Bendigo R8 | The Bendigo Guineas | 1400m 3YO LR | 4:50pm EST

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail in the true position. Mostly sunny weather on Saturday (26c) should see the surface race in the Good 3 – Good 4 range.

Expect the track to play evenly without any significant pattern. On pace / handy horses may have a slight advantage and jockeys may shift just off the fence in the straight.

Speed and Tactics 

There looks to be at least genuine speed here, more likely faster. Sircconi (6) and Holbein (11) should be both ridden positively to get up on the lead. In the large field there will also others that press on to look for handy positions just off the lead such as Overshare (8), So Far Sokool (12) and possibly Black Sail (13), Catesby (14).

This will be a strong test of 1400m with the pace likely to set up a slick overall time.

Early Pace Rating: Above average to solid

Late Pace Rating: Moderate to slow

Best Suited: 1.5 to 5 lengths off the lead

WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

Based on lead up form, the winner of this race is likely to need a rating of at least 93 (at the weights) to be competitive in the finish with a winning mark of 94-96 required. It’s impossible to see anything less than 93 being competitive.

Race Assessment

5. Holbien: Forecast 94-95. Assessed $5.00

Ran 94.8 leading all the way to win at Flemington with a good display of sustained speed, when conditions weren’t ideal for leaders. That type of performance is likely good enough to win this race, the slight concern is just how much pressure he has to cope with up front.

2. Sircconi: Forecast 93-95. Assessed $6.50

He’s first up here off two trials (compared to one normally) so expect him to be primed. He’s well established in the 93-94 rating range and has a peak of 97, so there’s no doubt he’s capable of winning this race. The query is how much pressure he has to absorb up front.

16. So Far Sokool: Forecast 93-94. Assessed $8.50

He ran a competitive 93.5 rating first up over 1200m at Mornington in a moderately run race that was fast late. Last prep had had two runs in the 94-95 range and with the benefit of that first up run it’s reasonable to think he can get close to that level in this. If he can get across from the barrier to get a decent run then he’s capable of winning.

6. Mahamedeis: Forecast 92-94. Assessed $10.00

He ran a 99 last start behind Homesman which is an equal peak and a repeat can be very competitive. The majority of his form though is below that level so he’ll potentially regress a little here.

10. Barbeque: 90-94. Assessed $13.00

He was just fair on Soft last start, but previously has plenty of ratings in the 93 to 95 range that can be competitive. He’s likely to get well back, but a slow final 200m up front should give him the opportunity to close strongly if good enough.

3. Cao Cao: Forecast 91-94. Assessed $14.00

He’s inconsistent but can spike a rate that is very competitive here.

8. Muraahib: Forecast 87-94. Assessed $17.00

He had excuses LS behind Holbein and did run a 94 rating prior, which can be very competitive. The concern is that he’s inconsistent, so he’s impossible to back with confidence. He’s one that is at least capable of reaching a level good enough to be in the finish.

1. Overshare: Forecast 90-93. Assessed $17.00

Had his first run over 1400m last start and rated well down on his previous form, after having every chance in a moderately run race. It’s hard to see him improving 1.5 to 2L over the same distance here when the pace is likely to be much stronger. $7 in the market looks far too short.

20. Weapon: Forecast 91-93. Assessed $17.00

Ran okay in a fast, high pressure 1600m race last start and can be fitter here. He’s a longshot, but ot hopeless.

13. Tavistock Abbey: Forecast 87-91. Assessed $34.00

Staying type first up. Could run well, but will need further.

9. Black Sail: Forecast 88-92.5. Assessed $34.00

His 3rd in the Sandown Guineas would be very hard to beat here, but two runs this preparation have been moderate.

11. Catesby: Forecast 89-92. Assessed $41.00

Needs to find a new peak and that looks tough to do from the draw.

7. Pure Scot: Forecast 88-90. Assessed $101.00

First up here and tends to get a mile back in the run. She has more talent than her 89 rating peak suggests, but I can’t speculate that she’ll suddenly run a big new spike needed here.

19. Mastering: Forecast 89-91. Assessed $101.00

Won Ls with an 89.7 rating and needs to find a couple more lengths here. That looks very difficult to do from the draw.

18. Poseidons Pool: Forecast 86-91. Assessed $201.00

Not the same horse he was last preparation.

Betting Strategy

So Far Sokool appeals as some value at $12-$13 in current markets, but it’s a speculative bet in an incredibly competitive race with a number of winners that wouldn’t surprise.

The market may change notably as trading takes shape on the Exchange closer to the race and offer some compelling value angles around the top chances. Typically though this is the type of race I can easily pass.

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