He’s got good soft track form and has won second up.

One for exotics: Happy as Hell ($26)

Race prediction: 8-7-2-13

Quaddie selections: 2, 6, 7, 8, 13

Race 9 Benchmark 84 1400m

Spreadeagled hit the line well first up but was never a chance over that distance. Much better suited second up over 1400. Drawn wide a query but he should be running on again. Show a Star should be undefeated this preparation and stays at 1400 here. Fought on strongly to beat an average field last start. This is tougher. Niminypiminy should be an eye catcher from the back with no weight on her. Improving with every run she could be a nice bet each way at $9. Statton ran a very nice race over this course on the soft track two weeks ago. That was a weak race and the distance drop isn’t ideal. So Does He can improve.

One for exotics: Niminypiminy ($9)

Race prediction: 6-7-13-14

Quaddie selections: 6, 7


Doomben // 28th May

Big day of racing at Doomben, with the Group 1 featured Doomben 10,000, the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, and the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes.


R1 Ambassador Travel (bm95) 1200m

Fine Mist looks to be the pick of the field here. Won 2/3 first up and performed very well last prep. Will be hard to beat. Saluter won well last time out and ran well towards the end of last year. Doesn’t usually run well second up and has a lot of weight, but definitely has a chance here. Le Val drops back in grade and looks as though it will appreciate that. Is a good horse who has drawn well. Slots faced a tough field last time out and ran well considering. Has won twice first up and could improve and surprise here. Best long shot is the old boy Pago Rock. Has the quality but we haven’t seen it for a while. Won 5/9 first up.

One To Watch: Pago Rock

Race Prediction: 5-1-7-4

R2 Suez Queensland Day Stakes 1200m

Roeinda was so close to pinching a very good win at Scone last time out in a big race. put four good runs together since breaking maiden and drawn well here with Cahill on board, looks a great chance. Barood had no luck last time out but still ran okay. Was very consistent last prep and think it can give this a real shake here. Mogador is a horse with serious potential. Hasn’t quite lived up to that late but having McDonald on board will help here. Hasn’t had much barrier luck of late and won’t get that here. Still with its claims. Secret Saga scored some impressive victories late last year. Has shown she has the quality and could strike here. Kamacite isn’t without a chance. Strung together two impressive wins and looking to take the next step here.

One To Watch: Kamacite

Race Prediction: 10-5-2-9

R3 Glenlogan Park Stakes 1350m

Ghisoni* is a serious horse. Superior form here behind Japonisme and Counterattack. Will be very, very hard to beat. Short, but a good inclusion for multis. Amicus probably has the next best form, running well in some big races in Sydney this year. Drawn well and if given some luck could contest. Press Report has put two good runs together of late, only won 2 of 29 but a place would be a victory for it here. Just A Blur has some decent form behind it and could sneak in for a place.

One To Watch: Just A Blur

Race Prediction: 8-1-5-9

R4 Channel Seven Premier’s Cup 2200m

Real Love hardly ever runs a bad race. Loves this sort of distance and won its only start at Doomben. Some very good form of late and is the pick of the race. Honey Toast won the Toowoomba Cup and backed it up with decent run in the Hollindale. Loses a lot of weight and will be up there here. Junoob was ridden well last start to finish a strong fourth behind Real Love. Has a slight weight turn around here and could surprise a few! Index Linked isn’t without a chance here, running well in its last two starts. Down in the weights but think it’ll need to be at it’s best to win here.

One To Watch: Junoob

Race Prediction: 4-8-1-3

R5 Mitavite Brc Sires’ Produce 1350m

Good start to the quaddie with lots of young talent! Attention ran well last start, finishing a close second and beating the favourite here Souchez by .1 of a length. Blake Shinn retains the ride and no reason it can’t win again. Souchez*, although beaten last start, looks to have the most talent of this field. Had a great start to his career and think it’ll be the hardest to beat here. Royal Tithe has had a tremendous start to her career and theres no way you could dismiss here. Must respect. Cadogan not without chance here winning nicely last time out and form behind Jericho prior to that, keep handy. Sacred Elixir also a very good chance.

One To Watch: Royal Tithe

Race Prediction: 2-3-13-8

Quaddie Numbers: 2 3 6 8 13

R6 Lord Mayor’s Cup 1615m

Amovatio* looks to be a great chance here. Beat home next best horse Mighty Lucky in last two starts and the weights seem to be in her favour. Drawn midfield and will be right in this. Mighty Lucky has been fighting hard against Amovatio of late. Also drawn well in barrier 6 and will be looking to continue his good form. Hopfgarten is a good horse who won first up. Not sure how he’ll go against these two faves but definitely has a chance. Think Worthy Cause also has a chance, and will want to get out early from barrier 9.

One To Watch: Hopfgarten

Race Prediction: 1-6-7-4

Quaddie Numbers: 1 6 7

R7 J Boag’s Prem. Doomben 10,000 1350m

Azkadellia is a horse that we all know has exceptional quality. Hardly ever runs a bad race. Was very impressive last time out and if it can recreate that form it will win. Dothraki was unlucky not to beat Malaguerra last start, taking it all the way to the line. Going off that run it could easily put in a huge performance here. Fell Swoop has some very strong form, and while finishing disappointingly last start, I’m backing him to bounce back here. Delectation finished off nicely in the BTC Cup last start. The extra distance will suit and will be in this til the end. Music Magnate also not without a chance, running very well for the majority of his career, however this is a step up.

One To Watch: Fell Swoop

Race Prediction: 7-2-3-1

Quaddie Numbers: 1 2 3 7

R8 Mullins Lawyers Grand Prix Stk 2200m

Mackintosh* has been in absolutely terrific form of late. Becoming one of the most exciting horses in Australia at the moment. Think it’ll run well and be very hard to beat here. Major threat is Howard Be Thy Name. 4 victories in a row, jumping in class each time. Will be interesting to see what Rawiller will do from the wide gate. If it get’s a run it’ll have a chance. Brazen isn’t the worst bet at decent odds. Could cheekily run a place here. Think the top two won’t be beaten.

One To Watch: Howard Be Thy Name

Race Prediction: 4-1-10-2

Quaddie Numbers: Pick your poison. 4 outright, or include Howard Be Thy Name?


Best Bets:

R3 – #8 Ghisoni W @ $1.80

R5 – #2 Souchez W @ $2.50

R6 – #1 Amovatio EW @ $4.60/1.90

R8 – #4 Mackintosh W @ $2.30

Morphettville // 21st May

Race 2 Port Adelaide Cup 2500m

Zanteca is edging towards a win. His effort over this distance in the Lexus was fantastic. Wasn’t disgraced in this race last year as a short favourite. Drops 8.5kg here and gets the gun jock in the saddle. Master Zephyr was nominated for a race at Flemington and i think he’s much more suited here. Probably wasn’t in the best ground at Warrnambool and he did make his move earlier than the three that finished ahead of him. Has won at 2500 before which is a big tick. Snow Secret had a nice Australian debut. Easily beat Zanteca on that occasion but is a lot worse off at the weights. Dont discount Falago at big odds. He tends to mix his form but his best is good enough and ran a nice race in the Mornington Cup. Tunes always runs well at Morphettville. If you put a line through his mornington cup failure he can run into the placings here.

Verdict: Think Zanteca can figure here. Zanteca W@5.50

Race 4 Centaurea Stakes 2015m

It’s hard to line up Gabella’s form but she does seem to be getting better with every run this preparation. Might want it further now but her effort from the back at Caulfield 3 weeks ago was an eye-catcher. Blinkers first time is a tick. Into the Mist beat a similar field a fortnight ago and seemed to do it with a bit in hand. She’s way up in the weights and the 2000 is a query. No doubting she’s in career best form. Inclined to put Loveitt in the mix here at huge odds. Always finishes hard. Felicienne might appreciate the step up in trip. Drawn very wide and loomed to win but couldn’t finish it off last start. Might be able to turn the tables with the 3.5kg swing on the winner. Metaphorical next best.

Verdict: Gabella looks well weighted to win here, might have something small on Loveitt too. $12 was a steal at market open for the former. Gabella W@6.00

Race 5 R.A Lee Stakes 1600m

Alpine Eagle could be the next best thing. He has a devastating turn of foot on his day but has been hindered with injuries. If he’s right he just wins this race. Atlantis Dream is the horse with race fitness here and looks ready to break through. Down in the weights here and it would be a surprise to not see her in the finish. Prince of Penzance looks over the odds here. He ran a cracker first up in the Memsie last prep over 1400 and a 2L defeat to Boban looks pretty good form for this (Not to mention a Melbourne Cup winner). The rest of these look a class below but Tonopah his claims as does Qadir.

Verdict: Will be watching the betting. If theres any money for Alpine Eagle load up. $3.40 looks a steal.

Race 6 Proud Miss Stakes 1200m

Looks a good betting race. Taking a punt on Runway Star at nice odds here. She’s drawn a better barrier today and really hit her straps late to motor home. Stokes and Tourneur always fire in the big races. I Love It was first up after a spell and just faded late in a hot Robert Sangster stakes behind Precious Gem. She loves it over 1200 and has a very good second up record. Looks the one to beat from the good gate. Tuscan Sling loomed to win in the same race but just couldn’t finish it off. Gets the 1kg swing for 0.2L margin on the top-weight and on mathematics should probably be winning. Kayjay’s Joy ran a cracker first up as well. Was backed off the map on that occasion. What did she beat though? My Poppette chose Adelaide over Melbourne today and was an eye catcher first up. The form has been franked but this is significantly harder and she’s drawn off the track. Private Secretary is another with claims.

Verdict: Open race but think Runway Star can take it out. Runway Star W@8.50.

Race 7 Goodwood Stakes 1200m

This ones as open as they come. Stack of chances. The Quarterback had it all to do against the track bias last time and still ran very well. Beat home the favourite over this distance a few starts ago and not entirely sure why he’s at $21. Overs. Miss Promiscuity looked to be travelling well in the Sangster before the fall. In career best form and looks a very big threat with just 54 on her back from the good gate. Flamberge won this race last year. If you put a line through his soft failure in the TJ Smith he would be a lot shorter odds here. Carries a stack of weight and has drawn wide but you’d be a fool to dismiss him. Black Heart Bart started favourite last year in this race and motored home but didn’t figure in the finish. Despite his stats i think he’s better over 1400. He can definitely win but looks a bit short in this field. Under the Lourve is forever running on and can run some slick late sectionals. Looks a danger here but he’s a non winner at this level. Admiral and Supido next best. Can Super One measures up? I don’t think so.

Verdict: Another open race but i’ll be having bets on The Quarterback@$21 and Miss Promiscuity@$34.

Rosehill Gardens // 21st May

R1 Les Carlyon Ac Plate 1200m

Some very good, young horses face off here. Chipanda was not too far off in her second start, running third in a group 3 race. Low in the weights here but drawn wide. If she can settle fast she’ll have every chance. Legerity has been running well so far, and finally found his first win last start. High in the weights but drawn a nice barrier. Probably the one to beat. Redouble trialled well and turned that into a nice winning performance on debut. One to watch is Murrmaid. Yet to race, but she won her latest trial by 4.5 lengths. Will be tough but could surprise a few.

One To Watch: Murrmaid

Race prediction: 1-8-2-10

R2 Leilani And Luskin Star (bm89) 2000m

Hipparchus* is definitely the horse to beat here. Ran beautifully at Hawkesbury last start to score a nice win. Up slightly in weight but not racing against too much talent. Dance of Heroes hasn’t fired this prep. Has ran well in higher grades than this before, but might need some luck with apprentice jockey on board. Secateur hasn’t really taken off since arriving in Australia. Might find this too tough.

One To Watch: Hipparchus

Race Prediction: 6-4-7-1

R3 Merman And Sydeston (bm78) 1100m

Spieth backed up an admiral run in the Arrowfield with an impressive victory at Kembla Grange, winning by 5 lengths. Has plenty of potential and should be too strong here from barrier 1. Pioneering has been consistently good, running a close second here last start. Has the ability to be in this and loves this distance, but the wide draw won’t help. Noble Joey strung together some nice wins lately. Didn’t show much towards the back end of 2015, but might have turned a corner? Bitburg has been up and down of late, and rises 2kgs here. Might be too tough but hasn’t lost first up before! King’s Troop might surprise a few. Hasn’t been running well but his best is good enough, running half a length behind Japonisme last year.

One To Watch: King’s Troop

Race Prediction: 4-3-6-5

R4 Tab Highway Hcp (c3) 1500m

Tough race this, with lot’s of winning chances. Ziganui is yet to run a bad race and is down in weight. One of the better chances from a good gate. King’s Officer loses a kilo on last starts run and with Clipperton on board is every chance. Wide draw won’t help.  Marvel is one that can shock many. Hasn’t been terrible of late, and actually loses 5kg on last start. Keep an eye on him. Le Cavalier is not without a chance here and loses a lot of weight on last start too. Erika jumps top weight after stringing together a few wins of late. Is an honest and consistent horse who will give its best.

One To Watch: Marvel

Race Predicition: 3-2-13-1

R5 Pat Hyland (bm75) 1400m

Tsaritsa* scored an impressive victory last start by 1.5 lengths, and drops 3.5kg on that run here. Has a lot of improvement in her and the nice barrier will help here. Royal Tudor hardly ever runs a bad race. Does increase slightly in weight, but will be fighting til the end. Dreamforce ran nicely last start after being backed in to a $2 favourite. Drops 3kg here but will need to be good to go from a maiden to a bm75! Tremezzina is a quality horse who can definitely give this a good shake. Although drawn wide, Snitzel Knight has some good potential. Loses 1.5kg here and will be in this if it can settle in a good position early.

One To Watch: Dreamforce

Race Prediction: 5-3-8-10

R6 Noel Mcgrowdie (bm78) 1100m

Frill Seeking was consistently good last prep, and after a bit of a spell returns to competitive racing. Runs well first up and loves the distance. We’ve got her on top. Awasita has had many starts now and yet to really find some consistently good form. Her best is good enough but will need to find it here. Palazzo Pubblico has been running very well this year. Won well last start but up 5.5kg here! Drawn very wide as well which makes me think this will be too tough. Skip Course was impressive in the Gold Rush but rises 5kg here which will make it harder. Good horse so not hopeless. I Can Rock has run well this prep. Won in similar grade to this before and down in weight, has every chance.

One To Watch: Frill Seeking

Race Prediction: 2-4-5-9

Quaddie Numbers: 2 4 5 9

R7 Neville Begg (bm93) 1400m

Spy Decoder* is a serious horse. Was poor in the big race two starts back, but forgive that run. Ran 0.3 lengths behind Religify 4 starts back with the same weight as him, whereas Rockolicious was 0.2 lengths behind him last start with a 5.5kg advantage! Think based on that Spy Decoder is the best chance. However, Rockolicious is a good horse who must be respected after last start. Gamblestown is not without it’s claims, winning in similar grades to this at the track. Marenostro also a chance here, running well this prep prior to last start.

One To Watch: Spy Decoder

Race Prediction: 9-10-7-8

Quaddie Numbers: 7 8 9 10

R8 Cecil Godby (bm78) 1400m

Trois Choix scored an impressive victory first up last start. Was backed well and didn’t disappoint. This is it’s 10th start and may have finally found her footing. Will look to sit mid field and come home hard. Muy Bien won well two starts ago but was disappointing last outing. Has shown she has quality and will look to finish off well here. Kellyville Flyer hasn’t had any luck in her past two, drawing barriers 16 and 18. Not helped here with barrier 15, but has the quality if it can get out and settle early. Think it is overs at current price of $15 and $4.40. Harlem Lady won last start first up, but yet to really prove herself. On previous form don’t think it would win but she’d love to prove us wrong. Pindan Pearl isn’t without a chance. Put two decent runs together now and will look to take the next step here. Keep handy.

One To Watch: Kellyville Flyer

Race Prediction: 10-6-4-11

Quaddie Numbers: 4 6 10 11 12

R9 Joe Brown Mbe (bm82) 1200m

Sebring Sun hasn’t performed as well as owners would’ve liked in last few, but they have been some huge races. Has shown what he’s capable of in previous runs, and first up I reckon they might have got him back in tip top shape. Will be hard to beat. She’s Miss Divine scored a nice victory two starts ago. Don’t think it has the same quality as Sebring Sun but would love to see her prove me wrong. Good horse, keep handy. Caped Crusader has been running fairly well in his last few starts. Has the potential to turn it on here, albeit with the top weight.

One To Watch: Caped Crusader

Race Predicition: 3-4-1-9

Quaddie Numbers: 3 4


Best Bets Of The Day:

R2 – #6 Hipparchus W @ $2.40

R5 – #5 Tsaritsa W @ $3.00

R7 – #9 Spy Decoder W @ $5.00

Flemington // 21st May

It’s National Hall of Fame Raceday at Flemington this Saturday. Minor showers between now and the weekend but we should be running somewhere in the Good range. Big fields should make for some open races and big priced winners.

The headline races for Saturday at Flemington are the $200,000 Andrew Ramsden Stakes (Race 7) and the $120,000 Straight Six (Race 8). All 9 races will be covered below providing the race prediction, one for exotics, best bets and quadrella selections.

Race 1 2YO Plate 1400m

Not an easy one to kick off proceedings here. Putting Sebring Dream on top. One start, but she finished strongly down the straight here in a reasonably good quality race for the 2 year olds. Drawn and bred well. Cliff Hanger ran a nice race on debut on the heavy track at the bool. Should be hard to hold out up in trip on a firm surface. Jaws of Steel won nicely in the Mornington Sires two back before an poor show behind the quality Prized Icon. Expect better. Montoya’s Secret can improve with race fitness. Might’ve wanted further on debut. Beach Life looks more than short enough here at $3.80 coming out of a weak Ballarat maiden.

One for exotics: Cliff Hanger ($9.50)

Race prediction: 12-4-1-13

Verdict: Will be leaving the two year old race alone. No bets.

Race 2 3YO Fillies Benchmark 78 1200m

Euston Road has come back in top form this preparation and beat a good one two weeks ago down the straight. Only goes up 1 kilo on that effort and looks nice value here at $9. Reemah seemed to peak on her run first up but should be fitter here second up. Wasn’t far away in some top quality races last prep. Payroll can run a nice race first up. She was scratched last week and should be storming home over 1200. The failure at Flemington is somewhat of a concern. The lightly raced Glenn Road goes in next after his booming finish at Ballarat off the freshen up. Mihalic has been trialling well and has won at the track as well as first up.

One for exotics: Glenn Road ($13)

Race prediction: 6-1-2-10

Verdict: Tempted by Euston Road at $9 but this race also looks a bit open to bet. No bets.

Race 3 Open Handicap 2000m

Have to go with Turnitaround here after his dominant win in Warrnambool cup week. The form out of his race prior has been good and he looks very hard to beat with 52 on his back here. Extra Zero is coming back from the jumps but his record is far too good to ignore. He rarely wins but always runs an honest race. Place looks best. Killarney Kid is doing a great job building the picket fence. The Weir stable is on fire but this is tougher. It’s hard to line up his form. The race pattern was against Second Bullet first up. His Flemington record speaks for itself; he can run a nice race here. Moriarty is another class runner who has group form around 2000. Wouldn’t surprise. Doumaran is the unknown.

One for exotics: Extra Zero ($15)

Race prediction: 7-1-8-6

Verdict: Turnitaround looks a nice bet in a pretty open race. Turnitaround W@4.60.

Race 4 Benchmark 78 1600m

Raffle. Grand Dreamer has a great record over the mile. He was very well backed and couldn’t reel them in last time. He’ll be giving them a start but looks hard to hold out here with no weight. If you’re willing to forgive Mr Pago after his sub par effort at Caulfield last start then he looks a nice chance at $17 here. Beat home two subsequent winners in Show a Star and Turnitaround prior and if he can replicate that effort he can win here. Aurum Spirit has been hitting the line hard and the big open track should suit despite his overall poor record at Flemington. Santa Rocks brings the NSW form but I’m certainly not getting carried away at $3. Mihany may be able to bounce back but his effort last start suggests he may be ready for a spell. War Story is a big watch.

One for exotics: Mr Pago ($17)

Race prediction: 13-11-5-14

Verdict: Grand Dreamer on top with Mr Pago the value. No bets.

Race 5 3YO Handicap 1600m

If Shockaholic can jump with them he looks a top chance to go back to back. Was very impressive last time out beating a few of these over 1400. I can’t see anything from that race turning the tables. Loyalty Man was backed off the map last start before performing below expectations. He was terrific the start prior over this distance and looks well suited after the claim. Atlantic City looks ready to peak here third up. No match for the winner last time after being wide throughout but he ran well. Untested at the mile. Sir Sagamore was entitled to do more last time and I can’t have him above some of the others here. His effort prior was good. Un de Sceaux may not have been in the A-Ground last time. Good win prior. Whoop Whoop was impressive first up after 10 months walking in at Cranbourne but this is significantly tougher.

One for exotics: Sir Sagamore ($11)

Race prediction: 2-1-7-10

Verdict: Slight concern with young apprentice but Shockaholic looks a good thing. Shockaholic W@5.50.

Race 6 Benchmark 84 1800m

Think Time to Test looks good value here at $12. There was money for him first up after a year long spell in an on pace dominated race and he crossed the line with subsequent winner Tonopah. His one effort over this track and distance he wasn’t disgraced melbourne cup week. Sir Prospector ran well on his Australian debut but doesn’t look particularly suited with the drop in distance. Should appreciate the drop in weight but he’s drawn wide and will be a long way back. Looks risky at $4.40. Every Faith ran a pass mark last week and is on the quick backup here. Written is impossible to follow for a punter. If the bias allows she can run a big race. Tenacitus is always around the mark but finds it hard to win. Fair And Equitable can run a nice race at big odds. Like the Into the Mist form.

One for exotics: Time To Test ($12)

Race prediction: 5-10-4-3

Quaddie selections: 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12

Verdict: Wide start for quaddie punters. Hoping Time To Test can run well second up. Time To Test E.W@12:4.00.

Race 7 Andrew Ramsden Stakes 3200m

I was very impressed with Barwon’s effort two weeks ago here. Doesn’t look particularly well suited with the weight rise but the senior rider takes over today and he looks like a young stayer with plenty of upside. Lucky Lucky Lucky won quite well beating a few of these over 2800. He’s up 1.5kg today and his one effort at 3200 was in the Adelaide Cup where he wasn’t disgraced. De Little Engine was well backed and just kept grinding away to hit the line okay last time. He’s a true stayer so the distance won’t trouble him. Master Zephyr is untested at this distance range and looks short enough. Glorious Sinndar might relish the jump in trip. Swacadelic has to lug 60.5 and it would take a mighty effort.

One for exotics: Barwon ($21)

Race prediction: 16-4-3-6

Quaddie selections: 3, 4, 6, 10, 16

Verdict: Plenty of unknowns here. Happy to have an each way bet on Barwon at big odds. Barwon E.W@21:7.00

Race 8 Straight Six Handicap 1200m

Another raffle. My Poppette was an eye catcher first up behind Olivier. That form has been franked and she looks perfectly suited out to 1200 here. Durendal is building a formidable record at this distance range. He’s 2/2 down the straight but his first up record is questionable. Le Bonsir beat all bar Lumosty in this race last year and has a great second up record. Fancy Lumosty would be beating this lot. Demonstrate is in career best form this preparation and isn’t without claims. I won’t be taking the short odds in this wide open affair. Thermal Current was poor last start but is certainly good enough to bounce back. Whistle Baby likes it here but might want it a bit further. Heart Testa always runs well first up. First time down the straight. Mirage and Odyssey Moon next best.

One for exotics: My Poppette ($11)

Race prediction: 16-2-5-19

Quaddie selections: 2, 3, 5, 16, 19

Verdict: My Poppette looks overs at $11 as does Durendal at $12. No bets.

Race 9 Open Handicap 1400m

I’m willing to give Sistine Demon one more chance here. Led at a frantic pace with Charmed Harmony last start before fading late to be beaten by just over a length. Those who passed him both ran very well last week. Has a great record at 1400 and likes it at Flemington. Tycoon Tara will appreciate the drop in grade. Wasn’t too far off them in the Robert Sangster. In reasonably light and has drawn well. Zebrinz will be flying home late but think he might perform better over a bit further. The New Boy can run a race here with no weight. Drawn well to get a nice sit on the speed. Mr Backchat ran well last week. The majority of the field have a case here.

One for exotics: Tycoon Tara ($15)

Race prediction: 4-5-7-15

Quaddie selections: 4, 5, 7

Verdict: Another very open race, go as wide as you can in the quaddie if you can afford it. No bets.

Caulfield // 14th May

Back at our favourite track this week in Caulfield for the Phil Sly Tribute Race Day. The current racetrack assessment is a Soft 5 on Wednesday. The weather is so-so up until the weekend so we may indeed be racing on a soft track. The sunny weather on Saturday could see an upgrade but as for now we’ll be writing our form guide with a bit of give in the track.

The headline races for Saturday are the Brett and Mark Wilson Sprint (Race 8) and the Tile Importer City Timber Handicap (Race 9). Roughies galore last weekend and one of our best bets going down by a nose at $7 but unfortunately no winners. Looking to bounce back and have a big day this Saturday!

Race 1 Benchmark 90 2000m

I was pretty impressed with Doctor Care’s run at Caulfield last time out. Drew wide, he did a bit of work early but got himself into a nice position 1 out 1 back. Looked to be gone in the straight but fought back for a narrow win over the classy Real Love. Looks well weighted to do it again here. Theres no doubting Raw Impulse has a stack of ability. He was a month between runs last time and won easy over what seems to be a very average field. Plenty of upside and clearly the one to beat but up in grade here and can’t see any value at the $1.30 quote. Bajour won’t be far away. He’s usually a reasonably consistent horse and finished quite well over the mile first up. Queries over his second up form but last preparation he was stiff to miss the placings over this distance. Four Carat getting out to a more suitable trip may be able to improve. Generally races a bit flat first up and has won here before. Spur On Gold surprised many last week turning around his average form for a dominant win over this distance. Not so sure he’s as well suited to Caulfield and this is a big step up in class. Might want further now.

One for exotics: Doctor Care ($11)

Race prediction: 1-5-8-6

Verdict: Each-Way on Doctor Care. Favourite hard to beat. 0.5U E.W Doctor Care (11:2.40)

Race 2 2YO Phil Sly Memorial Plate 1100m 80k

Blue Tycoon has had two starts for one solid win first up after being well backed and one second behind the highly promising Samara Dancer. The well bred Bringaroo has strong claims here first up. Started favourite on each of his 3 starts. When it all clicks he’s a seriously talented galloper. Zelamore will be up on the pace and should run a strong 1100m. The form out of his first-up effort at Bendigo has been good. Gimlet boasts a win in a high quality Vobis race on the Heavy track. Looks a good chance here. Ridgway has trialled very well and must be respected.

One for exotics: Zelamore ($21)

Race prediction: 1-2-4-7

Verdict: Learnt my lesson last week. Too many unknowns. No bets.

Race 3 4YO+ Mares Arvanitis Philanthropy Plate 1200m 80k

Danestroem is a good fresh performer and looked nice in a recent jump-out. Has a good record at the track and over 1200. Look for her to cross to lead from the wide barrier and give a kick at the top of the straight. Sea Spray is a punters nightmare but looks to have come back in good fashion this preparation. Fitter and further are big ticks and looks over the odds at $16. Elle Excite has a good fresh record and ticks plenty of boxes here. Drawn well and is another who looks over the odds at $19. Japhils runs around with 51 on her back here and was only run down late last time. Fitter now. A Lotta Love will appreciate the drop in weight here. Dead-heated with Mefnooda who was a subsequent winner here. 6 weeks between runs? Face Forward keeps on being nominated and scratched. May have issues but is very talented on her day. Nadeem Lass keeps on threatening but hasn’t won in a very long time. Would love to see her return to the winners list. Khutulun is another chance who generally runs well fresh. Still may have missed the winner!

One for exotics: Sea Spray ($16)

Race prediction: 1-10-8-5

Verdict: Raffle. Elle Excite and Sea Spray look the value at big odds. No Bets.

Race 4 3YO Fillies Benchmark 78 1400m

Pretty keen on Lyuba here. Had no easy run last start and stuck on very well to get beaten by Abbey Marie by just over a length. Drawn to get all the favours and gets some nice weight relief after the claim. All in the Reflexs looks a good roughie hope at $21. Boasts a 1 length second behind Jacqui’s Joy and was a strong winner first up. Only missed the top 2 once in 5 runs. Francais is another live hope here coming from the same race as Lyuba. Don’t think she can turn the tables with the wide gate but she can’t be discounted for the multiples. Air Apparent wasn’t far off subsequent winner Shockaholic last start. Track form the big query but did cross the line with Silent Sedition last time she ran here at Caulfield. Gingie and Weather the Storm next best.

One for exotics: All in the Reflexs ($21) Gingie ($18)

Race prediction: 1-3-5-7-8

Verdict: Lyuba for the win. 1U W Lyuba (4.00)

Race 5 Benchmark 78 1400m

The former Waterhouse trained Show a Star ran very well first up. He’s a stayer so I’m not sure why they’re staying at 1400 but he has a good second up record and is drawn to lead again and should be hard to get past. Volcanic Ash has a very good record here and loves it over this distance range. Watch the betting on him first up as he’s the class of this field. Bascule loves the rain affected track this is his pet distance. Drawn perfectly and should be somewhere around the mark. Niminypiminy finished hard last start and looks ready for the jump in trip. $18 appeals each way. Shintaro bolted in off the freshen up at Terang. Isn’t hopeless at $34. Better Land has been hitting the line hard and might be ready to win now. Any Dream Will Do has performed quite well in his two starts off the lengthy break. This is a class jump and he is a rising 8 year old but looks an okay roughie chance at $21.

One for exotics: Niminypiminy ($18)

Race prediction: 7-1-4-10-11

Verdict: Chances galore. Niminypiminy and Shintaro the best of the roughies at $18 and $34 respectively. No bets.

Race 6 3YO Handicap 2000m

Unbreakable looks short on paper but he won with a leg in the air last start. The 2000 is a slight query but I can’t see anything from behind him winning here. Drawn well in the big field, should be able to find some cover and be very hard to hold out. Lightning Bell gets the senior rider on today and was the best of the closers behind Unbreakable for mine. Looks suited to 2000. Whoop Whoop was first up after a 300 day spell and bolted in on the soft track at Cranbourne. I was very impressed with his run but this is a lot tougher. Red Alto is forever running on and doesn’t know how to win. She’s Got Speed can improve but not sure about the distance here.

One for exotics: Lightning Bell ($10)

Race prediction: 1-14-12-3-6

Quaddie selections: 1, 14

Verdict: Unbreakable with the superior formlines in a very average field. 1U W Unbreakable (3.20) Odds Boosted on Ladbrokes

Race 7 3YO Handicap 1200m

Another big field here for the three year olds in what looks to be a very open race. Surprised Nat’s The Boss has come up $15. He’s drawn very wide but looked a certainty beaten last start. Would like him over a bit further but with any luck in running he’s a huge chance here with 51 on his back. Ability was huge when wide last time. Drawn favourably today and looks the one to beat. Nudierudie was up on the pace and stuck on very well to win first up. Drawn wider today but if she goes to the front she might prove hard to get past. Payroll has a second behind Miss Gunpowder and that looks more than good enough for this. Bolted in first up on debut before a straight failure. Forgive. Tan Tat Charger wasn’t far away last time. Isn’t without claims here after the good draw. Bassett has drawn better today and although he was no match for the winner last start his best is clearly good enough for this field. Divine Mr Artie was a winner for us last start at $8 but he did have all the favours and others are more appealing. Ragazzo Del Corsa isn’t hopeless at big odds.

One for exotics: Nats The Boss ($15)

Race prediction: 10-4-3-5-8

Quaddie selections: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10

Verdict: Despite the wide barrier i’ll be having a bet each way on Nat’s The Boss. 0.5U E.W Nats The Boss (15:4.80)

Race 8 Benchmark 90 1100m

These big fields should make for a juicy quaddie. Although it’s $5 the field I have come up with the favourite on top here in Duke of Brunswick. The 1100 may be short of his best but he is a seriously talented gelding when it all clicks. Drawn well here today and has a great first up record. Look for him to be finishing over the top of them from hopefully a midfield position with cover. Stack of chances here and i’ll cover the better ones in numerical order. By the Grace has drawn well and loves a soft track, might want it a bit further. Smackdown flies fresh and loves the soft track; track form the query but drawn well. Lonrockstar always seems to be running on late; he wasn’t disgraced last time in an on pace dominated race when crossing the line with Sheidel. Written Up has drawn off the track; he loves a soft track and has a great fresh record. Rich Jack wasn’t disgraced with a big weight first up behind Supido; ticks plenty of boxes here. Belesron is super consistent and has drawn well. Olivier was huge here fresh and gets in with no weight. Villopoto has a great fresh record and his Fast ’n’ Rocking and The Quarterback form reads well; doesn’t like it wet. Forgiving Pilly’s Wish’s first up effort when she ran into trouble, look for a big effort second up. Rock ’n’ Gold broke through for a well deserved win last start; can go on with it here.

One for exotics: Pilly’s Wish ($15)

Race prediction: 7-8-11-14-9

Quaddie selections: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 17

Verdict: Sitting back and watching this one. No bets.

Race 9 Open Handicap 1600m

Settling on Refulgent here. He was hard ridden last start a long way from home and responded very well to storm home and just miss. Is well suited at the mile and looks ready to peak third up. Nevis is 5 from 6 at the mile and although he let me down last start by going way too hard up front I’m not sacking him just yet. Drawn better today, the form from his last race has been good. I rated Lord Durante a top chance last start at huge odds and he was very stiff not to get the chocolates behind a very good one in Charmed Harmony. No knock but he’s very hard to catch on the punt. Drawn ideally and further is a big plus. Excites Zelady was run down late in a high quality race in Adelaide last week. On the quick backup but he is racing in career best form. Concede chances to Longeron and Moonovermanhattan, Every Faith

One for exotics: Lord Durante ($10)

Race prediction: 11-1-8-4-7

Quaddie selections: 1, 11, 8

Verdict: Going skinny in the quaddie for value but still will be having a bet on Refulgent. 0.5U E.W Refulgent (7:2.80)

Sandown // 10th May

Best Bets:

R2 – #7 Vantaggio W @$3.50

Vantaggio blitzed the field in his first run at Cranbourne by 4.25 lengths. Actually loses a kilo on that run too. Other threat is Lunar Spin, however when he ran a similar race at Cranbourne to score his maiden win, he won by 2.25 lengths, and gains weight from that here. Drawn on the inside of Lunar Spin, you’d think Vantaggio will beat him and the rest of the field here.

R6 – #8 Aurum Spirit EW @$13/$4

Aurum Spirit absolutely flew home last start to score an impressive victory at huge odds! 5kg lighter here, and Mertens retains the ride, look for it to bolt home late! Getting on in age but turned back the clock last time and can do it again.

R8 – #1 Payroll W @ $5.00

A filly with a lot of class. Ran in some huge races in her short career, including finishing in front of Jameka towards the back end of last year. Resuming after a decent spell but has the quality. Drawn wide, so look for her to settle towards the back end and come flying home late.

Quaddie Numbers:

R5: 5 9 14

R6: 4 5 8 11 12 13

R7: 1 3 7 11

R8: 1