2018 FIFA World Cup – Semi Final Analysis

Super Rugby Season 2018 – Round 18 Analysis

NRL Season 2018: Round 17 Analysis

2018 FIFA World Cup – Golden Boot Update

2018 FIFA World Cup – Outright Betting Update

With the group stage coming to its conclusion, we’ve taken a look at how finalists in the last 20 years performed in their first three games to see if we can gain some pointers for the remainder of the tournament. Some key stats are shown below:

  • France in 2006 were the only finalists in the last 20 years not to have won their group
  • No finalist in the last 20 years has conceded more than three goals in the group stages
  • The last five World Cup winners all picked up at least six points in the group stages
  • The last five World Cup winners all scored at least four goals in the group stages

Super Rugby Season 2018 – Round 17 Analysis

TASRacing: Hobart, Sunday 24th June 2018

Hobart hosts a 7 race program on Sunday with soft track racing again expected. The promising Savs Finale takes his place in race 4 and looks to continue on from his dominant first-up win, while the rejuvenated Matiano gets his chance to display his newly discovered will to win in race 7.

Race 1 – 12:20 TRC Punters Club Day July 8 Benchmark 84 Hcp (1400 METRES)

Speed Map

Scrutineer may take up the running like she has at her past couple in a race with limited natural speed. Minute Repeater and Agree To look the others most likely to settle near the lead.

Major Players

Mandela Effect (5) is a very talented 3yo who was far too good for easier opposition here last time over this course. Gets the big weight drop going into tougher company but both runs at this trip have been very good. On the up while many of these have been up a long time with a Victorian trip on the cards. Hard to beat.

Minute Repeater (2) scored a good win over this course two starts back before dropping back to the 1200m last time to finish a close-up 3rd behind Love Magic. Better suited at this trip and should get a similar run outside the speed in the small field as the last time he won. Rarely runs a bad race and looks a good chance to win again.

Step The Pedal (1) took a different path after being narrowly beaten by Minute Repeater two starts ago, stepping to the mile and running 2nd behind Beaufort Lad. Also looks better suited back at 1400m and meets Minute Repeater considerably better at the weights for her narrow defeat. Should get a nice trail drawn outside runners and is obviously right in the mix.

Stella Etoile (3) was well backed two starts ago but could only manage a midfield finish behind Minute Repeater and was then a funny run up to the mile last time when she dropped off mid-race but finished well late behind Beaufort Lad. Has a rider change to Newitt and 1400m is generally her pet trip. Has form around the main hopes so while she needs things to go her way she is still very capable when it does.

Agree To (4) also comes out of the 1200m race won by Love Magic where he landed on speed and battled on in the straight. Up to 1400m suits but he has been found out in this grade on multiple occasions. Loves soft ground and relatively consistent but needs to go to a new level against these to be winning.

Next best Scrutineer (6) (showing surprising speed this prep and beat home Minute Repeater last time but yet to perform at 1400m so some risk there).


The 3yo Mandela Effect (5) looks well placed to tackle higher grade and looks hard to beat again. Minute Repeater (2) may have the edge over the two mares with his ability to race closer to the lead.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Minute Repeater (2) for 2 units.

Race 2 – 13:00 Elwick Functions & Events Maiden (1200 METRES)

Speed Map

Good speed here. Miss Smith, Highveld and potentially Red Pearl look the leaders drawn wide on the track while Silent Savings, Huontegz and Flourishing Future look to get wide off inside draws.

Major Players

Miss Smith (6) returns to her home track after venturing to Devonport and running a fair 4th over 1000m behind Platinum Magic. Previous two runs here were very solid behind Miss Eleanor and Silent Bid and she looks drawn to perfection again. Loves the wet ground and while 1200m might be as far as she wants she has run 2nd at both tries over this course. Has had plenty of chances but sure to give a big sight again.

Highveld (12) is a 2yo resuming after a promising 3rd on debut behind smart gallopers Gee Gee Pengala and Call Me Royal in good time. Showed good speed on that occasion and did likewise at the trials last week when a dominant all the way winner beating Queen’s Needs. Drawn out in the right spot and bred to appreciate a soft track but the 1200m is a test first-up. Definite chance.

Silent Savings (3) was well supported second-up over this course and gave a big sight in front before being run down by Epidexios. Beat the rest home by a wide margin and should be cherry ripe now third-up. Considerably more depth to this race and has plenty of speed drawn outside of him but if he runs up to last time he can be in the finish.

Queen’s Needs (14) is a debutant from the Scott Brunton stable and is a half-sister to their former champion race mare Lady Lynette. Was restrained early in her trial before being beaten comprehensively by Highveld but there did look to be something there. Draws the right side of the track and reckon she can show up in the finish here so watch betting.

Red Pearl (7) is a newcomer to the Sarah Cotton stable after racing in Victoria for Sue Naylor. Yet to place in eight runs but worth noting she has run three solid 4ths in decent provincial grade. Trialled nicely under a hold here last week and went quicker time than Highveld. Drawn perfect and is worth considering at odds.

Next best Flourishing Future (13) (solid debut where she showed good speed and beat home Miss Smith, drawn wrong side but Newitt goes on and might find a place).


Miss Smith (6) always runs well under these conditions and is drawn to advantage but is proving very costly for punters. Highveld (12) caught the eye at the trials while Queen’s Needs (14) and Red Pearl (7) are newcomers who may show up if fancied.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Highveld (12) for 4 units.

 BACK (WIN) – Red Pearl (7) for 2 units.

 BACK (WIN) – Queen’s Needs (14) for 1 unit.

Race 3 – 13:36 2019 Hobart Cup Day Feb 10 Class 1 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Speed Map

Not much obvious speed here which should provide Newts with a good run near the front. Bunker Star may push forward wider out but the majority of these prefer to settle midfield or worse.

Major Players

Newts (1) showed good speed when resuming and fought on gamely for 2nd in BM58 grade behind the well-fancied Katy Kat. Had plenty of competition up front there but looks much less this time which will suit. Extra 100m is no issue but interesting to see regular rider McCoull elect to ride the stablemate. Has had a few chances but does look very well suited in this.

O’Loughlin (10) is racing very consistently here with four consecutive top-four finishes including a close-up 4th last time behind Katy Kat. Draws the right part of the track here and that form clearly lines up well for this. Has only won once from 24 starts which is an obvious concern and while he has placed at this trip he may be a little better over the 1100m. One of the dangers.

Epidexios (2) returned in good style here a fortnight ago when a strong maiden winner over this course. Was given a good run there by Ulucinar but again draws the right side of the track and can reasonably improve with the benefit of that run. This is obviously harder but finds a C1 with a number of maiden winners coming through so should be in the mix.

Miss Eleanor (8) jumped away much better last time and that proved the difference as she was too strong at the finish for Miss Smith. Has always been running good sectionals at the end of her races but her better runs have come over 1100m rather than this slightly longer trip. Draws the inside which also looks a disadvantage so she has a few things against but her last win was good enough to suggest the penny might have dropped and further improvement wouldn’t surprise.

Kepta (9) has been getting a long way back in her races this prep but does find the line hard when she has clear running. Ran on strongly two starts back when 3rd over this course and can forgive her last run when she was blocked for a run in the straight. Needs a lot of luck with her racing pattern but one of few chances already proven in this grade and her best is good enough.

Next best Angora Princess (6) (appreciated being ridden quieter early and responded with a strong win over 1400m last time, shorter trip probably ok but harder here) and Odessa Lad (5) (made good ground late last time and draws right spot so has a knockout chance with the right run).


Newts (1) has had a few chances but looks clearly the top pick here in what is a very even race outside of him.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Newts (1) for 8 units.

Race 4 – 14:11 Southern Cross Care Benchmark 70 Hcp (1200 METRES)

Speed Map

Son Of A Fling and Savs Finale can probably get wide to take up the running but Ella and Tough Missile may kick up nearer the outside. Expecting only an even tempo.

Major Players

Savs Finale (4) has always promised a bit and returned in stunning fashion here a month ago when winning in C1 grade by a widening six lengths. May have been flattered by having the right run in front against the outside but did the job impressively. Makes a substantial jump in grade here but was very competitive against some good horses last prep. May get to the right spot with a lack of pressure drawn outside him and is one of the better hopes despite the tougher opposition.

Love Magic (1) won here a fortnight ago in BM84 grade when rattling home nearer the inside to pick up Scrutineer and Minute Repeater. This is clearly easier but rises substantially in weight as a result, even after Voorham’s claim. Never runs a bad race and has won with 61kg for Voorham before so weight isn’t necessarily an issue. Obvious chance again.

Manilenya (6) is a smart mare resuming after placing 4th in the Vamos Stakes behind Life On The Wire. May have been a bit flattered there getting a good run behind a soft tempo but she also won impressively over this course at her previous start in easier grade. Previous first-up run was also very good and expect her to be ready to go with Newitt aboard. Has handled soft tracks in the past and expect her to run a big race fresh.

Tough Missile (5) has become quite a consistent mare who always performs well around this grade. Hasn’t raced since a good win over 1400m back in March and tuned up for this with a trial last week. Loves this track and drawn the right part of the track but doesn’t want it too soft. Each way claims.

Ella (7) had some excuses here last time when midfield behind Shot Of Irish over this course. Drawn out should suit her going forward and she wasn’t far away in BM84 grade under similar conditions earlier this prep. Yet to totally prove herself at this level and meets some smart gallopers in this but if she finds the right spot she has an each way chance with no weight.

Next best Katy Kat (8) (well ridden to beat Newts here first-up a fortnight ago, this is considerably harder and gate 1 no spoil).


Savs Finale (4) was very impressive first-up and might get a similar run here again to cope with the rise in grade. Love Magic (1) is a proven weight carrier and is never far away while Manilenya (6) is an impressive mare very capable of showing up fresh.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Savs Finale (4) for 2 units.

Race 5 – 14:47 Inglis Class 2 Hcp (1400 METRES)

Speed Map

A stack of potential speed on paper here. By The Pound, Outdone, Berry Wise Fox, Bosporus, My Biddy and Radioactive are all capable of vying for the lead and a few of these might try and go quick to get away from their inside draws. This should give those racing behind the speed their chance.

Major Players

By The Pound (1) jumped awkwardly first-up and got caught on the wrong part of the track before rattling home to finish 2nd behind Owens here over 1100m. Is proven in this grade and above and loves soft ground. Does go to 1400m for the first time which is interesting considering he is second-up and draws the wrong side of the track. Combine that with his persistent issues leaving the gates and there is cause for concern but his best is as good as any of these. Leading chance.

My Biddy (3) is racing in great heart, following a dominant win here over 1100m with game runs at her past couple under similar conditions. Wasn’t far away behind Owens last time and will appreciate the drop in weight this time. Goes to 1400m for the first time which looks a genuine query on her recent starts but may appreciate the softer tempo up front. Definite danger and big chance if she runs the trip.

Qui Samer (6) got back to his right grade second-up and performed much better to finish just behind the placegetters despite being blocked for a run in the straight. Relishes wet ground and has run well at this longer trip but worth noting his two wins have come at shorter distances. Drops right down in the weights this time and Newitt takes the ride. Rarely wins and needs plenty of luck but strong place claims as usual at the least.

Outdone (9) has been freshened since a bold display in front at Launceston over this trip when challenged in front before finishing 3rd behind Westwood. Showed good speed on that occasion and expect similar this time back on his home track with Carr aboard. Wet form is quite inconclusive and is eligible for easier but last run was good enough to suggest he will be in the mix here.

Balestrand (4) came to the state with a reputation as a stayer but he has performed well recently when tried over the shorter trips. Ran a good 3rd last time over 1200m behind Shot Of Irish and My Biddy after winning at 1350m the start prior. This looks like his right trip and showed last time wet ground won’t bother him. Each way claims.

Next best Bosporus (2) (3yo with ability who drew the wrong part of the track first-up and has trialled since over this trip, has won over this course, can improve at odds).


Even race here with many chances and the top picks By The Pound (1) and My Biddy (3) having queries out to this trip so a rougher result wouldn’t surprise.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – By The Pound (1) for 1 unit.

Race 6 – 15:25 Gee Gees Horse Stud Maiden/Class 1 (1600 METRES)

Speed Map

Country Way and Bless Me Father look the likely leaders with Zuberina likely to get a gun trail again. Horses on speed should get their chance.

Major Players

Perun (6) won well over this trip three starts ago despite racing wide and then had excuses when stuck back on the inside here over 2100m. Went to Devonport last time in much stronger BM64 grade and ran home well for 3rd despite coming back in trip and finding trouble late. Back in trip again which isn’t ideal but draws out and looks well placed. Hardest to beat.

Zuberina (10) has been kept fresh since her strong first-up win for Scott Brunton here over 1400m on heavy ground. Goes out to 1600m for the first time in her short career but does look like it will suit. This is harder than last time and that form hasn’t stacked up overly strongly but looks a progressive type of mare and is the logical danger.

Country Way (4) gave a bold sight in front over this course a month ago when 2nd behind Matiano in BM64 grade and he finished well clear of the rest. Failed last time when attempting 2100m for the first time so looks suited coming back to the mile. This is easier than his past couple and he has placed in all three runs over this course so with no weight he can give another good sight near the lead.

Akbar Jay (1) was very good at his first two runs this prep over unsuitable distance before struggling to get into a fast run race last time. Has only won once in 32 goes but worth noting that win did come over this course in this grade last preparation. Gets well back in his races so needs luck but out to his right trip now and racing well enough to figure.

Dobell (5) is a former South Australian who wasn’t too bad first-up when a well beaten 5th behind runaway winner Savs Finale. Trialled well here last week but now steps sharply to the mile where he failed in his only try at his second career start in Listed company in Adelaide. Much better equipped to get this trip now but he might need one more run. Hard horse to line up but does look to have ability.

Next best Ramaadi Bullet (7) (racing well ridden back in the field but now goes out to a tough mile for the first time), In Bloom (13) (first try out to 1600m but has been running on well at Devonport and Newitt takes reins) and Festive Day (12) (found the line behind Zuberina last time, harder here but might appreciate getting to the mile).


Competitive race with a number of these racing well. Perun (6) does hold plenty of appeal after a good run in higher grade but has to come back in trip again. Zuberina (10) is an obvious danger while Country Way (4) might give a sight at odds.

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Perun (6) for 3 units.

 BACK (WIN) – Country Way (4) for 1 unit.

Race 7 – 16:00 Cranes Combined Benchmark 76 Hcp (2100 METRES)

Speed Map

Slalom and Taramaya are most likely to take up the running with Demons Run and Matiano generally racing in forward positions. Shouldn’t be too much pressure for the front so expecting a basic tempo unless Slalom wants to break them up.

Major Players

Matiano (3) has learned how to win at his past couple of starts with strong victories in easier grade. Up in class this time but gets in light with Graham’s claim and this isn’t much tougher than his past couple. Has been in the placings at his past eight runs and no reason he won’t be right in the finish again.

Taramaya (4) has gone forward to make her own luck at her past couple of starts and responded with a win over Sentry Duty and Matiano and then a close 2nd behind that horse last time. Was four weeks between runs last time so may be a little better for that run and now gets a big weight drop. Shouldn’t have any issues getting a spot on speed again and looks the obvious danger.

Up Cups (1) has had a lot of racing this preparation but gets back up to his right trip again after two runs over shorter trips following his Cups campaign and trip to Sydney. Has found them too sharp in both runs but they were in harder grade than this. Has plenty of weight but Voorham’s claim helps and his last run over this course was a 4th in the Brighton Cup. Class runner who needs to improve but gets his chance to do so.

Demons Run (2) returns to the Scott Brunton yard after spending a year with Patrick Payne in Victoria. Has been well beaten at both runs this prep but has a great record at this course and his form here was strong before venturing interstate. Might need a run but right up to this if fancied so watch betting.

Really Sure (6) had his first Tasmanian run here a fortnight ago and while she was well held behind Beaufort Lad she was far from disgraced in tougher grade. She beat Up Cups home there and now gets to her ideal trip this time. Still difficult to line her up but did enough last time to suggest she can be competitive here.

Next best Another Brother (5) (genuine stayer well held last time behind Matiano at first run this trip this time in, a bit outclassed but wetter the better).


Matiano (3) and Taramaya (4) look set to battle it out again. Up Cups (1) and Demons Run (2) are the class runners and may appeal if they get to silly odds but need sharp improvement on their recent racing

Staking Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Matiano (3) for 2 units.

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