The Trial Files: Bendigo Cup Day – 28th October 2015

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Bendigo Cup Day – 28st October 2015


The rail is back to the True position after being out 9M just ten days ago. The 1400m start is located toward the top of the back straight and allows for a decent run into the bend. The straight is 400m long and it should give all horses their chance.


R4 – BM90 Hcp


Speed Map:

MIGHTY LIKE is the likely leader but ESPRIT WARRIOR (up to 1400m) and ELMANTOSH can both pressure him early. BRINGENBONG next in running.

The interesting runner form a speed perspective is ORION as he was ridden forward in a recent trial and Stackhouse may well opt to push on from the wide draw.

Given the small field there should be enough tempo to give all seven horses their chance.

Trial Form:

Trials were held at Cranbourne on the 20th October and Heat 15 over 990m prompted this comment:

“The clear stand out of trial 15 was THUNDERBIRD ONE. Trained by Frances Finnegan this gelding travelled beautifully in a midfield spot and was held up for much of the straight. He got a late split and charged through under her own steam to finish third. He is a dual first up winner and based on this trial he can add to that good fresh record.”

He’s an ex-Kiwi gelding that hasn’t been in the winners circle since May 2014. That race was also when resuming 1st up from a spell over 1400m. That day he beat both FLYINGCONI and MURCILEGA who were going well at the time.

THUNDERBIRD ONE has resumed his last two preparations over 1400m and 1600m respectively, both at Flemington.

First up last time in he got back to near last before circling the field on a wide move approaching the home bend. He was making ground out wide on the track but got chopped out – costing himself two lengths. The run was better than the 12th of 16 would suggest.

His previous first up run was full of merit behind LATE CHARGE and UNDER THE LOUVRE. He again got back to near enough last and was awkwardly placed inside runners at the top of the straight. He had to switch course and made solid ground to the line.

THUNDERBIRD ONE has raced in some big fields since crossing the ditch and that has often led to hard luck stories. Today he gets his chance to be within striking distance coming to the turn.

He trialled well, his best form is good enough, he’s a very good fresh horse and he’ll have tempo on up front.  Jake Bayliss should have plenty under the hood down the long Bendigo straight. At $5.50 he looks a great value play.

The Danger:

ORION resumes here for Peter Moody. This 5YO gelding had a trial at Caulfield on the 13th October and he showed a decent amount of tactical speed for a middle distance horse matching motors with VATICAN in the early stages. He was placed under pressure late but really stuck with two handy horses.

He’s another ex-Kiwi galloper who was very good at his first Australian start when resuming back in October 2014 and then far from disgraced first up last campaign when midfield behind CHARMED HARMONY and ARCTIC SONG. Both those runs were over 1200m and he is undoubtedly better suited at 1400m fresh.

The Favourite:

MIGHTY LIKE has been racing OK in town most recently in similar grade as today’s race (BM90).

Trained by Mick Price he won seven of his first 14 starts, but since then has failed to find another victory. Aside from a bottling run first up over 1200m at MV back in August he hasn’t really looked like winning.

Today’s drop back to 1400m and small field might allow him to get into a better rhythm but he needs to improve significantly to hold out THUNDERBIRD ONE over the final 200m.

Betting Strategy:

BACK – WIN – THUNDERBIRD ONE – He rates a $3.50 favourite. With $5.50+ available have 3 units WIN.

BACK – WIN – ORION – He can be handy to the speed and looks forward in condition. Have 1 unit the WIN on him.