Track – Menangle
Sprint Lane – No
Length of Home Straight – 350m
Circumference – 1400m
Track Record (1609m) – Have Faith In Me 1.47.5
R1 2yo Trotters Final
Only three face the judge here and EMPIRE BAY (2) should be too good. It made mistakes at its last two starts but did win a three horse race here in May. Blake Fitzpatrick’s gelding should be too good for SHANG FANG SWORD (3) who has run three placings in a row. If the favourite does things wrong, then he looks the danger. NANAS EYES (1) has done little so far.
BACK (WIN) EMPIRE BAY > $1.30 for 2 units
R2 3yo Trotters Final
Again a small field of 4 but there is a bit more depth here. BACARDI HURRICANE (4) is the best horse but is enigmatic. It destroyed them here four starts ago, then impressive when second to the smart Parisian Chic. Was able to turn the tables on that horse at its next start before galloping in the score up last time as $1.40 favourite.
If it trots the whole way it will win. If not, then RED HOT TOOTH (3) will be the beneficiary as she is clearly the second best horse here after placings at Melton in the Victorian Oaks behind High Gait and a third in The Holmfield behind Cruisin Around. Either of WAR DAN DESTROYER (2) or SEVEN SECRETS (1) could fill third but it’s unlikely they could win unless the top 2 make mistakes.
BACK (WIN) BACARDI HURRICANE > $1.70 for 3 units
R3 4 & 5yo Trotters Final
The field size gets a little bigger with seven starters. GLENFERRIE BURN (7) is the best horse here – winning as $1.40 favourite two starts ago before a very good fourth at Melton behind one of Australia’s best horses in Claudys Princess. Should be winning this.
IONA GRINNER (6) is a different horse when Todd McCarthy drives it – at present there is no driver declared so its chances improve a great deal/or diminish depending on the driver. Had its chance last time when fourth to WATTS UP MAORI (4) who won well. MAXIMISER (5) can lead for a long way but will struggle the last 50m.
BACK (WIN) GLENFERRIE BURN > $1.50 for 2.5 units
R5 4yo Mares Final
AMERETTO (14) is one of the better mares in Australia and will prove it here. The second row draw really shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for her. She won from barrier eight as $1.20 favourite in her heat beating KEAYANG TORAH (4). The winner of 16 races she is class personified and just wins for fun.
The aforementioned Keayang Torah was a good second to her when leading and her best chance is to lead again. HELENS BONUS (8) is going well but was a beaten $1.40 favourite last time at Newcastle after winning her heat here in 1.54.7. She is well under the odds here though. MAKES EVERY SCENTS (13) is a good place chance after recent efforts. Her form has gone downhill a touch from her early days but with the right run she can place.
BACK (WIN) AMERETTO > $1.20 for 4.5 units
R6 2yo Fillies Final
DON’T THINK TWICE (7) deserves favouritism but I’m not sure It should be as short as it is. Has won its last four in a row including its heat after leading in a good time of 1.54.9. Jason Grimson is the driver/trainer and if he can pull this off it will be his biggest scalp by far.
This field looks pretty open to me however ‘odds on’ is poisonous. ROCKNROLL EMMA (1) is smart and won its heat here from gate 7 as a $1.50 favourite before running fifth in the semi to DECAPRIA (12) when forced to do work. Draws better here.
JOVIAL ROCK (2) was a good second in its heat to the same winner and is a chance from gate two. Decapria has won two in a row for comeback driver Chris Robinson – the latest when leading from gate four at 10/1.
This looks harder from the draw but is a chance. MIGHT AND MAIN (4) has been competitive in everything its raced in – a good chance with any sort of cover. Stablemate IM WITH LEXY (11) is an E/W chance with the second row draw following the well-favoured one.
LAY (WIN) DON’T THINK TWICE < $2.50 for 2 units
BACK (WIN) ROCKNROLL EMMA > $4.00 for 1.5 units
BACK (WIN) MIGHT AND MAIN > $5.00 for 1.5 units
R7 2yo Colts & Geldings Final
THREE OF THE BEST (1) is one of my better bets on the card. Was awesome when second in the APG semi off a back row then had no luck in the final. Should’ve won its Challenge heat when it went roughly on the turn before flying home, following that it led in the Semi and won easily in 1.54.0. Sanderson should be able to lead here again and although this has more depth it is the one to beat. CONVICTION (9) was the other semi winner when it flew from gate one beating AWESOME STRIDE (7) in the quick time of 1.53.2.
It may not get things its own way in front today and it could only manage second the start before at Bathurst to BULLET STRIDE (6). Both the “Stride” horses are a chance here – Bullet won three in a row before a 6th to the one when drawn horribly – draws better in the six today and Awesome who had won two in a row before consecutive placings in the heat and semi. ATOMIC RED (5) is flying and won its heat followed by a very good second to THREE OF THE BEST (1).
BACK (WIN) THREE OF THE BEST > $2 for 3 units
LAY (WIN) CONVICTION < $4.00 for 1.5 units
R8 3yo Colts & Geldings Final
ARMA THE GUN (4) has come up favourite in pre-post markets but looks under the odds. No doubting its form as it has won 5 from 7 including 5 of its last 6. Won its heat and semi beating the likes of CHARLAVAL (11), EFFRONTE (5) and ROCK OF AMERICA (6) – the latest in quick time of 1.52.9.
Looks the early leader but this field is OK and anything near ‘odds on’ is layable. Charlaval is flying – winning two in a row at Newcastle including its heat where he defeated smart horses in MATCH IN HEAVEN (14) and Ascot Encounter, it then backed that performance up with a most unlucky second to the ARMA THE GUN (4) and another good second to SAMS THE MASTER (9).
Gets a very soft run here and although it might be 3 pegs if there is a split late it will be charging home. Match In Heaven won well in its heat then did too much work in the semi before being run down late. Expect Blake to be much more patient here from the back row draw. 5 and 6 are both place chances.
LAY (WIN) ARMA THE GUN < $2.50 for 2 units
BACK (WIN) CHARLAVAL > $7.00 for 1.5 units
BACK (PLACE) CHARLAVAL > $2.00 for 2.5 units
R9 3yo Fillies Final
HEAVENS TREND (4) is another of my best for the day. At time of writing you can get flip of the coin odds about this smart filly and if that is still available on the day I’d suggest stepping in. She has won 13/18 and 3/3 at the track the best in a time of 1.52.1. At her best she is awesome and she has won five in a row including her semi as $1.04 favourite beating EYE SEE DIAMONDS (5). She has started $1.04 favourite at her last 4 starts so the evens looks luxurious.
The main danger is JILLIBY JITTERBUG (3) who won its semi beating smart kiwi MY MACKENZIE (7) after leading in 1.53.4 at 8/1. That followed a good second to ROCKMEMAMA (1) the start before. My Mackenzie is from the strong All Star stable but it may be a touch over-rated as it’s been defeated as a $2.30 and $1.30 favourite at 2 of its past 3. Rockmemama is a huge place chance – should trail the leader and just needs luck down the straight.
BACK (WIN) HEAVENS TREND > $1.50 for 4 units
BACK (PLACE) ROCKMEMAMA > $1.70 for 3 units
LAY (WIN) MY MACKENZIE < $6 for 1 unit
R10 Len Smith Mile
2015 – Smolda
2014 – Beautide
2013 – Gaius Caesar
2012,2011, 2010 – Smoken Up
Good speed early here with BETTOR BET BLACK (9) being one of the quickest beginners in Australia. Expect speed also from LENNYTHESHARK (2), MACH BEAUTY (3) and OHOKA PUNTER (6) to a lesser degree. ‘BBB’ has been known to hand up when it gets to the elite class and Lenny might be first there.
2. LENNYTHESHARK: The champ has won 27/50 and resumed with a good win in the G3 Golden Mile defeating MY JELLIGNITE (10) and BETTOR BET BLACK (9). The winner of the Victoria and Bendigo Cup’s in its last campaign, and let’s not forget the Interdominion in Perth. He deserves to be short but at around 2/5 on, is he too short? Second up – he was good but how good first up?
6. OHOKA PUNTER: Very smart kiwi who has won its last three in a row, two of those at Albion Park then came south and won a FFA here beating Jilliby Jagger. Was 3/1 when a HD second to Smolda in the Hunter Cup so there’s no doubting his class. If there’s a chink in Lenny’s armour, then Punter will be there to pounce.
9. BETTOR BET BLACK: Probably can’t win at the elite level but has come close at various times in his career and holds the key to the race with his blinding gate speed. Won a G3 FFA here three starts ago then placed third behind Popfromthebeach (a bit below standard) and a good again to Lenny last week when leading. Will he keep the lead or hand up? I suspect the latter.
14. HECTORJAYJAY: The ‘new kid” on the block – Hector has untapped potential and speed. Has continued on its winning ways since being transferred to the David Aiken stable and with this high speed sit sprinter there is no better driver for it than Group 1 Gavin Lang. Won the Mildura Cup five starts ago in the quick time of 1.57.7 for 2600m around the tight circuit then faltered as a two’s on favourite at Melton. Shook that off with successive wins at Melton – the latest beating the quick Tact Tate. Drawn beautifully behind a quick beginner in Mach Beauty – the knockout hope!
BACK (WIN) HECTORJAYJAY > $5 for 1 unit
LAY (WIN) LENNYTHESHARK < $1.45 for 3 units
R11 – 4yo Entires & Geldings Final
Arguably the toughest race of the day. Where the Hewitt duo HEZ A DUDE (8) and SPARE ME DAYS (14) are at the top of betting. The “dude” won the Carousel here before a fourth in a C3-C4 but shook that off with a good win in the Semi in 1.52.9. Spare Me Days is no doubt the best horse here but it can look like Beautide or a maiden depending on its mood. Ran third in its semi to COLONEL JOY (5) after an inglorious performance when 8th in a FFA here.
That was after a G2 win defeating Monifieth (who is in the Len Smith Mile). Its hit or miss with Spare Me. Colonel Joy won its heat after some good form in Victoria and has a good winning s/rate of 6/19 and 5/7 at the distance.
KEPT UNDER WRAPS (10) has drawn wide and could be under the odds. Others with hopes here are MOUSE IN THE HOUSE (13) and EGODAN (7). It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see a blowout in the final race of the day so if your needing it as a “get-out” then good luck!
LAY (WIN) HEZ A DUDE < $4.50 for 1.5 units
LAY (WIN) SPARE ME DAYS < $4.50 for 1.5 units
LAY (WIN) KEPT UNDER WRAPS < $7.00 for 1 unit.