The Mounting Yard heads to the City of Churches for the start of the Adelaide carnival and there is some cracking racing on the program.
It’s headlined by the Chairman’s Stakes, where Dalasan is a short-priced favourite. There are two other listed or group races on the program, which are the City of Adelaide and the Breeder’s Stakes. Let’s find some winners!
Race 1: Breeder’s Stakes, Group 3, three-year-old, set weights, 1200 metres
It’s a brilliant way to kick off a good program here. A few of these are already looking for further and will develop into good middle-distance types in time. There’s some value around the favourite in the form of Bribery. The only query is the fact that she has been up for so long, but her last two runs have been good enough to win this. She flashed home late two starts back behind Hard Rock Girl over 1050 metres, before again working home nicely last start in the Adelaide Magic Millions behind Glenfiddich. The form out of that race is outstanding considering Glenfiddich was only a neck away from beating King’s Legacy in it’s next start. She draws a good gate today (5) and providing Toeroek can have some luck straightening, she will be right in it. I want to have something on Ichibansan as well. He had excuses two back when being crowded and bumped for the majority of the straight, before again having absolutely no luck last start when never seeing daylight behind Grandslam, who is a horse I’m backing in a stronger race at Flemington today. He is well over the odds. Charm School is a false favourite here. I wasn’t taken aback by her debut win and even though she is open to improvement, she is going to need it. Crown Mint and Jerle shouldn’t be underestimated either.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on both #7 Bribery at $8 and #4 Ichibansan at $19. Lay Charm School, which is well under the odds in this.
Race 2: three-year-old, Benchmark 64, handicap, 1000 metres
It’s an interesting race here with a few progressive types taking place. It’s hard to ignore last preparation’s form from Aten and I rated her in the red so she’s worth a bet here. She gets in incredibly well here with the three-kilo claim from Tegan Voorham. This Filly only ran two lengths off Loving Gaby in the Scarborough three starts back and that is a brilliant form line considering that filly is a dual Group 1 winner. She was spelled after that run and resumed at Gawler when winning easily without being pushed out at any point in the straight. She draws a good gate (2) and should only take improvement from that first-up run. Hard to beat. Big watch on the Clarken Gelding in Fortune Follows. He won a high rating maiden on debut last preparation before running a length away from Picargo at Gawler. He can run a big race fresh and maps well. Larkham was a dominant winner on two back when winning by four lengths and had excuses when pulling up lame last start. The bookies are keeping him very safe.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #2 Aten at $2.20.
Race 3: Benchmark 60, handicap, 1250 metres
We get to the third and it’s a bit of a minefield for the punters. Bookmakers didn’t know what to do with it and frankly, neither did I. I ended up putting Lace and Whiskey on top. She showed good signs last preparation and her win on resumption over 1000 metres, which isn’t her ideal trip, was impressive. She beat Sidestreet in that race, who had been in pretty good form leading into it. She buck jumped last start and threw the rider off after 300 metres, which is clearly the query coming into this race. If her mind is on the job, she should be able to slot in behind a hot speed and be running over the top of them. It’s a big if though. Gougers has been as consistent as ever this campaign and strikes a winnable race. He was a certainty beaten at this track two starts back behind Cotillion, before running fairly last start when running third. Coming back in trip suits and he maps to get the run of the race. With Pleasure is low-flying in lesser grade currently and has to be respected, while Two Odd Sox will give his always honest showing up on the speed.
Recommended bet: Not overly keen to get involved here, but #10 Lace and Whiskey each way at $5.50 if you are desperate.
Race 4: Benchmark 78, handicap, 1300 metres
I’m pretty keen to invest in this race, and I like the Michael Hickmott-trained galloper in Sky Punch. He has struck a rich vein of form of late. He was a certainty beaten behind Cosmic Award three back at this track and I like the form that has come out of that race. He then went out to the mile and just missed against France’s Boy, before winning brilliantly last start after travelling wide and without cover on the speed and still chasing down the leader. He maps brilliantly from the gun draw (3) today and if he maintains his recent form, he will be hard to beat in this race. It’s worth saving on Oh Mo. His last two runs have been good enough to win this. He won well two starts back over Two Odd Sox when having plenty more to give across the line, and his run last start behind Kenyan Wonder in a hot form race was solid when only finishing a length away. He drops four kilos from that run and will be the one charging home late. The stable think Street Life is flying and he did finish off well last start behind One More Jack. He will get back and I don’t overly like the inside draw (4) for him. Easy Beast drops back in distance which suits and could provide some cheek up front.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #4 Sky Punch at $4.20. Saver on #11 Oh Mo at $14.
Race 5: HC Nitschke Stakes, listed level, three-year-old, set weights, 1400 metres
One of the better races on the program arrives here with some progressive types taking their part. It was hard to split a few of them and I ended up putting Wild Vixen on top, purely because of the price differential. I’ve been a big fan of this filly for a while now. She beat Librate with ease last preparation who has well and truly franked that form, before putting in a brave effort behind Betcha Flying and Akari on Cup day. They went quick that day and it was set up for the back markers who ran the quinella. She was spelled and resumed at Sandown a fortnight ago when yet again, they went quick up front and set it up for the back marker in Street Icon, who has franked the form out of that race as well. She maps perfectly to be sitting on the leaders back around the turn and providing they don’t go overly quick in front, she should be fighting out the finish. There are a few dangers and one of them is Lunar Light. I’m prepared to forgive her run last start and her form before that is good enough to win this. You can draw a line between Excelida and Done By Me from the Twilight Glow last preparation and both of them are going well enough to be in the mix.
Recommended bet: #9 Wild Vixen each way at $11.
Race 6: TAB, Benchmark 78, handicap, 1000 metres
I didn’t find it too difficult to narrow down the chances in this one, which is always nice. Two of them are over the odds here and one of them is Equal Love. Lugging around the big weight (60.5 kilograms) is the concern, but she is probably the best horse in the race. She ran well in Melbourne last preparation before spelling and her two runs in this time have been fantastic. She was brilliant on resumption when she just kept kicking to win by a neck, before putting in a bold showing when running third after being caught three wide and without cover for the entirety of the race. The horse who won that in Bella Vella is above average so the form reads well. She maps brilliantly (3) and should be hard to run down. Happy to have a crack on Appalachian as well. He showed plenty of ability last preparation when winning two from four before spelling. He seems to have improved this time in after being a dead set good thing licked at Murray Bridge when he just never saw daylight in the straight behind some decent horses who have won in City grade. He will get back in the field and need a bit of luck, but with the featherweight (52 kilograms) he can be flashing home late. Star of Monsoon has to be respected after not finishing far away from Equal Love three back.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on both #2 Equal Love at $6.50 and #13 Appalachian at $8.50.
Race 7: Benchmark 68, handicap, 1400 metres
An intriguing and relatively open race await the punters here. This race sets up perfectly for Poysed to Rein. She was excellent on debut when flashing home late to win by a nose over 1000 metres, before working home well behind Kenyan Wonder to run two lengths away in what is seemingly a hot-form race. She absolutely motored home last start at this track and distance to run a length off Lucky Flipper. She faces a harder task today, but she should get a nice run behind a genuine tempo and prove hard to hold out late. Jacobite Prince was terrific last start and shapes as one of the dangers. He had excuses on resumption when travelling wide and without cover throughout behind Hypercane. Reaches this race third up and should be at near peak fitness. Perfect Command and Mabel Josephine shouldn’t be discounted in what is a wide-open affair.
Recommended bet: #9 Poysed to Rein each way at $6.50.
Race 8: City of Adelaide, listed level, handicap, 1400 metres
Funnily enough, the two feature events are the two races I’m the least keen to bet into. This race has little value in it, and it is going to be hard to find the winner. Morvada does represent the best value. Last start was a total forgive after having a torrid run and his form before that is good enough to measure up here. He won the John Dillon Stakes three back when beating Yulong January and Streets of Avalon (now a Group 1 winner), before narrowly going down against Blazejowski and Age of Chivalry two back. The race looks devoid of speed and he should take up the running and be able to dictate the terms out in front. Waging War is the main danger. It’s hard to ignore his form from last preparation, which culminated in a Group 1 fifth. He’s only missed the top three once from six tries first up and maps well. Vinland and Haunted carry the big weight but are probably the class runners in the field bar the two mentioned above and they can’t be underestimated.
Recommended bet: Small each way go on #5 Morvada at $9.
Race 9: Chairman’s Stakes, Group 3, three-year-old, set weight, 2035 metres
The feature of the program comes here in the last and it’s not a race I’m keen to play in. Dalasan hasn’t been a good friend for punters in his career and I just can’t take the $1.70 on offer at the moment. Warning is the second elect but I’m not sure coming back from the 2400 metres to the 2000 metres today is ideal. He never was given a chance last start after a horrible steer. Themoonlitegambler was tough last start after travelling wide in the run and I thought he would have finished closer with a better run. Draws much better (4) today and is probably the best value in the race. Prepared to forgive Skiddaw’s last start effort when he didn’t handle the heavy track. Won with relative ease at Bendigo two back and a repeat of that would see him a chance for the placings. The same thing goes for Playoffs who was poor last start.
Recommended bet: Leaving this one alone.
Best bet: Race 2, #2 Aten.
Next best bet: Race 4, #4 Sky Punch.
Best value: Race 1, #4 Ichibansan and Race 5, #9 Wild Vixen.