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Shaun Collis is a horse racing expert who delivers insight into Tas Racing meets where he previews the races and gives you his betting strategy.

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21st October

We are back at Elwick this Thursday after an unfortunate snap lockdown due to Covid-19 forcing the Saturday meeting to be re-scheduled. We are set to run on a soft 5 and while most of the fields have remained similar the dynamic of the races have changed significantly due to the new barrier draw, add in a few more acceptances and the seven race program will provide us with large fields and plenty of value.

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Race 3 – The Mercury Maiden 1420m

Belmista should push forward to be on pace outside the leader despite drawing barrier 9, he jumped well last start but was eased back mid-race before coming wide to produce a strong finish, with less early pace on paper I can see him dictating this race and giving them all something to chase. Could be hard to beat back at this track.

Longlines is an interesting runner, the 7yo gelding is making its debut, the booking of Siggy is positive and based on its trials will put itself up on the pace, I would respect any market move for it being a Brunton runner.

Romary was super impressive on Tasmanian debut, she settled at the tail and had to come widest producing the fastest final 600/400/200m sectionals. From barrier 8 I have her mapping a pair or two back and I think the track at Elwick will suit better as will the step up to 1420m. She will have a much easier run in this easier maiden and is one of my best bets of the program.

I’m Back has drawn perfectly in barrier 1 and should be able to get the lead easily enough, he was very consistent last prep and a solid trial leading into today should have him ready to fire 1st up.

Betting Strategy

I had Romary marked as my best bet of the day for Saturday’s meeting, she has now drawn wider and with the inclusion of I’m Back who will roll along in front, makes this a trickier assignment for her than what she would have faced on Saturday. However, I’m confident the winner comes from one of these two and we are getting $5.50 on Romary compared to $2.15 on I’m Back, I think Romary will have plenty of time and room to make her run down the straight, I think a repeat of her final 600-200m sectionals from the last start will see her chase the leaders down here.

BACK (WIN) – 4 units to win on Romary

Race 5 – Gallagher BM68 1420m

Another field dominated by the Brunton and Luttrell stable, accounting for eight of the nine runners and with the favourite resuming having never won 1st up or over this distance it’s another open race.

Sir Da Vinci kept frustrating punters with multiple placings in Maiden grade before winning three in a row over 2100m and further including some good runs in Victoria. Given its two best performances were over 2600m and 2837m I’m surprised it opened at $2.90 first up over 1420m here, I think it’s definitely vulnerable and we’ll see its best later this prep, while its a chance, I can’t get excited about the $2.90 on offer.

Born Magic has three wins from five starts at this track and distance and was second beaten under half a length in three consecutive 1600m races here last prep. Georgie Catania will almost certainly lead them up from barrier 5 and back from a short freshen up I think is a big chance back in this grade.

Little Hot Missile is a hard one to tip because of his racing pattern but I certainly like him at this track with plenty of time to let down and get through his gears, with only 50kg here and barrier 3 I think he can be closer to the leaders and run a placing at big odds.

Paion could spoil the Brunton/Luttrell party here, the 7yo Pierro gelding has been so consistent during its career and while its best days are behind it, it maps for an economical run and will have top three aspirations.

Betting Strategy

I’d need to see a market push for Sir Da Vinci to be confident on backing it first-up at this distance but at $2.90 I can’t get involved. Again I’m more inclined to wait to closer to jump time in these races where Scott Brunton has most of the field but on form and how he maps I like the $4 about Born Magic and am confident he’s leading coming to the home turn and gets its chance. I’ve followed Little Hot Missile closely its entire career and I think with the lightweight and good barrier today is a day it can run better than its form suggests so I’ll have something small each way at $41/$6.50.

BACK (WIN) – 4 units to win on Born Magic

BACK (EW) – 1 unit each way on Little Hot Missile

Race 7 – Beach Hotel Burnie BM62 1100m

It doesn’t get any easier for punters as we finish off the day with another full field with so many genuine chances but it’s the return of a Scott Brunton runner that I’m especially looking forward to.

Lucky Lil made one of the most remarkable turnarounds I’ve seen in a horse when she moved south to the Brunton stable, I really would have liked to see her trial before today as she’s kicking off shorter than any other prep so I’m worried she may need the run, but from barrier 2 with the 3kg claim of Ianish Luximon she is good enough to put this field away. If there’s market support for her to suggest she’s ready to fire fresh I’m confident she’s in the finish.

Queens Needs was scratched from a 1200m race at Launceston and they have opted for the shorter race here which surprises me, but she did win first-up last prep so I’m not writing her off despite the wide barrier but I think she’ll be better-suited second or third up over further.

Epic Song returned from a spell and put the maiden field away easily scoring by 3L at Devonport, with the 4kg claim of Taylor Johnstone I think she takes it forward from the wide barrier and gives them something to chase down.

Brinktop Lad is another Brunton runner resuming after an excellent finish to last prep, winning or placing in its last four runs. With form around a few of these runners and the fact he should enjoy a cosy run in behind the leaders in what should be a solid tempo he’ll be well-positioned after a solid lead up trial.

Nev’s Boy ran second behind Brinktop Lad before winning two on the trot here over 1200m & 1400m, had a little freshen up and back in distance but maps to get a great run in behind the pace, I would prefer 1200-1400m but is capable of running into the placings here.

Gee Gee Plane won three of its first four races before stepping out over 1350m however Stuart Gandy seems to think the shorter trip suits which I agree. Jemma Curtain’s 4kg claim is used to good effect here and from barrier 1 this 4yo Wordsmith gelding will put in a much better run than last time out and has a lot of upside.

Betting Strategy

If Gee Gee Plane is as good or better on the turf than synthetic which is the only question mark for me, its good value still at $5/$2 and back to 1100m is perfect after failing at 1350m. I wish Lucky Lil resumed over 1200m or had a trial but she hasn’t, same with Brinktop Lad, I like over 1200-1400m so I’m happy to go with the genuine 1100m horse in Gee Gee Plane here.

BACK (EW) – 4 units each way on Gee Gee Plane

BACK (WIN) – 0.5 unit to win on Nev’s Boy

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