There are two quality meetings on Saturday, headlined by the Ballarat card, where the feature is the Group 1 Ballarat Pacing Cup, while there is a good meeting in Menangle.
Below are the best bets for the respective programs.
Best bet: Race 8, Number 1, Sicario
Lochinvar Art isn’t far off joining the conversation as one of the most exciting pacers this part of the world has seen this century. He leads and wins. So, who runs second and third? I hope Sicario can fill one of those spots. He’s a great place bet because he has good gate speed and Chris Alford will be hoping to hold them out early, then hand up to the star. Odds of $3.80 or thereabouts to run top three looks like a good bet.
Next best: Race 10, Number 1, Sorrid Saint
There looks to be good speed on the front line and it sets up perfectly for this gelding, because if he trails the leader, he has sharp change-up speed when clear. This horse was luckless at Shepparton last Saturday so hopefully the rub of the green goes his way and $4.60 for him is more than acceptable.
Value: Race 3, Number 1, Valentina Brave
This race looks like a lottery with a host of chances. Odds of $26 for this guy looks a touch silly. He has been plagued by bad gates in recent times but he comes up with the pole for this race. I can see him holding a forward spot and his last start effort at Maryborough was encouraging. It’s a wide open race, so he’s worth a speck at the price.
Best bet: Luke McCarthy two-plus winners
Sportsbet have $2.80 available for him to drive two-plus winners and that is a pretty fair bet. He has Dream To Share in Race 7, who is odds on and should lead and win. He has several other drives for the night, most of which are hard in the market in early betting, so this looks a great bet for the night.
Next best: Race 3, Number 7, Arnold
There is a price gap between this horse and Tough Monarch. Arnold did a very good job in a Queensland stint and possesses good gate speed so he will lead this field up and hand up to Tough Monarch. They should be much closer in betting.
Value: Race 8, Number 1, Minimum Wage
I doubt he beats Vigoroso, but he’ll get a sweet sit behind the favourite and likely leader. He was massive in defeat last start at Goulburn, doing a power of work in the run. This horse lacks the class of some of these, but has gate speed and should hold the back of the leader. From there, he can fill a place.