There are two meetings to look at on Monday, with Forbes and Stawell getting my attention.
Down below are my best bets for the respective programs.
Best bet – Race 2, No. 7: Baxter Red:
With a clear class edge, he’s the best on the program, albeit the odds will be nothing fancy. His recent runs have come at Bathurst in far stronger races than this, where he has been far from disgraced. The depth here is nowhere near as thin, and with luck from inside the second-row draw he’ll be too good.
Next-best bet –Race 4, No. 3: Drive To The Beach
I think he’s a great bet here. He resumed at Parkes, where he just lost sight of the bunny despite drawing soft and just couldn’t get involved. Hopefully he’ll use the gate to his advantage here, and given he’s fitter and this is a weak race, I think he’s clearly the one they have to beat in this event.
Value bet – Race 5, No. 1: Rocky Leigh
The winning strike rate is nothing to jump up and down about, but the gate and map are, especially given he’ll be decent odds. He had a soft run from this gate at Parkes last start and battled away when second. I think he’ll land leaders back once again, and I’m happy to speck for 1×3 at a price.
Best bet – Race 7, No. 1: Lovin Everyday
She races best when leading and she gets the gate to do that here, so I think she’s the best in the program. She put together a couple of sharp wins before going to Mildura, where she did too much work in the run in what was a total forgive. She’ll lead this field up and get control, and I think she’ll prove too tough to get past.
Next-best bet – Race 4, No. 1: Better Steam Ahead
I’m hoping for an all-the-way triumph. He was massive in defeat last start at Hamilton after doing all the work from the wide gate. He contested the Mount Gambier Cup the start prior and had no luck. He should be able to hold up comfortably, and from in front he’s the one they have to beat.
Value bet – Race 1, No. 1: Abbey Fields
I reckon this mare races best when she can get a suck run behind the speed and dash at them late. She gets a perfect chance to produce that scenario, drawing the pole, and is likely to follow out the horse drawn immediately to the outside. She’s a key chance in the market. Her recent form is patchy, but she had the pole recently at this track and placed, so she’s worth an each-way ticket in the opener.