TRB Race Assessment: Free Horse Racing Tips

The Rating Bureau, Australia’s leading supplier of horse racing data, software and analysiswill provide free horse racing tips for all of Australia’s premier horse races. TRB’s WFA Performance Ratings are an industry-leading assessment of horse quality and will be the main tool used by TRB to assess races.

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2:30 pm Caulfield Race 6 1400m 3YO+ Gp1 WFA – Futurity Stakes

The Track

The track is currently a Soft 5 and while we don’t have great drying weather, it should be into the Good 4 range come race time.

There are some indications through the history of similar meetings that “off-fence” could become a little better as the day goes on, especially with some cut in the track.

Monitor as the day goes on for any signs of that pattern.

Speed & Tactics

Early Pace Rating: Below average

Late Pace Rating: Above average to solid

Best Suited: Lead to 2.5L off the lead.

Winning Standard

Based on exposed form, a rating of at least 100 will be needed to win this race and potentially in the 101-102 range.

Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

8 – Super Seth 99.5-101.5. Rated $2.70

He was very good first-up winning over 1200m with a 100 rating that in itself may be good enough to win this race. He showed clear signs in that run though (as he has done in the past) that he’ll appreciate further than 1200m, so the step up to 1400m here is ideal.

Add to that what looks to be an ideal position on the map and he has excellent prospects to run to at least 100 again, if not higher in the 101-102 range. He’s clearly the horse to beat for me.

7 – Melody Belle 98.5-100.5. Rated $3.80

A terrific NZ mare, first-up here and reportedly not fully wound up as she’s set to peak 2nd up in the All Star Mile. She firmly established herself as a 101-102 type last preparation in the 1600m to 2000m distance range, but with next start being her target, I’d be surprised if she ran to that level first-up at 1400m.

Something in the 98.5 – 100.5 range seems most likely, which is still extremely competitive, but hard to price anywhere near $2.90 in the market.

1 – Kolding 98.5-100. Rated $4.60

He ran 98.5 first up over 1200m behind Standout in the G2 Expressway Stakes, beaten 2.2 lengths in 4th. There’s no doubt that 1200m is not his go, but I’m not convinced that a 1400m race with not a great deal of early speed is ideal either.

It was clear in the Expressway that he didn’t have the acceleration of some of the others and he only really made an impression in the last 50m. That doesn’t mean he can’t win this, I do expect him to improve, but given he’ll almost certainly be behind both Super Seth and Melody Bell in the run and has at best comparable ratings, I have to mark him longer than those two.

6 – Cape of Good Hope 96.5-98.5. Rated $19.00

His 104.8 rating when he won the G1 Caulfield Stakes first-up in the Spring says he has the class, but 1400m first-up is obviously well short of his best. Blinkers on for the first time and D Oliver riding though suggest he’s here to run well, so it wouldn’t surprise if he was competitive.

3 – Streets of Avalon 94-99. Rated $21.00

A big step up in class, but with multiple runs in the 97 to 98.5 range, he only needs to spike the next step in improvement on the day and he could run a cheeky race. A soft time up on the lead will give him every chance to do that.

4 – Wild Planet 95-98.5. Rated $23.00

He’s much better suited here at 1400m than the 1100m first-up. He’ll need a big new peak to win, but his 97.5 to 98.5 best runs are not far off.

2 – Black Heart Bart 94-96.5. Rated $34.00

Typically takes a run or two to start getting towards his better form and he’ll likely settle back here. It’s tough to see him being able to sprint past the better chances in front of him.

10 – Kazio 92-94. Rated $2001.00

He’s a 92-93 type gelding, which is a long way below a level that can be competitive in this race.

Betting Strategy

BACK – SuperSeth – Bet to WIN (stake 1.5% of your bank)

3:10pm Caulfield Race 7 1200m 2YO Gp1 SW – The Blue Diamond Stakes

The Track

The track is currently a Soft 5 and while we don’t have great drying weather, it should be into the Good 4 range come race time.

There are some indications through the history of similar meetings that “off-fence” could become a little better as the day goes on, especially with some cut in the track.

That could be especially relevant in this race with the favourite, Hanseatic, drawn barrier 1. Monitor as the day goes on for any signs of that pattern.

Speed & Tactics

Letzbeglam (3) looks the most likely leader to me, especially with the Snowden stable announcing that they want Rulership (6) to be ridden with a sit rather than leading as he did in the Prelude for colts and geldings.

Tactics on Away Game (10) appear likely to be the key influence on just how strong the early pressure will be. Jye McNeil looks to have little option but to show some intent early, but there’s nothing wrong with sitting three-wide in Caulfield sprints, especially if the alternative is to use too much energy early. If he is happy to take a sit a length or two back off the lead, then Letzbeglam may get control at somewhere between an average and just above-average pace. If Away Game is ridden more aggressively then the pace may be pushed a little beyond the above-average level, but still not particularly fast.

On exposed form it’s very difficult to see any other runner injecting extra speed into the race.

Early Pace Rating: Above average

Late Pace Rating: Below average to average

Best Suited: Lead to 4L off the lead.

Winning Standard

Based on exposed form, a rating of at least 99.5 (normalised to WFA) will be needed to win this race and potentially higher.

Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

2 – Hanseatic 98-101 Rated $2.90

His 98-rating win in the Preview for colts and geldings was an outstanding performance. He was poorly suited by a particularly slow speed between the 600m and 400-metre marks, had to sacrifice ground to ease and find a clear passage to the outside and then showed the acceleration of a very good horse to run down Rulership.

There’s no doubt that he’s better than that 98 rating suggests and a race like this which will almost certainly have at least genuine speed through the middle stages and be increasing to a fast speed between the 600m and 400-metre marks is a perfect scenario for him to elevate his performance to a 100+ level.
On talent that makes him clearly the horse to beat.

The concern is barrier 1 and whether traffic becomes a hindrance. Looking at the map, it’s impossible to see him anywhere but on the fence, either three or four pairs back.

Statistically, horses in Caulfield sprints that settle fifth to eighth on the fence win far less often than they should when you consider their starting price. If you back enough of them, even favoured runners, you’ll end up well behind.
A number of genuine chances ahead of him in the run and the prospect of decent speed do reduce the risk of traffic issues, but certainly don’t eliminate it. There’s also some chance that the inside part of the track could be inferior by this stage of the day, which is another reason to be uncertain about what his right price is at the moment.

Miracles Of Life (2013) jumped from barrier 1, settled three pairs back on the fence (on a fair track) and then with good speed ahead of her, the gaps opened up so she could get off the fence passing the 500-metre mark and her superior turn of foot did the rest. If this track ends up fair and those same type of gaps open for Hanseatic, we’re likely to see a similar result… but that’s a big couple of IF’s!

As a punter these types of scenarios are the most difficult to reconcile. He’s the most talented horse in the race, but the other factors in his profile have a strong history of negative value in the betting market. I’ve tried to reflect that in my price assuming a reasonably even track. If the inside does prove to be inferior ground then I’d have to mark him longer.

11 – Letzbeglam 98-100 Rated $5.50

Her 99.5-rating win in the Prelude for fillies is technically the best last-start rating leading into this race. She did that sitting three-wide with no cover, which isn’t a big deal in Caulfield sprints, but it certainly doesn’t help. I was also impressed with her strength at the line, comfortably holding the chasers. The quality of that rating and the potential to control this race while not facing too much pressure on the lead gives her genuine claims to win.

That last-start $31 SP raises some concerns, but her profile is remarkably similar to last year’s winner, Lyre. She won a provincial maiden as Letzbeglam did and then came out at her next start to win the Prelude for fillies at 25/1 with a 100 rating, almost identical to Letzbeglam’s 30/1 SP and 99.5 rating. While not the most likely winner, Letzbeglam is arguably the best-value play in the race. If she runs anywhere near her 99.5 rating from last start then it’s hard to see her missing a place and it could very well be good enough to win.

6 – Rulership 97-100 Rated $6.00

He was very good in the Prelude for colts and geldings, controlling the race in front and showing nice acceleration before getting run down by Hanseatic on the line. I felt he did benefit from the particularly slow section from the 600m to 400m in that race, but at the same time he certainly wasn’t stopping late and was still solid in the run past the post.

He’ll need to improve on his 97.3 rating win in that race but did run 98.5 on debut in Sydney and the Snowden stable is very confident that he can be better ridden with a sit, which is the aim in this race. He’s right among the genuine chances.

5 – Tagaloa 94-99 Rated $14.00

He was beaten 1.5 lengths by Hanseatic in the Prelude but was only first-up and I’m certain he wasn’t suited by the lack of speed from the 800m to 400-metre marks in the race. A step up to 1200m and more genuine speed through the middle stages looks an ideal scenario for him to run a big new peak. He’s a longshot I can see running well.

8 – Away Game 94-99 Rated $14.00

Her 100 rating in in the 2YO Magic Millions says she has the talent to figure in the finish of this race. She rated down last start in Sydney with a 95, but worked early to find the lead and raced on the fence, which was later proven to be inferior ground, so I think the win was better than it looked.
The query is that she has been up for a long time now, since November last year so I have to wonder if she has another peak performance in her.

3 – Rathlin 96-98.5 Rated $16.00

He did enjoy a nice run in the Prelude but is another that may not have appreciated the lack of pressure and can improve here in a more genuinely run race. I’m not sure he’s good enough to win, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he ran another very good race.

12 – Muntaseera 94-98 Rated $21.00

She ran a strong 98.5 winning at Rosehill back in November, which suggests she can measure up to this race. However, she was disappointing behind Letzbeglam first-up with a 93.6 and faces a big task to improve here. She’s far from hopeless, but is hard to like.

10 – Aryaaf 93-96 Rated $51.00

Ran a 97 on debut back in November, but was well below that first up last start when rating just 89 behind Mildred. That’s not Blue Diamond form.

7 – Glenfiddich 93-95 Rated $61.00

Ran a new peak 93 when beaten 2L behind Hanseatic last start and that was after travelling wide. It would be a surprise if he could improve again to a level that could get in the finish of this race.

9 – A Beautiful Night 92-95 Rated $101.00

Her best of 95 came over 1000m with signs that further could be a risk. She only rated 88.5 last start when stepping up to 1100m, so it’s impossible to make any case for her up to 1200m here.

14 – Riverina Storm 91-94 Rated $101.00

Has a peak of 91, which is a long way short here. She is one that profiles as likely to run a big new peak in this race though, so it wouldn’t surprise if she finished in the front half of the field.

4 – Tanker 91-94 Rated $151.00

Beaten 2.8L behind Hanseatic last start after travelling wide, but there’s not a great deal there to make me think he can suddenly improve 3 lengths.

13 – Personal 91-93 Rated $201.00

Blinkers first time, but only has a peak of 88. Outclassed.

1 – Ideas Man 83-93 Rated $301.00

Beaten 5.8L behind Mildred LS. His 93 on debut says he’s better than that, but still well below Blue Diamond class.

15 – Fayerra 86-90

$5,001.00 Beaten 3.8 lengths behind Rulership in Sydney last start at $81 SP. Totally outclassed.

16 – Difficult 80-90

$5,001.00 Beaten 6.4 lengths and 4 lengths in two runs so far, both in much easier races than this. Totally outclassed.

Betting Strategy

There’s not a huge amount of betting appeal in this race for me, primarily due to the conflict of talent vs value around the favourite Hanseatic.

I rarely like to get involved in races if it means betting against the most talented horse and likely winner, just because he/she is poor value.

Still, Letzbeglam does present with a rock-solid profile to win a G1 Blue Diamond and represents genuine value in current markets. She may even get to a better price late in exchange trading. If there’s a bet to make in the race, then she’s it.

BACK – LETZBEGLAM – Bet to WIN (stake 0.7% of your bank)

2:50 – Flemington Race 5 1400m, 3YO C&G Gp3 SWP – CS Hayes Stakes

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position. There is some chance of a thunderstorm late on Friday and some showers on Saturday. Depending on the level of rainfall we could be racing on a Good 4 or Soft 5 track. I’ll be surprised if it’s worse than that.

With the rail true and some moisture in the ground, I expect the inside to be some disadvantage. Getting 3+ horses away from the fence around the turn and into the home straight is likely to be the better ground. Horses settling off the fence prior to the turn may also gain some advantage.

Speed & Tactics

The scratching of Big Parade leaves us with a notable lack of genuine early speed. The likes of Alligator Blood and Spend can press forward, but with a small field and no pressure, it’s hard to imagine anything but a slow to moderate early speed.

Early Pace Rating: Slow to moderate

Late Pace Rating: Fast

Best Suited: Lead to 2L off the lead

Winning Standard

Based on exposed form, a rating of at least 100 will be needed to win this race. The only way it could be lower is if both Alligator Blood and Catalyst fail to run up to expectations, which is unlikely.

Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

3 – Alligator Blood. 100-102.5. Rated $2.00

A super horse that has come back even better this preparation. He ran to peaks of 99.7 and 99.4 in the Spring, but topped those with a 100 rating when he won at Eagle Farm second up and then 102.7 when he bolted in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas. The way he raced away from his opposition in that race to win in very fast time had Group 1 quality stamped over it. With two new peaks in his last two starts, we still yet don’t really know how good he is… he could still have new peaks to come. His biggest asset is his combination of early tactical speed and good acceleration.

The ability to quicken so well when already holding a head start on his main dangers is the reason he’s won 8 from 9 and was only nailed right on the post in the other, the G1 Caulfield Guineas over 1600m. His rating profile is a little stronger than Catalyst at this stage and when combined with the fact that in a moderately run race he’ll almost certainly be ahead of Catalyst in the run, it’s impossible not to have Alligator Blood clearly on top. The potential risk I can see is if hard on the rail prior to the turn is 1- 2 lengths inferior and Ryan Maloney settles in that lane. Hopefully by race 5 that will be clear and if necessary, he’ll be able to avoid that.

1 – Catalyst 99-101.5. Rated $3.00

I’m excited to see this Gelding travel over from NZ because he’s profiled like a top-class prospect ever since he won at Hastings last August and his first up win at Ellerslie on 25th Jan well and truly confirmed that. His 100.6 rating from that run at 1200m was a new peak and given he was better over 1400m last prep, he holds prospects to improve even further on that.

There’s no doubt that at his top he poses a genuine threat to Alligator Blood, so I have no knock on him at all. It will be interesting to see what tactics James McDonald adopts from barrier 7 in the small field. He’s typically been ridden off the pace, but did go forward from a wide draw first up over 1200m at Hastings and this is a map that could certainly reward those tactics here. If he did end up forward then he could turn for home either on terms or right on the tail of Alligator Blood and then it would really be race on!

4 – Dalasan. 95-99.5. Rated $10.00

He never looked comfortable first up over 1200m on Soft 7 ground, especially after being slow away, so his 94.2 rating wasn’t too bad.

He was 0.8L 2nd to Alligator Blood over 1400m in the Spring with a 99.4 rating and ran the same mark when he won the Carbine Club Stakes later that Spring, so the potential is there to be very competitive and really push the top two. It’s a leap of faith though to forecast him at his best off that indifferent first up run.

8 – Chenier. 94-97. Rated $26.00

His 94 rating debut last March with signs there was more to come highlighted him as an exciting prospect, but he failed to improve on that at his second start, before a long spell.

I’m keen to see what he can do this preparation and it wouldn’t surprise me if he resumed with a big new peak, but he’s impossible to like off a 94 peak in a race with at least 3 others holding much stronger ratings.

6 – Spend. 90-97. Rated $51.00

A 97 on debut (heavy track) before spelling suggested he could be up to this level and he was hard in the market first up in the Manfred Stakes (won by Super Seth), but ran poorly with an 88 rating. Impossible to like off that.

5 – Soul Patch. 92-96. Rated $81.00

First up and best suited at 2000m+. His best at the longer trips is 96.4, so it’s incredibly unlikely he can come here first up over 1400m and resume with a big new career peak, especially in a race that will be run at an unsuitably slow speed.

2 – Yourdeel. 92-95. Rated $201.00

First up with blinkers off to try and turnaround a horrible preparation in the Spring where he looked nothing like the horse we saw in NZ. His best there was only 94, which still isn’t good enough.

Betting Strategy

It’s impossible for me to be too much different to the current market on both Alligator Blood and Catalyst. My 100% prices on them are similar to the 125% in current markets, which says to me that all the fat is in the longer priced horses, that are well under their true odds at the moment.

On profile Alligator Blood is the horse I want to be on. Exchange trading is likely the best option for him to provide a worthwhile price at some stage in the final 10 minutes of action before they jump.

BACK – ALLIGATOR BLOOD – Bet to WIN (stake 2.0% of your bank)

1:45 08 Feb 20 Caulfield Race 3 1100m 2YO F Gp2 SW

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position. With 30c forecast, we should get to racing on a genuine Good 3. History says the track is likely to race evenly, with some natural advantage to on-pace / handy runners.

Speed & Tactics

Early Pace Rating: Above average to solid

Late Pace Rating: Below average to moderate

Best Suited: Lead to 4L off the lead

Based on exposed form, a rating of at least 84.5+ will be needed to be any chance of winning this race. With the prospect of one or more running new peaks though, the eventual winning standard could end up in the 87-90 range.

Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

2 – Muntaseera 86-90. Rated $2.70

What I’ve seen of her so far suggests she’s a smart 2YO. Her win at Rosehill in November was very impressive, showing the turn of foot of a good horse to win by 3.5L in a strong 89.3 rating, which is clearly the best of the exposed form in this race. First up here off a 70 day break, her recent jumpout with Group 1 3YOF Loving Gaby suggests she has returned in very good order.

Her lack of early speed is a little worry for me, but on the map she’s surround by others that also lack speed, so she actually may end holding a reasonable position and the pace up front should suit ideally. On exposed talent I simply have to be with her.

4 – Fresh. 86-90. Rated $3.20

She was unsuited over 1000m LS, especially after racing wide and the way she finished off suggests 1100m here will be much more suitable. That gives her prospects to improve on her LS 84.7 rating towards a new peak that challenges Muntaseera, especially with a head start in the run. I have no knock on her at all as a winning chance.

1 – A Beautiful Night. 85.5-88. Rated $7.00

Her 85.8 win LS over 1000m at Caulfield (beating Fresh) and the fact that she will race forward gives her a profile that has to be respected. The queries are that she got away with a cheap run to the 400m LS and comes here to a higher pressure race, stepping up to 1100m.

3 – Unstoppabelle. 80-84. Rated $21.00

She was the real eye catcher LS, running on strongly with very good sectionals behind A Beautiful Night and Fresh. She no doubt has new peaks to come, but really lacks early speed which is likely to see her well back in the field again.

I expect her to be charging home, but think she needs at least 1200m and even 1400m to be a serious chance against this type of opposition.

10 – Geist. 80-84. Rated $21.00

Another that closed well late LS behind A Beautiful Mind and Fresh. She has an 84 on debut in November when just 2.2L behind Hanseatic, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she improved to be competitive in this.

7 – Riverina Storm. 81-84. Rated $26.00

Was an impressive maiden winner on debut at Geelong, suited by a solid speed. She needs to improve on her 81.8 to be a factor here though.

5 – Diamondesque. 79-83. Rated $41.00

Her 79.3 on debut at Moonee Valley in December is well short. She has to improve significantly.

8 – Letzbeglam. 80-84. Rated $21.00

Another that closed well late LS behind A Beautiful Mind and Fresh. She has an 84 on debut in November when just 2.2L behind Hanseatic, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she improved to be competitive in this.

13 – Into Glory Ride. Rated $51.00

On debut. Looks too tough.

11 – Clean Machine. Rated $51.00

On debut. Looks too tough.

12 – Drone Strike. Rated $201.00

Had excuses on debut behind A Beautiful Night but was big odds that day, so impossible to like here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Muntaseera – Bet to WIN (stake 1.5% of your bank)

2:20 08 Feb 20 Caulfield Race 4 1100m 2YO C&G Gp3 SW

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position. With 30c forecast, we should get to racing on a genuine Good 3. History says the track is likely to race evenly, with some natural advantage to on-pace / handy runners.

Speed & Tactics

Early Pace Rating: Average to Above average

Late Pace Rating: Below average to average

Best Suited: Lead to 3L off the lead

Based on exposed form, a rating of at least 87+ will be needed to be any chance of winning this race. The one-off peaks of key runners suggest that the actually winning mark could reach as high as 90-91.

Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

7 – Rulership 89.5-92. Rated $2.90

I was particularly impressed with his debut win at Randwick on 25th Jan where he ran a strong 91 rating, quickened from the front and still very strong approaching the line before being eased down.

He may not need to run any better than 90-91 to win this race, but still looks like he has a bit more to offer. With the prospect of racing up on the lead here and having a good head start on Hanseatic who could be mid-field and buried on the inside, there’s no doubt in my mind that Rulership is the better value of the two.

1 – Hanseatic. 87-92. Rated $3.10

It’s difficult to be confident in an assessment of his first up win as the time was very moderate, but I’m confident that he was inhibited by a lack of race speed through the middle stages of that race and in a different scenario would have rated higher than the 87 recorded. He did run 91.9 on debut back in November, so he’s clearly a top class prospect that is very hard to beat here.

The map does look a little awkward for him though, with some risk he gets buried around midfield on the inside. For me that’s not the profile of a horse that is a $2.25 chance worth backing, all be it I accept that if the breaks go his away, he could win like a short-priced favourite.

2 – Rathlin. 86-90.4. Rated $11.00

I think he’s a better horse than the market gives him credit for. In QLD he ran a 90.9 winning over 1100m, which measures up here and then had little option but to get 9-10L back in the 2YO Magic Millions from barrier 15, but closed strongly and was doing his best work late.

His 86.5 from that run gives him a range here that could see him race very competitively, especially from a good drawn, which should see him settle forward of midfield. He’s the best longshot in the race.

6 – Tagaloa. 84-88. Rated $12.00

His 84.4 best is comfortably short of the standard here, but that was back in November, so he certainly has the profile of a horse that could resume with a new peak that puts him in the competitive zone. A recent jumpout suggests he’s returned well.

5 – Jabali Ridge. 84.5-87.5 . Rated $16.00

His 86.4 LS win at Flemington was a solid win that isn’t far off being competitive here. If he can improve to a new peak then he comes into the picture with some chance.

4 – Hard Landing. 84.5 -87.5. Rated $23.00

First-up after an 85.5 rating win on debut up the Flemington straight. He needs to resume with a clear new peak, which isn’t impossible.

15 – Winsum. Rated $31.00

On debut and has jumped out well, but have to think this is too tough.

9 – Valaquenta. 82-85. Rated $51.00

He attracted a bit of attention after his debut win over 1000m at Moonee Valley, but I couldn’t see why. Very moderate measures on the clock and tight margins suggest it was just a maiden race. Good 2YO’s can improve sharply at their second start, but I’m happy for him to prove that first before I become a fan.

3 – Tanker. 77-83. Rated $101.00

Has a solid SP profile after a 85.4 debut back in October 2019, but two runs since have been poor. He did pull up with an issue LS, so perhaps he can improve, but it’s taking a massive leap of faith to assess him at anywhere close to that debut.

10 – Spirit Of Giving. 77-83. Rated $101.00

Has a solid SP profile after a 85.4 debut back in October 2019, but two runs since have been poor. He did pull up with an issue LS, so perhaps he can improve, but it’s taking a massive leap of faith to assess him at anywhere close to that debut.

8 – Glenfiddich. 78-82. Rated $151.00

Led and was run down by Hanseatic LS over 1000m in a race that didn’t have a lot of speed in the middle stages. That suggests he’s outclassed in a race with more depth here.

14 – Southern. 75-81. Rated $301.00

Some excuses LS, but was still beaten 8L by Hanseatic LS at big odds.

12 – Mysterious Art. 74-80. Rated $501.00

Beaten 5.3L by Hanseatic LS at very good odds. Looks totally outclassed.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Rulership – Bet to WIN (stake 1.3% of your bank)

 BACK – Rathlin – Bet to WIN (stake 0.3% of your bank)

12:55 Randwick Race 1 1100m 2YO F Gp3 SWP – Widden Stakes

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail out 3m. History over the last 12+ months shows the 3m position playing very evenly, so I expect the same on Saturday.

Speed & Tactics

The 2YO Magic Millions winner Away Game looks the logical and easy lead here. It’s hard to see any other runner pressing the pace, so Tom Marquand should be able to get away with a slow to moderate speed.

The small field means they should all be in touch rounding the turn, but in a race that is likely to be a fast sprint over the final 400m-600m, those closest to the lead will be best suited.

Early Pace Rating: Slow to moderate

Late Pace Rating: Fast

Best Suited: Lead to 1.5L off the lead

Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

1 – Away Game. 85-89. Rated $2.00

She ran to a big new peak 89 rating winning the 2YO Magic Millions Class on the Gold Coast 21 days ago, which is clearly the best form reference for this. I don’t necessarily expect her to be at that level here, but her prior rating of 83.7 is also better than the current peak of any other runner in this race.

She only needs to run somewhere in that range and it will be up to one of the others to hit a big new peak to have any chance of beating her. With the prospect of also controlling this race on the lead, Away Game is the only one I can possibly like in this race.

2 – Phillizzy. 82-86. Rated $6.00

Scored a stylish win on debut from well back on the Kensington track and she won’t get as far back here, which will help. However, she still needs to improve significantly to match Away Game, so it’s hard to see any betting value in her$3.50 market price.

4 – Centimental. 83-87. Rated $6.00

Debuted back in December with an 83 rating when a close second at Rosehill and did look good in a recent trial. She can certainly resume with a new peak, which gives her claims.

3 – In Flanders. 81.5-84.5. Rated $10.00

81.5 last start behind the G1 class Cellsabeel is well below what will be needed to win this, but she should race a lot closer from the inside draw and that gives her good prospects to improve.

5 – September Run. 80-85. Rated $12.00

She’s very tough to assess after getting a mile back on debut in December and hanging badly. Her recent trial suggests an improved effort here, but she was also $21 on debut, which doesn’t inspire confidence.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Away Game – Bet to WIN (stake 2.0% of your bank)

4:10 Caulfield Race 7 1200m 3YO, Gp3 SWP – Manfred Stakes

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail out 10m. The big problem is 10-40mm of rain forecast on Saturday from late morning onwards (95% chance.)

If that rain comes, then I’d expect the ground will be in the soft to heavy range. The inside section of the track will chop out as the meeting progresses, forcing jockeys to scout wide to find better ground, well away from the fence.

Speed & Tactics

As you can see from the map above, Free of Debt (4) looks to lead very comfortably and control this race on his own. Jye McNeil has become a very effective front-running rider, so I expect he’ll get away with a moderate early speed and then gradually increase it past the 800m, with a fast last 600m.

A small field should still give all runners some chance, but it will certainly be an advantage to be closer.

Early Pace Rating: Moderate to below average

Late Pace Rating: Solid to fast

Best Suited: Lead to 1.5L off the lead

WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

Based on exposed form, a rating of at least 96 at the weights to be carried will be needed to win.

Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

5 – Dalasan. 96.5-100. Rated $2.60

Resumes here off a last prep where 3 of his 5 runs rated in the 98.5 to 100.5 range, which is a strong profile for this race. His best of 100.5 came first up last preparation when he was very impressive beating Scales of Justice on Soft ground.

His only other time on Soft ground was 98.5 winning the G3 Carbine Club Stakes in the Spring. With the prospect of getting a good run just off the lead in a race that lacks speed, it’s difficult not to forecast him running somewhere close to his better figures. He’s clearly the one to beat.

6 – Spend. 94-97. Rated $5.50

First up off one debut run back in the winter where he ran a 96.7 winning at Rosehill on Heavy 8, so the wet here will be no problem. The style of that win suggests he’s well above average and a recent jump-out suggests he can show more speed here than he did on debut and settle handy to the lead.

The unknown is with just one run under his belt, can he return at that level or better, which is likely need to win this race? Market intelligence will be key to a more accurate assessment of him.

3 – Groundswell. 93-97. Rated $6.00

He made rapid progress in the Spring from an 88 rating first up win at Geelong, to a 98 when 3rd to Alligator Blood @ 1400m and then 96, 95.3 in two runs at 1600m. There’s a theory that he might not be a genuine Miler and like his G1 winning full sister Shoals, we may ultimately see his best over the shorter trips.

If that is the case, it’s realistic to think he could resume at somewhere near the 98 level, which could win. He’s likely to be ridden quietly and look to finish hard. The only drag is that the lack of pace is likely to be against him, but it would not surprise me at all to see him storming home.

1 – Super Seth. 93-97. Rated $7.50

Returning Caulfield Guineas with a 98.2 rating from that race has him $4.40 in the market, but I have a doubt if he can produce that type of form at 1200m. Although he’s won 3 times at 1200m, from very early on in his career he looked to me like a horse that would run his best figures in the 1400m to 1600m range.

Despite that winning 1200m record, his best ratings below 1600m are in the 92.7 to 93.7 range, which won’t be good enough to win this. With just one rating good enough coming at 1600m, I find him hard to like… all be it I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see him win.

4 – Free of Debt. 92-96.5. Rated $9.00

He’s the big query runner here, resuming after being injury in the Golden Slipper 10 months ago. He did run a 96.6 rating prior to that over this track / distance in the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes, so on talent there’s at least one reference there to say he can be very competitive.

The other big key is that he looks to get control of this race on his own, which can be a big advantage. The market will be very interesting on him. If there is support, then it wouldn’t surprise to see him run extremely well.

7 – Express Pass. 89-92. Rated $41.00

Resumes here but his two best ratings of 92.8 and 91.3 are well short of the standard needed. He needs a monster new peak.

5 – Alburq. 88-91. Rated $81.00

Well exposed this prep now with a best of 90.5. That’s nowhere near winning this race.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Dalasan – Bet to WIN (stake 1.5% of your bank)

5:00pm Gold Coast Race 7 – 1200m 2YO Opn SW – Magic Millions Classic

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail out 1m from the 1000m to 400m and then true the remainder.

With 30 degrees on Friday and 31 on Saturday the track should race as a Good 3. There is a 50% chance of showers in the late afternoon and evening (0 to 4mm).

We saw an identical set up for this same meeting last year where the track raced very evenly, so it’s reasonable to think that’s what we’ll get again in 2020.

Speed & Tactics



As you can see from the map above, there’s good speed drawn right across the line. While not all will be going out with a plan to participate in a battle for the lead, a map structure like this in a big field makes it impossible to see anything but a solid to fast pace.

Those off the pace will get their chance to make up ground if good enough. With a few up front likely to be getting tired towards the 200m mark, luck in running for those back off the speed will certainly play a role. The ability to build momentum and get clear running when needed is vital.

Early Pace Rating: Solid to Fast

Late Pace Rating: Moderate to slow

Best Suited: 2L to 5L off the lead

WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

Based on exposed form, a rating of at least 97 to 100 (normalised to WFA) will be needed to be in the finish of this race. It’s impossible to see anything less than 97 being good enough, while the prospects of one or more strong contenders running a new peak could very well push the winning standard towards the 99-100 level.

Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

5 – Aim. 96.5-100. Rated $7

His win at Randwick on 21/12 was highly impressive, recording a 99 Rating, stamped by a strong sustained close and big margin spread back through the field. He’s a colt with plenty of substance that will relish the fast pace in this race. The big concern is barrier 2!

Unless he’s ridden with some intent early, the best I can see him is four pairs back on the fence. Riding him further forwards risks taking the horse out of his comfort zone and a recipe that has worked well so far.

Fields tend to fan wide around the turn at the Gold Coast and that can create some initial space for those looking to get up the inside, but in the very large fields like this, it’s easy for more than a few to come off the camber and roll back towards the inside as they look to balance up in the straight.

That can close any gaps that appeared early and create plenty of traffic problems for a horse like Aim. On talent, I think he’s the horse to beat, but that better than average potential for bad luck in the run is a betting risk, reflected in my assessed price.

1 – Kings Legacy. 96.5-99. Rated $7.50

He emerged as a top chance after his strong win at Eagle Farm last start, recording a 97. I really like the way he knuckled down to chase Every Rose over the final 200m. The Snowden’s have tinkered with his gear by adding some winkers and with a suitable pace up front he’s one that could run to a new peak and win.

11 – Gotta Kiss. 96.5-99. Rated $8.50

The best of the local hopes for me. She’s built a nice rating profile in three starts so far with a 96.5 on debut, 94.5 at her second start and then new peak of 97.0 when she won at Eagle Farm on 28/12, fresh off a 63-day break.

Such consistency around that level leaves no doubt that she’s a quality filly and she gives the impression that she could actually appreciate 1200m. With soft run behind the hot speed, Gotta Kiss has a nice scenario to run a new peak that could win. She’s a good value chance in my book.

2 – Farnan. 95.5-98. Rated $9

On indirect form lines his 1 length win over Every Rose in the Wyong Magic Millions stacks up well after that filly was just 0.5 lengths behind Kings Legacy at her next start.

I think Every Rose improved 2nd up after that first up run at Wyong, so the Kings Legacy run is stronger, but Farnan’s 95.5 rating is not far off the mark and a 30 day freshen up is the type of break where a 2YO can make a significant improvement.

He’s another that could end up with a nice run and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he won, but the $6.00 seems to have a bit too much potential factored in for me.

10 – Every Rose. 95-97.5. Rated $10

She’s racing very well with competitive ratings and I did like the kick she gave the last start before getting run down late by Kings Legacy. That was a clear improvement on her prior run behind Farnan and any further improvement certainly puts her right in contention. The query is whether the pressure upfront in this race will be telling late.

3 – Rathlin. 93.5-98.5. Rated $14

He only won a four horse Phelan Ready Stakes at Doomben on 18/12, but his widening 3 length margin through the line and strong merit on the clock, especially against the Fillies race won by Away Game on the same day highlighted this as a quality performance.

He only needs to hold that 98.5 rating to be right in the mix, but the barrier looks to make that difficult. Still, that’s just one factor and could be offset by finding some cover and being able to get clear & build momentum at the right time. He can’t be ruled out as a potential winner.

13 – Lady Banff. 95.5-97.5. Rated $18

She did some work early and then showed good fight when only run down late by Gotta Kiss. That run had some merit and her ratings aren’t far off the mark. The query is the pressure up front and whether she’s able to absorb that and run a new peak.

14 – Away Game. 92.5-96. Rated $23

She’s an improving type that comes off a nice win last start, but needs to improve at least 2 lengths.

4 – Conceited. 93.5-96.5. Rated $26

$9 in the market looks massive unders to me. While he’s a Colt with good scope to improve, I felt his debut Fleminton win rated moderately, so it was no surprise to see he was beaten as favourite last week at the Gold Coast.

That performance was a slight improvement, but is still 2 to 3 lengths short of what’s needed to be competitive in the finish of this race. More so, he needs to make that improvement giving away a much bigger start in this race as he’s likely to be at least 8-10 lengths back from the lead on settling.

15 – Stellar Pauline. 89.5-95.5. Rated $31

Her ratings aren’t good enough, but she has a solid SP profile and the Snowden stable have reported that she’s made big improvement since her last run.

6 – Wisdom of Water. 92.5-96. Rated $31

He beat Conceited last week at the Gold Coast but his 92.5 rating isn’t anywhere near good enough to win this. He needs to make massive improvement.

7 – Nitrous. 92.5-96. Rated $41

His last start Sydney win is at least 3 lengths short of what’s needed to be a potential winner of this race.

9 – Euphoric Summer. 91.5-95. Rated $41

She was a well beaten 3.3L 3rd behind Kings Legacy last start. It would be a surprise if she could turn that around to win this.

12 – Dusty Tycoon. 91.5-94. Rated $41

He’s two from two so far and did make good improvement at his last start win at Doomben. However, he needs to improve another 3-4 lengths here and that looks tough from a wide draw.

19 – The Drinks Cart (2nd EM). 91.5-95.5. Rated $81

Had every chance last week when beaten 1 length by Wisdom of Water and I don’t think that form is strong enough.

8 – Kavak. 90.5-94. Rated $101

Beaten 3 lengths by Rathlin last start over 1110m and looks even more of a risk in a high pressure 1200m.

16 – Smart N Sexy. 88.5-93.5. Rated $101

Could improve with blinkers on, but her form looks well short of this standard.

17 – Bribery (1st EM). 89.5-94.5. Rated $101

Was doing her best work late last week behind Queen Kay at the Gold Coast and the blinkers on could see her improve. I’d be surprised if it’s enough though.

20 – Cosmic Gossip (3rd EM). 79.5-84.5. Rated $1001

Totally outclassed

21 – Poupee (4th EM). 81.5-85.5. Rated $1001

Totally outclassed

Betting Strategy

This is an incredibly even race with plenty of queries, which makes it tough to bet with any confidence. Gotta Kiss does appeal as genuine value though so I’m happy to risk something small.

 BACK – Gotta Kiss – Bet to WIN (stake 0.5% of your bank)

Current Results

Total Units Staked: 44.60

Total Units Returned: 43.41

ROI: -2.66%

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