Harness Racing Tips: Expert Race Previews

Get expert harness racing tips for Friday and Sunday Victoria harness meetings here on the Betfair Hub.

The Analysts will preview at least one race from the card, demonstrating how to get value out of Betfair in harness racing, particularly with in-play strategies.

For further harness racing tips, check out our Harness Racing Ratings. On that page, you’ll find rated prices, race comments and tips for a range of harness meetings.

A rare Friday night meeting at Melton for a seven-race card where I have delved deeper into a couple of races for us to play into.

Race 1 – 5:22pm

Race Map

Plenty of gate speed here but with the aid of the inside draw I am confident that Plan Ce has the necessary dash to hold those outside off early. Ragnarr is likely to attempt to find the spot on the leaders back if Franco Jolto can’t hold it and is some chance of doing so. Just Call Me Mac is first up for this stable and had no trial so guessing on him a bit, don’t know what tactics they will apply but he does have very good speed if used.

Barbourgle Jack and Byalla Boy probably hold the key to the race, if they go forward with urgency it’s unlikely they lead but what they do is put speed into the early part of the race which is likely wasted. Our Sportscaster and Keayang Da Vinci will be going back early and rely on speed early to get into the contest.

Race Summary

Good depth here but I am going to bank on the map of Plan Ce holding the lead and doing so without a great deal of pressure from the outside. If this eventuates and early tempo allows Plan Ce to get at least one cheap sectional then on speed horses will be very hard to run down.

As such, I am taking a set against Our Sportscaster tonight on the map alone, yes, it’s racing well, but tonight will have to again work at some point and at the price likely, its a risk worth taking. Ragnarr can win, especially if it finds the leaders back so its chances will be determined early in the contest so could be an in-play opportunity if it doesn’t find the spot. Keayang Da Vinci drops in class and is the highest-ranked horse in the race, but again, it does not map well but I do respect it.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Our Sportscaster to win at odds of up to $7

Race 3 – 6:22pm

Race Map

Only the seven runners so all off the front row but some good speed here so a real contest early and manners will also play a part. Down Under Earl has excellent gate speed but has mixed its tactics of leading or taking a sit, gut feel is it takes cover tonight but is racing well enough to lead and give a sight in front if they choose that tactic.

Teetreetommy has only fair gate speed so will take no part in early play for the lead, but where ever it settles it will be finishing very hard late. Georgias Pride has good gate speed and its the one that is likely to press forward and take the lead off Down Under Earl, if that occurs it will take beating but I am not totally convinced its back to its best form so some doubt still there.

Gus An Maori is likely to not take part in the early burn tonight over this distance and the speed under it. Imsettogo has also plenty of early speed but did gallop out last week so may not be pressed early this time. Classy Lola can do work so may make a mid-race move tonight when the tempo allows.

Race Summary

Good depth here and the early market has Georgias Pride very short, no doubt it can win but I can’t get it into the odds currently on display so that being the case, it’s worth a risk at the price. If it rolls to the lead it will get even shorter in play so may be worth another lay.

I rate Teetreetommy a real chance here as will be hitting the line so hard late. The key will be it being close enough on the corner to make the most of its fast finish. Imsettogo, Classy Lola, Down Under Earl and Gus An Maori are winning chances so based on this there is enough depth in the race to be willing to take on the fav.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Georgias Pride at odds of up to $3

Head to heads

Race 3 – 6:22pm

Down Under Earl v Namoscar

Race Summary

Down Under Earl will be on speed and Namoscar further back in the field, as such, think that Down Under Earl gets a much better run in transit and is the obvious pick on a head to head basis. Namoscar will have to make a run wide and Down Under Earl will continue to hug the pegs so I am confident with our play here.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) – Down Under Earl

Confidence Rating: High

Race 7 – 8:30pm

Doug v Imperial Whiz

Race Summary

Only the 6 runners engaged and one of these Gentleman Sir will take no real part in the contest. Imperial Whiz will cross Doug at the start and will likely sit on one of the more favourable runners or attempt an all the way win. With that being the case it will be a battle for Doug to get past Imperial Whiz at some point up the straight and I am confident that the in-form and much improved Imperial Whiz will hold off its challenger late.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) – Imperial Whiz

Confidence Rating: High

A seven-race card at Cranbourne this afternoon and a couple of races for us to get involved with.

Race 4 – 2:51pm

Race Map

Not the quickest of front rows and, as such, I think Chris Alford on Mea Culpa will apply the pressure early and find a comfortable lead. Nothing on the inside of it has the exposed gate speed to hold him out and nor the ability to want too. Icanmotor did not show gate speed in its latest trial so would be surprised if it could kick up under Mea Culpa and hold it out.

Krafty Bart and Writers Reign off the back row have the ability to be put into the race but whilst they may work around, don’t think they will be applying undue pressure so see it being a fairly even race with the tempo dictated by the leader.

Race Summary

Mea Culpa has mixed its form a bit but think today has found the right conditions to get back into the winners list. I have mapped it leading and from there not a high-pressure race so ticks a lot of boxes. Icanmotor has shown ability at the trials with its latest workout being its best, so I do respect it as a horse on the up and capable today and in the future.

Back row horses with the ability are Krafty Bart and Writers Reign, both go ok but they will be required to circle the field at some point to be able to win and with my top pick in front, that seems a task. Confident Mea Culpa leads all the way here and hope the market gets out to allow us to play.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Mea Culpa to win at odds of $1.90 or better

Race 8 – 4:44pm

Race Map

Once I delved deeper into this race for gate speed I was a bit surprised at how much there actually was here. The scratching of the pole horse leaves six horses off the front and all bar one have the ability to push forward. Greshar has fair gate speed but because there is so much more out wide, I am concerned he will be pushed back a couple of spots on the fence.

Fremarksgonzo looks likely to cross and would think it would take a sit if pressure from outside comes which is likely too. Rock On Playboy has the mix of gate speed and an aggressive driver in David Miles so that being the case see it coming off the gate and wanting to be forward today.

Myzarmi is first up from a spell, has good speed but I am concerned with the speed under it and not sure it can find the top. Blissfull Mind attempted to lead all the way last time from an inside draw and that didn’t work so likely to go back from the draw.

The remaining front row horse is Tanabi Falcon who has no gate speed so expect it to go back and look for a spot in the running line. Back row horses are not known for putting pressure on mid-race so don’t expect much mid-race pressure once they settle.

Race Summary

As mentioned, plenty of early speed possible. I am banking on Freemaksgonzo, Rock On Playboy and Myzarmi being the on speed horses. As such I am concerned where Greshar gets in the run and how far back it gets shuffled. It’s dangerous taking on a Chris Alford driven runner but with that they do start under the odds on most occasions.

With Greshar mapped to get a poor run early this will not assist the horse on its back in Lorimer Lady so it will have to be a risk as well as will be a long way back early and either stays on the fence or has to circle the field which doubt it can do.

Rock On Playboy was much better last time and with it likely being on speed then it rates a top chance. Myzarmi has raced against quality opposition in the past so this looks a good race for it first-up off a soft trial so expect it to run a huge race.

Some good sit sprinters here in Blissful Mind. Elteearr and Dansbro has also trialed ok. So good depth to the contest and I am backing my map and will to take on a couple of horses well in the market.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Greshar to win at odds of up to $8

LAY (WIN) – Lorimer Lady to win at odds of up to $8

Tonight’s VIC trots action heads to Shepparton for a strong 8 race card.

Shepparton Race 4 – 6:34pm

Race Map

Stand start trot with two front lines and a couple off 10 meters so not always easy to map these races. That being said, if we keep it simple then if Regal Assassin steps cleanly then he has too much natural early speed for the other front markers and looks likely to find the lead.

Starlight Red is the other front marker who has an excellent record of stepping and being on speed in these races, she does take a sit so would think that if Regal Assassin steps as it can then would be too quick and Starlight Red would be happy to take cover. Aldebaran Sundown can take time to hit its gait early but does have good speed after that so expect it to be on speed.

Delarose can be a bit hit and miss early but has led in these races before so can’t discount it from being up on speed. Get Smart Max, Antiope and Caprioska are off the back so can be put into the race if the tempo allows, however, I do expect a solid speed if Regal Assassin finds the front as I have mapped.

Race Summary

Regal Assassin has had a few stable changes but gets back to the stable of Keith Cotchin where he was originally placed after coming from New Zealand. He trialled last weekend at Bendigo and stepped straight to the front and kept rolling to win hard held in ok time and still getting home in the last quarter of 29 seconds unextended.

I have mapped him leading and if he runs up to the trial then will take no end of catching as his natural style is to keep running which always make it tough for those out the back chasing. Starlight Red is honest and suited this class and likely to be on speed so is a danger at big odds. Aldebaran Sundown is inexperienced but talented but would be ok to risk it here first up.

The horses out the back have the ability and need to be respected in Get Smart Max who gets a good driver change, Antiope and Caprioska. Little Miss Chlo off the pole has only had the one run from the stand so it has to be a risky from the draw here.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Regal Assassin to win at odds of $2 or better

Shepparton Race 5 – 7:12pm

Race Map

Alte holds the key to the race map, it will certainly have the speed to cross and lead, then it either holds or takes a sit. It seems to have again changed its race pattern of late as it has held the lead in each of its last 3 starts, two of these occasions over the longer distance, tonight over the sprint journey of 1690 meters, you would have to bank on it leading and holding.

Last Artist comes into the pole with the scratching so it is most likely to enjoy the sit on the leaders back which is a great spot to be. Orbie is the interesting runner to map as he does have excellent gate speed when used so it’s likely to come across with Alte and at least ask the question early, it may then have to death seat to win. Kosimo is likely to be driven with one run whilst Louisiana Jo has drawn off the back row for the first time so uncertain of its tactics.

Race Summary

Orbie is first up for trainer Shaun Kittel who has had success over the past few years with a small but select team. It trialed very well at this track last week and on that performance rates a very good chance here, I think it may have to death seat or come from the back to win but respect it greatly.

If Alte happens to lead and take a sit on Orbie then i suggest getting involved in play as doubt could be beat if finds the top. I respect Last Artist as I have mapped it getting a cheap run. Louisiana Jo has shown in both runs to have very good ability and finds under pressure, it will be a challenge for it tonight as both runs so far have been on speed.

Kosimo won well first up for team Douglas but i rate this race much tougher than its win and think its a risk tonight as so much depth to the contest. Alte also a winning chance, I do think its best form is when taking a sit so tactics crucial for it.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Sassyfeet in-play at odds of up to $6 if it does not find the spot leaders back.

In play if Alte leads and takes a sit on Orbie then confident Orbie will win so back to win if this eventuates as soon as it does.


Seven races at Melton tonight where a number of races are dominated by short-priced favs. A great opportunity, therefore, to get involved in some head to head betting on the trots. I will attempt to use the race maps as a guide to my suggested bets and attack them this way.

Race 1 – 4.49pm

Our Sir Oliver V Justice Served

Only the seven starters with the two horses opposed to each other well out in the market. My race map is that Our Sir Oliver will go to the fence and be 3 horses back in what I see as a fence dominated race. Justice Served will have to make a run wider to get into the race so as a result think the best way to go is with the cheap fence run horse in Our Sir Oliver. Also not sure based on two runs back from a spell that Justice Served is back to its best.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Our Sir Oliver

Confidence rating: medium

Race 2 – 5.20pm

Fiscal Fantasy v Speedy Mach

An interesting battle here as both horses likely to get back and come home late with one run. Fiscal Fantasy is first up for the powerful Jess Tubbs stable, its trial at Melton was fair and was not pushed out at all and hit the line good in slow times. For its previous stable it did not show gate speed so banking on that being the case again. Speedy Mach is a sit back and dash home horse so expect it to be driven like this again. I would prefer to go with the powerful Tubbs/Sugars combination so that’s my leaning here with not the greatest of confidence.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Fiscal Fantasy

Confidence rating: low

Race 3 – 5.55pm

The Girls Gotflair v Carnera

These two have drawn the inside barriers, I am confident that Carnera can cross The Girls Gotflair at the start so therefore gets the advantage. From there, it’s likely that Orlando Storm the fav will push forward and possible take the lead off Carnera but that will depend on the tactics of Lance Justice. The Girls Gotflairs main chance to beat Carnera is if Carnera holds the top and pass it up the lane late. Its not a very strong horse late so therefore I am banking on Carnera holding off the late challenge.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Carnera

Confidence rating: high

Race 4 – 6.30pm

Egee Money V Savannah Jay Jay

Now, this is an interesting battle. Egee Money is brilliant off the gate and I am confident has the speed to cross and lead here. It is first up and has had only the one soft trial so that was inconclusive, this stable rarely runs fast times at trials though. So we are likely to have a scenario of the leader in Egee Money and the one right out the back and the late closer in Savannah Jay Jay.

The latter has the advantage of two runs from a spell so is fit and ready to show something this time, it will be left for one run and be the late closer. McLoven the fav in the race is likely to be put into the race when and if the pace slackens, just depends on how fresh Egee Money is first up and how it settles. I was just so taken with how Egee Money finished off its last preparation so have a leaning to it but not a race where I am full-on confidence due to fitness queries.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Egee Money

Confidence rating: low

Race 5 – 7.00pm

Bettor Be The Bomb V Idealsomemagic

Another small field and these two are likely to be very close to each other in the run and be driven with one run so who will out dash the other in the run to the line. Both probably map poorly to win the race but both are very capable with the right runs.

I see Bettor Be The Bomb settling one spot closer to the speed than Idealsomemagic and may even be sitting one by one on the back of Deedento. As that’s the case I have given the edge to Better Be The Bomb in what will be another great head to head clash.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Bettor Be The Bomb

Confidence rating: medium

Race 6 – 7.27pm

Captain Bronzie v Our Sportscaster

Small six-horse field with the fav likely to find the front and then a scenario where they will probably settle in single file position until late in the contest. So if that’s the case Captain Bronzie will be three fence and Our Sportscaster will be five fence. I think that Our Sportscaster will get going earlier than Captain Bronzie, this will then make it either come out in the running line or stay on the fence. Will be very tactical late. Captain Bronzie was very good first-up when held up late and hit the line hard, whereas Our Sportscaster has been most consistent in recent months at this level and is rock hard fit. I will go Our Sportscaster but once again, a very good contest and will not be much between them late.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Our Sportscaster

Confidence rating: medium

Race 7 – 8.00pm

Major Times V Star Of Memphis

A six horse field dominated by what could be a future star in the sport of Poster Boy. So the others are running for place money!!! Map likely to be Major Times finding the front and then taking cover on Poster Boy when he comes early, this scenario then makes it tough for the quality in form horse in Star Of Memphis. Kate Gath on Star Of Memphis does have a lot of early speed but not sure it will waste energy trying to lead as does look a waste of energy that can be used late.

So based on race pattern you just have to go for Major Times holding off the late closer in Star Of Memphis. Poster Boy can finish off its races with devastating speed so expect the last section of the race to be run in extremely quick time.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Major Times

Confidence rating: High

A doubleheader of Vic trots action tonight, Kilmore and Shepparton host excellent eight-race cards as we head towards the last stage of phase one of regional racing.

Shepparton Race 1 – 6:52pm

Race Map

Looks to be three horses off the front row with the most gate speed. Oktolove who led from a wide gate two starts ago is the most likely leader, and would hold that lead if gains that position. Other speed is from its outside in Lagom and Mach The Knife. Cobber Mac who has drawn outside all of the runners mentioned has early speed but can’t cross these so may ease across early.

However, I am confident that an aggressive Josh Aitken will kick through on the inside and hold the lead. Looks a race of little pressure after the initial contest which means that Oktolove will get an easy time in front with slow mid-race sectionals.

Race Summary

As mentioned, I have mapped Oktolove leading and there being little mid-race pressure in this race after an early contest for the lead. As a result this gives us a great opportunity to back to lay. If the race goes to plan then Oktolove will shorten dramatically from its pre-race price and we will get a great opportunity to trade much lower in-play.

Not a race of great depth, Cheeki Philtra will get a soft run likely leaders back so it can improve. Cobber Mac has the wide draw but is capable of doing some work and still being competitive. Always Grinning will be back on the pegs and Bensonfire is best with one run at them so likely to be finishing well.

Betting strategy

BACK-TO-LAY (WIN) – Win bet on Oktolove at odds of $2.80 or better pre-race– then in-play when in front as mapped trade at a much lower price to green up.

Shepparton Race 2 – 7:22pm

Race Map

Plenty of gate speed here so will be tactical early. Concorde Dawn has no early speed so from the pole will take no part in the early action and will struggle to hold a forward spot, this may present a good opportunity for a runner drawn out wide to switch to the inside and gain a great spot early in the race.

So with Shez Elite having the most gate speed and likely to be holding the lead, who will be smart enough early to take advantage of Concord Dawns lack of speed? I think the most likely beneficiary is Hypervigilant but if it does not then I am confident that David Moran on Sassyfeet would look for the opportunity as the horse likes the soft run.

Melinka and Cassiopeia have early speed but not enough to have a bearing on the early lead so will either have to press forward and use energy or snag back early and take a cheaper run. Village Art is the sole back row runner so will get off early and get into the running line and likely to be in a good spot midfield.

Race Summary

A lot may depend on what happens with the map of the race so the first 400 meters will be critical to some of the chances here. Shez Elite has held the lead the last 5 times it has found the front in its races, so have to be confident in the map of it leading tonight.

Whoever takes the spot leaders back is then right in the contest, as a result, whilst I think Sassyfeet is a risk tonight as had a lot go its way in the two recent wins, it is some slim chance of finding this position so will not lay it pre-race. However, if Hypervigilant jumps into that spot then I will be keen to lay Sassyfeet in play.

Village Art is my top pick and was a good thing beat last time, it has been well found with “early shoppers” but think it will get back out in the market when things settle a bit closer to the jump. If saved for one run then think it will be too quick for these late and is a good bet.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Village Art to win at odds of $2.00+.

LAY (WIN) – Sassyfeet in-play at odds of up to $6 if it does not find the spot leaders back.

Kilmore Race 8 – 9:10pm

Race Map

Not the quickest of front rows. Calypso Mistress in gate 2 has ok gate speed and is likely to cross the pole horse in Shady Jess who is yet to show much initial speed. Malalla began well last time so can press forward and find an on-pace position.

Atlantas likes to do work so will no doubt press forward and look to either gain the lead or sit parked as it has done on numerous occasions of late. Segesta has only had the one start and on that occasion was not used up early from a wide gate, better drawn this time so may show more aggression.

Shes A Hovercraft is drawn outside the front and is likely to be taken back early and driven with one run. Safe Jewels is the lone back row horse so will get off and into the running line early. It is capable of doing work and has an aggressive driver in David Miles so depending can be driven accordingly.

Race Summary

Shady Jess has trialed ok so whilst its form has been plain, it can improve here. Atlantas is honest and can do work so will be thereabouts. I do respect Segesta as there was some confidence about it on debut after some good trials so it can improve here.

The one I am keen on is Safe Jewels. It made an early error over the short trip last start and made up good ground in what I have as a better class race than tonights. Think the distance suits and has options in the race depending on tempo. Confident its the best horse and clearly one to beat.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Safe Jewels to win at odds of $1.90 plus

An eight-race card this afternoon at Cranbourne, I have found a couple of races to concentrate on.

Race 4 – 2:29pm

Race Map

Stand start trot over the longer distance of 2575 meters with handicaps up to 30 meters so not the easiest race to map. Only two horses off the front and 10-metre handicaps. I think that both the front markers would be happy to sit on the favourite and good stand horse in Brandlo Prince. If that eventuates he is likely to set an even speed and make it difficult for the other handicap horses to get into the race.

Sovereign Minx is the one most likely to sit on the leaders back so will get a good run. Zephiane who is also off 10 meters, has had three starts from the stand but he has galloped prior to the first corner on each of these occasions, she did begin very well on the last of those attempts and galloped when about to find the lead so on its best behaviour could be a surprise leader and the opposition to Brandlo Prince getting the early lead.

But if there is pressure on into the first corner she can buckle. Some good stand horses off the 20 and 30-metre markers so anticipate it will not take them long to settle with the field so they will get there chances depending on race tempo.

Race Summary

Brandlo Prince found the lead first up for the stable over the same distance at this track and gave nothing else a chance running along at even sectionals and demolishing a similar field as today winning by 18 metres. If he does find the lead today and runs along with similar times, then this will make it extremely difficult for the other handicap horses to get into the race.

Dangers will be Sovereign Minx who is likely to be on speed so gets a chance late, Galleons Victory who has an excellent record under these conditions and Trouble Giero caught my eye first up for stable as a horse to watch. As mentioned, Zephiane can be risky early and also steps up to the distance today for the first time which is an additional negative for it.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Brandlo Prince to win at odds of $2 plus.

Race 8 – 4:47pm

Race Map

Not a quick front row with the main gate speed coming from Puntarno Stride and the widest runner in Modern Bliss. As such I am confident that Puntarno Stride is the leader and unless Ian Dornauf on Royal Obsession drives over aggressive as he did last run then looks like not a great deal of pressure on here mid-race. The other favourite Glenledi Boy does not get used early in its races and comes with one run so expect it to sit back and swoop late so the race tempo is critical to its chances.

Race Summary

Looks a two-horse race, and the way I have mapped it one will be in front in Puntarno Stride and the other will be back in the field and driven with one run. In a race where I am not predicting much pressure, then the leader will obviously get the advantage over its main rival and as a result will present an opportunity to play.

I suggest we back Puntarno Stride pre-race then once it finds the lead and the other one is out the back, it will shorten significantly from its starting price and we can then trade out to “green up”.

I respect Glenledi Boy a lot but its recent runs have been typical of a sit sprinter in that he is finishing hard in tempo races not run to suit so its task has been near impossible to win. It will finish hard late no matter what, it will just depend on what type of run the leader gets to help or hinder its dash home.

Betting strategy

BACK-TO-LAY (WIN) – Puntarno Stride to win at odds of $2.20 or better pre-race, then once in-play kicks in and Puntarno Stride is in front as we map, an opportunity is likely to present itself to “green up” so take that option.

Friday double header of VIC trots action with meetings at Mildura this afternoon and Shepparton tonight. The last race at Mildura appeals to me and that makes a good lead into the Shepparton card.

Mildura Race 8 – 4:38pm

Race Map

Over the sprint trip and the main gate speed comes from Urella Fella, Sandoval and Vicstar Sharazz. I am confident that Sandoval has the speed to cross and will hold the lead over the short distance. That will leave Vicstar Sharazzz in the death seat with Urella Fella possibly sitting on the leaders back.

Heza Reddy made an early move last week from a similar draw and that proved unsuccessful so doubt it will push forward today. As a result, it does not look a high-pressure race once they have established their positions.

Race Summary

Sandoval is well suited this distance and if finds the lead as I have mapped, then will be very hard to beat and clear top pick for mine. I would be willing to risk Vicstar Sharazzz from the draw and with me mapping it to have to death seat then cannot see it being able to do that in this class so its a take on with confidence.

Urella Fella is honest and looks like getting a cheap run so its a danger, the back row horses all have ability but with my thoughts of lack of pressure in the race it will be hard for them to get into it late.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Sandoval to win at odds of $2.50 plus

LAY (WIN) – Vicstar Sharazzz to win at odds of up to $7

Shepparton Race 1 – 6:10pm

Race Map

Not the quickest of front rows, a positive driver change for Argy Bargy with Damien Wilson taking over is likely to mean it is driven aggressive off the gate and think it can find the lead here. Brie has ok speed would likely take a sit if the pressure was applied.

Lost Four Words from the pole has shown only fair gate speed to date so see it being back on the fence a few spots. Payup Orleave has galloped in the early part of the race in its only two appearances, no doubt it has loads of ability but be on the watch for what it does in the score up and early in the race.

Race Summary

Early confidence in the market is for Argy Bargy, it has been well found already but think it will get out late in the market to a more suitable price. As stated, I think it finds the lead so as such will be extremely hard to beat, it has only had the 6 races to date but has shown good glimpses of ability in them and its trials and the driver change just gives me confidence that tonight is the night for it to produce its best.

Dangers are with the risky Payup Orleave who has plenty of issues early in the race but if it behaves then it will be right in this contest. Lost Four Words has also shown good ability but from the inside draw it could be back a few spots on the fence so it will require lots of luck late. Outside these three runners doubt the remainder of the field can win so a race of little depth.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Argy Bargy to win at odds of $2.80 plus

Shepparton Race 8 – 9:43pm

Race Map

Even gate speed here. Rothko, Jemsons Pet, Hesty, Rambuncious and Melinka all have gate speed and the ability to be pushed off the gate early. I would think that Rothko would take a sit so likely leader and key to the race may be with Jemsoms Pet. If it is given an aggressive drive then it can find the top then hold the lead and be one to beat.

Hesty has the reputation of being a nice horse and form last preparation shows that, so on that alone the danger is that fellow drivers overrate it and it finds the lead as the others are happy to sit on it. So this could be a very tactical race.

Race Summary

I am not convinced on its trials and its first run back that Hesty is back to the form it showed last preparation. Given it’s clear favourite and it’s no guarantee of finding the lead tonight I think it is vulnerable and worth taking on. As mentioned, Jemsoms Pet may hold the key to the race, it is suited to this class and if it does hold the lead then very hard to run down.

Rothko has forgotten how to win a race but gets the conditions to suit tonight as best held up for one run. Village Art was aggressively driven last time and just run down late but is in form and a winning chance here. Think the race has ok depth to it so as a result, I am willing to take on Hesty.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Hesty to win at odds of up to $2.40

An eight-race card for Mother’s Day trots at Stawell today. I have picked out a couple of races for us to concentrate on and provide a suggested plan of attack. Stawell is a tight 813-metre track that suits on speed horses so will be using this to our advantage with our betting strategy.

Race 2 – 1:29pm

Race Map

Kowalski Analysis is lightning quick off the gate and whilst there is speed underneath it, can’t see them having the necessary speed to hold it out. Blue Vein Fitz showed improved gate speed last start so expect it to push forward early. Would be surprised if the others took much part in the early action as would have no chance of crossing.

Morrisons Dream has the outside draw and from this gate in the past has been restrained early, expect that to be the case then put into the race when the pace slackens. Around this track I would expect that Kowalski Analysis would maintain the lead but cannot be 100% certain on that as has led and taken a sit in each of its last three outings.

Race Summary

Good depth to the field but this track does give the advantage to on speed horses and for this reason, I believe that Kowalski Analysis has found a suitable race. It will likely lead early then hold or take a sit. Either scenario it gets its chance. It has been popular in early markets along with Blue Vein Fitz who continues to get better each run and was a big run last start in defeat doing work the entire race, so on that run, I rate it a danger to my top pick.

Morrisons Dream also has to be respected is so consistent at this level, as mentioned, not likely to be used early but can do work and expect it to be right up there at the finish. Think the winner comes out of these three but as mentioned, do think the race has great depth.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Kowalski Analysis to win at odds of $2.40 or better – I am not 100% certain it will hold the lead so if a chance of trading early in the race to make a profit that the option may be a good one to take.

Race 8 – 5:00pm

Race Map

Romero looks to have the speed to lead with Outback Shadow sitting on its back and getting a cheap run. Romero has led and held the lead in each of its three runs for this stable, even though rising in class here I see it maintaining the lead around this track.

Idle Times can push forward but unlikely to take much part in early action and whilst I’m Shadow Boxer has gate speed its unlikely to use it here and waste energy that can be used for a sprint home. Im Sir Blake has good speed off the gate but can’t cross Romero initially but is likely to push forward, it has pulled very hard of late so this factor will have a big bearing on the tempo of the race and how much energy it wastes over racing in the middle stages.

Stroke Of Luck will not take part in any early action and will hope for speed on so it can finish hard over the top of them.

Race Summary

I’m Sir Blake broke the track record sitting in the death and over racing at Terang over the sprint trip two runs back, it was a massive performance. It backed up 11 days later over the longer distance and was not quite as sharp and beaten when on face value slightly below expectations and its previous run.

I don’t think the distance is a concern today, 7 of its 12 wins have been over the longer trip and even won a heat of the Tasmanian Cup over the extra-long journey. I see today around this track it can death seat and control the race and just be too good for them.

Romero if it decided to hold the lead will be pressured more than it has in its winning streak so it is very vulnerable today to the pressure likely to be applied so think it can be risked with confidence. The late closers in I’m Shadow Boxer and Stroke Of Luck are to be respected as the other winning chances.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – I’m Sir Blake at odds of $1.90 plus

LAY (WIN) – Romero at odds of up to $8

Friday night racing at Shepparton tonight and another excellent 8 race card to delve into. I have found a couple of races that I have confident we can use the race maps to our advantage.

Race 3 – 6.07pm

Race Map

Only the six runners so I will summarise each runner and potential position in early running. Lethal Lover has not shown a lot of gate speed to date so see it getting back on the pegs a few spots. Louisiana Jo has shown gate speed in its trials so expect it to be pushed off the gate and see it crossing to the pegs ahead of Lethal Lover.

Misskontiki is another first starter, it showed a bit of early speed in its trial but not enough to have an impact early so it will settle back. Esterna has ok gate speed and see it pushing forward early and is some chance of finding the top. Most likely leader is Grinforawin who has excellent gate speed especially if pushed hard early. From the outside gate, I cannot see Secret Identity getting across those inside so expect it to have to work to win.

Race Summary

I am banking on Grinforawin having too much speed for those inside and being able to cross to the lead. If that eventuates then I see it extremely hard to run down. Since joining this stable it has led on two of the three appearances for them, each over the longer trip, tonight I believe the shorter trip will be even more in its favour. Main dangers are Esterna who may get a nice run and has always shown good ability, been ok both runs this time in without showing its best form.

Secret Identity did win well last time after finding the lead, as I have not mapped that occurring tonight it is worth risking but still has the ability to be respected. The first starters have been fair at the trials but doubt they are good enough for this first up. Lethal Lover did trial well prior to its first run for the stable where was a pass effort but its lack of early speed is a negative.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Grinforawin to win at odds of $2.30 or better. – There will be an option to “green up” if it does find the lead so a choice that you can make at this time to trade out.

Race 6 – 7.40pm

Race Map

Very confident in the map here. Ark Patrol from the pole has very good gate speed and clearly has the speed to hold early and will not be taking a sit as its pattern is to hold the top. Casting Shadow has drawn inside the second row and has the early speed to hold the position behind the leader Ark Patrol.

Golden Sand drawn two off the second row will likely go three the fence as this would be a good spot to be. Rockon Locksley and Millah Joy will likely find a position in the running line and be making runs wide in the last lap.

Race Summary

As mentioned, I have full confidence in my race map,  as such, think there are only two winning chances. Ark Patrol has been excellent in its three runs this time in since joining the stables of Wayne Anderson. It has been runner up its last two runs when leading, both times beaten by nice horses.

Importantly due to pressure in these races the third quarter of the last mile has been run in quicker time than the last, this may be the key to tonight’s contest as if this occurs again tonight then the leader would become vulnerable to be outsprinted late by Casting Shadow who is a very good late closer.

I am willing to risk anything outside these two runners and bank on getting the map correct. The query runner is Millah Joy who has the talent and is first up for a new stable so it has to be respected but still has the job ahead with the race pattern against it.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Ark Patrol to win at odds of $2 or better.  – I am confident of it leading so again see it shorten below BSP early in the race so feel free to “green up”.

An eight-race card at Cranbourne tonight, I have found a couple of races to concentrate on and have detailed how we can profit on them.

Race 1 – 4:53pm

Race Map

Alte has the most gate speed and I am confident it finds the fence initially. After its win last start it was stated that the stable think it’s best now driven with cover so from that info, I would think it will lead and take a sit.

All the early money is for Safe Jewels who is yet to be pushed off the gate at the start, based on this early confidence I feel that it will be pushed off the gate tonight and come across with Alte and work to the lead. If this does not eventuate, then Writers Reign off the back row will be the benefit of that as it will be around them as soon as it can and either find the lead or death sit if Alte has already taken a sit.

Race Summary

I think the way to attack this race is to play around our race map and have confidence in that. As stated, I have Alte leading then sitting on either Safe Jewels or Writers Reign when it makes a move early in the race. This scenario then makes it difficult for Krafty Bart who has drawn inside the second row so will not take part in any early action.

I am willing to take it on even though it has the genius of Chris Alford aboard. It will be popular in the market as the majority of his drives are but think we have the on speed horses and map to take it on.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Krafty Bart to win at odds of up to $5.

Race 3 – 5:57pm

Race Map

Villacci is first up for a good trainer in Lisa Miles. It has not started for nearly 12 months but last preparation raced in top company where it showed plenty of gate speed. I see it finding the lead here and wanting to hold as would not be confident sitting on those drawn outside it.

Good Cop, Shesalwaysdreaming and Vernay all have gate speed but as stated, do not think have the speed to cross. Freedom Writer gets the great run following out Villacci so have it mapped leaders back.

Race Summary

Villacci has had one trial leading into tonight’s race. It was driven quite in that workout and got to the line nicely down the straight. Based on its previous preparation and with some natural improvement, i see it as clear top pick in a race of limited types.

Freedom Writer gets the cheap run but it was just an average performance last time so would be surprized if it could out dash Villacci at the finish. Good Cop is first up for new stable and its trial was fair. Shesalwaysdreaming is a doubt at the distance and Vernnay would struggle from the draw.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Villacci at odds of $1.85 or better.

Race 7 – 8:02pm

Race Map

Celestial Gossip and Rockabella Starz have drawn beside each other and both have very good early speed. A lot will depend on the tactics of Michelle Phillips who is driving Celestial Gossip as I think it has enough speed to hold out Rockabella Starz if it wants too.

Celestial Gossip can get keen and over race so could even be a case of Michelle having no option to maintain the lead. However, which way we look at it either of these two horses will be the early leader of the five horses drawn off the front.

Sunrose Master has the early speed to maintain a good spot following through the speed and the same can be said about Delightful Mia and it will settle in a forward spot. Glenledi Boy is a sit sprinter so will be going back from the outside draw and be finishing off late.

Race Summary

Very good depth to this race. As stated not certain of the map early and for that reason think that Rockabella Starz is a risk here and worth taking on. Even if it does find the lead it is the type of horse that is lazy in front and is vulnerable to late finishers. And we have a couple of very quick sit sprinters here that will swoop late up the long Cranbourne straight.

Glenledi Boy has a powerful finishing burst and if given the right run would finish over the top of quality opposition. Of late it just not had the cart into the race that it would like and had to dash home off very quick late sectionals. It looks well placed today and there is a lot of early confidence in it based on market fluctuations already.

Sunrose Master did trial good during the week getting home in fast sectionals on a wet track so must be respected as also Delightful Mia who looks to have come back from a spell in very good fashion. Our Jimmie has drawn outside the back row and would need to lift to be a winning chance even though it is dropping in class here.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Lay Rockabella Starz to win at odds of up to $5 – if it does lead early then likely to shorten in the market in play, this does not concern me so happy to lay again at even lower price than BSP mid-race.

Another double-header of Vic trots action with meetings at Mildura this afternoon and Shepparton tonight. I have selected three races to bet into with confidence.

Mildura Race 7 – 5:08pm

Race Map

Gate speed with Bella Cullen, Springfield Shadow and from the extreme outside Vicstar Sharazzz. It’s likely that Vicstar Sharazzz and Luke Watson will have enough speed to cross into the first corner and if that’s the case it will want to hold the top.

Graceful Art will take a spot on the fence and be happy to look for cheap runs. Bella Cullen can do work but don’t expect it to be applying pressure to the leader. There does not look to be a lot of pressure from the back row horses but the leader does tend to roll along in front so do not see a lot of moves in the race.

Race Summary

Does not look a high-pressure race. If Vicstar Sharazzz leads then as I said will roll along, it does step up in class from last weeks win so I think it is vulnerable today in a race of more depth. Bella Cullen is in form and looks well placed again here, it can do work if required but would be best suited if could be saved with one run.

Rainbow Racer is capable with the right run and can finish hard off speed. I think the best option is to take on Vicstar Sharazzz pre-race then if it finds the lead as I have mapped, it will shorten up again so lay again at even shorter odds early in the race.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Lay Vicstar Sharazzz pre-race at odds of up to $4 – then in-play if finds the top then lay again as will be much shorter then BSP.

Mildura Race 8 – 5:37pm

Race Map

A small field of only 7 runners with three horses off the front row and four off the back row. This now favours Murranji Track who can push forward from the start and either find the lead or dominate the race from getting to the death much easier than it has in previous weeks.

Likely scenario is it finds the top as all horses off the front look likely to take a sit, main danger Bernie Winkle is best suited coming with one run and is likely to be driven in that fashion again today.

Race Summary

Murranji Track looks well placed here in what now looks to be a two-horse race. He was beaten last week by Bernie Winkle but did have to work very hard to get into the race early and had nothing left late to hold off the challenge of Bernie Winkle. I see him conserving a lot more energy early in the race today and will be able to repel the late challenge of Bernie late.

Carload is back with its original stable and is a sit sprinter so they would have to go very hard for it to get into the race late. Confident I have the map right and from there should be able to play around that scenario.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Murranji Track at odds of $1.90 or better pre-race – if finds the lead as I map then will no doubt shorten up in the market so trade back to green up if you wish.

Shepparton Race 6 – 8:40pm

Race Map

The race of the night with superstar Lochinvar Art set to dominate, but the depth in this race is outstanding. Jimmy Locke now has the pole draw and grows a leg this distance, it has the speed to hold early then take a sit on a favourable runner.

Gate speed outside it is with Shoshone Brave, Three Summas and Leonidas. My map is that it waits for Leonidas then takes a sit on it. What happens next depends on when Lochinvar Art gets around as if there early enough would likely work to the front as well.

Race Summary

See this as a fence-dominated race. I map Jimmy Locke sitting on Leonidas and the other Aitken runner Ideal Star sitting on the back of them on the pegs. Outside these, even though some red hot form and classy horses involved I just don’t see them being able to get into the race when such good horses dominate the peg line.

Jimmy Locke has an outstanding record this distance and is in super form. Last start it death seated over the longer distance and held on to run a huge second. Tonight I see him filling a placing so can attack the race looking at the placegetters as Lochinvar Art will be most likely winning no matter how the race is run.

Betting strategy

BACK (PLACE) – Jimmy Locke the place at odds of $1.90 or better

LAY (PLACE) – Three Summas the place at odds up to $5

Sunday afternoon racing at Shepparton today and I have found a couple of races to be involved with where I am confident we can profit.

Race 4 – 2:44pm

Race Map

Not a quick front line with the lead being up for grabs. Likely candidates for that position are Amaranda, Well Well, Bensonfire and Wantalinga Dream but none of them show explosive speed. Lost Four Words has drawn outside the front and is yet to be used off the gate so would be surprised if she went forward early and I think would be best with one run at them late.

It does not look a high-pressure race but sometimes that means they all think they can win and we get an early burn which leaves them running home slowly at the end. especially over the 2190 meters of today’s race. So all up, a hard race to map.

Race Summary

The way I have looked at this race, it’s clear that the horse with the best scope to improve off recent runs and potential to win races is Lost For Words. It was very good closing off late last start over the sprint distance this track getting home in a tick under 58 seconds for its last 800.

I’m confident that driven with patience it would be too good for these closing late and it’s certainly worth a bet against a very ordinary lot. Not from a fashionable stable so hoping that it gets out to close to black figures at start time.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Lost Four Words at odds of $1.90 or better.

Race 6 – 4:03pm

Race Map

Only five horses off the front row here. Cobie Hall has the inside draw and fair gate speed, enough to hold its own but could not must enough speed to hold the lead. American Trilogy has ok speed and likely to cross to the fence but Cresco Threepeat likes to lead and has an aggressive driver in Gary Pekin so expect it to be pushing hard to the first corner.

Out wide we have Galactic Gal who doesn’t have the speed to cross but may still push forward gradually and Postal Express who I’m confident of being eased off the arm and taken back early. Back row horses are all in form, Rothko is best with one run so likely that it’s saved for that but Bella Mystique and Lasting Bond can be used up if required when the tempo allows.

Race Summary

I am shocked at what has occurred in the early markets. It can be dangerous to go against that tide at times but also think it’s important to back your judgement and reading of a race.

The major fluctuation in betting is for Cobie Hall ($17 into $4) and I just can’t understand why. Since winning at Albury late last year it has had 7 starts and collectively over those runs has beaten a total of 4 runners home, last start it sat 4 fence over the sprint distance and struggled to keep up over the last lap of the race. With the depth of this race, I just have to take on this runner in some capacity as I think a massive form reversal would be required as this race has a number of chances and a step up on last start failure.

Cresco Threepeat loves to lead – if it does then it will take a lot of catching. All the back row horses are suited here and capable of winning. Rothko can be risky early but suited this class but needs to be driven with one run so expect it to finish off hard.

Bella Mystique is in great form and the improving Lasting Bond cant be left out of contention. Galactic Gal is a risk for mine from the draw as do not see it finding the front and will need some favours at some point in the race.

Betting strategy

LAY (PLACE) – Cobie Hall the place at odds up to $4.50 – if the opportunity is there to lay the win then do so as well but would be surprised if current fixed odds price was the Betfair SP.

A double header of Friday trots action to lead us into another big weekend of racing. I like a couple of races late in the programme at Mildura that will be a good lead into tonight’s action at Kilmore.

Mildura Race 7 – 5:03pm

Race Map

Only four horses off the front row, Without Hesitation has the pole draw and that is the worst draw it could have, it has fair gate speed only and does not like to be bustled early as has broken up on the first corner when done so in the past.

Yes Shesastar has rarely been pushed off the gate, however, with a positive driver change tonight, there could be a change of tactics and it be used up a little more early. Parisian Ruler has ok gate speed and expect that it will use its speed and cross those inside it, however the fastest horse off the front is Rainbow Racer and i see it having little trouble finding the lead early.

Off the back row, Twobobjack has the ability to push forward in its races but be wary of it pre race as can gallop early. Classis Arc is a bit one paced but can be put into the race at the right time and Best of Beauty is a sit sprinter so expect it to be driven for luck.

Race Summary

My map has the pre post fav in Without Hesitation being crossed early and may even be 3 back the fence running out of the first corner. It can still win from here as its a nice horse and the class of the race suits, however, i expect the market to react to its position in the running early in the race and therefore creating an opportunity for us to lay to back to earn on the race.

I anticipate that the driver will be getting off the fence where possible early so be on the lookout for an early opportunity to “green up”. Rainbow Racer i am confident finds the lead and will be hard to run down whilst in front. Also i have respect for Classic Arc, Twobobjack and Yes Shesastar who could be the improver here.

Betting strategy

LAY – Without Hesitation to win at odds of up to $3.20. Then in play once it gets crossed early as I anticipate, back to win at odds of higher than your lay price to profit on race.

Race 8 – 5:34pm

Race Map

Passionate Pursuit has the gate speed to lead and I am confident that there is not enough speed outside it to cross so should be a simple case of it kicking through early and getting a comfortable early lead. There does not look to be a lot of early pressure in the race so expect the tempo to be somewhat slow with driver Luke Watson dictating a speed to suit.

Query runner is Smooth Delight who is first up for Jason Mcginty so I am not confident of its pattern with this new stable. Bella Cullen has ok gate speed but cant cross the pole horse and i see Trooper Mossman from inside the second row having the speed to hold leaders back at the start.

Stuart and Urella Fella both have the ability to push forward at some stage in the race when the tempo goes out but both are unlikely to put crazy pressure on the leader.

Race Summary

As mentioned, i have Passionate Pursuit getting a very easy lead initially in the race. Therefore this gives us a excellent opportunity to back and lay and profit early in the contest. As i see little pressure early, i would expect that it will trade significantly lower than your back price early in the race.

Passionate Pursuit was beaten on Monday but that was over the longer distance, and did put in a quick third quarter of 28.4 which made it vulnerable late. Tonights sprint trip if it can be saved for a quick last quarter i cant see them running it down. Dangers are the inform Bella Cullen and the back row runners of Stuart and Urella Fella.

Betting strategy

BACK – Passionate Pursuit to win at odds of $2 or better – in play lay at odds under your back price early in the race to profit.

Kilmore Race 3 – 6:40pm

Race Map

Stand start trots can be difficult to map as so much depends on the early manners. Four of the Eight runners are ODS (out of draw stand) , which means they have previously galloped form stand start races so have already proved risky early.

Aldebaran Zeus is the most inexperienced of the field having just two prior starts, it has handled the stand well on both occasions though so expect it to be on speed. Redwood Invasion is ODS but a winner of 10 races from the stand and has raced a massive 97 times under these conditions so anticipate it to be on speed and maybe the leader.

Brandlo Prince led and won well on its stand debut and would expect it to be put into the race when the tempo allows off its 10 meter handicap.

Race Summary

Regional racing has meant finding races for 2-year-old trotters has been a challenge, this race a classic example. Not doubting the ability of Aldebaran Zeus but a 2-year-old trotter taking on older experienced horses is a massive task and racing way out of its class. It’s a rating 39 and this race is for rating 46 to 55.

As such just have to take it on and see it as a lay opportunity, Chris Alford is aboard so its likely to be well in the market. Both runs have been over the sprint distance against its same age and tonight’s contest is bound to be a significant challenge.

Brandlo Prince was extremely impressive first up for the stable, it comes off the 10 meter handicap but this actually looks a drop in class on its previous run so have it clear top pick. Main dangers are Redwood Invasion who has such a good record under these conditions and Tip Top Grandpa who was impressive winning last time when had good market support.

Betting strategy

LAY – Aldebaran Zeus to win at odds of up to $7

Twilight trots at Cranbourne tonight, I have found a couple of favourites I am willing to take on so we will explore those races deeper.

Race 2 – 6:03pm

Race Map

Not the quickest of front rows with the exposed gate speed coming from the roughie Royal Bettor and Elteearr who has drawn in the middle of the line. The pole horse Something Fast does not have much gate speed, how far back on the fence it ends up early is the concern with this horse as will either have to stay on the fence or come off at some stage and do work.

Izzy Jolie is not quick off the arm but is likely to be driven aggressive as per the norm with her driver David Miles. Rocking Bugatti does not have the early speed to cross but is another that is capable of being used up early and put into the race when it can. Tanabi Falcon has drawn inside back row behind the slow beginner so it will likely get off early and Alford will know when and what to do as always.

Race Summary

Good depth to this race and due to the map, I am willing to take on the fav Something Fast. It does not have the necessary speed to lead and even of more concern is the horse that will definitely cross it is Royal Bettor who is first up and comes off a plain trial. Over this distance it will be getting tired a long way from home and not the horse you would like to be caught behind.

As such, Jayden Barker will have to make a call early in the race to get off the pegs and do work at some point. With the depth in the race and the map I see, just have the take on this fav. Winning chances to Elteearr who trialed well this track recently, Izzy Jolie, Rocking Bugatti and Tanabi Falcon.

Whilst it will have to overcome the extreme back row draw the field of only 8 will assist and at the odds I am will to invest. As a saver would also suggest that Jackierabbit who comes off a good trial this track on the weekend is the one at value worth a play. I do respect Silent Major who was massive last start and back to the form we know it can perform at.

Betting strategy

LAY – Something Fast at odds of up to $5.00

Race 6 – 8:14pm

Race Map

Loads of gate speed here. Feisty Phoebe, Reign Maker, Will And Andy, Ears Ponder and Credon Star all have the necessary speed to lead here, so it’s likely to be on early and over the distance of 2080 meters that could be costly for horses of this class. Freedom Fight is one of two horses off the back row and the other a barrier rogue in Heza Braxton so will get plenty of room early to follow them through and get off the fence during the initial part of the race.

Race Summary

As mentioned, loads of early speed here and i think this could bring a few of them undone. Credon Star is the interesting runner in the race and somewhat a query horse. He reverts to his original stable of Don Lock after spending two runs at the inform Ashwood/Hargreaves team where he performed very well after leading on both occasions.

These runs were over the sprint distance and tonight he steps up to the longer distance and has speed under him as well as coming off a break without a trial. Add further to this is that due to regional racing, his trainer, Don Lock take the reigns, he usually puts the pros on but on this occasion has chosen to drive himself so that’s an added negative for mine.

I rate Freedom Writer on top as will not take part in the early burn and gets the services of Chris Alford who has an amazing record this track. Also comes off a good trial this course so looks ready to run a big race first-up.

Betting strategy

LAY – Credon Star to win at odds of up to $5.00

A double header of Vic trots action tonight with racing in two regions, Terang and Ballarat, where both meetings have 8 races for contest in what should be an action packed night of entertainment.

Terang Race 5 – 8:24pm

Race Map

Five horses off the front row and all bar the outside runner Shady Dancer have good gate speed. Based on this then its highly likely that Jilliby Galwaygirl has enough speed to hold them out early and be the leader, then it makes the decision to hold or take a sit on another runner.

Its pattern is not to take the sit so for mapping purposes I have to anticipate that Glen Craven will hold, however the stablemate Jilliby Sylvester is the only likely candidate to find the front off it as cannot see any others getting the favours of being presented the lead.

The other stablemates off the front from the Dunn barn have the ability to push forward but are likely to look for cover early. Jackierabbit has drawn to follow the likely leader and has the speed to hold that spot early and will take advantage of that cheap run early. Troubador and Moto Tigers Eye can do work so expect them to be put into the race if the tempo allows.

Race Summary

Outstanding depth to this race so expect that some horses will end up excellent value close to starting time. As I have mentioned, the map is not bomb proof but i am working on the theory of Jilliby Galwaygirl holding the lead and aim for an all the way win. It will no doubt improve its first up run off a long spell but this race tonight has so much more depth and I think I have to suggest taking it on tonight.

I would actually say that 6 out of the 8 runners are winning hopes with Philadelphia Freedom and Shady Dancer being the ones I cant see winning here. I have been so impressed with Mot Tigers Eye who has won two of its three runs, and the time it didn’t win in galloped in the run when about to hit the line hard.

Whilst it will have to overcome the extreme back row draw the field of only 8 will assist and at the odds i am will to invest. As a saver would also suggest that Jackierabbit who comes off a good trial this track on the weekend is the one at value worth a play. I do respect Silent Major who was massive last start and back to the form we know it can perform at.

Betting strategy

LAY – Jilliby Galwaygirl at odds of up to $4.50

BACK – Motu Tigers Eye at odds of $3.20 plus

BACK – Jackierabbit at odds of $8 plus

Terang Race 7 – 9:20pm

Race Map

Small field of 6 runners only but this is an exciting race and promises to be action early as they all have the ability to press off the mobile.

Goodtime Heaven can explode off the gate from wide barriers and think it has the speed to cross and will appreciate back to the sprint distance so will be holding the lead if it finds it. Imasportsstar has good speed but up in class so cant imagine it holding so would sit on a favoured runner. Nancys Boy has speed but not enough to hold them out from wider on track so anticipate it getting back.

Im Shadow Boxer has electric late closing speed so probably best suited to one run rather than using it up early. Stroke of Luck likely not to take part in the early battle. The one that can is Im Sir Blake who also has very good gate speed and suited to being the leader, so i see the main lead battle between him and Goodtime Heaven for front spot and i am mapping the latter to hold.

Race Summary

I think that Imasportsstar and Nancys Boy are either outclassed or out of form so dont see them as winning chances. If the map works out as i anticipate in Goodtime Heaven leading then i see it as a leading chance over the sprint distance and very hard to run down.

Has won 10 of 15 races this distance and placed on 4 other occasions, dont get much better records than that so have to respect that so much. Im Shadow Boxer has hit peak form in its career and may just go on with it from here so have huge respect for it and see it running a massive race with its powerful finish.

I am willing to risk Im Sir Blake who i think would have to lead too win but as i anticipate that not happening have to lay and think that Stroke of Luck is just below its best at present and needs to be on here to win.

Betting strategy

LAY – Im Sir Blake at odds of $5 plus

LAY – Stroke of Luck at odds of $9 plus

Ballarat Race 1 – 5:27pm

Race Map

This map will largely be determined by the racing manners of Showemyourmuscles, if it behaves at the start then I am confident it finds the lead and rolls along on top.

Dream Over has ok gate speed and it is the one likely to take advantage of any early error by the risky Showemyourmuscles and be the leader. Mah Mukker has a tricky draw but class runner so expect it to be off the fence early and put into the race when the pace allows.

Race Summary

As mentioned already, Showemyourmuscles can be risky early but if it behaves then is the leader and loves to bowl along in front, will be so hard to run down. Dream Over lacks high speed and seems to whack away at about the same speed and I am willing to take it on as one of the favs here, especially as I see its chances relying on the risky six horse early.

Mah Mukker looks to have found a suitable race and can do work, expect it to be off the fence from the inside back row draw and be put into the race whenever the tempo slackens. It does seem to be well graded here so a definite winning chance.

Query runner coming off a long spell for a new stable is Well Deserved but it would be a shock to see it improve enough to compete here. So I see manners early playing a huge role in this race so be on the lookout early for runners doing the wrong thing.

Betting strategy

LAY – Dream Over at odds of up to $4.80

Sunday twilight trots and an excellent card of racing and a meeting in which I am confident to play into three races where the map looks to be in our favour.

Race 1 – 5:17pm

Speed Map

Loads of front row speed here but the outside horses are likely to go back as they have little hope of crossing Miss Fandango who is the most likely leader. I see Techys Angel kicking through on the inside and holding leaders back, this will leave Time To React with cover or facing the death seat if nothing else goes forward. Expect Aveiro and Rollecks to go back from wide draws. It does not look a high-pressure race to me so likely to be a slow quarter thrown in mid-race.

Race Summary

Miss Fandango is in form and loves to lead, the distance suits so will give a huge sight in front. I like Techys Angel who was impressive winning first-up off the break and if I get the map correct will get the perfect run and use the sprint lane.

Time To React just keeps winning so has to be respected again if it gets the right breaks in the run. Starry Mach trialed ok and comes from respected stable. Also a big watch on Aveiro who was given a very soft trial and if money comes for this horse then I respect that and should not go around without a small saver, but feeling is this time its likely to go back and be driven for luck.

Betting strategy

BACK – Techys Angle at odds of $2.50 plus

Race 5 – 7:34pm

Speed Map

Some quick beginners here and a very high-class race. Three Summas is an excellent beginner and gets the favourable draw to work to the lead here. Those drawn inside him would both likely take cover so it’s only the outside drawn horses that would need to cross him and I don’t see that occurring here.

Perhaps the only candidate would be Franks Very Much who has a very aggressive driver in Ros Rolfe aboard but it would only likely be pest material as for sheer speed Three Summas has it covered.

Race Summary

Great depth here. The map becomes critical with a race of this nature. My likely scenario is for The Crimson Prince to work across to the fence and Three Summas to come across with him and then progress to the lead.

Franks Very Much likely to press forward and is the candidate for the death seat. Jimmy Locke loves this distance but will have to be driven for luck and come for one run from his wide draw. Shoshone Brave is in super form, but the wide draw and a significant negative driver change means it has a bit against it tonight.

Ideal Star is the query runner. It’s first up for team Aiken and comes off a very soft trial against Three Summas where it went to the line with grips. It has an awkward draw but don’t discount it.

Brallos Pass is the highest assessed horse in the race but with that comes the back row draw, its still a leading chance here though. I am confident in our map here and we can utilize this with a strategy to back to lay early in the race.

Betting strategy

BACK to LAY – Back Three Summas to win pre-race at odds of $2.20 plus – then when it finds the lead as I am mapping, trade early in play at a lower price to green up

Race 8 – 9:17pm

Speed Map

Shez Elite has good gate speed and loves to lead, its not a quick front row with Tara Leeann drawn the inside and it likely to be happy to sit on the leaders back. Surfsup led from an inside draw last time but have a feeling it will not be used up aggressive off the gate as it can pull very hard if stirred up too much early.

That being the case, I see Shez Elite getting a pretty soft early section here. Back row horses are likely to be driven sit sprint so the only pressure I see in the race is if Surfsup gets over racing mid-race.

Race Summary

Shez Elite has found the right race here. Likes to lead and gets a favourable distance in a race where the pressure is likely to be limited. Last start it led over the longer distance and was run down very close to home and ran along in good even sectionals. So providing things go to plan, it looks a safe bet to finish off the card on a bright note.

Danger is Surfsup who has regained some form of late and I respect its ability. Wandanas Advice is capable and an honest type but has been driven sit sprint of late and if that occurs tonight it would rely on an aggressive tempo to win which I don’t see occurring.

Betting strategy

BACK – Shez Elite to win at odds of $2.40 plus

We head to Cranbourne for tonight’s Vic trots action with eight races for us to get involved with. I have chosen a couple to concentrate on and provide an insight on how to attack them.

Race 3 – 6:44pm

Speed Map

Two of these off the front have good gate speed, both led at their last starts and both were very plain in doing so. I speak of Alte who has drawn the pole and likes to lead, over the longer distance it may be happy to take a sit.

Cuzin Lyndal has drawn outside the front line and can lead from here if the driver Glenn Hunter decides that is the plan again for tonight. As there is only five off the front row my feeling is that he will press forward and find the top.

Writers Reign gets a cheap fence run and will play for luck. Krafty Bart is likely to sit and make one run late so don’t anticipate an aggressive drive from Lisa Miles on it tonight. Chris Alford drives the inform horse in the race in Leosabi and it is adaptable so if the speed goes out of the race, expect it to be up looking for the death or even the lead.

Race Summary

As mentioned, Alte and Cuzin Lyndal both were plain leading last time. Alte was over the short trip so can’t imagine it getting in a war to hold the lead and if it does then that’s history for its chances. Cuzin Lyndal was heavily supported last time and really had no excuses, it would be difficult to back up on it with confidence tonight.

Leosabi just looks to have found the perfect race for it tonight, runner up its last 3 starts behind some nice horses I am confident tonight will be its night. It is probably best suited to a sit and using its sprint but it can tough it out if needed, as shown in its run at Kilmore two runs back when did all the work and just kept giving.

Alford will know what suits best tonight so confident no matter how the race is run he is the one to beat. Dangers are Cuzin Lyndal but would be a major form reversal and Krafty Bart who has the ability for this class.

Betting strategy

BACK – Leosabi at odds of $1.80 plus.

Race 7 – 8:49pm

Speed Map

A few of these have the ability to push off the gate early. Pearlescent kicked through early to hold the lead from the same draw last time, then took a sit once pressure was applied. It has Monique Burnett engaged tonight and she is a driver who normally sums up her horses well so would think that she would be happy to sit on the right horse.

Priddy Easy has good gate speed and the logical one to find the front, has an aggressive driver on in Rodney Petroff so tipping it will cross to the fence. Will And Andy and Awesome Reactor both have good gate speed but having drawn outside of Priddy Easy they would have the task ahead to cross. So my map is settling on Pearlescent taking a sit on Priddy Easy and it looking for an all the way win.

Race Summary

This is a rating 45 to 49 event and as such, a limited lot. Priddy Easy doesn’t have the most flattering of overall form to its record but at times you have to work on recent form and the race that its placed in. Tonight’s conditions just look perfect for it to get back to winning form.

As mentioned, I have mapped it leading and then clearly the one to run down. But I would not want to be taking silly odds about a horse with this record so we play if the price matches. Also, think it’s a good in-play opportunity to trade back in the run if/when it finds the top.

Danger is Awesome Reactor who is improving each run and did sit in the death seat last time and tried very hard to only get run down late in the race. Tauto Jane comes out of the same race and whilst it took all the short cuts was a fair effort. Outside these, if Groom behaves at the start its a chance at odds and Deft Touch can mix its form but has the ability.

Betting strategy

BACK to LAY – Priddy Easy to win pre-race at odds of $2.50 plus – once in front as we anticipate, trade back early in play at a reduced price.

Region-based racing in Victoria continues tonight and we head to Bendigo for an excellent eight-race card. I have selected a couple of races for us to get involved with confidence and will be reliant on one of the area’s most successful trainers, Glenn Douglas, for us to get the money.

Race 5 – 8.40m

Speed Map

Vandanta is one of the quickest beginners from the mobile in the state. He clearly has the speed to cross and looks the initial leader, then the decision has to be made to hold the lead or take a sit on a favourable runner. My feeling is tonight that it will attempt for an all the way victory.

The only horse it would sit on off the front would be its stablemate in Bernie Winkle if they decide to fly off the gate with it. So be on the lookout early in-play as if Bernie goes forward then this is the scenario likely to unfold.

Manassa Sky, Rocknroll Noah and Satans Outlaw will all be aiming for the spot leaders back early so they are likely to be pushed early to obtain this spot. Hashtag can do work in its races but inside back row draw is awkward so it will take time to work into the race. Animated is likely to come with one run so do not anticipate him pushing forward early.

Race Summary

The current form of Vandanta may look less than flattering, however, tonight he gets the conditions that he enjoys the most. He holds the key to the race and has options. Almost certain to find the early lead and make a call from there. I do not anticipate much early pressure in the first section of the race, so that being the case Vandanta will likely shorten in play and give us a good back to lay scenario early in the race.

The pressure would likely come from Hashtag but he is drawn inside second row so will take time to get into the race, he was fantastic winning from the death first up off a break and he is a winning chance again tonight. Manassa Sky is honest and if it does gain the position leaders back then he gets a good opportunity late.

Animated is suited this class and is up to this level, would be shocked if anything else was to win.

Betting strategy

BACK to LAY – Vandanta to win at odds of $2.50 plus then lay at shorter price when finds the lead early in the contest.

Race 8 – 10.09pm

Speed Map

Only five horses across the front here and the lead looks to be between all bar Azza. The advantage of the inside draw is with Calaquendi and I think it has the speed to muster and with an aggressive driver in Neil McCallum hold the early lead.

Elegant Jewel does have ok gate speed but most times they elect not to use it so my thought process is tonight it will not cross to the fence early. Sandoval is racing well for this stable and has good speed but doubt can cross the inside runners. Extreme outside draw is with All Whitey Then who can begin quick but would be an ask to cross the speed from out wide.

Ozzie Battler gets the gun run leaders back if the one Calaquendi holds up early, so that will be the major key to the race in the first 400 meters.

Race Summary

As mentioned the key to the race is the first 400 meters, my map is the one, Calaquendi, holding the lead and Ozzie Battler holding its back, if that scenario unfolds then I am confident that Ozzie Battler is in the right form to be winning and just needs the leader to get it all the way to the sprint lane and it will be winning.

If Plan A doesn’t work out then the task will be so much harder but it can still win from elsewhere in the run. Placed runner up in four of its last five starts against excellent company, tonight’s race actually looks a lower grade race so just looks perfectly placed if things go his way.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Ozzie Battler to win at odds of $2.40 plus

A competitive eight-race card at Charlton today. Fields are now limited to max of eight starters under COVID-19 rules in Victoria and this generally gives all horses every chance. I have provided a couple of lay suggestions on horses well in the early markets for today’s card.

Race 3 – 12:45pm

Speed Map

Bit of early speed here with a number of them having the ability to push forward early. The stablemates Louieville Lass and Di Li have drawn the inside barriers and have fair gate speed and can hold their own from these draws.

Meet Michaelangelo has ok speed and an aggressive driver so likely to push early. Blis Valley and Aztic Inti drawn a bit wider but can come across so expect them to be part of the action early.

Manners will be critical early, especially for Cadenza who is the lone runner off the second row which may be of assistance as it can do so much wrong early. It has galloped out in its last 3 runs and virtually taken little part in the race.

Race Summary

All eyes on Cadenza at the start here. As mentioned, it has galloped hopelessly its last three starts and all when very short in the market. It can even pace away hence why it has been swung into a gallop to attempt to get it to trot. And has been doing this with the States very best drivers in Kate Gath and Chris Alford aboard. So on this has to be a risk today on just scoring up alone. Even if it does it all right early I tend to think it has been a touch overrated and there are a number of chances in a race of depth here.

Meet Michaleangelo is in form and can do work, Blis Valley goes well when driven by Michael Bellman and gets him again today and Aztec Inti can be risky early but on its best behaviour can be part of the early speed and be very hard to beat. The stablemates drawn the inside, Louieville Lass and Di Li are honest and capable.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Cadenza to win at odds of up to $4.50

Race 6 – 2.44pm

Speed Map

Standing start trot over the longer distance with eight runners spread over a wide range of handicaps, what an excellent race and really this small field gives them all a chance. Manners will be critical as doubt any of these could afford to make a mistake in a field of this depth and still win.

Only Barhoon off the front and she is the most inexperienced runner in the field and has been only fair to begin in its stands to date. Sonny Brooke is off 20 meters but effectively the second row as no 10-metre runners, it has excellent stand ability and could be the one moving to the lead or putting pressure on in the run to the first corner.

Archleo began well off the same handicap last time and looks to handle the conditions well. The one of the big handicap of 60 meters is Aleppo Murphy, but, in saying that he deserves such a penalty as is clearly the best-performed horse in the field and raced at a much higher level.

He will have heaps of room early out the back to settle which he needs and if he can tack onto the back of the pack early in the race then he will be clearly the one to beat.

Race Summary

Spread over a large group of handicaps so an even race and most can win. I expect Sonny Brooke to push forward early and may even take up the running so if that’s the case it will take running down. Archleo is a young trotter who has shown good ability but this is another step up today and I think it is vulnerable in a race of this depth.

No Republic was most impressive winning in very good sectionals last start, a repeat of that performance and it will be right in this. The big query in the race is if Aleppo Murphy can handle the 60-metre handicap, and that’s what makes this race so interesting.

This horse loves the open space and having no horses around it early, it is used to big handicaps as when it trials it generally gives lesser grade trotters massive starts and likes to run them down so I don’t see the 60 meters being a massive negative. Zarem is first up and that is a challenge in a race of this depth. Well Defined has a very good sprint so an opportunist if the conditions are run to suit.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Archleo to win at odds of up to $6

The country cups circuit is nearing a close but we still have a couple of big ones to complete. Today we see the staging of the Ouyen Pacing Cup, a club that hosts two meetings a year on its tight 769-metre track. We can expect some exciting racing with plenty of action.

I have picked out a couple of races to concentrate out but tune in throughout the day as it will be entertaining with full fields and old-style trots action.

Race 6 – 3:54pm

Speed Map

Only five across the front row here with the emergency out, all bar Motu Cullen have good gate speed so it is the only one that I cant see leading. Stuart has the inside barrier and the speed to hold them out, so has a choice to lead or happy to sit on a favourable runner out wide.

Cresco Threepeat races best in front in my opinion so would be best looking for the top. Rainbow Racer has good speed but not sure would cross for sheer speed so would need the lead to be handed to it. Blast Away is the one with good gate speed and can do work so no doubt it will be the one pressing forward and looking for the top.

I see Moto Cullen settling back a bit in the run and having to make a run wide on the track at some point. Crossroader will be keen for Stuart to hold the lead and make use of a cheap run leaders back.

Race Summary

Good depth to this contest. Blast Away had been costly to punters with its previous stables, however, first up for this stable last week it was impressive winning when well backed and led all the way to a soft victory. Has the wide draw but I am confident it will be aggressive early and be on speed. Clear top pick for mine.

If the pole horse, Stuart, does hold the lead then this brings Crossroader into the race as it was very good first-up sitting in the death and going down fighting by a narrow margin, so I respect it greatly.

Other chances to Stuart, Cresco Threepeat, and the top picks stablemate in Yes Shesastar. The other horse well in the market is Motu Cullen, it was heavily backed first-up from NZ and was well beaten a long way from home after moving into the death early in the race.

Post-race the stewards queried the run and this is what the driver had to say: “Douglas explained that in his view the gelding is of limited ability and had performed to stable expectations”. So based on that and the map I have it in today, it is well worth taking on here.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Motu Cullen to win at odds of up to $6.00

Race 8 – Ouyen Pacing Cup – 5:14pm

Speed Map

Causenfriction has good gate speed and held the lead last start from same draw, over the distance of 2423m I see it taking a sit on a more favourable runner today.

Carload is a sit sprinter so will take no part in any early speed burn. Courageous Saint and Perspective have good early speed and will press forward and one of these keen to get to the pegs. Pay Rise has drawn outside the front, has good gate speed and will likely press forward and either get the lead or dictate from outside the leader as it did winning the Boort Cup recently.

Brallos Pass is adaptable so expect it to try and get in front of Pay Rise early if at all possible so it can get an advantage over it. Burnie Winkle just loves the fence so he will just stick to the pegs and keep taking runs. Murranji Track likely to be driven with one run so can finish off hard late in the race.

Race Summary

Pay Rise and Brallos Pass both come out of the same form race last start, where both had no luck at all and got to the line with something left. Not a great deal between them – they have form on small tracks with Brallos Pass winning this race last year and Pay Rise recently winning the Boort Cup.

I am banking on Pay Rise pushing forward early and getting the advantage over its danger. If Pay Rise was to find the top I don’t see how Brallos Pass could sit outside it and beat it, however, that may not eventuate as think that Courageous Saint, if it leads, may want to hold that position.

I rate these three horses as the winning hopes and would be surprised if the winner came from outside of them. I expect Pay Rise to get out late in the market so will be backable odds so worth a play.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Pay Rise to win at odds of $2.25+

Race 9 – 5:47pm

Speed Map

A couple of scenarios early here but think the leader comes out of either Ayejayem from the pole or Hancocks Hero drawn in gate four. Ayejayem probably has the speed to hold so it will be tactical early as Hancocks Hero runs its best races in front where it likes to roll along at a decent speed.

The trap to this race is that if Jayden Brewin does decide to hold the lead then he can expect pressure from Hancocks Hero the entire race as this horse knows only one way, just keep rolling.

Lorne Beach will get a cheap run either leaders back or three fence. Elegant Jewel is adaptable and can be put into the race when the pace allows.

Race Summary

As mentioned this will be very tactical, if Ayejayem does hold the lead then it will be keenly contested and unlikely to be mid-race moves as Hancocks Hero will be happy to sit in the death and apply even speed.

I think on-speed runners can dominate the race so this will make it tough for Elegant Jewel to get into the race.

I do rate Lorne Beach a good chance as went to the line with a grip last start and does map to get a good run here. Interesting to note there has been solid support for it early in pre-post fixed markets.

Betting strategy

BACK – Ayejayem to win at odds of $2.80+

LAY – Elegant Jewel at odds of up to $7

Friday night racing at Ballarat where we have a strong 10 race card to delve into. I have found three races for us to play into and confident we can come out on top.

Race 4 – 7:40pm

Speed Map

Good gate speed here with the main battle for the early lead to be between Kyvalley Catwalk, who has led twice in its last three starts so gets an inside alley to suit and Primz Luck, who likes to push forward and with an aggressive driver in Tony Xiriha aboard will no doubt aim to do the same again.

Vincent Kai and Blis Valley have ok gate speed but would need to work to the lead and have either Kyvalley Catwalk or Primz Luck to take a sit. Cadenza is very risky early but if it does behave then would most likely to be put into the race when the pace settles.

Race Summary

Open contest where not a great deal between the main chances, manners will be critical and doubt any of these could make an error and still win. Cadenza has been on its worst behaviour in its last 2 starts and will be well into the markets. Also has to be put into the race at some point so it has to be a risk tonight and worth taking on.

Kyvalley Catwalk mixes its form but will likely be on speed, however, I can’t come into it and would take it on as well. Vincent Kai gets better each run and finishes its races off hard so definitely a winning chance. Other main player is Blis Valley who goes very well with Bellman driving and this class suits. Primz Luck has good gate speed but is slightly better at the shorter distance but still a leading chance at this level.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – Cadenza to win at odds of up to $4.20

Race 5 – 8:10pm

Speed Map

A few scratchings have left us with only 5 runners off the front row, good gate speed here with Wanted Lady, Soho Tsunami and River Patrol. Think Wanted Lady would likely take a sit on either of the other two.

The tactics of Soho Tsunami will hold the key to the race. It has been driven a bit softer its last few runs after a tough run in the SA Derby where it attempted to lead all the way, but this time over the shorter distance my feeling is that it will want to hold the lead on a track with no sprint lane over the shorter trip. If that occurs then River Patrol is likely to death seat.

Foolish Pleasure is not used off the gate and will be the one finishing hard, especially if they overdo it early.

Race Summary

Only a small field of 7 runners but ok depth to it. Based on my map, I think the leading chances will be Soho Tsunami who I have mapped leading and the late closer Foolish Pleasure who will come with a late run. Soho Tsunami created a big impression on debut but since has not been as good, it did have a very tough run second-up so that may have flattened him a bit, tonight he gets back to a sprint distance, most importantly, the same distance as when he was so impressive on debut.

Foolish Pleasure has been very good both runs this time in, class suits and excellent record at the distance. I am taking on River Patrol as he does not map to lead and from there cant see it being able to work and hold onto to beat these.

Betting strategy

LAY (WIN) – River Patrol to win at odds of up to $8

Race 10 – 10:40pm

Speed Map

Only 6 starters but good gate speed with 4 of those. Wonderforce now has the inside draw with the scratching of the pole horse, it has good gate speed but feeling is it would take a sit over the distance as it did two runs ago at Geelong.

Hes An Artist has very good gate speed and is likely to be aggressive early and if finds the lead would unlikely to take cover. Luv Me Or Hate Me is drawn wide but think most likely it will be taken back early and not be part of the early action.

Mended is with a new stable and can be risky early but does have good gate speed if used so a question mark exists at what tactics it will use.

Race Summary

I have Hes An Artist leading and as such it is the one to beat. Wonderforce gets a cheap run but is limited and don’t think it is a winning chance here. Big query is Mended, first up for a new stable, only had two runs for its previous stable and was very popular in the market on both occasions. No trial for it so a massive question mark on it.

Inaugurate and Luv Me Or Hate Me both have ok ability but would need favours to win. I am keen to play Hes An Artist as the leader and think there will not be a great deal of mid-race tempo so a good opportunity to trade in play.

Betting strategy

BACK to LAY – Back Hes An Artist to win at odds of $2.25+ pre-race. In-play when in front, trade out at much lower price to “green up”.

Today’s Vic country cup meeting is at Charlton which has just recently reopened after a recess to up their facilities on track. Both cups bring together so high-class quality so I will delve into these contests and suggest a betting plan.

Race 6 – Charlton Trotters Cup – 2.39pm

Speed Map

A small but select field of seven runners and a rare mobile trotters cup so all will start off the front and we have a free for all field involved. Gate speed with Aleppo Murphy, Magicool, Maori Law and Sparkling Success.

I suggest that Magicool is likely to press forward early and be the aggressor and is the likely leader. I would be surprised if Sparkling Success was burnt off the gate after such a long spell so see him easing out early and coming into the race when the tempo allows. It does not look a high-pressure race so likely to suit on speed horses.

Race Summary

Sparkling Success was the benchmark trotter in the state when he was injured just prior to attempting to take on the world-class trotters in the USA around 18 months ago. He is super talented and had a number of trials which have been ok without being brilliant.

His normal pattern in the past has been to work into fitness with racing, so if that continues today then he will be up against it as some of his opposition are rock hard fit from recent racing. That being said, he is a star but in today’s event, I just have to take him on with a few things against him.

My map has Magicool finding the lead in a race with low pressure so he is clearly the one to beat for mine. Maori Law was good in last week’s Wangaratta Cup but think this is a step above that and will need to work outside of Magicool at some point to win.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Magicool to win at odds of $2.20 plus

LAY – Sparkling Success to win at odds of up to $4

Race 8 – Charlton Pacing Cup – 4.34pm

Speed Map

A race where there looks to be a widening gap between the top chances and the others here. Three horses rate clearly ahead of the rest, two of those off the front in Fourbigmen and Born To Rocknroll are both likely to be aggressive early as they like to be on speed. They are stablemates so could mean they eventually are leader and leaders back.

That may depend on Blissful Stride who has early speed but is likely to take a sit against this class as has been found wanting this grade of late. Pat Stanley is adaptable and can be put into the race when needed. So, if we have a slowly run race then expect it to find the death and dictate from there, if the speed is on then it can use its powerful finishing burst to overcome them late.

So, in summary, the most likely scenario would be that Fourbigmen finds the top then takes a sit on its stablemate Born To Rocknroll. It does like to roll along at a decent tempo so do not see this being a slowly run race.

Race Summary

Pat Stanley is simply flying at the moment and looks so well suited this grade. Whilst it will have to overcome the stablemates who are its main dangers, I think it has the adaptability to make the most of any scenario and be too good. I have a big question mark on Born To Rocknroll at the distance as he does not relax in his races and just see him not finishing off late when or horse such as Pat Stanley loves a fight and will just keep coming.

Fourbigmen has been in form this time in and has raced well in top grade at Menangle it’s last few starts, I rate it as the danger to my top pick Pat Stanley. I will be shocked if the winner comes from outside these and would require some tactical errors by drivers for this to occur I would think.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Pat Stanley to win at odds of $1.80 plus

Country Cups trots continues tonight at Wangaratta, a tight 813-metre circuit and most importantly one of the few tracks in the state where no sprint lane is in play.

Race 5 – 7.32pm – Wangaratta Trotters Cup

Speed Map

Standing start contest over the long trip of 2615 meters which makes it a true stayers test and gives each horse its chance.

Gunning can mix its manners early but does have an excellent overall record from the stand, winning on 4 of its 7 attempts. Endsin A Party, Skyski and Starlight Storm all handle the stand well but would take cover on a suitable challenger if that occurs.

Forestspider has been racing off big hcps in previous stands so will appreciate the front row draw and is very capable driven off speed to produce its finishing burst.

Jerichos Trumpet may not have handled the tight Boort track last week where he was relegated after initially finishing in 3rd place, he can do work and is usually driven aggressive. Off the big hcp, I would expect Kyvalley Fin to be driven conservative so look for it to be taking short cuts throughout the contest.

Maori Law is the class runner of the field but gets the handicap to match but can be put into the race when can so expect him to make a move as soon as pace slackens mid-race.

Race Summary

Good depth to the contest. Maori Law deserves to be fav on class and on recent form in excellent company. The risk with him is that he has had five runs from the stand and is yet to win and has to give an even field around a tight circuit 30 meters head start. I cannot back him at the price and am also a bit reluctant to take on as he is just so well suited.

Kyvalley Finn is this season’s cups king for the trotters, but with that comes the attention from the handicapper so he has to give these a 30-metre start. He chased hard at Boort but could never get into the contest. I am taking him on tonight as just think the task is ahead.

Gunning, if behaves early, is the on-speed runner and if in front will take a lot of catching. The risky Jerichos Trumpet is always a chance in these races so respect him as well.

Betting strategy

LAY – Kyvalley Finn at odds of up to $9

Race 7 – 8.41pm – Wangaratta Pacing Cup

Speed Map

Plenty of gate speed off the front here and bound to be action-packed early. Showgun Thomas has good gate and an aggressive front running driver in Shannon O’Sullivan.

Think About Me likes to show early speed then look for cover, not sure it can cross the pole marker though so that could be the challenge for it. NSW visitor Abitmorebliss has excellent gate speed and bound to be used up early.

Boncel Benjamin has known gate speed but with the speed underneath, may choose to not take part in the early action as it was eased off the gate from a widish draw last time. The Crimson Price likes to be on speed so expect it to push forward early and look to be either working to the lead or dictating from the death seat.

Brallos Pass is the class runner of the field and will be able to adapt to the race tempo and move into the race when it allows.

Race Summary

Good depth to the contest. Showgun Thomas has been excellent both runs this preparation and has drawn to be on speed, It is its first run at this Cups class though so that’s the challenge for it. Think About Me likes to take cover in its races and preferably sit on the leaders back, I map it to get shuffled back in the running line tonight so is working risking and taking on.

Top two chances are The Crimson Prince who is in super form, is strong and adaptable to race conditions and the class runner of the field Brallos Pass who was excellent first up in the strong Echuca Cup.

Betting strategy

LAY – Think About Me to win at odds of up to $8

Race 8 – 9.10pm

Speed Map

Not the quickest of front rows. The speed is with those out wide in Well Well who has shown early dash in recent trials and Sporty Ben. I think they will work across those inside and be the on-pace horses. The question is will Well Well sit on Sporty Ben or maybe it will even have enough speed to cross anyhow if driver Gary Pekin really has a crack early.

Joeys Hangover has drawn the pole, it has raced 58 times and led only the once but has enough speed to hold a position early. Sasscilian hasn’t shown gate speed so will not be in the early battle. Shez Elite is solo off the back row so will be able to get off easy and be put into the race when the speed allows.

Race Summary

The early battle for the lead will be critical, I am banking on Sporty Ben finding the lead and Well Well or to a lesser extent Joeys Hanover sitting on its back. If Sporty Ben does find the lead then it becomes clearly one to beat and likely to start trading short in play.

It won at the recent meeting at this track so handles this tricky circuit. I respect Joeys Hanover who is honest and suited at this class and Shez Elite is well placed at this level as well. It will have to do work at some point in the race and if the map turns out like I anticipate then it will be a challenge for it to run down my top pick.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Sporty Ben to win at odds of $2.40 plus – don’t be afraid to trade back in play at a much shorter price if it finds the lead as my map suggests.

Friday night trots action at Mildura with what promises to be an action packed card. A track of only 810 meters with no sprint lane produces a style of racing different to most in Victoria.

Race 3 – 6.40pm

Speed Map

Frankntank does not enjoy the inside draw and highly unlikely it will have the early speed to hold the lead, if pushed too hard it also has a bad habit of breaking into the first corner with pressure applied so the first 200 meters is vital for it.

Pattys Angel has good gate speed and I am confident it can cross to the pegs at the least. Add that Ayejayem, One Night At Themile and Killer Dragon also can come off the gate and enjoy being on speed then it becomes clear that a fast early sectional will apply here.

One Night At Themile loves to lead and has a very aggressive driver so expect it to push forward and be the one that decides the early tempo.

Race Summary

Frankntank is probably the best horse in the race yet the draw makes him a risk. Has the inform Jackie Barker aboard which will help but he does have a few tricks and just does not map the best early. Heaps of depth to the contest outside the fav Frankntank so if it doesn’t go his way then a lot of these can make the most of the opportunity.

One Night At Themile is a strong front runner and hard to catch when leading, Pattys Angel is likely to get a soft run but hasn’t produced the form it was in a few months back. Ayejayem is extremely consistent and looks well placed in this company.

Remaining chances to Killer Dragon, Bettor B Nice and Euston Flyer. No doubt that Frankntank has the ability to win, he just has a few things against him tonight and at the current price he presents a risk.

Betting strategy

LAY – Frankntank to win at odds of up to $3

Be prepared to bet back in play if the situation allows and he is getting a better run than anticipated, especially if he gets into the running line early. However, I expect very early in the contest he will be a better price after than the start in play than his SP price on release.

Race 5 – 7.40pm

Speed Map

Loads of early speed here. Rubbers Dimemma, Caulonia Terror, Smyanna Mickey and Lenard Ess all have the ability to be used early and like to race on speed. Any early speed battle will only suit those off the back row and all bar Headmaster are capable of making the most of that if it occurs.

Sheer Modern has drawn inside the second row, it has the ability to finish hard off speed so likely it will stay on the fence and look for luck late in the race. Major Assassin is adaptable, so if they go hard early it can be produced into the race when the pace slackens or just sit back if the tempo allows and come with one run.

Geronimo Dan and Ultimate Art are both likely to work into the race late and be the ones commencing the three-wide train at about the 1000 meter mark.

Race Summary

As mentioned I think there will be lots of speed on early and this will suit a horse like Major Assassin. His last three starts have been in a much stronger company than this. He was runner up in the very strong Tontine Final which has proven to be a good form reference and a much better field than what it meets tonight.

Then its last two outings have been at Melton in metro grade and the Wedderburn Cup where he was competitive so a clear drop-in class is evident tonight. He is currently into odds on in the early markets but I think will trade around even money late, but, does look like he has now got into the right type of odds.

Caulonia Terror has trialled ok for its first run back from a spell so is a winning chance, Smynanna Mickey had no luck last time and is capable at this level so it will be a player.

Lenard Ess is the interesting runner, with speed under it there is no guarantee of it leading so its a major risk if it works early and doesn’t find the top so think it’s worth taking on with so much depth in the race.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Major Assassin to win at odds of $1.9 plus.

LAY – Lenard Ess to win at odds of up to $9

March is a busy month for Country Cups action and today we venture to Boort, one of the smallest tracks in Victoria with a circumference of 712 meters. An obvious advantage to horses up front but, as with all races, they can come from behind if the tempo of the race allows.

Race 5 – 3.14pm

Speed Map

Not the quickest of front rows with the main early speed coming from La Player, Calvert Hot Shot, Goodtime Lollie and Madazalways. Most likely scenario is that Madazalways has enough speed to cross and find the lead. Im Shadow Boxer has drawn the outside gate and it can show gate speed but would be unlikely to attempt to lead as it’s best-driven cold and utilizing its outstanding finishing burst.

Man Hands could find its draw of inside second row awkward and will rely on what the pole horse does early as it did not like being on the fence last time at Melton. Ellmers Hoofing and Manassa Sky are adaptable and can sit back if the tempo is right or attempt a mid-race move when the pace slackens.

Race Summary

Good depth to this contest. Elmers Hoofing It had no luck at all last start in a Metro race at Melton, hit the line very hard after being held up for most of the last lap. Prior to that was a strong win in a good field at Cobram after doing a lot of work early.

This grade looks ideal for it. It can be adaptable depending on the pattern of the race so I am not put off by the small track for it. Dangers would be the on pacer runner Madazalways, the fast finisher Im Shadow Boxer and the other back row horse in Manassa Sky. I am prepared to risky Man Hands from the tricky draw.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Ellmers Hoofing It at $2.30+

Race 8 – Boort Pacing Cup – 5.09pm

Speed Map

A good battle for the early lead here with the entire front row capable of being very quick off the barrier. Maestro Bellini has the advantage of the pole and loves to lead so will do all it can to kick through and maintain the lead. The fact they all have gate speed probably gives further advantage to Maestro Bellini as they will be spread across the track early and hard for those out wide to slingshot across and find the top.

Our Jimmie has the advantage of inside second row and does have the early speed to keep the leaders back. Pay Rise has drawn bad outside the second row but it can make a mid-race move when pace slackens and is good enough to overcome the draw.

Race Summary

Maestro Bellini runs its best races in front, his last win was at Melton where he led all the way from the same barrier as today and held off the very good The Storm Inside. He is a fighter and sometimes can look gone but is very hard to pass, so it may not look pretty and if winning will not be a big margin.

There is good depth to the race and you could make a case for most runners if they got the right run in the race. Obvious chances to Our Jimmie as I map it to get such a good run and the promising Pay Rise who can make the most of any suicide tactics by the front row horses early. Fides is an up-and-comer and can sprint very quickly – this is his first attempt at Cups level racing but did win at Metro level last outing.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Maestro Bellini at $2.50+

Sunday arvo trots sees a return to Gunbower for their second meeting of the season, a track that is the largest in the state at 1240 meters, but not to be tricked as it does favour on speed so will work with that on our plan today.

Race 4 – 2.59pm

Speed Map

Not a quick front row and if he behaves himself early and trots than see no reason why Aztec Inti will not spear across and lead from an outside gate. Delarose does have ok gate speed and last time off the mobile it led off the gate but most importantly then took a sit without much pressure being applied which would suggest it would be happy to take cover again today.

Cmon Carl Lee, Prettylilangus and Bacardi Wood are all capable of being put into the race so suggest they would be making mid-race moves to get on speed when they can.

Race Summary

Manners will be critical here with some of these being very risky. Aztic Inti seems the safe option, it has the gate speed to lead and on this track that is gold. Delarose has been fair on late and on my map gets a cheap run so is a chance at odds. The query runner is Cmon Carl Lee who has loads of talent but can do a lot wrong, it has trialed well and on best behaviour would be a leading chance here.

Bacardi Wood back to mobile conditions is far more suitable as just does not handle the stand start, definite winning hope. Prettylilangus on best form would be suited here but just not convinced it’s going as well as can. I think the best option will be to play the race map early and bet to trade on the race.

Betting strategy

BACK to LAY – Aztec Inti to win pre-race at odds of $2.60 plus then in-play once leads, trade out to profit on the race either way.

Race 5 – 3.44pm

Speed Map

Explicit Castle is very quick off the gate and see it having no trouble finding the early lead here, then it’s just a matter of how much pressure is applied in the early to middle stages if little pressure on then it probably cannot be beaten leading on this track.

Mia From Memphis is likely to sit leaders back and that suits it so will be looking to finish hard along the sprint lane. Tally Operator is the key to the race, if it goes forward and attacks for the lead which I cannot see it getting, then it will likely over race and pull outside the leader and put unwanted pressure on.

Brackenried has no early gate speed but can do work and be put into the race when required. The Faithful is returning from claimers where it has been driven sit sprint so see no different today. So be very wary of what Tally Operator is doing early as this will be critical to the tempo of the race.

Race Summary

Again will be looking at playing the track here. With the map of Explicit Castle finding the lead, it then comes down to how much mid-race pressure is applied. It has a very good record whilst leading and finds a lot under pressure. The main danger is Brackenried who was placed at Melton in two of its last three starts so is suited back to this class. It can do work or sit back depending on what occurs with the tempo.

The Faithful is racing well and even though is dropping from claiming grade this is a suitable option so seems well placed. Other minor chances to Mia From Memphis who gets a great run and Rocknroll Noah who is an honest performer. Again think our best option of making a profit on the race is to play the track and back the leader to trade out on the race.

Betting strategy

BACK to LAY – Explicit Castle to win pre-race at odds of $1.80 plus, then trade out in play when finds the lead early.

Country Cups action again tonight and this time we head to Ararat for their Trotters and Pacing Cups. A tight 810-metre track where on-speed runners are favoured which will make it a tougher task for the fancied runners in both cups tonight.

Race 2 – 6.40pm

Speed Map

A few of these have early speed but think the inside runners will be aided. I suspect not a lot between the gate speed of She Will Wantano, Monsieur Delacour and Whats Stanley Got. With this being the case, the inside draw of She Will Wantano will be a significant advantage and think it kicks through on the short run to the first corner and holds the lead.

Only a small field of 8 runners so once they have sorted themselves out early, I expect a slow mid-race tempo and the leader being able to control the race. The scratching of the eight is critical as means that only one horse off the second row now and it has only fair early speed, this may allow the driver of Monsieur Delacour to be tactical early and look for the spot leaders back rather than have a crack for the lead.

Race Summary

Looks to be three main chances and they all have been well found in early markets. She Will Wantano will benefit from being the likely leader over the short trip and a favoured on pace track. Monsieur Delacour has good early speed but its best chance is to gain leaders back without doing much work early and looking for the sprint lane late so is a winning chance.

Whats Stanley Got has only had the one run for this stable when it hit the line good. It did trial well prior to that run so it showed it must be respected and will be hard to hold out late. Would be shocked if the winner came from outside these top picks.

Betting strategy

BACK to LAY – She Will Wantano at odds of $2.50 plus, then once it finds the lead, trade back in play at lower odds to ensure you “green up” on the race.

Race 5 – Ararat Trotters Cup – 8.10pm

Speed Map

Only the one horse off the front mark and that is Glorious Finale, and, would expect it takes a sit on the first favourable runner to come looking for the lead. That is most likely to be Stress Factor who has an excellent record from the stand start and extremely reliable. He did win this race last year leading all the way so handles the tight track as well.

Jerichos Trumpet likes to work forward early as well so expect him to be up in the leading pack early in the race. Sundons Courage comes off 20 meters, its record under these conditions is ok winning or placing in 4 of 6 attempts so not that concerned about the stand. Law Legend is the other off the 10 metres who begins well.

Race Summary

Stress Factor will be fitter for the first-up run where he found the top but took a sit mid-race. As mentioned he will step well and likely to find the top so that gives him every chance of winning back-to-back cups.

Sundons Courage is the class runner for mine and I am confident he will handle the stand well, has not had a great deal of racing over the longer trips so that is an element of doubt but does look well placed here for mine coming off runs at the highest level in recent times. Other small chances to the ever consistent Kyvalley Finn and Deltasun.

Betting strategy

BACK – Sundons Courage to win at odds of $2.00 plus

Race 7 – Ararat Pacing Cup – 9.10pm

Speed Map

Lead battle between Billsful Stride, Deedeuto, Our Millionaire and Pay Rise. Based on the draws would think the most likely scenario is for Deedenuto to work to the lead and hold it. This will mean that Blissful Stride is sitting on its back and Our Millionaire will push forward and be up on speed.Mid-race moves could dictate if it gets shuffled back on the running line.

Sicario is inside the second row early so imagine it will have to work off early as I don’t see it risking being 3 back the fence this track. General Dedge gets a great run through early. It has an amazing turn of speed but this horse is not just a sit sprinter so can do work at some point when required.

Race Summary

Great contest and typical of this season’s country cups. General Dodge had his first run in 18 months at Melton recently and broke the clock coming from back in the field to win, this on the back of trials that had to be seen to be believed, so there is no doubt in the mind that this horse is back to its best form and must be clearly the top-rated horse in the race.

He was driven quiet first-up but he does not have to be driven that way. If the tempo of the race means that he has to move into the contest early and make a mid-race move or cart horses up 3 wide, I am still not overly concerned.

Respect to the stablemates in Deedeuto who is tough and if finds the lead as expected will give a huge sight and be hard to run down and the promising Our Millionaire who faces Cups grade for the first time. Sicario is the other class horse of the race and looks to be in superb form at present, his win in the Echuca Cup was soft coming off the back of an excellent win at Melton.

The blowout runner at big odds could be Blissful Stride as he maps to get a good run and have to respect that here, he comes off an ok effort in the strong SA Cup. Whilst the remaining runners are racing well I would be surprised if the winner didn’t come from the five horses mentioned here.

Betting strategy

BACK – General Dodge to win at odds of $2 plus

LAY – Our Millionaire to win at odds of $9 plus

Last Friday’s cancelled Melton meeting is tonight, in the past this timeframe has been very popular with punters so looking forward to an evening of great trots action. The feature race is the Group 1 Knight Pistol which brings together some of our very best from Australia and New Zealand, the intrigue is we have a combination of the proven stars and an up-and-comer taking on the big league for the first time.

Race 2 – 6.05pm

Speed Map

Good even gate speed here. The pole, Madame Annie, has its stablemate on its back so plenty of motivation to kick through early. Shawami Lass, Miss Hartley and Major Sea all have enough speed to make a claim for the lead into the first corner. Those drawn out wide will not likely push forward initially.

Paddy Mach, as mentioned, follows through its stablemate off the front row so it will land in a forward spot. Lets Went will settle back but that’s his normal race pattern and expect him to be held up for one run at them late.

Race Summary

How much pressure on early and who leads will have a major bearing on the result here. The stablemates drawn one and eight will likely do all they can to be leader and leaders back. If those out wide off the front overdo it early then this just brings the backline horses more into the contest. Lets Went, as a rule, sits back and moves into the race late, so clearly favoured if an attack on the leaders early.

I’m expecting early tempo to be mid-range so will then be critical how far back Lets Went gets and how he gets a trail into the race. He started favourite in a similar contest last time and I thought he was entitled to win with the run he had and the race pattern. He comes up popular fav again and with the map I have, he is worth taking on tonight. Likely to be popular in the market as usually is and with Alford driving will be shorter than entitled to be.

Betting strategy

LAY to BACK – Lets Went to win at price of $4.50 or less

I expect he settles back in the field so in-play likely to trade higher than original lay price. If this occurs, there’s an opportunity to bet a portion back to reduce liability.

Race 4 – 7.17pm

Speed Map

A couple of early scratchings has left us with a field of only 5 runners. The exposed form is there for all to see as these horses meet each other on a regular basis in these claiming races. Looks a soft lead to Robert The Bruce so expect the lead time to be below average and provide every chance for it to lead all the way. Freddy Funk will need to work at some point of the race and out dash them to the line. The Faithful drawn out wide so will likely be taken back early and come with one run.

Race Summary

Robert The Bruce has been in very good form in these race and this time gets conditions to suit, looks to get an easy lead and a soft first quarter or so of the race. As such, I expect that his in-play trading price will be much less than his pre-post so I see an excellent opportunity here to bet to trade on the race.

Early favourite is Freddy Funk who does not have the speed to cross initially so he will have to work early or make the first move when they start coming. All other horses look sit sprinters so, as already mentioned, this is not a high-pressure race.

Betting strategy

BACK to LAY – Robert The Bruce to win pre-race at odds of $2 plus, then once in front and gets an easy early section, trade back at lower price to profit on the race either way the result goes.

Race 7 – Group 1 Knight Pistol – 8.55pm

Speed Map

Good speed here so will be very tactical early. Dynamic Legacy has early speed but would take cover this class. Sammy Showdown steps into the big league for the first time and has created a huge impression in recent starts.

He has found the lead in five of his last six starts but tonight against the quality that we find here, I don’t expect it to get any easy lead or may not hold at all. Sundons Courage, Sky Petite and Red Hot Tooth all have the ability to fly the gate. I expect the latter two, Sky Petite and Red Hot Tooth, to fly across and take the forward spots at the front of the field.

The early tempo will be critical and none of these can afford to overdo it early as the star of the squaregaiters, Tornado Valley, will be ready to swoop and be put into the race as soon as the tempo slackens. Temporale and Massive Metro both likely to come with one run late in the race.

Race Summary

How quick they go early and how the map eventuates early will be critical to the result. I am expecting a quick run race early which then brings the back line into the race. Sammy Showdown has looked so good of late but that’s not surprising. It faces its biggest test and I think that at current odds it is too short in the market taking on such opposition for the first time.

I can never go past Tornado Valley as he has proven time and time again that he is the benchmark trotter in this country. I do respect the NZ visitors Massive Metro and Temporale who are both capable of making late moves and winning.

Betting strategy

LAY – Sammy Showdown to win at odds of up to $12.

The Country Cups circuit heads to Terang tonight with both cups being very competitive affairs. Terang is a 1000 meter track and providing there is even tempo in the races, then horses can win from anywhere in the field.

Tonight’s plays work around the cups races as i found them difficult to be confident of race maps and thought i could push you more confidently elsewhere.

Race 3 – 7.02pm

Speed Map

Getting the map right here will be critical to the end result. Aboutagirl flys the gate and will cross to the fence no problem, its last four starts it has led and taken a sit so see no different tonight.

Rhythm And Grace was the beneficiary of Aboutagirl taking a sit last start but this week has two horses inside it who I am fairly confident would have the same plan….kick up inside of Rhythm And Grace then take the lead off Aboutagirl. So could be on early here in a small six-horse field as expect Miss Dangerfield or Village Voice to find the top.

Race Summary

Would be shocked on recent pattern if Aboutagirl doesn’t lead and take a sit. I am fairly confident the horse it hands up too is Miss Dangerfield and if thats the case, then it will be very hard to beat. I am banking on Rhythm And Grace not finding the lead and as such, think it is a big risk, currently short fav in fixed odds betting.

It has won 3 races from its 11 starts so an ok record, but, most importantly on each winning occasion has found the top and been too good. Other winning chance to Village Voice who can sprint home hard, so if it takes no part in the early speed battle it can hit the line hard.

Betting strategy

LAY – Rhythm And Grace to win at odds of up to $4

Race 5 – 8.00pm

Speed Map

Loads of gate speed here with everything bar the outside horse Marks Joy having the ability to push forward. Last Walk led and rolled along last time when winning and at this distance, David Murphy is likely to be aggressive early again. She Will Wantano also led in its last outing and fought hard when doing so just to go down late.

Probably the one with the most speed is the four, Miss What Usain, it can explode the gate so look for it to come out very quick. With so much speed under them, Blissfull Lilly and Too The Max are likely to go back early as would be suicide to push forward to attempt to lead. All this speed off the front means that Rollova gets a great run through early and a fast early tempo will just only assist it to get over the top of them late.

Race Summary

As mentioned, loads of early speed here so I am banking on a quick first half of the race. This will not only take the energy out of the leaders, it will bring the back row horses into the race. Aaron Dunn is currently one of the in form trainers in the state and he introduces a very interesting runner here, the ten, Rollova.

First up from New Zealand where its form looked very solid for a race such as this. It has not been presented at the trials here so whilst i am make an educated judgement call to some degree, I am banking on its NZ form along with the introduction to an in form stable so think it can get the job done tonight.

Betting strategy

BACK – Rollova to win at odds of $1.90 plus

The Summer of Glory is over for another year but we are back at Melton tonight, as usual, a very strong card of racing to delve into and come up with a game plan to profit.

Race 1 – 5.40pm

Speed Map

The scratching of the pre post fav has flipped this race and a total map changer. Six Elements has drawn the inside barrier of one on 7 occasions through its 75 start career for a stat of leading only the once. It does have some speed early but then is vulnerable to quick ones outside and there are a few here so don’t think its any chance of holding them out.

Sassyola has good gate speed and an aggressive driver in Lance Justice, I see it being able to cross the inside horse, Six Elements first. Then the speed outside them both comes from Madazalways and Our Sir Oliver who both love to lead in their races. I think Madazalways has to speed to cross them all and is my map leader.

Race Summary

I am keen to bet around the map of the race and have confidence that Six Elements will end up 3 back on the fence likely behind Sassyola and the leader Madazalways. No doubt the David Miles team is flying at the moment but from that position will be very difficult over the short trip for it to win. The limited gate speed of Six Elements is not going to assist the pre-post fav in Itsallaboutjack.

No matter how you look at it a wide run at some stage will be required for it to win, so the task ahead even though the smaller field of 9 runners will assist in the challenge. Madazalways is racing well and was a soft winner last start at Mildura leading all the way and I think it gets its chance tonight to repeat that. Sassyola not without a hope at nice each-way odds because it looks to get a good run.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Madazalways to win at odds of $2.7 plus

The map has it leading so don’t hesitate to trade back in play once leads at a much lower price as the other fav will be well back early so may be able to trade at a very low price the leader early.

 LAY (WIN) – Six Element to win at odds of up to $8

Race 9 – 9.40pm

Speed Map

Mapping of trotting races are not always as reliable as one would like but on paper, this map looks attractive. Montpellier has the speed to lead and the horse following Just Believe has the natural speed to hold its spot sitting on its back.

That looks the most likely scenario if they both behave and trot early. Those drawn outside Montpellier all have early speed so any mistake at all from it will see the map alter and one of these taking advantage of that.

Race Summary

The two best horses in the race I have mapped to lead and sit leaders back, if that eventuates as predicted then very difficult for anything outside of these to win. I will go with the map and think that Just Believe is a very fast horse and will be ideally suited to the spot behind the leader, I think it will have the speed to pass Montpellier in the straight.

Betting strategy

BACK – Just Believe to win at odds of $1.90 plus

The country cups wagon rolls into Echuca tonight for the Echuca Pacing Cup. The race has attracted a quality field with this season’s Inter finalist Sicario set to dominate the market and the contest.

This track is one of the smaller ones in the state with a circumference of 805 meters, so, no shock that you are advantaged on speed, especially if able to get away with a slow tempo at any stage of the races. I will concentrate on races that I think we can use the race maps to our advantage.

Race 4

Speed Map

Heaps of gate speed here and what happens in the first 400 meters of this race will be critical to the end result. Galactic Gal and Sports Street have fair gate speed but where the power the front row is with Monash, Ace Duigan and Wotdidusaaay.

I expect Monash to have the speed to cross the inside then its decision time if it holds the lead or not. Since joining the stable of Susan Hunter it has led six times, and held the lead on five of those occasions, the time it did hand up it copped early pressure and eventually handed up to an odds on fav in the race.

If Monash does lead as I have mapped then Wotdidusaaay will have to sit parked and death seat or make several moves to win the race.

Race Summary

As stated, my race map has Monash holding the lead. Whilst its ideal distance would be over the short, it does have a recent win at this track and distance and did so in quick time. I am banking on it holding the lead and hence making it difficult for the pre-post fixed fav, Wotdidusaaay to do work and win.

Wotdidusaaay is coming off two good wins both against its own age group, this time it steps up in class racing against older horses, and, on my map will not be leading as it has done in victory in recent outings. Each of its four career wins have come from it leading and winning.

Based on that data, it has to be a risky tonight and worth taking on. Good depth to the race with horses such as Spring Delight and On Wheels both racing in good form and are fit and ready to make the most of any on speed battle early.

Betting strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Wotdidusaaay to win at odds of up to $4.50

Race 8

Speed Map

Lead battle looks likely to be between Dan Fernando, Majadore and Spunkyola. Lance Justice on Dan Fernando is known for his aggression off the gate on his horses so he will be doing his utmost to hold those out wide into the first corner. If he does lead as I anticipate, he will hold and look for an all the way victory.

The scratchings now mean Peter Perfect now trails out behind the pole horse and that is a position it has the speed to maintain so see it being leaders back. Manassa Sky and Franks Very Much both have the ability to be put into the race if pace slackens. It may be difficult though as Majordan can be also aggressively driven so may want to hold the death seat position.

Race Summary

Good depth to this race. Dan Fernando has finished runner up its last two starts and has improved each run. It looks ready to win, especially over this track and the short distance where it can lead and dominate the contest.

As mentioned, Peter Perfect gets a good run so could be dangerous late. Majodore will have to do work and win so has the task ahead, would likely have to cross to the lead to be a winning chance. Spunkyola is racing in top form but the draw is against it along with the back row horses of Manassa Sky and Franks Very Much who both deserve respect but don’t map that well.

Betting strategy

Back Dan Fernando to win pre-race at odds of up to $1.90 – then in-play once it leads trade out early in the contest for a profit on the race.

BACK to LAY – Dan Fernando

Night 3 of the Summer of Glory and tonight’s does not fail to deliver with a massive nights racing with the Group 1 A G Hunter Cup for pacers and Australia’s richest Trotting race, The Great Southern Star the main attractions. Once again the meeting has gathered the best of the best horses, trainers and drivers to do battle. My task is to sort out some amazing contests and tip you into a winner or two.

Both tonight’s major races are over the longer distance of 2760 meters. An interesting statistic over the previous two nights 2 of the Summer of Glory we have eight races over this journey – ALL 8 races have been won by the leader. So matter how we look at the form this must be given serious consideration.

Race 6 – Group 1 – Great Southern Star – 8.32pm

#Prices shown are my assessment to a 100% market.

1. Red Hot Tooth – $15 – Has excellent gate speed, is in form and can run a bold race, best chance is to take a sit on Tornado Valley which is the likely scenario. Huge place chance.

2. Massive Metro – $ 34 – Was crossed early from inside draw last week, has fair gate speed but will not be crossing to the fence early. Did gallop at a vital stage on the final corner and not signs i like to see heading into tonights race.

3. Tornado Valley – $2.35 – Is a superstar with a record to match. Very good gate speed and looks the leader and will control the race from there. Can cop pressure and just keeps finding. NEVER been beaten for team Gath when it has found the lead in its races. Thats my map tonight so has to be clearly one to beat. Will take a big performance to run it down.

4. Oscar Bonavena – $6 – Don’t come with a much bigger boom than this one did leading into last weeks run. No matter how you look at his first run in Australia, it was simply plain. Made a quick short sprint but could not sustain it and faded in the straight to finish 8th beaten 20 meters. This training combo is world class so can never write them off, change of driver also tonight. Huge turnaround in form required but the word of warning is that this team can do it. Having said all this i just have to take him on tonight with my map of the race he has to make a wide run again at some point.

5. Sky Petite – $151 – good gate speed but i don’t see her crossing so that is the negative on her chances tonight. Is racing ok though so no major shock if gets a cheap run to sneak into a top 4 position.

6. Sundons Courage – $151 – wide draw has put paid to its chances

7. Tough Monarch – $101 – Loves the distance and can do work in its races, just don’t think he is going well enough to overcome the obstacles of tonight’s event. Just a run last week at Menangle and don’t see him finishing in the top bracket.

8. Dance Craze – $17 – talented mare who loves a soft run to allow her to produce late, she gets that chance here and will be a late closer hitting the line with power, can win and major player for place chance.

9. Scratched

10. Majestic Man – $26 – Has an excellent record at the distance, placed 11 of 12 runs so on that alone has to be respected. Very honest and despite the draw is a winning chance at good odds.

11. McLovin – $26 – his draw has meant that he has got out in the market but he is a class horse who if presented with the right circumstances can make the most of them. Not without a winning hope

12. Temorale – $7 – trotters dont go much better than this one did last week to win, sectional times were pacers standard and a repeat of that performance will see it playing a massive role in the finish. A Butt replaces Alford but no negative as not many better big race drivers than this man.

13. – Wobelee – 81 – local star who lacks the manners and race experience at this point to test the very best, not this year but the future still bright for it.


Tornado Valley
Red Hot Tooth

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Tornado Valley to win at $2.35 plus (3 units)

BACK (WIN) Temporale to win at odds of $7 plus (1 unit)

 LAY (WIN) Oscar Bonavena to win at odds of up to $6

 LAY (WIN) Monarch to place at odds of up to $10

Race 8 – A G Hunter Cup – 9.30pm

#Prices shown are my assessment to a 100% market.

1. Alta Orlando – $4.60 – I think the emergency gaining a run has actually assisted this horse as now has a favourable horse to take a sit on, that likely to be its stablemate in King Of Swing, gets a great run and can use its speed late and for mine, the one to beat.

2. Mach Shard – $15 – good win this track last week and was placed in the recent Inter Dominion final, has to be a chance from the draw, very honest and good trainer driver combo.

3. King Of Swing– $8 – has been very heavily backed in fixed markets, most likely because some have mapped for him to find the front off his stablemate, as mentioned prior, leaders unbeaten this trip in recent weeks so that stat alone means he is a serious chance. Gary Hall jnr takes the drive, only had two starts for the powerful Cross stable and ticks a lot of boxes, one however he doesnt is that this is his first attempt at the long trip so could be vulnerable late.

4. Chase Auckland – $6 – massive run in the Ballarat Cup where came from last on the corner, has good early speed but cant see him crossing the stablemates. Genuine winning chance as his form prior to coming over from NZ was first class as well.

5. Cash N Flow – $81 – just run down last week when looked the winner in the straight, harder from the draw here so dont race a winning chance.

6. Triple Eight – $34 – I am a fan of this horse and he will will a big race soon at massive odds, his best chance is driven cold and coming with its powerful finishing burst. Draw no favour but a matter of time before it gets a suitable run in one of these races and will want to be on when it does.

7. Lochinvar Art – $6 – last week it produced one of the best performances of recent decades to smash the clock to win in track record time. You dont see records getting broken by over 2 seconds, it just does not happen. And he did it all himself seeting the speed and beating a superstar at it. I was against him last week and suffered the result, that will not be happening tonight as Wow, he was just so good last time.

8. Our Uncle Sam – $21 – gets a cheap fence run, likely 3 back now the emg is racing. Not a bad spot to be in big races so he is a winning chance purely because of his map.

9. Code Bailey – $51 – nice horse but draw will be difficult to overcome, cant see him winning

10. Bling It On – $14 – his NZ trip was a nightmare and raced panels below his best, had one run back and was very soft winning at Goulburn last time, he is hard to knock because of his excellent record but I just cant get over his NZ runs so quickly. He is the query runner of the race no doubt.

11. A G’s White Sox – $14 – Very well driven when rated to perfection leading all the way in the Ballarat Cup, this draw makes his task tougher but his record of late is first class and if the right opportunity arises, he can make the most of it.

12. Scratched

13. My Kiwi Mate – $201 – draw has set it an impossible task.


Alta Orlando
Lochinvar Art
Triple Eight (roughie)

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) Alta Orlando to win at $4.60 plus (4 units)

BACK (WIN) Lochinvar Art to win at odds of $6 plus (2units)

BACK (WIN) Triple Eight to win at odds of $34 plus (1unit)

Race 7 – 9pm

Race map

Bright Energy flies the gate and will lead this field for fun, Sicario will sit on its back and get the run it likes. Vandanta, Forty Thieves and Idealsomemagic all have good gate speed but cant cross Bright Energy. Im not sure there will be a lot of early pressure as think the ones out wide even if they have a quick look will give up soon and realize Bright Energy will be leading. That leaves Thefixer to make a move as soon as the pace slackens to sit outside the leader.

Race summary

By my map the scenario is simple, Bright Energy leads, then The Fixer makes a run early to sit outside the leader to win. If as i anticipate the lead time will not be breaking any records, then this leaves Bright Energy with the finishing power to lead all the way and hold off late challenges. Sicario gets a soft run and likely place chance but don’t see it being able to run down the leader. Idealsomemagic is in form but will have to work at some point wider on the track and that will not be ideal with the dangers on speed. Bright Energy is my best bet of the night and will give you a huge run for your money.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) Bright Energy to win at odds of $2.30 plus

When leads as I anticipate, he could get into very short odds early if gains a soft run, don’t be afraid to offset some of your investment and trade at the shorter odds in play.

A sensational nights racing at Melton tonight where we witness Australasia’s best horses, trainers and drivers battle it out for four group 1’s and three group 2’s plus and excellent support card. Plenty of great opportunities to get involved pre race and in play tonight so I will put together a host of strategies for us to play into.

Race 4 – Mercury Final – Group 2 – 7.33pm

Race map

Over the shortest trip competed here at Melton where we race over just 1200 meters, little over a lap of the track. Gate speed with Always Fast, Gilty Hanover, Fourbigmen, Call Me Hector and Major Exclusive. Always Fast gets advantage of the inside draw so he looks the likely leader and clearly one to beat. Liftntorque is unlikely to be used off the gate even though he can explode off the arm, especially considering his stablemates are drawn inside him. But he does have an amazing finishing burst and can be the late closer. Off The Radar is likely to be leaders back but if they really burn off the gate he may struggle to hold the spot on the back of Always Fast. Important to note that all horses start off the front row here.

Race summary

Final of the series where four heats have been run over the past month. Great depth to the contest as only the top few from each heat make it to the final but the barrier advantage is likely to be most important for Always Fast. Reverse barriers with a number of runners and my confidence is likely reversed, however, considering that I have Always Fast finding the lead, I find it very difficult to go past it as top pick. With so much depth here i find it difficult to make a case for Liftntorque as will have some key runners in front of it and a murderous speed would need to be set early for it to finish off the top of them for mine.

Betting strategy

Back Always Fast the win at $1.90 plus – with such a short race may not get a position to trade back in the run but if opportunity arises, trade a portion back at a lower price early if gets into short odds as in front.

 LAY (WIN) – Liftntorque the win at odds of up to $9

Race 5 –  4 Year Old Bonanza – Group 1 – 8.02pm

Race map

Plenty of gate speed here. Arggghhh flew the gate from out wide at Cranbourne during the week but would take cover on the first one that arrives. Max Delight can fly the gate, its only chance of winning is to get across and lead or take cover so expect Josh Aitken to be aggressive early. Lochinvar Art has ok gate speed but likely to be crossed early, he did put a couple of rough strides in last start just prior to release so not as good a guide of his early speed as some prior runs.

Self Assured has good gate speed and Mark Purdon has history of getting them off the gate in big races where most think his horses dont map to lead. If he does find the top then he would be just about unbeatable. Popular school of thought is that he may be parked without cover tonight, even so, proven he can do that and clearly the one to beat. Hurricane Harley has drawn inside the second row, so maps poorly from there.

Race summary

Some real horses of the future here. Self Assured has quickly developed a reputation as a star and backed that up with a sensational performance last week in the Ballarat Cup where his closing sectionals were as good as you can go on that track out wide. Tonight he meets his own age group so looks very well placed and I cant find a case to back against him. Max Factor was outstanding first up and I rate him as the danger to the fav as he has explosive gate speed and may be able to cross from the outside draw. Taking a small set against Lochinvar Art at the price and think Hurricane Harley is in a lot of pain from the inside back row draw.

Betting strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Lochinvar Art to win at odds of up to $9

 LAY (WIN) – Hurricane Harley the place at odds of up to $4.5

Race 7 – Victoria Oaks – Group 1 – 9.07pm

Race map

Good gate speed with Jenden Strike, Amelia Rose, Rockingwithsierra and Dr Susan, the latter with the most speed and looks the likely leader, especially as all drawn inside her will take a sit. Maajida and Stylish Memphis are both capable of being put into the race early so they are likely to be aggressive in the early to middle stages. Dr Susan did eventually take cover on Stylish Memphis last week after resisting the first challenge, if the same scenario occurs tonight then likely to take cover again.

Race summary

The barrier draw has evened it up somewhat but do think that based on heat runs that Dr Susan and Stylish Memphis are the clear top picks. Jenden Strike does map to get a good run and was a nice heat effort so is a blowout chance. Maajida has an imposing record, only facing defeat on one occasion. She found the lead first up in the heat so no doubt will benefit from the run, but her fitness levels will be tested to the max over the longer distance against some rock hard fit horses in the two favs.

Betting strategy

Back Stylish Memphis the win at odds of $2.50 plus – due to back row draw, expect odds to drift early in the race inplay, bet again – then if does find the lead mid race, odds will shorten dramatically so be prepared to trade back at much lower odds to put yourself in a winning position.

 LAY (WIN) – Maajiida win at odds of up to $8

Race 9 – Victoria Derby – Group 1 – 10pm

Race map

Line Up led in his heat and looks likely to dominate from the front again tonight, those drawn inside likely to sit on him so expect Soho Hamilton to sit leaders back and Bad To The Bone to be three fence. Expect a solid tempo so the task ahead for horses off the fence. Governor Jujon was impressive in its heat win as well but doesn’t map to lead so will be challenged. Other main hopes such at Pacifico Dream and Mirragon will have to make mid race moves with a solid tempo on.

Race Summary

Line Ups times in the heat match up with the Ballarat Cup on the same night and importantly way ahead of the other two heat winners. It led and rolled along and gave little chance to some quality horses chasing it so the task ahead again for the chasers tonight, especially those out wide or those making mid race moves.

Based on my map of the race, the fence will be a good place to be so I think Bad To The Bone gets a great run likely 3 fence so is the one at value worth looking at. As mentioned prior, horses making wide runs will find it tough if Line Up repeats last weeks performance so i am taking a set against Pacifico Dream and Mirragon.

Betting strategy

BACK (WIN) – Bad To The Bone the place at odds of $2.40 plus

The Vic Country Cups circuit continues today at Wedderburn, an 804-metre track with some tight corners so on pace is an advantage. Our play of the day is in the pacing Cup so I will dissect that and come up with a betting strategy to profit on the race.

Wedderburn Pacing Cup

Race Map

The scratching leaves only 5 across the front and the emergency now gaining a run from the pole position will change the race map somewhat. Gate speed with American Zest and Onthecrestofawave only. Rocknroll Baby has fair gate speed only and will be happy to slot on the fence leaders back hopefully for it.

Little Peanut doesn’t have the early speed to burn early but can be saved for one run most likely and use his devastating finish. Sicario gets a good run through early behind American Zest so likely to end up very forward early in the race without having to do much early work. Best case scenario for Form Analyst is that it will be 3 fences, but that could be a tricky position for it.

Race Summary

Most likely the early leader will be American Zest, only had the one run over the longer trip where things went a bit wrong on that occasion. Michael Stanley is a very aggressive driver and unless too much pressure comes his way I see it holding the lead. Sicario has to be the form runner of the race. Its last three runs read like this; 7th Inter Dom final in NZ, 2nd Cobram Cup, 4th Shepparton Cup. That form just has to hold up in a race such as today. Add further merit to the runs is that its last four runs have been over the longer trips of around 2700 meters. Today’s trip just has to suit him. Little Peanut is having his first run in Cups class so that’s the question mark around him.

Cant doubt his ability though and with his amazing finishing burst, he is a chance if all curled up with one run. Form Analyst is the one in the market I am taking a set against. It comes off runs in the Bendigo and Shepparton cups but on those occasions was drawn favourable to get a soft run on speed. Today it has drawn awkward inside the second row and comes up the third fav on early fixed odds markets at around $4.60, that is poisonous odds.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Sicario to win at odds of $2.2 plus

 LAY (WIN) – Form Analyst to win at odds of up to $17

 LAY (PLACE) -Form Analyst to win at odds of up to $3.50

A double header of Vic harness today, this afternoon at Cobram and tonight at headquarters, Melton. I have found a play for us at both venues and hope to get our weekend off to a bright start as a massive weekend of trots action approaches.

Cobram Race 3

Race Map

Not the quickest of front rows. The pole marker Nishabro has developed good gate speed as it has gained more race experience. I am confident it has the speed to hold the lead with stablemates Selaphobia and Blissfull Donna the ones out wide capable of pressing across early, but would be surprised if they were able to cross Nishabro with good gate driver in James Herbertson on board.

Beach Time appears to have fair gate speed based on trials and its only run but I doubt it will be used off the gate.

Race Summary

Nishabro has been runner up in its last two runs and gets a very suitable race here, especially if it leads as I have it mapped. There was money for Beach Time on debut at Boort when it finished 3rd in what can only be described as a poor form race. Prior to that it had only trialed fair so I see it up against it today.

Query runner is American Trilogy who is on debut and has not trialed for some time. Prior trials were nothing flash but I respect this stable so if money does come for it then respect that. Blissfull Donna has gate speed but is fairly weak, so if it happened to cross would be confident that Nishabro would pass it up the sprint lane.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Beach Time to win at odds of up to $9

Cobram Race 6

Race Map

Stand start trot not the most reliable race to do speed maps on. Manners will be critical here with a few of these very inexperienced behind the tapes. Mystic Chip is probably the more reliable of the front markers so she could be the first leader, then it just gets back to how many of them handle the run to the first corner.

Builder Bob has loads of talent but very risky and making its debut from the stand. Interesting fact is that it is a RODS (right out of draw stand) horse without having a run so connections have requested it be drawn wide knowing its manners that could prove to be a very wise move.

The pre-post favourite is Itsarapt who handled the stand ok at Swan Hill last time. Horses such as Dellsun, The Majestic, Opia and Levina just love racing and the conditions suit them here.

Race Summary

Very open race for mine and will come down to manners. The favourite, Itsarapt, won well on debut but since has never shown that kind of form nor manners. It’s a mad puller and over races extremely badly so very risky betting proposition. Did handle the stand ok at Swan Hill but very quickly got on the bit and as a result death seated the trip and was a fair effort.

There are a few things going against it here. Firstly I’m not convinced about its stand ability and, second, it must settle in its races to be a winning hope. Based on that, I think it is risky as it will surely be deep into the markets here.

There are a host of chances here. Barhoon trialed ok again and gets Josh Aitken this time so respect it, Mystic Chip is honest, Builder Bob crazy but talented and even off the back mark, Levina is a chance as it can hit the line hard.

Betting Strategy 

 LAY (WIN) – Itsarapt at odds of up to $4.20

Melton Race 5

Race Map

Gate speed with Manthadee, Valentina Brave, Jilliby Lorenzo, Ellmers Hoofing It and All Starzzz Megan. Could be a good speed battle early as Manthadee likes to hold the lead and she is the type to muster early speed so can be vulnerable early to anything that can ping across from out wide.

If she does lead, you can be assured of a quick last 800 meters as she likes to roll along and get those chasing off the bit. This will make it very hard for those out the back and making runs out wide.

Race Summary

Very good depth here. Five horses rated under $8 in pre-post fixed odds market support this, and the race does not stop with those in the market with some longer priced horses in excellent form and if they get the right run can be winning.

Jilliby Lorenzo is a progressive type who has built an imposing record in a short time. Not sure about its gate speed but this stable can sure fire them off the gate so would be no shock if it produces it here.

All Starzzz Megan in super form and is wide in the market for a horse in rare form. Back row horses all a chance are Jayedgar who gets a cheap run, Delightful Tara who was impressive winning last week, My Cash, Im Sir Blake and the very much inform mare Pick Up Line who comes off a placing last start in the much stronger Cobram Cup.

Based on the depth and the race map, I am taking a set against Delightful Tara. Yes, a good winner last week, but just think this has more depth and I see it having to be set a task to win.

Betting Strategy 

 LAY (WIN) – Delightful Tara at odds of up to $8

Melton Race 10

Race Map

The battle for the lead looks likely between Spring Delight and Dan Fernando. Lance Justice on the latter is known for his aggressive style of driving and think he will push hard early and find the top off Spring Delight. I don’t see anything outside of these being able to lead early. Back row horses are all racing well and all have the ability to be put into the race when the pace allows.

Race Summary

This is a final of heats held at Cranbourne and Shepparton. I am confident that the Cranbourne heat is a much stronger form race than the Shepparton one so, as a result, banking on that formline coming through here.

Dan Fernando was first up from New Zealand in the Cranbourne heat and had to work overtime to find the lead then was attacked as soon as it got there. With an easier lead early and being fitter for the run, I believe it is well placed in this tonight. The stablemates Huli Nien and Illawong Class represent the biggest dangers and they both can work mid-race when needed.

Betting Strategy 

 BACK (WIN) – Dan Fernando to win at odds of $3.20 plus. When it finds the early lead as I map it, trade back at a lower price to profit early in the race.

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