The Mounting Yard heads to the ‘nursery of champions’ in Bendigo this Wednesday for a cracking eight-race program.
The racing on display is of some weekend quality throughout the program. It’s a shame nobody can get there to see it! The rail is out six metres for the entire circuit, which would generally favour on-speed runners, but at Bendigo everyone usually gets their fair chance on the very long straight.
After a strong weekend, let’s hope we can find more winners!
Super Vobis, two-year-olds, handicap, 1100 metres
We kick off the program with a race for the babies. I think Master Bartholdi was impressive on debut and with the benefit of race experience, he can go one better today. He debuted at this track over 1000 metres and lost by a neck to Divine Caprice who was only a neck away from Mildred last preparation, which reads well for this. I think he strikes a similar type of maiden here, and from the perfect draw (2) he should get a lovely spot in the run and be ready to pounce on whoever the leaders are with the added race fitness.
Gojira was brilliant in a recent jump out when winning by four or five lengths and if he can transfer that to the races, he can measure up. He’s from a relatively unknown stable, which is a slight negative, but he draws perfectly (3) and should have no excuses in the run.
River Twain comes out of the same maiden that Master Bartholdi did and battled on well off a tough run when being posted wide and without cover. He draws wide again (11) but the booking of Oliver is a positive sign of intent. Nantucket wasn’t asked for anything in a recent jump out and is the best blow out chance.
Recommended bet: win bet on No. 5 Master Bartholdi at $3.60.
Maiden plate, three-year-old and up, set weights, 1000 metres
The last of the maidens awaits the punters here in what is a good race. The race has a long tail to it, but it was hard to split the two favourites in Monetizing and Dynamic Duo. I put Monetizing on top purely because of her race pattern. She was terrific without winning last preparation, running a length off Broadway and fourth at Ballarat before going down by a neck against Screenager at Kyneton. Obviously those form lines read well for a mid-week maiden. She jumped out sharply when winning by four lengths and the Brent Stanley team will have her trained to the minute for this. Maps to get the run of the race from the good gate (6), and Damien Oliver jumping on is a big positive.
Dynamic Duo is the only danger. I think he might be wanting a bit further this preparation, but he was excellent last time in when running three lengths off Alabama Express down the straight at Flemington. He didn’t do much at the Valley last start, but he can bounce back in a big way with a more spacious track and the two-month freshen-up.
All Starr Courage is over the odds at $51 and must go into all the exotics from the good gate (1).
Recommended bet: Win bet on No. 11 Monetizing at $2.50.
Three-year-old, benchmark 70, handicap, 1000 metres
One of the better races on the program comes here in the third. The boom on Masked Crusader has been heard across the eastern seaboard and I don’t think it’s entirely justified. I might have egg on my face by the end of the race but I think Truffle House is a better betting proposition on an each-way basis. He was terrific last preparation, when running three lengths off Sartorial Splendor in the Group 3 Red Anchor at the Valley, which is a track that doesn’t suit him, before having plenty of excuses when running two lengths off Riddle Me That. He pulled up with a throat issue that day, which meant the end of his preparation. He resumed a fortnight ago at Echuca and was very strong late when beating Mockery by 0.75 lengths. He should be fitter from that run, and the genuine tempo will do him plenty of favours from back in the field.
Masked Crusader is the obvious danger. He was brilliant when winning a midweek race at Caulfield by four lengths before going out for a spell. He has jumped out well leading into this and draws all the favours from the inside gate (1). Kiata, Smoking Salmon, and Dinga will fight it out for the minors.
Recommended bet: No. 2 Truffle House each way at $7.
Three-year-old, benchmark 70, fillies, handicap, 1300 metres
The highlight of the program comes here in what is a very deep benchmark 70. I’m keen to be on Little Mermaid at the each-way quote currently available and was surprised she isn’t shorter. She was strong to the line on debut when winning by a length and defeating Miss Harriette, who has won two races since. She then went to Sandown last start and absolutely motored home to run two lengths off Lunakorn, who is the odds-on favourite in this race. She just got caught a little flat-footed as they kicked around the bend there, but she was incredibly strong to the line, clocking the third-fastest last 200 metres of the meeting. The rise to 1300 metres suits her, as does the expected strong tempo at the front. As long as she can get some cover in the midfield or worse, she will be hard to hold out.
Lunakorn is the big danger. She trialled like Phar Lap before winning by 0.75 lengths over Hasseltoff on resumption before winning with ease here last start by 2.25 lengths. She is a very progressive filly and she can win again. I think she is well-found in the market, though.
It’s interesting that there’s been an early move for Talented, who beat Affair to Remember on resumption before doing nothing at Pakenham last start. He can bounce back third up. Hint of Mint goes into all the exotics.
Recommended bet: No. 4 Little Mermaid each way at $6.50.
Three-year-old and up, benchmark 64, handicap, 1300 metres
It’s a pretty open race and most of these have found their mark in the racing world. I like two horses in this race, and one of them is marginal favourite Evening Glory. He drops in grade here and is the most progressive horse in the race. His form from last preparation when running 0.75 lengths off Wings of Pastrami is good for most Benchmark races, and if he can replicate that effort, which was also when he was second up, he will win this. He went out for a 14-week break and resumed over this track and distance when running three lengths off Nerone. He generally fires second up, he maps well from the good gate (5) and the Zahra and Freedman camp have to be respected in these races.
I want to have something on Faolan. The former Queenslander is now in the care of Brent Stanley and has been racing well in Victoria. He battled on well when resuming at Echuca before working home nicely at Geelong last start. The extra distance suits here and he should be ready to peak third up.
Danawi jumped out well and has to be respected coming down from Sydney on resumption, while Blenders Edition and Georgia’s Host are the best of the rest.
Recommended bet: win bet on No. 8 Evening Glory at $4.40 with something small on No. 7 Faolan at $12.
Three-year-old and up, benchmark 64, handicap, 2400 metres
The race for the stayers comes here in the sixth over a mile and a half. I don’t think it’s as open as the bookmakers do and I’m prepared to have a crack at Minola. I just think she is clearly the most progressive horse in this field, and she reaches this race fourth up and as fit as a fiddle. She was brilliant two back when careering away to win by 2.25 lengths over a mile before rising to 2000 metres at benchmark 58 grade and winning by four lengths, eased down in the last 100 metres. She rises in grade here slightly but draws perfectly (1), and that last start win showed she can measure up here.
Monmouth shapes as the main danger. He was no match for Tigre Royale two back at Sandown but did beat home two subsequent winners in American In Paris and Nothin’ Leica High before going to Geelong on a bottomless track and winning by a length. He maps to get a good run again here and is ultra-consistent.
Don’t Make Me Wait deserves his crack at midweek level after a commanding four-length win last start, while Yulong Captain is the best of the rest.
Recommended bet: No. 2 Minola each way at $5.
Three-year-old and up, benchmark 78, handicap, 1100 metres
Not the greatest of races here in the penultimate event. It’s a really open race, and I put Can’tforgetyou on top. I thought her form from last preparation was good enough for this when beating Thine is the Power at the Valley before winning again at the Valley over Bella Vella, who has since won at listed level. She resumes today off a 20-week break, generally fires first up and should appreciate what should be a genuine tempo out in front. She just needs some luck from the low draw (2).
Leiter is probably the class horse in the race, but there is a query surrounding whether he has had enough this preparation. He probably just hit the front too early at Caulfield when being run down and beaten half a length before staying at Caulfield and having some excuses last start around the bend. He strikes an easier race here, but I’m just not keen to back him at the $3.40 quote.
Cardini trialled up really well but hasn’t done much at the races in Australia as of yet, while Oregon Dreamer is generally good first up and strikes a similar race that she won when last first up.
Recommended bet: No. 6 Can’tforgetyou each way at $5.50.
Three-year-old and up, benchmark 78, handicap, 1600 metres
The ‘get out’ Stakes arrives here as the last race and I’m going to give Aussie Nugget one more chance. His form from last preparation when beating both Midas Prince and Sign of Ussuri reads well for this type of a race. He resumed from a spell two back when flashing home to run a neck away from Black Sail before putting in a just even run at Sandown when running two lengths off Lucabelle. He drops four kilograms from that last run and strikes a very similar race so is incredibly well-weighted. He strikes this race third up, where he generally peaks in every preparation. He will be very hard to hold out.
Grinzinger Star was only five lengths off the likes of Harbour Views last preparation and has done enough on resumption to suggest he can fire second up, while Bea Tempted and Cape Richards are the best of the rest.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No. 7 Aussie Nugget at $3.
Best bet: Race 6, No. 2 Minola.
Next-best bet: Race 4, No. 4 Little Mermaid.
Best value: Race 5, No. 7 Faolan.