A couple of strong meetings set down for Saturday night, headlined by the Sokyola Sprint (1710m) at Ballarat.
The best bets for the respective programs are down below.
Best bet: Race 4 number one Pacific Drums
The gate just looks perfect for this Brendan Barnes-trained gelding. Got into a decent enough spot from a wide gate last time out and was able to wear them down with an impressive turn of foot. From the pole, can see him holding a forward spot, likely leading or at worst leaders back. Whatever position, he’s the one to beat.
Next-best: Race 10 number eight Bukthsystem
This is more a place bet, but he does look a good thing to run top three. He was brave in defeat in a Heat of this Series on Sunday, doing work throughout. Draws to follow out the hot pot and a fast beginner. He should be able to land leaders back and if you’re on him to place, it should be a pretty painless watch to run top three.
Value: Race 9 number seven Gee Up Neddy
The 40m handicap should ensure you get a decent enough price. He has been very good in recent times, and does have good early manners, so should step away cleanly and hopefully that will take care of the handicap somewhat, especially over the staying trip. His recent efforts in the DJA Series were strong and that form looks good for this.
Best bet: Race 2 number one Dels Destiny
A progressive animal and I think he can make it 3/3. The last couple of wins have come at Bendigo, the latest of those wins seeing him getting badly checked early but he overcame that and really, was outstanding in winning. Hopefully he can hold up from the pole and if he leads, box seats at worst, then is clearly the one to beat.
Next-best: Race 6 number eight Monaro Maro
She has a tricky draw to overcome, but she was impressive when winning at Tabcorp Park Melton last time. Did work to get to the breeze but it mattered not to her as she charged clear and was dominant on the line. Drawn inside the second row, Kate Gath will likely have to concede ground to get away from the pegs and from there, she’ll have plenty of options.
Value: Race 8 number one Somebeachshadow
Think the double figures on offer is more than enticing. He was beaten narrowly by a key rival in Wolf Stride at Melton last time out, missing out by a half head in a close finish. He has enough gate speed to kick up and potentially lead, but probably opts for cover from either Wolf Stride or Somewhere Secret. He’ll run a beauty at good odds.