Two meetings to look at this Friday: afternoon racing at Albion Park while night racing takes place at Newcastle.
The best bets for the respective programs are down below.
Best bet: Race 5 Number 1 Gopati
One of the biggest unknowns on the program, but if he brings what he produced in NZ, he just wins. Formerly trained by the All-Stars of Purdon/Rasmussen, so straight away that jumps off the page with quality. No public trials to get ready, but on race-day form, he has a fair bit on these.
Next-best: Race 1 Number 7 Matatoki
Pretty keen on this gelding. He’s been really good this time in without winning, the latest run seeing him run a game fifth to a handy trotter in Aladdin Sane. He has a 30m handicap to overcome but has great manners from the tapes, so he should get away cleanly and prove quite hard to beat.
Value: Race 3 Number 1 All Good Wally
He’ll be decent odds given he hasn’t done a great deal his past two, but, he has had plenty of excuses. Two-back did way too much work in the breeze and dropped out. Then last start he had a flat tyre, so just forget he went around. Three-back was good in defeat and drawn the pole, he is worth an each-way ticket.
Best bet: Race 1 Number 2 Fantasize
Looks a race in two but I’m pretty keen on this mare. It was a horror show here last time out. She looked to be in the right spot but just had zero luck getting clear and if you were on, apologies for bringing up the nightmare. She has the gate speed to lead and with Robbie Morris steering, I dare say she’ll attempt a gate-to-wire victory.
Next-best: Race 2 Number 9 Our Megastar
His recent form is suspect, but it just reads far stronger than anything engaged here. He has been below par recently, but he has been racing in some solid races at Menangle, a class of race which is much, much better than what he faces here. He draws the second row, but class gets him home.
Value: Race 7 Number 1 A Lot of Cost
More of a 1×3 play at odds. Bevan Pringle trained gelding that had a really good run in transit last time out when racing here. He showed gate speed to lead early then hand up for a trail. From there, he battled away well to run second. If he can hold leaders back once again, he’ll run a positive race.