Here's a sneak look at what the service offers with the past preview of The Championships Day 1 at Randwick. Includes previews for Bendigo. Winning day for punters with +70 units. Key standout winners Colsridge, Flash Aah & Mr Brightside.

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Race 1

12:25pm

Suggested

Scarlet Tufty (No.3) & Eureka Street (No.5)

Dangers

Vardani (No.2) & Point Nepean (No.9)

Racing in Victoria comes from Bendigo this weekend for their annual stand alone Saturday meeting highlighted by the Golden Mile. As is traditionally the case with this meeting, the fields are big, the races are wide open and it looks a challenging day on the punt. I find that on the big days Bendigo can play a bit more towards horses up on speed then what it would on a normal midweek or Sunday meeting through the year. Given the conditions are relatively dry and we will be racing on a good track, I certainly think being up on speed will be no disadvantage, particularly early in the day here on Saturday.

I am kicking off in the first race of the day. Just a small play. I thought the favourites looked a bit skinny and I get the feeling this horse from the Maher & Eustace yard in Scarlet Tufty is ready to deliver a peak performance. This horse ran really well at his first Australian start last winter and then started a lot shorter in the market than stable mate Floating Artist at his next run at The Valley. He went poorly that day and Floating Artist won and went on to be competitive in some of our better staying races. The market that day though clearly had Scarlet Tufty rated a superior runner. I was keen on him first up this campaign off some nice trial and jump out work but he again went poorly. He improved marginally second up behind Gentleman Roy and I mean marginally. Last start however we saw something in the Stony Creek Cup behind Vardani. He was put into the race on speed and stuck on really well. Vardani looked like he would beat him easily halfway down the straight but Scarlet Tufty fought on strongly and was good through the line. To me, he is crying out for this mile and a half distance and I think that could see him turn the tables on Vardani. Certainly at 3-4 times the price of Vardani I think he is a bet at double figure odds.

Eureka Street also ran in that Stony Creek Cup and ran OK. He then to Mornington last Saturday and didn’t seem to be ridden with a lot of intent. I think he is another that should improve up to the mile and a half here and at double figure odds can run an improved race.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Scarlet Tufty and Eureka Street here!

Race Outlay

3 Units

Race 4

2:15pm

Suggested

Zorro’s Dream (No.6), Yulong Storm (No.13) & Colsridge (No.18)

Dangers

Remarque (No.7) & Scissor Step (No.12)

This is a very competitive race over the 1100m for the sprinters. Gee, probably didn’t think in August/September last year when Remarque was starting favourite against the likes of Paulele and Anamoe up in Sydney that he would be racing here at Bendigo on Saturday on Day 1 of The Championships. But here he is. I don’t know what to do with him. I was pretty keen on him in Sydney first up but he was pretty ordinary in my opinion. I would have loved to have seen what he would have done if he ran in Melbourne on that day as the heavy track in Sydney still leaves me a bit up in the air. He could conceivably come out and blow these away and the engagement of Ollie (can’t recall many rides for Team Hawkes in recent times) looks significant. He certainly isn’t any spoil in the market though and as such happy to wait for him to produce something before chiming in.

Zorro’s Dream is a horse that was developing a reputation as being a bit frustrating for punters. He was getting beat as favourite a bit, but I think that is behind him now. He has just been racing so well and consistently and looks to have come back really well this time in. He was good in a fast race first up at Caulfield before going to Adelaide and winning well and was then just touched off down the straight at Flemington last start. He has shown a real liking for racing on this Bendigo circuit, he draws an ideal middle to wide gate which should see him blend into the race off a fast speed up front and find clear air to finish strongly. He is fit and in form and around the $7 mark I think he will give you a great sight.

I am having something on the local Colsridge. He has been good winning fresh at his past two campaigns and he is a horse who obviously possesses a good deal of natural ability. I am not sure he is the finished article yet, but I do know being a local he has probably been set for a big first up run here. His recent trial was sharp and while this is his toughest test I think he can run a big race around the $20-30 mark.

Mad throw at the stumps bet is Yulong Storm. He has just come up a monster price here at $100+. He has jumped out well leading into this, draws to get a soft run off the speed and has a very good record here at Bendigo and over the 1100m. At the odds on offer I think he is worth a peanut.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Zorro's Dream at the $7 which I think is a fair price! I will have 1 Unit the win on Coleridge at the $27 with SportsBet and 0.5 Unit the win on Yulong Storm at the $126 with TAB Fixed Odds!

Race Outlay

3.5 Units

Race 5

2:55pm

Suggested

Foxy Frida (No.2), La Chevalee (No.6) & Demando (No.11)

Dangers

Sirileo Miss (No.3) & Vespertine (No.4)

This is a good race for the mares here over the 1400m. I am pretty keen to be with La Chevalee. I was on her first up at Sandown where she got back in a race dominated on speed. She was on the one horse in that race that really got through the line strongly from the back of the field. It was a very pleasing return. She looks extremely well placed here second up. Rising to the 1400m suits and she looks likely to land in a perfect position stalking the speed. There doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in the race so I am quite confident that from gate four Jye McNeil should be able to hold a spot just behind the speed and from there she is going to prove hard to hold out. Providing she has gone on from that first up run she should be hard to hold out.

I have to admit I chickened out a bit in terms of making her a standout bet. I am going to have something on Foxy Frida just in case. I think she is just too good a mare to leave out. She raced really well last campaign winning third up on Oaks Day in strong fashion and then was probably a bit stiff to not win the Ballarat Cup before being spelled. I just don’t think we have seen the best of her yet. She was given a good hit out in a recent jump out and I love the way she picked up and went through the line there when asked for an effort. While 1400m first up is probably a bit short of her best I just think she is too classy to leave out and given you’re getting $7-8 about her I think she is worth a ticket.

I am also going to have something on Demando at big odds. The reason behind this is purely the map. She looks the clear leader in the race and has a bit of race fitness on her side over a few key rivals. If she is allowed to run along in front she could give a sight and take some running down and at the $40+ on offer I think she is also worth a small bet.

Betting strategy

I will have 3 Units the win on La Chevalee, 1.5 Units the win on Foxy Frida and 0.5 Unit the win on Demando at the $41!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 7

4:15pm

Suggested

Chartres (No.1), Gundec (No.3) & Sharp Response (No.5)

Dangers

Cardigan Queen (No.10) & Asymmetrical (No.11)

This is one of the feature races of the day here. It is the Bendigo Guineas over the 1400m. Tricky race. Cardigan Queen is obviously going to be very popular coming off two recent runs where most think she probably should have won. She takes on the males here and is very firm in the market. She doesn’t map particularly well in a race that doesn’t look to have a lot of speed on paper and will be spotting some handy ones a decent start in the run. I think she is a bit of a risk at the price given how the race sets up.

Gundec was heavily backed at The Bool first up, I was on him that day and he got scratched at the barriers. He then went to Geelong first up and walked in. I reckon he might have won at The Bool as well. He looks to have come back well and the fact he was able to win so easily over 1200m is a real positive sign. The key thing in his favour here is the map. He looks to get a picnic up front and rising to the 1400m where he can control the tempo he is going to prove very hard to run down.

Sharp Response was a bit stiff to lose on protest last week at Mornington. I thought the run was still enormous. He took off early made a lightning move into the race to try and set up victory and then held off his rivals until the stewards room. I think back to 1400m suits him here. I think he can get into a handy spot from a slightly tricky draw and if he does he is going to be strong late and thought he was a bit big in the market around the $6-7 mark.

Chartres is the other horse I will have something on. I have just been waiting for him to get to the races. He was scratched from Flemington a few weeks back where he looked a great chance and then from Sydney two weeks ago where he also looked a big chance. He has had a couple of setbacks which is a slight concern but he goes very well second up and from gate one maps to get a lovely trailing run just in behind the speed and around the $9-10 mark is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Gundec, 1.75 Units the win on Sharp Response at the $7 with TopSport and 1.25 Units the win on Chartres!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 9

5:30pm

Suggested

Poland (No.9), Regardsmaree (No.12), Flash Aah (No.15) & Scottish Dancer (No.17)

Dangers

Corner Pocket (No.3) & Groundswell (No.4)

This is a wide open race to finish the day on over the 1400m. Poland’s form this campaign in two runs at the highest level has been pretty good and if he can maintain that level here third up dropping in grade and stepping up to the 1400m you would think he is going to be hard to roll. He draws nicely to get into a good position just off what looks to be a pretty solid tempo up front and he should relish the big track here at Bendigo. Keen to be with him around that $8 mark.

Regardsmaree was very good first up at The Valley on a track which really played into the hands of the winner. He has a super record second up and over this distance. The Nick Ryan stable is airborne and if he can just find a position three wide with cover from the wide draw he is going to run very well. Around the $8-9 mark I think he is also a good bet.

I am also going to have a peanut on a couple of other runners resuming at big odds. Flash Aah is a talented horse on his day now with the Bussutin and Young yard. He can run a race fresh, he draws well and can figure at big odds.

Scottish Dancer has jumped out very nicely and looks dangerous down in the weights from low draw.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Poland and Regardsmaree and tempted to take the $8.50 about the latter! I will also have 0.75 Units the win on both Flash Aah and Scottish Dancer taking the $51 with TopSport about the latter!

Race Outlay

4.5 Units

Race 3

1:20pm

Suggested

Secret Glamour (No.4), I’m Divine (No.7) & Chenin (No.9)

Dangers

Roots (No.1) & Mamounia (No.12)

Racing in Sydney comes from Randwick today for Derby Day. Not just Derby Day, it is Doncaster Day and TJ Smith Day as well. One of the great days on the racing calendar. No surprises that it is wet up in Sydney but amazingly, the track has come up a Heavy 9 and not a 10. As far as the meeting going ahead it looks like it is all systems go. If you’re on track steer clear of those lunatics from Coffs Harbour, very dangerous areas if you run into them and get into a shout or end up at The Stables after the last.

I am kicking the day off in the third race which is the Adrian Knox over the 2000m. The price is not surprisingly gone about the Maher & Eustace trained runner in Secret Glamour. I thought she would run really well here and went up a huge price in early markets around the $15-20 mark. She is into single figures now but still a bet for me. She has just been crying out for a solidly run 2000m race and hopefully she gets that here today. I loved her recent jump out, the blinkers go on here, she should handle the conditions and I think she will run very well.

I’m Divine looks the danger. She was very good when throwing the race away at Canberra last start when running off the track in the straight. She has trialled up very nicely since then, she draws to roll forward and get a gun run on speed and should be right in the finish.

I also expect Chenin to run well. This is a step up in grade but Mark Newnham is a shrewd operator and there was a bit to like about that win at Hawkesbury the other day and I think she can measure up at double figure odds.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Secret Glamour and I'm Divine and 1 Unit the win on Chenin!

Race Outlay

4 Units

Race 4

1:55pm

Suggested

Great House (No.2), Chalk Stream (No.12) & Alakahan (No.13)

Dangers

She’s Ideel (No.4) & Zeyrek (No.6)

This race is for the stayers over the 2600m. The race has changed complexion a bit with the scratching of Chalk Stream. Great House is close. He also comes into the race third up and should be ready now. He will also appreciate the step up to the 2600m. Bowman rides from a low draw, he should get through the conditions well and I think he will run well.

The best roughy might be Alakahan. I feel this horse is coming along nicely and he wasn’t too far away last start. He got through the line well suggesting the 2600m will suit. The key with him is you know he is going to relish these wet conditions and around the $20-30 mark I think he is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Great House and 1 Unit the win on Alakahan!

Race Outlay

3 Units

Race 9 - The Doncaster

5:15pm

Suggested

I’m Thunderstruck (No.2), Just Folk (No.17), Mr Brightside (No.19) & Bankers Choice (No.21)

Dangers

Forbidden Love (No.16) & Converge (No.20)

We get to the fourth and final Group One of the day and it is the Doncaster. What a race. It is also the only Group One I am betting in. A quick overview on the other ones. Fireburn looks really hard to beat in the Sires but into odds on now I am happy to sit and watch. I don’t think there is much juice in the prices of Nature Strip and Eduardo in the T J Smith and found them pretty hard to split so there was no real angle there while the Derby is really tough. If Hitotsu handles the ground he probably wins, but if he doesn’t, what beats him, it looks pretty even outside of that so I was happy to watch that as well.

I am keen to bet here in the Doncaster. I’m Thunderstruck has just had a perfect preparation, without winning if that is possible. He seems to be going extremely well but just hasn’t had things pan out for him in his races in terms of bad luck or how those races have been run. I think he will get it all to suit here today. I love the draw for Hugh Bowman. He should just be in a perfect stalking position just off the speed and that should allow him to blend into the race at the right time. He looks like he will relish the big Randwick track and I think the $5-6 is a pretty fair price. I am happy to be with him.

I think his Victorian counterparts are the ones capable of causing an upset. Mr Brightside hasn’t been too far away from I’m Thunderstruck in those lead up races in Melbourne and looks very well in here at the weights with just 51kgs on his back. He has been ridden a little bit conservatively in his races this campaign but I feel today from the wide draw with the light weight Craig Williams has a great opportunity to go forward and put him on speed and into the race. From that position he could prove hard to get past.

Just Folk is flying and you know he is going to relish these heavy conditions. I loved his win at Rosehill off the back of a setback the other week and he looks primed to deliver a peak career performance here on Saturday. He might just get through the ground better than most so keen to be with him.

I am really glad Bankers Choice has got into the field. He will give this race a shake. Both of his runs this time in here in Australia have been excellent and he looks suited back under handicap conditions. You know he will handle the conditions and you know he will be strong at the end of the mile so keen to back him as well.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on I'm Thunderstruck and 1 Unit the win on all three of Mr Brightside, Just Folk and Banker's Choice!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 10

5:50pm

Suggested

Heresy (No.5) & A Very Fine Red (No.10)

Dangers

Me Me Lagarde (No.7) & Zapateo (No.13)

This is a good race to finish on over the 1200m for the mares. I was pretty keen on two that are pretty well found in the market in Heresy and A Very Fine Red. I think they both look primed to deliver a big performance here. Heresy’s two runs back from a spell have been very good behind the likes of Fangirl and Hinged. I like the fact she has had a little freshen up since the last start run and just comes back a notch or two here. She draws out for Nash but come this time of the day I don’t think that will be a disadvantage. She looks to handle these conditions well and she should prove very hard to hold out.

A Very Fine Red was good first up behind Mazu. She may have just been in the slower part of the track there. She comes into this race second up for what looks a target race. She handles the conditions and I would expect her to be right in the finish late.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on both Heresy and A Very Fine Red!

Race Outlay

4 Units

Race 1

12:25pm

Suggested

Scarlet Tufty (No.3) & Eureka Street (No.5)

Dangers

Vardani (No.2) & Point Nepean (No.9)

Racing in Victoria comes from Bendigo this weekend for their annual stand alone Saturday meeting highlighted by the Golden Mile. As is traditionally the case with this meeting, the fields are big, the races are wide open and it looks a challenging day on the punt. I find that on the big days Bendigo can play a bit more towards horses up on speed then what it would on a normal midweek or Sunday meeting through the year. Given the conditions are relatively dry and we will be racing on a good track, I certainly think being up on speed will be no disadvantage, particularly early in the day here on Saturday.

I am kicking off in the first race of the day. Just a small play. I thought the favourites looked a bit skinny and I get the feeling this horse from the Maher & Eustace yard in Scarlet Tufty is ready to deliver a peak performance. This horse ran really well at his first Australian start last winter and then started a lot shorter in the market than stable mate Floating Artist at his next run at The Valley. He went poorly that day and Floating Artist won and went on to be competitive in some of our better staying races. The market that day though clearly had Scarlet Tufty rated a superior runner. I was keen on him first up this campaign off some nice trial and jump out work but he again went poorly. He improved marginally second up behind Gentleman Roy and I mean marginally. Last start however we saw something in the Stony Creek Cup behind Vardani. He was put into the race on speed and stuck on really well. Vardani looked like he would beat him easily halfway down the straight but Scarlet Tufty fought on strongly and was good through the line. To me, he is crying out for this mile and a half distance and I think that could see him turn the tables on Vardani. Certainly at 3-4 times the price of Vardani I think he is a bet at double figure odds.

Eureka Street also ran in that Stony Creek Cup and ran OK. He then to Mornington last Saturday and didn’t seem to be ridden with a lot of intent. I think he is another that should improve up to the mile and a half here and at double figure odds can run an improved race.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Scarlet Tufty and Eureka Street here!

Race Outlay

3 Units

Race 4

2:15pm

Suggested

Zorro’s Dream (No.6), Yulong Storm (No.13) & Colsridge (No.18)

Dangers

Remarque (No.7) & Scissor Step (No.12)

This is a very competitive race over the 1100m for the sprinters. Gee, probably didn’t think in August/September last year when Remarque was starting favourite against the likes of Paulele and Anamoe up in Sydney that he would be racing here at Bendigo on Saturday on Day 1 of The Championships. But here he is. I don’t know what to do with him. I was pretty keen on him in Sydney first up but he was pretty ordinary in my opinion. I would have loved to have seen what he would have done if he ran in Melbourne on that day as the heavy track in Sydney still leaves me a bit up in the air. He could conceivably come out and blow these away and the engagement of Ollie (can’t recall many rides for Team Hawkes in recent times) looks significant. He certainly isn’t any spoil in the market though and as such happy to wait for him to produce something before chiming in.

Zorro’s Dream is a horse that was developing a reputation as being a bit frustrating for punters. He was getting beat as favourite a bit, but I think that is behind him now. He has just been racing so well and consistently and looks to have come back really well this time in. He was good in a fast race first up at Caulfield before going to Adelaide and winning well and was then just touched off down the straight at Flemington last start. He has shown a real liking for racing on this Bendigo circuit, he draws an ideal middle to wide gate which should see him blend into the race off a fast speed up front and find clear air to finish strongly. He is fit and in form and around the $7 mark I think he will give you a great sight.

I am having something on the local Colsridge. He has been good winning fresh at his past two campaigns and he is a horse who obviously possesses a good deal of natural ability. I am not sure he is the finished article yet, but I do know being a local he has probably been set for a big first up run here. His recent trial was sharp and while this is his toughest test I think he can run a big race around the $20-30 mark.

Mad throw at the stumps bet is Yulong Storm. He has just come up a monster price here at $100+. He has jumped out well leading into this, draws to get a soft run off the speed and has a very good record here at Bendigo and over the 1100m. At the odds on offer I think he is worth a peanut.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Zorro's Dream at the $7 which I think is a fair price! I will have 1 Unit the win on Coleridge at the $27 with SportsBet and 0.5 Unit the win on Yulong Storm at the $126 with TAB Fixed Odds!

Race Outlay

3.5 Units

Race 5

2:55pm

Suggested

Foxy Frida (No.2), La Chevalee (No.6) & Demando (No.11)

Dangers

Sirileo Miss (No.3) & Vespertine (No.4)

This is a good race for the mares here over the 1400m. I am pretty keen to be with La Chevalee. I was on her first up at Sandown where she got back in a race dominated on speed. She was on the one horse in that race that really got through the line strongly from the back of the field. It was a very pleasing return. She looks extremely well placed here second up. Rising to the 1400m suits and she looks likely to land in a perfect position stalking the speed. There doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in the race so I am quite confident that from gate four Jye McNeil should be able to hold a spot just behind the speed and from there she is going to prove hard to hold out. Providing she has gone on from that first up run she should be hard to hold out.

I have to admit I chickened out a bit in terms of making her a standout bet. I am going to have something on Foxy Frida just in case. I think she is just too good a mare to leave out. She raced really well last campaign winning third up on Oaks Day in strong fashion and then was probably a bit stiff to not win the Ballarat Cup before being spelled. I just don’t think we have seen the best of her yet. She was given a good hit out in a recent jump out and I love the way she picked up and went through the line there when asked for an effort. While 1400m first up is probably a bit short of her best I just think she is too classy to leave out and given you’re getting $7-8 about her I think she is worth a ticket.

I am also going to have something on Demando at big odds. The reason behind this is purely the map. She looks the clear leader in the race and has a bit of race fitness on her side over a few key rivals. If she is allowed to run along in front she could give a sight and take some running down and at the $40+ on offer I think she is also worth a small bet.

Betting strategy

I will have 3 Units the win on La Chevalee, 1.5 Units the win on Foxy Frida and 0.5 Unit the win on Demando at the $41!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 7

4:15pm

Suggested

Chartres (No.1), Gundec (No.3) & Sharp Response (No.5)

Dangers

Cardigan Queen (No.10) & Asymmetrical (No.11)

This is one of the feature races of the day here. It is the Bendigo Guineas over the 1400m. Tricky race. Cardigan Queen is obviously going to be very popular coming off two recent runs where most think she probably should have won. She takes on the males here and is very firm in the market. She doesn’t map particularly well in a race that doesn’t look to have a lot of speed on paper and will be spotting some handy ones a decent start in the run. I think she is a bit of a risk at the price given how the race sets up.

Gundec was heavily backed at The Bool first up, I was on him that day and he got scratched at the barriers. He then went to Geelong first up and walked in. I reckon he might have won at The Bool as well. He looks to have come back well and the fact he was able to win so easily over 1200m is a real positive sign. The key thing in his favour here is the map. He looks to get a picnic up front and rising to the 1400m where he can control the tempo he is going to prove very hard to run down.

Sharp Response was a bit stiff to lose on protest last week at Mornington. I thought the run was still enormous. He took off early made a lightning move into the race to try and set up victory and then held off his rivals until the stewards room. I think back to 1400m suits him here. I think he can get into a handy spot from a slightly tricky draw and if he does he is going to be strong late and thought he was a bit big in the market around the $6-7 mark.

Chartres is the other horse I will have something on. I have just been waiting for him to get to the races. He was scratched from Flemington a few weeks back where he looked a great chance and then from Sydney two weeks ago where he also looked a big chance. He has had a couple of setbacks which is a slight concern but he goes very well second up and from gate one maps to get a lovely trailing run just in behind the speed and around the $9-10 mark is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Gundec, 1.75 Units the win on Sharp Response at the $7 with TopSport and 1.25 Units the win on Chartres!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 9

5:30pm

Suggested

Poland (No.9), Regardsmaree (No.12), Flash Aah (No.15) & Scottish Dancer (No.17)

Dangers

Corner Pocket (No.3) & Groundswell (No.4)

This is a wide open race to finish the day on over the 1400m. Poland’s form this campaign in two runs at the highest level has been pretty good and if he can maintain that level here third up dropping in grade and stepping up to the 1400m you would think he is going to be hard to roll. He draws nicely to get into a good position just off what looks to be a pretty solid tempo up front and he should relish the big track here at Bendigo. Keen to be with him around that $8 mark.

Regardsmaree was very good first up at The Valley on a track which really played into the hands of the winner. He has a super record second up and over this distance. The Nick Ryan stable is airborne and if he can just find a position three wide with cover from the wide draw he is going to run very well. Around the $8-9 mark I think he is also a good bet.

I am also going to have a peanut on a couple of other runners resuming at big odds. Flash Aah is a talented horse on his day now with the Bussutin and Young yard. He can run a race fresh, he draws well and can figure at big odds.

Scottish Dancer has jumped out very nicely and looks dangerous down in the weights from low draw.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Poland and Regardsmaree and tempted to take the $8.50 about the latter! I will also have 0.75 Units the win on both Flash Aah and Scottish Dancer taking the $51 with TopSport about the latter!

Race Outlay

4.5 Units

Race 3

1:20pm

Suggested

Secret Glamour (No.4), I’m Divine (No.7) & Chenin (No.9)

Dangers

Roots (No.1) & Mamounia (No.12)

Racing in Sydney comes from Randwick today for Derby Day. Not just Derby Day, it is Doncaster Day and TJ Smith Day as well. One of the great days on the racing calendar. No surprises that it is wet up in Sydney but amazingly, the track has come up a Heavy 9 and not a 10. As far as the meeting going ahead it looks like it is all systems go. If you’re on track steer clear of those lunatics from Coffs Harbour, very dangerous areas if you run into them and get into a shout or end up at The Stables after the last.

I am kicking the day off in the third race which is the Adrian Knox over the 2000m. The price is not surprisingly gone about the Maher & Eustace trained runner in Secret Glamour. I thought she would run really well here and went up a huge price in early markets around the $15-20 mark. She is into single figures now but still a bet for me. She has just been crying out for a solidly run 2000m race and hopefully she gets that here today. I loved her recent jump out, the blinkers go on here, she should handle the conditions and I think she will run very well.

I’m Divine looks the danger. She was very good when throwing the race away at Canberra last start when running off the track in the straight. She has trialled up very nicely since then, she draws to roll forward and get a gun run on speed and should be right in the finish.

I also expect Chenin to run well. This is a step up in grade but Mark Newnham is a shrewd operator and there was a bit to like about that win at Hawkesbury the other day and I think she can measure up at double figure odds.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Secret Glamour and I'm Divine and 1 Unit the win on Chenin!

Race Outlay

4 Units

Race 4

1:55pm

Suggested

Great House (No.2), Chalk Stream (No.12) & Alakahan (No.13)

Dangers

She’s Ideel (No.4) & Zeyrek (No.6)

This race is for the stayers over the 2600m. The race has changed complexion a bit with the scratching of Chalk Stream. Great House is close. He also comes into the race third up and should be ready now. He will also appreciate the step up to the 2600m. Bowman rides from a low draw, he should get through the conditions well and I think he will run well.

The best roughy might be Alakahan. I feel this horse is coming along nicely and he wasn’t too far away last start. He got through the line well suggesting the 2600m will suit. The key with him is you know he is going to relish these wet conditions and around the $20-30 mark I think he is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Great House and 1 Unit the win on Alakahan!

Race Outlay

3 Units

Race 9 - The Doncaster

5:15pm

Suggested

I’m Thunderstruck (No.2), Just Folk (No.17), Mr Brightside (No.19) & Bankers Choice (No.21)

Dangers

Forbidden Love (No.16) & Converge (No.20)

We get to the fourth and final Group One of the day and it is the Doncaster. What a race. It is also the only Group One I am betting in. A quick overview on the other ones. Fireburn looks really hard to beat in the Sires but into odds on now I am happy to sit and watch. I don’t think there is much juice in the prices of Nature Strip and Eduardo in the T J Smith and found them pretty hard to split so there was no real angle there while the Derby is really tough. If Hitotsu handles the ground he probably wins, but if he doesn’t, what beats him, it looks pretty even outside of that so I was happy to watch that as well.

I am keen to bet here in the Doncaster. I’m Thunderstruck has just had a perfect preparation, without winning if that is possible. He seems to be going extremely well but just hasn’t had things pan out for him in his races in terms of bad luck or how those races have been run. I think he will get it all to suit here today. I love the draw for Hugh Bowman. He should just be in a perfect stalking position just off the speed and that should allow him to blend into the race at the right time. He looks like he will relish the big Randwick track and I think the $5-6 is a pretty fair price. I am happy to be with him.

I think his Victorian counterparts are the ones capable of causing an upset. Mr Brightside hasn’t been too far away from I’m Thunderstruck in those lead up races in Melbourne and looks very well in here at the weights with just 51kgs on his back. He has been ridden a little bit conservatively in his races this campaign but I feel today from the wide draw with the light weight Craig Williams has a great opportunity to go forward and put him on speed and into the race. From that position he could prove hard to get past.

Just Folk is flying and you know he is going to relish these heavy conditions. I loved his win at Rosehill off the back of a setback the other week and he looks primed to deliver a peak career performance here on Saturday. He might just get through the ground better than most so keen to be with him.

I am really glad Bankers Choice has got into the field. He will give this race a shake. Both of his runs this time in here in Australia have been excellent and he looks suited back under handicap conditions. You know he will handle the conditions and you know he will be strong at the end of the mile so keen to back him as well.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on I'm Thunderstruck and 1 Unit the win on all three of Mr Brightside, Just Folk and Banker's Choice!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 10

5:50pm

Suggested

Heresy (No.5) & A Very Fine Red (No.10)

Dangers

Me Me Lagarde (No.7) & Zapateo (No.13)

This is a good race to finish on over the 1200m for the mares. I was pretty keen on two that are pretty well found in the market in Heresy and A Very Fine Red. I think they both look primed to deliver a big performance here. Heresy’s two runs back from a spell have been very good behind the likes of Fangirl and Hinged. I like the fact she has had a little freshen up since the last start run and just comes back a notch or two here. She draws out for Nash but come this time of the day I don’t think that will be a disadvantage. She looks to handle these conditions well and she should prove very hard to hold out.

A Very Fine Red was good first up behind Mazu. She may have just been in the slower part of the track there. She comes into this race second up for what looks a target race. She handles the conditions and I would expect her to be right in the finish late.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on both Heresy and A Very Fine Red!

Race Outlay

4 Units

Race 1

12:25pm

Suggested

Scarlet Tufty (No.3) & Eureka Street (No.5)

Dangers

Vardani (No.2) & Point Nepean (No.9)

Racing in Victoria comes from Bendigo this weekend for their annual stand alone Saturday meeting highlighted by the Golden Mile. As is traditionally the case with this meeting, the fields are big, the races are wide open and it looks a challenging day on the punt. I find that on the big days Bendigo can play a bit more towards horses up on speed then what it would on a normal midweek or Sunday meeting through the year. Given the conditions are relatively dry and we will be racing on a good track, I certainly think being up on speed will be no disadvantage, particularly early in the day here on Saturday.

I am kicking off in the first race of the day. Just a small play. I thought the favourites looked a bit skinny and I get the feeling this horse from the Maher & Eustace yard in Scarlet Tufty is ready to deliver a peak performance. This horse ran really well at his first Australian start last winter and then started a lot shorter in the market than stable mate Floating Artist at his next run at The Valley. He went poorly that day and Floating Artist won and went on to be competitive in some of our better staying races. The market that day though clearly had Scarlet Tufty rated a superior runner. I was keen on him first up this campaign off some nice trial and jump out work but he again went poorly. He improved marginally second up behind Gentleman Roy and I mean marginally. Last start however we saw something in the Stony Creek Cup behind Vardani. He was put into the race on speed and stuck on really well. Vardani looked like he would beat him easily halfway down the straight but Scarlet Tufty fought on strongly and was good through the line. To me, he is crying out for this mile and a half distance and I think that could see him turn the tables on Vardani. Certainly at 3-4 times the price of Vardani I think he is a bet at double figure odds.

Eureka Street also ran in that Stony Creek Cup and ran OK. He then to Mornington last Saturday and didn’t seem to be ridden with a lot of intent. I think he is another that should improve up to the mile and a half here and at double figure odds can run an improved race.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Scarlet Tufty and Eureka Street here!

Race Outlay

3 Units

Race 4

2:15pm

Suggested

Zorro’s Dream (No.6), Yulong Storm (No.13) & Colsridge (No.18)

Dangers

Remarque (No.7) & Scissor Step (No.12)

This is a very competitive race over the 1100m for the sprinters. Gee, probably didn’t think in August/September last year when Remarque was starting favourite against the likes of Paulele and Anamoe up in Sydney that he would be racing here at Bendigo on Saturday on Day 1 of The Championships. But here he is. I don’t know what to do with him. I was pretty keen on him in Sydney first up but he was pretty ordinary in my opinion. I would have loved to have seen what he would have done if he ran in Melbourne on that day as the heavy track in Sydney still leaves me a bit up in the air. He could conceivably come out and blow these away and the engagement of Ollie (can’t recall many rides for Team Hawkes in recent times) looks significant. He certainly isn’t any spoil in the market though and as such happy to wait for him to produce something before chiming in.

Zorro’s Dream is a horse that was developing a reputation as being a bit frustrating for punters. He was getting beat as favourite a bit, but I think that is behind him now. He has just been racing so well and consistently and looks to have come back really well this time in. He was good in a fast race first up at Caulfield before going to Adelaide and winning well and was then just touched off down the straight at Flemington last start. He has shown a real liking for racing on this Bendigo circuit, he draws an ideal middle to wide gate which should see him blend into the race off a fast speed up front and find clear air to finish strongly. He is fit and in form and around the $7 mark I think he will give you a great sight.

I am having something on the local Colsridge. He has been good winning fresh at his past two campaigns and he is a horse who obviously possesses a good deal of natural ability. I am not sure he is the finished article yet, but I do know being a local he has probably been set for a big first up run here. His recent trial was sharp and while this is his toughest test I think he can run a big race around the $20-30 mark.

Mad throw at the stumps bet is Yulong Storm. He has just come up a monster price here at $100+. He has jumped out well leading into this, draws to get a soft run off the speed and has a very good record here at Bendigo and over the 1100m. At the odds on offer I think he is worth a peanut.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Zorro's Dream at the $7 which I think is a fair price! I will have 1 Unit the win on Coleridge at the $27 with SportsBet and 0.5 Unit the win on Yulong Storm at the $126 with TAB Fixed Odds!

Race Outlay

3.5 Units

Race 5

2:55pm

Suggested

Foxy Frida (No.2), La Chevalee (No.6) & Demando (No.11)

Dangers

Sirileo Miss (No.3) & Vespertine (No.4)

This is a good race for the mares here over the 1400m. I am pretty keen to be with La Chevalee. I was on her first up at Sandown where she got back in a race dominated on speed. She was on the one horse in that race that really got through the line strongly from the back of the field. It was a very pleasing return. She looks extremely well placed here second up. Rising to the 1400m suits and she looks likely to land in a perfect position stalking the speed. There doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in the race so I am quite confident that from gate four Jye McNeil should be able to hold a spot just behind the speed and from there she is going to prove hard to hold out. Providing she has gone on from that first up run she should be hard to hold out.

I have to admit I chickened out a bit in terms of making her a standout bet. I am going to have something on Foxy Frida just in case. I think she is just too good a mare to leave out. She raced really well last campaign winning third up on Oaks Day in strong fashion and then was probably a bit stiff to not win the Ballarat Cup before being spelled. I just don’t think we have seen the best of her yet. She was given a good hit out in a recent jump out and I love the way she picked up and went through the line there when asked for an effort. While 1400m first up is probably a bit short of her best I just think she is too classy to leave out and given you’re getting $7-8 about her I think she is worth a ticket.

I am also going to have something on Demando at big odds. The reason behind this is purely the map. She looks the clear leader in the race and has a bit of race fitness on her side over a few key rivals. If she is allowed to run along in front she could give a sight and take some running down and at the $40+ on offer I think she is also worth a small bet.

Betting strategy

I will have 3 Units the win on La Chevalee, 1.5 Units the win on Foxy Frida and 0.5 Unit the win on Demando at the $41!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 7

4:15pm

Suggested

Chartres (No.1), Gundec (No.3) & Sharp Response (No.5)

Dangers

Cardigan Queen (No.10) & Asymmetrical (No.11)

This is one of the feature races of the day here. It is the Bendigo Guineas over the 1400m. Tricky race. Cardigan Queen is obviously going to be very popular coming off two recent runs where most think she probably should have won. She takes on the males here and is very firm in the market. She doesn’t map particularly well in a race that doesn’t look to have a lot of speed on paper and will be spotting some handy ones a decent start in the run. I think she is a bit of a risk at the price given how the race sets up.

Gundec was heavily backed at The Bool first up, I was on him that day and he got scratched at the barriers. He then went to Geelong first up and walked in. I reckon he might have won at The Bool as well. He looks to have come back well and the fact he was able to win so easily over 1200m is a real positive sign. The key thing in his favour here is the map. He looks to get a picnic up front and rising to the 1400m where he can control the tempo he is going to prove very hard to run down.

Sharp Response was a bit stiff to lose on protest last week at Mornington. I thought the run was still enormous. He took off early made a lightning move into the race to try and set up victory and then held off his rivals until the stewards room. I think back to 1400m suits him here. I think he can get into a handy spot from a slightly tricky draw and if he does he is going to be strong late and thought he was a bit big in the market around the $6-7 mark.

Chartres is the other horse I will have something on. I have just been waiting for him to get to the races. He was scratched from Flemington a few weeks back where he looked a great chance and then from Sydney two weeks ago where he also looked a big chance. He has had a couple of setbacks which is a slight concern but he goes very well second up and from gate one maps to get a lovely trailing run just in behind the speed and around the $9-10 mark is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Gundec, 1.75 Units the win on Sharp Response at the $7 with TopSport and 1.25 Units the win on Chartres!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 9

5:30pm

Suggested

Poland (No.9), Regardsmaree (No.12), Flash Aah (No.15) & Scottish Dancer (No.17)

Dangers

Corner Pocket (No.3) & Groundswell (No.4)

This is a wide open race to finish the day on over the 1400m. Poland’s form this campaign in two runs at the highest level has been pretty good and if he can maintain that level here third up dropping in grade and stepping up to the 1400m you would think he is going to be hard to roll. He draws nicely to get into a good position just off what looks to be a pretty solid tempo up front and he should relish the big track here at Bendigo. Keen to be with him around that $8 mark.

Regardsmaree was very good first up at The Valley on a track which really played into the hands of the winner. He has a super record second up and over this distance. The Nick Ryan stable is airborne and if he can just find a position three wide with cover from the wide draw he is going to run very well. Around the $8-9 mark I think he is also a good bet.

I am also going to have a peanut on a couple of other runners resuming at big odds. Flash Aah is a talented horse on his day now with the Bussutin and Young yard. He can run a race fresh, he draws well and can figure at big odds.

Scottish Dancer has jumped out very nicely and looks dangerous down in the weights from low draw.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Poland and Regardsmaree and tempted to take the $8.50 about the latter! I will also have 0.75 Units the win on both Flash Aah and Scottish Dancer taking the $51 with TopSport about the latter!

Race Outlay

4.5 Units

Race 3

1:20pm

Suggested

Secret Glamour (No.4), I’m Divine (No.7) & Chenin (No.9)

Dangers

Roots (No.1) & Mamounia (No.12)

Racing in Sydney comes from Randwick today for Derby Day. Not just Derby Day, it is Doncaster Day and TJ Smith Day as well. One of the great days on the racing calendar. No surprises that it is wet up in Sydney but amazingly, the track has come up a Heavy 9 and not a 10. As far as the meeting going ahead it looks like it is all systems go. If you’re on track steer clear of those lunatics from Coffs Harbour, very dangerous areas if you run into them and get into a shout or end up at The Stables after the last.

I am kicking the day off in the third race which is the Adrian Knox over the 2000m. The price is not surprisingly gone about the Maher & Eustace trained runner in Secret Glamour. I thought she would run really well here and went up a huge price in early markets around the $15-20 mark. She is into single figures now but still a bet for me. She has just been crying out for a solidly run 2000m race and hopefully she gets that here today. I loved her recent jump out, the blinkers go on here, she should handle the conditions and I think she will run very well.

I’m Divine looks the danger. She was very good when throwing the race away at Canberra last start when running off the track in the straight. She has trialled up very nicely since then, she draws to roll forward and get a gun run on speed and should be right in the finish.

I also expect Chenin to run well. This is a step up in grade but Mark Newnham is a shrewd operator and there was a bit to like about that win at Hawkesbury the other day and I think she can measure up at double figure odds.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Secret Glamour and I'm Divine and 1 Unit the win on Chenin!

Race Outlay

4 Units

Race 4

1:55pm

Suggested

Great House (No.2), Chalk Stream (No.12) & Alakahan (No.13)

Dangers

She’s Ideel (No.4) & Zeyrek (No.6)

This race is for the stayers over the 2600m. The race has changed complexion a bit with the scratching of Chalk Stream. Great House is close. He also comes into the race third up and should be ready now. He will also appreciate the step up to the 2600m. Bowman rides from a low draw, he should get through the conditions well and I think he will run well.

The best roughy might be Alakahan. I feel this horse is coming along nicely and he wasn’t too far away last start. He got through the line well suggesting the 2600m will suit. The key with him is you know he is going to relish these wet conditions and around the $20-30 mark I think he is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Great House and 1 Unit the win on Alakahan!

Race Outlay

3 Units

Race 9 - The Doncaster

5:15pm

Suggested

I’m Thunderstruck (No.2), Just Folk (No.17), Mr Brightside (No.19) & Bankers Choice (No.21)

Dangers

Forbidden Love (No.16) & Converge (No.20)

We get to the fourth and final Group One of the day and it is the Doncaster. What a race. It is also the only Group One I am betting in. A quick overview on the other ones. Fireburn looks really hard to beat in the Sires but into odds on now I am happy to sit and watch. I don’t think there is much juice in the prices of Nature Strip and Eduardo in the T J Smith and found them pretty hard to split so there was no real angle there while the Derby is really tough. If Hitotsu handles the ground he probably wins, but if he doesn’t, what beats him, it looks pretty even outside of that so I was happy to watch that as well.

I am keen to bet here in the Doncaster. I’m Thunderstruck has just had a perfect preparation, without winning if that is possible. He seems to be going extremely well but just hasn’t had things pan out for him in his races in terms of bad luck or how those races have been run. I think he will get it all to suit here today. I love the draw for Hugh Bowman. He should just be in a perfect stalking position just off the speed and that should allow him to blend into the race at the right time. He looks like he will relish the big Randwick track and I think the $5-6 is a pretty fair price. I am happy to be with him.

I think his Victorian counterparts are the ones capable of causing an upset. Mr Brightside hasn’t been too far away from I’m Thunderstruck in those lead up races in Melbourne and looks very well in here at the weights with just 51kgs on his back. He has been ridden a little bit conservatively in his races this campaign but I feel today from the wide draw with the light weight Craig Williams has a great opportunity to go forward and put him on speed and into the race. From that position he could prove hard to get past.

Just Folk is flying and you know he is going to relish these heavy conditions. I loved his win at Rosehill off the back of a setback the other week and he looks primed to deliver a peak career performance here on Saturday. He might just get through the ground better than most so keen to be with him.

I am really glad Bankers Choice has got into the field. He will give this race a shake. Both of his runs this time in here in Australia have been excellent and he looks suited back under handicap conditions. You know he will handle the conditions and you know he will be strong at the end of the mile so keen to back him as well.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on I'm Thunderstruck and 1 Unit the win on all three of Mr Brightside, Just Folk and Banker's Choice!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 10

5:50pm

Suggested

Heresy (No.5) & A Very Fine Red (No.10)

Dangers

Me Me Lagarde (No.7) & Zapateo (No.13)

This is a good race to finish on over the 1200m for the mares. I was pretty keen on two that are pretty well found in the market in Heresy and A Very Fine Red. I think they both look primed to deliver a big performance here. Heresy’s two runs back from a spell have been very good behind the likes of Fangirl and Hinged. I like the fact she has had a little freshen up since the last start run and just comes back a notch or two here. She draws out for Nash but come this time of the day I don’t think that will be a disadvantage. She looks to handle these conditions well and she should prove very hard to hold out.

A Very Fine Red was good first up behind Mazu. She may have just been in the slower part of the track there. She comes into this race second up for what looks a target race. She handles the conditions and I would expect her to be right in the finish late.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on both Heresy and A Very Fine Red!

Race Outlay

4 Units

Race 1

12:25pm

Suggested

Scarlet Tufty (No.3) & Eureka Street (No.5)

Dangers

Vardani (No.2) & Point Nepean (No.9)

Racing in Victoria comes from Bendigo this weekend for their annual stand alone Saturday meeting highlighted by the Golden Mile. As is traditionally the case with this meeting, the fields are big, the races are wide open and it looks a challenging day on the punt. I find that on the big days Bendigo can play a bit more towards horses up on speed then what it would on a normal midweek or Sunday meeting through the year. Given the conditions are relatively dry and we will be racing on a good track, I certainly think being up on speed will be no disadvantage, particularly early in the day here on Saturday.

I am kicking off in the first race of the day. Just a small play. I thought the favourites looked a bit skinny and I get the feeling this horse from the Maher & Eustace yard in Scarlet Tufty is ready to deliver a peak performance. This horse ran really well at his first Australian start last winter and then started a lot shorter in the market than stable mate Floating Artist at his next run at The Valley. He went poorly that day and Floating Artist won and went on to be competitive in some of our better staying races. The market that day though clearly had Scarlet Tufty rated a superior runner. I was keen on him first up this campaign off some nice trial and jump out work but he again went poorly. He improved marginally second up behind Gentleman Roy and I mean marginally. Last start however we saw something in the Stony Creek Cup behind Vardani. He was put into the race on speed and stuck on really well. Vardani looked like he would beat him easily halfway down the straight but Scarlet Tufty fought on strongly and was good through the line. To me, he is crying out for this mile and a half distance and I think that could see him turn the tables on Vardani. Certainly at 3-4 times the price of Vardani I think he is a bet at double figure odds.

Eureka Street also ran in that Stony Creek Cup and ran OK. He then to Mornington last Saturday and didn’t seem to be ridden with a lot of intent. I think he is another that should improve up to the mile and a half here and at double figure odds can run an improved race.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Scarlet Tufty and Eureka Street here!

Race Outlay

3 Units

Race 4

2:15pm

Suggested

Zorro’s Dream (No.6), Yulong Storm (No.13) & Colsridge (No.18)

Dangers

Remarque (No.7) & Scissor Step (No.12)

This is a very competitive race over the 1100m for the sprinters. Gee, probably didn’t think in August/September last year when Remarque was starting favourite against the likes of Paulele and Anamoe up in Sydney that he would be racing here at Bendigo on Saturday on Day 1 of The Championships. But here he is. I don’t know what to do with him. I was pretty keen on him in Sydney first up but he was pretty ordinary in my opinion. I would have loved to have seen what he would have done if he ran in Melbourne on that day as the heavy track in Sydney still leaves me a bit up in the air. He could conceivably come out and blow these away and the engagement of Ollie (can’t recall many rides for Team Hawkes in recent times) looks significant. He certainly isn’t any spoil in the market though and as such happy to wait for him to produce something before chiming in.

Zorro’s Dream is a horse that was developing a reputation as being a bit frustrating for punters. He was getting beat as favourite a bit, but I think that is behind him now. He has just been racing so well and consistently and looks to have come back really well this time in. He was good in a fast race first up at Caulfield before going to Adelaide and winning well and was then just touched off down the straight at Flemington last start. He has shown a real liking for racing on this Bendigo circuit, he draws an ideal middle to wide gate which should see him blend into the race off a fast speed up front and find clear air to finish strongly. He is fit and in form and around the $7 mark I think he will give you a great sight.

I am having something on the local Colsridge. He has been good winning fresh at his past two campaigns and he is a horse who obviously possesses a good deal of natural ability. I am not sure he is the finished article yet, but I do know being a local he has probably been set for a big first up run here. His recent trial was sharp and while this is his toughest test I think he can run a big race around the $20-30 mark.

Mad throw at the stumps bet is Yulong Storm. He has just come up a monster price here at $100+. He has jumped out well leading into this, draws to get a soft run off the speed and has a very good record here at Bendigo and over the 1100m. At the odds on offer I think he is worth a peanut.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Zorro's Dream at the $7 which I think is a fair price! I will have 1 Unit the win on Coleridge at the $27 with SportsBet and 0.5 Unit the win on Yulong Storm at the $126 with TAB Fixed Odds!

Race Outlay

3.5 Units

Race 5

2:55pm

Suggested

Foxy Frida (No.2), La Chevalee (No.6) & Demando (No.11)

Dangers

Sirileo Miss (No.3) & Vespertine (No.4)

This is a good race for the mares here over the 1400m. I am pretty keen to be with La Chevalee. I was on her first up at Sandown where she got back in a race dominated on speed. She was on the one horse in that race that really got through the line strongly from the back of the field. It was a very pleasing return. She looks extremely well placed here second up. Rising to the 1400m suits and she looks likely to land in a perfect position stalking the speed. There doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in the race so I am quite confident that from gate four Jye McNeil should be able to hold a spot just behind the speed and from there she is going to prove hard to hold out. Providing she has gone on from that first up run she should be hard to hold out.

I have to admit I chickened out a bit in terms of making her a standout bet. I am going to have something on Foxy Frida just in case. I think she is just too good a mare to leave out. She raced really well last campaign winning third up on Oaks Day in strong fashion and then was probably a bit stiff to not win the Ballarat Cup before being spelled. I just don’t think we have seen the best of her yet. She was given a good hit out in a recent jump out and I love the way she picked up and went through the line there when asked for an effort. While 1400m first up is probably a bit short of her best I just think she is too classy to leave out and given you’re getting $7-8 about her I think she is worth a ticket.

I am also going to have something on Demando at big odds. The reason behind this is purely the map. She looks the clear leader in the race and has a bit of race fitness on her side over a few key rivals. If she is allowed to run along in front she could give a sight and take some running down and at the $40+ on offer I think she is also worth a small bet.

Betting strategy

I will have 3 Units the win on La Chevalee, 1.5 Units the win on Foxy Frida and 0.5 Unit the win on Demando at the $41!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 7

4:15pm

Suggested

Chartres (No.1), Gundec (No.3) & Sharp Response (No.5)

Dangers

Cardigan Queen (No.10) & Asymmetrical (No.11)

This is one of the feature races of the day here. It is the Bendigo Guineas over the 1400m. Tricky race. Cardigan Queen is obviously going to be very popular coming off two recent runs where most think she probably should have won. She takes on the males here and is very firm in the market. She doesn’t map particularly well in a race that doesn’t look to have a lot of speed on paper and will be spotting some handy ones a decent start in the run. I think she is a bit of a risk at the price given how the race sets up.

Gundec was heavily backed at The Bool first up, I was on him that day and he got scratched at the barriers. He then went to Geelong first up and walked in. I reckon he might have won at The Bool as well. He looks to have come back well and the fact he was able to win so easily over 1200m is a real positive sign. The key thing in his favour here is the map. He looks to get a picnic up front and rising to the 1400m where he can control the tempo he is going to prove very hard to run down.

Sharp Response was a bit stiff to lose on protest last week at Mornington. I thought the run was still enormous. He took off early made a lightning move into the race to try and set up victory and then held off his rivals until the stewards room. I think back to 1400m suits him here. I think he can get into a handy spot from a slightly tricky draw and if he does he is going to be strong late and thought he was a bit big in the market around the $6-7 mark.

Chartres is the other horse I will have something on. I have just been waiting for him to get to the races. He was scratched from Flemington a few weeks back where he looked a great chance and then from Sydney two weeks ago where he also looked a big chance. He has had a couple of setbacks which is a slight concern but he goes very well second up and from gate one maps to get a lovely trailing run just in behind the speed and around the $9-10 mark is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Gundec, 1.75 Units the win on Sharp Response at the $7 with TopSport and 1.25 Units the win on Chartres!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 9

5:30pm

Suggested

Poland (No.9), Regardsmaree (No.12), Flash Aah (No.15) & Scottish Dancer (No.17)

Dangers

Corner Pocket (No.3) & Groundswell (No.4)

This is a wide open race to finish the day on over the 1400m. Poland’s form this campaign in two runs at the highest level has been pretty good and if he can maintain that level here third up dropping in grade and stepping up to the 1400m you would think he is going to be hard to roll. He draws nicely to get into a good position just off what looks to be a pretty solid tempo up front and he should relish the big track here at Bendigo. Keen to be with him around that $8 mark.

Regardsmaree was very good first up at The Valley on a track which really played into the hands of the winner. He has a super record second up and over this distance. The Nick Ryan stable is airborne and if he can just find a position three wide with cover from the wide draw he is going to run very well. Around the $8-9 mark I think he is also a good bet.

I am also going to have a peanut on a couple of other runners resuming at big odds. Flash Aah is a talented horse on his day now with the Bussutin and Young yard. He can run a race fresh, he draws well and can figure at big odds.

Scottish Dancer has jumped out very nicely and looks dangerous down in the weights from low draw.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Poland and Regardsmaree and tempted to take the $8.50 about the latter! I will also have 0.75 Units the win on both Flash Aah and Scottish Dancer taking the $51 with TopSport about the latter!

Race Outlay

4.5 Units

Race 3

1:20pm

Suggested

Secret Glamour (No.4), I’m Divine (No.7) & Chenin (No.9)

Dangers

Roots (No.1) & Mamounia (No.12)

Racing in Sydney comes from Randwick today for Derby Day. Not just Derby Day, it is Doncaster Day and TJ Smith Day as well. One of the great days on the racing calendar. No surprises that it is wet up in Sydney but amazingly, the track has come up a Heavy 9 and not a 10. As far as the meeting going ahead it looks like it is all systems go. If you’re on track steer clear of those lunatics from Coffs Harbour, very dangerous areas if you run into them and get into a shout or end up at The Stables after the last.

I am kicking the day off in the third race which is the Adrian Knox over the 2000m. The price is not surprisingly gone about the Maher & Eustace trained runner in Secret Glamour. I thought she would run really well here and went up a huge price in early markets around the $15-20 mark. She is into single figures now but still a bet for me. She has just been crying out for a solidly run 2000m race and hopefully she gets that here today. I loved her recent jump out, the blinkers go on here, she should handle the conditions and I think she will run very well.

I’m Divine looks the danger. She was very good when throwing the race away at Canberra last start when running off the track in the straight. She has trialled up very nicely since then, she draws to roll forward and get a gun run on speed and should be right in the finish.

I also expect Chenin to run well. This is a step up in grade but Mark Newnham is a shrewd operator and there was a bit to like about that win at Hawkesbury the other day and I think she can measure up at double figure odds.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Secret Glamour and I'm Divine and 1 Unit the win on Chenin!

Race Outlay

4 Units

Race 4

1:55pm

Suggested

Great House (No.2), Chalk Stream (No.12) & Alakahan (No.13)

Dangers

She’s Ideel (No.4) & Zeyrek (No.6)

This race is for the stayers over the 2600m. The race has changed complexion a bit with the scratching of Chalk Stream. Great House is close. He also comes into the race third up and should be ready now. He will also appreciate the step up to the 2600m. Bowman rides from a low draw, he should get through the conditions well and I think he will run well.

The best roughy might be Alakahan. I feel this horse is coming along nicely and he wasn’t too far away last start. He got through the line well suggesting the 2600m will suit. The key with him is you know he is going to relish these wet conditions and around the $20-30 mark I think he is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Great House and 1 Unit the win on Alakahan!

Race Outlay

3 Units

Race 9 - The Doncaster

5:15pm

Suggested

I’m Thunderstruck (No.2), Just Folk (No.17), Mr Brightside (No.19) & Bankers Choice (No.21)

Dangers

Forbidden Love (No.16) & Converge (No.20)

We get to the fourth and final Group One of the day and it is the Doncaster. What a race. It is also the only Group One I am betting in. A quick overview on the other ones. Fireburn looks really hard to beat in the Sires but into odds on now I am happy to sit and watch. I don’t think there is much juice in the prices of Nature Strip and Eduardo in the T J Smith and found them pretty hard to split so there was no real angle there while the Derby is really tough. If Hitotsu handles the ground he probably wins, but if he doesn’t, what beats him, it looks pretty even outside of that so I was happy to watch that as well.

I am keen to bet here in the Doncaster. I’m Thunderstruck has just had a perfect preparation, without winning if that is possible. He seems to be going extremely well but just hasn’t had things pan out for him in his races in terms of bad luck or how those races have been run. I think he will get it all to suit here today. I love the draw for Hugh Bowman. He should just be in a perfect stalking position just off the speed and that should allow him to blend into the race at the right time. He looks like he will relish the big Randwick track and I think the $5-6 is a pretty fair price. I am happy to be with him.

I think his Victorian counterparts are the ones capable of causing an upset. Mr Brightside hasn’t been too far away from I’m Thunderstruck in those lead up races in Melbourne and looks very well in here at the weights with just 51kgs on his back. He has been ridden a little bit conservatively in his races this campaign but I feel today from the wide draw with the light weight Craig Williams has a great opportunity to go forward and put him on speed and into the race. From that position he could prove hard to get past.

Just Folk is flying and you know he is going to relish these heavy conditions. I loved his win at Rosehill off the back of a setback the other week and he looks primed to deliver a peak career performance here on Saturday. He might just get through the ground better than most so keen to be with him.

I am really glad Bankers Choice has got into the field. He will give this race a shake. Both of his runs this time in here in Australia have been excellent and he looks suited back under handicap conditions. You know he will handle the conditions and you know he will be strong at the end of the mile so keen to back him as well.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on I'm Thunderstruck and 1 Unit the win on all three of Mr Brightside, Just Folk and Banker's Choice!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 10

5:50pm

Suggested

Heresy (No.5) & A Very Fine Red (No.10)

Dangers

Me Me Lagarde (No.7) & Zapateo (No.13)

This is a good race to finish on over the 1200m for the mares. I was pretty keen on two that are pretty well found in the market in Heresy and A Very Fine Red. I think they both look primed to deliver a big performance here. Heresy’s two runs back from a spell have been very good behind the likes of Fangirl and Hinged. I like the fact she has had a little freshen up since the last start run and just comes back a notch or two here. She draws out for Nash but come this time of the day I don’t think that will be a disadvantage. She looks to handle these conditions well and she should prove very hard to hold out.

A Very Fine Red was good first up behind Mazu. She may have just been in the slower part of the track there. She comes into this race second up for what looks a target race. She handles the conditions and I would expect her to be right in the finish late.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on both Heresy and A Very Fine Red!

Race Outlay

4 Units

Race 1

12:25pm

Suggested

Scarlet Tufty (No.3) & Eureka Street (No.5)

Dangers

Vardani (No.2) & Point Nepean (No.9)

Racing in Victoria comes from Bendigo this weekend for their annual stand alone Saturday meeting highlighted by the Golden Mile. As is traditionally the case with this meeting, the fields are big, the races are wide open and it looks a challenging day on the punt. I find that on the big days Bendigo can play a bit more towards horses up on speed then what it would on a normal midweek or Sunday meeting through the year. Given the conditions are relatively dry and we will be racing on a good track, I certainly think being up on speed will be no disadvantage, particularly early in the day here on Saturday.

I am kicking off in the first race of the day. Just a small play. I thought the favourites looked a bit skinny and I get the feeling this horse from the Maher & Eustace yard in Scarlet Tufty is ready to deliver a peak performance. This horse ran really well at his first Australian start last winter and then started a lot shorter in the market than stable mate Floating Artist at his next run at The Valley. He went poorly that day and Floating Artist won and went on to be competitive in some of our better staying races. The market that day though clearly had Scarlet Tufty rated a superior runner. I was keen on him first up this campaign off some nice trial and jump out work but he again went poorly. He improved marginally second up behind Gentleman Roy and I mean marginally. Last start however we saw something in the Stony Creek Cup behind Vardani. He was put into the race on speed and stuck on really well. Vardani looked like he would beat him easily halfway down the straight but Scarlet Tufty fought on strongly and was good through the line. To me, he is crying out for this mile and a half distance and I think that could see him turn the tables on Vardani. Certainly at 3-4 times the price of Vardani I think he is a bet at double figure odds.

Eureka Street also ran in that Stony Creek Cup and ran OK. He then to Mornington last Saturday and didn’t seem to be ridden with a lot of intent. I think he is another that should improve up to the mile and a half here and at double figure odds can run an improved race.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Scarlet Tufty and Eureka Street here!

Race Outlay

3 Units

Race 4

2:15pm

Suggested

Zorro’s Dream (No.6), Yulong Storm (No.13) & Colsridge (No.18)

Dangers

Remarque (No.7) & Scissor Step (No.12)

This is a very competitive race over the 1100m for the sprinters. Gee, probably didn’t think in August/September last year when Remarque was starting favourite against the likes of Paulele and Anamoe up in Sydney that he would be racing here at Bendigo on Saturday on Day 1 of The Championships. But here he is. I don’t know what to do with him. I was pretty keen on him in Sydney first up but he was pretty ordinary in my opinion. I would have loved to have seen what he would have done if he ran in Melbourne on that day as the heavy track in Sydney still leaves me a bit up in the air. He could conceivably come out and blow these away and the engagement of Ollie (can’t recall many rides for Team Hawkes in recent times) looks significant. He certainly isn’t any spoil in the market though and as such happy to wait for him to produce something before chiming in.

Zorro’s Dream is a horse that was developing a reputation as being a bit frustrating for punters. He was getting beat as favourite a bit, but I think that is behind him now. He has just been racing so well and consistently and looks to have come back really well this time in. He was good in a fast race first up at Caulfield before going to Adelaide and winning well and was then just touched off down the straight at Flemington last start. He has shown a real liking for racing on this Bendigo circuit, he draws an ideal middle to wide gate which should see him blend into the race off a fast speed up front and find clear air to finish strongly. He is fit and in form and around the $7 mark I think he will give you a great sight.

I am having something on the local Colsridge. He has been good winning fresh at his past two campaigns and he is a horse who obviously possesses a good deal of natural ability. I am not sure he is the finished article yet, but I do know being a local he has probably been set for a big first up run here. His recent trial was sharp and while this is his toughest test I think he can run a big race around the $20-30 mark.

Mad throw at the stumps bet is Yulong Storm. He has just come up a monster price here at $100+. He has jumped out well leading into this, draws to get a soft run off the speed and has a very good record here at Bendigo and over the 1100m. At the odds on offer I think he is worth a peanut.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Zorro's Dream at the $7 which I think is a fair price! I will have 1 Unit the win on Coleridge at the $27 with SportsBet and 0.5 Unit the win on Yulong Storm at the $126 with TAB Fixed Odds!

Race Outlay

3.5 Units

Race 5

2:55pm

Suggested

Foxy Frida (No.2), La Chevalee (No.6) & Demando (No.11)

Dangers

Sirileo Miss (No.3) & Vespertine (No.4)

This is a good race for the mares here over the 1400m. I am pretty keen to be with La Chevalee. I was on her first up at Sandown where she got back in a race dominated on speed. She was on the one horse in that race that really got through the line strongly from the back of the field. It was a very pleasing return. She looks extremely well placed here second up. Rising to the 1400m suits and she looks likely to land in a perfect position stalking the speed. There doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in the race so I am quite confident that from gate four Jye McNeil should be able to hold a spot just behind the speed and from there she is going to prove hard to hold out. Providing she has gone on from that first up run she should be hard to hold out.

I have to admit I chickened out a bit in terms of making her a standout bet. I am going to have something on Foxy Frida just in case. I think she is just too good a mare to leave out. She raced really well last campaign winning third up on Oaks Day in strong fashion and then was probably a bit stiff to not win the Ballarat Cup before being spelled. I just don’t think we have seen the best of her yet. She was given a good hit out in a recent jump out and I love the way she picked up and went through the line there when asked for an effort. While 1400m first up is probably a bit short of her best I just think she is too classy to leave out and given you’re getting $7-8 about her I think she is worth a ticket.

I am also going to have something on Demando at big odds. The reason behind this is purely the map. She looks the clear leader in the race and has a bit of race fitness on her side over a few key rivals. If she is allowed to run along in front she could give a sight and take some running down and at the $40+ on offer I think she is also worth a small bet.

Betting strategy

I will have 3 Units the win on La Chevalee, 1.5 Units the win on Foxy Frida and 0.5 Unit the win on Demando at the $41!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 7

4:15pm

Suggested

Chartres (No.1), Gundec (No.3) & Sharp Response (No.5)

Dangers

Cardigan Queen (No.10) & Asymmetrical (No.11)

This is one of the feature races of the day here. It is the Bendigo Guineas over the 1400m. Tricky race. Cardigan Queen is obviously going to be very popular coming off two recent runs where most think she probably should have won. She takes on the males here and is very firm in the market. She doesn’t map particularly well in a race that doesn’t look to have a lot of speed on paper and will be spotting some handy ones a decent start in the run. I think she is a bit of a risk at the price given how the race sets up.

Gundec was heavily backed at The Bool first up, I was on him that day and he got scratched at the barriers. He then went to Geelong first up and walked in. I reckon he might have won at The Bool as well. He looks to have come back well and the fact he was able to win so easily over 1200m is a real positive sign. The key thing in his favour here is the map. He looks to get a picnic up front and rising to the 1400m where he can control the tempo he is going to prove very hard to run down.

Sharp Response was a bit stiff to lose on protest last week at Mornington. I thought the run was still enormous. He took off early made a lightning move into the race to try and set up victory and then held off his rivals until the stewards room. I think back to 1400m suits him here. I think he can get into a handy spot from a slightly tricky draw and if he does he is going to be strong late and thought he was a bit big in the market around the $6-7 mark.

Chartres is the other horse I will have something on. I have just been waiting for him to get to the races. He was scratched from Flemington a few weeks back where he looked a great chance and then from Sydney two weeks ago where he also looked a big chance. He has had a couple of setbacks which is a slight concern but he goes very well second up and from gate one maps to get a lovely trailing run just in behind the speed and around the $9-10 mark is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Gundec, 1.75 Units the win on Sharp Response at the $7 with TopSport and 1.25 Units the win on Chartres!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 9

5:30pm

Suggested

Poland (No.9), Regardsmaree (No.12), Flash Aah (No.15) & Scottish Dancer (No.17)

Dangers

Corner Pocket (No.3) & Groundswell (No.4)

This is a wide open race to finish the day on over the 1400m. Poland’s form this campaign in two runs at the highest level has been pretty good and if he can maintain that level here third up dropping in grade and stepping up to the 1400m you would think he is going to be hard to roll. He draws nicely to get into a good position just off what looks to be a pretty solid tempo up front and he should relish the big track here at Bendigo. Keen to be with him around that $8 mark.

Regardsmaree was very good first up at The Valley on a track which really played into the hands of the winner. He has a super record second up and over this distance. The Nick Ryan stable is airborne and if he can just find a position three wide with cover from the wide draw he is going to run very well. Around the $8-9 mark I think he is also a good bet.

I am also going to have a peanut on a couple of other runners resuming at big odds. Flash Aah is a talented horse on his day now with the Bussutin and Young yard. He can run a race fresh, he draws well and can figure at big odds.

Scottish Dancer has jumped out very nicely and looks dangerous down in the weights from low draw.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Poland and Regardsmaree and tempted to take the $8.50 about the latter! I will also have 0.75 Units the win on both Flash Aah and Scottish Dancer taking the $51 with TopSport about the latter!

Race Outlay

4.5 Units

Race 3

1:20pm

Suggested

Secret Glamour (No.4), I’m Divine (No.7) & Chenin (No.9)

Dangers

Roots (No.1) & Mamounia (No.12)

Racing in Sydney comes from Randwick today for Derby Day. Not just Derby Day, it is Doncaster Day and TJ Smith Day as well. One of the great days on the racing calendar. No surprises that it is wet up in Sydney but amazingly, the track has come up a Heavy 9 and not a 10. As far as the meeting going ahead it looks like it is all systems go. If you’re on track steer clear of those lunatics from Coffs Harbour, very dangerous areas if you run into them and get into a shout or end up at The Stables after the last.

I am kicking the day off in the third race which is the Adrian Knox over the 2000m. The price is not surprisingly gone about the Maher & Eustace trained runner in Secret Glamour. I thought she would run really well here and went up a huge price in early markets around the $15-20 mark. She is into single figures now but still a bet for me. She has just been crying out for a solidly run 2000m race and hopefully she gets that here today. I loved her recent jump out, the blinkers go on here, she should handle the conditions and I think she will run very well.

I’m Divine looks the danger. She was very good when throwing the race away at Canberra last start when running off the track in the straight. She has trialled up very nicely since then, she draws to roll forward and get a gun run on speed and should be right in the finish.

I also expect Chenin to run well. This is a step up in grade but Mark Newnham is a shrewd operator and there was a bit to like about that win at Hawkesbury the other day and I think she can measure up at double figure odds.

Betting strategy

I will have 1.5 Units the win on both Secret Glamour and I'm Divine and 1 Unit the win on Chenin!

Race Outlay

4 Units

Race 4

1:55pm

Suggested

Great House (No.2), Chalk Stream (No.12) & Alakahan (No.13)

Dangers

She’s Ideel (No.4) & Zeyrek (No.6)

This race is for the stayers over the 2600m. The race has changed complexion a bit with the scratching of Chalk Stream. Great House is close. He also comes into the race third up and should be ready now. He will also appreciate the step up to the 2600m. Bowman rides from a low draw, he should get through the conditions well and I think he will run well.

The best roughy might be Alakahan. I feel this horse is coming along nicely and he wasn’t too far away last start. He got through the line well suggesting the 2600m will suit. The key with him is you know he is going to relish these wet conditions and around the $20-30 mark I think he is worth a ticket.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on Great House and 1 Unit the win on Alakahan!

Race Outlay

3 Units

Race 9 - The Doncaster

5:15pm

Suggested

I’m Thunderstruck (No.2), Just Folk (No.17), Mr Brightside (No.19) & Bankers Choice (No.21)

Dangers

Forbidden Love (No.16) & Converge (No.20)

We get to the fourth and final Group One of the day and it is the Doncaster. What a race. It is also the only Group One I am betting in. A quick overview on the other ones. Fireburn looks really hard to beat in the Sires but into odds on now I am happy to sit and watch. I don’t think there is much juice in the prices of Nature Strip and Eduardo in the T J Smith and found them pretty hard to split so there was no real angle there while the Derby is really tough. If Hitotsu handles the ground he probably wins, but if he doesn’t, what beats him, it looks pretty even outside of that so I was happy to watch that as well.

I am keen to bet here in the Doncaster. I’m Thunderstruck has just had a perfect preparation, without winning if that is possible. He seems to be going extremely well but just hasn’t had things pan out for him in his races in terms of bad luck or how those races have been run. I think he will get it all to suit here today. I love the draw for Hugh Bowman. He should just be in a perfect stalking position just off the speed and that should allow him to blend into the race at the right time. He looks like he will relish the big Randwick track and I think the $5-6 is a pretty fair price. I am happy to be with him.

I think his Victorian counterparts are the ones capable of causing an upset. Mr Brightside hasn’t been too far away from I’m Thunderstruck in those lead up races in Melbourne and looks very well in here at the weights with just 51kgs on his back. He has been ridden a little bit conservatively in his races this campaign but I feel today from the wide draw with the light weight Craig Williams has a great opportunity to go forward and put him on speed and into the race. From that position he could prove hard to get past.

Just Folk is flying and you know he is going to relish these heavy conditions. I loved his win at Rosehill off the back of a setback the other week and he looks primed to deliver a peak career performance here on Saturday. He might just get through the ground better than most so keen to be with him.

I am really glad Bankers Choice has got into the field. He will give this race a shake. Both of his runs this time in here in Australia have been excellent and he looks suited back under handicap conditions. You know he will handle the conditions and you know he will be strong at the end of the mile so keen to back him as well.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on I'm Thunderstruck and 1 Unit the win on all three of Mr Brightside, Just Folk and Banker's Choice!

Race Outlay

5 Units

Race 10

5:50pm

Suggested

Heresy (No.5) & A Very Fine Red (No.10)

Dangers

Me Me Lagarde (No.7) & Zapateo (No.13)

This is a good race to finish on over the 1200m for the mares. I was pretty keen on two that are pretty well found in the market in Heresy and A Very Fine Red. I think they both look primed to deliver a big performance here. Heresy’s two runs back from a spell have been very good behind the likes of Fangirl and Hinged. I like the fact she has had a little freshen up since the last start run and just comes back a notch or two here. She draws out for Nash but come this time of the day I don’t think that will be a disadvantage. She looks to handle these conditions well and she should prove very hard to hold out.

A Very Fine Red was good first up behind Mazu. She may have just been in the slower part of the track there. She comes into this race second up for what looks a target race. She handles the conditions and I would expect her to be right in the finish late.

Betting strategy

I will have 2 Units the win on both Heresy and A Very Fine Red!

Race Outlay

4 Units

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