This week’s Wednesday meeting in Victoria is at Bendigo, which is of course known as the nursery of champions.
We’ve got a seven-race card in store for us, with the highest rated race coming in the sixth, which is a Benchmark 78 handicap.
The bureau predicts an okay day in Bendigo, with a top of twenty degrees predicted, which is a welcome relief for many. It looks a pretty good day for punting, so let’s get into it.
The first on the program is a maiden for the four year olds and up, over 1300 metres at set weights.
There are definitely no world beaters in the field, but there’s still a winner to be found and Olympic Lad looks like a good chance.
His recent form has been impressive for a race like this, placing in his last five starts in this preparation. His effort against Pieropan and Ronan’s Rock two starts back at Pakenham was impressive, considering the latter went on to win a strong maiden at Sandown a fortnight ago.
This is a very weak maiden, and from Barrier 1 he should sit on the speed and be hard to beat.
Secret Way shapes as the main danger. He sat on the pace two starts back at this track and finished second after getting ran down late, before going to his home track at Benalla, where he was beaten by Rock Pearl, with the margin just over a length.
He maps well to get a lovelyrun behind the two leaders, and with Linda Meech on board, the punters know he’ll have every chance. Gas Man at big odds is the best roughie. His first start was disappointing, finishing in the tail at Benalla, but his trials leading onto this have been promising, winning his last one at Wodonga. He should get a nice run from the inside gate and he’s the blowout chance.
Recommended bet: Would be staying out of this one.
We’ve got another maiden here in the second, this time for the three year olds over 1500 metres.
This is a pretty strong field, and there’ll be a few winners coming out of this race.
One of them will be Queen Guinevere. She’s been progressing really nicely this preparation. She came back over 1300 metres at this track where she stormed home to narrowly miss against Fortune Rose, and then did the same thing against Ambleve last start.
She gets the benefit of staying at her home track again here, and the rest of the field is giving her two kilograms in the run. The booking of Currie is a positive one, and she maps perfectly to get a lovely cart into the race and run over the top of them. Hard to beat.
Dee Jay Artie shapes as one of the big dangers. He came home really well at Ararat after being held up for a large part of the straight, to finish third, and then he led at Yarra Valley which just didn’t suit him at all.
He maps a lot better today in the run and as long as Harry Coffey can get him some cover, he’ll be hard to hold out. Taxi is the best of the rest.
He battled on well at Sandown three starts ago behind the impressive Victory Kingdom who gapped the rest of the field, before struggling at Warrnambool when going out in the red. He got too far back at Yarra Valley and came home nicely over this trip, and he maps perfectly from barrier two to sit on the back of the leader. Definitely not out of it.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on No.11 Queen Guinevere.
The last of the maidens comes here in the third on the program, for the four year olds and up over 1000 metres at set weights.
Here De Fox looks hard to beat in this. She was narrowly beaten at Warrnambool two starts back after sitting on the speed, and more impressively, she beat Laoban Tai Tai home in that race, who’s went on to win two races since.
She disappointed last start at Kyneton, finishing four lengths behind Blonde Choice, before being given a two-month let up. She resumes here and draws all the favours to either lead or sit on the speed from the inside gate, and she only has to recapture that Warrnambool run to be far superior here. Very hard to beat.
If there is a danger, it’s probably Spun Dice. Her recent form bodes well for a maiden like this. She was unlucky at Cranbourne where she just never got a fair run at them, before disappointing at Kyneton against Lazy Bear.
She maps to get the run of the race from barrier four, and if for some reason the favourite isn’t going well, she’ll be the one taking full advantage.
Iambifier is the best of the rest. He was bulding steadily in his preparation, running half a length behind Greetings Ned, before putting in a shocker at Colac on a soft track. She gets back to a good track here and maps well in the run from barrier three. Not the worst.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No.3, Here De Fox.
A Benchmark 64 handicap here, over 1100 meres.
I’m pretty keen on two horses in this race, and will be backing both accordingly. Mister Jay looks hard to beat here. His form from last preparation was good for a race like this. He won at Kilmore in a Benchmark 58 race over 1100 metres over Time Ford and Wide Open Road, the former going on to win a Benchmark 64 race at Pakenham since.
He then went to Cranbourne and ran just under four lengths off Miss Toorak Flyer and Redcore. Redcore has since went on to win a Benchmark 70 race at Sandown, beating the talented Villa Sarchi, and Miss Toorak Flyer was narrowly pipped in a benchmark 84 race at Flemington on Saturday.
Obviously the form lines are strong, he maps well from barrier three, and he has only ever missed the placings once first up from three tries. He’ll be hard to hold out.
Realign is the big danger at odds. She done well to break her maiden at Cranbourne in front of Quenton, before leading at Sandown which she just couldn’t handle, and therefore finished six lengths off them.
She ran to her usual pattern at Sandown last start and closed off very strongly to finish under a length off Lake District Girl and Ray’s Dream.
From Barrier 2, she draws to do no work, and with even luck she’ll be storming home late. Boss Coni is the best of the rest. He resumed well to finish second at Stawell over this distance, and his form last preparation behind Sundarbans and Real Success bodes well for this race. The sixty kilograms is the query.
Recommended bet: Each way bets on both No.2 Mister Jay and No.10 Realign.
The fifth on the card is a Benchmark 70 handicap over 2200 meters for the stayers. I don’t think there is much value in the fancied runners, so I’m looking outside of them and have landed on Arcturos at good each way value.
He won by five lengths at Bendigo over a mile last preparation, but failed in a Benchmark 70 race in Adelaide. He resumed at Warrnambool and ran a length and a half behind the talented WeTakeManhattan over 1700 metres.
He didn’t have the zip to get past him in that race, but getting out to 2200 metres will suit him, and he maps perfectly from Barrier 1. The fancied runners like Latin Beat will have to do some work early, and he should be on their backs around the turn and ready to strike. Best value.
Fanciful Toff is the big danger. He’s been progressing nicely this preparation, finishing second at Pakenham over a mile, and then going down narrowly at Sandown behind Latin Beat over 1800 meters.
He didn’t have much clear room in the straight last start, and he was going better to the line than Latin Beat was. He’ll have to cross over from Barrier 10, and if Johnny Allen can get him into a nice spot, he’ll be hard to beat.
Wild Sea is one of the more intriguing runners in the race. She came home nicely at Moonee Valley over 2000 metres, before losing by two lengths after looking the winner in the straight at Sandown over 2400 metres. I’m not sure whether she was outclassed or she didn’t get the distance, but she gets in well at the weights here, and I’m prepared to give her one more chance.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on No.5 Arcturos.
The highest rated race on the card comes here in the sixth, a Benchmark 78 handicap over the mile.
Kaching shapes as one of the better bets on the program. His recent form for this type of a race has been very impressive. He was unlucky three starts back against Heptagon when he never got any room in the straight, which was in a Benchmark 84 handicap at Flemington, and then backed up with a second against the very talented Antah.
He then ran a length off Hunamosa at the Valley last start, who would be pretty short in this field. He draws perfectly from Barrier 4 to get a lovely run in midfield, and is rock hard fit compared to a lot of these horses who are resuming. He’ll be hard to beat.
If Maclairey gets a start, he’s the big danger. He has done well to break his maiden at Pakenham in front of the Bald Eagle, and then had really good closing sectionals to win at Sandown in a Benchmark 64 handicap.
He finished six lengths off the likes of Antah and Mr Money Bags at Flemington last start, in a much better race than this. He gets in well at the weights, will appreciate a strong tempo up front, and will be the one winding up with a big run late.
Dialectic is the best roughie. We haven’t seen him run in Australia yet, but the Lloyd Williams owned import had a pretty good record in France, over distances only marginally longer than this. Brett Prebble comes to Victoria for one ride which is confidence-boosting, and he could be the blowout simply because he is the unknown in the race. Should have the ability.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No.3 Kaching, and playing exotics around No.3, No.9, No.11, No.12 and No.17.
The last on the program is a Benchmark 64 handicap over 1300 metres.
It looks like a put in and take out job for the punters here in the last, with the short priced favourite in Jumbo Ozaki looking very hard to beat. The Phillip Stokes trained gelding was unseen before stepping out for his debut run at Pakenham, where he went on to win by seven lengths in one of the more impressive debuts you’ll ever see.
He ran a very fast time in that debut performance, and from barrier three he maps perfectly to sit on the speed and do exactly what he did on debut, and gap them again. $1.95 still represents value, and you’d think he would go on to bigger and better things than this.
Ridgewood Drive is the obvious danger. He didn’t trail well leading up to his debut been run, but he’s been nothing but impressive in his first two career starts. He finished just under a length off Sinzara on debut, before winning with ease in the end at Sandown over Ordell.
I’m not sure coming back to 1300 metres is a good thing, but this is a pretty weak race and he maps well from barrier four. If the favourite for some reason doesn’t fire, he’s the one to beat.
Sickening is the best roughie in the field and could be one to throw into the exotics. He was racing over further at the back end of last preparation, and he draws wide which is a concern, but he’s undefeated at the distance, and has a brilliant first up record. If Winks can get him a nice spot he’s the blowout chance.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No.9 Jumbo Ozaki. Hard to see him losing.
Best bet: Race 2, No.11 Quen Guinevere
Second best bet: Race 6, No.3 Kaching
Best value: Race 5, No.5 Arcturos