Two meetings to look at on Monday, with my attention at Maryborough and Goulburn. Down below are your best bets for the respective programs.
It’s Championships time! Saturday’s card at Randwick is an absolute beast, with the TJ Smith sprint and time-honoured Doncaster Handicap over a mile the standouts.
The Derby is pretty solid too. After a nice win last week, I’m looking to back things up and with big, quality fields there’s some value to be found.
Looks to be good conditions but as of Thursday evening the track is still heavy, I expect we’ll be in a mid-slow range come race time.
Best bet: Race 7 – 16 Montefilia (currently $3.60)
Best value bet: Race 5 – 2 Concert Hall (currently $14)
Best speculator: Race 3 – 13 Charmmebaby (currently $26)
2020-21 season (since August 1)
Outlay: 434 units
Return: 552.7 units
Stats are based on one unit being equal to a $1 win bet, New South Wales dividends. See the comments for any changes based on scratchings or track condition.
No bet in Race 1 with several first starters and limited exposed form.
Race 2: 2 Wheelhouse (one unit)
Wheelhouse has been racing at the big end of the town and he was only two lengths off Mo’unga last time, which reads well for this race. The Irishman and Poland were good a few weeks back against Hungry Heart, Poland is worse off at the weights.
Off the up-and-comers, Kiku is two-from-two this prep, winning by solid margins in lower grade and he might be able to step up.
Race 3: 13 Charmmebaby (two units)
It could be a big day for Taree trainer Bob Milligan, who also has two runners at his home meeting on Saturday. I think Charmmebaby is a ridiculous price, he gobbled them up like a good horse in the qualifier at Scone in a ripping time. He was okay in good Saturday Sydney grade preparing for this (behind Doncaster chance Yao Dash).
Another One is rated second-best, he’s also won a Highway race in town and was great charging home in his qual at Wagga.
Race 4: 4 Easifar (one unit)
A tricky race for fillies over distance in a final Oaks lead-up. Easifar looked good over 1400 metres winning fresh, I’m trusting Team Waller has her ready for the extra distance here.
Flexible has been getting ready for the extra trip, while Salto Angel is still a maiden but was runner-up in the VRC Oaks at Flemington last year, so must respect.
Race 5: 2 Concert Hall (two units)
I’m very interested in Kiwi invader Concert Hall, she was 2.4 lengths behind Melody Belle across the ditch last time, while last year she won the big 2000 metre Group 1 at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. She’s eight from 16 on soft going and might have a bit on these.
Rondinella hasn’t won in two years, but her run over 2400 metres last prep measures up. Sacramento is a star — he’s risen eight grades since January and keeps on running well, no knock at all.
Race 6: 3 Lightsaber (one unit)
Lightsaber ticks the 1400 metre box for me and beat Saif last start, who was far too good last week at Rosehill. He’ll go forward and give a good sight. Four Moves Ahead was good in the Slipper and Sargent-trained horses generally go well over further.
Anamoe came from well back in the Slipper and, with Captivant, is in the mix too.
Race 7: 16 Montefilia (two units)
Montefilia takes on the boys in a great edition of the Derby. The Classic form supersedes the Tulloch (won by Yaletown) last week, and Montefilia was solid chasing home Mo’unga and Sky Lab last time in the Rosehill Guineas. She was stretching out late there and it looks like the extra 400 is ideal.
Sky Lab is a big threat, Lion’s Roar is at the same level but might prefer a dry track.
Race 8: 5 Masked Crusader (one unit)
Wow, what a tip-top TJ Smith we’ve got this year. Six Group 1 winners, where to begin?
As you may know, I’ve had a massive crush on Libertini since she gave Classique Legend a cold last prep before the Everest. She can win this, but is marked down due to some give in the track. If it’s dry by Saturday I’ll be on.
This leaves me with Masked Crusader, who was shaping as a myth last prep as a perennial beaten favourite, but has put that tag to bed with two wins this prep, including the William Reid at Moonee Valley. Undefeated on slow going.
Eduardo is a gun but he’s stretched at 1200 metres, Nature Strip and Bivouac are stars themselves.
Race 9: 20 Forbidden Love (one unit)
No easier in a brilliant Doncaster Mile, where I’m looking down the bottom of the page where the three-year-olds have been given lovely weight advantages. Forbidden Love is drawn better and was terrific winning the restricted Group 1 two starts back. She was cuddled last time after being squeezed.
Mo’unga, Think It Over, Funstar and even Best Of Days all rate highly but are drawn very wide. Yao Dash was great (with track bias?) last week and is well suited from a forward position again. No knock Mugatoo who gets to superstar class with a win here.
Race 10: 6 Never Talk (one unit)
Never Talk looks nicely placed in the last, she’s back to 1200 metres and is a winner (five-from-nine career). Supreme Idea will be on speed and is always running well at a nice price, but Marboosha may have her measure.
Macroura won well fresh and could go on with it here. Selburose (Avdulla/Waller) drops right down in weight and will be in my quaddie in the spicy price range.
It’s a superb day of racing, good luck everyone, please fire through comments in the section below about your thoughts across the card and how you’re tracking.