A couple of solid meetings were conducted on Monday at Taree and Wangaratta.
Another day of rocks last week, aiming to return to diamonds on Championships Day 1 this Saturday.
Big fields, good value – as long as you can find it. The TJ Smith and Doncaster are races of undeniable quality, fingers crossed I’ve gone close.
Units bet: 108
Units won: 97.30
Based on one unit being equal to $1 win bet – NSW dividends (see comments for any changes based on scratchings or track condition).
(No selections in Race 1 or Race 6 with limited two year-old form over varying distances)
Race 2 – 7 Entente (one unit)
A funny little race for three year-olds at a mile; Reloaded the potential star, Grand Piano the wildcard and Entente the leader who’ll carry my money. I will stick with him at the big price on the back of a maiden win at Hawkesbury and a lot of faith in Gai and Adrian and Tim Clark.
Race 3 – 2 Two Big Fari (one unit)
Want to drive someone mad? Make them set-up a home office and then get them sit down assess 23 country runners coming from all directions for their grand final.
A fantastic race, I’m going with Two Big Fari, he’s five from seven (with two seconds) overall, has drawn a terrible gate but I’m backing him to cross and kick in the straight. He has won a Highway (albeit at Rosehill).
Julian Rock broke the track record at Moruya (I know) to qualify, goes in on that. Bobbing was $7 in the Group 2 Villiers in December but will get back and need to get past a lot of them. Ligulate, Al Mah Haha – the list goes on…
Race 4 – 10 Betcha Flying (two units)
I like Betcha Flying here, the 2000 metres is unknown but gets a nice weight drop against her best runs last campaign. The market has found the other main hopes Paradee (Betcha Flying meets three kilos better for 2.75 length difference) and Colette, who has been ticking over pumping donkeys at Newcastle and Kembla.
Race 5 – 6 Yogi (one unit)
One of the worst Group 2 races I’ve ever seen. Hence Yogi. He’s a horse who generally misses the start, sits around the back of the pack and needs to be revved up a long way out to get interested. Nash Rawiller will earn his fees on this boy!
Anyway – the majority of these are absolute plodders, and if Yogi can reproduce anything near his form from last winter, he’s a chance. The Chosen One was $31 in last year’s Melbourne Cup (Mirage Dancer $51) and Gallic Chieftan was $8 in the Sandown Classic, they’re up to this sort of competition. Not sold on Carif.
Race 7 – 4 Sherwood Forest (one unit)
Yes, I had him in the Guineas where he was disappointing, but Sherwood Forest’s time in New Zealand would have beaten Tulloch. Tulloch! I’m not sure if they’re running downhill over there or if they ran out of tape measure, maybe the clock started late, but there’s a massive red circle around 2.26.77 and I’ve been sucked in again.
Warning is the VRC Derby winner and think he’s the big danger, along with Castelvecchio, who makes the jump from potential superstar to superstar with a win here.
Race 8 – 3 Santa Ana Lane (one unit)
Now we’re talking. Superb weight-for-age sprint for this year’s TJ Smith, going with Santa Ana Lane on the back of his superb Everest second, where he got back, was squeezed by the winner when he needed to get room and then made ground once he was finally clear. He was still half a length off the new rack record that day and he was good late over an unsuitable distance first-up.
It’s a dartboard job, no huge knock on Nature Strip, Pierata is another superstar, Redzel is Redzel ($16 for Redzel, wow!), and the three-year-old bunch are amazing too – Loving Gaby my pick of them. Good luck.
Race 9 – 13 Quackerjack (one unit)
It’s not getting any easier with the Doncaster, where it’s an amazing edition. My raw numbers had 14 of the 20 runners within two lengths of each other. Pass me the bottle.
I think I’ve settled on Quackerjack, he is untested at the top level but gets weight relief, is three from four at the Randwick mile and two from three on soft. He will either lead or sit just off and gets the inside gate (hopefully okay?), whereas a lot of his challengers will be closer to the tram garage than the rail.
Melody Belle and Kolding are the class but give weight to the rest, Brandenburg rates highly, so do Imaging and Cascadian but they’ve drawn the car park and Yulong Prince gets in well, oh my.
Good luck again.
Race 10 – 8 Juan Diva (two units)
The three-year-old fillies are back at it to end the card and, as long as I’m not already in the foetal position, I’ll have a crack at Juan Diva, who flew late to win in track record time (yes, another track record) of 55.83 over 1000 metres at Kembla last start.
It was only Kembla, but as a comparison, and there are huge flaws in taking time analysis as Gospel, but as a comparison, the 2019 Lightning (good track, this year was slow) down the straight at Flemington was run in 56.69. Sold!
While my head hurts a bit, it’s great that racing is somehow continuing in this crazy time. Hope you (and I) back a winner or two, may your quaddies be large. Thanks for your feedback and comments.