Group 1 Qualifiers Betting Strategy
Sandown Park: Friday 11th November
Race 3 – Melbourne Cup Heat 1
#6 Sleek Master
He was most unlucky in a Prelude last week where he was crowded early and had no luck on the first turn. He then chased his heart out down the back straight and only tired in the final stages to just miss a placing. On paper, his draw doesn’t look ideal with two fast beginners on his outside, but I am hoping he can utilise his good track sense and sit behind them early and sail around the field on the first turn which should enable him to lob in a winning position.
#8 Ando’s Mac
He didn’t have much luck in his run here last week. However, chasers from New South Wales often need a start or two to adjust to the Victorian sized boxes and I believe he would need to make zero mistakes to win this. He would need to explode out of the boxes and it will be extremely difficult for him to cross these rivals and lead at the first turn with Pantera Nera, Mumma Josie and Allen Terminator reliably quick early. He may get posted too wide for mine.
BACK (WIN) Sleek Master for 2 units at > $4.20
LAY (WIN) Ando’s Mac for 2 units at < $5.00
Race 4 – Melbourne Cup Heat 2
#2 Felton Bale
He can be his own worst enemy at box rise but with Diego Bale, Alpha Demeter and Worm Burner all chances to spear off at the first turn slightly, I am expecting Felton Bale to rail like a go cart on the first turn and land midfield at worst and gradually pick off the leaders. He had some bias go against him last week with gale force winds at the tracks favouring leaders. He still managed to storm home and just miss and I am happy to give him another chance here.
#4 Worm Burner
He has now had four Victorian starts and has yet to find a win. This draw does not look friendly for him at all as he likes plenty of room early and he will have Benteke and Jack Walker coming down from the outside to crowd him. I was disappointed with his run in The Shootout where he was well boxed and the small field suited. I am happy to take him on here.
BACK (WIN) Felton Bale for 2 units at > $3.80
LAY (WIN) Worm Burner for 2 units at < $7.00
Race 5 – Melbourne Cup Heat 3
#6 Zabdon Ferrari
I absolutely loved his run here last week. He was having his first look at the track and was able to lead all the way in a sizzling 29.33 in windy conditions. He will need to avoid the pacy Aston Bolero and Barton Bale but I am hoping he can get a sit right behind them and run over the top of them late. He should be able to beat the dogs out that are drawn either side of him so I am not too bothered by the box draw.
#8 Barton Bale
This potential superstar chaser got a taste of the big leagues over this trip last week in the Cup Prelude. He was unable to lead clearly as he normally does and was pressured throughout the whole race. He did perform admirably however this race is no easier. Aston Bolero will likely get in his way early and I don’t think he can overcome that pressure here.
BACK (WIN) Zabdon Ferrari for 2 units at > $5.00
LAY (WIN) Barton Bale for 4 units at < $5.00
Race 6 – Melbourne Cup Heat 4
#6 Zambora Brockie
He looks to have returned to his best at the right time of year. He has been sensational in winning over this trip the past two weeks including the Group 2 Shootout. He looks to have regained his explosive early pace and he should get plenty of room early with Gaucho and Ritza Lenny not known for their early pace.
#1 Pop The Cork
His last two starts have been over 600 metres at The Meadows and he drops back in distance here. He has shown a dislike for being pressured early in some of his races and although he looks well drawn in the red, Mepunga Tyler has been beginning well of late and rarely comes off second best when being bumped. I believe the Thompson factor and the inside draw will see this chaser start unders on the exchange.
BACK (WIN) Zambora Brockie for 3 units at > $2.40
LAY (WIN) Pop The Cork for 2 units at < $3.50
Race 7 – Melbourne Cup Heat 5
Normally I do not like backing this chaser in a high pressure race from an inside draw. I prefer him drawn out wider but in this instance he has found a heat where some of the other chasers have tricky draws. There is little early speed drawn to his outside except for Ivy Bale who also uses plenty of the track early. I am hoping he can pinch a solid break on these rivals down the back straight and hold on to win.
#5 Buck Forty
He may be benefit from missing the start here and dropping down to the rail. He only really gets going once he finds the paint but he is strong as an ox. He only just missed winning the Group 1 Hume Cup over 600m at The Meadows last start. I expect him to be storming home late and I also would not be surprised if he even won the race.
BACK (WIN) Jesaulenko for 3 units at > $3.00
BACK (PLACE) Buck Forty for 2 units at $2.10
Race 8 – Melbourne Cup Heat 6
#8 Dundee Osprey
The recent winner of the Group 1 Top Gun at The Meadows has found his favourite side of the track here, wide! He looks suited by the draw where Split Image should begin speedily and give him a nice cart into the race. If he is within striking distance down the back straight I expect him to prove too strong. Conditions didn’t suit backmarkers here last week so I am forgiving of his run in the Shootout.
#2 Eren Bale
I really liked his run here in the Prelude last week where he did not have much luck and was held up at crucial stages. He kept coming late and only lost by 3 lengths. This draw looks more favourable here and he could be the forgotten chaser in the market and I am happy to have a saver on him.
BACK (WIN) Dundee Osprey for 3 units at > $2.20
BACK (WIN) Eren Bale for 1 unit at > $8.50
Race 9 – Melbourne Cup Heat 7
#1 Outside Pass
I am very keen to play here but keen on getting black figures for her. She has a great record from this box including 4 wins from 7 starts. Even though she didn’t win the Shootout here last week she was quite unlucky in running and worthy of another go here. She has been racing in top company for an extended period of time.
#6 Demon Bale
This chaser rarely runs a bad race but I just can’t see him finding a way to win here from this horror draw. He is likely to get squeezed early by the pacy Shima Song and Weblec Belle coming down from the outside. He has also yet to win from this draw in three previous starts.
BACK (WIN) Outside Pass for 4 units at $2.20
LAY (WIN) Demon Bale for 2 units at $7.50
Race 10 – Melbourne Cup Heat 8
#2 Weekend Binge
He returned to form with a gutsy win here last start and he looks well drawn closer to the fence tonight which should ensure he stays short odds. I just feel if Fanta Bale or American Monster land right behind him at the first turn they will run over the top of him late in this high pressure race.
#4 Aqua Cheetah
Since winning the Group 1 Adelaide Cup I have been disappointed in his three runs at The Meadows. He was in an extremely winnable Grade 5 heats where he started $1.40 and was not able to get the job done. He is hit or miss at box rise and this draw looks no help for him with plenty of early pace underneath him.
LAY (WIN) Weekend Binge for 2 units at < $3.50
LAY (WIN) Aqua Cheetah for 2 units at < $9.00