With Damien OIiver on board and Lee Freedman the trainer, it’ll be tough to beat
After the racing industry copped a harsh blow from Four Corners on Monday night, punters can look forward to Saturday for another terrific day of action.
We are now into the midst of July and yet we are still seeing spring quality horses go around. The fact there are blacktype races at all three metropolitan venues on the eastern seaboard is great for racing.
There’s been plenty said by many pundits about that Four Corners episode, but I would like to add that even though I agree with many that it was one-sided and poorly researched, the racing industry must take ownership of its problems.
It’s easy to turn a blind eye, but there are still too many bad eggs in racing. The sooner they are gone, the better.
Below are my thoughts on five key races this Saturday and how I expect them to pan out.
Rail out six metres the entire course. Rated Good 4 at the time of writing. No rain forecast Friday and Saturday.
Race 7 – 3.10pm Listed Winter Stakes (1400m): There will be a capacity field of 13 go around in this race and finding the winner looks to be difficult. I’d suggest backing a couple in this event.
The likely leader is Dreamforce, who will jump from the outside gate. Avdulla will be keen out of the barriers and get him across. He’s third-up today and should be at peak fitness for this and is proven at a mile, so should be fighting out the finish.
The other horse I like is one that was selected two weeks ago, but was scratched. Invinzabeel has been super in his two runs back from a spell and gets the services of Blake Shinn on Saturday.
He’s also drawn a tricky gate, but with Dreamforce likely to cross early, Invinzabeel should be able to get carted up into a nice position.
I’m hoping one of these two should win because it looks a tricky race if you start to account for backmarkers.
Suggested bet: Half stake on Dreamforce and Invinzabeel to win.
Race 8 – 3.50pm Benchmark 92 Handicap (1200m): When a horse is in form and keeps getting the job done, stick with it. Albumin has won his past two starts since the blinkers went on and is loving Rosehill.
He jumps from 1100m to 1200m on Saturday, but based on how he finished his last run with a blistering final sectional suggests the extra half-furlong won’t be an issue. He’s still a decent price with CrownBet at around the $4 mark and that looks good enough to me.
A danger could be Easy Eddie, who looked good last time out and tends to do his best racing at Rosehill. It’s a good race, but I’m keen on Albumin.
Suggested bet: Albumin to win.
Rail out 11 metres the entire course. Rated Good 4 at the time of writing. No rain forecast Friday and Saturday.
Race 7 – 3.30pm Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m): A great race this and very hard to find a winner in a small field.
There are some in-form horses going around, like Inn Keeper, who is gunning for five in a row, while Showpero will be looking to make it a hat-trick. But the horse I like is the one who is least in form.
Voodoo Lad is proven to be competitive in Group 1 company and drops in class here. But because of the weight-for-age conditions, he is well suited at the weights.
He’s a big fan of Caulfield, with three wins and a second from four starts, and gets back into good ground, which is probably his best surface.
Was disappointing in the Stradbroke, but had excuses on the heavy ground, while he was a solid performer in The Goodwood at Morphettville in May. If he brings his best he probably wins.
There’s also been some early market support at CrownBet for Jukebox, who is first up in about 250 days. The colt is lightly raced, but has potential and if the money says he’s ready to go, he could be a big threat.
Suggested bet: Voodoo Lad to win.
Race 8 – 4.10pm 3YO Handicap (1400m): A very tough race on paper with 15 runners and about 13 genuine chances. I’m looking for a horse that is drawn well and at reasonable odds. I just think I’d rather cast the net a bit wider in search of value.
The horse I came up with was Streets Of Avalon at around the $13 mark. He’s only won once in 17 races, which is never a good sign, but he has placed nine times. This prep he resumed on a heavy track at Ballarat, which I think was a mistake. He led and knocked up badly.
Then he raced twice at Moonee Valley, which is a shifty track in the winter. But last time out on a good track at Caulfield he really impressed at $26, finishing fourth behind Al Passem, who is $6.50 on Saturday.
Streets Of Avalon also gets the services of a senior jockey in Dwayne Dunn, having been ridden by apprentices the last three starts. With a good barrier and some tactic speed up his sleeve, I don’t see why he can’t be in the finish.
Suggested bet: Streets Of Avalon each-way.
Sunshine Coast (QLD)
Rail out five metres the entire course. Rated Heavy 8 at the time of writing. No rain forecast Friday and Saturday.
Race 6 – 2.42pm Group 3 The Queen’s Cup (3200m): Megablast surely just wins. He’s favourite and rightly so.
He was too good here in the Caloundra Cup and even though its big step from 2400m to 3200m, he proved in the Auckland Cup that he doesn’t mind the two miles, finishing a close fourth there.
The track is likely to dry out and perhaps get into the slow range, but based on the amount of racing the Caloundra track has had in the past two months, I expect there to be plenty of give.
Megablast should be leading and winning. The danger is perhaps the Snowden-trained Plot Twist, who won over 3200m at Randwick last month and likes the sting out of the ground.
But I think if Megablast is fit and healthy he wins.
Suggested bet: Megablast to win.
Total spend in 2018: $160*
Total return in 2018: $178*
* Based on $20 spend per selection and CrownBet’s top tote dividend.