There are two meetings to look at on Friday night, with my attention being at Echuca and Bathurst.
The best bets for the respective programs are down below.
Best bet: Race 4 Number 5 Freddiesam
A former Kiwi that makes his Australian debut and it could be a winning one. He contested a couple of strong Country Cups before coming over and was far from disgraced both runs.
Mea Culpa does look the main threat but Freddiesam has a touch of class and that should get him home.
Next-best: Race 8 Number 5 Sicario
The feature race is the Echuca Cup and I’m really keen on Sicario. He is getting on in years but is still racing with a healthy amount of zest. Be forgiving of his Charlton Cup effort when buried back on the pegs from the second row draw. With the front line draw now he should press forward, hopefully lead and prove hard to run down.
Value: Race 5 Number 1 Have No Choice
He’ll only run well here. He ran last Wednesday at Tabcorp Park Melton when drawing the second row and sticking on pretty well in defeat after getting the box seat trail. He’s drawn the front line, he has enough gate speed to lead and over the sprint trip at Echuca, on speed will be the spot to be.
Best bet: Race 1 Number 8 Soho Casablanca
It’s short and sweet to kick off the meeting. The well-bred colt under the care of Rickie Alchin has had two career outings, both coming over the Newcastle mile. The latest run saw him bolt up from off the speed and run good time. Wherever he sits in the run, he’s clearly the one to beat.
Next-best: Race 3 Number 5 Our George Boston
I’m keen on this guy to bounce back. Impressive debut winner here before going to the Sapling at Menangle where he was asked to chase pretty much from the outset and couldn’t sustain the chase in a fast run mile. He’s much better suited here, should find the front and prove hard to run down.
Value: Race 4 Number 1 Life Lavros
I would say this is more of a place bet, 1×3 at best. He resumed at this track/distance last Wednesday when landing the 1/1 spot and battled away pretty well in defeat to run fourth. He’s drawn the pole and should land in a decent enough spot, likely the box seat, and can sneak a place at decent odds.