This Wednesday’s edition of The Mounting Yard heads to Geelong for the Geelong Cup day program!
We’ve got a nine-race program awaiting the punters, with the Black Pearl Stakes and the Geelong Classic accompanying the feature. The rail is true for the entire circuit and the track should be in the Good 4 range come the first race. Let’s get into it!
We kick off the day with a Benchmark 70 Handicap over 2400 metres. It’s an intriguing race and I think Flag Edition is well overs at the $13 quote. Her maiden win at Benalla rated highly and nothing really went right at Ballarat rising in trip. She got shuffled back around the turn and then just took a while to balance back up and come again.
She went down by two lengths there to Dewrinkler who is a subsequent winner but the way she hit the line was very encouraging. She drops 6kg from last start and will give this a good shake.
There’s a couple of obvious dangers and one of them is Fields of Yulong. He had no luck in this preparation until last start where he won by seven lengths. He’ll roll forward and be hard to get past. Olympic Oath has good form lines behind Adelaide Ace and Warning. He has been doing his best work late in each run and this shapes as a crunch race for her.
Recommended bet: Each way play on #5 Flag Edition.
The second on the program is a Benchmark 70 Handicap over 1700 metres. I want to be in the corner of Maclairey here. He’s been incredibly unlucky this Gelding. He was held up at this track three starts back when having to deal with relatively heavy ground and he was again held up at Mornington behind some smart ones in Jenkins and Jumbo Ozaki. He then went to Cranbourne and was caught three-wide the trip and just labored late. He draws a lot better today (2) and if he can get clear air in the straight for the first time in this preparation, he’ll be very hard to beat.
Midas Prince is a very reliable horse. He came home nicely resuming at Coleraine before nosing out Garbhan last start at Ballarat. He maps to get the run of the race and should be peaking third – up. Zouy’s Comet and Ridgewood Drive are next best.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #6 Maclairey.
A 1200 metre sprint awaits the punters here. It seems like a bit of a match race and it’s hard to go past the Mike Moroney trained Chicago Cub. He went well in his first preparation, winning on debut by 3.75 lengths before going to the Valley and finishing second to Testifier. He had to be put out due to having an irregular heart rhythm which is a forgive run considering he beat a pretty smart Benchmark 64 field when resuming at Bendigo nearly two months ago now.
He went to Ballarat in what was a very strong race and finished 1.7 lengths off Marcel from Madrid and 1.5 lengths off Ruban Bleu who goes around as shorty today as well. He draws well (3) and should be too good for these. Mr Tipla is probably the only other danger. He went pretty well last preparation, beating La Volt at Sandown and he has a brilliant first-up record winning three from four.
He’ll be ready to go resuming and the four-kilogram claim from Cam Rawiller helps. None Better and Honeywine look the best of the rest.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #4 Chicago Cub.
The Dual Choice Plate is the next race to dissect over 1700 metres. It looks like an open and shut case here with the favourite in Ruban Bleu being very hard to go past. If we discount his run two starts back at Flemington he hasn’t put a foot wrong this preparation. He flashed home for third behind the talented duo of Sylvia’s Mother and My Pendant before going to Flemington and gapping Jumbo Ozaki and Confluence.
He was held up for the majority of the straight at Ballarat when running 0.2 lengths off Marcel from Madrid and arguably should have won. That seems like a very good form line for this race. He draws out today (7) and should stay out of trouble. He’ll be running all over them late.
Adversary is a clear second pick. He won three from five last preparation including wins over Street Shiek and Obscura in consecutive starts. He ran Fidelia to within 0.5 lengths and she has franked that form in a big way since. He’s over the odds at the $7 quote. Big Reel and Blue Tycoon are next best.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #6 Ruban Bleu.
The listed Black Pearl Stakes over 1200 metres is the next on the program. This isn’t a race I’m overly keen to invest in but for the sake of a tip, Smart Coupe goes on top. She went super last preparation, running Whispering Brook to within 0.75 lengths in the Group Three Standish, before running a length off Miss Leonidas who has since franked that form by winning a Group race. She has never missed the placings fresh from five tries and looks the one to beat.
Gina’s Hope wasn’t having much luck last preparation before flashing home last start at Ballarat to beat Ambleve. She will stay out of trouble from the wide gate (7) and be running on. Into The Abyss has been racing in good races behind some smart ones in Soothing, Laburnum and Sweet Deal. She broke through for a win in Benchmark 78 grade last start. Can’t have her at even money but she can be in the finish.
Recommended bet: Shouldering arms here.
What a Benchmark 79 Handicap this is! Two of the best young horses in Victoria are going to go head to head in what is pretty much a match race. I don’t usually back horses in the red but I’m going to make an exception for this superstar Gelding in Harbour Views. He’s undefeated from four starts and has never really looked like losing so far in his career. He was challenged for a part of the straight at Swan Hill last preparation, before responding strongly to win by 2.5 lengths. He beat Mr Exclusive when resuming at Caulfield three weeks ago who is the third elect here and he will only improve off that run. He’ll be giving Impi a start but I think he’ll go straight past him. A star in the making.
Impi is the obvious danger. They brought him over from Western Australia after winning by six lengths on debut and he has made them look silly at Echuca and Mornington in his last two starts. He will be an extremely good horse in his own right and draws well here (5), but he could just run into one better on the day.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #2 Harbour Views.
The feature has arrived in the form of the Geelong Cup over 2400 metres at Group Three level. I’m backing two in the Cup and one of them is Supernova. He resumed in the Rowley Mile where he ran the best overall race sectionals and finished 0.6 lengths off Gaulois, before going to the Kingston Town where I don’t think he was ever really pushed out. He went super in the Bart Cummings – running 1.5 lengths off Surprise Baby who is the equal favourite for the Melbourne Cup, and beating home Wolfe who won the Coongy Cup in his subsequent start.
His challengers are giving him at least three kilograms in the run here and he should be ready to go fourth – up. I’m also backing Dal Harraild. He was brilliant last preparation, getting nosed out in both the Bendigo Cup and the Zipping Classic. He has hit the line well in both starts this preparation and the last start run behind Surprise Baby was very encouraging. He’ll settle more forward from the good gate (5) and have plenty to give in the straight. Red Galileo and Steel Prince winning also wouldn’t shock me in the slightest.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on both #11 Supernova and #5 Dal Harraild. Playing a trifecta in the Cup as well, including #11, #5, #7, #8 and #4.
The Geelong Classic at Listed Level over 2200 metres is the eighth on the program. It’s a big field but I think it’s a four-horse race. I’m backing two of them and one of them is the favourite in Southern Moon. He worked home well resuming at Bendigo behind Serious Liaison over 1600 metres, before narrowly missing in the Derby trial when he arguably should have won. He was held up in the straight there and it cost him the race. The Freedman camp then sent him to Donald for a confidence-boosting win and he got one, by two lengths eased down in the last 100 metres.
He draws wide here which is a worry but if Ben Melham can get him some cover he should be too good for them.
I’m saving on He Is. He hung on at Echuca when resuming over 1200 metres and then has had no luck at all. He got knocked from pillar to post at Ballarat and managed to finish within a length, before never getting a look at them at Caulfield behind Serious Liaison. The rise in trip suits and with even luck he can be winning. Relucent and Long Jack are next best.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #4 Southern Moon with a saver on #8 He Is.
The ‘lucky last’ is a Benchmark 64 Handicap over 1400 metres. Ending the day with some value in the form of Natter. She’s over the odds this Mare. She broke her maiden last preparation at Benalla over this trip when coming from near last and she was unlucky not to repeat that win in her next start in Benchmark 64 grade. She resumed in a Class 1 race at Seymour where again she was relatively unlucky after being knocked around in the straight. She draws wide (9) so should stay out of trouble and the rise in trip up to the 1400 metres from 1100 metres suits her. They’ll set a strong tempo out in front and she could be the one to overpower them late.
Sophia’s Choice is the main danger. She had no luck in a strong maiden at Geelong behind Beauty Bolt and Presently before being put out for a spell. She resumed at Cranbourne when travelling three-wide and was still good enough to win by 1.25 lengths. She draws well here (2) and will be hard to get past. Living the Dream and Spartan Flame are the best of the rest.
Recommended bet: Each way play on #9 Natter.
Best Bet: Race 4 #6 Ruban Bleu
Next best bet: Race 3 #4 Chicago Cub
Best value: Race 1 #5 Flag Edition and Race 9 #9 Natter.
R6: 2, 8
R7: 11, 5, 7, 8
R8: 4, 8, 2, 3
R9: 9, 11, 3