Mildura Cup Day 2021 has arrived and unfortunately so has COVID in Victoria again and for the second year running the meeting will be conducted without crowds. In a positive though, at least the racing will take place over two days and on the Mildura track and we should see some great racing across the two days. We have had some luck over the past two years on Mildura Cup Day and hopefully that can continue in 2021 and I can help everyone find a few winners in lockdown and give everyone a bit of a boost.

Race 1 – 12:30pm

The day kicks off with a maiden over the 2000m. I don’t think we are seeing any future Melbourne Cup winners here, but with these maidens, you can typically run a line through a few of the runners which leaves you with just a small number of chances and that is the case here.

The market for this race has been flipped around a fair bit with the early favourite Chadstone coming out. That is unfortunate as I thought he looked a nice little bank builder to start the day. As a result now the horse to beat looks to be Hot Suspect. This gelding debuted at Geelong in a maiden which has had mixed form lines. The second horse has come out and won since while the winner failed badly. Make of that what you will, but this horse certainly looks to have a bit more upside than a few of his rivals here and was stuck over in the slower part of the track that day. This is now a very weak maiden and I had him rated well ahead of the other favourite in Maree De Lune so based on that and the lack of opposition I think he can kick us off on a winning note.

Betting Strategy

Hot Suspect to hopefully the give the bank a nice kickstart to the day.

Race 2 – 1:00pm

Super competitive maiden this one over the 1200m. I think it bats a bit deeper than the betting market suggests. Colsridge looks very smart. Was a good run on debut back in January and his two jump outs leading into this first up run have been very sharp. They have been soft jump outs though and he goes straight to the 1200m first up so there are some reservations there particularly at the short quote.

Taarank resumed off a very long break with a good run at Murtoa first up. He is a horse that showed good talent early in his career, draws well here and can run well at double figure odds.

Sodalicious comes into this race first up for the all conquering Maher and Eustace yard. Her recent Traralgon trial was quite sharp. The horse she beat in that trial came out and won very easily at Warracknabeal last Sunday. Johnny Allen is riding well and around the $6 mark I thought she could run well.

Betting Strategy

I wouldn’t talk you out of backing Colsridge, but think he is certainly short enough. More inclined to back Sodalicious and Taarank at better odds.

Race 3 – 1:30pm

This maiden is over the 1300m. I’m A Bronco had gone up a short priced favourite but with him coming out this race opens right up. The market mirrors that.

I thought Hangyourhat was good on debut at Geelong in a handy race. I thought he was quite strong through the line back over on the slower inside part of the track. I was surprised he went up such big odds here and as such was happy to back him and he is still around those double figure odds.

Two of the debutantes here in Madetobebroken and Paramedic have both shown decent speed in their respective trials/jump outs. They now look well placed. Madetobebroken is the stable mate of I’m A Bronco so maybe there is a positive lead there that they have scratched I’m A Bronco and left it in. He will be suited by the lack of speed here as he has shown a bit of that in his trials and jump outs and I am quite keen on him now around the $7-8 mark.

Paramedic I am just wary of. He looked to also show speed in his jump out and from gate one he will give a sight so I don’t want to be losing on the race should he salute.

Betting Strategy

Tricky race now the favourite has come out. Hangyourhat and Madetobebroken will be my main two bets, but wary of Paramedic so want to save on him as well now in a very open race.

Race 4 – 2:00pm

This race is for the sprinters over the 1000m. They’ll go along quickly up front here with Longduan, Rolling Moss, Zoutons and Pravro all horses that like to scoot along over the 1000m. My thought process is that might set it up for a couple of horses to be really strong late and come over the top. In the small field they won’t be too far off the leaders hopefully and can therefore get over the top.

Upper East Side has been good at all three runs since joining the Nathan Hobson yard. I would argue that this is also probably the easiest race he has contested so far since making the move to Victoria. He is a 1000m specialist and if he can stay within touch early I think he can get over the top of them at a nice price.

Early Plea was very good winning at Naracoorte last start and was very strong through the line late. He looks to get the perfect map stalking the leaders and is another 1000m specialist so happy to have something on him.

I think the market will tell the story with the Preusker horse in Bonjour who makes his Australian debut. His New Zealand replays show he is a horse that likes to sit just off the speed and finish strongly. He has jumped out well but those wins in New Zealand were in pretty low grade so just watch the market with him for a positive lead.

Betting Strategy

Betting around the favourites hoping they might bring each other undone up front and backing both Early Plea and Upper East Side both around that $9-10 mark. Keep an eye on the market with Bonjour as mentioned, if there is support for him, particularly late, you can probably include him as a saving bet.

Race 5 – 2:30pm

This race is over the 1200m for the sprinters. I thought Zakurak was very impressive winning first up at Warracknabeal. He jumped on the bunny, led them a merry dance and won easily. The second horse has since come out and won well at Geelong. His best runs have been when first up, so the key here is for him to go on with it second up but from the low draw landing on speed I am confident he can.

Madam Superior drops significantly in class here. She took on the Golden Topaz first up at Swan Hill and has raced at Caulfield in Saturday city class at her last two. While she hasn’t looked like winning any of those, she hasn’t been beaten too far by the same token. She draws to get a gun run on speed here and should run well. The best roughy in the race looks to be Southern Native. He goes well fresh, he has jumped out well and has the blinkers applied for this first up run suggesting he is coming ready to rumble.

Betting Strategy

Backing both Zakurak and Madam Superior and saving on Southern Native at big odds.

Race 6 – 3:00pm

This is a very competitive staying race. There is a heap of winning chances here.  Excelleration’s form obviously looks good having chased home the highly touted Hosier last start and it is no surprise to see him come up favourite. It is his first go at 2000m though and I do expect this to be a solidly run race. Without wanting to sound like a broken record, even though he can definitely win, I am not too keen to dive into him at the short quote.

Kings Full at double figure odds looks to have his hoof on the till. All four runs for the new stable have been good in decent races without winning. Three of the four races have been in fast races at Caulfield in Saturday city class as well, so this looks an easier assignment for him. He stuck on well last start at Caulfield after doing a power of work on speed early. I think he looks well primed here and is a great bet around the $11 mark.

It is a race with a few well exposed types and for that reason I am wary of the lightly raced Ripasso. He has charged through the line at both career starts. He did so on debut when beaten over 1500m before stepping up to the 1800m at Warracknabeal last start and running down the leader after looking beaten on the home turn (it ended up being a pretty soft win). He will relish the 2000m here and he may be end up being the best horse out of the race. At double figure odds he looks a good bet. For all you thrill seekers (and I know there are a few in Mildura) you will find worse 80/1 shots than Mangione. He has got through the line well in two runs for the new stable over shorter trips on the synthetic track. Up to the 2000m here with the blinkers going back on don’t be surprised to see him run a race at big odds.

Betting Strategy

Main bets on Kings Full and Ripasso and you can have a peanut each way on Mangione at the monster odds.

Race 7 – Mildura Cup – 3:30pm

This is the big one of the day. It is the Mildura Cup over 1400m. I am really keen on the South Australian visitor here in Street Tough. This just looks an ideal race for him. He comes into the race third up so he should be peaking and if anyone saw his run last start, well, while the form guide reads as him finishing third, he should have won by a furlong. Once he got clear he absolutely flew home and was a tragedy beat. I think he makes amends here. He gets good weight relief from that last start run and he draws to hopefully take up a position a lot closer to the lead stalking the speed. From that position I think he will be very hard to hold out and he looked one of the better bets of the day.

Arkham Knight is the horse I am going to save on. His form in recent times has been very good. The small field here means he won’t be spotting the leaders a ridiculously big margin and he can reel off a big finish. His three runs this time in have all been very good and I thought at double figure odds he was the one that went up over the odds. I thought Sierra Sue was a bit of a risk, back in trip and blinkers off and she hasn’t won for a while and maps awkwardly so was much keener on Street Tough over her at the similar odds. More Than Exceed will run his usual honest race as he goes in search of back to back cups. The mad roughy might be Revlis who can pull out a big run fresh every now and again.

Betting Strategy

Very keen on Street Tough and he is the main bet. Saver on Arkham Knight.

Race 8 – 4:00pm

This is the last race of the day over the 1400m. Not an easy finish. The Talking Toff is racing extremely well and looks the one to beat. Again, I am not thrilled with the price we are being asked to take, but figure by this stage of the day we might be playing with the bookies money or looking to blast out and as such we probably want him on side in either scenario. Dance Ready and Surin Beach both come out of different form references. Dance Ready’s run was a lot better than it looked first up at Cranbourne and typically improves sharply off the first up run into the second up run. If he can do that here then he can certainly win at a nice price. Surin Beach has been racing well in recent times and comes out of a decent form race last start. From a middle gate he should get a good run off the speed and can also run well at a price.

Betting Strategy

The Talking Toff the main bet to finish the day on. I will save on Dance Ready and Surin Beach though at the double figure odds on offer.

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