Racing 30/07

Not oo many but a bit more value around today. With that comes the assumption of less likely winners. Nevertheless these look to be overs in the market. I would have put up Contributingfactor in that last race given five winners have come out of his last race but didn’t get to this post in time. I had mentioned it on Twitter a couple of times in the past week or so, as had others admittedly.

Rosehill R9 I am already on ENCHANTED HEART here. She is 4/4 third up and that is the case today. Odds are okay. Also reasonably keen on LIBERTY SONG at big odds as he has form around a couple here and gets in very well at the weights. A drying track is also probably a bonus. The one I really have to mention though is CATESBY who has had two starts in a new stable. He meets Prime Candidate 7.5 kg better today for beating it home in the Ramornie so how could that horse be $9 and he is $34? Also two starts back he beat home Conscript who then went on to beat Easy Single. That horse is favourite in the race and the weights don’t give Easy Single any better hope based on that. This isn’t the favoured surface of Catesby of course but it looks as though it will be similar to last start at Grafton. He looks the real value play on those formlines, but as stated I like a few in this.

Gold Coast R6 BEACON PLACE is one I mentioned on Twitter last night but the price is really gone now $71 into $20. That is still actually value though based on his formlines and unlucky run last start. I have to say I hadn’t anticipated the track being upgraded to good. Wasn’t it rated a Soft 6 yesterday? Just not sure about him on a dry track,

Morphettville R8 ROYAL DRESS stepped up to a new level last start beating older horses at Donald. I think if she repeats that effort (fast time it appears) it will win and there isn’t a massive amount of speed here given it’s 1000m. I have either her or Unflinching leading which is about as good as you could hope for in this type of race. She has barrier 1 to utilise and is 3/3 on wet tracks. I’m a bit of a fan of I AM BENE so happy to save on her at a slightly lesser price.

Less keen on these but a couple in each race with two at double figured prices.

Moonee Valley R7 SACHEM is in my Blackbook and I don’t want to let him go today at close to $20. He won two back overcoming track bias on the day to win easily. Then he went to Flemington and copped a negative ride from a wide barrier but ran on well late. I don’t know a lot about SET FOR PROPHET but he has won two in Adelaide since the blinkers were applied. He has to be a live chance here. Neither of these two are leaders though and that could be problematic today.

Rosehill R7 TUDOR PRINCE is 4/4 with Winkers and this jockey aboard. I think the market has ignored him today because he isn’t well off at the weights against a couple he has beaten of late. Still he’s $20 and going to be making his own luck up front. ARAMIS takes my eye though with only 51.5kg on his back and bang in form. He is 3/6 on wet tracks and has upside as a three year old.

Good punting!

Belmont 27/07- Take Two

The postponed meeting from Saturday (or the best part of it) resumes tomorrow and not a lot has changed except we do know now that it’s Heavy rather than just Wet. I’m assuming that will be the case but any inprovement shouldn’t matter too much. An overcast day is forecast.

There is one in R9 I have been following CONQUERED ZONE. He is the only Heavy track winning fit horse in the race and this is his distance. Not super keen but has to be a solid chance at around a $9 quote. THE SPRUIKER is 2/2 on Heavy so his chances might have been enhanced. GREAT HERO might be better on a Slow 7 but he will be making his own luck up front. SENTIMENTAL HERO is 1/1 on Heavy so he should run well despite being first up. RIVER RUBICON a little dodgy perhaps unless the track improves.

The original post is below but the race numbers have changed.

Belmont R6 CHILI IS HOT seems a little maligned but I like her kept to the sprint distances, and she has only missed a place once from 9 starts at the track, and never missed a place on a wet track from 7 runs. The horse that beat her last start is Group class level and she conceded 1.5kg in weight. The barrier is a bit awkward but she probably needs some galloping room which was problematic last start. Just thought she should be favourite in what looks to be an easier race than last start.

R8 THE SPRUIKER is 3/3 second up, 5/6 at the track and 4/5 on wet tracks. The only failure here and on wet was first up when he just couldn’t get into a leader dominated race and he isn’t really a first up horse (1/5 now). He gets his chance here but does have to find on his most recent starts. Price is about right. GREAT AGAIN is worth a mention. He might be past his best but he is back home now and is 8-1/10 at this track, 4/4 at the track and distance and he likes wet tracks. Drawn wide he probably comes over and leads a race which doesn’t have a speed demon like Mervyn engaged. $21 gets me in. That was the case for Nerodio last start at his favourite distance. He goes up in weight again here at 12000m so I’m looking on today. He does look a chance though.

R9 SENTIMENTAL HERO is favourite but has flawless stats to back him up from a good barrier.2/2 at the track, 2/2 first up and 2/2 on wet tracks. Given that $4+ is probably acceptable. Definitely a watch on RIVER RUBICON too who is 2/2 first and beat Great Again in a recent barrier trial. With 4 wins from 7 starts he is no slouch.

Racing 23/07

I haven’t been able to find any at double figure prices today but still a bit of value around with some who have stats to back them up. Suprised Sydney is off but at least some money back there.

Unlucky last start;

A couple at Caulfield who had next to no luck last start and could have won the races they contested. Particularly the first one who I’m pretty sure was going better than anything at the time it got blocked.

R7 SIGH is that horse. This might be a touch harder race but she is still down in the weights (wouldn’t be if she won last start) and $6 is okay.

R9 MAYFAIR SPIRIT- Just didn’t get a look in at all last start. Beat home Jojo Was A Man last prep in Sydney which is good form now. Freshened up and has a couple of second up wins. Looks value at around $9

R8 Bletchingly- KING OF SPARTA– I’m with him but the price is about right I feel. He was scratched from the Ramornie that the stablemate won recently and he did peak second up last preparation. He probably has the most upside here and his recent trial win in Sydney was smooth as silk. He will probably have to stay in touch from that inside alley and get the breaks at the right time. Looking at some of his recent runs (and wins) I think the stable intent will be to get off the rail well before the turn.

Mackay R7 NORTH AFRIKA– Finds itself in a race that looks to have four definite chances but has been specifically set for this and hasn’t carried this light a weight since it’s time in Victoria. Likes to lead but doesn’t have to, which is good with the likes of Stubai and Echo Point likely to be leading or at least on the pace. Sayl is in my Blackbook and was a touch unlucky last time. Sir Barnabus was the eyecatcher last start but goes up a lot in weight which might be offset by a good draw. Sayl did beat him home in Brisbane over 2000m last prep and meets him 3-4kg better for that. Quality Asset ran great time last start in a pace set up by Stubai. To the eye his finish wasn’t that impressive but the hot pace was probably responsible. All said though when North Afrika wins he generally does run fast time. A patient ride on the pace here should make him the one to beat and he is clearly the best value horse of the four for mine.

Belmont R6 CHILI IS HOT seems a little maligned but I like her kept to the sprint distances, and she has only missed a place once from 9 starts at the track, and never missed a place on a wet track from 7 runs. The horse that beat her last start is Group class level and she conceded 1.5kg in weight. The barrier is a bit awkward but she probably needs some galloping room which was problematic last start. Just thought she should be favourite in what looks to be an easier race than last start. I really do want to put her in a Place multi though.

R8 THE SPRUIKER is 3/3 second up, 5/6 at the track and 4/5 on wet tracks. The only failure here and on wet was first up when he just couldn’t get into a leader dominated race and he isn’t really a first up horse (1/5 now). He gets his chance here but does have to find on his most recent starts. Price is about right. GREAT AGAIN is worth a mention. He might be past his best but he is back home now and is 8-1/10 at this track, 4/4 at the track and distance and he likes wet tracks. Drawn wide he probably comes over and leads a race which doesn’t have a speed demon like Mervyn engaged. $21 gets me in. That was the case for Nerodio last start at his favourite distance. He goes up in weight again here at 12000m so I’m looking on today. He does look a chance though.

R9 SENTIMENTAL HERO is favourite but has flawless stats to back him up from a good barrier.2/2 at the track, 2/2 first up and 2/2 on wet tracks. Given that $4+ is probably acceptable. Definitely a watch on RIVER RUBICON too who is 2/2 first and beat Great Again in a recent barrier trial. With 4 wins from 7 starts he is no slouch.

Quite happy with the preview but when that is the case I seem to struggle. Maybe I’m too confident after getting that first winner at Caulfeld? Only one at the double figures (Great Again) and he isn’t top pick in that race for me. Now to work out what to put in that place multi!

Happy punting.

Mildura Cup 2022

This is an interesting race to assess and I’ve never analysed it before. The current track rating is good and is very likely to stay that way. That has probably made it a bit harder to predict. It’s interesting to note that only one of the leading chances has actually run this month. How important is that going to be to the outcome? There also appears to be only minor speed in the race so on pacers could be advantaged.

CHERRY TORTONI- The obvious class horse in the race (with a big weight proof of that) and he can win for sure even though his record is better at a mile. With his 1-5/15 record on dry tracks and 5-2/7 record on wet tracks I’m going to have to go around him her.

EDISON- He looks one of two leaders here along with My Boy Birmingham. He is hard fit now and comes in to the race with far less days between runs than most of the field. Important to realise too that his first and second up record is 0/13 and beyond that in his preparation he is 7/16. Blinkers went on last start and he won. They were removed the previous start and he disappointed. They were applied three starts ago and he nearly won. The negative is that his record is better on wet tracks but that isn’t conclusive. He could have run in the Winter Challenge at Randwick on a very Heavy track Saturday but the stable have chosen here instead. From a reasonable barrier he looks to be the one who might find the rail first and he can control the race from there. He looks the one to beat and is probably a tiny bit of value at his current quote.

PROCONSENT- Coming back to a dry track might help him but his last two runs have been too disappointing to contemplate being in his corner here. His run two starts okay looks okay but he was a hot favourite and had the run of the race.

ADELAIDE ACE- He is one horse that really does enjoy firmer footing (5-5/15) with no wins on wet tracks. That didn’t hinder him too much last start in the Swan Hill Cup where he finished off hard late in a bit of an eyecatcher. I don’t like the break between runs but he was given a jumpout on wet ground at Mortlake 10 days ago where he ran second. The latter part of the race was serious enough compared to the first part of it. He would have been set for this race and it seems like the weather gods have been kind to him. I would have liked to see him draw a bit better as he could get posted from the barrier, but his price is nearly twice what it should be given the surface and the fact he has had that jumpout.

COUNTOFMONTECRISTO- His best form would be well and truly good enough with this weight but he has failed to reproduce his Singapore G1 form here and now trained in Adelaide. His last run was an improvement though and perhaps getting back to a dry track might help. I think we need to see him do it first although he isn’t hopeless looking at R & S ratings at least.

ZOIST- He is a bit of an unknown this far into a preparation, but in general he has been kept fresh the whole time. His dry track form is a little bit better than his wet form and he stays at his preferred distance (5 wins). He has predominately been getting back in his races but he can race a lot closer to the pace and I’d envisage that happening here from a good barrier. That is assuming which is always dangerous admittedly. Given there are only two leaders in the race he really needs to take advantage of that barrier. He probably needs to lift a bit to beat these but he gets his chance to do so and looks a bit overpriced to me. Barend Vorster (5/7 aboard) goes back on after two losses.

BLAZE A TRAIL- Blinkers go back on him and it’s interesting that he has won his last two starts on dry tracks. In fact he has won thee and placed at two of his last six starts which looks significant. The only miss there was first up with 60kg beaten less than three lengths. With Blinkers he is 0/3 but he did place on a dry track and failed twice on wet tracks, evidence again he doesn’t like that surface. Ratings say he probably can’t win, but how much of that is down to his wet track performances? Back in January 202i he gave 3kg to Tycoonist and was narrowly beaten. That horse would be up to winning this race though admittedly he wasn’t at his peak then. The break between runs doesn’t look ideal but he is 4/8 with more than three weeks between runs and has no wins with less time between. I’m a bit surprised he isn’t double figures but $7 seems about right to me. Can race close enough to the pace to get the run of the race from a good barrier.

SKILLED BUNCH- Failed in the Swan Hill Cup which doesn’t look good enough form for this race. Doesn’t have the rating to really trouble this field and he too is nearly four weeks between runs.

MY BOY BIRMINGHAM- Ratings say he can’t win either but the dry track is a massive bonus for him. Has a big margin win over the enigmatic Cambourne who has talent but doesn’t always show it. The 6 length beating by Skilled Bunch doesn’t augur well. He will lead or sit second in a race largely devoid of other pace which gives him a hope. Possibly has more upside than these with his 5 wins from 11 starts but he still has to measure up to this class, and I can’t have him at less than double figures. Providing pace in the race should help his stablemate Zoist though.

BUENA VELOZ- Back in form but very hard to see him troubling these at the weights.

AIR DEFENCE- He probably isn’t the roughest here given a placing behind the smart Visinari earlier this preparation and a couple of handy runs against the G1 winner Mr Brightside last preparation. One thing about him is his dislike of carrying 58kg or more in weight (0-2/14). Form seems to have deserted him a little bit of late and barrier 11 doesn’t really inspire any confidence with him likely to go back to near last in the field. His price looks about right.

Summation;

There seems to be a bit of value here but I’m having trouble arriving at just what to select. I’ll go with BLAZE A TRAIL because of the dry track and the addition of Blinkers which probably means he will sit close enough in the run if the pace is moderate . Some query around Edison (dry track and weighted to his best?), Adelaide Ace (barrier and break between runs), and Zoist (has he had enough this preparation) and they are the other ones I quite like. The latter two are probably overpriced and BAT is roughly the right quote. I’d like to obtain at least $9 about him if possible. I’d have to say the confidence level isn’t overly high though, and I’m pretty surprised to have arrived at this conclusion)

  1. BLAZE A TRAIL
  2. Edison
  3. Adelaide Ace
  4. Zoist

Ramornie Handicap 2022

This is a race I always look forward to and I’ve had quite a bit of luck with it over the years. Primarily with a horse called The Jackal who won it twice, and Havasay (twice also) at good odds. Also had a small win with Signore Fox a couple of years ago. Could Southern Lad make it two wins in a row also?

Anyhow I’m not going into great detail this time around but have settled on a horse who I think is twice the odds it should be and more! I have arrived at that decision in a slightly abstract way. I think the 3yo King Of Sparta will start favourite providing the track dries out a bit. If he can reproduce his Gold Coast MM 3yo win he is going to be hard to beat. A horse called Andermatt had been winning races impressively in Sydney a couple of months ago. In two of those wins he was clearly a 6-7 lengths superior horse to Dragonstone who also won recently in Sydney. That horse Andermatt also defeated another horse named Gleneagles by 6 lenghts. I mention that because Gleneagles defeated King Of Sparta in a race back in October 21 when runner up to the very good three year old Paulele.

The winning run of Andermatt came to an end at the hoofs of SURREAL STEP in Sydney who was in receipt of 4kg. Still though that lines up quite well with the assumption that Andermatt is probably a 6-7 length superior horse to King Of Sparta. SS was beaten by Dragonstone last start in Sydney but he did give that horse 2kg and was on his least favoured surface. Getting back to a wet track here is going to suit ,and he should get the run of the race from his barrier. Most of the better chances here are drawn a little awkwardly. Another thing I like about SS is his run back in December 21 behind Special Reward, which turned out to be quite a hot form race. I don’t think there is much doubt that day, that had he not been caught three wide the whole race, he would have gone very close to winning it. Special Reward went on to perform well when placed in a WFA race thereafter. SS had a stable change after that race and probably produced his career best two starts ago. It seems the new yard has got him ticking over quite well.

Another good roughie in the race is SOUTHERN LAD I feel. Had he drawn better I would be more in his corner. He won this race last year and his first up run this time in was acttually quite good when beaten a mile. He just couldn’t get a run in the straight and was untested. Second up the track was too heavy for him behind Surreal step with his big weight. Last start he was ridden upside down and tired late behind Ranges on a dry track which isn’t really his go either. This surface should be perfect for him, and the prospect of a hot speed might negate his barrier somewhat. The stable is in form with the win of Le Gai Soleil in the Glasshouse at Caloundra, and most importantly this horse has a great record fourth up which reads 4-2/7. I don’t think that can be ignored as it seems to have been a plan to come to this race and repeat the does of last year (also fourth up). He is a bit down on form but he has had excuses.

It’s hard to ignore the prospects of the Snowden pair Ranges and King Of Sparta. The stable has won this race four times in the past twelve years so they know the type of horse that’s required to win here at this track at this time of year. Ranges has found a new lease of life of late and keeps improving. He might get some cover just behind the leaders and prove very hard to beat. His wet track form is superior to his dry track form so he might really enjoy the surface tomorrow. KOS peaked second up last preparation and he did appear to overrace first up (too fresh) but that hitout could be pivotal for this race. Prime Candidate should run well again and has form around my top two and Ranges. He will make his own luck up on the speed. I have a soft spot for Gem Song and the last race he won was on a similar surface which the trainer suggested he needs nowadays. He hasn’t seen a Soft track since. He does look to be weighted right up to his best though. The first up record of Hard Empire should be noted (4/8) and he could be the surprise packet too here. He isn’t getting any younger but this stable has brought out the best in him. As I say often the race doesn’t end there, but it looks tough for the ten horses below Fender in this race, given handicapper ratings.

My top 4;

  1. SURREAL STEP– $17
  2. Southern Lad- $27
  3. Ranges- $7
  4. Prime Candidate $9

Racing 9/07

My thoughts for today and I’m quite surprised at how many good roughies there appears to be. I’m going to mention a couple that aren’t big odds but nonetheless can be considered value given their form/stats.

Randwick R8 AGREEABLE races best fresh and that is the case here. She has form around Flying Mascot and has a win over Frankie Pinot (fourth in a Group 1 race). FP was a good enough run in the Winter Championship final last week and that form through Tuvalu ties in with the favourite Chief Altony here (Tuvalu/Visinari). There is a big price discrepancy between the two here. She has won on a Heavy track and should appreciate the big weight drop. Obviously Chief Altony is hard to beat but I’m not sure I’d be taking $3.50 about a horse who has to come to Sydney for the first time. Same with Agreeable but you can get $26 to find out if she can handle it.

R9 WONDERWOMEN is a mare I BB’d some time ago in a race behind Party For One (she would win this), over 1000m on a Heavy track where she was a bit unlucky, yet still beat home Fearnought who is a decent horse. She had been a frustrating Maiden horse until her last two starts which she has won. Her stats say no form beyond 1000m and on Heavy tracks but that BB run almost certainly suggests it’s no problem. 52.5kg looks a luxury weight and $31 seems ridiculous.

R10 CYLONE SALLY is one I’m mentioning because she is in rare recent form which doesn’t even show she has a win over Chief Altony on a wet track. That looks pretty handy form given he is the favourite in a much harder race today. She has only been with this trainer this preparation and he seems to have found the key to her. The jockey is 3-1/4 aboard from what I can ascertain. $7.50 seems okay to me.

Caulfield R8 BLESS HER seems a bit overpriced but needs to find her best form. She was less than a length off Mileva the last time they met here in receipt of 1kg. This is her track (2-3/6) distance, time of year and track conditions. Freshened up she certainly isn’t hopeless off a decent trial recently. Perhaps more of a place chance?

R9 BIOMETRIC is one I have to mention merely because it won at decent odds for me last start and I did state it seems to appreciate wet tracks these days. It gets one here again and having it’s runs spaced doesn’t hurt. This is his distance but he obviously has to overcome a wide barrier. $30 to find out if he can do so.

Belmont R8 NERODIO can’t go around without a mention with his 5/5 record at this track and distance. Freshened up in a race with high speed which should suit, it’s not hard to take the double figures about him. A few in this really do like the track and distance including ISEERED ISEERED. I am on both in the hope that Mervyn will lead at his normal frantic speed which could upset the favourite Wilchino who also likes to roll along up front. I Seered did actually beat her home in the Winterbottom with 2kg more and was unlucky behind Elite Street the start prior. Both those runs were at 1200m which is a bridge too far for him. He looks quite well in on the minimum today and represents some value at $6.

Racing 18/06

It was a good week last week but the last time I did one of these posts it was a bit of a disaster. Anyway you have to be in it to win It I guess. Can’t say I’m full of confidence about these but there is some value around, later in the day I should add.

Ipswich R6 NORD LYON comes out of a harder race when beaten less than 4 lengths. Arguably quite a bit harder. The fact he drops 5kg to 52kg gets me in at better than double figures. Both Grey Defence and Glorious Ruby have form around him. And most of the form in the race can be matched up tbh. GREY DEFENCE was caught three wide last start and does represent serious value at his price.

R8 LAST CHANCE was a big run last start behind Soxagon when three wide the whole race. They gapped the third horse Salateen that day and she went on to run well in a good mares race. I like the fact he has been freshened and stays at this distance. Some of the bigger name horses here have to come back in trip and a couple are widely drawn. ROMAN AUREUS is a bit of an enigma but his wining form does improve markedly after two runs of a preparation and he does like an inside barrier. He should get the run of the race.

R9 MAJESTIC SHOT was very unlucky last start when cut out by the winner at a crucial time in the straight. She only needs ordinary luck in running today to go close to winning and her price is decent in reality.

Rosehill R8 SOAMI should appreciate a dry track today and ‘rates’ very well in this race. The distance does look problematic but he was beaten 0.3L into fifth one day at Kembla Grange over this trip in the same class on a wet track last preparation. Maybe he is looking for this distance now. The price gets me in at around $26

R9 HASTOBEGOOD is a total engma and you can’t really pick her on form. Back to a dry track though and Blinkers on for Joe Pride you just never know. Her best career win was in Melbourne at her second start in Blinkers on a dry track. She had never won on a dry surface until then. JP has appled them to her once and she failed on a wet track.

R10 As posted on Twitter this morning IMPASSE and SILENT AGENDA seem way overs at better than $40. Both have claims given the timing of their preparations today and this isn’t an overly strong race.

Flemington R6 BIOMETRIC should appreciate a wet surface as he did last start. His overall stats probably don’t suggest it but his recent form is indicative of him needing some cut in the surface now. The winner last went on to bolt in at Swan Hill and looks a possible G1 horse. 1400m is probably the best distance for this horse.

Belmont R7 SEARCHIN’ ROCKS has to be considered now it’s raining and the track is already a Soft 5.. She is 4/4 on wet tracks and 1/1 at 1600m. I think she needs to lift a bit off her recent form and last start but she is better off at the weights and the more it rains the better for her given she is 2/2 on Heavy. The $8.50 does look worth the gamble.

I sincerely hope these do perform up to expectations and if you are having a bet today good luck with your own selections anyway.

Stradbroke Handicap 2022

The great race is back and for me is probably the Premier Sprint race over this distance in the country. I’m not quite convinced the Eagle Farm surface is back to it’s halcyon days but it is showing promise of getting there and the Stradbroke Handicaps of old were normally won by a fast finishing get back horse that was lightly weiighted, more often that not widely drawn. To temper that comment the vast majority of Group 1 Sprint races this year have been one by an on pace horse, if not a leader, as was the case in the main lead up race (Kingsford Smith), won by Apache Chase.

Tempo;

On paper there does seem to be genuine speed in the race which in theory should give every horse it’s chance. APACHE CHASE, BUFFALO RIVER and ROTHFIRE are all renowned leaders although the latter has drawn wide and didn’t challenge Apache Chase for the lead last start. I suspect EMERALD KINGDOM will be in the first three early given his inside barrier. VILANA can sit on the pace too if required from a decent barrier. NICCANOVA is the wild card as we have seen that horse go forward in the past from a wide barrier and upset the leaders. He overraced last week so might not attempt to be on pace today. As in the Kingsford Smith though APACHE CHASE should lead and is very likely to take some running down in the straight.

Analysis;

PRIVATE EYE- He is probably the class horse of the race having won an Epsom and his lead up run was big in the Kingsford Smith when wide throughout. This isn’t the strongest Stradbroke either so he can be expected to perform very well. Barrier 1 could be problematic but it might offset his top weight and Brenton Avdulla is 3/4 aboard. The only loss was last start and had he received an economical run he might have won that race too. He looks a major winning chance.

LAWS OF INDICES- Personally I can’t get warm on his chances but the market says otherwise and he has a Gear Change of Visors On. Maybe today is his day but he is 0-0-0/6 on dry tracks. I would have preferred more give in the surface for him.

APACHE CHASE- The likely leader and there’s not much to dislike. He has some great stats (8/14 Barriers 1-6. 6/9 at 1400m. 8/13 at Eagle Farm) and looks pretty well served at the weights off last start. How he carries the same weight as Eleven Eleven is beyond me and he meets Private Eye 1.5kg better for that run too. Perfectly drawn he will do no work early and his trainer says he is a much more mature horse than this time last year when he failed in this race, keeping in mind that was actually the ninth run of his preparation. He was being swamped late over the 1300m last start, which does give his rivals hope, but he can run this distance very strongly and can only be fitter for two runs this preparation. He is probably the one they all have to beat.

ELEVEN ELEVEN- He is probably my favourite horse at the moment and looks a live chance here off a great leadup run. I just can’t get my head around his weight though, and to my mind should have no more than 54kg. He is third up today and has far better fourth up stats. Might he be a run short? He has a great draw though and Hugh Bowman aboard. His chances are undenable but I can’t have him as favourite, which he is at present.

ALLIGATOR BLOOD- His lead up run was the best of those in the BRC Sprint. Had he drawn a barrier he would surely have won and the stable commented pre race that he was underdone. On his best form he is very, very well weighted and as a three year old was a far superior horse to Eleven Eleven at level weights. It looks like he is back to that standard and he has less weight than that horse. He also showed a different side to himself in the Kingsford Smith finishing off hard from well back. The barrier today might necessitate he does the same today and only on pace bias should prevent him from being right in the finish. Looks a top three chance to me.

SOXAGON- He is absolutely flying this preparation and toughed it out really well to win last start. He is the type of horse that can get first crack at the leaders on straightening and it’s possible he can get some cover in the race to allow that. 1400m is probably as far as he wants but it’s hard to say he can’t win this race today at a double figure quote.

EMERALD KINGDOM- He has been racing well and isn’t without a chance at a big price. He raced three wide last start and that isn’t going to happen to him here. An interesting stat for him is his 11/23 at his second to seventh up run of a preparation. In other words take away his first up runs and he has nearly a 50% win rate. He also like it here at this distance. Definitely over the odds given he won a WFA race against Apache Chase two starts back.

WILD PLANET- Not too much to suggest he can win but he does get to his best distance here and he does have a gear change of Tongue Tie off. He is 4/11 carrying the sort of weight he has today which looks a positive. An inside draw would have been statsitically positive for him but that hasn’t transpired. Neither has a wet track which would have been a bonus.

ROTHFIRE- Not sure why he didn’t try to lead last start but perhaps the stable have tried to get him to settle in this races early. A very wide barrier has really tempered enthusiasm for him today especially at this trip. But he wasn’t beaten far last start and could be set to peak today. He has had some injury issues and might be getting over them in preparation for this race. Clearly he has the ability.

I AM SUPERMAN- I can’t see him winning from a wide barrier today but he has the ability to go forward and the positive is he has nearly a 50% win rate with more than three weeks between runs. Coming in fresh does suit and he has a gear change today of Nose Roll on. He did win at his third career start in Ireland with a Cross Over Noseband applied. Might the Nose Roll bring out the best in him today?

AYRTON- His wide barrier has created far better odds for him and I think he would have started a warm favourite had he drawn well. That might still happen and probably isn’t unjustified. You can make an argument that all of the main lead up races for this one today have been blanket finishes with very little between a number of the leading chances today. He didn’t participate in any of those race but comes off an 1800m failure in a race which didn’t really suit him at all, especially on a bog track. You simply have to forgive him that run and go on his 4/4 fresh record (he is fresh today), and his dominant career wins when he has normally run fast times. He won on this day last year as a three year old and the time he ran that day suggested he might have won the Stradbroke had he made the field. It’s hard to ignore his 6-1-1/8 on dry tracks and the only defeat were off lesser breaks between runs. 54kg looks a winning weight for him so it’s just a matter of Jamie Kah getting some cover in the race (might be an ask) to see him in the finish. He looks a likely winner to me.

BANDERSNATCH- I think he is clearly the best roughie in this race given his statistics (7/16 1400-1500m. 5-2/11 dry tracks. 3/5 fourth up. 5/10 15-28 days between runs). Winkers go on here too and he did win the first time they were applied. You just have to ignore the run last start where he failed because of the track condition. His form around Ellsberg suggests he can be competitive against the likes of Ayrton and Apache Chase today if he runs to his true ability. He did that two starts ago with a big weight outclassing his rivals in the Tamworth Cup. He gave a horse called Fender 8kg that day and it was only 2.5L off Private Eye at level weights last August. Coming off different formlines he could be the big surprise packet.

NICCANOVA- Hard to get warm about him but he did run third in this race last year. He looked to be in better form though and the wide barrier seems to give him a nearly impossible task today.

BUFFALO RIVER- Clearly he is a wet track horse (0-4/12 Dry tracks), although his run last start wasn’t too bad. He is also 0-3/6 on right handed tracks. I can’t have him but the stable has a knack of proving everybody wrong winning big races at big odds. He will be on pace and might give his backers a sight.

ISOTOPE- 1400m looks a bit of a stretch to me at this level but she did start a clear favourite in an MM guineas at this distance (she fell in that race) so the stable would be confident she can run the trip. Her run was adequate last start and they are confident her barrier manners have been overcome for today. She is 0-1/4 at the track which is a bit of a concern, but she is definitely weighted to win if she is in the mood. William Pike aboard is a positive, as is the barrier draw if she does jump clearly. I suspect some money will come for her. The stable are now firing on all cylinders.

BROOKLYN HUSTLE- Similar to Isotope the distance looks as far as she wants but you can’t rule her out entirely even from the horror barrier. She doesn’t win too often though and she failed in the Tatt’s Tiara last year at this track and distance. She too has the ability to win with this weight so it’s really up to Craig Williams to give her every chance to run the distance out today.

VILANA- What a great opportunity for Stephanie Thornton today on this excellent three year old. This might be a touch soon for the horse given his inexperience but this isn’t a vintage Stradbroke and he has a touch of quality and athleticism. He is likely to get the gun run and his formline though Battleton in winning the Fred Best last start lines up well with the Doomben Ten Thousand winner Mazu. Interestingly he has never raced with less than 16 days between runs but he does today. He has won both races with 16 and 17 days between runs and both races when he had a trial within 12 days of a run. What I’m trying to say is that he has only been beaten when fresh. Once was on debut and the other was off a 21 day break with no trial. I think he can run top four here.

STARTANTES- She is a three year old filly and they do have a good record in this race. She was unlucky behind Vilana last start but when she did get clear in the straight I thought she could have done just a little more. Her record is far better at Doomben and she is only 1/6 beyond 1300m (win was at 1350m though). The positive is she is 2/2 fourth up and that is the scenario today. Not hopeless by any means with the low weight but I have a few ahead of her.

Summary;

I’m going with a AAA trifecta today and have Alligator Blood slightly on top of Ayrton but only because he is roughly twice the price. I think they are the two horses to beat along with the likely leader Apache Chase who is going to give a sight. Vilana for fourth and I’ve had something on him at a very generous quote (Apache Chase was $6.50 in this last year so why the big discrepancy this year?). The best roughie for me is Bandersnatch and you could do far worse than have a speculator on him today @ $81 or better. Eleven Eleven is going to run well and as you can see from this preview a case can be made for plenty of other runners.

Stradbroke Handicap 2022

PRIVATE EYE- 0/2 fifth and sixth up

LAWS OF INDICES- 3/6 on Soft. Visors on.

APACHE CHASE- 8/14 Barriers 1-6. 6/9 at 1400m. 8/13 at Eagle Farm.

ELEVEN ELEVEN- 4/8 54kg-56.5kg.

ALLIGATOR BLOOD- 8/12 with 53-57.5kg.

SOXAGON- 5/10 barriers 7+. 8/16 with 15+ days between runs.

EMERALD KINGDOM- 11/23 second to seventh up.

WILD PLANET- 4/11 with 53-5-56.5kg 6/19 barriers 1-6

ROTHFIRE- 6/7 barriers 1-6

I AM SUPERMAN- 7/16 with 22 days + between runs. 0-0/5 Group 1 races.

AYRTON- 6-2/8 dry tracks.

BANDERSNATCH- Winkers on and first time applied won by 0.8L. 7/16 1400-1500m. 5-2/11 dry tracks. 3/5 fourth up.5/10 15-28 days.

NICCANOVA- 0/14 Winter

BUFFALO RIVER- 0-4/12 Dry tracks.

ISOTOPE- 0-4 Eagle Farm. 5/8 barriers 1-6.

BROOKLYN HUSTLE- 2/3 Fifth and Sixth up.

VILANA- First run with less than 17 days between runs but won both races with 16 and 17 days between runs. Also won two races with a trial beforehand 7 and 12 days. 1/1 good track.

STARTANTES- 4-1/5 Doomben. 1/6 beyond 1300m. 2/2 fourth up.

SCALLOPINI- 4/5 Soft. 3-4/8 third up. 4-3/8 with 8-14 days between runs. 7/16 barriers 1-6.

Racing Roughies 4/06

I’ll start with an Eagle Farm preview and add a few thoughts elsewhere for other meetings. I’m giving Sydney a wide berth though. Just haven’t really looked there at all. It may well be the first time in 17 weeks that a Heavy track isn’t prevailing at a Sydney Saturday Metro meeting.

Eagle Farm R1- BARADE needs to find it’s best form but he is 1/1 here and likes to race on the fresh side. Likes to be kept a little fresh and the run wasn’t too bad last start from a poor barrier. He draws well today. I took him at $20 on Thursday but now he is into $10 and $8. Youngblood should have won last start but he might need it wetter and has drawn a bit awkwardly again.

R2 VENTURA OCEAN- Comes out of a decent form race at Rockhampton last start which was WFA. He was outclassed beaten over 3 lengths but the runner up has wince won a Group 1 race and this is a lot easier race to win. His 3 runs at Eagle Farm have resulted in two wins and a placing and the stats are similar with this jockey aboard. This looks winnable and he seems good value at $8. LUVOIR looks at least a place chance given it’s 2-5/7 with this type of break between runs. It placed twice here last year on Dry tracks in arguably stronger races and is probably looking for a dry surface. She is too big a price.

R3 Not overly keen here given it’s a two year old race but I couldn’t take the shorts about Political Debate. I settled on the Kiwi SMART ‘N’ FAST who staged a remarkable finish to win the Champagne Stakes at Pukekohe last start over a mile. He needed every inch of that distance though and the runner up Waitak has to go in everybody’s Blackbook. These two streeted the rest so I’m thinking both are pretty smart. This horse is a bit wayward so can only improve in the future. A big improvement today might see this horse winning the race at much better value than the favourite.

R4 Again not keen but the Tony Gollan filly pairing of BEZIQUE and HONEY POT hold my interest despite not having a bet. The former is a Daughter of MM winner Karuta Queen and was very strong on the line last start The latter hasn’t really produced her best on the racetrack yet, but missed the start 5 lengths on debut and was beaten nearly a length. She should be suited with a fast speed up front today and hopefully produces her very best. Significantly she jumped better than in the past in her recent trial.

R5 The two favourites might be too good here but I went looking for value away from them. I settled on STOICAL who is in a very in form Brisbane Winter stable. He has a placing behind Remlap’s Gem giving that horse weight and that lines him up with a few of these. All his wins are at this distance so the step back from 1200m and possibly a dry track will suit. Tommy Berry goes back on and he is 4/5 aboard. His form suggests he is better when fresher than this but perhaps the change of scenery and travel will do the trick. NIEDORP Is the other one I don’t mind at double figure odds. She flies fresh and although her 4 starts here haven’t resulted in any wins, three have been from wide barriers and in the other she was beaten less than a length. Barrier 2 today could be significant and she has won a trial leading in.

R6 There is next to no speed in this race and my thinking is the in form BELLE PLAISIR will either lead or be close enough to the pace to win. She scored a surprise win last start given she hadn’t won on a dry track. Prior to that she was close behind Foxy Frida and I’d be super keen to back her in this. She has drawn well and is fitter and more ready than most of these. Not sure there is much value there though and I haven’t had a bet a this stage.

R7 Another race with questionable speed but maybe Our Birdsong and Never No More (huge run latest) go forward. I thought IRISH SONGS was the value horse providing the pace is even. He was blocked in the straight last start and wasn’t far behind Vinco at the finish. He is five times the price of that horse today. His last win was at 1400m which he seemed to appreciate and it does seem he is crying out for further than the 1300m last start.

R8 LETBEGLAM really appeals to me. She should have won last start being 4 and 5 wide the whole race and hitting the lead in the straight. She was entitled to get tired late. Her form around Swat’s That and September Run earlier in her career looks really good and she has more upside than most of these. Double figures looks a bargain.

R9 A bit of a rethink here and I really like the look of ARAVENE particularly off that last start win. She ran faster (or similar) time than the Open class race won by Hopeful in Sydney last start and she had little luck at Flemington three starts back. She is bred to run this distance and more and I love the fact she is an inform powerfully built filly with a lot of upside. A perfect draw isn’t going to hurt. My best roughie in the race is BISCAYNE BAY. She has had no luck of late and was six weeks between runs last start and had no chance sitting three wide. She is VRC Oaks placed and the Hitotsu like preparation for the ATC Oaks just didn’t work out on a bog track. Again she draws wide today but hopefully she can get some cover. NATOYA seems a crazy price coming off two gallant wins and her formline through Funambuist (Global Ausbred) isn’t that bad.

R8 Tough race and no knock on the Gololphin pairing who might be too good. I’m with ARENTEE though who should have gone very close to winning last start when caught wide throughout. That was her first go at 1400m and she comes back to a more suitable 1200m here. Ingratiating has to find somewhere near his best form but his handicapper rating eclipses these Athelric is yet to win beyond 1100m. He was Gelded a few starts back though and that might be the making of him at longer trips.

Flemington R1 DOUBLE YOU TEE last won on a wet track eleven starts ago and hasn’t seen one since. His run last start was okay stretching out well late. This race isn’t overly tough and he has won third up. A month between runs for him but his stats suggest that could be a bonus.

R3 AGREEABLE looks one of the better bets of the day given her first and second up record and the fact she races best fresh. She comes off a first up win and this doesn’t look that tough a race given she has beaten better horses and has form around the likes of Flying Mascot.

R8 KING OF HASTINGS is definitely not a horse of mine but his last win was in Listed grade on a wet track last Winter, and he hasn’t seen similar since. Around a corner on wet tracks he is 2-1/3. One of those wins was when trapped wide throughout in Sydney beating the likes of Bandersnatch and Big Parade. Both those horse’s are as good as or better than any of these. Jamie Kah aboard and he is nearly $20 and was better.

R9 BELDIVIAN won on debut on a wet track defeating the very smart Vilana (won Qld Guineas last week). Second in the race was Obfuscation who then went on to beat Treporti at his second start and hasn’t run since. Treporti is $5 here and this horse is $26 or better. He failed at his second career start but the jockey reported he needed more give in the track, That has transpired today and he looks great value. Each Way given the short price of the favourite.

Adelaide R9 INFLUENTIAL JACK is a bit of an in and outer but last preparation had form around the likes of Turaath, Frankie Pinot, Flying Mascot, Hickock and Vitruvius with more weight. He won first up at big odds and looks quite well placed here if he can find his best form. $31 is very attractive from a good barrier.