Super Saturday horse racing at Flemington is one of the marquee days of the year. It is Super Saturday and this year it is super in every sense of the word. The Newmarket Handicap and Australian Cup are the two big Group One races on the program and the Newmarket Handicap in particular is a stunning race. Group One in Sydney comes from Randwick with all eyes on The Autumn Sun and the Randwick Guineas. See past previews below.

Select a Race Meeting

Race 1

12:15pm

Suggested

King Of Yulong (No.4), Superhard (No.6) & Crown Witness (No.8)

Dangers

Bandipur (No.2) & Malahat (No.5)

I am kicking the day off in the first race which is down the straight over the 1000m. This race typifies the day in many respects. It is wide open with plenty of chances. Crown Witness has had two runs back from a spell this time in and been good in both of them and I think this looks a winnable race for her. She jumped out really nicely prior to her first up run at Moonee Valley where she was taken on up front early, came back and took a sit, hit the front in the straight and only just got run down late. It was a race that had multiple late scratchings and she drew gate one and was left in the barriers for quite a lengthy time. I think it may have played a part late in the race. She then took on the Oakleigh Plate second up where she was caught wide for most of the race and finished well back. She was only beaten six lengths though in what was a very hot sprint race and I reckon that might be good enough to salute here. She has won at her only run down the straight which is a key factor, she draws a middle gate and stays down in the weights so I think she gets a good setup here and should be hard to run down. Superhard resumes here having his first run for the John Sadler stable after racing with Darren Weir last campaign. That was an excellent campaign which produced four wins and saw him step up in distance quite effectively. He is a horse that has always shown good ability and his recent jump out was quite strong when asked for an effort late at Caulfield. I just feel as a four year old with six wins from fifteen starts he might be a horse that still has some upside and if he can sprint well fresh then this is within his grasp so happy to be with him. King Of Yulong is one of a couple of imported gallopers making their Australian debut for the Snowden camp here at Flemington on Saturday. This is a horse who was a Group Two winner at Goodwood only three starts ago back in August and is still a young horse seemingly with some upside. He has taken on Group One races in Europe at his last two starts so he is obviously talented. He has shown nice speed in a couple of recent jump outs and I am erring on the side of caution and keeping him on side here as he may just blow them away if he has acclimatised well.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Crown Witness and save with $20 the win on both King Of Yulong and Superhard!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 2

12:50pm

Suggested

Antah (No.1) & Bravo Tango (No.4)

Dangers

Greyworm (No.7) & Simply Invincible (No.10)

This race is just a Benchmark 84 over the 1400m which will probably pale into insignificance compared to some of the other big races on the program, but gee it is a good race. It is a really interesting race. There are some up and coming in form horses doing battle here and it promises to be a cracking race. The likelihood of a genuine solid tempo up front also adds to the intrigue. There are quite a few horses that like to go forward and that should ensure a keen contest. Bravo Tango is a horse that has always shown a lot of ability and he looks as if he may be really starting to put it all together now. He burst on to the scene as a three year old and was touted as an Australian Guineas chance around this time last year but never made it to that race and subsequently seemed to lose his way. This campaign it has all been positive. I saw him jump out at Terang prior to his first up run and I thought he just looked a bit more professional in the way he went about it. As a result I had something on him first up where he was a massive drifter in the betting and he beat all bar Tin Hat in that race who we saw go on to win in stakes class. Bravo Tango’s two runs since have produced dominant victories. He won well two starts ago at Sandown defeating Declarationofheart who was competitive in the Australian Guineas last Saturday and then last start for mine was his most impressive effort yet at Sale. He has typically been a get back and run on horse but he showed he had another string to his bow at Sale. He jumped well and was pushed on to sit outside the leader and ride a solid tempo. He turned for home and was able to kick off that strong tempo and open up a lead on his rivals which they couldn’t peg back. I loved the way he went about it. I see no reason why he can’t win again here. With the likely strong speed up front he will probably go back to sitting off the speed here. From gate two I don’t think he will want to be too far back though and I am hoping he can land only a couple of pairs back. From there he will just need a touch of luck getting the runs at the right time and if he does he will be hard to hold out. Happy to be with him. Antah is another horse that comes into the race in outstanding form. He has won three of four this time in and was only just touched off here at Flemington last start. The run was still very strong. He was a long way back on the fence coming to the turn and made up a lot of ground very quickly and burst through to take the lead with a furlong to run. He looked the winner but Thunder Cloud was just able to finish the mile off a little bit stronger and nab him on the line. They put a good gap on the third horse and it was just another sign that this horse is flying. He is going to really appreciate the good speed up front here coming back to the 1400m. He draws ideally in a middle gate to get a good run sitting back off the speed hopefully settling midfield one off the fence. From there he should be primed to build into the race with full momentum and with those recent 1600m runs under his belt be really strong at the end of 1400m whereas a few of his rivals are stepping up to this trip for the first time this campaign and maybe a distance doubt. He definitely won’t be and I expect him to be hard to hold out. The chances don’t end there. Rox The Castle and Greyworm are both horses on the up but have to do it in a strongly run 1400m here which is a slight question mark. I am shocked Greyworm has come up so short in all honesty. He is a talented horse but he maps very awkwardly from the wide draw stepping up to this trip. It is going to be a really good race but happy to be with Bravo Tango and Antah.

Betting strategy

The money for Greyworm continues to pile in! He seems so short now! I will have $40 the win on Antah and Bravo Tango to roll him!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 4

2:05pm

Suggested

Sunset Watch (No.2), Marcel From Madrid (No.7) & Golden Halo (No.10)

Dangers

Yulong Yuheng (No.1), Anjana (No.4) & Krone (No.5)

This is another deep race with plenty of chances. It is down the straight for the three year olds over the 1100m. Over half of the eleven horse field are first up here and plenty of those resuming have jumped out or trialled well. I think the winner does come from that resuming brigade who do look to have a class edge over the ones that have raced already this campaign. Bleu Roche is probably the exception to that but I thought she was pretty plain at Moonee Valley last time out and I just want to see her produce her best again before I back her. Sunset Watch is a horse who beat Bleu Roche home at Moonee Valley in the spring and I am hoping he can kick his campaign here off on a winning note. He is a three year old that has been lightly raced so far and probably just held back that little bit from taking on the cream of the crop. He won the first two starts of his career at Ballarat and Caulfield as a two year old in March last year when leading all the way before being unable to lead at his third start and running fifth. He was immediately spelled after that. First up in the spring he went to Moonee Valley where he did a bit of work early to find the lead and then had to show plenty of fight late to hold off Ringerdinding. He was then a month between runs before just being touched off by Charge at the same track on Cox Plate Day. He beat home Ringerdingding again there along with Bleu Roche. He only had those two runs in that spring campaign and I am hoping his connections will reap the benefits of that patience this campaign. His two Werribee jump outs have looked outstanding to my eye. He has travelled sweetly in both of them and gone to the line strongly under little urging from his rider. I think he is primed to deliver a big first up performance here and was actually surprised he wasn’t shorter in the market here. I expected him to be closer to $3 and he is almost $5 in the early markets. He draws a middle to wide gate for Dwayne Dunn which should see him roll to the front in the best part of the straight track and with those two jump outs under his belt I expect him to come to the races ready to rumble. Keen to be with him. Marcel From Madrid is an interesting runner and not surprisingly he has been well supported as soon as fixed odds markets went up. He won his first two starts in his career as a two year old which included a Group Three win in Adelaide over the Oaks winner Aristia. He then resumed in the spring with a super run first up at Moonee Valley behind Brutal before being well backed here in the Danehill and not really firing second up before failing in the Guineas Prelude. That campaign was aborted following that run and I am hoping he has come back in better order this time around. He has had a recent jump out at Flemington where he travelled well throughout before being asked for an effort late. I really like the way he quickened and extended late when asked for an effort there. He looks nicely placed here down in the weights from a middle gate with Williams on board and would expect him to sprint well fresh so happy to be with him. The other horse I am going to have something on is Golden Halo. She is the horse in the race I think could be capable of really going to another level this time in. She showed plenty in her first campaign. She won well at Donald on debut before running a cracking race when a touch unlucky behind Sunlight at Group Three level at her second start when huge odds at Caulfield. She then went to Morphettville and won well before running well behind Meryl and Sunlight again at her next two starts. That was all in her first campaign and with natural improvement into her second campaign I think we might see a pretty handy horse this time in. She trialled very nicely at Cranbourne recently where she held Seabrook fairly comfortably with a long gap to third. I just think she might be the x-factor and big improver in the race so at double figure odds I want to have something on her in a cracking race.

Betting strategy

$4.80 is the best price about Sunset Watch with SportsBet at the moment and I will have half of my $40 stake at that price now and the other half at Top Fluc! I will also have $20 the win on Marcel From Madrid and $15 the win on Golden Halo!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 6 - The Newmarket Handicap

3:15pm

Suggested

Santa Ana Lane (No.2), In Her Time (No.6), Graff (No.20) & Zousain (No.21)

Dangers

Brave Smash (No.3), Osborne Bulls (No.4) & Eduardo (No.14)

This is the race of the day, perhaps the race of the year just about. It is the Newmarket Handicap down the straight at Flemington over the 1200m and it has drawn together monster field of 23 runners. It is going to be a wonderful spectacle. The only issue is finding the winner. Osborne Bulls is clearly a very likeable animal and a massive winning chance here. For a race of this depth though he seems to have come up very short. For mine this is a race that is around $6 the field and he has come up under $4 in most places. I would expect that you would get better on the day and as I said, while he is a massive winning chance, I am not particularly keen to tumble into him at that short of a price. There are a heap of winning hopes in the race and some at really good value I feel. Graff for me is the horse I expect to make significant improvement off the Lightning run and prove very hard to beat here. He was firm in the market in the Lightning but I think just found the 1000m that little bit too sharp. He was getting through the line nicely late but just couldn’t sprint with them when the tempo went on. I think this promises to for once actually be a genuinely run straight race. I think that will play into his hands. He is down in the weights and looks to be drawn the right part of the track out wide with quite a few of the other winning chances. I think around the $8-9 mark he is worth a bet over Osborne Bulls as I really don’t see much between them off their respective Lightning efforts and with the weight swing in his favour and at the better price I just find Graff a more attractive bet. There may well be some scenes for punters across Australia too if the Wizard Willy Pike can get this home and crack it for a major Group One win on the eastern seaboard. The forgotten horse out of the Lightning seems to be the winner In Her Time. I have to admit in the lead up to doing the form on the race she wasn’t really in my head as a horse I was considering to back. The more I look at it though she has to be a great winning chance. Her last two runs and only two runs for that matter down the straight here at Flemington have been excellent. Two starts back she was a touch unlucky when forced back to the inside of the track behind Santa Ana Lane on the final day of the carnival before really making her own luck here three weeks ago to win the Lightning. She was again slightly awkwardly placed without cover back over towards the inside of the track. She took over at the furlong and held off the fast finishing Osborne Bulls who certainly looked the flashier run but it is worth remembering he had a lovely cart into the race with cover out wide on the course. I thought In Her Time deserved her win. Some will argue she is even better over the 1200m which she steps too here. She looks to also draw the right part of the track out wide and she just never seems to run a bad race. I think she will be right in the firing line the whole way and definitely be in the finish. Around the $12-15 mark she looks a great bet. How can you not have something on Santa Ana Lane. He keeps winning Group One races, he keeps starting double figure odds. His win here in November on the final day of the carnival beating a hot sprint field was excellent. Prior to that he had won in track record time in Sydney and earlier in the year won a Goodwood and a Stradbroke. He is a serious horse. His most recent jump out at Balnarring showed he was on track as he was strong through the line behind his stable mate Shoals. I just think you have to respect him and at double figure odds if he is within striking distance late he is going to be really strong and give you something to cheer so happy to have something on him. Zousain is the mystery runner. I am a big fan of this horse and honestly thought he was a moral first up when he took on a small field at Caulfield. Thankfully for me Tin Hat was scratched which meant he come into unbackable odds and then got rolled by the smart and unbeaten Terbium. I am just not sure he appreciated the stop start tempo of that race. For mine he is a horse who might be better suited coming off a strong rolling tempo which he is likely to get here. He gets right down in the weights to 51kgs for Craig Williams for a middle gate and as opposed to the $1.40 last start he will start closer to $20 on Saturday. I just have to have something on him at that price. The chances don’t end there. Redkirk Warrior is going for a third consecutive win in this race, Brave Smash is racing really well, Booker and Eduardo were excellent in the Oakleigh Plate and Sunlight is another horse that may be somewhat forgotten here. It is just a great race, I really can’t wait for it. I am mainly with the Kris Lees pair of Graff and In Her Time and will keep Santa Ana Lane and Zousain on side for decent results also.

Betting strategy

I will have $25 the win on Graff here and have $15 the win on all three of In Her Time, Santa Ana Lane and Zousain!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 7

4:00pm

Suggested

Angelic Ruler (No.1), Kenyan Wonder (No.9) & Princess Jenni (No.14)

Dangers

Spanish Whisper (No.2), Sizzleme (No.4) & Victory Kingdom (No.11)

This race is for the three year old fillies over the 1400m. I doubt we are seeing any real superstars here and no doubt Mystic Journey would do some damage to this lot but it is a competitive race. There looks to be good speed in the race too which should set it up for a horse to be really strong late in the race. The Closer, Pickup The Pieces, Victory Kingdom and Etana are all go forward horse that like to lead and that should provide a good tempo and give horses the opportunity to run on. I thought Angelic Ruler was excellent at her Victorian debut last start at Caulfield. As is her nature she just got off the bridle coming to the home turn and looked to be struggling but once she built into her work she finished the race off well late. She was only just touched off by the talented Qafila who I think is a filly pretty close to that top level. The key gear change for Angelic Ruler here is the application of blinkers. I am hoping that might iron out that flat spot before the home turn and that will allow her to hopefully blend into the race at the right time. If she can do that she should be really strong late off the strong tempo at 1400m and I think she is the one they all have to beat. This South Australian filly in Kenyan Wonder is an interesting runner. She has won two of her four career starts including her last two and the most recent win was most impressive when resuming off a two month spell. She sat back over the 1200m and got to the outside and rounded her rivals up most impressively. She came from last and won and on the line she was pretty much eased down running away. The setup of this race should work out nicely for her. She draws a nice middle gate, there looks likely to be good speed up front and she should be finishing strongly at the end of the race. It also looks a race that is inviting a horse to step up and go to the next level and she looks like she could be that horse. Happy to be with her. Princess Jenni might finally resume here. For those that subscribe, you will know I have been keen on her when down to run a couple of time recently and I feel like a broken record if I write what I have been writing again here. She has trialled well again since that first good trial but she does have to resume first up over 1400m from an awkward gate. I think she is a very smart filly though and a bit like what I was saying with Kenyan Wonder it seems a race where a filly might really jump up out of the ground. She is double figure odds here and I have to have something on her just in case.

Betting strategy

Clearly the market is agreeing with me here as the money has come for both Angelic Ruler and Kenyan Wonder! I will have $50 the win on Angelic Ruler, $30 the win on Kenyan Wonder and $15 the win on Princess Jenni!

Race Outlay

$95

Race 8 - Australian Cup

4:35pm

Suggested

Almandin (No.1), Rekindling (No.2) & Trap For Fools (No.4)

Dangers

Avilius (No.7)

This is the second Group One race of the day here. It is the Australian Cup over the 2000m and it is a most intriguing race. Like the Newmarket we have a favourite that has come up pretty short. I think in this case the short price is probably more justified in the case of Avilius. His two wins this time in have been excellent. He was super winning first up at Caulfield and he backed that up with a win of real authority last start in the Peter Young. I thought he was a slight risk last start as he drew gate one and that for me could again be the slight issue here. He got the luck at Caulfield and he will be relying on it again here on Saturday. If you remember this race day last year the rail was fairly hot and those horses back on the fence on the rail found a fair bit of trouble as horses in front were reluctant to leave the rail. If the breaks come his way he is obviously going to be hard to hold out but he is around the even money mark. Do I want to get involved at that price? Not really. I am going to bet around him but won’t be investing heavily in the race. I will go with a similar approach to how I bet in the Oakleigh Plate a few weeks back where I wasn’t keen on taking on Nature Strip but didn’t want to back him either. The horse Avilius beat home in the race at Caulfield last start was Trap For Fools and I think he is potentially the horse most likely of causing an upset. I think he has come back really well this time in and he is typically a horse that gets better with racing the deeper he gets into his campaign. He hit the line nicely first up from off the speed before taking up his usual on speed role as leader last start. I thought he was a winning chance on the turn when he kicked clear but the gap then came for Avilius who came off his back and proved too strong. I think with those two runs now under his belt we might see Trap For Fools run along a bit more freely here and try and get a few rivals off the bit and chasing. Up to the 2000m suits and the last time he ran over this track and distance he won the Group One Mackinnon on the final day of the carnival last year. I am happy to be with him. The Lloyd Williams gallopers are the big query runners. Rekindling hasn’t been seen since winning the Melbourne Cup almost eighteen months ago. How good is he? He is a horse that competed in some huge Group One races in Europe before coming over for the Melbourne Cup and proving too strong for Johannes Vermeer. He is still so lightly raced that there may still be some upside in him. Obviously I had a pretty good collect on him Melbourne Cup Day in 2017 so I am pretty keen to have something on him here. He has come up double figure odds in the market and I am pretty happy to be with him just in case. Let’s be honest though, he could win or run last, we just don’t know. Given how well Johannes Vermeer ran last week though I think we can take some confidence from that, that Rekindling can be very competitive in this race. Almandin was arguably unlucky not to win this race last year. He missed the spring and is a high class stayer as we all know. He is also a Melbourne Cup winner. Ollie will put him to sleep from gate two and I wouldn’t be surprised if he just lobbed outside of Avilius drawn inside of him and has Bowman in his sights the whole way. He is another that if he can run to his best in this race here he can certainly be very competitive. He has also come up double figure odds in the race and at that price I think he is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have $20 the win on Trap For Fools and $15 the win on both Almandin and Rekindling!

Race Outlay

$50

Race 1

12:30pm

Suggested

Spright (No.1) & Winter Bride (No.3)

Dangers

Sedanzer (No.2) & Resin (No.5)

Group One racing in Sydney comes from Randwick again this Saturday for their big Randwick Guineas Day. All eyes will be on The Autumn Sun in that race as he looks to build on what is an already imposing record. He has come up $1.50 so it won’t be a betting race but it promises to be a great showdown with the rising star of the fillies ranks in Nakeeta Jane who has won her first two starts this campaign in brilliant fashion. It will be a great race to watch, but happy to sit it out from a betting point of view. That sums up this day a little bit. The two slipper trials for me are races that we can watch and learn from rather than get sucked into betting on Saturday and that means I am only betting into the four races on the program. We went three out of four last Saturday in Sydney so let’s hope we can go one better this Saturday. The forecast is for dry weather up until race day and then the chance of late rain on Saturday so we will be racing on a good track; that is something I am pretty confident about with the rail in the true position. Randwick has really turned the corner for mine in the last twelve months as far as the track goes. It just seems to be racing really fairly on a consistent basis which is great to see coming into carnival time. I am kicking the day off in the first race of the day which is for the mares over the 1200m. It is a pretty strong race. Five of the nine runners are first up and certainly there is a strong class representation at the top of the weights in Spright. This mare comes into the race second up having produced an enormous performance last start in the Oakleigh Plate when resuming. She just got a mile too far back. She was in another suburb on the home turn and her effort to finish only two lengths from Booker in fifth place was quite extraordinary. It was a huge run. Her last four runs have come in Group One races – The Moir, Manikato, VRC Sprint Classic and Oakleigh Plate. She has taken on the cream of sprint races and sprint horses in the country. This Group Three race back against her own sex is clearly the easiest race she has come across in some time. She draws ideally in a middle gate for Kerrin McEvoy to hopefully land just off the speed in a stalking position and providing she is close enough to them in the run she is going to take some holding out. Keen to be with her. I think she only has to run up to that Oakleigh Plate effort and she should be winning. I am looking forward to seeing the return of one of my favourite horses in Winter Bride here. This mare was so dominant through the winter and early spring. She won five of her seven starts across those two campaigns and really elevated herself to another level going down to Melbourne and winning two Group Three races there. She really has built herself up an imposing record. She has now won eight of seventeen with five minor placings. She is a very good horse quite simply. Her recent trial at the Gold Coast instils me with even more confidence coming into this. She looked to go really nicely in that. She was never let off the bridle in that trial and had her rivals easily covered all the way. She draws nicely here in gate five for Tommy Berry to land in a stalking position just off the speed. I think given the lack of speed in this race she is going to land right on the speed which was the extra string she added to her bow last campaign and I think from that stalking position with her excellent first up record she is going to be hard to hold out. I think her and Spright represent a really good two bet play to start the day.

Betting strategy

I will have $50 the win on Spright here and $40 the win on Winter Bride!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 2

1:10pm

Suggested

Baller (No.6), Trope (No.9) & Humma Mumma (No.10)

Dangers

Jonker (No.4) & Prophet’s Thumb (No.12)

This is the Fireball Stakes over the 1200m for the three year old and is another really intriguing race. It is a deep race with plenty of winning chances here. I found myself moving away from those horses that are up the top of the weights who have probably taken on stronger races that their rivals in their career. I just am not sure those horses are going as well as they can be at the moment and for that reason am leaning to the horses further down the page that are on the rise. A horse that certainly fits that bill is Baller. He is a horse that showed great promise in his first campaign and he looks to have come back really well this time in. That was a pretty strong race he took on first up and I love the way he sat off a strong tempo and really chased his rivals down. His wins in his first campaign came when running along on a strong tempo. He looked more of a race horse first up I thought. He sat off the speed and settled well and hit the line strongly. He landed good bets in that first up win which suggests that he has come back well. He looks to get it all in his favour again here on Saturday. He draws gate four for Kerrin McEvoy (might be in for a big day, does have a handy book) and from that gate I think he can land just off the speed stalking the leaders and I would expect him to be very strong at the end of 1100m. Happy to be with him. Humma Mumma makes the switch up from Melbourne to Sydney following two good runs so far this campaign and I certainly think this is a race that she is capable of winning. I think her form around the likes of Sunlight and Meryl read really well for a race of this nature. She looks well weighted with just 54kgs under the conditions of this race and from gate two she should get a lovely smothering run off the speed. If the breaks come her way I think she can be finishing strongly. She has fitness on her side with those two runs under her belt this time in and I fancy she can go close here so happy to be with her. The horse I struggled to get a read on in the race was Trope. This galloper won on debut on the Kensington track when settling at the tail of the field and bombing down the middle of the track to score narrowly in a bit of a bunched finish. My first reaction was that it was a bit of a soft race and I was a bit wary on him and the form coming out of it. The form has been neither here nor there coming out of the race but this horse’s recent trial was really stylish. He showed a bit more speed which shows he may have the potential to settle closer in the run but he has unfortunately come up with a wide gate again which means he will probably have to go back. He looks a pretty handy horse though to my liking and I would rather keep him on side just in case at double figure odds here.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Baller here! I will have $20 the win on Humma Mumma and $15 the win on Trope!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 5

3:00pm

Suggested

Ball Of Muscle (No.2) & Estijaab (No.7)

Dangers

Redzel (No.1)

This is another of the feature races of the day here. It is the Challenge Stakes at Group Two level over the 1000m for the sprinters. All eyes will be on the return of dual Everest winner Redzel who has trialled twice recently in preparation for this first up run. I have to say I was left a little hesitant on this horse after his first trial where I thought he didn’t look to go particularly well. He then was asked for a bit more of an effort in his most recent trial and he put a real gap on his rivals. I feel that will mean he won’t be super fresh for this 1000m race and with a couple of speed horses drawn inside him he probably lands either three wide outside the leaders or maybe back a pair tracking them. He has come up well into the red in the early markets but I am just not convinced on him. He has been a great horse, is a great horse I should say but I am going to take the punt and take him on here. There is a theory that most of his better recent performances have come on rain affected ground and he isn’t as effective on top of the ground. I am not completely sold on that theory just yet but it isn’t a theory without merit. I think he meets genuine opposition here in terms of the three year old filly Estijaab. I have to admit I might have got this filly wrong. I was very keen to take her on first up when she took on Fiesta at Warwick Farm. While Fiesta got the job done I thought Estijaab’s performance was enormous. She was first up off a very long spell and she did all the work up on speed and just got touched off late. It was a really encouraging return and it should have her well primed for this race second up. I think from gate two she is going to land right outside the likely leader in Ball Of Muscle and I am hoping from there she can really control the race and she is pretty tough. I think Redzel might have a real battle to get past her so at the better odds I am going to take the punt and have something on Estijaab. I am actually believe it or not also going to have something on Ball Of Muscle. How well did this horse go last campaign? He won three of four in that campaign and defeated the likes of Santa Ana Lane, Brave Smash and Invincible Star in those runs. He just seems an old horse that is loving his racing at the moment. His two trials this time in have been excellent and from gate one if he can hold the front and get his rivals off the bit and chasing he might take some running down. I am really hoping from gate one and two that he and Estijaab land on the bunny and own this race and make things a bit difficult for Redzel. At doubled figure odds I am happy to save on him behind Estijaab who I am happy to be with as well around that $3-4 mark.

Betting strategy

I will have $55 the win on Estijaab here and $15 the win on Ball Of Muscle!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 6 - Canterbury Stakes

3:35pm

Suggested

Trapeze Artist (No.1) & Kementari (No.3)

Dangers

Pierata (No.2) & Shoals (No.5)

This is the other Group One race on Randwick Guineas Day. It is the Group One Canterbury Stakes over the 1300m. It is a hot race but not an easy one. Trapeze Artist and Kementari are two horses I have been backing regularly in recent times without a lot of success. I am going back to the well with them one more time here on Saturday though. I think this race just sets up really well for both of them and is an ideal opportunity for both to add another Group One victory to the mantelpiece. I will start with Trapeze Artist. He has always been a horse that has been a little bit hard to catch throughout his career. His best and worst runs have had fairly significant gaps between them in terms of levels of performance. His best is obviously outstanding and his worst can be pretty mediocre at times. To the eye his first up run at Rosehill when well beaten in a field of five behind Alizee after seemingly having a good run outside the leader was quite mediocre. His run prior to that was a game second on an unsuitable heavy track in The Everest back in the spring. I am hoping we see the best Trapeze Artist here on Saturday. Since that first up run he has been sent back to the trials twice and he has won both trials by big spaces with Blake Shinn on board. Blake takes over the ride here on race day also. He typically trials without blinkers and then they are applied on race day but he is a four year old stallion now and maybe it is getting harder to switch him back on. Both recent trials he has worn the blinkers and looked like he has really meant business. The tactics early in this race will be quite interesting. He draws out in gate six and the speed inside of him looks to come from Brutal predominantly. He has Fell Swoop drawn outside of him which looks the other likely leader in the race with the potential of Prompt Response kicking up from two. I think he at worst lands outside the leader in Brutal. If McEvoy wants to hand up he then crosses and leads and if Fell Swoop wants to press on he then sits in a stalking role. From either of those positions I just think he can own the race. He is second up and fitter here, he gets up to the 1300m which I think will suit and back on to a drier surface. This is his final campaign, he is a stallion and this is a Group One race so I don’t think there will be much mucking about on Saturday. He is going to come ready to rumble and as such I am keen to be with him. Kementari comes back from Melbourne having gone down narrowly first up in the Orr over 1400m. He just looked a little bit dour in that race I thought. He was trained to win the race first up obviously and was well backed but came off the bridle a fair way from home I thought and while he kept chasing was unable to get there. He is starting to get that reputation as a bit of a non winner. Is it justified? I don’t know, but he would like to win another on pretty soon I reckon. I think this is a great opportunity for him to do so. He is four weeks between runs, he comes back to the 1300m and has the blinkers reapplied to get that bit of sharpness back into him. From gate three he should land in a perfect trailing position and there really don’t look to be any excuses at all for him on Saturday. I didn’t want to after his last run I have to admit, but I am going to give him one more chance.

Betting strategy

I will have $50 the win on Trapeze Artist here and $40 the win on Kementari!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 2

1:57pm

Suggested

Crusher (No.8) & Totally Charmed (No.9)

Dangers

Raiden (No.3) & One Stryke (No.7)

Racing in Queensland comes from Eagle Farm this Saturday for what is a pretty strong meeting. I have actually found a few races that I am keen to bet into. The track is currently rated as good and the weather forecast looks fairly promising. There is the small chance of a shower leading up to the meeting and on the day but I don’t expect it to be anything too significant to upset the track conditions. We should be racing on a good track. I am kicking the day off in the second race and was keen to be with a couple of horses a little further down in the weights. Crusher and Totally Charmed are both lightly raced four year olds resuming from a spell and both look to find a winnable race here. I thought it was a race that contained a couple of tried and true commodities that were well in commission in the betting and as a result these two horses with a bit of upside and scope appealed. Crusher has built up a pretty impressive record of four wins and three minor placings from eight career starts. Her form two campaigns back around the likes of Invincible Heart and Dream Master certainly read well enough for a race of this nature. Last campaign through the late autumn and early winter she won two of her three races and showed good promise. She is first up from a spell here but has won three of four first up. She gets the services of Jeff Lloyd from gate four and I would expect her to land on speed down in the weights and be pretty hard to get past. Keen to be with her. Totally Charmed has had a couple of trials to get him ready for this first up assignment and I am looking forward to his return. He is a horse that has shown good ability in his short career to date. He actually came on to my radar the Monday before the Warrnambool carnival last year. I was at home having a quiet beer going over the form for the big week while watching the races at Grafton and he popped up and won a maiden really impressively landing some nice bets. He went through his grades quite nicely for the remainder of the campaign as I followed him through and I feel there is probably more to come from him. He stays down in the weights here with just 54kgs from a good draw for Ryan Maloney and I think he will enjoy the big Eagle Farm track. Providing he has improved in the break which I think he would have then this looks a race well within his grasp so happy to be with him.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on both Crusher and Toyally Charmed here!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 4

3:07pm

Suggested

Manaya (No.1), Italia Bella (No.5) & Seductive Dream (No.6)

Dangers

Shalwa (No.12)

This is an interesting race over the 1200m for the fillies and mares. Gee, punters were left burnt a few weeks ago when Shalwa was backed into a $1.45 favourite at Doomben. She box seated behind the leader, got the gap in the straight and just when you expected her to shoot through and go on with the job she floundered and was well beaten. It was a pretty odd and disappointing run. The blinkers go on here and she has again come up a pretty short priced favourite. I am struggling to get enthused about her chances, particularly at the $2.50 on offer. Manaya is about double the price of her and I thought she represented an excellent bet in the race. She took on a pretty strong race first up here two weeks ago and she hit the line nicely behind the talented Scallopini. She just had to duck and weave between runners in the straight and never seemed able to build full momentum. She got through the line well enough though and back against her own sex here she looks really well placed. This race certainly looks a few notches back on the race she competed in first up. She typically improves from her first up run to her second up run, she draws ideally in gate three to get a gun run in behind the speed and if the breaks come her way at the right time I would expect her to be able to get over the top of them. Keen to be with her. It is interesting to note that she was scratched from a much harder race in Sydney to be saved for this easier assignment. I am going to keep a couple of resuming runners on side. Italia Bella is one that I found hard to get a read on in the race. As far as talent goes she is certainly blessed with a fair bit of it; it is just a question of how well she can sprint fresh over the 1200m here. She has had a couple of trials leading into it, so I don’t think fitness will be an issue, it will be more sharpness. She was pushed along in a recent 1000m trial when running second. I just go back to that dominant win over Looks Like Elvis last campaign over the 1350m and think to myself if she runs anywhere close to that level she will be dealing with these pretty comfortably. Her run first up last campaign she actually wasn’t beaten too far behind The Bostonian in a good race at the Sunshine Coast. Even a run up to that level would see her be competitive here so happy to be with her. The throw at the stumps bet in the race is Seductive Dream. This mare has a really good 1200m record. She has won five of eleven with four minor placings over this trip so that would suggest she is likely to run well here. Her form last campaign around some handy horses were pretty good and I thought she looked like she had a fair bit more to give in a recent trial at the Sunshine Coast despite finishing last. I am taking the engagement of Ryan Maloney as a positive and from a middle gate I can see her running well here around the $20 mark so happy to have something small on her.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Manaya here and happy to lock in the $5 freely available! I will also have $20 the win on Italia Bella and $10 the win on Seductive Dream!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 5

3:48pm

Suggested

Cruze (No.6) & Francisca (No.9)

Dangers

Beacon (No.4), Winning Ways (No.11) & Zoucara (No.12)

This is another handy race here. It is over the 1400m and I think Francisca gets an ideal opportunity to break through after two excellent runs to kick off her campaign without winning. She ran well from the back of the field at big odds first up before she was very heavily supported here two weeks ago. She just got caught wide somehow from gate seven and ended up being pushed wider on the turn before being left in front a long way from home. She still looked the winner inside the furlong but Benfica Princess was able to come from the back and run her down. I thought the run under the circumstances was excellent and she clearly gets the opportunity to break back into the winners circle here on Saturday. She should be primed here third up from a spell with that 1400m run now under her belt from last start. She draws an ideal middle gate (ironically the same as the one last start) and surely she won’t get caught wide from there. I see her landing in a gun trailing position just off the speed and I think she should be breaking through here. Keen to be with her. I think the stiffest opposition she faces comes from Cruze. I was surprised that this horse came up such long odds in the early markets. Not surprisingly he has been well supported since those markets went up from double figures into around the $8-9 mark and I wouldn’t be surprised if that support continued. His last three runs over the summer months were all very good. First up he wasn’t beaten far behind Desert Man and La Scopa which proved to be pretty strong form. He backed that up with a good run at the Gold Coast behind Star Reflection before not being far in the rich Magic Millions Cup behind Redouble. That form all reads very well for a race of this nature. He draws gate two here off an eight week freshen up and I anticipate him getting a gun run just off the speed. If the breaks come his way I think he will be right in the finish so happy to save on him behind Francisca.

Betting strategy

I will have $70 the win on Francisca here and save with $20 the win on Cruze locking in the $8.50 with SportsBet!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 6

4:27pm

Suggested

Dawson Diva (No.3), Rocknavar (No.11) & Missed The Alarm (No.12)

Dangers

Alpine Dancer (No.1) & Tatcee (No.2)

This race is for the three year olds over the 1840m. A lot of the form for this race comes from the race won by Tatcee two weeks ago. That was an impressive win but a lot went in his favour that day and I am happy to be with a couple of others from the race who finished behind him. Rocknavar is certainly the horse the market has come for. I was on her at big double figure odds last start when she finished second behind Tatcee. She had previously had a run in this distance range over 1700m when winning her maiden at Grafton before dropping back to the mile last start. I thought that would be an advantage in terms of her being strong late. She was certainly strong late but probably just got that little bit too far out of her ground. She just failed to real in Tatcee. I think back up to the 1840m here suits her ideally. She draws gate one for Robbie Fradd so I am hoping that he can take up a position a little closer to the speed on her and if he does that then she looks really hard to beat. Happy to be with her. Dawson Diva started favourite in that race and just didn’t have the best of luck at the right time. She ended up back over on the inside and was shuffled back coming to the turn. She went for a run back over towards the inside in the straight and that was just interrupted as she was going for it. I am not sure the inside part of the track was the best going at Eagle Farm that day either. She went through the line well but the bird had flown. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bounced back here. Her win at the start prior over Barefoot at the Sunshine Coast was really strong. She draws a nice middle gate here and I think with a good run in transit and an unimpeded run she should be hard to hold out here. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bounced back strongly here so happy to be with her. Missed The Alarm is the other horse I am going to have something on in the race. This filly broke her maiden at Grafton last start over the 1700m with a barnstorming win from the back of the field. She was heavily backed to win that race but looked in a hopeless position coming to the home turn when well back and near the tail. She swung very wide and got right to the middle of the track and was able to run over the top of her rivals. She has the run in this distance range under her belt and based on the manner in which she won last start I would be very surprised if she didn’t run the trip right out here. She looks as if she will lap it up. If other struggle to run it out then she looks the one primed to take full advantage so happy to be with her at the good odds on offer.

Betting strategy

I will have $45 the win on Rocknavar, $30 the win on Dawson Diva and $10 the win on Missed The Alarm!

Race Outlay

$85

Race 7

5:12pm

Suggested

Order Again (No.2) & Impasse (No.9)

Dangers

Tumbler (No.3) & Jaminzah (No.4)

This was the race I really agonised over whether to include in the preview or now. In the end I thought we got a pretty good betting opportunity with Tumbler coming up as a relatively short priced favourite. After a massive run first up at the Sunshine Coast she has just been fair at her last two runs behind Spurcraft and Mr Marbellouz. She didn’t make any real impression last start and stepping up to the 1400m here which is a distance she hasn’t won over I thought she was quite vulnerable. I thought there was better value betting around her. Order Again is a talented horse on his day and I think he is going to really enjoy the fact that he now has Eagle Farm open again. He is a horse that raced well here before renovations recommenced and I think this looks a really winnable race for him. He has had a recent trial to tune up for this where he was given a very quiet time. He looked like he had a fair bit more to give in that trial and to my eye looks to have come back well. There doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in this race so where he positions himself early from that slightly awkward middle to wide draw will be interesting. I think if Larry Cassidy can have him positioned close enough in a good trailing position then he is going to be hard to hold out so keen to be with him here. He will certainly run the 1400m out strongly as opposed to Tumbler who we are a bit unsure about. The other horse I definitely want to be with in the race is Impasse. I was actually quite surprised that this horse didn’t come up favourite. He was first up off a two month break when just touched off by Eminent at Doomben last start. He just had to make a bit of a duck and weave run between horses that day and it probably cost him that little bit of momentum at a crucial time. He only went down by the barest of margins so you can argue that cost him the race. He carried 57.5kgs in that race and gets nice weight relief here dropping down to 54kgs. He has an excellent 1400m record and he is a horse that might be able to take advantage by the lack of speed in the race. By lack of speed, Zahspeed may supply plenty of speed but he doesn’t look to have too much opposition for that lead so I fancy from gate five Ryan Maloney can have Impasse relatively close to the lead. He should have come on from that run last start and I just think this looks an ideal race for him. As I said, I was surprised he hadn’t come up favourite and around the $5-6 mark here I think he is an excellent bet in the race.

Betting strategy

I reckon the $5.50 about Impasse is a great price and I will lock that in and have $40 the win on him! I will also have $35 the win on Order Again!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 1

12:15pm

Suggested

King Of Yulong (No.4), Superhard (No.6) & Crown Witness (No.8)

Dangers

Bandipur (No.2) & Malahat (No.5)

I am kicking the day off in the first race which is down the straight over the 1000m. This race typifies the day in many respects. It is wide open with plenty of chances. Crown Witness has had two runs back from a spell this time in and been good in both of them and I think this looks a winnable race for her. She jumped out really nicely prior to her first up run at Moonee Valley where she was taken on up front early, came back and took a sit, hit the front in the straight and only just got run down late. It was a race that had multiple late scratchings and she drew gate one and was left in the barriers for quite a lengthy time. I think it may have played a part late in the race. She then took on the Oakleigh Plate second up where she was caught wide for most of the race and finished well back. She was only beaten six lengths though in what was a very hot sprint race and I reckon that might be good enough to salute here. She has won at her only run down the straight which is a key factor, she draws a middle gate and stays down in the weights so I think she gets a good setup here and should be hard to run down. Superhard resumes here having his first run for the John Sadler stable after racing with Darren Weir last campaign. That was an excellent campaign which produced four wins and saw him step up in distance quite effectively. He is a horse that has always shown good ability and his recent jump out was quite strong when asked for an effort late at Caulfield. I just feel as a four year old with six wins from fifteen starts he might be a horse that still has some upside and if he can sprint well fresh then this is within his grasp so happy to be with him. King Of Yulong is one of a couple of imported gallopers making their Australian debut for the Snowden camp here at Flemington on Saturday. This is a horse who was a Group Two winner at Goodwood only three starts ago back in August and is still a young horse seemingly with some upside. He has taken on Group One races in Europe at his last two starts so he is obviously talented. He has shown nice speed in a couple of recent jump outs and I am erring on the side of caution and keeping him on side here as he may just blow them away if he has acclimatised well.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Crown Witness and save with $20 the win on both King Of Yulong and Superhard!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 2

12:50pm

Suggested

Antah (No.1) & Bravo Tango (No.4)

Dangers

Greyworm (No.7) & Simply Invincible (No.10)

This race is just a Benchmark 84 over the 1400m which will probably pale into insignificance compared to some of the other big races on the program, but gee it is a good race. It is a really interesting race. There are some up and coming in form horses doing battle here and it promises to be a cracking race. The likelihood of a genuine solid tempo up front also adds to the intrigue. There are quite a few horses that like to go forward and that should ensure a keen contest. Bravo Tango is a horse that has always shown a lot of ability and he looks as if he may be really starting to put it all together now. He burst on to the scene as a three year old and was touted as an Australian Guineas chance around this time last year but never made it to that race and subsequently seemed to lose his way. This campaign it has all been positive. I saw him jump out at Terang prior to his first up run and I thought he just looked a bit more professional in the way he went about it. As a result I had something on him first up where he was a massive drifter in the betting and he beat all bar Tin Hat in that race who we saw go on to win in stakes class. Bravo Tango’s two runs since have produced dominant victories. He won well two starts ago at Sandown defeating Declarationofheart who was competitive in the Australian Guineas last Saturday and then last start for mine was his most impressive effort yet at Sale. He has typically been a get back and run on horse but he showed he had another string to his bow at Sale. He jumped well and was pushed on to sit outside the leader and ride a solid tempo. He turned for home and was able to kick off that strong tempo and open up a lead on his rivals which they couldn’t peg back. I loved the way he went about it. I see no reason why he can’t win again here. With the likely strong speed up front he will probably go back to sitting off the speed here. From gate two I don’t think he will want to be too far back though and I am hoping he can land only a couple of pairs back. From there he will just need a touch of luck getting the runs at the right time and if he does he will be hard to hold out. Happy to be with him. Antah is another horse that comes into the race in outstanding form. He has won three of four this time in and was only just touched off here at Flemington last start. The run was still very strong. He was a long way back on the fence coming to the turn and made up a lot of ground very quickly and burst through to take the lead with a furlong to run. He looked the winner but Thunder Cloud was just able to finish the mile off a little bit stronger and nab him on the line. They put a good gap on the third horse and it was just another sign that this horse is flying. He is going to really appreciate the good speed up front here coming back to the 1400m. He draws ideally in a middle gate to get a good run sitting back off the speed hopefully settling midfield one off the fence. From there he should be primed to build into the race with full momentum and with those recent 1600m runs under his belt be really strong at the end of 1400m whereas a few of his rivals are stepping up to this trip for the first time this campaign and maybe a distance doubt. He definitely won’t be and I expect him to be hard to hold out. The chances don’t end there. Rox The Castle and Greyworm are both horses on the up but have to do it in a strongly run 1400m here which is a slight question mark. I am shocked Greyworm has come up so short in all honesty. He is a talented horse but he maps very awkwardly from the wide draw stepping up to this trip. It is going to be a really good race but happy to be with Bravo Tango and Antah.

Betting strategy

The money for Greyworm continues to pile in! He seems so short now! I will have $40 the win on Antah and Bravo Tango to roll him!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 4

2:05pm

Suggested

Sunset Watch (No.2), Marcel From Madrid (No.7) & Golden Halo (No.10)

Dangers

Yulong Yuheng (No.1), Anjana (No.4) & Krone (No.5)

This is another deep race with plenty of chances. It is down the straight for the three year olds over the 1100m. Over half of the eleven horse field are first up here and plenty of those resuming have jumped out or trialled well. I think the winner does come from that resuming brigade who do look to have a class edge over the ones that have raced already this campaign. Bleu Roche is probably the exception to that but I thought she was pretty plain at Moonee Valley last time out and I just want to see her produce her best again before I back her. Sunset Watch is a horse who beat Bleu Roche home at Moonee Valley in the spring and I am hoping he can kick his campaign here off on a winning note. He is a three year old that has been lightly raced so far and probably just held back that little bit from taking on the cream of the crop. He won the first two starts of his career at Ballarat and Caulfield as a two year old in March last year when leading all the way before being unable to lead at his third start and running fifth. He was immediately spelled after that. First up in the spring he went to Moonee Valley where he did a bit of work early to find the lead and then had to show plenty of fight late to hold off Ringerdinding. He was then a month between runs before just being touched off by Charge at the same track on Cox Plate Day. He beat home Ringerdingding again there along with Bleu Roche. He only had those two runs in that spring campaign and I am hoping his connections will reap the benefits of that patience this campaign. His two Werribee jump outs have looked outstanding to my eye. He has travelled sweetly in both of them and gone to the line strongly under little urging from his rider. I think he is primed to deliver a big first up performance here and was actually surprised he wasn’t shorter in the market here. I expected him to be closer to $3 and he is almost $5 in the early markets. He draws a middle to wide gate for Dwayne Dunn which should see him roll to the front in the best part of the straight track and with those two jump outs under his belt I expect him to come to the races ready to rumble. Keen to be with him. Marcel From Madrid is an interesting runner and not surprisingly he has been well supported as soon as fixed odds markets went up. He won his first two starts in his career as a two year old which included a Group Three win in Adelaide over the Oaks winner Aristia. He then resumed in the spring with a super run first up at Moonee Valley behind Brutal before being well backed here in the Danehill and not really firing second up before failing in the Guineas Prelude. That campaign was aborted following that run and I am hoping he has come back in better order this time around. He has had a recent jump out at Flemington where he travelled well throughout before being asked for an effort late. I really like the way he quickened and extended late when asked for an effort there. He looks nicely placed here down in the weights from a middle gate with Williams on board and would expect him to sprint well fresh so happy to be with him. The other horse I am going to have something on is Golden Halo. She is the horse in the race I think could be capable of really going to another level this time in. She showed plenty in her first campaign. She won well at Donald on debut before running a cracking race when a touch unlucky behind Sunlight at Group Three level at her second start when huge odds at Caulfield. She then went to Morphettville and won well before running well behind Meryl and Sunlight again at her next two starts. That was all in her first campaign and with natural improvement into her second campaign I think we might see a pretty handy horse this time in. She trialled very nicely at Cranbourne recently where she held Seabrook fairly comfortably with a long gap to third. I just think she might be the x-factor and big improver in the race so at double figure odds I want to have something on her in a cracking race.

Betting strategy

$4.80 is the best price about Sunset Watch with SportsBet at the moment and I will have half of my $40 stake at that price now and the other half at Top Fluc! I will also have $20 the win on Marcel From Madrid and $15 the win on Golden Halo!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 6 - The Newmarket Handicap

3:15pm

Suggested

Santa Ana Lane (No.2), In Her Time (No.6), Graff (No.20) & Zousain (No.21)

Dangers

Brave Smash (No.3), Osborne Bulls (No.4) & Eduardo (No.14)

This is the race of the day, perhaps the race of the year just about. It is the Newmarket Handicap down the straight at Flemington over the 1200m and it has drawn together monster field of 23 runners. It is going to be a wonderful spectacle. The only issue is finding the winner. Osborne Bulls is clearly a very likeable animal and a massive winning chance here. For a race of this depth though he seems to have come up very short. For mine this is a race that is around $6 the field and he has come up under $4 in most places. I would expect that you would get better on the day and as I said, while he is a massive winning chance, I am not particularly keen to tumble into him at that short of a price. There are a heap of winning hopes in the race and some at really good value I feel. Graff for me is the horse I expect to make significant improvement off the Lightning run and prove very hard to beat here. He was firm in the market in the Lightning but I think just found the 1000m that little bit too sharp. He was getting through the line nicely late but just couldn’t sprint with them when the tempo went on. I think this promises to for once actually be a genuinely run straight race. I think that will play into his hands. He is down in the weights and looks to be drawn the right part of the track out wide with quite a few of the other winning chances. I think around the $8-9 mark he is worth a bet over Osborne Bulls as I really don’t see much between them off their respective Lightning efforts and with the weight swing in his favour and at the better price I just find Graff a more attractive bet. There may well be some scenes for punters across Australia too if the Wizard Willy Pike can get this home and crack it for a major Group One win on the eastern seaboard. The forgotten horse out of the Lightning seems to be the winner In Her Time. I have to admit in the lead up to doing the form on the race she wasn’t really in my head as a horse I was considering to back. The more I look at it though she has to be a great winning chance. Her last two runs and only two runs for that matter down the straight here at Flemington have been excellent. Two starts back she was a touch unlucky when forced back to the inside of the track behind Santa Ana Lane on the final day of the carnival before really making her own luck here three weeks ago to win the Lightning. She was again slightly awkwardly placed without cover back over towards the inside of the track. She took over at the furlong and held off the fast finishing Osborne Bulls who certainly looked the flashier run but it is worth remembering he had a lovely cart into the race with cover out wide on the course. I thought In Her Time deserved her win. Some will argue she is even better over the 1200m which she steps too here. She looks to also draw the right part of the track out wide and she just never seems to run a bad race. I think she will be right in the firing line the whole way and definitely be in the finish. Around the $12-15 mark she looks a great bet. How can you not have something on Santa Ana Lane. He keeps winning Group One races, he keeps starting double figure odds. His win here in November on the final day of the carnival beating a hot sprint field was excellent. Prior to that he had won in track record time in Sydney and earlier in the year won a Goodwood and a Stradbroke. He is a serious horse. His most recent jump out at Balnarring showed he was on track as he was strong through the line behind his stable mate Shoals. I just think you have to respect him and at double figure odds if he is within striking distance late he is going to be really strong and give you something to cheer so happy to have something on him. Zousain is the mystery runner. I am a big fan of this horse and honestly thought he was a moral first up when he took on a small field at Caulfield. Thankfully for me Tin Hat was scratched which meant he come into unbackable odds and then got rolled by the smart and unbeaten Terbium. I am just not sure he appreciated the stop start tempo of that race. For mine he is a horse who might be better suited coming off a strong rolling tempo which he is likely to get here. He gets right down in the weights to 51kgs for Craig Williams for a middle gate and as opposed to the $1.40 last start he will start closer to $20 on Saturday. I just have to have something on him at that price. The chances don’t end there. Redkirk Warrior is going for a third consecutive win in this race, Brave Smash is racing really well, Booker and Eduardo were excellent in the Oakleigh Plate and Sunlight is another horse that may be somewhat forgotten here. It is just a great race, I really can’t wait for it. I am mainly with the Kris Lees pair of Graff and In Her Time and will keep Santa Ana Lane and Zousain on side for decent results also.

Betting strategy

I will have $25 the win on Graff here and have $15 the win on all three of In Her Time, Santa Ana Lane and Zousain!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 7

4:00pm

Suggested

Angelic Ruler (No.1), Kenyan Wonder (No.9) & Princess Jenni (No.14)

Dangers

Spanish Whisper (No.2), Sizzleme (No.4) & Victory Kingdom (No.11)

This race is for the three year old fillies over the 1400m. I doubt we are seeing any real superstars here and no doubt Mystic Journey would do some damage to this lot but it is a competitive race. There looks to be good speed in the race too which should set it up for a horse to be really strong late in the race. The Closer, Pickup The Pieces, Victory Kingdom and Etana are all go forward horse that like to lead and that should provide a good tempo and give horses the opportunity to run on. I thought Angelic Ruler was excellent at her Victorian debut last start at Caulfield. As is her nature she just got off the bridle coming to the home turn and looked to be struggling but once she built into her work she finished the race off well late. She was only just touched off by the talented Qafila who I think is a filly pretty close to that top level. The key gear change for Angelic Ruler here is the application of blinkers. I am hoping that might iron out that flat spot before the home turn and that will allow her to hopefully blend into the race at the right time. If she can do that she should be really strong late off the strong tempo at 1400m and I think she is the one they all have to beat. This South Australian filly in Kenyan Wonder is an interesting runner. She has won two of her four career starts including her last two and the most recent win was most impressive when resuming off a two month spell. She sat back over the 1200m and got to the outside and rounded her rivals up most impressively. She came from last and won and on the line she was pretty much eased down running away. The setup of this race should work out nicely for her. She draws a nice middle gate, there looks likely to be good speed up front and she should be finishing strongly at the end of the race. It also looks a race that is inviting a horse to step up and go to the next level and she looks like she could be that horse. Happy to be with her. Princess Jenni might finally resume here. For those that subscribe, you will know I have been keen on her when down to run a couple of time recently and I feel like a broken record if I write what I have been writing again here. She has trialled well again since that first good trial but she does have to resume first up over 1400m from an awkward gate. I think she is a very smart filly though and a bit like what I was saying with Kenyan Wonder it seems a race where a filly might really jump up out of the ground. She is double figure odds here and I have to have something on her just in case.

Betting strategy

Clearly the market is agreeing with me here as the money has come for both Angelic Ruler and Kenyan Wonder! I will have $50 the win on Angelic Ruler, $30 the win on Kenyan Wonder and $15 the win on Princess Jenni!

Race Outlay

$95

Race 8 - Australian Cup

4:35pm

Suggested

Almandin (No.1), Rekindling (No.2) & Trap For Fools (No.4)

Dangers

Avilius (No.7)

This is the second Group One race of the day here. It is the Australian Cup over the 2000m and it is a most intriguing race. Like the Newmarket we have a favourite that has come up pretty short. I think in this case the short price is probably more justified in the case of Avilius. His two wins this time in have been excellent. He was super winning first up at Caulfield and he backed that up with a win of real authority last start in the Peter Young. I thought he was a slight risk last start as he drew gate one and that for me could again be the slight issue here. He got the luck at Caulfield and he will be relying on it again here on Saturday. If you remember this race day last year the rail was fairly hot and those horses back on the fence on the rail found a fair bit of trouble as horses in front were reluctant to leave the rail. If the breaks come his way he is obviously going to be hard to hold out but he is around the even money mark. Do I want to get involved at that price? Not really. I am going to bet around him but won’t be investing heavily in the race. I will go with a similar approach to how I bet in the Oakleigh Plate a few weeks back where I wasn’t keen on taking on Nature Strip but didn’t want to back him either. The horse Avilius beat home in the race at Caulfield last start was Trap For Fools and I think he is potentially the horse most likely of causing an upset. I think he has come back really well this time in and he is typically a horse that gets better with racing the deeper he gets into his campaign. He hit the line nicely first up from off the speed before taking up his usual on speed role as leader last start. I thought he was a winning chance on the turn when he kicked clear but the gap then came for Avilius who came off his back and proved too strong. I think with those two runs now under his belt we might see Trap For Fools run along a bit more freely here and try and get a few rivals off the bit and chasing. Up to the 2000m suits and the last time he ran over this track and distance he won the Group One Mackinnon on the final day of the carnival last year. I am happy to be with him. The Lloyd Williams gallopers are the big query runners. Rekindling hasn’t been seen since winning the Melbourne Cup almost eighteen months ago. How good is he? He is a horse that competed in some huge Group One races in Europe before coming over for the Melbourne Cup and proving too strong for Johannes Vermeer. He is still so lightly raced that there may still be some upside in him. Obviously I had a pretty good collect on him Melbourne Cup Day in 2017 so I am pretty keen to have something on him here. He has come up double figure odds in the market and I am pretty happy to be with him just in case. Let’s be honest though, he could win or run last, we just don’t know. Given how well Johannes Vermeer ran last week though I think we can take some confidence from that, that Rekindling can be very competitive in this race. Almandin was arguably unlucky not to win this race last year. He missed the spring and is a high class stayer as we all know. He is also a Melbourne Cup winner. Ollie will put him to sleep from gate two and I wouldn’t be surprised if he just lobbed outside of Avilius drawn inside of him and has Bowman in his sights the whole way. He is another that if he can run to his best in this race here he can certainly be very competitive. He has also come up double figure odds in the race and at that price I think he is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have $20 the win on Trap For Fools and $15 the win on both Almandin and Rekindling!

Race Outlay

$50

Race 1

12:30pm

Suggested

Spright (No.1) & Winter Bride (No.3)

Dangers

Sedanzer (No.2) & Resin (No.5)

Group One racing in Sydney comes from Randwick again this Saturday for their big Randwick Guineas Day. All eyes will be on The Autumn Sun in that race as he looks to build on what is an already imposing record. He has come up $1.50 so it won’t be a betting race but it promises to be a great showdown with the rising star of the fillies ranks in Nakeeta Jane who has won her first two starts this campaign in brilliant fashion. It will be a great race to watch, but happy to sit it out from a betting point of view. That sums up this day a little bit. The two slipper trials for me are races that we can watch and learn from rather than get sucked into betting on Saturday and that means I am only betting into the four races on the program. We went three out of four last Saturday in Sydney so let’s hope we can go one better this Saturday. The forecast is for dry weather up until race day and then the chance of late rain on Saturday so we will be racing on a good track; that is something I am pretty confident about with the rail in the true position. Randwick has really turned the corner for mine in the last twelve months as far as the track goes. It just seems to be racing really fairly on a consistent basis which is great to see coming into carnival time. I am kicking the day off in the first race of the day which is for the mares over the 1200m. It is a pretty strong race. Five of the nine runners are first up and certainly there is a strong class representation at the top of the weights in Spright. This mare comes into the race second up having produced an enormous performance last start in the Oakleigh Plate when resuming. She just got a mile too far back. She was in another suburb on the home turn and her effort to finish only two lengths from Booker in fifth place was quite extraordinary. It was a huge run. Her last four runs have come in Group One races – The Moir, Manikato, VRC Sprint Classic and Oakleigh Plate. She has taken on the cream of sprint races and sprint horses in the country. This Group Three race back against her own sex is clearly the easiest race she has come across in some time. She draws ideally in a middle gate for Kerrin McEvoy to hopefully land just off the speed in a stalking position and providing she is close enough to them in the run she is going to take some holding out. Keen to be with her. I think she only has to run up to that Oakleigh Plate effort and she should be winning. I am looking forward to seeing the return of one of my favourite horses in Winter Bride here. This mare was so dominant through the winter and early spring. She won five of her seven starts across those two campaigns and really elevated herself to another level going down to Melbourne and winning two Group Three races there. She really has built herself up an imposing record. She has now won eight of seventeen with five minor placings. She is a very good horse quite simply. Her recent trial at the Gold Coast instils me with even more confidence coming into this. She looked to go really nicely in that. She was never let off the bridle in that trial and had her rivals easily covered all the way. She draws nicely here in gate five for Tommy Berry to land in a stalking position just off the speed. I think given the lack of speed in this race she is going to land right on the speed which was the extra string she added to her bow last campaign and I think from that stalking position with her excellent first up record she is going to be hard to hold out. I think her and Spright represent a really good two bet play to start the day.

Betting strategy

I will have $50 the win on Spright here and $40 the win on Winter Bride!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 2

1:10pm

Suggested

Baller (No.6), Trope (No.9) & Humma Mumma (No.10)

Dangers

Jonker (No.4) & Prophet’s Thumb (No.12)

This is the Fireball Stakes over the 1200m for the three year old and is another really intriguing race. It is a deep race with plenty of winning chances here. I found myself moving away from those horses that are up the top of the weights who have probably taken on stronger races that their rivals in their career. I just am not sure those horses are going as well as they can be at the moment and for that reason am leaning to the horses further down the page that are on the rise. A horse that certainly fits that bill is Baller. He is a horse that showed great promise in his first campaign and he looks to have come back really well this time in. That was a pretty strong race he took on first up and I love the way he sat off a strong tempo and really chased his rivals down. His wins in his first campaign came when running along on a strong tempo. He looked more of a race horse first up I thought. He sat off the speed and settled well and hit the line strongly. He landed good bets in that first up win which suggests that he has come back well. He looks to get it all in his favour again here on Saturday. He draws gate four for Kerrin McEvoy (might be in for a big day, does have a handy book) and from that gate I think he can land just off the speed stalking the leaders and I would expect him to be very strong at the end of 1100m. Happy to be with him. Humma Mumma makes the switch up from Melbourne to Sydney following two good runs so far this campaign and I certainly think this is a race that she is capable of winning. I think her form around the likes of Sunlight and Meryl read really well for a race of this nature. She looks well weighted with just 54kgs under the conditions of this race and from gate two she should get a lovely smothering run off the speed. If the breaks come her way I think she can be finishing strongly. She has fitness on her side with those two runs under her belt this time in and I fancy she can go close here so happy to be with her. The horse I struggled to get a read on in the race was Trope. This galloper won on debut on the Kensington track when settling at the tail of the field and bombing down the middle of the track to score narrowly in a bit of a bunched finish. My first reaction was that it was a bit of a soft race and I was a bit wary on him and the form coming out of it. The form has been neither here nor there coming out of the race but this horse’s recent trial was really stylish. He showed a bit more speed which shows he may have the potential to settle closer in the run but he has unfortunately come up with a wide gate again which means he will probably have to go back. He looks a pretty handy horse though to my liking and I would rather keep him on side just in case at double figure odds here.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Baller here! I will have $20 the win on Humma Mumma and $15 the win on Trope!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 5

3:00pm

Suggested

Ball Of Muscle (No.2) & Estijaab (No.7)

Dangers

Redzel (No.1)

This is another of the feature races of the day here. It is the Challenge Stakes at Group Two level over the 1000m for the sprinters. All eyes will be on the return of dual Everest winner Redzel who has trialled twice recently in preparation for this first up run. I have to say I was left a little hesitant on this horse after his first trial where I thought he didn’t look to go particularly well. He then was asked for a bit more of an effort in his most recent trial and he put a real gap on his rivals. I feel that will mean he won’t be super fresh for this 1000m race and with a couple of speed horses drawn inside him he probably lands either three wide outside the leaders or maybe back a pair tracking them. He has come up well into the red in the early markets but I am just not convinced on him. He has been a great horse, is a great horse I should say but I am going to take the punt and take him on here. There is a theory that most of his better recent performances have come on rain affected ground and he isn’t as effective on top of the ground. I am not completely sold on that theory just yet but it isn’t a theory without merit. I think he meets genuine opposition here in terms of the three year old filly Estijaab. I have to admit I might have got this filly wrong. I was very keen to take her on first up when she took on Fiesta at Warwick Farm. While Fiesta got the job done I thought Estijaab’s performance was enormous. She was first up off a very long spell and she did all the work up on speed and just got touched off late. It was a really encouraging return and it should have her well primed for this race second up. I think from gate two she is going to land right outside the likely leader in Ball Of Muscle and I am hoping from there she can really control the race and she is pretty tough. I think Redzel might have a real battle to get past her so at the better odds I am going to take the punt and have something on Estijaab. I am actually believe it or not also going to have something on Ball Of Muscle. How well did this horse go last campaign? He won three of four in that campaign and defeated the likes of Santa Ana Lane, Brave Smash and Invincible Star in those runs. He just seems an old horse that is loving his racing at the moment. His two trials this time in have been excellent and from gate one if he can hold the front and get his rivals off the bit and chasing he might take some running down. I am really hoping from gate one and two that he and Estijaab land on the bunny and own this race and make things a bit difficult for Redzel. At doubled figure odds I am happy to save on him behind Estijaab who I am happy to be with as well around that $3-4 mark.

Betting strategy

I will have $55 the win on Estijaab here and $15 the win on Ball Of Muscle!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 6 - Canterbury Stakes

3:35pm

Suggested

Trapeze Artist (No.1) & Kementari (No.3)

Dangers

Pierata (No.2) & Shoals (No.5)

This is the other Group One race on Randwick Guineas Day. It is the Group One Canterbury Stakes over the 1300m. It is a hot race but not an easy one. Trapeze Artist and Kementari are two horses I have been backing regularly in recent times without a lot of success. I am going back to the well with them one more time here on Saturday though. I think this race just sets up really well for both of them and is an ideal opportunity for both to add another Group One victory to the mantelpiece. I will start with Trapeze Artist. He has always been a horse that has been a little bit hard to catch throughout his career. His best and worst runs have had fairly significant gaps between them in terms of levels of performance. His best is obviously outstanding and his worst can be pretty mediocre at times. To the eye his first up run at Rosehill when well beaten in a field of five behind Alizee after seemingly having a good run outside the leader was quite mediocre. His run prior to that was a game second on an unsuitable heavy track in The Everest back in the spring. I am hoping we see the best Trapeze Artist here on Saturday. Since that first up run he has been sent back to the trials twice and he has won both trials by big spaces with Blake Shinn on board. Blake takes over the ride here on race day also. He typically trials without blinkers and then they are applied on race day but he is a four year old stallion now and maybe it is getting harder to switch him back on. Both recent trials he has worn the blinkers and looked like he has really meant business. The tactics early in this race will be quite interesting. He draws out in gate six and the speed inside of him looks to come from Brutal predominantly. He has Fell Swoop drawn outside of him which looks the other likely leader in the race with the potential of Prompt Response kicking up from two. I think he at worst lands outside the leader in Brutal. If McEvoy wants to hand up he then crosses and leads and if Fell Swoop wants to press on he then sits in a stalking role. From either of those positions I just think he can own the race. He is second up and fitter here, he gets up to the 1300m which I think will suit and back on to a drier surface. This is his final campaign, he is a stallion and this is a Group One race so I don’t think there will be much mucking about on Saturday. He is going to come ready to rumble and as such I am keen to be with him. Kementari comes back from Melbourne having gone down narrowly first up in the Orr over 1400m. He just looked a little bit dour in that race I thought. He was trained to win the race first up obviously and was well backed but came off the bridle a fair way from home I thought and while he kept chasing was unable to get there. He is starting to get that reputation as a bit of a non winner. Is it justified? I don’t know, but he would like to win another on pretty soon I reckon. I think this is a great opportunity for him to do so. He is four weeks between runs, he comes back to the 1300m and has the blinkers reapplied to get that bit of sharpness back into him. From gate three he should land in a perfect trailing position and there really don’t look to be any excuses at all for him on Saturday. I didn’t want to after his last run I have to admit, but I am going to give him one more chance.

Betting strategy

I will have $50 the win on Trapeze Artist here and $40 the win on Kementari!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 2

1:57pm

Suggested

Crusher (No.8) & Totally Charmed (No.9)

Dangers

Raiden (No.3) & One Stryke (No.7)

Racing in Queensland comes from Eagle Farm this Saturday for what is a pretty strong meeting. I have actually found a few races that I am keen to bet into. The track is currently rated as good and the weather forecast looks fairly promising. There is the small chance of a shower leading up to the meeting and on the day but I don’t expect it to be anything too significant to upset the track conditions. We should be racing on a good track. I am kicking the day off in the second race and was keen to be with a couple of horses a little further down in the weights. Crusher and Totally Charmed are both lightly raced four year olds resuming from a spell and both look to find a winnable race here. I thought it was a race that contained a couple of tried and true commodities that were well in commission in the betting and as a result these two horses with a bit of upside and scope appealed. Crusher has built up a pretty impressive record of four wins and three minor placings from eight career starts. Her form two campaigns back around the likes of Invincible Heart and Dream Master certainly read well enough for a race of this nature. Last campaign through the late autumn and early winter she won two of her three races and showed good promise. She is first up from a spell here but has won three of four first up. She gets the services of Jeff Lloyd from gate four and I would expect her to land on speed down in the weights and be pretty hard to get past. Keen to be with her. Totally Charmed has had a couple of trials to get him ready for this first up assignment and I am looking forward to his return. He is a horse that has shown good ability in his short career to date. He actually came on to my radar the Monday before the Warrnambool carnival last year. I was at home having a quiet beer going over the form for the big week while watching the races at Grafton and he popped up and won a maiden really impressively landing some nice bets. He went through his grades quite nicely for the remainder of the campaign as I followed him through and I feel there is probably more to come from him. He stays down in the weights here with just 54kgs from a good draw for Ryan Maloney and I think he will enjoy the big Eagle Farm track. Providing he has improved in the break which I think he would have then this looks a race well within his grasp so happy to be with him.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on both Crusher and Toyally Charmed here!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 4

3:07pm

Suggested

Manaya (No.1), Italia Bella (No.5) & Seductive Dream (No.6)

Dangers

Shalwa (No.12)

This is an interesting race over the 1200m for the fillies and mares. Gee, punters were left burnt a few weeks ago when Shalwa was backed into a $1.45 favourite at Doomben. She box seated behind the leader, got the gap in the straight and just when you expected her to shoot through and go on with the job she floundered and was well beaten. It was a pretty odd and disappointing run. The blinkers go on here and she has again come up a pretty short priced favourite. I am struggling to get enthused about her chances, particularly at the $2.50 on offer. Manaya is about double the price of her and I thought she represented an excellent bet in the race. She took on a pretty strong race first up here two weeks ago and she hit the line nicely behind the talented Scallopini. She just had to duck and weave between runners in the straight and never seemed able to build full momentum. She got through the line well enough though and back against her own sex here she looks really well placed. This race certainly looks a few notches back on the race she competed in first up. She typically improves from her first up run to her second up run, she draws ideally in gate three to get a gun run in behind the speed and if the breaks come her way at the right time I would expect her to be able to get over the top of them. Keen to be with her. It is interesting to note that she was scratched from a much harder race in Sydney to be saved for this easier assignment. I am going to keep a couple of resuming runners on side. Italia Bella is one that I found hard to get a read on in the race. As far as talent goes she is certainly blessed with a fair bit of it; it is just a question of how well she can sprint fresh over the 1200m here. She has had a couple of trials leading into it, so I don’t think fitness will be an issue, it will be more sharpness. She was pushed along in a recent 1000m trial when running second. I just go back to that dominant win over Looks Like Elvis last campaign over the 1350m and think to myself if she runs anywhere close to that level she will be dealing with these pretty comfortably. Her run first up last campaign she actually wasn’t beaten too far behind The Bostonian in a good race at the Sunshine Coast. Even a run up to that level would see her be competitive here so happy to be with her. The throw at the stumps bet in the race is Seductive Dream. This mare has a really good 1200m record. She has won five of eleven with four minor placings over this trip so that would suggest she is likely to run well here. Her form last campaign around some handy horses were pretty good and I thought she looked like she had a fair bit more to give in a recent trial at the Sunshine Coast despite finishing last. I am taking the engagement of Ryan Maloney as a positive and from a middle gate I can see her running well here around the $20 mark so happy to have something small on her.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Manaya here and happy to lock in the $5 freely available! I will also have $20 the win on Italia Bella and $10 the win on Seductive Dream!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 5

3:48pm

Suggested

Cruze (No.6) & Francisca (No.9)

Dangers

Beacon (No.4), Winning Ways (No.11) & Zoucara (No.12)

This is another handy race here. It is over the 1400m and I think Francisca gets an ideal opportunity to break through after two excellent runs to kick off her campaign without winning. She ran well from the back of the field at big odds first up before she was very heavily supported here two weeks ago. She just got caught wide somehow from gate seven and ended up being pushed wider on the turn before being left in front a long way from home. She still looked the winner inside the furlong but Benfica Princess was able to come from the back and run her down. I thought the run under the circumstances was excellent and she clearly gets the opportunity to break back into the winners circle here on Saturday. She should be primed here third up from a spell with that 1400m run now under her belt from last start. She draws an ideal middle gate (ironically the same as the one last start) and surely she won’t get caught wide from there. I see her landing in a gun trailing position just off the speed and I think she should be breaking through here. Keen to be with her. I think the stiffest opposition she faces comes from Cruze. I was surprised that this horse came up such long odds in the early markets. Not surprisingly he has been well supported since those markets went up from double figures into around the $8-9 mark and I wouldn’t be surprised if that support continued. His last three runs over the summer months were all very good. First up he wasn’t beaten far behind Desert Man and La Scopa which proved to be pretty strong form. He backed that up with a good run at the Gold Coast behind Star Reflection before not being far in the rich Magic Millions Cup behind Redouble. That form all reads very well for a race of this nature. He draws gate two here off an eight week freshen up and I anticipate him getting a gun run just off the speed. If the breaks come his way I think he will be right in the finish so happy to save on him behind Francisca.

Betting strategy

I will have $70 the win on Francisca here and save with $20 the win on Cruze locking in the $8.50 with SportsBet!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 6

4:27pm

Suggested

Dawson Diva (No.3), Rocknavar (No.11) & Missed The Alarm (No.12)

Dangers

Alpine Dancer (No.1) & Tatcee (No.2)

This race is for the three year olds over the 1840m. A lot of the form for this race comes from the race won by Tatcee two weeks ago. That was an impressive win but a lot went in his favour that day and I am happy to be with a couple of others from the race who finished behind him. Rocknavar is certainly the horse the market has come for. I was on her at big double figure odds last start when she finished second behind Tatcee. She had previously had a run in this distance range over 1700m when winning her maiden at Grafton before dropping back to the mile last start. I thought that would be an advantage in terms of her being strong late. She was certainly strong late but probably just got that little bit too far out of her ground. She just failed to real in Tatcee. I think back up to the 1840m here suits her ideally. She draws gate one for Robbie Fradd so I am hoping that he can take up a position a little closer to the speed on her and if he does that then she looks really hard to beat. Happy to be with her. Dawson Diva started favourite in that race and just didn’t have the best of luck at the right time. She ended up back over on the inside and was shuffled back coming to the turn. She went for a run back over towards the inside in the straight and that was just interrupted as she was going for it. I am not sure the inside part of the track was the best going at Eagle Farm that day either. She went through the line well but the bird had flown. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bounced back here. Her win at the start prior over Barefoot at the Sunshine Coast was really strong. She draws a nice middle gate here and I think with a good run in transit and an unimpeded run she should be hard to hold out here. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bounced back strongly here so happy to be with her. Missed The Alarm is the other horse I am going to have something on in the race. This filly broke her maiden at Grafton last start over the 1700m with a barnstorming win from the back of the field. She was heavily backed to win that race but looked in a hopeless position coming to the home turn when well back and near the tail. She swung very wide and got right to the middle of the track and was able to run over the top of her rivals. She has the run in this distance range under her belt and based on the manner in which she won last start I would be very surprised if she didn’t run the trip right out here. She looks as if she will lap it up. If other struggle to run it out then she looks the one primed to take full advantage so happy to be with her at the good odds on offer.

Betting strategy

I will have $45 the win on Rocknavar, $30 the win on Dawson Diva and $10 the win on Missed The Alarm!

Race Outlay

$85

Race 7

5:12pm

Suggested

Order Again (No.2) & Impasse (No.9)

Dangers

Tumbler (No.3) & Jaminzah (No.4)

This was the race I really agonised over whether to include in the preview or now. In the end I thought we got a pretty good betting opportunity with Tumbler coming up as a relatively short priced favourite. After a massive run first up at the Sunshine Coast she has just been fair at her last two runs behind Spurcraft and Mr Marbellouz. She didn’t make any real impression last start and stepping up to the 1400m here which is a distance she hasn’t won over I thought she was quite vulnerable. I thought there was better value betting around her. Order Again is a talented horse on his day and I think he is going to really enjoy the fact that he now has Eagle Farm open again. He is a horse that raced well here before renovations recommenced and I think this looks a really winnable race for him. He has had a recent trial to tune up for this where he was given a very quiet time. He looked like he had a fair bit more to give in that trial and to my eye looks to have come back well. There doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in this race so where he positions himself early from that slightly awkward middle to wide draw will be interesting. I think if Larry Cassidy can have him positioned close enough in a good trailing position then he is going to be hard to hold out so keen to be with him here. He will certainly run the 1400m out strongly as opposed to Tumbler who we are a bit unsure about. The other horse I definitely want to be with in the race is Impasse. I was actually quite surprised that this horse didn’t come up favourite. He was first up off a two month break when just touched off by Eminent at Doomben last start. He just had to make a bit of a duck and weave run between horses that day and it probably cost him that little bit of momentum at a crucial time. He only went down by the barest of margins so you can argue that cost him the race. He carried 57.5kgs in that race and gets nice weight relief here dropping down to 54kgs. He has an excellent 1400m record and he is a horse that might be able to take advantage by the lack of speed in the race. By lack of speed, Zahspeed may supply plenty of speed but he doesn’t look to have too much opposition for that lead so I fancy from gate five Ryan Maloney can have Impasse relatively close to the lead. He should have come on from that run last start and I just think this looks an ideal race for him. As I said, I was surprised he hadn’t come up favourite and around the $5-6 mark here I think he is an excellent bet in the race.

Betting strategy

I reckon the $5.50 about Impasse is a great price and I will lock that in and have $40 the win on him! I will also have $35 the win on Order Again!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 1

12:15pm

Suggested

King Of Yulong (No.4), Superhard (No.6) & Crown Witness (No.8)

Dangers

Bandipur (No.2) & Malahat (No.5)

I am kicking the day off in the first race which is down the straight over the 1000m. This race typifies the day in many respects. It is wide open with plenty of chances. Crown Witness has had two runs back from a spell this time in and been good in both of them and I think this looks a winnable race for her. She jumped out really nicely prior to her first up run at Moonee Valley where she was taken on up front early, came back and took a sit, hit the front in the straight and only just got run down late. It was a race that had multiple late scratchings and she drew gate one and was left in the barriers for quite a lengthy time. I think it may have played a part late in the race. She then took on the Oakleigh Plate second up where she was caught wide for most of the race and finished well back. She was only beaten six lengths though in what was a very hot sprint race and I reckon that might be good enough to salute here. She has won at her only run down the straight which is a key factor, she draws a middle gate and stays down in the weights so I think she gets a good setup here and should be hard to run down. Superhard resumes here having his first run for the John Sadler stable after racing with Darren Weir last campaign. That was an excellent campaign which produced four wins and saw him step up in distance quite effectively. He is a horse that has always shown good ability and his recent jump out was quite strong when asked for an effort late at Caulfield. I just feel as a four year old with six wins from fifteen starts he might be a horse that still has some upside and if he can sprint well fresh then this is within his grasp so happy to be with him. King Of Yulong is one of a couple of imported gallopers making their Australian debut for the Snowden camp here at Flemington on Saturday. This is a horse who was a Group Two winner at Goodwood only three starts ago back in August and is still a young horse seemingly with some upside. He has taken on Group One races in Europe at his last two starts so he is obviously talented. He has shown nice speed in a couple of recent jump outs and I am erring on the side of caution and keeping him on side here as he may just blow them away if he has acclimatised well.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Crown Witness and save with $20 the win on both King Of Yulong and Superhard!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 2

12:50pm

Suggested

Antah (No.1) & Bravo Tango (No.4)

Dangers

Greyworm (No.7) & Simply Invincible (No.10)

This race is just a Benchmark 84 over the 1400m which will probably pale into insignificance compared to some of the other big races on the program, but gee it is a good race. It is a really interesting race. There are some up and coming in form horses doing battle here and it promises to be a cracking race. The likelihood of a genuine solid tempo up front also adds to the intrigue. There are quite a few horses that like to go forward and that should ensure a keen contest. Bravo Tango is a horse that has always shown a lot of ability and he looks as if he may be really starting to put it all together now. He burst on to the scene as a three year old and was touted as an Australian Guineas chance around this time last year but never made it to that race and subsequently seemed to lose his way. This campaign it has all been positive. I saw him jump out at Terang prior to his first up run and I thought he just looked a bit more professional in the way he went about it. As a result I had something on him first up where he was a massive drifter in the betting and he beat all bar Tin Hat in that race who we saw go on to win in stakes class. Bravo Tango’s two runs since have produced dominant victories. He won well two starts ago at Sandown defeating Declarationofheart who was competitive in the Australian Guineas last Saturday and then last start for mine was his most impressive effort yet at Sale. He has typically been a get back and run on horse but he showed he had another string to his bow at Sale. He jumped well and was pushed on to sit outside the leader and ride a solid tempo. He turned for home and was able to kick off that strong tempo and open up a lead on his rivals which they couldn’t peg back. I loved the way he went about it. I see no reason why he can’t win again here. With the likely strong speed up front he will probably go back to sitting off the speed here. From gate two I don’t think he will want to be too far back though and I am hoping he can land only a couple of pairs back. From there he will just need a touch of luck getting the runs at the right time and if he does he will be hard to hold out. Happy to be with him. Antah is another horse that comes into the race in outstanding form. He has won three of four this time in and was only just touched off here at Flemington last start. The run was still very strong. He was a long way back on the fence coming to the turn and made up a lot of ground very quickly and burst through to take the lead with a furlong to run. He looked the winner but Thunder Cloud was just able to finish the mile off a little bit stronger and nab him on the line. They put a good gap on the third horse and it was just another sign that this horse is flying. He is going to really appreciate the good speed up front here coming back to the 1400m. He draws ideally in a middle gate to get a good run sitting back off the speed hopefully settling midfield one off the fence. From there he should be primed to build into the race with full momentum and with those recent 1600m runs under his belt be really strong at the end of 1400m whereas a few of his rivals are stepping up to this trip for the first time this campaign and maybe a distance doubt. He definitely won’t be and I expect him to be hard to hold out. The chances don’t end there. Rox The Castle and Greyworm are both horses on the up but have to do it in a strongly run 1400m here which is a slight question mark. I am shocked Greyworm has come up so short in all honesty. He is a talented horse but he maps very awkwardly from the wide draw stepping up to this trip. It is going to be a really good race but happy to be with Bravo Tango and Antah.

Betting strategy

The money for Greyworm continues to pile in! He seems so short now! I will have $40 the win on Antah and Bravo Tango to roll him!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 4

2:05pm

Suggested

Sunset Watch (No.2), Marcel From Madrid (No.7) & Golden Halo (No.10)

Dangers

Yulong Yuheng (No.1), Anjana (No.4) & Krone (No.5)

This is another deep race with plenty of chances. It is down the straight for the three year olds over the 1100m. Over half of the eleven horse field are first up here and plenty of those resuming have jumped out or trialled well. I think the winner does come from that resuming brigade who do look to have a class edge over the ones that have raced already this campaign. Bleu Roche is probably the exception to that but I thought she was pretty plain at Moonee Valley last time out and I just want to see her produce her best again before I back her. Sunset Watch is a horse who beat Bleu Roche home at Moonee Valley in the spring and I am hoping he can kick his campaign here off on a winning note. He is a three year old that has been lightly raced so far and probably just held back that little bit from taking on the cream of the crop. He won the first two starts of his career at Ballarat and Caulfield as a two year old in March last year when leading all the way before being unable to lead at his third start and running fifth. He was immediately spelled after that. First up in the spring he went to Moonee Valley where he did a bit of work early to find the lead and then had to show plenty of fight late to hold off Ringerdinding. He was then a month between runs before just being touched off by Charge at the same track on Cox Plate Day. He beat home Ringerdingding again there along with Bleu Roche. He only had those two runs in that spring campaign and I am hoping his connections will reap the benefits of that patience this campaign. His two Werribee jump outs have looked outstanding to my eye. He has travelled sweetly in both of them and gone to the line strongly under little urging from his rider. I think he is primed to deliver a big first up performance here and was actually surprised he wasn’t shorter in the market here. I expected him to be closer to $3 and he is almost $5 in the early markets. He draws a middle to wide gate for Dwayne Dunn which should see him roll to the front in the best part of the straight track and with those two jump outs under his belt I expect him to come to the races ready to rumble. Keen to be with him. Marcel From Madrid is an interesting runner and not surprisingly he has been well supported as soon as fixed odds markets went up. He won his first two starts in his career as a two year old which included a Group Three win in Adelaide over the Oaks winner Aristia. He then resumed in the spring with a super run first up at Moonee Valley behind Brutal before being well backed here in the Danehill and not really firing second up before failing in the Guineas Prelude. That campaign was aborted following that run and I am hoping he has come back in better order this time around. He has had a recent jump out at Flemington where he travelled well throughout before being asked for an effort late. I really like the way he quickened and extended late when asked for an effort there. He looks nicely placed here down in the weights from a middle gate with Williams on board and would expect him to sprint well fresh so happy to be with him. The other horse I am going to have something on is Golden Halo. She is the horse in the race I think could be capable of really going to another level this time in. She showed plenty in her first campaign. She won well at Donald on debut before running a cracking race when a touch unlucky behind Sunlight at Group Three level at her second start when huge odds at Caulfield. She then went to Morphettville and won well before running well behind Meryl and Sunlight again at her next two starts. That was all in her first campaign and with natural improvement into her second campaign I think we might see a pretty handy horse this time in. She trialled very nicely at Cranbourne recently where she held Seabrook fairly comfortably with a long gap to third. I just think she might be the x-factor and big improver in the race so at double figure odds I want to have something on her in a cracking race.

Betting strategy

$4.80 is the best price about Sunset Watch with SportsBet at the moment and I will have half of my $40 stake at that price now and the other half at Top Fluc! I will also have $20 the win on Marcel From Madrid and $15 the win on Golden Halo!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 6 - The Newmarket Handicap

3:15pm

Suggested

Santa Ana Lane (No.2), In Her Time (No.6), Graff (No.20) & Zousain (No.21)

Dangers

Brave Smash (No.3), Osborne Bulls (No.4) & Eduardo (No.14)

This is the race of the day, perhaps the race of the year just about. It is the Newmarket Handicap down the straight at Flemington over the 1200m and it has drawn together monster field of 23 runners. It is going to be a wonderful spectacle. The only issue is finding the winner. Osborne Bulls is clearly a very likeable animal and a massive winning chance here. For a race of this depth though he seems to have come up very short. For mine this is a race that is around $6 the field and he has come up under $4 in most places. I would expect that you would get better on the day and as I said, while he is a massive winning chance, I am not particularly keen to tumble into him at that short of a price. There are a heap of winning hopes in the race and some at really good value I feel. Graff for me is the horse I expect to make significant improvement off the Lightning run and prove very hard to beat here. He was firm in the market in the Lightning but I think just found the 1000m that little bit too sharp. He was getting through the line nicely late but just couldn’t sprint with them when the tempo went on. I think this promises to for once actually be a genuinely run straight race. I think that will play into his hands. He is down in the weights and looks to be drawn the right part of the track out wide with quite a few of the other winning chances. I think around the $8-9 mark he is worth a bet over Osborne Bulls as I really don’t see much between them off their respective Lightning efforts and with the weight swing in his favour and at the better price I just find Graff a more attractive bet. There may well be some scenes for punters across Australia too if the Wizard Willy Pike can get this home and crack it for a major Group One win on the eastern seaboard. The forgotten horse out of the Lightning seems to be the winner In Her Time. I have to admit in the lead up to doing the form on the race she wasn’t really in my head as a horse I was considering to back. The more I look at it though she has to be a great winning chance. Her last two runs and only two runs for that matter down the straight here at Flemington have been excellent. Two starts back she was a touch unlucky when forced back to the inside of the track behind Santa Ana Lane on the final day of the carnival before really making her own luck here three weeks ago to win the Lightning. She was again slightly awkwardly placed without cover back over towards the inside of the track. She took over at the furlong and held off the fast finishing Osborne Bulls who certainly looked the flashier run but it is worth remembering he had a lovely cart into the race with cover out wide on the course. I thought In Her Time deserved her win. Some will argue she is even better over the 1200m which she steps too here. She looks to also draw the right part of the track out wide and she just never seems to run a bad race. I think she will be right in the firing line the whole way and definitely be in the finish. Around the $12-15 mark she looks a great bet. How can you not have something on Santa Ana Lane. He keeps winning Group One races, he keeps starting double figure odds. His win here in November on the final day of the carnival beating a hot sprint field was excellent. Prior to that he had won in track record time in Sydney and earlier in the year won a Goodwood and a Stradbroke. He is a serious horse. His most recent jump out at Balnarring showed he was on track as he was strong through the line behind his stable mate Shoals. I just think you have to respect him and at double figure odds if he is within striking distance late he is going to be really strong and give you something to cheer so happy to have something on him. Zousain is the mystery runner. I am a big fan of this horse and honestly thought he was a moral first up when he took on a small field at Caulfield. Thankfully for me Tin Hat was scratched which meant he come into unbackable odds and then got rolled by the smart and unbeaten Terbium. I am just not sure he appreciated the stop start tempo of that race. For mine he is a horse who might be better suited coming off a strong rolling tempo which he is likely to get here. He gets right down in the weights to 51kgs for Craig Williams for a middle gate and as opposed to the $1.40 last start he will start closer to $20 on Saturday. I just have to have something on him at that price. The chances don’t end there. Redkirk Warrior is going for a third consecutive win in this race, Brave Smash is racing really well, Booker and Eduardo were excellent in the Oakleigh Plate and Sunlight is another horse that may be somewhat forgotten here. It is just a great race, I really can’t wait for it. I am mainly with the Kris Lees pair of Graff and In Her Time and will keep Santa Ana Lane and Zousain on side for decent results also.

Betting strategy

I will have $25 the win on Graff here and have $15 the win on all three of In Her Time, Santa Ana Lane and Zousain!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 7

4:00pm

Suggested

Angelic Ruler (No.1), Kenyan Wonder (No.9) & Princess Jenni (No.14)

Dangers

Spanish Whisper (No.2), Sizzleme (No.4) & Victory Kingdom (No.11)

This race is for the three year old fillies over the 1400m. I doubt we are seeing any real superstars here and no doubt Mystic Journey would do some damage to this lot but it is a competitive race. There looks to be good speed in the race too which should set it up for a horse to be really strong late in the race. The Closer, Pickup The Pieces, Victory Kingdom and Etana are all go forward horse that like to lead and that should provide a good tempo and give horses the opportunity to run on. I thought Angelic Ruler was excellent at her Victorian debut last start at Caulfield. As is her nature she just got off the bridle coming to the home turn and looked to be struggling but once she built into her work she finished the race off well late. She was only just touched off by the talented Qafila who I think is a filly pretty close to that top level. The key gear change for Angelic Ruler here is the application of blinkers. I am hoping that might iron out that flat spot before the home turn and that will allow her to hopefully blend into the race at the right time. If she can do that she should be really strong late off the strong tempo at 1400m and I think she is the one they all have to beat. This South Australian filly in Kenyan Wonder is an interesting runner. She has won two of her four career starts including her last two and the most recent win was most impressive when resuming off a two month spell. She sat back over the 1200m and got to the outside and rounded her rivals up most impressively. She came from last and won and on the line she was pretty much eased down running away. The setup of this race should work out nicely for her. She draws a nice middle gate, there looks likely to be good speed up front and she should be finishing strongly at the end of the race. It also looks a race that is inviting a horse to step up and go to the next level and she looks like she could be that horse. Happy to be with her. Princess Jenni might finally resume here. For those that subscribe, you will know I have been keen on her when down to run a couple of time recently and I feel like a broken record if I write what I have been writing again here. She has trialled well again since that first good trial but she does have to resume first up over 1400m from an awkward gate. I think she is a very smart filly though and a bit like what I was saying with Kenyan Wonder it seems a race where a filly might really jump up out of the ground. She is double figure odds here and I have to have something on her just in case.

Betting strategy

Clearly the market is agreeing with me here as the money has come for both Angelic Ruler and Kenyan Wonder! I will have $50 the win on Angelic Ruler, $30 the win on Kenyan Wonder and $15 the win on Princess Jenni!

Race Outlay

$95

Race 8 - Australian Cup

4:35pm

Suggested

Almandin (No.1), Rekindling (No.2) & Trap For Fools (No.4)

Dangers

Avilius (No.7)

This is the second Group One race of the day here. It is the Australian Cup over the 2000m and it is a most intriguing race. Like the Newmarket we have a favourite that has come up pretty short. I think in this case the short price is probably more justified in the case of Avilius. His two wins this time in have been excellent. He was super winning first up at Caulfield and he backed that up with a win of real authority last start in the Peter Young. I thought he was a slight risk last start as he drew gate one and that for me could again be the slight issue here. He got the luck at Caulfield and he will be relying on it again here on Saturday. If you remember this race day last year the rail was fairly hot and those horses back on the fence on the rail found a fair bit of trouble as horses in front were reluctant to leave the rail. If the breaks come his way he is obviously going to be hard to hold out but he is around the even money mark. Do I want to get involved at that price? Not really. I am going to bet around him but won’t be investing heavily in the race. I will go with a similar approach to how I bet in the Oakleigh Plate a few weeks back where I wasn’t keen on taking on Nature Strip but didn’t want to back him either. The horse Avilius beat home in the race at Caulfield last start was Trap For Fools and I think he is potentially the horse most likely of causing an upset. I think he has come back really well this time in and he is typically a horse that gets better with racing the deeper he gets into his campaign. He hit the line nicely first up from off the speed before taking up his usual on speed role as leader last start. I thought he was a winning chance on the turn when he kicked clear but the gap then came for Avilius who came off his back and proved too strong. I think with those two runs now under his belt we might see Trap For Fools run along a bit more freely here and try and get a few rivals off the bit and chasing. Up to the 2000m suits and the last time he ran over this track and distance he won the Group One Mackinnon on the final day of the carnival last year. I am happy to be with him. The Lloyd Williams gallopers are the big query runners. Rekindling hasn’t been seen since winning the Melbourne Cup almost eighteen months ago. How good is he? He is a horse that competed in some huge Group One races in Europe before coming over for the Melbourne Cup and proving too strong for Johannes Vermeer. He is still so lightly raced that there may still be some upside in him. Obviously I had a pretty good collect on him Melbourne Cup Day in 2017 so I am pretty keen to have something on him here. He has come up double figure odds in the market and I am pretty happy to be with him just in case. Let’s be honest though, he could win or run last, we just don’t know. Given how well Johannes Vermeer ran last week though I think we can take some confidence from that, that Rekindling can be very competitive in this race. Almandin was arguably unlucky not to win this race last year. He missed the spring and is a high class stayer as we all know. He is also a Melbourne Cup winner. Ollie will put him to sleep from gate two and I wouldn’t be surprised if he just lobbed outside of Avilius drawn inside of him and has Bowman in his sights the whole way. He is another that if he can run to his best in this race here he can certainly be very competitive. He has also come up double figure odds in the race and at that price I think he is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have $20 the win on Trap For Fools and $15 the win on both Almandin and Rekindling!

Race Outlay

$50

Race 1

12:30pm

Suggested

Spright (No.1) & Winter Bride (No.3)

Dangers

Sedanzer (No.2) & Resin (No.5)

Group One racing in Sydney comes from Randwick again this Saturday for their big Randwick Guineas Day. All eyes will be on The Autumn Sun in that race as he looks to build on what is an already imposing record. He has come up $1.50 so it won’t be a betting race but it promises to be a great showdown with the rising star of the fillies ranks in Nakeeta Jane who has won her first two starts this campaign in brilliant fashion. It will be a great race to watch, but happy to sit it out from a betting point of view. That sums up this day a little bit. The two slipper trials for me are races that we can watch and learn from rather than get sucked into betting on Saturday and that means I am only betting into the four races on the program. We went three out of four last Saturday in Sydney so let’s hope we can go one better this Saturday. The forecast is for dry weather up until race day and then the chance of late rain on Saturday so we will be racing on a good track; that is something I am pretty confident about with the rail in the true position. Randwick has really turned the corner for mine in the last twelve months as far as the track goes. It just seems to be racing really fairly on a consistent basis which is great to see coming into carnival time. I am kicking the day off in the first race of the day which is for the mares over the 1200m. It is a pretty strong race. Five of the nine runners are first up and certainly there is a strong class representation at the top of the weights in Spright. This mare comes into the race second up having produced an enormous performance last start in the Oakleigh Plate when resuming. She just got a mile too far back. She was in another suburb on the home turn and her effort to finish only two lengths from Booker in fifth place was quite extraordinary. It was a huge run. Her last four runs have come in Group One races – The Moir, Manikato, VRC Sprint Classic and Oakleigh Plate. She has taken on the cream of sprint races and sprint horses in the country. This Group Three race back against her own sex is clearly the easiest race she has come across in some time. She draws ideally in a middle gate for Kerrin McEvoy to hopefully land just off the speed in a stalking position and providing she is close enough to them in the run she is going to take some holding out. Keen to be with her. I think she only has to run up to that Oakleigh Plate effort and she should be winning. I am looking forward to seeing the return of one of my favourite horses in Winter Bride here. This mare was so dominant through the winter and early spring. She won five of her seven starts across those two campaigns and really elevated herself to another level going down to Melbourne and winning two Group Three races there. She really has built herself up an imposing record. She has now won eight of seventeen with five minor placings. She is a very good horse quite simply. Her recent trial at the Gold Coast instils me with even more confidence coming into this. She looked to go really nicely in that. She was never let off the bridle in that trial and had her rivals easily covered all the way. She draws nicely here in gate five for Tommy Berry to land in a stalking position just off the speed. I think given the lack of speed in this race she is going to land right on the speed which was the extra string she added to her bow last campaign and I think from that stalking position with her excellent first up record she is going to be hard to hold out. I think her and Spright represent a really good two bet play to start the day.

Betting strategy

I will have $50 the win on Spright here and $40 the win on Winter Bride!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 2

1:10pm

Suggested

Baller (No.6), Trope (No.9) & Humma Mumma (No.10)

Dangers

Jonker (No.4) & Prophet’s Thumb (No.12)

This is the Fireball Stakes over the 1200m for the three year old and is another really intriguing race. It is a deep race with plenty of winning chances here. I found myself moving away from those horses that are up the top of the weights who have probably taken on stronger races that their rivals in their career. I just am not sure those horses are going as well as they can be at the moment and for that reason am leaning to the horses further down the page that are on the rise. A horse that certainly fits that bill is Baller. He is a horse that showed great promise in his first campaign and he looks to have come back really well this time in. That was a pretty strong race he took on first up and I love the way he sat off a strong tempo and really chased his rivals down. His wins in his first campaign came when running along on a strong tempo. He looked more of a race horse first up I thought. He sat off the speed and settled well and hit the line strongly. He landed good bets in that first up win which suggests that he has come back well. He looks to get it all in his favour again here on Saturday. He draws gate four for Kerrin McEvoy (might be in for a big day, does have a handy book) and from that gate I think he can land just off the speed stalking the leaders and I would expect him to be very strong at the end of 1100m. Happy to be with him. Humma Mumma makes the switch up from Melbourne to Sydney following two good runs so far this campaign and I certainly think this is a race that she is capable of winning. I think her form around the likes of Sunlight and Meryl read really well for a race of this nature. She looks well weighted with just 54kgs under the conditions of this race and from gate two she should get a lovely smothering run off the speed. If the breaks come her way I think she can be finishing strongly. She has fitness on her side with those two runs under her belt this time in and I fancy she can go close here so happy to be with her. The horse I struggled to get a read on in the race was Trope. This galloper won on debut on the Kensington track when settling at the tail of the field and bombing down the middle of the track to score narrowly in a bit of a bunched finish. My first reaction was that it was a bit of a soft race and I was a bit wary on him and the form coming out of it. The form has been neither here nor there coming out of the race but this horse’s recent trial was really stylish. He showed a bit more speed which shows he may have the potential to settle closer in the run but he has unfortunately come up with a wide gate again which means he will probably have to go back. He looks a pretty handy horse though to my liking and I would rather keep him on side just in case at double figure odds here.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Baller here! I will have $20 the win on Humma Mumma and $15 the win on Trope!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 5

3:00pm

Suggested

Ball Of Muscle (No.2) & Estijaab (No.7)

Dangers

Redzel (No.1)

This is another of the feature races of the day here. It is the Challenge Stakes at Group Two level over the 1000m for the sprinters. All eyes will be on the return of dual Everest winner Redzel who has trialled twice recently in preparation for this first up run. I have to say I was left a little hesitant on this horse after his first trial where I thought he didn’t look to go particularly well. He then was asked for a bit more of an effort in his most recent trial and he put a real gap on his rivals. I feel that will mean he won’t be super fresh for this 1000m race and with a couple of speed horses drawn inside him he probably lands either three wide outside the leaders or maybe back a pair tracking them. He has come up well into the red in the early markets but I am just not convinced on him. He has been a great horse, is a great horse I should say but I am going to take the punt and take him on here. There is a theory that most of his better recent performances have come on rain affected ground and he isn’t as effective on top of the ground. I am not completely sold on that theory just yet but it isn’t a theory without merit. I think he meets genuine opposition here in terms of the three year old filly Estijaab. I have to admit I might have got this filly wrong. I was very keen to take her on first up when she took on Fiesta at Warwick Farm. While Fiesta got the job done I thought Estijaab’s performance was enormous. She was first up off a very long spell and she did all the work up on speed and just got touched off late. It was a really encouraging return and it should have her well primed for this race second up. I think from gate two she is going to land right outside the likely leader in Ball Of Muscle and I am hoping from there she can really control the race and she is pretty tough. I think Redzel might have a real battle to get past her so at the better odds I am going to take the punt and have something on Estijaab. I am actually believe it or not also going to have something on Ball Of Muscle. How well did this horse go last campaign? He won three of four in that campaign and defeated the likes of Santa Ana Lane, Brave Smash and Invincible Star in those runs. He just seems an old horse that is loving his racing at the moment. His two trials this time in have been excellent and from gate one if he can hold the front and get his rivals off the bit and chasing he might take some running down. I am really hoping from gate one and two that he and Estijaab land on the bunny and own this race and make things a bit difficult for Redzel. At doubled figure odds I am happy to save on him behind Estijaab who I am happy to be with as well around that $3-4 mark.

Betting strategy

I will have $55 the win on Estijaab here and $15 the win on Ball Of Muscle!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 6 - Canterbury Stakes

3:35pm

Suggested

Trapeze Artist (No.1) & Kementari (No.3)

Dangers

Pierata (No.2) & Shoals (No.5)

This is the other Group One race on Randwick Guineas Day. It is the Group One Canterbury Stakes over the 1300m. It is a hot race but not an easy one. Trapeze Artist and Kementari are two horses I have been backing regularly in recent times without a lot of success. I am going back to the well with them one more time here on Saturday though. I think this race just sets up really well for both of them and is an ideal opportunity for both to add another Group One victory to the mantelpiece. I will start with Trapeze Artist. He has always been a horse that has been a little bit hard to catch throughout his career. His best and worst runs have had fairly significant gaps between them in terms of levels of performance. His best is obviously outstanding and his worst can be pretty mediocre at times. To the eye his first up run at Rosehill when well beaten in a field of five behind Alizee after seemingly having a good run outside the leader was quite mediocre. His run prior to that was a game second on an unsuitable heavy track in The Everest back in the spring. I am hoping we see the best Trapeze Artist here on Saturday. Since that first up run he has been sent back to the trials twice and he has won both trials by big spaces with Blake Shinn on board. Blake takes over the ride here on race day also. He typically trials without blinkers and then they are applied on race day but he is a four year old stallion now and maybe it is getting harder to switch him back on. Both recent trials he has worn the blinkers and looked like he has really meant business. The tactics early in this race will be quite interesting. He draws out in gate six and the speed inside of him looks to come from Brutal predominantly. He has Fell Swoop drawn outside of him which looks the other likely leader in the race with the potential of Prompt Response kicking up from two. I think he at worst lands outside the leader in Brutal. If McEvoy wants to hand up he then crosses and leads and if Fell Swoop wants to press on he then sits in a stalking role. From either of those positions I just think he can own the race. He is second up and fitter here, he gets up to the 1300m which I think will suit and back on to a drier surface. This is his final campaign, he is a stallion and this is a Group One race so I don’t think there will be much mucking about on Saturday. He is going to come ready to rumble and as such I am keen to be with him. Kementari comes back from Melbourne having gone down narrowly first up in the Orr over 1400m. He just looked a little bit dour in that race I thought. He was trained to win the race first up obviously and was well backed but came off the bridle a fair way from home I thought and while he kept chasing was unable to get there. He is starting to get that reputation as a bit of a non winner. Is it justified? I don’t know, but he would like to win another on pretty soon I reckon. I think this is a great opportunity for him to do so. He is four weeks between runs, he comes back to the 1300m and has the blinkers reapplied to get that bit of sharpness back into him. From gate three he should land in a perfect trailing position and there really don’t look to be any excuses at all for him on Saturday. I didn’t want to after his last run I have to admit, but I am going to give him one more chance.

Betting strategy

I will have $50 the win on Trapeze Artist here and $40 the win on Kementari!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 2

1:57pm

Suggested

Crusher (No.8) & Totally Charmed (No.9)

Dangers

Raiden (No.3) & One Stryke (No.7)

Racing in Queensland comes from Eagle Farm this Saturday for what is a pretty strong meeting. I have actually found a few races that I am keen to bet into. The track is currently rated as good and the weather forecast looks fairly promising. There is the small chance of a shower leading up to the meeting and on the day but I don’t expect it to be anything too significant to upset the track conditions. We should be racing on a good track. I am kicking the day off in the second race and was keen to be with a couple of horses a little further down in the weights. Crusher and Totally Charmed are both lightly raced four year olds resuming from a spell and both look to find a winnable race here. I thought it was a race that contained a couple of tried and true commodities that were well in commission in the betting and as a result these two horses with a bit of upside and scope appealed. Crusher has built up a pretty impressive record of four wins and three minor placings from eight career starts. Her form two campaigns back around the likes of Invincible Heart and Dream Master certainly read well enough for a race of this nature. Last campaign through the late autumn and early winter she won two of her three races and showed good promise. She is first up from a spell here but has won three of four first up. She gets the services of Jeff Lloyd from gate four and I would expect her to land on speed down in the weights and be pretty hard to get past. Keen to be with her. Totally Charmed has had a couple of trials to get him ready for this first up assignment and I am looking forward to his return. He is a horse that has shown good ability in his short career to date. He actually came on to my radar the Monday before the Warrnambool carnival last year. I was at home having a quiet beer going over the form for the big week while watching the races at Grafton and he popped up and won a maiden really impressively landing some nice bets. He went through his grades quite nicely for the remainder of the campaign as I followed him through and I feel there is probably more to come from him. He stays down in the weights here with just 54kgs from a good draw for Ryan Maloney and I think he will enjoy the big Eagle Farm track. Providing he has improved in the break which I think he would have then this looks a race well within his grasp so happy to be with him.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on both Crusher and Toyally Charmed here!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 4

3:07pm

Suggested

Manaya (No.1), Italia Bella (No.5) & Seductive Dream (No.6)

Dangers

Shalwa (No.12)

This is an interesting race over the 1200m for the fillies and mares. Gee, punters were left burnt a few weeks ago when Shalwa was backed into a $1.45 favourite at Doomben. She box seated behind the leader, got the gap in the straight and just when you expected her to shoot through and go on with the job she floundered and was well beaten. It was a pretty odd and disappointing run. The blinkers go on here and she has again come up a pretty short priced favourite. I am struggling to get enthused about her chances, particularly at the $2.50 on offer. Manaya is about double the price of her and I thought she represented an excellent bet in the race. She took on a pretty strong race first up here two weeks ago and she hit the line nicely behind the talented Scallopini. She just had to duck and weave between runners in the straight and never seemed able to build full momentum. She got through the line well enough though and back against her own sex here she looks really well placed. This race certainly looks a few notches back on the race she competed in first up. She typically improves from her first up run to her second up run, she draws ideally in gate three to get a gun run in behind the speed and if the breaks come her way at the right time I would expect her to be able to get over the top of them. Keen to be with her. It is interesting to note that she was scratched from a much harder race in Sydney to be saved for this easier assignment. I am going to keep a couple of resuming runners on side. Italia Bella is one that I found hard to get a read on in the race. As far as talent goes she is certainly blessed with a fair bit of it; it is just a question of how well she can sprint fresh over the 1200m here. She has had a couple of trials leading into it, so I don’t think fitness will be an issue, it will be more sharpness. She was pushed along in a recent 1000m trial when running second. I just go back to that dominant win over Looks Like Elvis last campaign over the 1350m and think to myself if she runs anywhere close to that level she will be dealing with these pretty comfortably. Her run first up last campaign she actually wasn’t beaten too far behind The Bostonian in a good race at the Sunshine Coast. Even a run up to that level would see her be competitive here so happy to be with her. The throw at the stumps bet in the race is Seductive Dream. This mare has a really good 1200m record. She has won five of eleven with four minor placings over this trip so that would suggest she is likely to run well here. Her form last campaign around some handy horses were pretty good and I thought she looked like she had a fair bit more to give in a recent trial at the Sunshine Coast despite finishing last. I am taking the engagement of Ryan Maloney as a positive and from a middle gate I can see her running well here around the $20 mark so happy to have something small on her.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Manaya here and happy to lock in the $5 freely available! I will also have $20 the win on Italia Bella and $10 the win on Seductive Dream!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 5

3:48pm

Suggested

Cruze (No.6) & Francisca (No.9)

Dangers

Beacon (No.4), Winning Ways (No.11) & Zoucara (No.12)

This is another handy race here. It is over the 1400m and I think Francisca gets an ideal opportunity to break through after two excellent runs to kick off her campaign without winning. She ran well from the back of the field at big odds first up before she was very heavily supported here two weeks ago. She just got caught wide somehow from gate seven and ended up being pushed wider on the turn before being left in front a long way from home. She still looked the winner inside the furlong but Benfica Princess was able to come from the back and run her down. I thought the run under the circumstances was excellent and she clearly gets the opportunity to break back into the winners circle here on Saturday. She should be primed here third up from a spell with that 1400m run now under her belt from last start. She draws an ideal middle gate (ironically the same as the one last start) and surely she won’t get caught wide from there. I see her landing in a gun trailing position just off the speed and I think she should be breaking through here. Keen to be with her. I think the stiffest opposition she faces comes from Cruze. I was surprised that this horse came up such long odds in the early markets. Not surprisingly he has been well supported since those markets went up from double figures into around the $8-9 mark and I wouldn’t be surprised if that support continued. His last three runs over the summer months were all very good. First up he wasn’t beaten far behind Desert Man and La Scopa which proved to be pretty strong form. He backed that up with a good run at the Gold Coast behind Star Reflection before not being far in the rich Magic Millions Cup behind Redouble. That form all reads very well for a race of this nature. He draws gate two here off an eight week freshen up and I anticipate him getting a gun run just off the speed. If the breaks come his way I think he will be right in the finish so happy to save on him behind Francisca.

Betting strategy

I will have $70 the win on Francisca here and save with $20 the win on Cruze locking in the $8.50 with SportsBet!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 6

4:27pm

Suggested

Dawson Diva (No.3), Rocknavar (No.11) & Missed The Alarm (No.12)

Dangers

Alpine Dancer (No.1) & Tatcee (No.2)

This race is for the three year olds over the 1840m. A lot of the form for this race comes from the race won by Tatcee two weeks ago. That was an impressive win but a lot went in his favour that day and I am happy to be with a couple of others from the race who finished behind him. Rocknavar is certainly the horse the market has come for. I was on her at big double figure odds last start when she finished second behind Tatcee. She had previously had a run in this distance range over 1700m when winning her maiden at Grafton before dropping back to the mile last start. I thought that would be an advantage in terms of her being strong late. She was certainly strong late but probably just got that little bit too far out of her ground. She just failed to real in Tatcee. I think back up to the 1840m here suits her ideally. She draws gate one for Robbie Fradd so I am hoping that he can take up a position a little closer to the speed on her and if he does that then she looks really hard to beat. Happy to be with her. Dawson Diva started favourite in that race and just didn’t have the best of luck at the right time. She ended up back over on the inside and was shuffled back coming to the turn. She went for a run back over towards the inside in the straight and that was just interrupted as she was going for it. I am not sure the inside part of the track was the best going at Eagle Farm that day either. She went through the line well but the bird had flown. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bounced back here. Her win at the start prior over Barefoot at the Sunshine Coast was really strong. She draws a nice middle gate here and I think with a good run in transit and an unimpeded run she should be hard to hold out here. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bounced back strongly here so happy to be with her. Missed The Alarm is the other horse I am going to have something on in the race. This filly broke her maiden at Grafton last start over the 1700m with a barnstorming win from the back of the field. She was heavily backed to win that race but looked in a hopeless position coming to the home turn when well back and near the tail. She swung very wide and got right to the middle of the track and was able to run over the top of her rivals. She has the run in this distance range under her belt and based on the manner in which she won last start I would be very surprised if she didn’t run the trip right out here. She looks as if she will lap it up. If other struggle to run it out then she looks the one primed to take full advantage so happy to be with her at the good odds on offer.

Betting strategy

I will have $45 the win on Rocknavar, $30 the win on Dawson Diva and $10 the win on Missed The Alarm!

Race Outlay

$85

Race 7

5:12pm

Suggested

Order Again (No.2) & Impasse (No.9)

Dangers

Tumbler (No.3) & Jaminzah (No.4)

This was the race I really agonised over whether to include in the preview or now. In the end I thought we got a pretty good betting opportunity with Tumbler coming up as a relatively short priced favourite. After a massive run first up at the Sunshine Coast she has just been fair at her last two runs behind Spurcraft and Mr Marbellouz. She didn’t make any real impression last start and stepping up to the 1400m here which is a distance she hasn’t won over I thought she was quite vulnerable. I thought there was better value betting around her. Order Again is a talented horse on his day and I think he is going to really enjoy the fact that he now has Eagle Farm open again. He is a horse that raced well here before renovations recommenced and I think this looks a really winnable race for him. He has had a recent trial to tune up for this where he was given a very quiet time. He looked like he had a fair bit more to give in that trial and to my eye looks to have come back well. There doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in this race so where he positions himself early from that slightly awkward middle to wide draw will be interesting. I think if Larry Cassidy can have him positioned close enough in a good trailing position then he is going to be hard to hold out so keen to be with him here. He will certainly run the 1400m out strongly as opposed to Tumbler who we are a bit unsure about. The other horse I definitely want to be with in the race is Impasse. I was actually quite surprised that this horse didn’t come up favourite. He was first up off a two month break when just touched off by Eminent at Doomben last start. He just had to make a bit of a duck and weave run between horses that day and it probably cost him that little bit of momentum at a crucial time. He only went down by the barest of margins so you can argue that cost him the race. He carried 57.5kgs in that race and gets nice weight relief here dropping down to 54kgs. He has an excellent 1400m record and he is a horse that might be able to take advantage by the lack of speed in the race. By lack of speed, Zahspeed may supply plenty of speed but he doesn’t look to have too much opposition for that lead so I fancy from gate five Ryan Maloney can have Impasse relatively close to the lead. He should have come on from that run last start and I just think this looks an ideal race for him. As I said, I was surprised he hadn’t come up favourite and around the $5-6 mark here I think he is an excellent bet in the race.

Betting strategy

I reckon the $5.50 about Impasse is a great price and I will lock that in and have $40 the win on him! I will also have $35 the win on Order Again!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 1

12:15pm

Suggested

King Of Yulong (No.4), Superhard (No.6) & Crown Witness (No.8)

Dangers

Bandipur (No.2) & Malahat (No.5)

I am kicking the day off in the first race which is down the straight over the 1000m. This race typifies the day in many respects. It is wide open with plenty of chances. Crown Witness has had two runs back from a spell this time in and been good in both of them and I think this looks a winnable race for her. She jumped out really nicely prior to her first up run at Moonee Valley where she was taken on up front early, came back and took a sit, hit the front in the straight and only just got run down late. It was a race that had multiple late scratchings and she drew gate one and was left in the barriers for quite a lengthy time. I think it may have played a part late in the race. She then took on the Oakleigh Plate second up where she was caught wide for most of the race and finished well back. She was only beaten six lengths though in what was a very hot sprint race and I reckon that might be good enough to salute here. She has won at her only run down the straight which is a key factor, she draws a middle gate and stays down in the weights so I think she gets a good setup here and should be hard to run down. Superhard resumes here having his first run for the John Sadler stable after racing with Darren Weir last campaign. That was an excellent campaign which produced four wins and saw him step up in distance quite effectively. He is a horse that has always shown good ability and his recent jump out was quite strong when asked for an effort late at Caulfield. I just feel as a four year old with six wins from fifteen starts he might be a horse that still has some upside and if he can sprint well fresh then this is within his grasp so happy to be with him. King Of Yulong is one of a couple of imported gallopers making their Australian debut for the Snowden camp here at Flemington on Saturday. This is a horse who was a Group Two winner at Goodwood only three starts ago back in August and is still a young horse seemingly with some upside. He has taken on Group One races in Europe at his last two starts so he is obviously talented. He has shown nice speed in a couple of recent jump outs and I am erring on the side of caution and keeping him on side here as he may just blow them away if he has acclimatised well.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Crown Witness and save with $20 the win on both King Of Yulong and Superhard!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 2

12:50pm

Suggested

Antah (No.1) & Bravo Tango (No.4)

Dangers

Greyworm (No.7) & Simply Invincible (No.10)

This race is just a Benchmark 84 over the 1400m which will probably pale into insignificance compared to some of the other big races on the program, but gee it is a good race. It is a really interesting race. There are some up and coming in form horses doing battle here and it promises to be a cracking race. The likelihood of a genuine solid tempo up front also adds to the intrigue. There are quite a few horses that like to go forward and that should ensure a keen contest. Bravo Tango is a horse that has always shown a lot of ability and he looks as if he may be really starting to put it all together now. He burst on to the scene as a three year old and was touted as an Australian Guineas chance around this time last year but never made it to that race and subsequently seemed to lose his way. This campaign it has all been positive. I saw him jump out at Terang prior to his first up run and I thought he just looked a bit more professional in the way he went about it. As a result I had something on him first up where he was a massive drifter in the betting and he beat all bar Tin Hat in that race who we saw go on to win in stakes class. Bravo Tango’s two runs since have produced dominant victories. He won well two starts ago at Sandown defeating Declarationofheart who was competitive in the Australian Guineas last Saturday and then last start for mine was his most impressive effort yet at Sale. He has typically been a get back and run on horse but he showed he had another string to his bow at Sale. He jumped well and was pushed on to sit outside the leader and ride a solid tempo. He turned for home and was able to kick off that strong tempo and open up a lead on his rivals which they couldn’t peg back. I loved the way he went about it. I see no reason why he can’t win again here. With the likely strong speed up front he will probably go back to sitting off the speed here. From gate two I don’t think he will want to be too far back though and I am hoping he can land only a couple of pairs back. From there he will just need a touch of luck getting the runs at the right time and if he does he will be hard to hold out. Happy to be with him. Antah is another horse that comes into the race in outstanding form. He has won three of four this time in and was only just touched off here at Flemington last start. The run was still very strong. He was a long way back on the fence coming to the turn and made up a lot of ground very quickly and burst through to take the lead with a furlong to run. He looked the winner but Thunder Cloud was just able to finish the mile off a little bit stronger and nab him on the line. They put a good gap on the third horse and it was just another sign that this horse is flying. He is going to really appreciate the good speed up front here coming back to the 1400m. He draws ideally in a middle gate to get a good run sitting back off the speed hopefully settling midfield one off the fence. From there he should be primed to build into the race with full momentum and with those recent 1600m runs under his belt be really strong at the end of 1400m whereas a few of his rivals are stepping up to this trip for the first time this campaign and maybe a distance doubt. He definitely won’t be and I expect him to be hard to hold out. The chances don’t end there. Rox The Castle and Greyworm are both horses on the up but have to do it in a strongly run 1400m here which is a slight question mark. I am shocked Greyworm has come up so short in all honesty. He is a talented horse but he maps very awkwardly from the wide draw stepping up to this trip. It is going to be a really good race but happy to be with Bravo Tango and Antah.

Betting strategy

The money for Greyworm continues to pile in! He seems so short now! I will have $40 the win on Antah and Bravo Tango to roll him!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 4

2:05pm

Suggested

Sunset Watch (No.2), Marcel From Madrid (No.7) & Golden Halo (No.10)

Dangers

Yulong Yuheng (No.1), Anjana (No.4) & Krone (No.5)

This is another deep race with plenty of chances. It is down the straight for the three year olds over the 1100m. Over half of the eleven horse field are first up here and plenty of those resuming have jumped out or trialled well. I think the winner does come from that resuming brigade who do look to have a class edge over the ones that have raced already this campaign. Bleu Roche is probably the exception to that but I thought she was pretty plain at Moonee Valley last time out and I just want to see her produce her best again before I back her. Sunset Watch is a horse who beat Bleu Roche home at Moonee Valley in the spring and I am hoping he can kick his campaign here off on a winning note. He is a three year old that has been lightly raced so far and probably just held back that little bit from taking on the cream of the crop. He won the first two starts of his career at Ballarat and Caulfield as a two year old in March last year when leading all the way before being unable to lead at his third start and running fifth. He was immediately spelled after that. First up in the spring he went to Moonee Valley where he did a bit of work early to find the lead and then had to show plenty of fight late to hold off Ringerdinding. He was then a month between runs before just being touched off by Charge at the same track on Cox Plate Day. He beat home Ringerdingding again there along with Bleu Roche. He only had those two runs in that spring campaign and I am hoping his connections will reap the benefits of that patience this campaign. His two Werribee jump outs have looked outstanding to my eye. He has travelled sweetly in both of them and gone to the line strongly under little urging from his rider. I think he is primed to deliver a big first up performance here and was actually surprised he wasn’t shorter in the market here. I expected him to be closer to $3 and he is almost $5 in the early markets. He draws a middle to wide gate for Dwayne Dunn which should see him roll to the front in the best part of the straight track and with those two jump outs under his belt I expect him to come to the races ready to rumble. Keen to be with him. Marcel From Madrid is an interesting runner and not surprisingly he has been well supported as soon as fixed odds markets went up. He won his first two starts in his career as a two year old which included a Group Three win in Adelaide over the Oaks winner Aristia. He then resumed in the spring with a super run first up at Moonee Valley behind Brutal before being well backed here in the Danehill and not really firing second up before failing in the Guineas Prelude. That campaign was aborted following that run and I am hoping he has come back in better order this time around. He has had a recent jump out at Flemington where he travelled well throughout before being asked for an effort late. I really like the way he quickened and extended late when asked for an effort there. He looks nicely placed here down in the weights from a middle gate with Williams on board and would expect him to sprint well fresh so happy to be with him. The other horse I am going to have something on is Golden Halo. She is the horse in the race I think could be capable of really going to another level this time in. She showed plenty in her first campaign. She won well at Donald on debut before running a cracking race when a touch unlucky behind Sunlight at Group Three level at her second start when huge odds at Caulfield. She then went to Morphettville and won well before running well behind Meryl and Sunlight again at her next two starts. That was all in her first campaign and with natural improvement into her second campaign I think we might see a pretty handy horse this time in. She trialled very nicely at Cranbourne recently where she held Seabrook fairly comfortably with a long gap to third. I just think she might be the x-factor and big improver in the race so at double figure odds I want to have something on her in a cracking race.

Betting strategy

$4.80 is the best price about Sunset Watch with SportsBet at the moment and I will have half of my $40 stake at that price now and the other half at Top Fluc! I will also have $20 the win on Marcel From Madrid and $15 the win on Golden Halo!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 6 - The Newmarket Handicap

3:15pm

Suggested

Santa Ana Lane (No.2), In Her Time (No.6), Graff (No.20) & Zousain (No.21)

Dangers

Brave Smash (No.3), Osborne Bulls (No.4) & Eduardo (No.14)

This is the race of the day, perhaps the race of the year just about. It is the Newmarket Handicap down the straight at Flemington over the 1200m and it has drawn together monster field of 23 runners. It is going to be a wonderful spectacle. The only issue is finding the winner. Osborne Bulls is clearly a very likeable animal and a massive winning chance here. For a race of this depth though he seems to have come up very short. For mine this is a race that is around $6 the field and he has come up under $4 in most places. I would expect that you would get better on the day and as I said, while he is a massive winning chance, I am not particularly keen to tumble into him at that short of a price. There are a heap of winning hopes in the race and some at really good value I feel. Graff for me is the horse I expect to make significant improvement off the Lightning run and prove very hard to beat here. He was firm in the market in the Lightning but I think just found the 1000m that little bit too sharp. He was getting through the line nicely late but just couldn’t sprint with them when the tempo went on. I think this promises to for once actually be a genuinely run straight race. I think that will play into his hands. He is down in the weights and looks to be drawn the right part of the track out wide with quite a few of the other winning chances. I think around the $8-9 mark he is worth a bet over Osborne Bulls as I really don’t see much between them off their respective Lightning efforts and with the weight swing in his favour and at the better price I just find Graff a more attractive bet. There may well be some scenes for punters across Australia too if the Wizard Willy Pike can get this home and crack it for a major Group One win on the eastern seaboard. The forgotten horse out of the Lightning seems to be the winner In Her Time. I have to admit in the lead up to doing the form on the race she wasn’t really in my head as a horse I was considering to back. The more I look at it though she has to be a great winning chance. Her last two runs and only two runs for that matter down the straight here at Flemington have been excellent. Two starts back she was a touch unlucky when forced back to the inside of the track behind Santa Ana Lane on the final day of the carnival before really making her own luck here three weeks ago to win the Lightning. She was again slightly awkwardly placed without cover back over towards the inside of the track. She took over at the furlong and held off the fast finishing Osborne Bulls who certainly looked the flashier run but it is worth remembering he had a lovely cart into the race with cover out wide on the course. I thought In Her Time deserved her win. Some will argue she is even better over the 1200m which she steps too here. She looks to also draw the right part of the track out wide and she just never seems to run a bad race. I think she will be right in the firing line the whole way and definitely be in the finish. Around the $12-15 mark she looks a great bet. How can you not have something on Santa Ana Lane. He keeps winning Group One races, he keeps starting double figure odds. His win here in November on the final day of the carnival beating a hot sprint field was excellent. Prior to that he had won in track record time in Sydney and earlier in the year won a Goodwood and a Stradbroke. He is a serious horse. His most recent jump out at Balnarring showed he was on track as he was strong through the line behind his stable mate Shoals. I just think you have to respect him and at double figure odds if he is within striking distance late he is going to be really strong and give you something to cheer so happy to have something on him. Zousain is the mystery runner. I am a big fan of this horse and honestly thought he was a moral first up when he took on a small field at Caulfield. Thankfully for me Tin Hat was scratched which meant he come into unbackable odds and then got rolled by the smart and unbeaten Terbium. I am just not sure he appreciated the stop start tempo of that race. For mine he is a horse who might be better suited coming off a strong rolling tempo which he is likely to get here. He gets right down in the weights to 51kgs for Craig Williams for a middle gate and as opposed to the $1.40 last start he will start closer to $20 on Saturday. I just have to have something on him at that price. The chances don’t end there. Redkirk Warrior is going for a third consecutive win in this race, Brave Smash is racing really well, Booker and Eduardo were excellent in the Oakleigh Plate and Sunlight is another horse that may be somewhat forgotten here. It is just a great race, I really can’t wait for it. I am mainly with the Kris Lees pair of Graff and In Her Time and will keep Santa Ana Lane and Zousain on side for decent results also.

Betting strategy

I will have $25 the win on Graff here and have $15 the win on all three of In Her Time, Santa Ana Lane and Zousain!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 7

4:00pm

Suggested

Angelic Ruler (No.1), Kenyan Wonder (No.9) & Princess Jenni (No.14)

Dangers

Spanish Whisper (No.2), Sizzleme (No.4) & Victory Kingdom (No.11)

This race is for the three year old fillies over the 1400m. I doubt we are seeing any real superstars here and no doubt Mystic Journey would do some damage to this lot but it is a competitive race. There looks to be good speed in the race too which should set it up for a horse to be really strong late in the race. The Closer, Pickup The Pieces, Victory Kingdom and Etana are all go forward horse that like to lead and that should provide a good tempo and give horses the opportunity to run on. I thought Angelic Ruler was excellent at her Victorian debut last start at Caulfield. As is her nature she just got off the bridle coming to the home turn and looked to be struggling but once she built into her work she finished the race off well late. She was only just touched off by the talented Qafila who I think is a filly pretty close to that top level. The key gear change for Angelic Ruler here is the application of blinkers. I am hoping that might iron out that flat spot before the home turn and that will allow her to hopefully blend into the race at the right time. If she can do that she should be really strong late off the strong tempo at 1400m and I think she is the one they all have to beat. This South Australian filly in Kenyan Wonder is an interesting runner. She has won two of her four career starts including her last two and the most recent win was most impressive when resuming off a two month spell. She sat back over the 1200m and got to the outside and rounded her rivals up most impressively. She came from last and won and on the line she was pretty much eased down running away. The setup of this race should work out nicely for her. She draws a nice middle gate, there looks likely to be good speed up front and she should be finishing strongly at the end of the race. It also looks a race that is inviting a horse to step up and go to the next level and she looks like she could be that horse. Happy to be with her. Princess Jenni might finally resume here. For those that subscribe, you will know I have been keen on her when down to run a couple of time recently and I feel like a broken record if I write what I have been writing again here. She has trialled well again since that first good trial but she does have to resume first up over 1400m from an awkward gate. I think she is a very smart filly though and a bit like what I was saying with Kenyan Wonder it seems a race where a filly might really jump up out of the ground. She is double figure odds here and I have to have something on her just in case.

Betting strategy

Clearly the market is agreeing with me here as the money has come for both Angelic Ruler and Kenyan Wonder! I will have $50 the win on Angelic Ruler, $30 the win on Kenyan Wonder and $15 the win on Princess Jenni!

Race Outlay

$95

Race 8 - Australian Cup

4:35pm

Suggested

Almandin (No.1), Rekindling (No.2) & Trap For Fools (No.4)

Dangers

Avilius (No.7)

This is the second Group One race of the day here. It is the Australian Cup over the 2000m and it is a most intriguing race. Like the Newmarket we have a favourite that has come up pretty short. I think in this case the short price is probably more justified in the case of Avilius. His two wins this time in have been excellent. He was super winning first up at Caulfield and he backed that up with a win of real authority last start in the Peter Young. I thought he was a slight risk last start as he drew gate one and that for me could again be the slight issue here. He got the luck at Caulfield and he will be relying on it again here on Saturday. If you remember this race day last year the rail was fairly hot and those horses back on the fence on the rail found a fair bit of trouble as horses in front were reluctant to leave the rail. If the breaks come his way he is obviously going to be hard to hold out but he is around the even money mark. Do I want to get involved at that price? Not really. I am going to bet around him but won’t be investing heavily in the race. I will go with a similar approach to how I bet in the Oakleigh Plate a few weeks back where I wasn’t keen on taking on Nature Strip but didn’t want to back him either. The horse Avilius beat home in the race at Caulfield last start was Trap For Fools and I think he is potentially the horse most likely of causing an upset. I think he has come back really well this time in and he is typically a horse that gets better with racing the deeper he gets into his campaign. He hit the line nicely first up from off the speed before taking up his usual on speed role as leader last start. I thought he was a winning chance on the turn when he kicked clear but the gap then came for Avilius who came off his back and proved too strong. I think with those two runs now under his belt we might see Trap For Fools run along a bit more freely here and try and get a few rivals off the bit and chasing. Up to the 2000m suits and the last time he ran over this track and distance he won the Group One Mackinnon on the final day of the carnival last year. I am happy to be with him. The Lloyd Williams gallopers are the big query runners. Rekindling hasn’t been seen since winning the Melbourne Cup almost eighteen months ago. How good is he? He is a horse that competed in some huge Group One races in Europe before coming over for the Melbourne Cup and proving too strong for Johannes Vermeer. He is still so lightly raced that there may still be some upside in him. Obviously I had a pretty good collect on him Melbourne Cup Day in 2017 so I am pretty keen to have something on him here. He has come up double figure odds in the market and I am pretty happy to be with him just in case. Let’s be honest though, he could win or run last, we just don’t know. Given how well Johannes Vermeer ran last week though I think we can take some confidence from that, that Rekindling can be very competitive in this race. Almandin was arguably unlucky not to win this race last year. He missed the spring and is a high class stayer as we all know. He is also a Melbourne Cup winner. Ollie will put him to sleep from gate two and I wouldn’t be surprised if he just lobbed outside of Avilius drawn inside of him and has Bowman in his sights the whole way. He is another that if he can run to his best in this race here he can certainly be very competitive. He has also come up double figure odds in the race and at that price I think he is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have $20 the win on Trap For Fools and $15 the win on both Almandin and Rekindling!

Race Outlay

$50

Race 1

12:30pm

Suggested

Spright (No.1) & Winter Bride (No.3)

Dangers

Sedanzer (No.2) & Resin (No.5)

Group One racing in Sydney comes from Randwick again this Saturday for their big Randwick Guineas Day. All eyes will be on The Autumn Sun in that race as he looks to build on what is an already imposing record. He has come up $1.50 so it won’t be a betting race but it promises to be a great showdown with the rising star of the fillies ranks in Nakeeta Jane who has won her first two starts this campaign in brilliant fashion. It will be a great race to watch, but happy to sit it out from a betting point of view. That sums up this day a little bit. The two slipper trials for me are races that we can watch and learn from rather than get sucked into betting on Saturday and that means I am only betting into the four races on the program. We went three out of four last Saturday in Sydney so let’s hope we can go one better this Saturday. The forecast is for dry weather up until race day and then the chance of late rain on Saturday so we will be racing on a good track; that is something I am pretty confident about with the rail in the true position. Randwick has really turned the corner for mine in the last twelve months as far as the track goes. It just seems to be racing really fairly on a consistent basis which is great to see coming into carnival time. I am kicking the day off in the first race of the day which is for the mares over the 1200m. It is a pretty strong race. Five of the nine runners are first up and certainly there is a strong class representation at the top of the weights in Spright. This mare comes into the race second up having produced an enormous performance last start in the Oakleigh Plate when resuming. She just got a mile too far back. She was in another suburb on the home turn and her effort to finish only two lengths from Booker in fifth place was quite extraordinary. It was a huge run. Her last four runs have come in Group One races – The Moir, Manikato, VRC Sprint Classic and Oakleigh Plate. She has taken on the cream of sprint races and sprint horses in the country. This Group Three race back against her own sex is clearly the easiest race she has come across in some time. She draws ideally in a middle gate for Kerrin McEvoy to hopefully land just off the speed in a stalking position and providing she is close enough to them in the run she is going to take some holding out. Keen to be with her. I think she only has to run up to that Oakleigh Plate effort and she should be winning. I am looking forward to seeing the return of one of my favourite horses in Winter Bride here. This mare was so dominant through the winter and early spring. She won five of her seven starts across those two campaigns and really elevated herself to another level going down to Melbourne and winning two Group Three races there. She really has built herself up an imposing record. She has now won eight of seventeen with five minor placings. She is a very good horse quite simply. Her recent trial at the Gold Coast instils me with even more confidence coming into this. She looked to go really nicely in that. She was never let off the bridle in that trial and had her rivals easily covered all the way. She draws nicely here in gate five for Tommy Berry to land in a stalking position just off the speed. I think given the lack of speed in this race she is going to land right on the speed which was the extra string she added to her bow last campaign and I think from that stalking position with her excellent first up record she is going to be hard to hold out. I think her and Spright represent a really good two bet play to start the day.

Betting strategy

I will have $50 the win on Spright here and $40 the win on Winter Bride!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 2

1:10pm

Suggested

Baller (No.6), Trope (No.9) & Humma Mumma (No.10)

Dangers

Jonker (No.4) & Prophet’s Thumb (No.12)

This is the Fireball Stakes over the 1200m for the three year old and is another really intriguing race. It is a deep race with plenty of winning chances here. I found myself moving away from those horses that are up the top of the weights who have probably taken on stronger races that their rivals in their career. I just am not sure those horses are going as well as they can be at the moment and for that reason am leaning to the horses further down the page that are on the rise. A horse that certainly fits that bill is Baller. He is a horse that showed great promise in his first campaign and he looks to have come back really well this time in. That was a pretty strong race he took on first up and I love the way he sat off a strong tempo and really chased his rivals down. His wins in his first campaign came when running along on a strong tempo. He looked more of a race horse first up I thought. He sat off the speed and settled well and hit the line strongly. He landed good bets in that first up win which suggests that he has come back well. He looks to get it all in his favour again here on Saturday. He draws gate four for Kerrin McEvoy (might be in for a big day, does have a handy book) and from that gate I think he can land just off the speed stalking the leaders and I would expect him to be very strong at the end of 1100m. Happy to be with him. Humma Mumma makes the switch up from Melbourne to Sydney following two good runs so far this campaign and I certainly think this is a race that she is capable of winning. I think her form around the likes of Sunlight and Meryl read really well for a race of this nature. She looks well weighted with just 54kgs under the conditions of this race and from gate two she should get a lovely smothering run off the speed. If the breaks come her way I think she can be finishing strongly. She has fitness on her side with those two runs under her belt this time in and I fancy she can go close here so happy to be with her. The horse I struggled to get a read on in the race was Trope. This galloper won on debut on the Kensington track when settling at the tail of the field and bombing down the middle of the track to score narrowly in a bit of a bunched finish. My first reaction was that it was a bit of a soft race and I was a bit wary on him and the form coming out of it. The form has been neither here nor there coming out of the race but this horse’s recent trial was really stylish. He showed a bit more speed which shows he may have the potential to settle closer in the run but he has unfortunately come up with a wide gate again which means he will probably have to go back. He looks a pretty handy horse though to my liking and I would rather keep him on side just in case at double figure odds here.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Baller here! I will have $20 the win on Humma Mumma and $15 the win on Trope!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 5

3:00pm

Suggested

Ball Of Muscle (No.2) & Estijaab (No.7)

Dangers

Redzel (No.1)

This is another of the feature races of the day here. It is the Challenge Stakes at Group Two level over the 1000m for the sprinters. All eyes will be on the return of dual Everest winner Redzel who has trialled twice recently in preparation for this first up run. I have to say I was left a little hesitant on this horse after his first trial where I thought he didn’t look to go particularly well. He then was asked for a bit more of an effort in his most recent trial and he put a real gap on his rivals. I feel that will mean he won’t be super fresh for this 1000m race and with a couple of speed horses drawn inside him he probably lands either three wide outside the leaders or maybe back a pair tracking them. He has come up well into the red in the early markets but I am just not convinced on him. He has been a great horse, is a great horse I should say but I am going to take the punt and take him on here. There is a theory that most of his better recent performances have come on rain affected ground and he isn’t as effective on top of the ground. I am not completely sold on that theory just yet but it isn’t a theory without merit. I think he meets genuine opposition here in terms of the three year old filly Estijaab. I have to admit I might have got this filly wrong. I was very keen to take her on first up when she took on Fiesta at Warwick Farm. While Fiesta got the job done I thought Estijaab’s performance was enormous. She was first up off a very long spell and she did all the work up on speed and just got touched off late. It was a really encouraging return and it should have her well primed for this race second up. I think from gate two she is going to land right outside the likely leader in Ball Of Muscle and I am hoping from there she can really control the race and she is pretty tough. I think Redzel might have a real battle to get past her so at the better odds I am going to take the punt and have something on Estijaab. I am actually believe it or not also going to have something on Ball Of Muscle. How well did this horse go last campaign? He won three of four in that campaign and defeated the likes of Santa Ana Lane, Brave Smash and Invincible Star in those runs. He just seems an old horse that is loving his racing at the moment. His two trials this time in have been excellent and from gate one if he can hold the front and get his rivals off the bit and chasing he might take some running down. I am really hoping from gate one and two that he and Estijaab land on the bunny and own this race and make things a bit difficult for Redzel. At doubled figure odds I am happy to save on him behind Estijaab who I am happy to be with as well around that $3-4 mark.

Betting strategy

I will have $55 the win on Estijaab here and $15 the win on Ball Of Muscle!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 6 - Canterbury Stakes

3:35pm

Suggested

Trapeze Artist (No.1) & Kementari (No.3)

Dangers

Pierata (No.2) & Shoals (No.5)

This is the other Group One race on Randwick Guineas Day. It is the Group One Canterbury Stakes over the 1300m. It is a hot race but not an easy one. Trapeze Artist and Kementari are two horses I have been backing regularly in recent times without a lot of success. I am going back to the well with them one more time here on Saturday though. I think this race just sets up really well for both of them and is an ideal opportunity for both to add another Group One victory to the mantelpiece. I will start with Trapeze Artist. He has always been a horse that has been a little bit hard to catch throughout his career. His best and worst runs have had fairly significant gaps between them in terms of levels of performance. His best is obviously outstanding and his worst can be pretty mediocre at times. To the eye his first up run at Rosehill when well beaten in a field of five behind Alizee after seemingly having a good run outside the leader was quite mediocre. His run prior to that was a game second on an unsuitable heavy track in The Everest back in the spring. I am hoping we see the best Trapeze Artist here on Saturday. Since that first up run he has been sent back to the trials twice and he has won both trials by big spaces with Blake Shinn on board. Blake takes over the ride here on race day also. He typically trials without blinkers and then they are applied on race day but he is a four year old stallion now and maybe it is getting harder to switch him back on. Both recent trials he has worn the blinkers and looked like he has really meant business. The tactics early in this race will be quite interesting. He draws out in gate six and the speed inside of him looks to come from Brutal predominantly. He has Fell Swoop drawn outside of him which looks the other likely leader in the race with the potential of Prompt Response kicking up from two. I think he at worst lands outside the leader in Brutal. If McEvoy wants to hand up he then crosses and leads and if Fell Swoop wants to press on he then sits in a stalking role. From either of those positions I just think he can own the race. He is second up and fitter here, he gets up to the 1300m which I think will suit and back on to a drier surface. This is his final campaign, he is a stallion and this is a Group One race so I don’t think there will be much mucking about on Saturday. He is going to come ready to rumble and as such I am keen to be with him. Kementari comes back from Melbourne having gone down narrowly first up in the Orr over 1400m. He just looked a little bit dour in that race I thought. He was trained to win the race first up obviously and was well backed but came off the bridle a fair way from home I thought and while he kept chasing was unable to get there. He is starting to get that reputation as a bit of a non winner. Is it justified? I don’t know, but he would like to win another on pretty soon I reckon. I think this is a great opportunity for him to do so. He is four weeks between runs, he comes back to the 1300m and has the blinkers reapplied to get that bit of sharpness back into him. From gate three he should land in a perfect trailing position and there really don’t look to be any excuses at all for him on Saturday. I didn’t want to after his last run I have to admit, but I am going to give him one more chance.

Betting strategy

I will have $50 the win on Trapeze Artist here and $40 the win on Kementari!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 2

1:57pm

Suggested

Crusher (No.8) & Totally Charmed (No.9)

Dangers

Raiden (No.3) & One Stryke (No.7)

Racing in Queensland comes from Eagle Farm this Saturday for what is a pretty strong meeting. I have actually found a few races that I am keen to bet into. The track is currently rated as good and the weather forecast looks fairly promising. There is the small chance of a shower leading up to the meeting and on the day but I don’t expect it to be anything too significant to upset the track conditions. We should be racing on a good track. I am kicking the day off in the second race and was keen to be with a couple of horses a little further down in the weights. Crusher and Totally Charmed are both lightly raced four year olds resuming from a spell and both look to find a winnable race here. I thought it was a race that contained a couple of tried and true commodities that were well in commission in the betting and as a result these two horses with a bit of upside and scope appealed. Crusher has built up a pretty impressive record of four wins and three minor placings from eight career starts. Her form two campaigns back around the likes of Invincible Heart and Dream Master certainly read well enough for a race of this nature. Last campaign through the late autumn and early winter she won two of her three races and showed good promise. She is first up from a spell here but has won three of four first up. She gets the services of Jeff Lloyd from gate four and I would expect her to land on speed down in the weights and be pretty hard to get past. Keen to be with her. Totally Charmed has had a couple of trials to get him ready for this first up assignment and I am looking forward to his return. He is a horse that has shown good ability in his short career to date. He actually came on to my radar the Monday before the Warrnambool carnival last year. I was at home having a quiet beer going over the form for the big week while watching the races at Grafton and he popped up and won a maiden really impressively landing some nice bets. He went through his grades quite nicely for the remainder of the campaign as I followed him through and I feel there is probably more to come from him. He stays down in the weights here with just 54kgs from a good draw for Ryan Maloney and I think he will enjoy the big Eagle Farm track. Providing he has improved in the break which I think he would have then this looks a race well within his grasp so happy to be with him.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on both Crusher and Toyally Charmed here!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 4

3:07pm

Suggested

Manaya (No.1), Italia Bella (No.5) & Seductive Dream (No.6)

Dangers

Shalwa (No.12)

This is an interesting race over the 1200m for the fillies and mares. Gee, punters were left burnt a few weeks ago when Shalwa was backed into a $1.45 favourite at Doomben. She box seated behind the leader, got the gap in the straight and just when you expected her to shoot through and go on with the job she floundered and was well beaten. It was a pretty odd and disappointing run. The blinkers go on here and she has again come up a pretty short priced favourite. I am struggling to get enthused about her chances, particularly at the $2.50 on offer. Manaya is about double the price of her and I thought she represented an excellent bet in the race. She took on a pretty strong race first up here two weeks ago and she hit the line nicely behind the talented Scallopini. She just had to duck and weave between runners in the straight and never seemed able to build full momentum. She got through the line well enough though and back against her own sex here she looks really well placed. This race certainly looks a few notches back on the race she competed in first up. She typically improves from her first up run to her second up run, she draws ideally in gate three to get a gun run in behind the speed and if the breaks come her way at the right time I would expect her to be able to get over the top of them. Keen to be with her. It is interesting to note that she was scratched from a much harder race in Sydney to be saved for this easier assignment. I am going to keep a couple of resuming runners on side. Italia Bella is one that I found hard to get a read on in the race. As far as talent goes she is certainly blessed with a fair bit of it; it is just a question of how well she can sprint fresh over the 1200m here. She has had a couple of trials leading into it, so I don’t think fitness will be an issue, it will be more sharpness. She was pushed along in a recent 1000m trial when running second. I just go back to that dominant win over Looks Like Elvis last campaign over the 1350m and think to myself if she runs anywhere close to that level she will be dealing with these pretty comfortably. Her run first up last campaign she actually wasn’t beaten too far behind The Bostonian in a good race at the Sunshine Coast. Even a run up to that level would see her be competitive here so happy to be with her. The throw at the stumps bet in the race is Seductive Dream. This mare has a really good 1200m record. She has won five of eleven with four minor placings over this trip so that would suggest she is likely to run well here. Her form last campaign around some handy horses were pretty good and I thought she looked like she had a fair bit more to give in a recent trial at the Sunshine Coast despite finishing last. I am taking the engagement of Ryan Maloney as a positive and from a middle gate I can see her running well here around the $20 mark so happy to have something small on her.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Manaya here and happy to lock in the $5 freely available! I will also have $20 the win on Italia Bella and $10 the win on Seductive Dream!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 5

3:48pm

Suggested

Cruze (No.6) & Francisca (No.9)

Dangers

Beacon (No.4), Winning Ways (No.11) & Zoucara (No.12)

This is another handy race here. It is over the 1400m and I think Francisca gets an ideal opportunity to break through after two excellent runs to kick off her campaign without winning. She ran well from the back of the field at big odds first up before she was very heavily supported here two weeks ago. She just got caught wide somehow from gate seven and ended up being pushed wider on the turn before being left in front a long way from home. She still looked the winner inside the furlong but Benfica Princess was able to come from the back and run her down. I thought the run under the circumstances was excellent and she clearly gets the opportunity to break back into the winners circle here on Saturday. She should be primed here third up from a spell with that 1400m run now under her belt from last start. She draws an ideal middle gate (ironically the same as the one last start) and surely she won’t get caught wide from there. I see her landing in a gun trailing position just off the speed and I think she should be breaking through here. Keen to be with her. I think the stiffest opposition she faces comes from Cruze. I was surprised that this horse came up such long odds in the early markets. Not surprisingly he has been well supported since those markets went up from double figures into around the $8-9 mark and I wouldn’t be surprised if that support continued. His last three runs over the summer months were all very good. First up he wasn’t beaten far behind Desert Man and La Scopa which proved to be pretty strong form. He backed that up with a good run at the Gold Coast behind Star Reflection before not being far in the rich Magic Millions Cup behind Redouble. That form all reads very well for a race of this nature. He draws gate two here off an eight week freshen up and I anticipate him getting a gun run just off the speed. If the breaks come his way I think he will be right in the finish so happy to save on him behind Francisca.

Betting strategy

I will have $70 the win on Francisca here and save with $20 the win on Cruze locking in the $8.50 with SportsBet!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 6

4:27pm

Suggested

Dawson Diva (No.3), Rocknavar (No.11) & Missed The Alarm (No.12)

Dangers

Alpine Dancer (No.1) & Tatcee (No.2)

This race is for the three year olds over the 1840m. A lot of the form for this race comes from the race won by Tatcee two weeks ago. That was an impressive win but a lot went in his favour that day and I am happy to be with a couple of others from the race who finished behind him. Rocknavar is certainly the horse the market has come for. I was on her at big double figure odds last start when she finished second behind Tatcee. She had previously had a run in this distance range over 1700m when winning her maiden at Grafton before dropping back to the mile last start. I thought that would be an advantage in terms of her being strong late. She was certainly strong late but probably just got that little bit too far out of her ground. She just failed to real in Tatcee. I think back up to the 1840m here suits her ideally. She draws gate one for Robbie Fradd so I am hoping that he can take up a position a little closer to the speed on her and if he does that then she looks really hard to beat. Happy to be with her. Dawson Diva started favourite in that race and just didn’t have the best of luck at the right time. She ended up back over on the inside and was shuffled back coming to the turn. She went for a run back over towards the inside in the straight and that was just interrupted as she was going for it. I am not sure the inside part of the track was the best going at Eagle Farm that day either. She went through the line well but the bird had flown. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bounced back here. Her win at the start prior over Barefoot at the Sunshine Coast was really strong. She draws a nice middle gate here and I think with a good run in transit and an unimpeded run she should be hard to hold out here. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bounced back strongly here so happy to be with her. Missed The Alarm is the other horse I am going to have something on in the race. This filly broke her maiden at Grafton last start over the 1700m with a barnstorming win from the back of the field. She was heavily backed to win that race but looked in a hopeless position coming to the home turn when well back and near the tail. She swung very wide and got right to the middle of the track and was able to run over the top of her rivals. She has the run in this distance range under her belt and based on the manner in which she won last start I would be very surprised if she didn’t run the trip right out here. She looks as if she will lap it up. If other struggle to run it out then she looks the one primed to take full advantage so happy to be with her at the good odds on offer.

Betting strategy

I will have $45 the win on Rocknavar, $30 the win on Dawson Diva and $10 the win on Missed The Alarm!

Race Outlay

$85

Race 7

5:12pm

Suggested

Order Again (No.2) & Impasse (No.9)

Dangers

Tumbler (No.3) & Jaminzah (No.4)

This was the race I really agonised over whether to include in the preview or now. In the end I thought we got a pretty good betting opportunity with Tumbler coming up as a relatively short priced favourite. After a massive run first up at the Sunshine Coast she has just been fair at her last two runs behind Spurcraft and Mr Marbellouz. She didn’t make any real impression last start and stepping up to the 1400m here which is a distance she hasn’t won over I thought she was quite vulnerable. I thought there was better value betting around her. Order Again is a talented horse on his day and I think he is going to really enjoy the fact that he now has Eagle Farm open again. He is a horse that raced well here before renovations recommenced and I think this looks a really winnable race for him. He has had a recent trial to tune up for this where he was given a very quiet time. He looked like he had a fair bit more to give in that trial and to my eye looks to have come back well. There doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in this race so where he positions himself early from that slightly awkward middle to wide draw will be interesting. I think if Larry Cassidy can have him positioned close enough in a good trailing position then he is going to be hard to hold out so keen to be with him here. He will certainly run the 1400m out strongly as opposed to Tumbler who we are a bit unsure about. The other horse I definitely want to be with in the race is Impasse. I was actually quite surprised that this horse didn’t come up favourite. He was first up off a two month break when just touched off by Eminent at Doomben last start. He just had to make a bit of a duck and weave run between horses that day and it probably cost him that little bit of momentum at a crucial time. He only went down by the barest of margins so you can argue that cost him the race. He carried 57.5kgs in that race and gets nice weight relief here dropping down to 54kgs. He has an excellent 1400m record and he is a horse that might be able to take advantage by the lack of speed in the race. By lack of speed, Zahspeed may supply plenty of speed but he doesn’t look to have too much opposition for that lead so I fancy from gate five Ryan Maloney can have Impasse relatively close to the lead. He should have come on from that run last start and I just think this looks an ideal race for him. As I said, I was surprised he hadn’t come up favourite and around the $5-6 mark here I think he is an excellent bet in the race.

Betting strategy

I reckon the $5.50 about Impasse is a great price and I will lock that in and have $40 the win on him! I will also have $35 the win on Order Again!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 1

12:15pm

Suggested

King Of Yulong (No.4), Superhard (No.6) & Crown Witness (No.8)

Dangers

Bandipur (No.2) & Malahat (No.5)

I am kicking the day off in the first race which is down the straight over the 1000m. This race typifies the day in many respects. It is wide open with plenty of chances. Crown Witness has had two runs back from a spell this time in and been good in both of them and I think this looks a winnable race for her. She jumped out really nicely prior to her first up run at Moonee Valley where she was taken on up front early, came back and took a sit, hit the front in the straight and only just got run down late. It was a race that had multiple late scratchings and she drew gate one and was left in the barriers for quite a lengthy time. I think it may have played a part late in the race. She then took on the Oakleigh Plate second up where she was caught wide for most of the race and finished well back. She was only beaten six lengths though in what was a very hot sprint race and I reckon that might be good enough to salute here. She has won at her only run down the straight which is a key factor, she draws a middle gate and stays down in the weights so I think she gets a good setup here and should be hard to run down. Superhard resumes here having his first run for the John Sadler stable after racing with Darren Weir last campaign. That was an excellent campaign which produced four wins and saw him step up in distance quite effectively. He is a horse that has always shown good ability and his recent jump out was quite strong when asked for an effort late at Caulfield. I just feel as a four year old with six wins from fifteen starts he might be a horse that still has some upside and if he can sprint well fresh then this is within his grasp so happy to be with him. King Of Yulong is one of a couple of imported gallopers making their Australian debut for the Snowden camp here at Flemington on Saturday. This is a horse who was a Group Two winner at Goodwood only three starts ago back in August and is still a young horse seemingly with some upside. He has taken on Group One races in Europe at his last two starts so he is obviously talented. He has shown nice speed in a couple of recent jump outs and I am erring on the side of caution and keeping him on side here as he may just blow them away if he has acclimatised well.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Crown Witness and save with $20 the win on both King Of Yulong and Superhard!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 2

12:50pm

Suggested

Antah (No.1) & Bravo Tango (No.4)

Dangers

Greyworm (No.7) & Simply Invincible (No.10)

This race is just a Benchmark 84 over the 1400m which will probably pale into insignificance compared to some of the other big races on the program, but gee it is a good race. It is a really interesting race. There are some up and coming in form horses doing battle here and it promises to be a cracking race. The likelihood of a genuine solid tempo up front also adds to the intrigue. There are quite a few horses that like to go forward and that should ensure a keen contest. Bravo Tango is a horse that has always shown a lot of ability and he looks as if he may be really starting to put it all together now. He burst on to the scene as a three year old and was touted as an Australian Guineas chance around this time last year but never made it to that race and subsequently seemed to lose his way. This campaign it has all been positive. I saw him jump out at Terang prior to his first up run and I thought he just looked a bit more professional in the way he went about it. As a result I had something on him first up where he was a massive drifter in the betting and he beat all bar Tin Hat in that race who we saw go on to win in stakes class. Bravo Tango’s two runs since have produced dominant victories. He won well two starts ago at Sandown defeating Declarationofheart who was competitive in the Australian Guineas last Saturday and then last start for mine was his most impressive effort yet at Sale. He has typically been a get back and run on horse but he showed he had another string to his bow at Sale. He jumped well and was pushed on to sit outside the leader and ride a solid tempo. He turned for home and was able to kick off that strong tempo and open up a lead on his rivals which they couldn’t peg back. I loved the way he went about it. I see no reason why he can’t win again here. With the likely strong speed up front he will probably go back to sitting off the speed here. From gate two I don’t think he will want to be too far back though and I am hoping he can land only a couple of pairs back. From there he will just need a touch of luck getting the runs at the right time and if he does he will be hard to hold out. Happy to be with him. Antah is another horse that comes into the race in outstanding form. He has won three of four this time in and was only just touched off here at Flemington last start. The run was still very strong. He was a long way back on the fence coming to the turn and made up a lot of ground very quickly and burst through to take the lead with a furlong to run. He looked the winner but Thunder Cloud was just able to finish the mile off a little bit stronger and nab him on the line. They put a good gap on the third horse and it was just another sign that this horse is flying. He is going to really appreciate the good speed up front here coming back to the 1400m. He draws ideally in a middle gate to get a good run sitting back off the speed hopefully settling midfield one off the fence. From there he should be primed to build into the race with full momentum and with those recent 1600m runs under his belt be really strong at the end of 1400m whereas a few of his rivals are stepping up to this trip for the first time this campaign and maybe a distance doubt. He definitely won’t be and I expect him to be hard to hold out. The chances don’t end there. Rox The Castle and Greyworm are both horses on the up but have to do it in a strongly run 1400m here which is a slight question mark. I am shocked Greyworm has come up so short in all honesty. He is a talented horse but he maps very awkwardly from the wide draw stepping up to this trip. It is going to be a really good race but happy to be with Bravo Tango and Antah.

Betting strategy

The money for Greyworm continues to pile in! He seems so short now! I will have $40 the win on Antah and Bravo Tango to roll him!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 4

2:05pm

Suggested

Sunset Watch (No.2), Marcel From Madrid (No.7) & Golden Halo (No.10)

Dangers

Yulong Yuheng (No.1), Anjana (No.4) & Krone (No.5)

This is another deep race with plenty of chances. It is down the straight for the three year olds over the 1100m. Over half of the eleven horse field are first up here and plenty of those resuming have jumped out or trialled well. I think the winner does come from that resuming brigade who do look to have a class edge over the ones that have raced already this campaign. Bleu Roche is probably the exception to that but I thought she was pretty plain at Moonee Valley last time out and I just want to see her produce her best again before I back her. Sunset Watch is a horse who beat Bleu Roche home at Moonee Valley in the spring and I am hoping he can kick his campaign here off on a winning note. He is a three year old that has been lightly raced so far and probably just held back that little bit from taking on the cream of the crop. He won the first two starts of his career at Ballarat and Caulfield as a two year old in March last year when leading all the way before being unable to lead at his third start and running fifth. He was immediately spelled after that. First up in the spring he went to Moonee Valley where he did a bit of work early to find the lead and then had to show plenty of fight late to hold off Ringerdinding. He was then a month between runs before just being touched off by Charge at the same track on Cox Plate Day. He beat home Ringerdingding again there along with Bleu Roche. He only had those two runs in that spring campaign and I am hoping his connections will reap the benefits of that patience this campaign. His two Werribee jump outs have looked outstanding to my eye. He has travelled sweetly in both of them and gone to the line strongly under little urging from his rider. I think he is primed to deliver a big first up performance here and was actually surprised he wasn’t shorter in the market here. I expected him to be closer to $3 and he is almost $5 in the early markets. He draws a middle to wide gate for Dwayne Dunn which should see him roll to the front in the best part of the straight track and with those two jump outs under his belt I expect him to come to the races ready to rumble. Keen to be with him. Marcel From Madrid is an interesting runner and not surprisingly he has been well supported as soon as fixed odds markets went up. He won his first two starts in his career as a two year old which included a Group Three win in Adelaide over the Oaks winner Aristia. He then resumed in the spring with a super run first up at Moonee Valley behind Brutal before being well backed here in the Danehill and not really firing second up before failing in the Guineas Prelude. That campaign was aborted following that run and I am hoping he has come back in better order this time around. He has had a recent jump out at Flemington where he travelled well throughout before being asked for an effort late. I really like the way he quickened and extended late when asked for an effort there. He looks nicely placed here down in the weights from a middle gate with Williams on board and would expect him to sprint well fresh so happy to be with him. The other horse I am going to have something on is Golden Halo. She is the horse in the race I think could be capable of really going to another level this time in. She showed plenty in her first campaign. She won well at Donald on debut before running a cracking race when a touch unlucky behind Sunlight at Group Three level at her second start when huge odds at Caulfield. She then went to Morphettville and won well before running well behind Meryl and Sunlight again at her next two starts. That was all in her first campaign and with natural improvement into her second campaign I think we might see a pretty handy horse this time in. She trialled very nicely at Cranbourne recently where she held Seabrook fairly comfortably with a long gap to third. I just think she might be the x-factor and big improver in the race so at double figure odds I want to have something on her in a cracking race.

Betting strategy

$4.80 is the best price about Sunset Watch with SportsBet at the moment and I will have half of my $40 stake at that price now and the other half at Top Fluc! I will also have $20 the win on Marcel From Madrid and $15 the win on Golden Halo!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 6 - The Newmarket Handicap

3:15pm

Suggested

Santa Ana Lane (No.2), In Her Time (No.6), Graff (No.20) & Zousain (No.21)

Dangers

Brave Smash (No.3), Osborne Bulls (No.4) & Eduardo (No.14)

This is the race of the day, perhaps the race of the year just about. It is the Newmarket Handicap down the straight at Flemington over the 1200m and it has drawn together monster field of 23 runners. It is going to be a wonderful spectacle. The only issue is finding the winner. Osborne Bulls is clearly a very likeable animal and a massive winning chance here. For a race of this depth though he seems to have come up very short. For mine this is a race that is around $6 the field and he has come up under $4 in most places. I would expect that you would get better on the day and as I said, while he is a massive winning chance, I am not particularly keen to tumble into him at that short of a price. There are a heap of winning hopes in the race and some at really good value I feel. Graff for me is the horse I expect to make significant improvement off the Lightning run and prove very hard to beat here. He was firm in the market in the Lightning but I think just found the 1000m that little bit too sharp. He was getting through the line nicely late but just couldn’t sprint with them when the tempo went on. I think this promises to for once actually be a genuinely run straight race. I think that will play into his hands. He is down in the weights and looks to be drawn the right part of the track out wide with quite a few of the other winning chances. I think around the $8-9 mark he is worth a bet over Osborne Bulls as I really don’t see much between them off their respective Lightning efforts and with the weight swing in his favour and at the better price I just find Graff a more attractive bet. There may well be some scenes for punters across Australia too if the Wizard Willy Pike can get this home and crack it for a major Group One win on the eastern seaboard. The forgotten horse out of the Lightning seems to be the winner In Her Time. I have to admit in the lead up to doing the form on the race she wasn’t really in my head as a horse I was considering to back. The more I look at it though she has to be a great winning chance. Her last two runs and only two runs for that matter down the straight here at Flemington have been excellent. Two starts back she was a touch unlucky when forced back to the inside of the track behind Santa Ana Lane on the final day of the carnival before really making her own luck here three weeks ago to win the Lightning. She was again slightly awkwardly placed without cover back over towards the inside of the track. She took over at the furlong and held off the fast finishing Osborne Bulls who certainly looked the flashier run but it is worth remembering he had a lovely cart into the race with cover out wide on the course. I thought In Her Time deserved her win. Some will argue she is even better over the 1200m which she steps too here. She looks to also draw the right part of the track out wide and she just never seems to run a bad race. I think she will be right in the firing line the whole way and definitely be in the finish. Around the $12-15 mark she looks a great bet. How can you not have something on Santa Ana Lane. He keeps winning Group One races, he keeps starting double figure odds. His win here in November on the final day of the carnival beating a hot sprint field was excellent. Prior to that he had won in track record time in Sydney and earlier in the year won a Goodwood and a Stradbroke. He is a serious horse. His most recent jump out at Balnarring showed he was on track as he was strong through the line behind his stable mate Shoals. I just think you have to respect him and at double figure odds if he is within striking distance late he is going to be really strong and give you something to cheer so happy to have something on him. Zousain is the mystery runner. I am a big fan of this horse and honestly thought he was a moral first up when he took on a small field at Caulfield. Thankfully for me Tin Hat was scratched which meant he come into unbackable odds and then got rolled by the smart and unbeaten Terbium. I am just not sure he appreciated the stop start tempo of that race. For mine he is a horse who might be better suited coming off a strong rolling tempo which he is likely to get here. He gets right down in the weights to 51kgs for Craig Williams for a middle gate and as opposed to the $1.40 last start he will start closer to $20 on Saturday. I just have to have something on him at that price. The chances don’t end there. Redkirk Warrior is going for a third consecutive win in this race, Brave Smash is racing really well, Booker and Eduardo were excellent in the Oakleigh Plate and Sunlight is another horse that may be somewhat forgotten here. It is just a great race, I really can’t wait for it. I am mainly with the Kris Lees pair of Graff and In Her Time and will keep Santa Ana Lane and Zousain on side for decent results also.

Betting strategy

I will have $25 the win on Graff here and have $15 the win on all three of In Her Time, Santa Ana Lane and Zousain!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 7

4:00pm

Suggested

Angelic Ruler (No.1), Kenyan Wonder (No.9) & Princess Jenni (No.14)

Dangers

Spanish Whisper (No.2), Sizzleme (No.4) & Victory Kingdom (No.11)

This race is for the three year old fillies over the 1400m. I doubt we are seeing any real superstars here and no doubt Mystic Journey would do some damage to this lot but it is a competitive race. There looks to be good speed in the race too which should set it up for a horse to be really strong late in the race. The Closer, Pickup The Pieces, Victory Kingdom and Etana are all go forward horse that like to lead and that should provide a good tempo and give horses the opportunity to run on. I thought Angelic Ruler was excellent at her Victorian debut last start at Caulfield. As is her nature she just got off the bridle coming to the home turn and looked to be struggling but once she built into her work she finished the race off well late. She was only just touched off by the talented Qafila who I think is a filly pretty close to that top level. The key gear change for Angelic Ruler here is the application of blinkers. I am hoping that might iron out that flat spot before the home turn and that will allow her to hopefully blend into the race at the right time. If she can do that she should be really strong late off the strong tempo at 1400m and I think she is the one they all have to beat. This South Australian filly in Kenyan Wonder is an interesting runner. She has won two of her four career starts including her last two and the most recent win was most impressive when resuming off a two month spell. She sat back over the 1200m and got to the outside and rounded her rivals up most impressively. She came from last and won and on the line she was pretty much eased down running away. The setup of this race should work out nicely for her. She draws a nice middle gate, there looks likely to be good speed up front and she should be finishing strongly at the end of the race. It also looks a race that is inviting a horse to step up and go to the next level and she looks like she could be that horse. Happy to be with her. Princess Jenni might finally resume here. For those that subscribe, you will know I have been keen on her when down to run a couple of time recently and I feel like a broken record if I write what I have been writing again here. She has trialled well again since that first good trial but she does have to resume first up over 1400m from an awkward gate. I think she is a very smart filly though and a bit like what I was saying with Kenyan Wonder it seems a race where a filly might really jump up out of the ground. She is double figure odds here and I have to have something on her just in case.

Betting strategy

Clearly the market is agreeing with me here as the money has come for both Angelic Ruler and Kenyan Wonder! I will have $50 the win on Angelic Ruler, $30 the win on Kenyan Wonder and $15 the win on Princess Jenni!

Race Outlay

$95

Race 8 - Australian Cup

4:35pm

Suggested

Almandin (No.1), Rekindling (No.2) & Trap For Fools (No.4)

Dangers

Avilius (No.7)

This is the second Group One race of the day here. It is the Australian Cup over the 2000m and it is a most intriguing race. Like the Newmarket we have a favourite that has come up pretty short. I think in this case the short price is probably more justified in the case of Avilius. His two wins this time in have been excellent. He was super winning first up at Caulfield and he backed that up with a win of real authority last start in the Peter Young. I thought he was a slight risk last start as he drew gate one and that for me could again be the slight issue here. He got the luck at Caulfield and he will be relying on it again here on Saturday. If you remember this race day last year the rail was fairly hot and those horses back on the fence on the rail found a fair bit of trouble as horses in front were reluctant to leave the rail. If the breaks come his way he is obviously going to be hard to hold out but he is around the even money mark. Do I want to get involved at that price? Not really. I am going to bet around him but won’t be investing heavily in the race. I will go with a similar approach to how I bet in the Oakleigh Plate a few weeks back where I wasn’t keen on taking on Nature Strip but didn’t want to back him either. The horse Avilius beat home in the race at Caulfield last start was Trap For Fools and I think he is potentially the horse most likely of causing an upset. I think he has come back really well this time in and he is typically a horse that gets better with racing the deeper he gets into his campaign. He hit the line nicely first up from off the speed before taking up his usual on speed role as leader last start. I thought he was a winning chance on the turn when he kicked clear but the gap then came for Avilius who came off his back and proved too strong. I think with those two runs now under his belt we might see Trap For Fools run along a bit more freely here and try and get a few rivals off the bit and chasing. Up to the 2000m suits and the last time he ran over this track and distance he won the Group One Mackinnon on the final day of the carnival last year. I am happy to be with him. The Lloyd Williams gallopers are the big query runners. Rekindling hasn’t been seen since winning the Melbourne Cup almost eighteen months ago. How good is he? He is a horse that competed in some huge Group One races in Europe before coming over for the Melbourne Cup and proving too strong for Johannes Vermeer. He is still so lightly raced that there may still be some upside in him. Obviously I had a pretty good collect on him Melbourne Cup Day in 2017 so I am pretty keen to have something on him here. He has come up double figure odds in the market and I am pretty happy to be with him just in case. Let’s be honest though, he could win or run last, we just don’t know. Given how well Johannes Vermeer ran last week though I think we can take some confidence from that, that Rekindling can be very competitive in this race. Almandin was arguably unlucky not to win this race last year. He missed the spring and is a high class stayer as we all know. He is also a Melbourne Cup winner. Ollie will put him to sleep from gate two and I wouldn’t be surprised if he just lobbed outside of Avilius drawn inside of him and has Bowman in his sights the whole way. He is another that if he can run to his best in this race here he can certainly be very competitive. He has also come up double figure odds in the race and at that price I think he is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have $20 the win on Trap For Fools and $15 the win on both Almandin and Rekindling!

Race Outlay

$50

Race 1

12:30pm

Suggested

Spright (No.1) & Winter Bride (No.3)

Dangers

Sedanzer (No.2) & Resin (No.5)

Group One racing in Sydney comes from Randwick again this Saturday for their big Randwick Guineas Day. All eyes will be on The Autumn Sun in that race as he looks to build on what is an already imposing record. He has come up $1.50 so it won’t be a betting race but it promises to be a great showdown with the rising star of the fillies ranks in Nakeeta Jane who has won her first two starts this campaign in brilliant fashion. It will be a great race to watch, but happy to sit it out from a betting point of view. That sums up this day a little bit. The two slipper trials for me are races that we can watch and learn from rather than get sucked into betting on Saturday and that means I am only betting into the four races on the program. We went three out of four last Saturday in Sydney so let’s hope we can go one better this Saturday. The forecast is for dry weather up until race day and then the chance of late rain on Saturday so we will be racing on a good track; that is something I am pretty confident about with the rail in the true position. Randwick has really turned the corner for mine in the last twelve months as far as the track goes. It just seems to be racing really fairly on a consistent basis which is great to see coming into carnival time. I am kicking the day off in the first race of the day which is for the mares over the 1200m. It is a pretty strong race. Five of the nine runners are first up and certainly there is a strong class representation at the top of the weights in Spright. This mare comes into the race second up having produced an enormous performance last start in the Oakleigh Plate when resuming. She just got a mile too far back. She was in another suburb on the home turn and her effort to finish only two lengths from Booker in fifth place was quite extraordinary. It was a huge run. Her last four runs have come in Group One races – The Moir, Manikato, VRC Sprint Classic and Oakleigh Plate. She has taken on the cream of sprint races and sprint horses in the country. This Group Three race back against her own sex is clearly the easiest race she has come across in some time. She draws ideally in a middle gate for Kerrin McEvoy to hopefully land just off the speed in a stalking position and providing she is close enough to them in the run she is going to take some holding out. Keen to be with her. I think she only has to run up to that Oakleigh Plate effort and she should be winning. I am looking forward to seeing the return of one of my favourite horses in Winter Bride here. This mare was so dominant through the winter and early spring. She won five of her seven starts across those two campaigns and really elevated herself to another level going down to Melbourne and winning two Group Three races there. She really has built herself up an imposing record. She has now won eight of seventeen with five minor placings. She is a very good horse quite simply. Her recent trial at the Gold Coast instils me with even more confidence coming into this. She looked to go really nicely in that. She was never let off the bridle in that trial and had her rivals easily covered all the way. She draws nicely here in gate five for Tommy Berry to land in a stalking position just off the speed. I think given the lack of speed in this race she is going to land right on the speed which was the extra string she added to her bow last campaign and I think from that stalking position with her excellent first up record she is going to be hard to hold out. I think her and Spright represent a really good two bet play to start the day.

Betting strategy

I will have $50 the win on Spright here and $40 the win on Winter Bride!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 2

1:10pm

Suggested

Baller (No.6), Trope (No.9) & Humma Mumma (No.10)

Dangers

Jonker (No.4) & Prophet’s Thumb (No.12)

This is the Fireball Stakes over the 1200m for the three year old and is another really intriguing race. It is a deep race with plenty of winning chances here. I found myself moving away from those horses that are up the top of the weights who have probably taken on stronger races that their rivals in their career. I just am not sure those horses are going as well as they can be at the moment and for that reason am leaning to the horses further down the page that are on the rise. A horse that certainly fits that bill is Baller. He is a horse that showed great promise in his first campaign and he looks to have come back really well this time in. That was a pretty strong race he took on first up and I love the way he sat off a strong tempo and really chased his rivals down. His wins in his first campaign came when running along on a strong tempo. He looked more of a race horse first up I thought. He sat off the speed and settled well and hit the line strongly. He landed good bets in that first up win which suggests that he has come back well. He looks to get it all in his favour again here on Saturday. He draws gate four for Kerrin McEvoy (might be in for a big day, does have a handy book) and from that gate I think he can land just off the speed stalking the leaders and I would expect him to be very strong at the end of 1100m. Happy to be with him. Humma Mumma makes the switch up from Melbourne to Sydney following two good runs so far this campaign and I certainly think this is a race that she is capable of winning. I think her form around the likes of Sunlight and Meryl read really well for a race of this nature. She looks well weighted with just 54kgs under the conditions of this race and from gate two she should get a lovely smothering run off the speed. If the breaks come her way I think she can be finishing strongly. She has fitness on her side with those two runs under her belt this time in and I fancy she can go close here so happy to be with her. The horse I struggled to get a read on in the race was Trope. This galloper won on debut on the Kensington track when settling at the tail of the field and bombing down the middle of the track to score narrowly in a bit of a bunched finish. My first reaction was that it was a bit of a soft race and I was a bit wary on him and the form coming out of it. The form has been neither here nor there coming out of the race but this horse’s recent trial was really stylish. He showed a bit more speed which shows he may have the potential to settle closer in the run but he has unfortunately come up with a wide gate again which means he will probably have to go back. He looks a pretty handy horse though to my liking and I would rather keep him on side just in case at double figure odds here.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Baller here! I will have $20 the win on Humma Mumma and $15 the win on Trope!

Race Outlay

$75

Race 5

3:00pm

Suggested

Ball Of Muscle (No.2) & Estijaab (No.7)

Dangers

Redzel (No.1)

This is another of the feature races of the day here. It is the Challenge Stakes at Group Two level over the 1000m for the sprinters. All eyes will be on the return of dual Everest winner Redzel who has trialled twice recently in preparation for this first up run. I have to say I was left a little hesitant on this horse after his first trial where I thought he didn’t look to go particularly well. He then was asked for a bit more of an effort in his most recent trial and he put a real gap on his rivals. I feel that will mean he won’t be super fresh for this 1000m race and with a couple of speed horses drawn inside him he probably lands either three wide outside the leaders or maybe back a pair tracking them. He has come up well into the red in the early markets but I am just not convinced on him. He has been a great horse, is a great horse I should say but I am going to take the punt and take him on here. There is a theory that most of his better recent performances have come on rain affected ground and he isn’t as effective on top of the ground. I am not completely sold on that theory just yet but it isn’t a theory without merit. I think he meets genuine opposition here in terms of the three year old filly Estijaab. I have to admit I might have got this filly wrong. I was very keen to take her on first up when she took on Fiesta at Warwick Farm. While Fiesta got the job done I thought Estijaab’s performance was enormous. She was first up off a very long spell and she did all the work up on speed and just got touched off late. It was a really encouraging return and it should have her well primed for this race second up. I think from gate two she is going to land right outside the likely leader in Ball Of Muscle and I am hoping from there she can really control the race and she is pretty tough. I think Redzel might have a real battle to get past her so at the better odds I am going to take the punt and have something on Estijaab. I am actually believe it or not also going to have something on Ball Of Muscle. How well did this horse go last campaign? He won three of four in that campaign and defeated the likes of Santa Ana Lane, Brave Smash and Invincible Star in those runs. He just seems an old horse that is loving his racing at the moment. His two trials this time in have been excellent and from gate one if he can hold the front and get his rivals off the bit and chasing he might take some running down. I am really hoping from gate one and two that he and Estijaab land on the bunny and own this race and make things a bit difficult for Redzel. At doubled figure odds I am happy to save on him behind Estijaab who I am happy to be with as well around that $3-4 mark.

Betting strategy

I will have $55 the win on Estijaab here and $15 the win on Ball Of Muscle!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 6 - Canterbury Stakes

3:35pm

Suggested

Trapeze Artist (No.1) & Kementari (No.3)

Dangers

Pierata (No.2) & Shoals (No.5)

This is the other Group One race on Randwick Guineas Day. It is the Group One Canterbury Stakes over the 1300m. It is a hot race but not an easy one. Trapeze Artist and Kementari are two horses I have been backing regularly in recent times without a lot of success. I am going back to the well with them one more time here on Saturday though. I think this race just sets up really well for both of them and is an ideal opportunity for both to add another Group One victory to the mantelpiece. I will start with Trapeze Artist. He has always been a horse that has been a little bit hard to catch throughout his career. His best and worst runs have had fairly significant gaps between them in terms of levels of performance. His best is obviously outstanding and his worst can be pretty mediocre at times. To the eye his first up run at Rosehill when well beaten in a field of five behind Alizee after seemingly having a good run outside the leader was quite mediocre. His run prior to that was a game second on an unsuitable heavy track in The Everest back in the spring. I am hoping we see the best Trapeze Artist here on Saturday. Since that first up run he has been sent back to the trials twice and he has won both trials by big spaces with Blake Shinn on board. Blake takes over the ride here on race day also. He typically trials without blinkers and then they are applied on race day but he is a four year old stallion now and maybe it is getting harder to switch him back on. Both recent trials he has worn the blinkers and looked like he has really meant business. The tactics early in this race will be quite interesting. He draws out in gate six and the speed inside of him looks to come from Brutal predominantly. He has Fell Swoop drawn outside of him which looks the other likely leader in the race with the potential of Prompt Response kicking up from two. I think he at worst lands outside the leader in Brutal. If McEvoy wants to hand up he then crosses and leads and if Fell Swoop wants to press on he then sits in a stalking role. From either of those positions I just think he can own the race. He is second up and fitter here, he gets up to the 1300m which I think will suit and back on to a drier surface. This is his final campaign, he is a stallion and this is a Group One race so I don’t think there will be much mucking about on Saturday. He is going to come ready to rumble and as such I am keen to be with him. Kementari comes back from Melbourne having gone down narrowly first up in the Orr over 1400m. He just looked a little bit dour in that race I thought. He was trained to win the race first up obviously and was well backed but came off the bridle a fair way from home I thought and while he kept chasing was unable to get there. He is starting to get that reputation as a bit of a non winner. Is it justified? I don’t know, but he would like to win another on pretty soon I reckon. I think this is a great opportunity for him to do so. He is four weeks between runs, he comes back to the 1300m and has the blinkers reapplied to get that bit of sharpness back into him. From gate three he should land in a perfect trailing position and there really don’t look to be any excuses at all for him on Saturday. I didn’t want to after his last run I have to admit, but I am going to give him one more chance.

Betting strategy

I will have $50 the win on Trapeze Artist here and $40 the win on Kementari!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 2

1:57pm

Suggested

Crusher (No.8) & Totally Charmed (No.9)

Dangers

Raiden (No.3) & One Stryke (No.7)

Racing in Queensland comes from Eagle Farm this Saturday for what is a pretty strong meeting. I have actually found a few races that I am keen to bet into. The track is currently rated as good and the weather forecast looks fairly promising. There is the small chance of a shower leading up to the meeting and on the day but I don’t expect it to be anything too significant to upset the track conditions. We should be racing on a good track. I am kicking the day off in the second race and was keen to be with a couple of horses a little further down in the weights. Crusher and Totally Charmed are both lightly raced four year olds resuming from a spell and both look to find a winnable race here. I thought it was a race that contained a couple of tried and true commodities that were well in commission in the betting and as a result these two horses with a bit of upside and scope appealed. Crusher has built up a pretty impressive record of four wins and three minor placings from eight career starts. Her form two campaigns back around the likes of Invincible Heart and Dream Master certainly read well enough for a race of this nature. Last campaign through the late autumn and early winter she won two of her three races and showed good promise. She is first up from a spell here but has won three of four first up. She gets the services of Jeff Lloyd from gate four and I would expect her to land on speed down in the weights and be pretty hard to get past. Keen to be with her. Totally Charmed has had a couple of trials to get him ready for this first up assignment and I am looking forward to his return. He is a horse that has shown good ability in his short career to date. He actually came on to my radar the Monday before the Warrnambool carnival last year. I was at home having a quiet beer going over the form for the big week while watching the races at Grafton and he popped up and won a maiden really impressively landing some nice bets. He went through his grades quite nicely for the remainder of the campaign as I followed him through and I feel there is probably more to come from him. He stays down in the weights here with just 54kgs from a good draw for Ryan Maloney and I think he will enjoy the big Eagle Farm track. Providing he has improved in the break which I think he would have then this looks a race well within his grasp so happy to be with him.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on both Crusher and Toyally Charmed here!

Race Outlay

$80

Race 4

3:07pm

Suggested

Manaya (No.1), Italia Bella (No.5) & Seductive Dream (No.6)

Dangers

Shalwa (No.12)

This is an interesting race over the 1200m for the fillies and mares. Gee, punters were left burnt a few weeks ago when Shalwa was backed into a $1.45 favourite at Doomben. She box seated behind the leader, got the gap in the straight and just when you expected her to shoot through and go on with the job she floundered and was well beaten. It was a pretty odd and disappointing run. The blinkers go on here and she has again come up a pretty short priced favourite. I am struggling to get enthused about her chances, particularly at the $2.50 on offer. Manaya is about double the price of her and I thought she represented an excellent bet in the race. She took on a pretty strong race first up here two weeks ago and she hit the line nicely behind the talented Scallopini. She just had to duck and weave between runners in the straight and never seemed able to build full momentum. She got through the line well enough though and back against her own sex here she looks really well placed. This race certainly looks a few notches back on the race she competed in first up. She typically improves from her first up run to her second up run, she draws ideally in gate three to get a gun run in behind the speed and if the breaks come her way at the right time I would expect her to be able to get over the top of them. Keen to be with her. It is interesting to note that she was scratched from a much harder race in Sydney to be saved for this easier assignment. I am going to keep a couple of resuming runners on side. Italia Bella is one that I found hard to get a read on in the race. As far as talent goes she is certainly blessed with a fair bit of it; it is just a question of how well she can sprint fresh over the 1200m here. She has had a couple of trials leading into it, so I don’t think fitness will be an issue, it will be more sharpness. She was pushed along in a recent 1000m trial when running second. I just go back to that dominant win over Looks Like Elvis last campaign over the 1350m and think to myself if she runs anywhere close to that level she will be dealing with these pretty comfortably. Her run first up last campaign she actually wasn’t beaten too far behind The Bostonian in a good race at the Sunshine Coast. Even a run up to that level would see her be competitive here so happy to be with her. The throw at the stumps bet in the race is Seductive Dream. This mare has a really good 1200m record. She has won five of eleven with four minor placings over this trip so that would suggest she is likely to run well here. Her form last campaign around some handy horses were pretty good and I thought she looked like she had a fair bit more to give in a recent trial at the Sunshine Coast despite finishing last. I am taking the engagement of Ryan Maloney as a positive and from a middle gate I can see her running well here around the $20 mark so happy to have something small on her.

Betting strategy

I will have $40 the win on Manaya here and happy to lock in the $5 freely available! I will also have $20 the win on Italia Bella and $10 the win on Seductive Dream!

Race Outlay

$70

Race 5

3:48pm

Suggested

Cruze (No.6) & Francisca (No.9)

Dangers

Beacon (No.4), Winning Ways (No.11) & Zoucara (No.12)

This is another handy race here. It is over the 1400m and I think Francisca gets an ideal opportunity to break through after two excellent runs to kick off her campaign without winning. She ran well from the back of the field at big odds first up before she was very heavily supported here two weeks ago. She just got caught wide somehow from gate seven and ended up being pushed wider on the turn before being left in front a long way from home. She still looked the winner inside the furlong but Benfica Princess was able to come from the back and run her down. I thought the run under the circumstances was excellent and she clearly gets the opportunity to break back into the winners circle here on Saturday. She should be primed here third up from a spell with that 1400m run now under her belt from last start. She draws an ideal middle gate (ironically the same as the one last start) and surely she won’t get caught wide from there. I see her landing in a gun trailing position just off the speed and I think she should be breaking through here. Keen to be with her. I think the stiffest opposition she faces comes from Cruze. I was surprised that this horse came up such long odds in the early markets. Not surprisingly he has been well supported since those markets went up from double figures into around the $8-9 mark and I wouldn’t be surprised if that support continued. His last three runs over the summer months were all very good. First up he wasn’t beaten far behind Desert Man and La Scopa which proved to be pretty strong form. He backed that up with a good run at the Gold Coast behind Star Reflection before not being far in the rich Magic Millions Cup behind Redouble. That form all reads very well for a race of this nature. He draws gate two here off an eight week freshen up and I anticipate him getting a gun run just off the speed. If the breaks come his way I think he will be right in the finish so happy to save on him behind Francisca.

Betting strategy

I will have $70 the win on Francisca here and save with $20 the win on Cruze locking in the $8.50 with SportsBet!

Race Outlay

$90

Race 6

4:27pm

Suggested

Dawson Diva (No.3), Rocknavar (No.11) & Missed The Alarm (No.12)

Dangers

Alpine Dancer (No.1) & Tatcee (No.2)

This race is for the three year olds over the 1840m. A lot of the form for this race comes from the race won by Tatcee two weeks ago. That was an impressive win but a lot went in his favour that day and I am happy to be with a couple of others from the race who finished behind him. Rocknavar is certainly the horse the market has come for. I was on her at big double figure odds last start when she finished second behind Tatcee. She had previously had a run in this distance range over 1700m when winning her maiden at Grafton before dropping back to the mile last start. I thought that would be an advantage in terms of her being strong late. She was certainly strong late but probably just got that little bit too far out of her ground. She just failed to real in Tatcee. I think back up to the 1840m here suits her ideally. She draws gate one for Robbie Fradd so I am hoping that he can take up a position a little closer to the speed on her and if he does that then she looks really hard to beat. Happy to be with her. Dawson Diva started favourite in that race and just didn’t have the best of luck at the right time. She ended up back over on the inside and was shuffled back coming to the turn. She went for a run back over towards the inside in the straight and that was just interrupted as she was going for it. I am not sure the inside part of the track was the best going at Eagle Farm that day either. She went through the line well but the bird had flown. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bounced back here. Her win at the start prior over Barefoot at the Sunshine Coast was really strong. She draws a nice middle gate here and I think with a good run in transit and an unimpeded run she should be hard to hold out here. I wouldn’t be surprised if she bounced back strongly here so happy to be with her. Missed The Alarm is the other horse I am going to have something on in the race. This filly broke her maiden at Grafton last start over the 1700m with a barnstorming win from the back of the field. She was heavily backed to win that race but looked in a hopeless position coming to the home turn when well back and near the tail. She swung very wide and got right to the middle of the track and was able to run over the top of her rivals. She has the run in this distance range under her belt and based on the manner in which she won last start I would be very surprised if she didn’t run the trip right out here. She looks as if she will lap it up. If other struggle to run it out then she looks the one primed to take full advantage so happy to be with her at the good odds on offer.

Betting strategy

I will have $45 the win on Rocknavar, $30 the win on Dawson Diva and $10 the win on Missed The Alarm!

Race Outlay

$85

Race 7

5:12pm

Suggested

Order Again (No.2) & Impasse (No.9)

Dangers

Tumbler (No.3) & Jaminzah (No.4)

This was the race I really agonised over whether to include in the preview or now. In the end I thought we got a pretty good betting opportunity with Tumbler coming up as a relatively short priced favourite. After a massive run first up at the Sunshine Coast she has just been fair at her last two runs behind Spurcraft and Mr Marbellouz. She didn’t make any real impression last start and stepping up to the 1400m here which is a distance she hasn’t won over I thought she was quite vulnerable. I thought there was better value betting around her. Order Again is a talented horse on his day and I think he is going to really enjoy the fact that he now has Eagle Farm open again. He is a horse that raced well here before renovations recommenced and I think this looks a really winnable race for him. He has had a recent trial to tune up for this where he was given a very quiet time. He looked like he had a fair bit more to give in that trial and to my eye looks to have come back well. There doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in this race so where he positions himself early from that slightly awkward middle to wide draw will be interesting. I think if Larry Cassidy can have him positioned close enough in a good trailing position then he is going to be hard to hold out so keen to be with him here. He will certainly run the 1400m out strongly as opposed to Tumbler who we are a bit unsure about. The other horse I definitely want to be with in the race is Impasse. I was actually quite surprised that this horse didn’t come up favourite. He was first up off a two month break when just touched off by Eminent at Doomben last start. He just had to make a bit of a duck and weave run between horses that day and it probably cost him that little bit of momentum at a crucial time. He only went down by the barest of margins so you can argue that cost him the race. He carried 57.5kgs in that race and gets nice weight relief here dropping down to 54kgs. He has an excellent 1400m record and he is a horse that might be able to take advantage by the lack of speed in the race. By lack of speed, Zahspeed may supply plenty of speed but he doesn’t look to have too much opposition for that lead so I fancy from gate five Ryan Maloney can have Impasse relatively close to the lead. He should have come on from that run last start and I just think this looks an ideal race for him. As I said, I was surprised he hadn’t come up favourite and around the $5-6 mark here I think he is an excellent bet in the race.

Betting strategy

I reckon the $5.50 about Impasse is a great price and I will lock that in and have $40 the win on him! I will also have $35 the win on Order Again!

Race Outlay

$75

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