There are two meetings to look at on Wednesday night, with Bendigo and Redcliffe getting my attention. Below are the best bets for the respective programs.
The good races keep on ticking over on the eastern seaboard, with punters blessed with three Group 1 meetings in three days.
It all starts tonight with the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley and then rolls to Rosehill on Saturday for the Golden Rose.
Following the AFL grand final, racing in Melbourne will be staged at Caulfield on Sunday for the preludes of the Guineas and Thousand Guineas, as well as the Group 1 Underwood Stakes.
Oh, and I’m tipping an absolute roughie in that one.
This columnist has hit form in the last couple of weeks, so let’s hope the winners keep coming. Good luck if you’re having a flutter.
Track Soft 5 at time of writing. Rail in true position.
Race 6 at 3:25pm – $160,000 Group 3 JRA Quality (2400m)
Not a bad field here, with some emerging stayers going around at Rosehill. The one I’ve had my eye on for a while is the Chris Waller-trained Dabiyr. I was hoping on Monday that we might get some decent odds about him, but the bookies and punters were like me and had an opinion of him.
He’ll go around favourite, but I expect him to lead or at least be right up the front and be very hard to chase down in the straight. He goes from carrying 59.5 kilograms last start to 53 kilos on Saturday, and from barrier one he shouldn’t have to do a whole lot of work. I’m expecting Robbie Dolan to lead all the way.
Suggested bet: Dabiyr (10) to win.
Race 7 at 4:05 pm – $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m)
Just eight three-year-olds are lining up in this $1 million event, which is pretty disappointing considering how many good horses are around, but the quality is undeniable. Bivouac goes around favourite and he was good to us last time when he was tipped at odds and won. However, I think he’s too short in this field.
I thought Yes Yes Yes hit the line nicely against Bivouac last time and should be improved from the run. Chris Waller has set him for this race, and he’s got three wins and two seconds from six starts, so you know he’s class. The only time he ‘failed”‘was on a bog track in the Golden Slipper when seventh, but he had no hope from barrier 16 that day. You can get $5 to $6 about Yes Yes Yes and I’ll be taking that all day in this field.
Suggest bet: Yes Yes Yes (4) to win.
Track Good 4 at time of writing. Rail out six metres.
Race 5 at 3:00pm – $250,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m)
Many of these three-year-olds could be lining up in the Golden Rose in Sydney on Saturday but have instead opted to stay in Melbourne ahead of the Caulfield Guineas. I don’t think anyone can be too bullish about any particular horse, because the depth looks good and there’s no real standout.
The one I like at odds is an unbeaten gelding by the name of Roccabascerana. Trained by David Jolly in Adelaide, this son of Fighting Sun hasn’t put a hoof wrong in three starts. Linda Meech gets the ride and I expect her to lead from barrier three.
Whether this gelding has the class to hold off his rivals is another question, but I think the double figures we are getting to find out look tempting. Alligator Blood is another that I like at odds.
Suggested bet: Roccabascerana (8) each-way.
Race 7 at 4:00pm – $750,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m)
A very tough race this, so I’m going to put my neck on the line and say that a deadset roughie can win this race. Black Heart Back hasn’t won for more than two years, but he can win this on Sunday if he brings his best.
But at nine years old, whether he can is up for debate. He’s had two runs back this prep, both in Group 1 races. He was okay first-up in the Memsie and then was disappointing in the Sir Rupert Clark Stakes last week.
However, he’s up in distance here and on the quick backup. I also noted what regular jockey Brad Rawiller said last Saturday: “I’m really happy with him. Today was the best he’s felt underneath me for a long while. Over 1400 metres now I think it’s a little bit sharp for him but stepping up in trip I reckon he’s going to show something very soon.”
Based on those comments, and the fact I rate Brad as a horseman, I’m going to suggest having something small on Black Heart Bart in this race. Maybe him and Super Titus, another roughie that I tipped last week.
Suggested bet: Black Heart Bart (3) and Super Titus (11) both each-way at half-stake.
Race 8 at 4:30pm – $140,000 Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m)
Zoustyle is perhaps the best bet of the weekend if he remains at the $4 mark. He was far from disgraced in Group 1 company last time (albeit in a Group 3 race) and that was his first defeat in seven starts. He’ll find things much easier on Sunday and is back on firmer footing.
The Randwick track might have been a Good 4, but it was shifty underfoot. I’m expecting Brett Prebble to lead from barrier four and run his rivals into the ground. Here’s hoping for a good collect to finish the weekend.
Suggested bet: Zoustyle (9) to win.