Well, somehow we’re still racing!
The Mounting Yard is back after a week off and it’s hometown cup day.
The Ballarat Cup is the feature of the program over 2000 metres worth 500,000 with Harbour Views opening up as the $3.90 favourite. There are also some very good black-type races which include the Magic Millions Clockwise for the juveniles and the Vobis Gold Eureka Stockade.
Let’s get into it.
We kick off the day with a mares benchmark 78 handicap over 1200 metres. It was a tough race to assess due to it being such a big field but I put Lady of Crebilly on top.
She went brilliantly last preparation winning two on the trot at Pakenham before finishing third in a Group Three at Morphettville. She’s been second three times out of four when first-up but I think she’s been pretty unlucky in a few of those runs so that record could look a lot different. She has good tactical speed and the three-kilogram claim helps. She’s over the odds.
Persuader looks like one of the many dangers. She faces a sharp rise in weight here but that first-up win at Kyneton was outstanding and she maps to get a great run.
Gina’s Hope and Tahitian Dancer shouldn’t be discounted as they might go quicker than expected in this one.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on #3 Lady of Crebilly.
The second on the program is a benchmark 70 handicap over 1100 metres. The favourite does have a good chance here but at $2.20 I’m prepared to take her on.
I’m backing two to beat her and one of them is the royally bred Prince of Caviar. In the races he has lost he’s been beaten by some very smart types including Scottish Rogue, Mickey Blue Eyes and Derby winner Extra Brut. We saw how good he can be when he beat the talented Hurricane Fighter with ease last preparation at Bendigo.
He resumed against another smart one in Mumbles and went down by 1.75 lengths, but we already know that he needs a few runs to get into his preparation. He draws ideally from the rails (1), gets in well at the weights and can be winning here.
I’ll be backing Sagarra as well. She came home brilliantly to win at this track last preparation and her run resuming behind Tahitian Dancer was a beauty. She’ll get back and be running on strongly.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on both #13 Prince of Caviar and #7 Sagarra.
We’ve got a race for the stayers here, with a benchmark 78 handicap over 2600 metres awaiting the punters. This is probably the hardest race on the program to find the winner and I’ll be on Serenade the Stars.
Liam Riordan is going to have to navigate around a tricky gate (14) but if he can he’s right in it. He beat Ablaze over 3000 metres at the Valley two – back eased down on the line, before having no luck when travelling three wide and without cover at Flemington to run five lengths off Shared Ambition.
If he can either cross and lead like he did at the Valley or get some cover midfield, he looks overs at the $10 quote. There’s plenty of chances outside of him which include Saddle the Sun, Creedence and Instigator.
Recommended bet: Each way play on #8 Serenade the Stars.
The Magic Millions Clockwise is the next race to assess, over 1000 metres for the juveniles. I’m sticking the first starter in Soul Obsession on top in this one.
She’s bred well by I Am Invincible and out of Spirit Mania, and she was impressive in her two jump-outs leading up to this run. She jumped out going this way so it is clearly a target race for her, and I don’t think it’s a brilliant field so she should be going pretty close.
Euphoric summer raced erratically on debut at Caulfield but was still good enough to beat everything bar Tanker. She should be better for that experience and she draws perfectly today. Don’t discount either Rathlin or Opicinia either who are both going pretty well leading into this run.
Recommended bet: Each way play on #11 Soul Obsession.
The Vobis Gold Eureka Stockade is the next on the program over 1400 metres. There’s plenty of chances in this race and yet again I’m taking on the short priced favourite.
They’re going to go pretty quick here and I think two at double-figure odds can run well. One of them is Miss Elena. She flashed home when resuming at Tatura and then she went to Bendigo as a short-priced favourite and absolutely donkey licked them, winning by 2.5 lengths.
She has good tactical speed and the rise in trip suits here. She’s overs. I’ll be having something small on the outside of the field in No Change. He didn’t really do anything in his first preparation but is seemingly a changed horse this time in.
He trialled up really nicely in the lead up to his resuming run at the Valley and he flashed home to run 0.75 lengths off the winner. The rise in trip will suit him and he also seems overs.
Don’t discount any of Can’t Be Done, Maserartie Bay or Tycoon Bella.
Recommended bet: Small each-way bets on #8 Miss Elena and #2 No Change.
A benchmark 78 handicap over 1600 awaits punters. I’m pretty keen on the Eurell trained O’tauto here.
The stable has a very big opinion of him and he’s building a pretty good record. He beat Blinder last preparation, before running two lengths off the Inevitable and then failing in the Australian Guineas behind Mystic Journey. He resumed running 0.5 lengths off Harbour Views at Geelong and then had no room whatsoever at Flemington in the Country final last start.
The barrier isn’t too bad (9) and I just think he’s clearly the best horse in the race. Strategic Phil is going well this preparation and he maps to get a great run. He beat both Jumbo Ozaki and Starouz in consecutive starts before running a close third to Danon Roman. That form can measure up.
Blinder and Shrouded in Mist draw terribly but with a fair bit of luck can feature.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #4 O’tauto.
A benchmark 84 handicap is the next on the program over 1400 metres. It’s another big field here, which makes it harder to predict.
I’m happy to back the South Australian in Debt Collector. He seems to have improved again this preparation. He was incredibly unlucky resuming and frankly, he was a certainty beaten at Murray Bridge. He then come back to Morphettville and stormed home late to nab Easy Beast on the line.
He draws beautifully today (4), gets in well at the weights and should be peaking third–up. Mr Tipla seems overs. You can forget his run resuming when he bombed the start and he didn’t have any luck in the Greys race last start. He should be able to find some cover and he’ll be running on.
Marcel from Madrid and Over Exposure both have the ability to win and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on #9 Debt Collector.
The feature of the program arrives here in the form of the 2019 Ballarat Cup over 2000 metres. It’s an incredibly open race and I’m sticking with the Japanese in Suzuka Devious again.
His run in the Caulfield Stakes was pretty good when he only warmed up late in the race and then he went to the Mackinnon and flashed home again after being caught too far back in what was a slowly run affair. He’ll have to go back again from the wide gate (14) but they should run this race at a good clip and hopefully that gives him every chance.
I’m also sticking with The Lord Mayor. He hits this race fourth–up after being incredibly unlucky not to win the Rosehill Cup last start behind Tally who goes to the Carbine Club in Perth on the same day. He will sit somewhere near the speed hopefully and give a big sight.
Hang Man draws the grandstand (18) but if he can have some luck he’s a chance. He worked home okay in the Herbert Power two–back, before running a length off Top of the Range in the Bendigo Cup. 2000 metres is his pet distance and he gets back to that trip now.
Dr Drill and Harbour Views can’t be discounted.
Recommended bet: Each way bets on both #2 Suzuka Devious and #8 The Lord Mayor.
The Magic Millions three and four-year-old Classic arrives here over 1100 metres. It’s hard to go past Li’l Kontra. She resumed finishing a neck away from the in-form Xilong at Morphettville, before going down by a length to Anaheed after travelling five wide without cover for the trip.
She then went to the Coolmore where she ran four lengths off the best three-year-olds in the country. She draws a good gate here (6) and she’ll be hard to beat. I’ll be saving on Akkadian. His last two runs have been pretty good, winning at Bendigo with ease and then running 1.25 lengths off the talented Halvorsen in the Grand Handicap.
He draws well here (4) and at his home track he could be the blowout. Hi Stranger and The Executioner seem well over the odds as well in what is an open affair outside of the favourite.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #11 Li’l Kontra with something small on #2 Akkadian.
A 1200 metre Handicap ends proceedings on Ballarat Cup Day. I’m pretty keen to back a couple in this race and one of them is the marginal favourite in Esperance.
He finds a very winnable race here. He resumed at the Valley where he just got too far back over 955 metres, before going to Flemington and running 0.75 lengths off Halvorsen when he was on the inferior ground. He drops in grade here, draws well (3) and drops six kilograms from his most recent run and with even luck will probably be winning this.
There are only two dangers and I’ll save on Superhard. He sprints very well fresh, evident by his dominant win at Flemington down the straight last time.
He didn’t do much else in that campaign but it’s fair to say he didn’t have the best of luck. They’ll go quick here, so he will get back from the wide gate (14) and be rocketing home.
Great Again coming over from Western Australia is the only other danger. We’ve seen how good they are out of the West this spring and he’s won nine from 20 and put together a brilliant record. He draws ideally (1) and can win.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #16 Esperance with something small on #11 Superhard.
Race 6 #4 O’tauto.
Race 10 #16 Esperance.
Race 5 #8 Miss Elena and Race 8 #2 Suzuka Devious.