Logical Longshots 10/04

A tough looking day at Randwick which will probably be leader and rails biased in the sprint races as we have seen at Rosehill recently. It took me an age to sort out my thoughts on the Doncaster, but I think i have found one there. A bit disappointing last week after getting a handy winner early in Signore Fox. Starting this day with one at a massive price.

R3 Randwick- HAMOGANY (Each Way) – I shouldn’t but I can’t resist putting him up at $151 mainly because I BB’d him off a stellar first up effort. He is handy at best but has been kept fresh and he did do exceptionally well with that kind of scenario last start. He runs a lot of placings and that is probably his best hope here. $41 for that though is enticing. I’m also on WILD ROCKET here too at big odds and backed the favourite ART CADEAU at $17 about 5 weeks ago. He is a bombproof type who looks the horst to beat. Probably big unders now though given the break between runs.

R8 ELEVEN ELEVEN (Each Way) put three straight wins together last preparation and showed exceptional qualities on at least two of those occasions. It’s a bit of a stretch for him at WFA perhaps but the price is ridiculous. A horse like Yao Dash has made his form look okay I feel and I’m not sure there is as much between our top sprinters as people think. Are any of then that good is what I’m trying to say . A wet track should be no drama. Admittedly EDUARDO was amazing last start (as was Masked Crusader) and he and Nature Strip might dominate from the front here. EE was $61 last night so I had to have a bit of that.

R9 FORBIDDEN LOVE (Each Way) I feel has a great chance here. If you look at the Coolmore replay i think it’s fair to say had she got clear running she probably wins. She had no luck whatsoever and was horribly weighted in that event. A 5kg weight drop here and she should sit midfield somewhere and be ready to strike. Her win here two starts back was amazing and the wet surface suits better and she is yet to lose (3/3) with more than three weeks between runs. I’m a massive Mo’unga fan and would love to see him win, but he will probably get too far back from a horror barrier. That would be fine on a fair track that suits backmarkers, but I doubt we will see that. Robbie Dolan has to go right back early but then has to be positive for the rest of the race. BEST OF DAYS is ridiculously well weighted but maybe a drier track would have been the ideal for him.

Caulfield R9 BRIMHAM ROCKS (Win Only) for mine has always been a 2-3 length better horse in Melbourne and is better suited to dry tracks. His 2.6L defeat first up at WFA last prep in Sydney is good enough to win this, and he has drawn well and quite likes this circuit. He is probably a little bit of overs at the current price which has firmed.

One Hundred percenters;

I haven’t done an exhaustive analysis of these but did find these;

Randwick R7 ROCKET SPADE is 4/4 on right handed tracks.

R8 MASKED CRUSADER is 4/4 at this distance and 2/2 at this track and distance.

R9 AEGON is 5/5 on wet tracks and 4/4 with more than three weeks between runs. Horribly weighted but is probably going to start overs.

R10 PERFECT RADIANCE is 2/2 first up and 2/2 in this distance range. Her only defeats have been over 1300m+.

Quite happy to hear from anyone who can find some more of these.

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Logical Longshots 3/04

A couple of these have firmed into shorter odds than I obtained yesterday which is a bit disappointing. A bit of a struggle to find realistic chances at massive odds today.

Rosehill R5 SIGNORE FOX might need an inspired ride from JMAC given the pattern of this track so far but at least he has drawn closer to the rails which looks the place to be. How far back he gets is the big problem. The aforementioned jockey is 4/4 aboard and hasn’t been on his back for quite some time. Track conditions favour this horse and he meets the likes of Deprive and Roheryn far better at the weights for previous meetings. Win Only at a price that has drifted below my required $10. An odds boost will get you there though. The favourite CALIFORNIA ZIMBOL does look the one they all have to beat though given she has drawn well and can be close enough to the pace. Win Only currently $8.50

Caulfield R6 IDIDITFORLOVE is my best value bet of the day but the $17 early has now well and truly gone. She gets in here with 51.5kg after the claim and should be nearly favourite if you look at his formlines. China Affair/Sword Of Mercy for instance. Paperboy/Alfa Ora another. He also has a 1L second to Masked Crusader at nearly level weights to Masked Crusader! ! That day at Caufield vs Peperboy was massive being three wide throughout. Win Only @$10.

R7 KENTUCKY BREEZE has to lift and this is the “last chance saloon” from my perspective. I was really keen last time but he missed the start and then Jamie Kah inexcusably dragged him back to the rail which was exactly what I didn’t want to see. The horse has an atrocious 0-2/10 record from barriers 1-3 yet from barriers 4-6 he is 5-1/12. Today he draws barrier 6 and hopefully he gets the required galloping room. His run was okay considering what happened last start and he does meet the winner 2kg better at least. It will be an upset if he wins because it has been a long time between drinks for him. Thus just this one last chance today. THE DOCTOR’S SON is a sneaky place chance at big odd if he can jump well and get all the breaks like last time when we snagged him @ $34 or so a place. A definite watch on NIGHT’S WATCH with a couple of gear changes and more importantly a stable change. Andrew Bobbin takes over and seems to be quite a handy trainer. At his best he could win this. Having said all that the favourite PERSAN is the one they all have to beat. Each Way @ $26

R8 CUBA is the one I’m least confident about today but he is probably twice the odds he should be. First up last preparation he was placed behind the top class mare Probabeel, and he also has a win over Kolding on his resume. He has drawn perfectly to get the run of the race today and this is his best distance. He can be a bit hit and miss though and has to a lot more than he did at his only run this track. He has won at M/Valley though. Each Way @ $17

Logical Longshots 27/03

These are my best at a decent price today although the last one doesn’t qualify as an LL horse. Just wanted to point it out though.

Rosehill R6 GEM SONG- This horse has come back better than ever this preparation hitting the line very hard in both runs. He gave Masked Crusader 4kg first up and how good does that form look now? $17 available but he was slightly longer priced than that yesterday. Each Way.

R7 ANAMOE– I really shouldn’t be tipping in this race but I can’t understand how he is not in single figures. He beat the two favourites for this race last start and if you look at the Blue Diamond Stakes replay it’s pretty evident that he would have won that race had he obtained the run the winner got there. A wet track is an unknown but he is very fit and his Dam got through these conditions. Hard to say whether the barrier is a positive or negative at this stage. Each Way.

R8 ORDER OF COMMAND is my best longshot of the day. Two runs agains Kemalpasa and at the most he is a one length inferior horse. I’m adamant had Kemalpasa run in the Newmarket he would have won it and as it turned out the eventual winner had that formline. He ran well at his first Sydney run and drops nicely in weight. What I really do like about him though is his 5/8 record at this time of year, opposed to the 3/19 in other seasons. His second up form is excellent and a wet track is also a bonus. Around $23 atm is great value but he might drift in price to better than that. Each Way.

R8 Morphettville GOOD GIRL BELLA was a tragedy beaten last start (ignore the 7L defeat totally) and had it won it would have been four in a row for this mare. A bit of rain around doesn’t hurt her chances and neither does Sophie Logan going back on. She just needs an economical run from the barrier and I’d personally like to see her with galloping room rather than the luck that ensued last start from an inside barrier. $8 is good value.

Coolmore Classic 2021

Race 7 at Rosehill on Saturday (3.15 pm AEDT) is the Coolmore Classic. It is a Group 1 Fillies and Mares race first staged in 1973, but has only been known as the Coolmore Classic since 1996, when that horse stud became the sponsor. Emancipation & Sunline, two of Australasia’s greatest mares have their name on the honour roll, and they both carried a massive weight of 60kg when victorious. In fact the great Sunline carried that weight during both wins in 2000 & 2002. It is definitely the type of race where it is important to do your speed map, and figure out where your horse is going to be placed in the run. It is almost impossible to win this race off a slow speed, if your horse is rearward in the race, especially from a wide barrier. Conversely if the tempo is fast, barriers become less important, and the leaderish Rosehill circuit becomes less so.

I’m looking at the past Eighteen years of historical data to try and target the winner of this years’ race. Here are those winners with their age, weight, barrier, last three starts, weight drop from prior start, position at 800m and turn, & starting price following in order.

  • 2020 CON TE PARTIRO 6m 55kg (5) 5×6 0kg (3-1) $21
  • 2019 DIXIE BLOSSOMS 6m 56.5kg (2) 7×2 -0.5kg (10-10) $21
  • 2018 DAYSEE DOOM 5m 57kg(14) 0x1 +1kg (4-2) $21
  • 2017 HEAVENS ABOVE 5m 55kg (4) 0x9 –5kg (12-10) $26
  • 2016 PEEPING 4m 53.5kg (9) x23 -2.5kg (6-5-5) $15
  • 2015 PLUCKY BELLE 6m 53kg (8) x62 –2kg (10-9) $16
  • 2014 STEPS IN TIME 6m 57kg (7) 3×2 0kg (1-1-1) $8
  • 2013 APPEARANCE 4m 5g (2) x24 –5kg (6-6) $11
  • 2012 OFCOURSEICAN 5m 53.5kg (7) x31 –5kg (12-11) $13
  • 2011 ALOHA 4m 53kg (9) 1×1 –5kg (1-4) $6
  • 2010 ALVERTA 6m 54.5kg (14) 312 –5kg (2-4) $17
  • 2009 TYPHOON TRACY 3f 51kg (14) 111 –5kg (1-1-1) $4.75
  • 2008 ESKIMO QUEEN 4m 56kg (1) x05 –5kg (4-5) $21
  • 2007 TUESDAY JOY 3f 53kg (5) 2×3 –3kg (13-14) $7.50
  • 2006 REGAL CHEER 3f 52.5kg (3) 231 –3kg (4-3) $9
  • 2005 DANNI MARTINE 4m 53kg (16) 541 0kg (14-14-14) $17
  • 2004 SHAMEKHA 3f 53kg (14) 0x3 –5kg (2-2) $17
  • 2003 BOLLINGER 3f 53kg (2) x11 –5kg (3-2-1) $3.25

Pertinent Statistics;

  1. 17/18 did not rise in weight off last start performance
  2. 10/18 carried 53.5kg or less to win. No horse in this period has won with more than 57kg.
  3. 11/18 dropped in weight from prior start between 2.0kg-3.5kg
  4. 14/18 won or placed last start. 15/18 finished in top 4 placings last start and 16/18 finished in the first 5 placings. The only ones that didn’t place were Eskimo Queen who won on a bog track that suited her, Appearance, who was the subject of a stewards enquiry at previous start Heavens Above on a Slow 6 track in 2017 and Con Te Partiro last year on a very Heavy surface.  Seven were last start winners.
  5. 10/17 either three or four years of age. No 3yo has won with more than 53kg in this time span though. 8 of last 11 winners have been Five or Six years of age so the race seems to be trending toward the older mares since 2010.
  6. 1018 were positioned in first four horses early in the race.
  7. 13/18 drew barriers 1-9 and Seven of the last Eight winners have done so. Four of the Five that drew wide, either led, or positioned in first four early. The other (Danni Martine) settled back near last in a fast run race.
  8. 14/18 were either second or third up in their preparation coming into the race.
  9. 14/18 were up in distance no more than 200m. 15/17 within 201m of this distance last start.

9 of the last 18 winners hadn’t won beyond 1400m, before winning this 1500m race. That might tell us a little bit more in regard to the moderate tempo that often ensues, and/or the fact that Rosehill, at this distance, is not necessarily a stamina test.

  1. Ron Quinton has trained 4 of the past 9 winners. That is an astounding effort from a man who doesn’t have a big stable.
  2. Average winning price is $15 and Twelve of last Eighteen  winners have started at a double figure quote.

Historically from the above figures I’d be looking for an in form mare, five or six years of age that is well drawn and ran okay last start (preferably placed but CTP last year was beaten 3L prior into Sixth). Being second or third up would also be advantageous.


To put it bluntly I’m not going spend a lot of time analysing a race that I’ve had next to no success with, and that’s being brutally honest. Given the winning odds of recent winners though that’s hardly surprising. Historically with that recent trend of older mares winning, the most victor would seem to be TRICKY GAL, and she is at the right ‘average’ odds too. Just maybe a wet track would have been more to her liking, though not conclusive. With the older mare’s being a minority this year perhaps you might look to the 3yo filly VANGELIC, who has just about every other statistic going for her. She will be on pace which is almost always an asset at this track. Is she good enough though, with a win percentage that is well below what you generally need in this level of race? 5yo mare MADAM ROUGE also deserves consideration beaten a similar margin in her lead up to last year’s winner Con Te Partiro. Personally I find her impossible to follow, and the back up from last week is an unknown, and she does tend to get back in the field. 5yo Victorian Mare SOVEREIGN AWARD might also run a cheeky race with only the extremely wide barrier discounting her on a historical basis. That’s the order I’d have them in historically.

Personally I’m with ALL SAINTS EVE who I’ve always held in high regard after her run in the Kembla Grange Classic last year. She was the best of the closers in that race which included Subpoenaed, Missile Mantra and Shout The Bar who went on to win two G1 races. On that formline she is 2.5kg better off against Subpoenaed today, and she is unbeaten second up 2/2, running possibly a career best race first up. She has drawn well enough. Having said that I do like SUBPOENAED too. She came off age winning first up it seemed with he galloping action a lot more economical than we have seen in the past. The drier track is probably a bonus too and the price definitely is. I thought she would be half the price she is. For third I’m going with EMERALDS who is almost certainly a mare that requires a dry track at this level. No rain around should be a real bonus for her and the price is generous. She too meets Subpoenaed 2.5kg better for their last meeting albeit she was beaten 1.3L.

Realistically though this is a tough race with very few Mares, if any, you could say can’t win.

Logical Longshots and 100%ers 6/03

What a day of Super Saturday racing we have. Below I will start with my Logical Longshots and add some 100% performers which I started with last week. One $6.50 winner (early price) and a couple who went very close to winning. For these I want at least $3.50 to invest.

Flemington R6 (Newmarket) DALASAN– I was super keen to back Kemalpasa in this but he was scratched for the race so I had to go looking elsewhere and came up with his fellow South Aussie counterpart. The thing is this horse did beat Kemalpasa home first up in the Spring at level weights behind Behemoth who then went on to have a fantastic Spring campaign in Melbourne. That day he was way out the back and had no earthly hope of gaining enough ground on the winner who was 5-6 lengths ahead of him early. His previous first up effort was a win here at this distance down the straight in decent 3yo company and the first up effort prior to that was a win over multiple G1 winner Scales Of Justice in a WFA race over in Adelaide at this distance. So his fresh form at 1200m is actually superb, and he gets a Tongue TIe on today, a wide barrier, and a strong jockey aboard. I think he is a $10-$12 chance and you can get triple that so I have to have a punt on him Each Way. The other interesting runner for me is the 3yo PRAGUE who gets Blinkers on here and he has performed very well every time a gear change has been applied. His only run down the straight wasn’t too bad, and he did seem a little lost with no real cover. He could get that here and is a good chance to do something at odds.

Randwick R8 VICTOREM (Each Way) is going to be unwanted in betting which I find a little amusing given Masked Crusader is so much shorter in price with a 5.5kg turnaround from last start which was a 2.2L defeat for the former. $17 vs $5.50? He has a very good second up record and also races well here. I’m not too concerned about the barrier because there is a great deal of pace in the race. It was a toss up for me between he and MADAM ROUGE, but his stats are better for this race. She though was terriffic first up, should get the run of the race, and was very good second up in Melbourne over the Spring in a G1 race where possibly only the barrier beat her. She is $15 but it’s hard to understand why. I’d be concerned taking the short odds on Bivouac who doesn’t have a great record at this track.

Morphettville R8 DESIDERO– Gets Blinkers on today and the twice they have been applied he has won. He also won the last time Winkers were applied. Yes he needs to improve markedly on recent performances but that is what Blinkers can provide. He is a leader so I’m hoping he can sit first or second here in a race which appears to have three leaders. If they go too hard it will probably cruel his chances but I’m happy to take $26 Each Way to see what transpires.

Bunbury R5 SCOOTER’S MACHINE– He isn’t quite double figures but an odds boost might get you there at $8.50 currently. His form since Blinkers went on 23/11 last year is exemplary with 2 wins (past two starts), and three other starts beaten laess than two lengths. There was a failure at Ascot (when 13/13) but he was terribly unlucky that day not being able to secure a run in the straight when looking a distance. I just love backing these horses who get a 3kg claim and carrying less than 53kg. He should run very well from a good barrier in the hands of a jockey that knows him very well. Win Only.


Flemington R8 FIFTY STARS is one of the best stats horses going around today. He won this race last year off a seven day backup and gets the same third up scenario today. He is 7/8 in races run March to May and 6/6 in the Melbourne direction in the Autumn season. $4.60

Randwick R5 WRITTEN BEAUTY– is yet to be beaten with stats including 2/2 at the distance, 2/2 second up, 4/4 on dry tracks and 1/1 at Randwick. The early odds are gone but she is still worth a bet given she is yet to taste defeat. $3.50

Randwick R8 PELTZER– Has the remarkable record of 5/5 at this track and 1/1 this track and distance. Personally I think he is a bit short of this class, but it’s just hard to ignore his stats here opposed to Rosehill where he was a bit disappointing again last start. Keep in mind Aegon is 5/5 career wise, albeit all on wet tracks and King’s Legacy is 2/2 here, 1/1 this T & D and 2-1/3 second up. Having said all that I’m on Mo’unga! The $10 about Peltzer though is quite attractive.

Australian Guineas 2021

First run in 1986, this is still a relatively new race on the Australian Calendar. It has been won by some high class gallopers including the likes of  Zabeel, Mahogany, Mouawad, Triscay, Flying Spur , Reset, Apache Cat, Miss Finland. Hey Doc, Shamus Award and Mystic Journey. The vast majority of those winners didn’t race on much after their three year old days.  Below are the last 17 winners of the race with relevant information- Gender, Barrier, Jockey, Last 3 starts (x denotes a spell), Position at start/800m/400m, Price (in that sequence).

  • 2020 ALLIGATOR BLOOD 3G R. Maloney (2) Dx1 (1-1-1) $2.70
  • 2019 MYSTIC JOURNEY 3f A.Darmanin (1) x11 (5-5-3) $4
  • 2018 GRUNT 3C D.Oliver (16) 1×1 (6-6-3) $5.50
  • 2017 HEY DOC 3G L,Currie (1) x31 (6-6-4) $3.50
  • 2016 PALENTINO 3C (5) M.Zahra x72 (9-9-8) $9
  • 2015 WANDJINA 3c (9) B. Prebble 0x1 (1-1-1) $8
  • 2014 SHAMUS AWARD 3c (9) C. Williams 1×3 (2-2-2) $4.50
  • 2013 FERLAX 3c (2) S. Baster x11 (3-3-3) $17
  • 2012 MOSHEEN 3f (16) D. Nikolic x12 (12-11-7) $5
  • 2011 SHAMROCKER 3f (7) G.Boss 2×4 (10-8-6) $31
  • 2010 ROCK CLASSIC 3g (4) M. Rodd 121 (5-5-3) $17
  • 2009 HEART OF DREAMS 3g (2) C. Newitt x43 (4-4-3) $3.75
  • 2008 LIGHT FANTASTIC 3g (7) C. Newitt 111 (3-3-3) $2.70
  • 2007 *MISS FINLAND 3f (6) C.Williams x41 (5-5-5) $2.50 (*race run at Caulfield)
  • 2006 APACHE CAT 3g (8) N. Callow x31 (1-1-1) $8
  • 2005 AL MAHER 3c (2) N. Callow 3×2 (3-3-3) $8
  • 2004 RESET 3c (7) D. Nikolic 111 (4-4-2) $1.75
  • 2003 DELAGO BROM 3c (3) P. Payne 0x2 (7-8-7) $3.50

Pertinent Statistics;

  1. 17/17 won or placed last start and 18/18 finished in first four. 10 were last start winners
  2. 16/18 won at least one of their last 3 starts. 6 had won two of their last three starts.
  3. 16/18 started from barrier 1-9 with only Mosheen in 2012 and Grunt in 2018 bucking that trend.
  4. 14/18 were in the first 6 runners in the early part of the race. Only three winners (Apache Cat, Wandjina and Alligator Blood) have managed to lead all the way, and no other horse has sat 1-2 in the run and won. Being placed 3rd to 6th early has provided 12 of the last 18 winners. Interesting that the only 2 winners to come from 10th or worse early were both Mares that won or placed in the VRC Oaks the prior Spring.
  5. 18/18 had their last start between 1400-1500m. 15/18 at 1400m, and the two that didn’t came out of a 1500m race at Rosehill in Sydney.
  6. 7/15 had finished in the first 4 placings in a Group 1 race sometime prior to starting in this race.
  7. 3 of the 4 Fillies to win during this period had won or placed in the VRC Oaks the previous Spring, and all had Spring campaigns behind them.
  8. 11/18 started $5.50 or less, average Price $8.00
  9. 15/18 had their prior run in Victoria, 13 of those at either Caulfield or Flemington.
  10. Oddly 3 of the last 7 winners had finished in third place in the Caulfield Guineas during the Spring. Alligator Blood last year’s winner finished second in that race. So 4 of the past 7 winners placed in that race.
  11. 8 Colts and 6 Geldings make up the contingent of males that have won this race, but 5 of the last 7 have been Colts.
  12. 15/18 have been either second (6) or third (8) up coming into this race.

In essence we are looking for preferably an in form male horse (finished top 4 last start), drawn barriers 1-9, that can take up a position just behind the pace early. He would have preferably  raced at 1400 last start at Flemington or Caulfield.


I’m not going into this race in great depth but I think it’s pretty fair to say that from a Historical perspective we would be picking either AYSAR or TAGALOA to win this year. Given AYSAR has drawn better he would get the nod though the analyst in me says he will struggle to bet the other horse given the 3.5kg weight swing from last start when he was beaten by TAGALOA. The issue I have with Tagaloa though is that he has been caught wide in his races on quite a few occasions and barrier 10 does him no favours again here. He might be the type of horse that just doesn’t have quite enough speed to cross faster horses, and he isn’t going to get the gun run he had last start from barrier 1. He has quite a bit of speed drawn inside him so I’m risking him a little bit here, but at the same time we should be under no illusions that he is the horse to beat. If he gets a soft enough run he probably will win.

There is also the chance here that there will be a faster than average tempo to the race which gives the run on types like DOM TO SHOOT, CHERRY TORTONI, CAMBOURNE and OLE KIRK a chance. Both CT and OK have drawn very wide so a fast pace might be their only hope.

In the end I’ve settled on the filly ZOU DANCER and hope she doesn’t get caught in a speed battle up front. It was hard not to Blackbook her off that last start win as she was so dominant and was actually going away from that at the finish suggesting that the extra 200m in this will be no issue to her. Since the Ear Muffs have gone on pre race she is 2/2 and her time last start (although not as fast as the CS Hayes) was comparable to Tagaloa/Aysar. She had a bit in hand too and drops 2kg (admittedly so does Tagaloa). It’s only a theory but the Filles in the Thousand Guineas in the Spring were quicker than the Colts and Geldings in the Caulfield Guineas and there seemed to be no fluke in that given the last 600m was also superior. Personal was placed in that Thousand Guineas and was thrashed by Zou Dancer last start, abeit with 3kg more. Also the 3yo males have been quite poor so far this Autumn beyond 1100m with both Ole Kirk and Crosshaven (twice) failing against the older horses. Add to that the fact that the two fillies September Run and Swat’s That were so competitive in the Lightning against the WFA cream of older horses, it does suggest this is a very strong crop of 3yo fillies. I’m also comforted by the fact that the stable could also have started Yes Baby Yes in this race but have opted not to. I guess the negative for ZD is that she is giving away experience to some of these, and the current price is questionable value (but just good enough in my opinion).

If there was to be a massive upset it could come from GRANDSLAM who did nothing first up with a Tongue Tie on first time. That comes off tomorrow and surely they go forward this time from an impossible barrier? He was third placed in the Caulfield Guineas and he has won second up. John Allen goes back aboard and he did ride the horse in a career best Caulfield Guineas run. His sister Jameka won six Group races and three of those were at Group 1 level.

My First Four

  2. Aysar
  3. Tagaloa
  4. Grand Slam

Oakleigh Plate 2021

This is one of the best handicap Sprint races in the country, probably my favourite to be quite honest, at 1200m or less . But then again I’m not a great fan of the big sprints down the Flemington straight, so probably biased in that respect. I have also had some great results personally in the past 10 years or so, with the likes of Swiss Ace, Woorim and Mrs Onassis winning at massive odds.  I think the most unique thing about this race  is that barriers play very little part in the result. In fact you are probably better off drawing wide than closer to the inside, which is quite unusual for a race at this distance. One year an on pacer will salute, and the next year a backmarker. It’s always a race with enormous depth and it’s share of quality performers. That often makes it very difficult to pinpoint a winner. Below are the last 18 winners and relative statistics (Age, weight carried, barrier and starting price). I’d like to say it helps a lot but in reality Form analysis of runners might be a more useful method to find the winner.

  • 2020 PIPPIE 4M (14) 52kg $12.00
  • 2019 BOOKER 4m 52.0kg (14) $17.00
  • 2018 RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 4G 56.5kg (10) $4.50
  • 2017 SHEIDEL 5M 53kg (3) $8
  • 2016 FLAMBERGE 6G 58kg (15) $31
  • 2015 SHAMAL WIND 5M 54kg (14) $10
  • 2014 LANKAN RUPEE 4G 56kg (7) $4
  • 2013 MRS ONASSIS 5m 52.5kg (11) $16
  • 2012 WOORIM 6g 55.5kg (8) $21
  • 2011 EAGLE FALLS 5g 57kg (9) $21
  • 2010 STARSPANGLEDBANNER 3c 52kg (6)
  • 2009 SWISS ACE 4g 54kg (18) $31 (I got $66!)
  • 2008 WEEKEND HUSSLER 3g 53kg (10) $2.10
  • 2007 UNDUE 5g 57kg (14) $15
  • 2006 SNITZEL 3c 51.5kg (4) $11
  • 2005 FASTNET ROCK 3c 57kg (6)$2
  • 2004 REACTIVE 5m 52kg (1) $16
  • 2003 RIVER DOVE 4m 51.5kg (10) $17

Pertinent facts;

1. 17 of last 18 winners have been first or second up when winning this, and 16 of the past 17 winners have been first up. Not that significant given  most of the runners attempt the race fresh from the Spring .

2. 16/18 aged between 3 & 5 years but no 3yo has won since 2010 which almost starts to mirror the Lightning Stakes.  4/18 winners has been a 3yo and all have been Males. Interestingly the past two three year old winners won the Caulfield Guineas in the Spring over 1600m. Three had won a G1 race prior.

3. Only one horse has carried more than 57kg to win in this period, but 6 have carried 55.5kg-57kg. 10/18 have carried less than 54.5kg to win and 13/18 have carried less than 56.5kg

4. Only 2 winners have drawn inside barrier 4 and one outside 15. Wide draws no real disadvantage overall (11/18 barrier 9 or wider)

5. 8/18  sired by a Son or Grandson of Danehill.

6.  Average winning price is very high @ $14, especially given there has been 2 winners around a $2 quote.

7. Seven of the fairer sex have won in this period (18 years), and four or last eight editions, which is encouraging given they would be outnumbered each year. None have started at less than $8, and all have been mares aged 4 and 5.

8. 11/18 were in the first six horses early (one was a 10 horse field) , and 5 of those led all the way to win.

9. Every winner in this period had raced in Melbourne at some time prior. About 80% had a Caulfield run on their resume.

10. Four of the last Ten winners had run in this race previously  (Shamal Wind twice) and all carried more weight than they had done in their other attempts, ranging from 0.5kg to 3.5kg (Eagle Falls).

Below is the field with Form, likely field position (brackets), Gender, Age, weight and Handicapper Rating and Stats/Form analysis. Barrier draw not yet completed to my knowledge.

1x2400x114xZOUTORI (7) (Back)G5  4-2/7 first up. 0-2/5 barriers 1-3 but 5-3/11 barriers 4-6. Drew barrier 2 when second this race last year and goes up 2kg this year. No Pippie to contend with though.158kg109
28111x3413xDIRTY WORK (1) (Mid)H4 Placed at G1 WFA level last start and carries 1.5kg less here. Yet to win first up but two trials impressive in preparation for this. Specialist at this distance 5-3/11 his only wins.4/8 from barriers 7+. Sire will make it three in a row this race  if he wins.257kg107
3x8x35311x2KEMALPASA (10) (On Pace)G5Poor first up record. Likes 1200m more than 1100m. Has a very good record when travelling away from Morphettville to other left handed tracks (6-2/8)357kg107
4x11133x0x6MIZZY (15) (On Pace)M5All wins Barrier 1-6. Alll wins with Tommy Berry aboard (4-1/6). 1-3/4 this distance.454.5kg106
5611x12122xCELEBRITY QUEEN (3) (Back)M4Career 6-4/12. Distance 2/2. Group 1 placed WFA last start and drops 3kg.3/3 first up and 0-2/4 with 14 days or less between runs. 5-2/7 with more than 14 days between runs. 2/2 barriers 1-3.553.5kg104
6x160x5528xSTANDOUT (15)(Mid/Back)H43/4 this distance. All wins in fields of 10 runners or less. 2/3 first up and all wins with more than 3 weeks between runs. Yet to run around a left handed turn. Meets Dirty Work 3.5kg better for 0.5L defeat the last time they met and just behind Bivouac that day. All wins with more than three weeks between runs.655.5kg104
71114x1111xANCESTRY (4)(Lead)G48-1/11 with this stable. 7/8 since Tongue Tie went on with only defeat on a Heavy 9 track carrying 61.5kg. Has won sitting just off the pace so doesn’t have to lead. 4/4 with Michael Poy aboard.753.5kg100
8x535x1344xBROOKLYN HUSTLE (14)(Back)M4Sire is a former winner of this race. Both wins first up but at M/Valley over 1000m from barriers 1 and 4. Only beaten 1L G1 WFA at 1000m and was running on hard last start G1 WFA 1200m. Meets Dirty Work 3kg better for that meeting. 0-1/3 here could be seen as a negative with her best form clearly at M/Valley. She beat Yes Yes Yes there on debut.852kg100
9825x3352x1PROPHET’S THUMB (13) (Mid)M5Broke a long drought last start racing closer to the pace and 2-3/5 here. Not as  well weighted this time. All wins barriers 1-6. All wins on dry tracks 5-4/16. Has won second up.952kg100
108x466633x2BOLD STAR (12) (Back)G50-3-6/13 in Group class races. 5/12 below 1100m and 5 of his 7 wins in fields of less than 8 runners. 2/3 second up and beaten less than 4L this race last year.1052.5kg98
111541×01PORTLAND SKY (5) (Off Pace)C3Only 1.5L off September Run Flemington last preparation giving her 1kg and drawing the wrong side of the track. Unbeaten when he has been first or second early in a race 3/3. Comfortable win first up and has won second up. Unlucky  only Caulfield defeat when on rails and baulked for a run. Should have finished closer. Tagaloa and Aysar franked his form off last start. Might need galloping room.1150kg95
12212x5462x3GARNER (2) (Mid/Back)G44-8/15 career record.2-1/3 in big fields suggests he needs speed on. 3-3/6 barriers 7+ and no wins from 4 starts barriers 1-4. Gave Diamond Effort 2kg beaten 0.5L and that mare was just over 2L away G1 WFA.1252kg95
13x1120x492xHANSEATIC (18) (Mid)C3Bled last start. Luke Currie 3-1/4 aboard. 3/5 1000m-1100m. 2/2 wide barriers and 2/3 first up. 3-3/6 dry tracks and biggest defeat 1.05L on that surface. . Wide barrier might be advantageous.1350kg92
1423x25318xRANTING (NZ) (9) (Back)C3Cross Over Noseband going on and has a win over Anders and Hanseatic when totally unsuited by speed of race. Missed start last time in Coolmore than was erratic. 4 runs here for 1 win and biggest defeat 1L.1450kg91
15x211x1130xANDERS (17)(Lead)C3Had virus at end of last preparation so ignore last two starts. 4/5 at distance and only defeat was when he got back in the field. Easy win over Mamaragan, Doubtland who both ran well in Coolmore. 3/3 on wet tracks and only 1/7 on dry which was a big margin win admittedly. Only run here farcical pace set whereas he needs to be flying out in front. 1.02.67 this distance and has 6kg less in this,1550kg90
1611233×1127SWORD OF MERCY (6)(Mid/Back)M5Stable has good record in this race with three wins and a second last year (past twenty years). Unlucky runner last start. 4/7 bigger fields but 1/14 in fields with 10 or less runners. All wins first and second up. Took her 11 starts to win her race but 5-4/10 since with unplaced run last start when should have finished closer. Meets Garner and Bold Star much worse at weights though.1652kg90
171118x120x6HOW WOMANTIC (11) (On Pace)M45/6 barriers 1-6 and drew wider when failed first up. 2-1/3 this break between runs,1752kg89
18121×412153RIDING THE WAVE (8) (Back)G586 rater giving weight to horses much higher rated. 1/7 in bigger fields.1852kg86


I’ve found this nearly impossible to be honest and I’m not sure I can actually recommend it as a betting race given it’s feasible to say that there are roughly fourteen horses in the race you could give a very realistic chance to. Any of the three year olds can win but I’m risking them as potential winners this year as none really look to have the Group 1 profile as previous winners of this race in the period above. All had raced against older horses in the past but only HANSEATIC this year has done so. He can win but has drawn very wide, and hasn’t won for over a year. The barrier draw takes me away from the likes of DIRTY WORK and GARNER who appear to go better from wider barriers. Not to say that they can’t win of course.

The last of the historical points is interesting because it leads me to the topweight here in ZOUTORI. He just missed winning this last year, is a gun fresh horse, and comes off a better run in the same lead up race as last year (some three lengths better) and has a perfect barrier, unlike last year where he drew an inside barrier that doesn’t have a good historical precedent at all. Having Jamie Kah aboard at present is certainly another bonus). From a strict form analysis point of view I really like PORTLAND SKY as replays suggest he is a lot tougher than I expected him to be and, because of his run against September Run in the Spring. I would have like to see him draw a little wider but there is only Ancestry inside him that can probably beat him to the rail here. The form out of his recent win beating the likes of Tagaloa and Aysar has been franked with Tagaloa beating Aysar last week, and they ran a time that actually had slightly more merit than the Lightning Stakes on the same day. That formline basically puts all of the three year olds into the mix here as they have similar performances against basically the same opposition. HANSEATIC though probably has the most in his favour historically. His form on dry tracks is superb, and the fact he hasn’t drawn near the rails is probably a bonus, though you’d like to have seen him draw better than barrier 18 perhaps.

BROOKLYN HUSTLE looks a great historical fit being a 4yo mare who starts from a wide barrier. She looks beautifully weighted against the likes of DIRTY WORK off their last WFA meeting and is probably the best weighted horse in the race. The Sydney 4yo STANDOUT is similarly well in on his best WFA run against the same horse. The fact that both have question marks at the track has me risking them a little, but either can win this without any surprise.

CELEBRITY QUEEN is similarly a good historical hope beinga 4yo mare. Her WA counterpart Sheidel won this a few years ago from a similar barrier and coming out of the same race. The only difference between the two is age and the fact that CQ hasn’t raced in the Eastern States before. Admittedly I’ve taken a bit of set against her after the disgraceful effort of Elite Street in the Lightning Stakes but perhaps that was just an anomaly and you can make a really good case for this mare drawing a line through Trekking who she beat home comfortably in the Winterbottom in Perth. Had she drawn wider I might have actually had her on top which again suggests how even this race is.

No knock whatsoever with ANCESTRY. He doesn’t really look your typical Oakleigh Plate winner (despite his fantastic form), but he is drawn to get every hope and will get the run of the race and look like the winner at some point. He hasn’t been tested at this level, and that coupled with the price first up are my only real negatives.

He will probably be stalking the 3yo ANDERS in the run, and that Colt could just clear out in the front (and like Pippie last year ) and not be caught. He won a trial very easily recently as have three of the past eight winners of this race when first up. I think you have to just forget his last two runs in the Spring when he wasn’t right, with the Caulfield run surely some 1.5 to 2 seconds shy of the time he could potentially have run on that day. I don’t see his wide barrier as much of an issue given both Pippie and Swiss Ace started from similar draws and led all the way to win.

If you like Zoutori then you also have to give KEMALPASA some hope as there hasn’t been much between them in two meetings. Last time at level weights there was 0.2L between them down the straight and the latter is in receipt of 1kg this time. He will be closer to the pace and his ‘away from home’ record is very significant. He did get thrashed first up but it was by a very good horse in Behemoth who is one of the best in the country. He is well worth consideration on an each way basis here at a massive price, with the 1100m and a dry track the possible negatives.

I could make a case for many other runners but I’ll settle on this first four;

  1. ZOUTORI (if in doubt come back to the topweight?)
  2. Hanseatic (probably the best of the 3yo’s historically)
  3. Portland Sky (really love his tenacity and formlines)
  4. Kemalpasa (the big roughie in the race with a realistic hope).

Lightning Stakes 2021

2020 Gytrash 4G- (2) First up off second Caulfield 1100m listed August 2019  M.Zahra Off Pace $21

2019 In Her Time 6M-  (1) 1st up from 2nd VRC Sprint Classic C.Brown Off Pace $4.40

2018 Redkirk Warrior 7G (7)- 1st up from 11th of 13 Darley Classic R Bayliss. Rear. $10

2017 Terravista 7G (8) 1st up from 10th in  Winterbottom Stakes C.Brown. Rear. $15

2016 Chautauqua– 5G (2) 1st up off 2nd in Darley Classic November D.Dunne. Rear $2.80

2015 Lankan Rupee- 5G (6) 1st up off 3rd in Darley Classic “      C.Newitt. Off Pace. $2.60

2014 Snitzerland–  4M (9) 1st up off 2nd Listed 1000m race Flemington November B.Avdulla On Pace. $5

2013 Black Caviar- 6m (2) 1st up off 1st Golden Jubilee Ascot (England) L.Nolan On Pace $1.10

2012 Black Caviar– 5m (5) Third up off 1st CF Orr 1400m Caulfield  off 7 day break. Luke Nolan On Pace $1.10

2011 Black Caviar– 4m (6) First up off 1st Patinack Classic Flem. November. L.Nolan. On Pace. $1.28

2010 Nicconi 4h (11) First up 9th Patinack Classic “    “    D’Oliver. Rear $5

2009 Scenic Blast 4g (1) Second up off 2nd in 1000m Hcp Ascot (WA)-  S.Arnold. Rear. $19

2008 Apache Cat 5g (2) 1st up off 2nd Flemington Makybe Diva 1600m September C.Brown. Rear. $5.50

2007 Miss Andretti 5m- (1) 1st up off 3rd Salinger 1200m November C.Newitt. Off Pace $3.20 (race run at M/Valley).

2006 Takeover Target 6g (6) 1st up off 1st Doomben 10000 J.Ford. On Pace $4.20

2005 Fastnet Rock 3h- (12)  1st up off 1st Lexus Flem. November. G.Boss. Off Pace. $4.20

  1. Only one three year old in 16 years and that was 16 years ago. That made it three consecutive wins for three year olds at the time. Significantly plenty have run a place though and they have a far better record in the Newmarket over 1200m.
  2. 7/16 have drawn barrier 1 or 2.
  3. Only 5/16 have won from on pace and no horse that established any sort of lead early in the first 400m  has won. Black Caviar and Takeover Target won 4 of those 5.
  4. Only 5 have won off a last start win and they were Black Caviar (3), Takeover Target and Fastnet Rock. No horse has done since Black Caviar.
  5.  4 four year olds have won. 5 five year olds, and 5 aged Six and over.
  • 9 of 16 winners had their last start in a Flemington straight race.
  • 12 of 16 have started at less than $6, but in the  last 5 years the average winning odds are $10 with three double figure priced winners.
  • 6 of 16 winners have been Mares but no 3yo Filly has won since Regimental Gal in 2004. She found the outside rail which was deemed to be advantageous post race that da probably because (if memory serves correct) she hadn’t previously raced down the straight at Flemington.


There are some interesting stats there but perhaps the most significant are the poor results for three year olds (winning) in this period, and the fact that it’s very difficult to lead all the way and win. Given we have three runners this year that seem to have to lead to win (Nature Strip, Pippie, Fabergino) then it seems unlikely things are going to change. From a historical context that enables us to lead four horses out of the winning chances with September Run the only three year old contesting the race this year. Of course these assumptions could be totally wrong as nothing stays the same forever in Horse Racing. Back in the early part of this century the three year olds were the ones to respect the most.

NATURE STRIP- If he can be held up for the first 400m of this race (but still close to the lead) he could explode and establish a winning break. That scenario has never been his forte, but Jamie Kah aboard might bring out the best in him today. That said I can’t have him at $4 or less odds today. $5 maybe?

BIVOUAC- Deserves to be favourite off his last start win but this is a different scenario as he hasn’t won over 1000m before, and his first up run last Autumn was ordinary. The race shape definitely suits and plenty of high class horses have won this race when the 1000m has looked to be too short for them first up. He is the one they all have to beat but for me is more of a $3.50+ chance. I just cannot entertain backing any horse first up at less than about $5, and so many of our high class sprinters do get beaten at very short odds when fresh. Granted he does like the straight track though and has proven that at this level here.

ELITE STREET- This Perth horse looks the X-Factor to me given his last start win was high class and you can line up his credentials with Trekking whom he beat comfortably last start off a wide run in the second half of a race. It should be remembered also at that time he was an unknown at 1200m so the 1000m today looks very advantageous for a horse who is very strong at the finish of his races. He ran good comparative time when winning first up at this trip last preparation in WA. His trainer brought Scenic Blast over to win this race in 2009 thus know what it takes. There was a massive temptation to leave him at home to start his preparation in WA today given the Covid situation yet he is still running today. I’d have him an $8 chance but at looks as though you will get at least double that. The race shape looks ideal for him.

HALVORSEN- He resumed from a long spell last start and ran respectably. Keep on mind he has finished right alongside last years winner Gytrash at level weights at this T & D earlier in his career. He probably does need further but he does have one of the inside barriers that have been so prolific in this race in the statistical period above and he should be suited by a hot pace providing he isn’t totally run off his legs which is possible. $16

PIPPIE- I love his Mare and her first up record is unblemished 4/4. She has had only run down the straight and was runner up to an eventual G1 winning Mare in Tofane. She only knows one way and that’s to fly the gates early and establish a big lead. She has no turn today though to accelerate off, and it is going to be more difficult today with NS and Fabergino in the race to pinch a winning break. History doesn’t support her chances. She is going to run a bold race though and could be hard to catch. $10

FABERGINO- The irony with her is that she is such a devastating fresh horse, yet comes into this race with better fitness levels coming off a 28 day break. The problem is she has never won a race with less than 30 days between runs, and has had to lead every time she has won. Against that though her trainer suggests she has never looked or been better coming into a race. She has run poorly twice at G1 level but one was at 1200m here (too far) and the other at M/Valley on a Soft track (0-1-1/3 on wet tracks), so perhaps she can do better here. I’d have her at $12 chance.

SEPTEMBER RUN- The only 3yo mare in the race she has her work cut out on a historical basis but it’s probably fair to say no other three year old has come into this race with better straight track form (3/3) than her. None have been at 1000m but the speed in this race is going to suit her ability to run fast late sectionals. She has won over 1100m in low 1.02’s and if she repeats that effort with 53.5kg here she is going to go close to winning. Her first up record is a concern though and her trackwork leadups have been ordinary in a stable not known for producing first up winners. That said though she has had two trials and a jumpout and just might be an ordinary track worker? $10

SWAT’S THAT- The second of the three year old fillies who did play second fiddle to September Run in the Spring 3yo sprints down the straight. It’s hard to see her turning the tables off their last start meeting but she just might be going better in trackwork and she does have Ear Muffs on (pre race only) today. The lack of a crowd then might also advantage her if she is the type that does get wound up before the start? Not hopeless from the outside barrier (might also suit), but she too has to overcome the 3yo hoodoo?. Could place at good odds with a G1 jockey aboard.$12

My best guess and looking for value;

  1. ELITE STREET (great value @ $15 or better)
  2. BIVOUAC (race shape suits)
  3. SWAT’S THAT ( Will be overs, and a bit of a guess but she might be suited by the gear change and no crowd at the track).
  4. NATURE STRIP (Can win if Jamie Kah can get the very best out of him by preferably not leading but still on the pace early).

Very much looking forward to the race though and what we can take from it.

Hobart Cup 2021

I’ll have a go at this though I have some reservations given this is a new track and heaven knows what that might mean to the horses that haven’t raced on it. Below are some history stats;

Seven of the last Twenty One winners aged Five or over and Eleven of those have been five year olds.

Only Two of last Twenty One winners carried more than 58kg. Twelve of Twenty One winners have carried less than 55kg. Six of those winners have carried less than 54kg though and only in recent years has the minimum weight been 54kg.

Mares have won only Three of past Twenty One but all have come in the last Seven years. Two carried 54kg to win and the other 55.5kg.

Eight of the past Twenty One winners have drawn a double figure barrier and the last Five winners have drawn barrier 7 or worse.

Eleven of the past 21 winners have come from interstate and Nine of those were Victorian trained.

The last Six Tasmanian winners have come from the main lead up race. Five of those were at WFA and prior to that the same race was a handicap race known as the Summer Cup. Only Geegees Blackflash has won the race twice in this period and those wins were three years apart.

Race Tempo;

We should get a truly run race here with the last start WFA winner WHITE HAWK (who led that race) likely to take up the running with the other local and last start winner SIR SIMON at least challenging for the front. Both have drawn to advantage and so have MANDELA EFFECT, SHADY HUSTLE (Blinkers on) and TOORAK AFFAIR, likely to go forward and sit behind those two. Both GEE GEE FIORENTE and CLASSIC WEI WEI are likely to be close than nmidfield also. A couple of the favoured backmarkers in BARADE and DOUBLE YOU TEE shouldn’t be disadvantaged by the speed as long as the track doesn’t play to leaders as it appeared to two weeks ago.


I’m risking the higher weighted horses here on 59kg though it’s hard to say MANDELA EFFECT can’t win on his lead up run which was excellent. The problem is he meets the winner 5kg worse and most of those that finished behind him also have a significant weight swing. TOORAK AFFAIR could find the track to her liking but she has to carry 3kg more than she did in winning last year. That appears to be a task given the weights that the mares have carried to win this, and no horse has won this twice going up that significantly in weight.

Purely on form and ratings DOUBLE YOU TEE looks the one to beat. He has form around Persan (very good in Melbourne Cup) and the very in form Defibrillate. The negative might be he is going to have to drop right out to last again from his wide barrier most likley, and that has been the frustration for his supporters of late, always running on but too late to be a winning chance. He might find that making up the ground is even harder on this new track, but nevertheless he is reasonable odds and he did start his career down in Tasmania so isn’t totally foreign to this circuit. I don’t think there is much between he and the pre post favourite BARADE who clearly races better with more than three weeks between runs (excepting first up) and it appears he has found his best form at the right time. His form behind the mare One More Try ties in with Defibrillate/Hang Man/Double You Tee so no doubt he will be competitive given the right run in the race. He too has drawn a little awkwardly so might have to drift back in the race. He (like Double You Tee) is yet to win at this trip but he did run second in a Swedish Derby over this trip, and seemed the strongest horse on the line when winning last start. The Tassie mare GLASS WARRIOR placed in this last year and is going just as well meeting Toorak Affair 3kg better for that meeting. She was well beaten last start but did make up a lot of ground from back in the field which was a good trial for this. She has won only 3 of 24 starts though so is she good enough to compete with some experienced Melbourne stayers who carry the same weight? WHITE HAWK was very good winning the WFA lead up and dropping 5kg into a handicap is always a good sign. He will be ridden the same way again but surely gets more pressure up front from SIR SIMON in particular. That horse was excellent in winning on the same day last start over 2100m and he was left a sitting shot with his 62kg after setting a very hot speed, and being taken on in front. He won very easily and he loves this track, winning his last four starts here by big margins. Had he raced in that WFA race and run the 2200m my guess is he would have won it on the day (looking at the times run and weights carried). Whether he can run 2400m under pressure from a quality WFA winner today is questionable, but he has no weight on his back, and looks the best roughie, and maybe the best of the locals. At face value CLASSIC WEI WEI looks the weakest of the locals and ratings bear that out. His last run was excellent though following off a win in a fast run race at Caufield. Last week he was caught three wide the entire race and should have finished a lot closer. The winner Long Arm has form around the Williams owned import Pondus overseas and it was very good here in the Spring. What I really like about him is that he was 28 days between runs last time, and his best form is with 14 days or less between runs ( 3-1/5). He should get the ideal run from his barrier (by far the best of the local draws) and he has won at this trip. If the track is leaderish he could be the one to take advantage. At double the price of DYT and Barade and likely to drift further in the market, I have to prefer him, with the quick backup the chief reason why, and he looks to have been deliberately set for the race. SHADY HUSTLE had a horror run last start in the main leadup being very wide throughout. She did place in this last year, gets the inside barrier, and Blinkers on. At big odds she can run a race. The bottom weight SUPER SWOOP also looks a rough place chance given the Blinkers went off last start and his run was below par. The shades go back on today and he gets a massive weight drop, but he might have preferred it wetter.


  1. CLASSIC WEI WEI (backup likely to suit and drawn to advantage racing behind the pace)
  2. BARADE ( do like the gap between runs)
  3. DOUBLE YOU TEE (Looks the best weighted horse)
  4. SIR SIMON (loves this track)

Logical Longshots MM day 16/01

Hard not to have a go on a raceday which has some depth and value odds. That said it we often see some very unpedictable results here so the confidence levels are not high especially when you are struggling to find winners of late.

R3 I BB’d COMMANDER BELL (Each Way) off his Grafton Cup run at 2350m some time ago. He was massive odds that day and was 2L off Sixties Groove and beat home Primitivo and quite a few good horses. He hasn’t run past a mile in 6 starts since so I haven’t backed him at all. A few starts prior to Grafton he beat Kirwan’s Lane who has some decent form in recent times. I think you have to forgive the last run of this horse on a Heavy 8 track and he steps up 800m which should be fine given his fitness levels. Not saying he is a super winning hope but at $70 or so and meeting Primitivo ($7) 1.5kg for beating him home at Grafton he should be respected. He didn’t actually have the best of luck from the 400m on at Grafton either.

R6 MISS HIPSTAR (Each Way) looks the value play to me coming out of an extremely fast 2yo race last week. A Gold Coast seven day backup has been such a successful lead in to this race in recent years and from what I can gather only Sunlight has run a faster time in one of those lead ups. And only marginally quicker on a drier surface. That obviously makes SWIFT WITNESS very hard to beat from a good draw but this filly was 3 wide the whole race last week and meets the winner 4kg better. SHE’S ALL CLASS makes up my Tri given she thrashed SW in reasonably good time at Wyong prior.

R9 XANTHUS (Each Way) is a bit hit and miss and would need to put in his absolute best effort to win here. He does have two wins over Fisticuffs though, can run good time and the last win was here where he came home the last 600m in around 32.80. His second last run in Sydney wasn’t too bad with 61kg beating home Regal Stage and Bombasay who have both won races since. I’d have preferred 1200m and a run under his belt, but he has had two runs trials in preparation off only a 3 month break. He also need a sensible ride to sit behind the pace and not on it. I probably shouldn’t be tipping it but it’s hard to resist @ $31 in a weak race from a good barrier. All things being equal YAMAZAKI probably wins this and she certainly does if she repeats the performance on this day last year. She has placed in a Group 3 race since and still sits on the minimum today. Barrier 1 could be a curse but Glen Boss knows her well now. The speed looks solid so I feel she is the one you have to save on.

Ascot R8 WHY CHOOSE HER (Win) is very close to double figure odds and I was keen on her at the weights against Indian Pacific last start only to see her rocket home from a long way back to just miss beating that horse. Today she gets 100m more and meets that horse 2kg better. A close watch on MERVYN who meets Indian Pacific 4kg better for a narrow defeat the last time they met. Had this been 1000m and not 1100m I’d be keen and the wide barrier makes things tougher for him. But he will probably lead and could take some catching. He was scratched vs these other two last time and that didn’t help the cause of WCH at all. She should run a bold race today and any rain would be a massive bonus. That is probably not likely though.