Racing Watch: Lay Selections

Racing Watch is an online hub that serves as a one-stop shop for all things Australian thoroughbred racing. Racing Watch is headed by respected form analyst John Walter; and a Resource Centre soon to be packed with quality articles and information that allow punters to increase their betting performance over the long term.

Exclusively to the Betfair Hub, they’ll be providing their best Lay selections for Friday’s and Saturday’s across the country. Follow their selections on the Betfair Exchange.

Canberra | Race 2 | #1 Polar Star

Well bred son of Lonhro that found the right race last time out when back in distance. Draws to roll forward again from the wide draw and looks extremely likely to work harder this time around – with the pressure also likely to go on earlier.

Sharply up in field strength and happy to risk him today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Polar Star

Ballina | Race 1 | #5 Coolwedge

3YO Filly from the Edmonds camp, having her 6th start today and trying to break through. Ridden forward her last two starts and settled on very slow tempos around the leader sympathetic Beaudesert circuit – she was not overly strong on either occasion.

25 days since last seen and back 100m in trip here – doubt she finds the front here and even with the services of Jeff Llloyd aboard – if she has to do any work at all, you have to treat her as a solid risk.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Coolwedge

Canterbury | Race 2 | #2 Bucephalus

Debutant from the Hawkes camp that comes up the early favourite. Three spaced trials stretching back to November 2017 (Warning sign). Has certainly shown some ability in those trials – but doesn’t quite look dynamic enough for a sharp 1100m race around this circuit on what should be a very difficult night to run on.

Gives away race experience and fitness to a few solid customers and really needs to improve significantly off the trials to justify favouritism.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Bucephalus

Randwick | Race 3 | #10 Taniko

Given the ride of rides two starts back over the 1100m at Canterbury when making full use of the inside bias that night. Went up in grade and distance last time and was flattered for mine by the slow tempo playing into her sit/sprint pattern.

Stays at the 1200m today and now steps out of Fillies/Mares grade. Keen to take her on today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Taniko

Wagga | Race 7 | #3 Tobermory

Jumping sharply from the 1200 to the mile here – this bloke races a tough task. Form is honest and meets a field of runners who have probably had more chances than him.

But the risk of fitness and distance query alone are enough for me to be against him today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Tobermory

Gosford | Race 8 | #2 Le Lude

Promising filly resuming. She draws horribly around a circuit that should be playing very advantageous to those closer to the speed and the inside of the track.

She is likely to get back and wide and 1100m should be short of her best distance. Happy to risk her today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Le Lude

Randwick | Race 1 | #1 Hightail

Solid enough winner in provincial MDN grade on debut over 1000m – straight to town and solid effort when holding for third after every possible chance in the run. Now rises to 1150m and there looks a couple of promising horses engaged. Happy to risk him today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Hightail

Tamworth | Race 1 | #1 Shangato

Consistent type that is coming off a last start win in C1 grade over the 1400m. Steps up to C2 grade over the 1600m here and still has to give them all plenty of weight. Think the 1600m is his upper limit and drawing the inside may be tricky for him here.

If they control the speed up front and sprint – he may be in an awkward position and flat-footed.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Shangato

Tamworth | Race 4 | #2 Fiery Eminence

Enigmatic type that has found it difficult to put race away in the past. He has only had the one run in the last 14 months and shows up here off a 199 day break with no public trial.

Thought he needed to get a soft lead to justify his early price and that looks highly unlikely here. Happy to risk him today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Fiery Eminence

Canberra | Race 4 | #3 Doctor Zous

First starter from the Bjorn Baker stable. Thought he just lacked the turn of foot in his trials to come up such a dominant favourite over 1000m.

Certainly finds a winnable race – but he looks far better suited at 1200m + to my eye. Happy to play around him today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Doctor Zous

Canberra | Race 5 | #2 Admire Gratzi

Get back run type that has won his past two starts – getting over the top of them very late on each occasion. He gets up in the weights here and drops in distance.

Finds a race with only a controlled tempo at best and will need to be at his very best to get over the top of them again late here.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Admire Gratzi

Canterbury | Race 7 | #3 The Pharoah

Quirky galloper that has not found the winners stall since August 2017. He put his best performance in some time last start – but had conditions to favour him there.

Not as favourable tonight and a third of the price in early markets. Will need a soft time of it up front to justify that quote.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – The Pharoah

Randwick | Race 3 | #8 Bondi | 2:15pm AEDT

Resumed in a fast race at Wyong and finished off OK late when never in the race. Pace assisted and got to the best part of the track down the straight. Straight to 1400m here and against a bunch of hard fit types that are well setup to do their best. Looks vulnerable today and will need to have made strong improvement off the first up run to justify his price.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Bondi

Randwick | Race 7 | #7  Gresham | 4:55pm AEDT

Both runs back have been solid without being outstanding. He has good early speed, that is clearly his best asset, but he really does need to control races to be dominant. He finds a race today where he looks likely to be outside the leader at best and highly unlikely he controls the tempo. Others in the race look to get softer runs with similar depth to their form. Happy to risk him today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Gresham

Scone | Race 4 | #14 Smodge | 3:06pm AEDT

Filly getting deep into her first preparation. Has been solid at her last couple of starts with small excuses on each occasion. Draws the inside here which I think is a negative – not a positive and meets the deepest field she has run into so far. Unlikely she will show rapid improvement today so far into her prep and happy to risk her again.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Smodge

Canberra | Race 5 | #10 Farthing Wood | 4:03pm AEDT

Having just her second start for the Mcilrick yard after having 11 starts for Darren Weir and unable to breakthrough.

She ground away OK last time over the 1200m, but now drops back to 1000m and maps to give them all a start. Just think she lacks the turn of speed to overcome that sort of start over the short course journey.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Farthing Wood

Gosford | Race 1 | #2 Devils Luck | 1:25pm AEDT

Catch twenty-two going against James McDonald ridden runners. The market usually keeps them very short – especially at provincial level – but McDonald is the type of rider that can lift these horses.

In this case though – the horse is coming off a big margin maiden victory where he was absolutely handed the race on a platter. Will be doing the chasing this time around and obviously rises in grade. Happy to risk today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Devils Luck

Gosford | Race 5 | #8 Tell Me | 3:45pm AEDT

Was against this filly last start and aided by a solid bias – she was able to somehow scramble in after being clearly headed down the running.

Today she finds a race where she draws awkwardly – plenty of speed drawn under her and even though only a slight rise in distance – there are horses better setup than her to take advantage of on speed positions if they happen to go steady (very unlikely) or come from off the pace if they overdo it up front.

Will need an extremely good ride and some luck from the gate to justify her price here.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Tell Me

Warwick Farm | Race 2 | #1 Hemmerle | 1:55pm AEDT

Battled away OK first up in a similar race over 1400m. Now has to jump quickly to the 1600m and a genuinely rain effected surface – a huge task. Seems very aggressively priced and happy to risk today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Hemmerle

Warwick Farm | Race 8 | #9 Pembroke Castle | 15:40pm AEDT

Given a perfect ride last time out in easier grade with the pattern of assistance. Loses Bowman and rises sharply in grade. Drawn awkwardly and overall just looks a very solid risk this time around.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Pembroke Castle

Dubbo | Race 1 | #3 Little Caesar | 3:17pm AEDT

Every possible chance on debut when big odds and battled away solidly into a minor placing. Jumps from 1000m there to 1300m today and drawn to have to work early to find a position.

Gets the right rider aboard – but I think that is being overplayed by the market. Others better setup and he will need to improve considerably to justify his early quote.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Little Caesar

Kensington | Race 1 | #1 A Million Dreams | 3:10pm AEDT

Every chance on debut at the provincials when a solid performer – just going down to Hostwin Saturn. Came to town and whilst looked a touch unlucky there – was in the best part of the track late and the two horses that beat him home encountered tough trips and poor luck themselves.

Looks a marginally easier assignment for him today possibly – but paying for that by what look extremely cramped odds. Happy to risk at the price.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – A Million Dreams

Kensington | Race 6 | #12 Tell Me | 6:15pm AEDT

Has won her last two starts when able to get on speed and fight on solidly. 21 days since last winning at Canterbury with the pattern in her favour.

She draws a touch awkwardly and there looks pressure from both inside and out of her this time – not sure where she ends up in the run and that is enough for me to want to risk her today at the short odds.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) – Tell Me

Randwick | Race 1 | #9 Mick The Hat | 1:10pm AEDT

Found the right race and most importantly found the front last start on a leader sympathetic circuit that day. Draws the rails here with far more pressure likely from his outside and really does look a very solid risk up to this grade.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Mick The Hat 

Randwick | Race 3 | #1 Sweet Scandal | 2:25pm AEDT

Not a lot of luck first up in a messy slow run race. Bunched finish at the end there. Inside draw again here that could potentially cause problems once again. Will need to kick up to hold the leaders back and sure to need even luck from that position. This race certainly no easier than last time out and just think she needs all the luck and others to fail in order to be winning. Happy to risk.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Sweet Scandal

Scone | Race 4 | #3 Magic Name | 3:10pm AEDT

Consistent galloper that just finds it very hard to win. Had the pattern and tempo against him last time out and assume that is why the market is giving him another chance today. Extremely concerned about his ability to run this trip out strongly, happy to risk him in what looks an extremely open affair.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Magic Name

Scone | Race 6 | #1 Silver Melody | 4:20pm AEDT

This galloper has been extremely well placed in her three runs to date. Found the right race on debut and fell in before going for a break. Resumed behind Natalia when every possible chance and beaten comfortably. Dropped back to Country grade last start and aided by a significant on pace bias – just got the job done there when afforded every chance. Rises in grade now and sure to get significantly more pressure from her outside early in this race – if they choose to take the sit, I still think she is a significant risk. Happy to be against her this time around.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Silver Melody

Canterbury | Race 3 | #6 Smiling Manolito | 7:15pm AEDT

Consistent type that has a bit of natural early pace, he finds a very even graded race tonight. Was well setup last time out, led – dictated and still run over comfortably at the business end. He meets a few horses with more upside here and expecting a similar situation to unfold to last time. Will be thereabouts again – but expecting him to find one or two better when the sprint goes on.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Smiling Manolito


Rosehill | Race 4 | #3 Etymology | 3.00pm AEDT

Racing consistently without winning – well enough setup – he just always finds one better. Maps to sit outside the leader and work throughout or go back towards the tail and give them all a start. Not easy task from either position against a team of evenly matched stayers.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Etymology

Rosehill | Race 9 | #12 Moet Rose | 5.55pm AEDT

Consistent type that gets the blinkers on for the first time at start 12. Every chance her last few starts in easier grade. She draws the rails and is still likely to be crossed despite the blinkers going on. Sure to run honestly – just a solid enough class query at this level to be happy to risk from the tricky gate.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Moet Rose

Mudgee | Race 3 | #5 The Warlord | 2.53pm AEDT

Getting fitter and suited out to 1600m today. Just concerned that he is going to have to work early to hold the lead from the inside draw. Extremely one paced type that could require even further. Think he will be susceptible to being outsprinted at the business end.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) The Warlord

Mudgee | Race 8 | #7 Sugar Dance | 5.55pm AEDT

Last start winner – he is back in distance today and wayyyy up in grade. He will find it difficult to control things up front and has a whole different caliber of animals against him today. Happy to risk.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Sugar Dance

Rosehill | Race 7 | #6 Marsupial | 5.00pm AEDT

Comes off a solid win last start when perfectly setup and got the right drag into the race he needed at Randwick – was strong to the line.

Up in grade this time and importantly heads to Rosehill. Draws to need all the luck in the world from back in the field and looks a solid risk against some quality opposition.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Marsupial

Rosehill | Race 9 | #5  Sexy Eyes| 6.15pm AEDT

Found two very suitable fillies and mares events her last two starts and got the job done nicely. Steps back out against the geldings today, draws very awkwardly and just finds a much deeper event. Plenty against and happy to risk this time out.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Marsupial

Rosehill | Race 9 | #12 Campari | 5.40pm AEDT

Soft winner of a maiden first up at the provincials. Jumped in distance and went to the midweeks and really tired late. Ridden much colder last time and appreciated the fast tempo – strong enough to the line late to get home.

A significant rise in field strength – poorly drawn and likely to give a big start. Faces a far tougher task this time around.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Isaurian

Rosehill | Race 7 | #6 Isaurian | 4.20pm AEDT

Not a lot of luck last time out when wide throughout without cover. Draws the inside here and gets a positive rider change. That inside draw means he will need luck, with pressure from middle to wide draws all looking to push forward.

Likely to need luck at the right time and I don’t think he has enough on them to overcome any stop in momentum. Looks an extremely open race and happy to oppose this runner today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Isaurian

Canterbury | Race 2 | #3 De Valera | 6.45pm AEDT

Ground away very solidly on debut behind all the way winner Wolfe. Wolfe has come out and franked that form. However, all the merit in both wins lays with Wolfe and this bloke really did lack a gear change on debut.

Is open to natural improvement and the step up to 1550m does look suitable, along with the engagement of James McDonald. I just believe his price has been tightened right up due to Wolfe and the rider engagement. He meets a field of solid types that will not be pushovers and draws a little awkward if they are not positive early.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) De Valera

Canterbury | Race 5 | #1 Danzie | 6.45pm AEDT

Opposed this bloke two starts ago and he was handed a soft lead on a leader biased track and dictated proceedings. Again found a very soft tempo race last time and out sprinted them. Rises in distance, weight and loses the senior rider today – all solid queries against. Tough task ahead.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Danzie

Canterbury | Race 6 | #11 Waruna | 8.45pm AEDT

Draws to either have to work forward early on what looks a competitive tempo – or could end up back and wide throughout. Thought she was very well ridden last time out on what is a very momentum based surface at the Kensington track.

Does look well setup on paper – but this is a fairly deep field quality wise and does look to need luck in running around this tighter circuit from a sticky draw. Very short in early markets all things considered.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Waruna

Rosehill | Race 7 | #6 Dyslexic | 3.50pm AEDT

R7 #6 Dyslexic – Just fair first up when not in the best part of the track late in better grade. She should appreciate the drop back to Benchmark grade. However, she draws to settle close enough to last in the run and with horses, with both solid setups and strength in their form all in front her – she faces a big task to overcome. Happy to risk her.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Dyslexic

Kempsey | Race 4 | #6 Sweet Art | 2.55pm AEDT

R4 #6 Sweet Art – Get back type that ran on fairly at Tamworth last time out to grab second in a blanket go. Looks to find a very awkward position from the draw today and rises in distance rather sharply. Both strong enough queries to confidently want to risk this galloper today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Sweet Art

Orange | Race 7 | #5 Posh Arli | 5.10 AEDT

R7 #5 Posh Arli – Racing consistently without winning this preparation. This get back type finds a race with little pace on paper. Likely to give them a start and despite having the best rider in the race aboard, she faces an uphill battle. Will need everything to fall her way to be in the finish here.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Posh Arli

Rosehill | Race 2 | #5 Brazillica | 12.40pm AEDT

R2 #5 Brazillica – Waller trained filly that was extremely well placed on debut, well ridden and won comfortably. She jumps in grade today, draws to be back and on the inside in this small field and faces a task to beat what is a very solid small field of sprinters on the up. She has good talent herself – but with todays setup – think she has come up extremely short in early markets.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Brazillica

Moree | Race 2 | #2 Mysticism  | 1.50pm AEDT

Get back type that has won her past two at this venue in suitable races. 61 days since last seen. Likely to give them a start again and while this is a smaller field – there looks more quality engaged here. Prefer to risk her today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Mysticism

Moree | Race 4 | #3 Emily’s Song  | 3.05pm AEDT

R4 #3 Emily’s Song – Have been following this mare closely this preparation. She didn’t run the mile out two starts back. Last time she got a lovely run through with the blinkers applied and again didn’t really hit the line. She really is struggling to finish off her races and with a rider aboard who has only won one from her last hundred rides I’m happy to risk her again today.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Emily’s Song

Scone | Race 4 | #7 Legion of Boom | 3.10pm AEDT

3YO from the Brett Cavanough yard having his second start today. He makes the jump from a decent level provincial 900m on debut to a Country 1100m, with what looks a very awkward draw.

Loses the jockey he carried on debut and meets a field that includes a few runners of promise going off their most recent trials and race starts.

Hesitant to risk runners coming from Provincial back to Country grade as a rule. But there is enough against this runner with the distance jump and poor map to be happy to take him on at his short early quote.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Legion of Boom

Canterbury | Race 4 | #5 Danzie| 7.45pm AEDT

This mare just keeps coming up short in the market due to her consistency and bit of early natural speed she possesses. But she continually struggles to put a race away when in striking distance. She draws the inside marble here and looks to get early pressure from her outside that should see her crossed again.

Her main dangers look to get clean air while she will be ridden for luck and doubt she has the acceleration to get out of trouble here if it doesn’t all go her way. Rather risk her.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Danzie

Randwick | Race 6 | #3 Brook Magic | 3.50pm AEDT

3YO from the Brett Cavanough yard having his second start today. He makes the jump from a decent level provincial 900m on debut to a Country 1100m, with what looks a very awkward draw.

Loses the jockey he carried on debut and meets a field that includes a few runners of promise going off their most recent trials and race starts.

Hesitant to risk runners coming from Provincial back to Country grade as a rule. But there is enough against this runner with the distance jump and poor map to be happy to take him on at his short early quote.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Legion of Boom

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