This Saturday, the feature Melbourne meeting is at Bendigo for the Bendigo Guineas and Bendigo Golden Mile day.
We’ve got a nine-race card in store for us, with the highest rated races of the day being at listed level. It’s going to be a cold one on Saturday, so chuck on a warm jacket, and head out to the track!
The first on the program is a Benchmark 78 handicap over 1300 metres.
Really open race here, evident by it being $4 the field, but I’ve landed on Sunday Pray. I can’t take the $4 around some of the favourites, and he’s come back in good order this horse.
He resumed well, running three lengths off Spirit of Aquada after travelling four wide, and his last run at Sandown was impressive, getting nosed out by Kazio.
He beat home Silent Roar in that race, who won really well on Wednesday, and he’ll get a nice run on the speed. Overs in the market at the $15.
Beauty does shape as a big danger. She didn’t resume overly well, but her last start run down the straight against Causeway Girl was good.
She goes up in trip, and Luke Currie jumping on board is a bonus.
Mandela Effect has won two from two in Tasmania, and he beat the likes of Street of Avalon in Melbourne last preparation. The wide barrier is a concern, but he has the class edge over most of these.
Recommended bet: Each way play on No.8 Sunday Pray.
The second on the card comes here, in a three-year-old handicap over 2200 metres.
It’s always hard to assess these staying races for the three-year-olds, but I’ve settled on Manzala.
He chased Chouxting The Mob steadily a few starts ago to finish second, before beating Amerock at Stawell, who won well at Ballarat on Sunday.
He went up in class, but battled well to finish three lengths off Wetakemanhattan last start. The 2200 metres suits, and he’ll be hard to hold out.
Secret Blaze is the danger. He ran well in the Carbine Club and the Sandown Guineas behind Ranier and Ringerdingding last preparation, and his run last start was pretty good behind Global Exchange. He draws wide, but his form lines are the best coming into this.
Transact had a much improved run second up, after failing at Newcastle resuming. He’ll give them something to chase from barrier six.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on No.8 Manzala.
The Vobis Gold Rush, for the two-year-olds, over 1000 metres is the third on the card.
I’m sticking with Mockery here. She ran two lengths off Andrassy Avenue two starts back, before leading all the way down the straight at listed level, in front of Cheer Leader.
Cheer Leader won by five lengths at Moonee Valley last Friday, in a race at listed level. The form lines are strong, and there’s no reason why she can’t win again.
I’ll be saving on the Executioner. He won like a world beater on debut at Morphettville, before coming home solidly behind Done by Me and Li’l Kontra last start. He comes back to the 1000 metres here, and he’ll be hard to hold out.
Lucifer’s Reward could surprise. He went through the line really strongly on debut at the Valley, and he’ll appreciate the hot tempo in front.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No.10 Mockery, with a saver on No.2 The Executioner.
The fourth on the program is a Benchmark 84 handicap, over 1100 metres.
Pretty keen on Seven Year Reward in this. He got pipped by Sheriff John Stone last preparation at Sandown, and his run resuming at Cranbourne was brilliant, leading all the way and beating Call It a Day by a length.
He draws well from barrier four, gets in at an extremely low weight, and he’ll be very hard to run down with that run under his belt.
Malahat should run well. He just got over the line at Rosehill in front of Junglized two starts back, before going to Flemington, and down the straight, where he was beaten by three lengths behind Superhard, who ran a very quick time on that particular day.
He’ll get a nice run on the speed from barrier two, and he can be winning.
Bel Sonic’s form behind Easy Eddie in Sydney has been franked, and he chased steadily last start at a leaders track in Mornington. He will be the one running on.
Recommended bet: Sizeable each way bet on No.10 Seven Year Reward.
The Bendigo Gold Bracelet arrives here in the fifth, over 1400 metres.
It seems like it’s a race in three here, and I think the price discrepancy between the three is ridiculous, and that’s why I’ve landed on Twitchy Frank.
She had excuses three starts back at Flemington, but since going back to Tasmania under Adam Trinder, she’s been brilliant, culminating with a win over I Remember You in the Vamos Stakes, who has since come to Melbourne and won. She has the fitness edge over most of these, and she’ll be hard to beat.
Miss Siska isn’t at her ideal distance here, but she has the class edge over most of these. She ran three lengths off Shumookh over this distance last preparation, and her trial in the lead up to this was outstanding. She’ll sit on the speed, and be hard to run down.
La Bella Diosa resumed well in the Wenona Girl Quality at Randwick, which has turned out to be a good form race. She’ll enjoy the rise to 1400 metres, and if she’s within striking distance at the 200-metre mark, she’ll probably win. Just can’t take her at $2.30.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on No.1 Twitchy Frank.
We’ve got a Benchmark 84 handicap here over 2400 metres.
Mosh Music is shooting for four in a row, and I think she can get the job done here in an open race.
She’s won her last three, but more importantly her last two, by two lengths at the Valley and she’s proven at the 2400 metres.
From barrier 11 Jordan Childs should be able to get her a nice spot in the run, and she’ll be hard to hold out if he does.
Dark Pearl draws the car park, but his run at Flemington last start behind Wetakemanhattan was pretty good for this. He steps up to 2400 metres here, a distance where he’s only missed the placings once from four tries, and he should be fitter now. He needs a good ride from Michael Dee.
Valac had a much improved run last start, going down to Hang Man after leading all the way bar the last 100 metres, and he’ll be on the speed again here. He’ll give them something to chase.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on No.10 Mosh Music.
The equal headline act of the day comes here in the seventh, in the Bendigo Mile, at listed level.
I’m going to give Zebulon one final chance here. He flashed home late to finish within a length of the winners over 1400 metres at Flemington two starts back, and then came home solidly again at Flemington over 1400 metres behind Widgee Turf. He ran like a horse that needed a mile, and he gets that here.
Linda Meech should be able to slot him in somewhere, and he does look overs at the $9 quote.
Furrion looks the logical danger. He’s another that’s drawn the car park, but his form from last preparation beating Best of Days and Runaway, is a good form line for this.
He resumed well in the Shaftesbury Avenue behind Violate, and he has good tactical speed, so Jye McNeil should be able to get him into a nice spot.
Haripour, at odds, can run a good race. He beat Mantastic last time he was second up, and he resumed doing his best work through the line over 1400 metres behind Widgee Turf. He’ll get a nice run in midfield, and will appreciate the rise to the mile.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on No.13 Zebulon. Playing exotics around No.13, No.3, No.9, No.10 and No.4.
The other headline act comes here in the eighth, in the form of the Bendigo Guineas.
It’s an open Guineas field this year, but I’ve got Saccharo on top. The form lines from last preparation, where he finished half a length off Amphitrite and two lengths off Ranier, are very good form lines for this race.
He resumed at Ballarat in a pretty easy Class 1 race, but nothing went right in that race, so I’m prepared to forgive that.
He draws well from barrier six, and he’ll appreciate a hot speed on up front. Hard to beat.
Blinder is the main danger. He won well over Nicconi Poni last preparation, before being caught three wide with no cover at Flemington. He battled on strongly there, finishing a neck away from the talented O’tauto. The blinkers come on today, and he’s another who will appreciate a hot speed on up front.
Marcel from Madrid is the best roughie in the race. He never got a run at them at Flemington resuming, and he just got too far back at the Valley last start. He’ll be fitter for those two runs, and he’ll enjoy the rise to 1400 metres.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on No.5 Saccharo. Playing exotics around No.5, No.1, No.6, No.12 and No.16.
The “get out” Stakes comes here in the last, in the form of a Benchmark 90 handicap over 1400 metres.
It seems to be a race in two to my eye, but I’ve landed on Antah. He won three on the trot here after crossing the Tasman, before getting pipped on the line by Thunder Cloud over the mile.
He had every chance at Flemington last start, but couldn’t let down enough to catch the leaders. He has been up for a while, but he draws well from barrier seven, and he’ll be hard to hold out.
Waging War is the obvious danger. He ran three lengths off them in the Toorak last preparation, which is obviously a good form line for this, and his run resuming was brilliant.
He was unlucky not to win it on protest there. He draws well from barrier eight to get a nice spot in midfield, and he’ll appreciate rising to 1400 metres. He’s worth saving on.
Guizot is the best roughie in the race. He ran a length off Silentz in consecutive starts, before being caught three wide the trip at Flemington, and still managing to finish within three lengths. He draws to do no work from barrier two, and he could surprise.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on No.13 Antah. Playing exotics around No.4, No.13, No.10 and No.6.
Best bet: Race 4 No.10 Seven Year Reward.
Second best bet: Race 6 No.10 Mosh Music.
Best value: Race 7 No.13 Zebulon.