TRB Race Assessments

The Rating Bureau is Australia’s leading supplier of horse racing data, software and analysis. TRB’s WFA Performance Ratings are an industry leading assessment of horse quality.

TRB have also provided a series of article on how to be a smarter punter, called their BetSmart Education series. Here you’ll find articles on everything from essentials to consider when doing the form, to ratings and form your own system.

Check out more education articles on racing on the Betfair Hub.


Who are TRB?

Dan O Sullivan, the man behind The Ratings Bureau, represents a group of betting and racing gurus. They lead the way in Racing Australia with their advanced data and ratings products.

Check out the Hub weekly for their race assessments right throughout the Spring Carnival.


Spring TRB Race Assessments

For all of TRB’s Spring Carnival Race Assessments, go here.


2:50pm Hawkesbury R6 – 1100m Open LR – Hawkesbury Rush


The Track

The track is currently rated a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position. With fine weather forecast the track should remain a Good 4, pushing towards a Good 3.

There’s a strong history across recent similar meetings on 11/3, 21/2 and equally, this meeting last year to suggest the inside will be a disadvantage in the straight. Horses 4 to 8 off the fence have been dominant, with a good spread of winners racing up on the lead and further back. Those off pace to back and caught on the inside in big fields will find it most difficult to get to the best ground.


Speed and Tactics

There looks to be solid speed here. Tango Rain (1) should attempt to lead and can run along at well above average speed. Out wider we have the likes of Nicobelle (7), Pinch River (9), In Good Time (11) and even Junglized (13) along with Spending To Win (15) who could press forward and add pressure to the early stages.

Early Pace Rating: Average to Above Average

Late Pace Rating: Below average to moderate

Best Suited: 2L to 6L off the lead


WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

Based on exposed form at rating of at least 97.5 at the weights to be carried will be needed to win this race, with some chance it could push into the 99-100 range. It’s impossible to see anything less than 97.5 being good enough.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order:

1. Tactical Advantage 97.5-100.5. Assessed $2.50.

He’s first up here but brings a string of ratings good enough to win this race. He ran 100.6 FUP last prep over this distance of 1100 and backed that up with 99.6 second up, both of which would almost certainly win this race. In eight runs last preparation he ran 99.6 to 100.6 on five occasions, which is terrific consistency at a high level. The three times he ran below that level was over 1200m on a bog track, over 1110m at Doomben where he got a mile back in the run from barrier 13 (rating 95.6) and a 1000m race at Caulfield where he rated 95, but actually won. Off the back of three trials to prepare for this and with J McDonald riding from the right type of draw to find the best part of the straight, he presents with a strong profile. He’s the only genuine chance in the race that doesn’t have an important query over him.

6. Intuition: 94-100. Assessed $9.00.

She’s flying this prep and comes off ratings of 99.4 and 100.4 at her last two, but they were both over 1200m from soft draws where she was only 3.5L back off the lead. Back to 1100m from barrier 14 here is likely to see her settle a mile back in the run and it’s going to be enormously difficult for her to run to those peak figures. She’s one of the potential winners in the race but $5.50 to $6.00 in this scenario seems far too short.

3. Badajoz 93-98. Assessed $10.00.

First up here and he did run ratings of 97.4 and 98.3 last preparation that are super competitive in this. However, those performances were exceptions in a preparation that had the bulk of ratings in the 90-94 range, which aren’t good enough to win. On the positive side he does look to map ideally here just behind the lead and that will give him a chance to run up to his best.

4. Spending To Win 94-99. Assessed $14.00.

He’s rated in the 97-99 range a number of times in his career and did run 99.2 first up last prep when he won over 1100m at Caulfield. He did have a dream run that day though and faces a much more difficult task from barrier 15 with the way this map looks.

9. Junglized: 92-100. Assessed $17.00.

He was flying through Jan-Feb with ratings of 97.4, 100.4 and 100.4 before a last start failure of 85.3. That was forgivable given a bog track, but he’s also been up since early December last year and his trial since that last start failure was very moderate. There has to be a big chance that he’s come to the end of his prep. Barrier 13 also doesn’t make it easy.

10. Latin Boy: 92-97.5. Assessed $21.00.

With no weight on his back here he comes into the race with some ratings that can be competitive, ranging from 97 to a one-off spike of 99.8. He’s better placed at 1000m, but with the prospect off a nice run here he’s certainly not hopeless.

11. Tango Rain 91-98. Assessed $23.00.

First up here, he does have plenty of past ratings that can win this race, however he only ran to that level once last prep with a 98.7 second up and the other 3 runs were well below this level. He’s another in this race that on their absolute best wouldn’t surprise, but there are so many other runs in their history that are uncompetitive.

7. In Good Time 90-96. Assessed $31.00.

Hasn’t been suited by wet track recently, but if you look at only her Good track runs, she’s solid in the 94 to 97 range. That’s not good enough to win so she’ll need a big new peak, but she’s one that could surprise and run well.

8. Akasaki: 92-95. Assessed $31.00.

Typically very solid in the 94-95 rating range, which isn’t good enough to win, but his career peak is a one-off spike at 100.9, which could win. He’s not the worst longshot.

5 Epidemic: 90-95. Assessed $34.00.

First up off a short break following a poor run early March. Her 3-run Spring prep was also poor so while she has some good older form, it’s impossible to consider her anything but a notable longshot.

2. Pinch River 89-99. Assessed $41.00.

He has some good QLD form with ratings in the 99-100 range and does fly first up, but he’s coming off a 469-day break which suggests some type of injury and has switched to a Country trainer in Moruya. His recent trial was plain.

14. Niccobelle 90-95. Assessed $51.00.

First up here since December. She did spike a 100.9 rating back in the Spring, but the rest of her form suggests 90-95 at best is her level.

12. Gibraltar Girl 90-95. Assessed $81.00.

She does have a couple of 95 ratings first up previously, but her last two first up runs have been well below that level.

15. And So It Goes 86-96 Assessed $151.00.

Has a one-off spike of 96, but the rest of her form is closer to the 90 level at best.

13. Conarchie 88-94. Assessed $251.00.

Can’t see him getting anywhere near this level first up over 1100m.


BETTING STRATEGY

 BACK – TACTICAL ADVANTAGE – Bet to WIN (stake 1.8% of your total bank.)

2:55pm Randwick R6 – 1600m 2YO Group 1 SW – The Champagne Stakes


The Track

The track is currently rated a Good 4 and the rail is out 6m. With fine weather forecast and a reasonably warm 25c on Saturday, the track should remain a Good 4, pushing towards a Good 3.

Under similar conditions on the 2/3/19 & 29/12/18, it was a slight advantage to settle off the fence in the run and those 3+ horses off the fence in the straight had an advantage. That may level up later in the day as ground out wider starts to show some wear and tear.


Speed and Tactics

Lady Lapino (2) likes to lead and ran a big new peak over 1400m last start, setting a strong speed in front. Chia (3) can be prominent but isn’t as fast as Lady Lapino.

Dawn Too Good (9) is an interesting runner from a tactical perspective. She has the right type of map to press forward from out wider, but she can race a little keenly.

If she goes forward, does she over-race and put extra pressure into the race? Do they try and ride her more conservatively to avoid that potential problem?

Putting that uncertainty aside, the speed of this race will come down to how D Lane can rate Lady Lupino in front.

She did race a touch keen herself last start over the 1400m, which led to that strong pace. Even if D Lane is able to control that a little more here (which I expect him to try and do), it would be a surprise if he could do it enough to set a slow speed. For that reason, I’m inclined to think the speed will be at least average, if not stronger.

Early Pace Rating: Average to Above Average

Late Pace Rating: Below average to moderate

Best Suited: 2L to 6L off the lead


WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

Based on exposed form if either Loving Gaby or Castelvecchio run up to their recent form, something in the 91-92 range will be needed to challenge in the finish.

There’s a stack of runners that have not even come close to that so far, presenting a big tail of longshots in this race.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order:

1. Castelvecchio 91.5-93.5. Assessed $2.50.

He ran a 91.6 rating last start in the Sires Produce, showing a very nice turn of foot from back in the field, before the 35 days between runs just took a toll and he peaked on his run, finishing 0.9L 3rd. He’s always profiled liked a type that would appreciate 1600m and that distance combined with a good draw allows him to race a little closer than we’ve seen, where he won’t be giving Loving Gaby such a big start. With that platform off a 35 day break last start he has the opportunity to run a new peak in this race in the 92 to 93.5 range, which makes him very hard to beat.

9. Loving Gaby: 91.5-93.5. Assessed $2.60.

She’s made good progress each start from an 85 first up to 87.5, 91.1 and then 91.9 last start in the 1400m Sires and gives the impression 1600m will be no issue. She still does race a little greenly in the straight and wants to drift out when the rider is using the whip in the right hand, which is never ideal, but from that draw she should be coming down the outside and will have plenty of room. Synthetic hoof filler first time is a very small query, but there’s no real knock on her at all, she’s very hard to beat. Pricing wise I have an ever so slight leaning towards Castelvecchio with a little more potential to run a new peak.

10. Lady Lupino: 85-89. Assessed $16.00.

She’s come from nowhere as a new player in the game after leading at a strong speed over 1400m at Sandown last start and winning easily with outstanding figures on the clock. She beat the highly talented Chenier on his merits with big margins back through the field, so there’s no doubt there was a stack of merit in the win. This came from a filly that previously looked suspect at 1200m! Still, the clock doesn’t lie in terms of what she did that day at Sandown and it deserves respect here. 1600m at Randwick is a different challenge, but the measures are there to say she can run well.

11. Crystal Falls: 84-90. Assessed $18.00.

She ran an 88 rating two runs ago behind Kiamichi over 1200m with signs she was looking for further, which suggested a potential 90+ rating. However, when she had the chance to do that last start over 1400m in the Sires, she was just fair, rating 84.5. It wouldn’t’ be the biggest surprise if she rebounded and ran a big race, but it’s impossible to have any confidence after last start and that has to be reflected in her price.

4. Fortress Command: 82-86. Assessed $23.00.

She’s short in the market around $8 but only has an 82 rating peak and the market seems attracted to the way she hit the line over 1400m last start. I felt it was okay, but at the same time, it was a very fast race where she was ideally suited and she lacked the substance to put herself into the race at the key time… just running home late after it was all over. That is the type of run that is suited going to 1600m, but hardly one where I think he’ll go ahead in leaps and bounds to be a serious threat in this race. Happy to risk

2. Power Scheme: 83-87.5. Assessed $34.00.

A solid win at 1600m this track last week, but there doesn’t appear a great deal of substance around the form. An 83 rating says he’ needs to make massive improvement.

3 Vinco: 83-85. Assessed $51.00.

Form ties in around Power Scheme, defeating that horse two runs ago at Mornington when ideally suited by a very fast speed and he didn’t have a lot of luck when they clashed last Saturday. It doesn’t look the formline likely to win this race.

8. Prince Fawaz: 75-86. Assessed $151.00.

Ran 73.5 on debut at 20/1 in Gosford maiden and while he can improve significantly here, I’d be shocked if it was enough to be a threat.

7 Persan: 80-85. Assessed $251.00.

Was looming as a threat in the race won by Power Scheme last Saturday when he fell. I don’t like that form line for this race and there has to be a massive query about a horse that had a fall just 7 days earlier.

5. War Baron: 78-85. Assessed $501.00.

Another that fell in the Power Scheme race last start and prior to that had done nothing to suggest he can measure up in a race like this.

12 Chia: 80-86. Assessed $501.00.

Solid maiden win last start with an 82 rating, but got an easy time up front and didn’t look to have enough of what I’m looking for to say she could improve massively up to 1600m at Randwick.

6 Dawn Too Good: 74-83. Assessed $1001.00.

Lacks quality in his ratings with a best of 73 and still does plenty wrong, including racing a little keenly. That’s a big concern stepping up to 1600m.


BETTING STRATEGY

At the current market prices, Castelvecchio appeals as the value runner.

In this race though, Frankely Awesome is clearly the next best chance with a big gap over the others and looks a genuine value price. If you want to bet in the race then I’d have something small on Frankely Awesome to win.

2:25pm Randwick R6 – 2400m 3YOF Group 1 SW – The Australian Oaks


The Track

The track is currently rated a Soft 5 and the rail is out 3m. With fine weather forecast and a reasonably warm 26c on Saturday, we could see the track get back to a Good 4.

A Good 4 track is an interesting variable on the day given that 108 of 145 acceptors at the meeting that aren’t first up, have had their lead up run on a Soft 7 or worse, with the large majority coming off a Heavy track run.

The positive is that history says we can expect the Randwick track to play very evenly. They should be able to win from anywhere, subject to race pace.


Speed and Tactics

Happy Every Day (6) is the only natural on-pace runner in this big field and should find the front easily.

Aristia (8), Mrs Madrid (11) and Maracaibo (13) can all push forward to settle handy and that should put a little bit of pressure into the race for the first 400m.

There will no doubt be an opportunity for the speed to really slow in the middle stages of this race, but whether that happens or not is far from certain.

Happy Every Day has a tendency to run along at well above average speed in front, so it’s entirely possibly that she’ll do that here and make it a genuine 2400m test.

I have to think that given her history, even if T Wolgram does try to restrain her a little, we’ll still see at least an average pace and possibly stronger.

Tactics on the favourite Verry Elleegant (12) will be interesting. She’s drawn outside of Mrs Madrid (11) which offers a good scenario to follow her across and look for a position somewhere just off the lead.

With the tendency for Happy Every Day to run along a bit there’s a good chance the field will string out and provide the space for Verry Ellegant to slot in.

However, that’s not her “style” nor is it really the style of the Waller stable to be aggressive from wide draws, so she may be ridden more conservatively.

The potential issue is that a cluster of midfield type runners means if they don’t press forward, Verry Elleegant could end up wide around midfield or be forced to drift a long way back.

Early Pace Rating: Average to Above Average

Late Pace Rating: Below average to moderate

Best Suited: 2L to 6L off the lead


WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

Based on exposed form a rating in the 98 to 101 at the weight to be carried will be needed to be in the finish of this race. Only Verry Ellegant and Frankely Awesome bring form that is up to that level. The others will need to improve to BIG new career peaks or rely on the top two favourites running well below their performances in the G1 Vinery a fortnight ago.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order:

1. Verry Elleegant: 98-102. Assessed $2.00.

She’s developed into a top-class Filly this Autumn. Her 101.1 dominant win in a strong rating G1 Vinery last start is clearly the best performance heading into this race and I really liked the acceleration she showed off a genuine tempo. There are however a couple of niggling questions that present a small degree of uncertainty. Firstly, she steps up to 2400m, which doesn’t seem a major issue, but her racing manners are still far from perfect and separate to that, if ridden conservatively, she may have to chase from a long way back. In 2010 we saw a dominant $2.00 favourite Faint Perfume and in 2014 Lucia Valentina was $1.80… both got a long way back in running in the big field and left themselves far too much to do, running on well but only running a place, beaten by more tactically versatile runners longer in price. Perhaps more relevant is that Verry Elleegant’s last two top class performances have come on genuinely Heavy tracks. She’s yet to win a race or get close to anything like a top-class rating on the type of ground we’ll see at Randwick on Saturday. In four Australian runs last Spring her clear best rating was on Soft 6 ground and she was far less effective on Good tracks. There were some circumstances around those runs which make you inclined to forgive, but it’s still very much a question to be answered: Can Verry Ellegant run the same top class ratings on Good ground as she does on Heavy ground?” She’s currently $1.60 in the market but for me, to even consider that type of price I don’t want any niggling questions in the back of my mind about the ground or whether they’ll be too far back in the run. There’s no doubt she’s clearly the horse to beat, but even money $2.00 is the shortest I can get her.

3. Frankely Awesome: 98-102. Assessed $4.20.

She’s a rapidly improving filly that has taken big rating steps at each of her last three starts as she stepped up in distance. She was out-sprinted by Verry Elleegant from the 400-200m in the Vinery, but made ground over the final 200m to be beaten just 1.8L. Her 98.4 rating is clear second best in this race and that upward spiral she’s on combined with Bowman riding from a soft draw and stepping up to 2400m reads like a scenario that could very well bring another new peak. She’s a definite threat to the favourite.

2. Aristia: 95-98. Assessed $13.00.

She won the VRC Oaks in the Spring, but a 94.5 rating in that race showed it was a very moderate edition. She’s been well beaten by Verry Elleegant in her last two this prep, but has that been influenced by the Heavy ground? The only time she’s raced on Good ground was first up where she ran a new peak 97.6 over an unsuitable 1400m. That suggested she was back better than ever and could run 100+ when she got up to her right trip.

We haven’t seen that, with a best of 95 last start, but could she improve significantly back on Good to realise that potential she seemed to have after her first up run? I think she’s too short in the market at single figure odds, but it would not surprise if she ran a big race.

7. Scarlet Dream: 91-95. Assessed $31.00.

Has a best of 91 this prep two starts ago when closing well over a mile, but was then disappointing last start in the Vinery. Back to Good ground and this trip could help, so she looks capable of running to a clear new peak, but it’s a stretch to think it could be good enough to match the top two.

5. Maracaibo: 91-95. Assessed $34.00.

Ran a solid 92 last week behind Aliferous and gets a good turnaround in the weights against that filly for a narrow defeat. She was a very solid 4th in the VRC Oaks last Spring at just her 5th career start, so we know the distance poses no problem.

6 Aliferous: 90-95. Assessed $34.00.

Improved massively last Saturday at her 10th start to win the Adrian Knox at 40/1. She needs to find a few more lengths here though and carry the natural risk of regressing off that peak.

8 Clementina: 90-94. Assessed $34.00.

Beaten 2.2L behind Aliferous last start and could improve on the 7 day back up over 2400m. However, it’s a big leap needed to get up to the winning standard.

13. Bye Bye Belle: 88-94. Assessed $51.00.

A very lightly raced filly with just four starts so far, but she ran okay behind Aliferous last Saturday and could run a big new peak at 2400m. Mick Kent is an astute trainer that wouldn’t be here unless he felt this filly was well above average, so if there’s one that could jump out of the ground at massive odds, she might be it.

4. Imelda Mary: 88-93. Assessed $71.00.

Her NZ ratings are well below the standard needed to win this and she was beaten over 10 lengths in the NZ Oaks last start.

9. Autumn: 88-92. Assessed $101.00.

Has a best of 90 and was beaten 9L by Verry Elleegant last start.

10. Rocknavar: 88-92. Assessed $101.00.

Ran on solidly last start behind Aliferous and could improve again up to 2400m, but this looks far too tough.

11. Romani Girl: 88-91. Assessed $251.00.

Looks outclassed

12. Mrs Madrid: 84-88. Assessed $501.00.

Looks outclassed

14. Miss Moana: 83-86. Assessed $501.00.

Looks outclassed

15. Happy Every Day: 81-86. Assessed $501.00.

Looks outclassed


BETTING STRATEGY

This is a tough race to bet in with confidence as Verry Elleegant is definitely the best horse, but there are some uncertainties about tactics and a potential Good track. Generally, I don’t make a habit of betting against the horse that brings the superior form & ratings to the race, especially when clearly better than any other runner. If they have risk factors I’m unhappy to accept then I simply pass the race.

In this race though, Frankely Awesome is clearly the next best chance with a big gap over the others and looks a genuine value price. If you want to bet in the race then I’d have something small on Frankely Awesome to win.

3:55pm Randwick R7 – 2400m 3YO Group 1 SW – The Australian Derby


The Track

The track is currently rated a Soft 7 and the rail is in the true position.

There is a 70% chance of rain around Sydney on Friday morning and into the early afternoon, so we’ll have to wait and see how much arrives and what impact that has on the track.

Saturday is forecast to be fine with a top of 27c which will help to improve the surface.

Depending on Friday’s rain, we could be racing on anything between a Soft 5 (no rain arrives) and Heavy 8.

With no rain forecast on the day, I expect the track to play relatively well, giving all horses a chance.


Speed and Tactics

Like all big fields I expect there to be plenty of hustle and bustle in the early stages, but can see in this race that once positions are found, the pace could really back off through the middle stages.

Angel of Truth (4) should attempt to hold the lead after his success in the Tulloch last week and there’s no doubt that Arrogant (12) will look to work forward and find a position up near the lead.

The likes of Shaman (2), Cossetot (3) and Yulong Tavion (5) will be aiming to hold positions just off the speed, but are unlikely to add to the early pace / pressure.

The key tactical choice looks to be faced by OP Bosson on In A Twinkling (16) and Blake Shinn on The Chosen One (16). They could either press forward, which will put some extra pressure into the early stages, or ride more conservatively and look to slot in somewhere with cover, even if three-wide.

Early Pace Rating: Below Average to Average

Late Pace Rating: Average

Best Suited: Lead to 5L off lead


WFA Performace Ratings – Winning Benchmark

Based on exposed form a rating in the 98.5 to 101 at the weight to be carried will be needed to be in the finish of this race.

INTERESTING STAT: Since 2005 (last 14 years) there have been 73 horses come into the Australian Derby beaten more than 3.5L in their lead up, run for just one winner. 65 have been unplaced.

That winner was Mongolian Khan in 2015, who prior to his 6.2L defeat in the Rosehill Guineas, he had a dominant NZ profile with five straight wins, including a comfortable win in a high rating NZ Derby (much higher rating than this year’s edition of the race.)


Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

4. Arrogant: Forecast 99-103. Assessed $4.20.

He went to a big new peak LS at his first Australian run, pushing the Autumn Sun all the way in a quality edition of the Rosehill Guineas, which was strong on the clock. That performance earned him a 102.7 rating, clearly the best in this field. It was big improvement on his NZ form, but the key I think was the wet track and while it won’t be as wet for this race, it will still be genuinely rain affected.

He has the tactical speed to go forward and what I liked about his Guineas run was the way he immediately responded and quickened when the pressure went on in that race and then when The Autumn Sun ranged up to him at the 350m like he would breeze past, Arrogant fought with him all the way to the line. 2400m should be no problem for him and with the strongest rating out of the highest quality lead up race, he presents with a very solid profile.

5. Chapada: Forecast 99-101.5. Assessed $4.80.

He got shuffled back at a vital stage in the Rosehill Guineas and should have finished closer, so there’s no doubt his 99.3 rating has a little more merit. He’s a lightly raced, emerging staying prospect that will appreciate a step up to 2400m here with some prospect of running a new peak. He’s a leading contender.

11. Angel of Truth: Forecast 97-99.5. Assessed $11.00.

Ran a very solid 98.3 winning the Tulloch Last Saturday and although well suited, his late strength and run-on through the line suggests he could hold his rating or even improve a little up to 2400m.

9. Stars of Carrum: Forecast 96-99. Assessed $11.00.

Ran well against the older horses LS with a 96.3 rating and we saw his peak in the Spring come when he got to the 2500m of the Victoria Derby, rating 98.1. He’s had a nice prep for this and I can see him improving towards that 98.1 or even a shade better.

8. Global Exchange: Forecast 94-98. Assessed $16.00.

He’s an emerging staying prospect with the potential for a new peak up to this trip, but he needs to improve on his 96.2 and 93.8 recent figures to be a factor in this race.

2. Madison County: Forecast 94-97. Assessed $16.00.

He was good last week in the Tulloch against the track pattern, but I felt he had the opportunity to go on with it once he put himself into contention and he peaked over the last 150m. He needs to improve significantly off that 95.3 rating last start and I’m not sure 2400m is the trip he’s most likely to do that over.

14. Declarationofheart: Forecast 93.5-97. Assessed $23.00.

He’s been gradually improving his figures this preparation as he steps up in trip, but needs to take a big step from his 93.6 last start behind Global Exchange.

1. Extra Brut: Forecast 90-98. Assessed $31.00.

He won the Victoria Derby last Spring with a 99.6 rating which is very competitive here, but he’s had a weird preparation for this race with just a 1400m and 1600m run followed by a five-week break.

6. Surely Sacred: Forecast 92-96. Assessed $31.00.

He’s a promising kiwi with a nice turn of foot, but his best so far is a 95.4 rating and his run in the NZ Derby raised a query about him being strong at the 2400m trip. Last week’s run in the Tulloch over 2000m only enhanced those concerns.

13. Cossetot: Forecast 93-96. Assessed $34.00.

He’s very consistent, but a best of 94.1 last week behind Angel of Truth in the Tulloch is comfortably short of this standard. This is his ninth run in his first prep.

12. The Chosen One: Forecast 92-95. Assessed $41.00.

His last start Awapuni win is well short of this standard and prior to that he was beaten 5.8L at 30/1 in the NZ Derby.

15. Costello: Forecast 89-93. Assessed $51.00.

He could run a clear new peak up to 2400m, but a best of 90.3 so far suggests the jump to win this is too great.

3. In A Twinkling: Forecast 91-96. Assessed $51.00.

His good lead up form in NZ was in the 95-96 range so he came here needing a new peak. We didn’t see that last start in the Tulloch when he just whacked away, beaten 4.6L behind Angel of Truth. Impossible to be confident off that run that he could peak here.

7. Platinum Invador: Forecast 90-95. Assessed $51.00.

Ran well when beaten 1.7L in the NZ Derby, but it wasn’t a particularly strong rating race and he couldn’t take that next step of improvement last Saturday in the Tulloch, beaten 8.9L behind Angel Of Truth.

10. Aramayo: Forecast 93-96.5. Assessed $51.00.

He has one run from last prep that rated 98 which suggests he’s not hopeless, but the rest of his form is no better than a 94 rating and he did finish more than 7 lengths behind Arrogant last start.

16. Twinspier: Totally outclassed.

17. Shaman: Totally outclassed.

19. Yulong Tavion: Totally outclassed.


Betting Strategy

The Rosehill Guineas looks clearly the strongest form line heading into this race, so I’m happy to bet accordingly.

 BACK – ARROGANT – Bet to WIN (stake 1% of your total bank.)

 BACK – CHAPADA – Bet to WIN (stake 0.9% of your total bank.)

4:0pm Bendigo R8 – 1400m 3YO LR The Bendigo Guineas


The Track

The track is currently rated a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position.

There is the possibility of some showers Friday afternoon / night which could affect the track.

Expecting an advantage to runners that settle off pace and off the rails in the run. At similar meetings on 8/2 and 16/2, those making wide sweeping runs around the turn were better suited than those closer to the inside.


Speed and Tactics

Pick Up The Pieces (3) will be ridden with intent early and looks the likely leader. Mystery Love (1) and Scottish Rogue (4) can be prominent, while I’d expect Outrageous (7) and Smart Horse (10) to press forward.

There may be one or two other surprise runners that add some early pressure, so it’s hard not to see this being a genuinely run race, which with the likely track pattern will give those well back off the pace every chance.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine to Above Average

Late Pace Rating: Below Average to moderate

Best Suited: 2L to 6L off lead


WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

Based on exposed form a rating in the 93-94 range will be needed to be somewhere in the finish of this race. It’s an incredibly open race with a number of runners able to hit that level on their best form.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order.

2 Outrageous: 92-95.5. $7.50

His 93.8 rating when he won first up at Flemington is the best recent form in this race had he has been to 95-95.7 in the past, so there’s no doubt he brings a strong rating profile. What I will say is that he got away with an even pace last start and was then able to slow it down and get a nice breather between the 800m and 400m before sprinting home. He won’t get that luxury here so I have to reflect that in my price.

6 Blinder: 89-93. $9.50

First up here with Blinkers on and ran a 93 rating at Flemington 1400m prior to going for a spell. He can certainly win, but I’m not sure if the inside draw will be suitable at this stage of the day.

14 Shamwow: 91-93. $10

She’s a lightly raced filly coming off a competitive 91.6 last start with good prospects for a new peak. Back to 1400m isn’t ideal, but the middle draw really and genuine speed in this race suit.

16 Mystery Love: 90-93. $11

She’s won two from two, rating 90.7 and 91.1. That’s comfortably below the 93-94 winning standard needed for this race so there’s no doubt she needs to improve. That’s certainly possible given her lightly raced profile, but when I add the fact that barrier 1 might be far from ideal by this stage of the day, she’s hard to find anywhere near the market price of $5.

1 Marcel From Madrid: 92-96. $12

Ran a 92 last Friday night in a strong rating race behind Anjana and has a previous peak of 96.5. A quick back up stepping to 1400m looks a nice scenario to improve on that recent rating towards his best, which suggests he’s capable of winning. Will need a very good ride from a wide draw though.

17 Smart Horse: 88-92. $14

Won by 5.3L on debut at Kyneton, but only returned an 88.5 rating, which is around 2.5L short of what’s needed here. Still, when they win by that far it’s a good indicator that there’s new peaks to come, so I wouldn’t rule him out.

5 Saccharo: 88-94. $15

His 87 rating first up at Ballarat was just fair, but he has that 94 rating when 5th in the Caulfield Guineas behind the Autumn Sun, so I wouldn’t rule out a sudden improvement that could see him competitive.

15 Wonderful Riri: 88-93. $15

Improved to a new peak winning at MV last start with a 91.2 which isn’t too far off the required standard.

3 Muswellbrook: 88-93. $17

Looks the best longshot in the race.  First up last prep at Flemington 1400m he was backed from $9 into $5.50 before finishing 1L 2nd in a 92.2 rating which is competitive here and then he ran 95.8 second up at Moonee Valley over 1500m, a performance which could win this race. There’s a natural query that he ended his prep so poorly, but I like the way he worked to the line in his recent jumpout at Flemington which suggests he could return well.

12 Pickup The Pieces: 90-93. $21

Racing in good form with a string of ratings in the 91 to 92.7 range which are not far off the required standard.

4 Scottish Rogue: 90-94. $21

His best ratings are in the 94-97 range which says he certainly has the talent to win this race, but in four runs this prep so far he hasn’t rated better than 90.3

10 Wham: 90-93. $23

Resumed with a new peak 91.6 first up which is only a length or so of what’s needed to be very competitive. Some query if he can repeat, but he’s certainly not the worst in the race.

13 Metronome: 89-92. $26

Racing okay, but a best of 90.2 says she needs a clear new peak.

8 Predecessor: 89-93. $31

His 88.6 rating win at Echuca last start is well below this standard, but he did run a spike 95.6 when 5th in the Sandown Guineas last Spring, so you can’t totally rule him out.

11 Alsvior: 89-92. $51

Ran a 90.1 winning at Hamilton last start, but was all out at the finish to do that so at best I can only see him holding that rating, most likely regressing of a more challenging draw in a race with higher pressure.

9 Wild Vitality: 83-88. $251

Recent form around 82.5 and best of 87.7 says he’s well and truly outclassed.

18 Captain Meringue: 79-83. $501

Has a peak of just 79.1, which won’t get sighted in this race.


BETTING STRATEGY

This is an incredibly even race with a stack of potential winners, which makes it impossible to bet with any confidence at all.

If you do want to have an interest in the race, then Muswellbrook is a longshot at big odds that has at least proven himself capable of running to a level that could win this race. If he has a little bit of support in the market then I’d expect him to run well.

4:30pm Rosehill R7 – 1200m 2YO Open G1 SW The Golden Slipper


The Track

The track is currently rated a Heavy 8, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s actually worse.

With over 80mm of rain falling on Sunday / Monday on top of a Heavy 9 track on Saturday, it seems amazing that in two days the track has taken that rain and improved to a Heavy 8.

That said, it will improve on Friday and during Saturday with generally fine weather forecast. I think Slow 7 to Heavy 8 is the right range to work in.

There’s a strong pattern of similar meetings in recent history as well as the last two Golden Slipper meetings where horses settling off the rails in the run and getting 3+ horses off the fence as early as possible around the turn and in the straight were best suited. I expect it to be the same for this meeting.


Speed and Tactics

There’s good speed and pressure in this race.

Free of Debt (10) and Vincere Volare (11) will press forward, while Microphone (1) and Cosmic Force (2) will be looking to hold prominent positions.

With Dubious (16) and Kiamichi (17) also potential candidates to press forward from wide, it’s impossible not to see them running along at a solid to fast early speed.

Early Pace Rating: Solid to Fast

Late Pace Rating: Slow to Moderate

Best Suited: 2L to 5L off the lead


WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

Based on exposed form and the historical standard of this race, the winner will need to rate in the 93.5 to 96 range to be somewhere in the finish and more likely in the 94.5 to 96 range to win.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order.

5 Cosmic Force: 94-96.5. $4.00

He’s been on a massive upward spiral of improvement and has emerged at the right time to be a top chance in this race. His win last Saturday in the Pago Pago was the strongest rated 2YO performance of this season and as good a Slipper lead up as you’ll see. He worked early from a wide draw to eventually settle just behind the lead on an above average speed, he showed a great turn of foot when asked to put a margin on his opposition and was particularly strong late, with James McDonald easing up on him over the final 70m. With those traits and very strong measures on the clock this run had all the signs of a genuine top-class performance. Much has been made of the fact it was ‘on heavy’, but his prior 1.3L 2nd to Microphone on Good ground showed he has talent and it’s more than reasonable to believe a lightly raced 2YO has genuinely improved 2.6L from that run to the Pago Pago (which is the gap between his two ratings).

With the best lead up rating, a multiple Golden Slipper winning trainer (Snowden) and the prospect of holding Microphone on his inside to keep a two-wide position just behind the lead so he can get to the better ground in the straight, Cosmic Force presents with the ideal profile of a Slipper winner.

9 Tenley: 92-95.3. $5.50

She’s unbeaten in 3 starts so far and has run consecutive new peaks at her two runs this preparation. She wasn’t well suited when the pace eased off between the 800m and 400m last start, but she still had the turn of foot and sustained finish to power home and win easily. With a little more pressure in the middle stages she would have been even more dominant in that race. With the prospect of getting that pressure this race, she has the ideal profile to run a big new peak and can certainly win.

2 Microphone: 92-94.6. $7.50

He’s been ultra-consistent with a 94.6 rating two starts ago at Flemington and then he rated down a little at 93.6 when he won last start at Randwick. That’s a nice platform to rebound on grand final day and potentially run a new peak. There’s no doubt he has the talent to win this race, the query is whether he has enough to overcome the likely disadvantage of barrier 1 and likely being caught on the inside.

7 Lyre: 91.5-94.2. $13.00

She ran 92.6 in both the Blue Diamond Prelude and G1 Blue Diamond, which is competitive and there’s some chance she could run a new peak in the race. From a wide draw she is likely to get a long way back though and it’s not easy to win a Slipper from that position.

1 Yes Yes Yes: 91-93. $16.00

He was an impressive winning first up for Waller, but he did run 0.5L slower than Tenley on the same day and a 2L slower last 600m rating, carrying the same weight as her, which means he was 2kg better off on that day compared to this race. He no doubt has scope for improvement, but from the widest draw he’s going to be a mile back in the run. Elevating to the big new peak he needs to actually win this race is extremely difficult from that position, all be it I do expect him to run very well.

3 Time To Reign: 86-92. $23.00

He’s mixed his form this prep with two moderate runs, separated by a solid 90.6 rating win in the Todman. Getting back to a wet track suits, but he’ll need a big new peak to win this and it’s impossible to be confident he could do that off such a questionable run last start.

11 Anaheed: 88.5-92.5. $23.00

She’s been solid in her lead ups and is one that could hit a new peak on the day. However, with a best of 89 so far the improvement she needs to make is significant.

16 Loving Gaby: 90-93. $23.00

Much was made of her bad luck in the Blue Diamond, but for me it was grossly overstated. When you watch the overhead drone footage, she was nowhere near a good thing beaten that some claim and at best should have finished a little closer, but that’s about it. There’s no doubt though she brings some x-factor into this race as an untapped type with the ability to improve sharply. She’ll need to though if she’s going to trouble the better chances in this race.

15 Exhilarates: 88.5-92. $31.00

Can improve off her 88.6 last start when soundly beaten by Tenley, but only brings a peak of 90.6 and needs to find close to another 2L on top of that.

12 Kiamichi: 88.5-92. $34.00

Her win last week had a stack of merit after working hard early, running along at a strong speed and holding them all off. However, she’ll need to improve notably on that in this and looks to face an even less favourable map.

4 Free Of Debt: 87-92. $41.00

Ran a 90.5 in the Blue Diamond and it’s not out of the question he could run a new peak in this. However, he still does a lot wrong in his races and that’s not the type of horse that wins a Golden Slipper.

13 Catch Me: 86-92. $41.00

A peak of 92 first up this prep suggests she has the class to be competitive in a Slipper, but two subsequent runs since then have been terrible. Blinkers Off and a recent trial are aimed at trying to turn her around for this race, but it would be a shock.

19 Bellevue Hill: 90-92. $51

(emergency) Ran a 90 rating behind Yes Yes Yes last start and is still an improving type, but the step to win this race looks far too great.

10 Pin Sec: 86.5-91. $67

Put a big margin on them in the Black Opal, but the other two chances in the market both under-performed and that was supported by moderate speed figures out of the race. It wouldn’t surprise if she took another big step of improvement, but the gap to get to the winning standard in this race looks far too great.

6 Dubious: 88-91. $101

He’s honest but with a best of 88 in two runs this year, he looks outclassed.

8 Lankan Star: 87-92. $101

Ran a good 2nd in the Blue Diamond behind Lyre, but a failed run on Heavy last start is not the platform to come into a Golden Slipper and win.

14 Vincere Volare: 87.5-90. $126

Needs to improve too much from her 87.5 best behind Tenley last start. Looks outclassed.

17 Bivouac: 87-90. $151

(emergency) Looks outclassed

18 Rome: 85-88.5. $201

(emergency) Looks outclassed


BETTING STRATEGY

 BACK – Cosmic Force – Bet to WIN at $4.40+ (stake 1% of your total bank.)

9:30pm Moonee Valley R7 – 1200m Open G1 WFA William Reid Stakes


THE TRACK

The track is currently rated a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position.

The rail is in to 3m from the last meeting, which is an unusual movement. Typically, it would go out to at least the 5m position at a subsequent meeting before going back to the true, which then leaves a 5m section free of wear and tear.

While the track is likely to play evenly, I’ll be keeping a close watch to see if that unusual rail movement has left a fresh section of track on the inside just 3m wide, which could favour those closer to the lead and able to hold those positions around the turn and into the straight.


SPEED & TACTICS

This is not a big field but there still looks likely to be a bit of action up front.

Battle Hero (2) had early speed, Dothraki (4) can be up there, while Written By (7) and Fell Swoop (8) will also almost certain push forward.

That potentially creates a sticky situation for Luke Currie on Sunlight who is drawn in (9) and will be looking to work across.

If they go fast enough inside, she may be able to slot in behind them, but there’s also the chance she has to work hard early to cross or ends up posted 3-wide.

Early Pace Rating: Above Average

Late Pace Rating: Below Average

Best Suited: Lead to 4L off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

Based on exposed form a rating of at least 102 will be needed to be in the finish of this race, with a winning market up to 105 possible if Sunlight runs to her peak.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order.

10 Sunlight: 102-105.5. $1.90

An outstanding 3YO Filly. She ran 105.5 to win the Newmarket LS, which is a dominant figure over the best her opposition in this race have ever run before. Her other big rating (105.1) from the G1 Coolmore was also up the Flemington straight, so there is a question in the back of my mind, “is she that length or two better on the straight course?” Moonee Valley 1200m is the polar opposite of the long straight 1200m at Flemington and she it does look like she’ll face some resistance pressing forward from the likes of Written By, Battle Hero and possibly Fell Swoop, which also adds an element of uncertainty. She has to be on top, but with a few little questions to be answered, I’m hesitant about backing her at a short price.

7 Spright: 100-102.5. $7.00

Was beaten LS but ran a new 101.5 peak and was poorly suited by her position and moderate pace up front. She gets a more favourable pace scenario here and is drawn to steer clear of traffic and build her own momentum at the right time. If the track is favouring on pacers then I would mark her longer $8-$9), but if it’s even she could run to another new peak here at 102+ and that will make her a big threat over the final stages.

9 Written By: 99-102.5. $8.00

Rated down in the G1 Lightning LS, but prior at Caulfield he went 101 (with assumed room to improve) and he does have 3 x 102 ratings at 1200m in the past. Back around a bend here he could rebound to something like that level and that may be good enough to fight out the finish. If the track is favouring on pace runners then I’d mark him shorter in the $6.50 to $7.00 range.

1 Fell Swoop: 98-101.5. $11.00

He’s mixing his form a little as a 7YO, but two starts ago he ran 101.5 and did the same two starts prior to that. If he can get to that level then he can be very competitive.

2 Voodoo Lad: 94-101.5. $26.00

He gets the blinkers on here to try and sharpen him up after two very poor runs this preparation. He shown the talent in the past to figure in a race like this, but he’s impossible to like on what we’ve seen so far in 2019.

3 Dothraki: 98-101. $26.00

He’s honest, but has a best in the 100 to 100.5 range which I can’t see being good enough. His only chance is if he can run a new peak, which seems unlikely as an 8YO.

11 Embrace Me: 97-100. $26.00

Rating to a +3L new peak last start winning at this track and distance, but will need to find another +1.5L to be in the finish of this race.

4 Battle Hero: 97.5-100. $101.00

Ran an improved race last start but this is much harder and that 97.3 is nowhere near good enough

8 Ellicazoom: 96-99. $151.00

She hasn’t don’t enough in two runs this prep or in the last couple of years to trouble them at this level.


BETTING STRATEGY

I don’t see any value in Sunlight at the moment, but at the same time, with such dominant ratings I don’t want to get heavily involved back others to beat her. If you must bet then check how the track is playing first. If it’s suiting on-pace runners then Written By is the best credentialled to upset the favourite. If it is playing evenly and you can come from the back and win then Spright is a solid option for an interest in the race. Play small.

5:10pm Flemington R8 – 1600m Open WFA – The All Star Mile


THE TRACK

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is out 7m.

With Saturday forecast to be a warm 28c, the track should be close to a genuine Good 3 by race time.

Under similar conditions in the past horses have typically been able to win from anywhere if good enough, so I expect that to be the same for this meeting.


SPEED & TACTICS

Hawkshot (4) looks to find the front with ease.

There is a fitness query over outsiders Material Man, Foundry and Urban Ruler and their fate is critical for the map. The first three emergencies: Le Romain (handy runner), Trap For Pools (pace runner / leader) and Hellova Street (pace runner / leader) all likely to be up there, with the latter two adding pace / pressure to the early stages.

Blake Shinn on Happy Clapper (9) will be hoping those emergencies don’t get a run as it will make his task of going forward and crossing to settle handy to the lead much easier.

Alizee (12) is likely to look for a position with cover around midfield or just off, while Mystic Journey (16) would seem more likely to be ridden quietly near the tail of the field and saved for the final shot at them.

Even if he does get his own way in front, Hawkshot’s natural style shown in his last two runs will see a genuine pace set.

If Trap For Fools / Hellova Street gain a run then it could become above average early and slower late, which will further aid those closing from the back.

At this stage I’ll assume the emergencies don’t gain a run.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine

Late Pace Rating: Average

Best Suited: 1.5L to 4L off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

Based on exposed form a rating in the 104-106 range will be needed to win. I’d be surprised if anything less than 104 was good enough.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order. The 14 current runners are priced to 100% and then emergencies extra.

11 Alizee: 104-107. $3.30

She’s been outstanding this prep with her 3 runs so far, all better than anything she’d done in prior preparations. 1st / 2nd up she ran 105 and 106 over 1200m with all of the right indicators to say she could rate higher up in distance. That didn’t come in the 1400m Futurity last start with a 103 rating, but she was stirred-up re-race and sat wide with no cover for the trip. That run arguably had the merit of a 105-106 performance. This is grand final day for her so she’ll be fully wound up and she gets to 1600m, which prior to this prep was the distance of her three best performances. That says to me she’s some chance of running a new peak in this race and if she does that with something around 107-108, then it’s unlikely anything else will match her.

1 Happy Clapper: 101-106. $4.20

He’s an outstanding horse who has returned this prep right up to his best form with ratings of 104.5 and then 105.9 when second to Winx over 1600m last start. With the prospect of getting a good run handy to the lead, that level of talent makes him extremely hard to beat. However, the query with him is that he’s never come close to those figures in Melbourne, with a best of 101.4 from 6 previous runs. There have been some potential excuses with some of those runs coming at the end of targeted Sydney campaigns and he did bleed at his last run in the Spring.  This time he’s been specifically aimed at this race, but that uncertainty over Melbourne form is still a factor that has to have some influence in the assessment. Even taking into in to account though, he’s still a top chance in the race and looks a decent value in current markets.

13 Mystic Journey: 102-105. $5.00

A real x-factor in the race who profiled as likely to hit a new peak this preparation and she did that in the Australian Guineas with a 104 rating, which is extremely competitive. The competing forces in her assessment are that her 104 came off an ideal run handy to the speed, where as she’ll have to do it tougher here either settling back and coming wide or working early to find a position. The flip side is that coming off a peak last start, she’s still on the way up and may be able to improve again. On balance there’s no doubt she’s one of the top chances, but at $4.00 in the market right now I don’t see any betting appeal.

2 Hartnell: 101-104.5. $12.00

He ran a solid 101 last start behind Alizee in the Futurity and its worth noting he came off two 99 ratings last prep before peaking 3rd up in the G1 Epsom when he ran a 104.8 rating. If he follows a similar pattern last preparation and gets up into the 104-105 range then he’s capable of fighting out the finish.

12 Hawkshot: 100-104. $14.00

Was given a wildcard slot and isn’t hopeless here, especially if he can get his own way on the lead. His 100 rating behind Mystic Journey in the Australian Guineas isn’t good enough, but he did lead into a head wind that day. Prior to that he ran 104.2 over 1400m and if he could get back to something like that peak, he’s certainly in this race with a chance. If Trap For Fools of Hellova Street gain a run then I’d mark him slightly longer due to that additional pressure.

15 Le Romain: 100.5-104.5. $14.00

First emergency. If he gains a run then he’s certainly capable of running very well.  He ran a 101.4 first up to show that he’s returned well and although a little down on that 2nd up behind Alizee, he has shown in the past he can rebound and run in the 103-105 range, which is very competitive.

14 Amphitrite: 99-102.5. $23.00

She has a peak of 100.7 in the Australian Guineas last Spring and has been close to that this time with ratings of 99.7 and 99.2. She’s still lightly raced and has prospects for a new peak this preparation, but it’s hard to see her suddenly lifting to 104+ that will be needed to win.

4 Grunt: 97-105.5. $26.00

He’s an enigmatic inconsistent type that was very plain first up with just a 95 rating. However, we know that he can spike a big rating over 1600m at Flemington, with his best of 105.5 in the Maykbe Diva last Spring capable of winning this race. For that reason, he can’t be totally discounted, but is still a longshot.

17 Hellova Street: 98-100. $67.00

He’s a tough and super consistent type, but this best is in the 99-100.5 range and this is an entirely new level.

5 Moss N Dale: 97-101. $81.00

Was poor first up and only has a best of 101.

16 Trap For Fools: 97-101. $81.00

Racing so consistently and while he’s run well in Group 1 races including a win in the McKinnon Stakes and 3rd in the Australian Cup last week, they were moderate by comparison to the winning standard of this race. Add to that he’s dropping back to 1600m from a wide draw and he’s hard to make any case for.

3 Material Man: 97-102. $151.00

His best is in the 99-102 range but he pulled up with thumps last start and has been under a fitness cloud since.

9 Mr Money Bags: 94-98.5. $5,001

Totally outclassed

6 Foundry: 89-96. $20,001

Totally outclassed

7 Man Of His Word: 89-97. $20,001

Totally outclassed

18 He Or She: 90-98. $20,001

Totally outclassed

8 Balfs Choice: 87-94. $25,001

Totally outclassed

10 Urban Ruler: 82-92. $50,001

Totally outclassed


BETTING STRATEGY

Alizee and Happy Clapper profile as the best value in the race for me. Backing both for a likely return a shade better than even money looks a solid bet.

 BACK – ALIZEE – Bet to WIN at $3.50+ (stake 1.3% of your total bank.)

 BACK – HAPPY CLAPPER – Bet to WIN at $4.40+ (stake 1.0% of your total bank.)

2:55pm Rosehill R4 – 1200m 2YO C&G G3 SW – Pago Pago Stakes


THE TRACK

The track is currently a Soft 7 and the rail is in the true position. There’s more showers Friday and 90% chance of 4mm to 15mm on Saturday itself, so it’s difficult to see anything better than Soft 7 – Heavy 8

Expect 4+ horses off the fence to be preferred going and possibly much wider as the day goes on, especially if we get rain during the meeting.


SPEED & TACTICS

There’s not a great deal of early speed in this race.

Mo’s Crown (6) should look to cross early, while Cosmic Force (11) looks likely to press forward, but neither are especially fast in the early stages. Even if one or two others are ridden more forward than previous races show, there are a stack of off pace / back running types here so it’s hard to imagine they’ll go too hard.

Early Pace Rating: Below Average

Late Pace Rating: Above Average

Best Suited: Lead to 3L off the lead.


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

This race is naturally full of potential improvers, but based on exposed form a rating of at least 86 at the weights carried will be needed to be a winning chance. I suspect the eventual winner will rate in the 89-91 range.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order.

2 Cosmic Force: 89-92. $2.90

He was solid first up behind Bivouac when unsuited by an inside draw and his position in the run, but then improved notably second up when 1.3L 2nd to Microphone, which is the best 2YO form going around. His 91.2 rating at the weights here is clearly the best lead up form and I like that he’s an on pace / handy runner that is drawn wide on this track, which is likely to be better for horses off the fence. If he runs anywhere near that last start then the others will need to improve notably to beat him.

1 Hightail: 86-89.5. $5.50

Put together 2 x 88.3 ratings in January, the latest when 1L 3rd in the 2YO Magic Millions on the Gold Coast. He won his debut on a Heavy track so that shouldn’t be a problem and the blinkers on may help him further. If there is a slight query, it’s that he was scratched last week due to a slight setback so we don’t really know whether there will be any residual impact for this run.

8 Faretti: 75-89. $11.00

His trials say he’s a very talented Colt, but he failed on debut on Soft 7 ground with the conditions blamed for his performance. He’s going to strike similar ground here so it’s easy to mark him longer, but at the same time I want to respect his talent.

3 Stronger: 85-88. $13.00

Brings a solid 86.3 off his last start win on the Kensington track with the potential to run a new peak.

4 Yulong Savings: 84-88. $14.00

Ran 84.7 last start and was a little unlucky, so certainly looks to have the potential for a new peak. He has to come from 1000m on dry to 1200m on wet ground here though so it’s a big challenge to elevate high enough to win this race.

6 Born A Warrior: 77-82. $16.00

He was beaten 5.6L by Time To Reign on debut, but showed he’s still very green with plenty to learn, that’s upside which can lead to big improvement, but I still can’t see enough to warrant him among the genuine chances. The market seems keen though with $6.00 around at the moment.

9 Autocratic: 82-87. $16.00

First up, this colt does have some talent so it would not surprise to see him finishing off well in this race.

5 Lubuk: 77-86. $26.00

Needs to improve off his 82.5 peak to be competitive, but blinkers back on give him some chance to do that. He’s certainly not the worst.

7 Mos Crown: 79-84. $34.00

Beaten narrowly on debut, by a 79.2 rating is well below the standard needed in this.

12 Famous: FS. $51.00

First starter. Snowden stable always have to b respected, but I’d be surprised if he measured up to this.

13 Kings Champ: 77-83. $51.00

Has trialled okay for this first up run, but was poor on debut in the Breeders Plate. I want to see him do it on the track first.

10 Jetski: 75-85. $61.00

Needs to improve too much off his debut.

11 Dawn Too Good: 70-80. $501

Looks totally outclassed off his debut run.

14 Rejinsky: FS. $501

First starter. Looks totally outclassed.


BETTING STRATEGY

 BACK – COSMIC FORCE – Bet to WIN at $3.10+ (stake 1.4% of your total bank.)

3:15pm Flemington R6 – 1200m Open G1 Hcp – The Newmarket Hcp


THE TRACK

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is out 4m.

Saturday is forecast to be a sunny 28c, so I expect we’ll be racing on a genuine Good 3 surface by jump time.

The track should play evenly without a major pattern, but straight races can be tricky. With such a large field I’d expect them to split. The best guide will be to watch races 1 and 4 to see if a pattern emerges. If there is one, I’d expect the middle to outside runners to be better suited.


SPEED & TACTICS

For such a large field there isn’t an abundance of early speed. Dothraki (1) should be prominent on the inside, while Eduardo (20) will show speed and possibly lead the outside brigade. Sunlight is drawn closer to the inside (8) so it will be interesting to see what tactics they adopt. She may get running early and look to work across to the middle-outside.

With such a large field and a number of chances likely to be back in traffic, luck in running is certainly going to play a role. It wouldn’t surprise to see a few unlucky runners in the race.

Early Pace Rating: Average

Late Pace Rating: Average

Best Suited: Lead to 4L off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

This is a hot handicap race with a stack of depth at a strong rating level. The winner will need to rate at least 106.5 to win (at the weights being carried) and likely in the 107-108 range.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order. Ratings quoted are adjusted back to WFA for each horse.

4 Osborne Bulls: 105.5-107.5. $6.00

He’s a real emerging sprinting talent. He ran a 104.6 in the Lightning Stakes which is short of the winning standard but that run had “new peak up to 1200m” written all over it. Assuming even luck he’s very likely to hit a new peak here that puts him somewhere in the finish. However, there are a few other runners that can also hit that range. I think he’s the horse to beat, but I can’t find him anywhere near as short as the $4.00 in current markets.

20 Graff: 104-107.5. $8.00

Ran 104.2 in the Lightning and was another good run in the race that promised to elevate to a higher level when stepping up to 1200m. He gets that here and has been to 106.4 and 107.7 in the past, which can definitely win this race. If the outside part of the straight is an advantage then he’ll be drawn well in 19. He’s among the top chances in this race.

2 Santa Ana Lane: 105-106.5. $12.00

He’s a genuine G1 WFA Sprinter and despite being right up in the weights, he still brings two figures of 106.5 that can be very competitive and even win this race. Look for him to be charging late.

22 Sunlight: 104-107. $12.00

She ran a 104.3 in the Lightning and did spike a 107.8 to win the G1 Coolmore in the Spring, so there’s no doubt she has the talent to win this race. A couple of the others in the Lightning did look to profile better for the step up to 1200m though and that’s reflected in my price.

6 In Her Time: 104-106.5. $13.00

She won the Lightning Stakes at WFA but under handicap conditions she comes in with a lower figure that those she narrowly defeated, showing a 103.8 for that run. She has however been to 106.6 twice in the past with a peak of 107.3. On her best form has the talent to win. It’s just a question of whether she can produce it on the day.

19 Encryption: 104.5-106.5. $14.00

He’s had plenty of starts for a 3YO, but returned with a new 104.7 peak when 2nd to Booker in a fast G1 Oakleigh Plate. He finished strongly in that race and gave the impression 1200m will be even more suitable. It’s not out of the question he runs another new peak here and that gives him a hope.

14 Eduardo: 104.5-106.5. $14.00

A terrific effort to sit up on the fast speed in the Oakleigh Plate and only be beaten 0.9 lengths. He’s a very lightly raced sprinter that is still very much on the up in his career. His 104.3 is short of the standard needed, but is another that could definitely run a new peak in this race to put himself in contention.

21 Zousain: 100-107. $23.00

Was very plain first up when beaten in a much easier race, rating just 98. He does have a 107.9 and 108.5 from last preparation that could definitely win this race and that deserves some respect, but it’s impossible to be confident. I want to see him do it first.

3 Brave Smash: 101-104. $26.00

He had no luck last start but is typically in the 101-103 range with the odd spike a bit higher. He can be thereabouts, but will need a clear new peak to win.

9 Booker: 102-105.5. $26.00

Her 105.8 winning a good rating edition of the Oakleigh Plate is definitely competitive here. The concern I have though is that her 4 best career ratings have all come at Caulfield.

23 Lean Mean Machine: 102-106. $26.00

He was just fair in the Lightning Stakes. His 107 peak says it’s not impossible, but it would be a big improvement on last start to get to that level.

11 Bons Away: 101-105. $31.00

He needs a clear new peak to win this race, but did run 105.7 two starts ago, which can be competitive. More likely though he’ll run closer to 103, which is comfortably short.

10 Whispering Brook: 101-106. $34.00

She didn’t handle the 1400m last start but prior to that ran a new peak 106.5 winning at MV and does have 3 x 105.2 in her history. If she could get back to that type of form then she could run a better race than her price suggests.

1 Redkirk Warrior: 101-104. $51.00

I think he’s going okay this prep, but with 58.5kg here his best is not much more than 104, which definitely won’t be good enough.

5 Voodoo Lad: 100-104. $101.00

Was a poor first up run behind Nature Strip. That’s not the platform to hit a big new peak needed to win this.

12 Champagne Cuddles: 100-103. $101.00

103 seems her max, which is nowhere near good enough.

13 Divine Quality: 99-104. $101.00

Ran 104.9 in November up the straight, but that stands out as a massive spike in his form with 99.6 his next best.

15 Glenall: 98-102. $101.00

101-102 is his max, which is well and truly short of this standard.

18 Usain Bowler: 99-104. $101.00

He was highly impressive running 106 3 starts ago at this T&D but the rest of his form is no better than 99. I don’t know how he ran 106 that day, but it’s unlikely to be repeated.

16 Ill Have A Bit: 98-102. $151.00

102-103 is her best and she’s racing well below that.

8 Dothraki: 101-103.5. $151.00

He’s consistent and has been running around the 103 level, but that’s nowhere near good enough in a hot race like this.

17 Missrock: 98-103. $251.00

She has spikes of 103-104, but they were a long time ago. She’s more like a 100 horse at best these days, which is nowhere near good enough.


BETTING STRATEGY

This is an incredibly open race with a stack of potential winners, so its difficult to recommend a clear betting opportunity.

Graff has a solid profile may get to a good price on the Exchange as the race approaches. If you wanted to bet, then my recommendation would be to risk something small on him, but it’s not with any real confidence in such a tough race. As far as genuine longshots are concerned, Encryption looks the best profile to me.

4:45pm Canberra R7 – 1200m Open SWP G3 – The Black Opal


THE TRACK

The track is currently a Soft 5 (Saturday morning) and the rail is out 3m.

With Saturday and Sunday forecast to be a warm 29c, the track should improve and bet at least a Good 4 by race time, possibly a Good 3.

Under similar conditions in the past horses have typically been able to win from anywhere, so I expect that to be the same for this meeting.


SPEED & TACTICS

All Cylinders (9) has good speed and should be keen to cross and take up the running. McLaren (4) and Redicon (5) have the speed to be prominent and could contend for the lead if their jockey desires, but I’d imagine that if All Cylinders comes burning across, they’ll be happy to let him go.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine

Late Pace Rating: Below average

Best Suited: 1.5L to 4L off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

Based on exposed form and the prospect of contenders running a new peak in this race, a rating in the 85 to 88 range (at the weights carried) will be needed to win.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order. Ratings quoted are adjusted back to WFA for each horse.

9 Rome: 85-88. $2.70

He’s a progressive type FUP from a short break. He rated 86.5 on debut in the Breeders Plate and then 87 up in Brisbane late December, before missing out on a run in the Magic Millions. Those ratings are very hard to beat here and his recent trial suggests he’s come back well. A little query over a slight setback which saw him scratched last week, but the prospect of a genuine pace over 1200m is right up his alley. He’s clearly the one to beat.

3 McLaren: 82-88. $4.20

He ran an 87 on debut when winning at Rosehill and did that after getting very hot and bothered pre-race and then racing a little keenly in the run. That effort suggested he has well above average talent. The query is that he failed last start, but there are certainly reasons to forgive as he didn’t look comfortable in the ground and the race was run at a particularly fast speed, which perhaps increased the effect of his discomfort in the going. A dry track in this race is a good scenario for him to bounce back and show his true talent.

2 Bivouac: 83.5-86 $4.80

He won okay at Warwick Farm last start, but only returned an 83.5 rating and was ideally suited by the track pattern, pace and his position in-running. I’m sure he has a new peak to come, but he’s not yet shown the talent of the top two so I have to opposed him in this race, especially given he’s so short.

5 All Cylinders: 82-83.7. $15.00

Ran an 83.7 when leading at a genuine speed over 1100m at Randwick last start. He needs to improve to a clear new peak here and do that stepping up to 1200m. That’s not easy for a horse of his style.

11 Pin Sec: 79-83. $16.00

FUP after a solid win on debut and has won a trial since. That win however rated well short of the standard needed to win this race and she was urged along strongly to win that trial. I’m not yet sure just how much talent is there.

8 Kings Champ: 73-82. $26.00

FUP and Looked okay in a recent trial, but his only race start in the Breeders Plate was poor. I want to see him do something in a race first.

7 Gin Runner: FS. $41.00

On debut here off just one okay trial over the short-course 760m. That doesn’t look a platform to win a Black Opal.

10 Redicon: 70-80. $101.00

Racing poorly. Looks totally outclassed.

6 Brennaman: 70-80. $201.00

Beaten 14L at 66/1 in a weaker race than this on debut. Totally outclassed.


BETTING STRATEGY

While Rome is clearly the horse to beat, I don’t see a great edge in his price and the fact he’ll likely settle back adds a little extra risk.

McLaren will race up handy to the lead and on talent is a horse that could comfortably win this race. The market is offering good compensation to take on the risk of whether he can bounce back on a dry track, so I’m happy to have something small on him. Stake approx. 1% of bank

 BACK – Win – McLaren

1:35pm Flemington R6 – 1400m Open G3 Hcp – Shaftesbury Avenue Hcp


THE TRACK

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is out 2m.

Saturday is forecast to be a hot 36c, so I expect we’ll be racing on a genuine Good 3 surface by jump time.

The track should play evenly without a major pattern.


SPEED & TACTICS

Rock N Gold (9) can run along and I expect Liten In My Veins (11) will following him across with the two of them pairing off in front to set a genuine speed. Sircconi (3) and Streets Of Avalon (4) will be up there, while Poetic Dream (10) may also be ridden positively.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine

Late Pace Rating: Average

Best Suited: 1.5L to 4L off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

Based on the exposed form a rating of at least 98.5 at the weights will be needed to be somewhere in the finish, with the winner likely to need something closer to 100.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order. Ratings quoted are adjusted back to WFA for each horse.

7 Furrion: 99-101.5. $4.00

Furrion (ex-Weir) clearly has the best rating profile having run 100, 105, 104.5, 100.2 and 101.6 in 5 runs last preparation. He’s never dropped below that 100 mark whereas the rest of these may get to the 100 level on their best day only, while many have never been there.

The Hayes stable is going well at the moment and have had a number of runners return with good first up ratings in recent weeks, so there’s no reason to think Furrion can’t return with something around the 100 mark as he did first up over 1400m last preparation. The risk is that he’s likely to get a long way back from that barrier and when you add that to the overall uncertainty in the race with plenty of first up runners, it’s not ideal. Providing he’s not friendless in betting though, Furrion is clearly the horse to beat.

3 Widgee Turf: 98-100. $6.50

He’s so consistent around the 98 – 98.5 level with a peak of 100 which could win this race, but he’ll be a mile back in the run here which carries betting risk.

1 Grunt: 97-100. $7.00

With 61.5kg here Grunt’s peaks bring him in at 100 and 103.5, which have come in fast run Flemington mile races. That says he can definitely win this race, but the rest of his form is not good enough, which is why he’s such an enigmatic horse. The fact he’s being set for the All Star Mile next run raises a query whether he’ll be able to produce one of those spike figures needed here. His talent deserves plenty of respect, but that inconsistency has to be a major concern.

11 Poetic Dream: 95-100. $13.00

An interesting runner. He has overseas ratings of 105-106 that could win this easily, but it’s fair to say he’s been nowhere near that in 3 Australian runs so far returning a best of 97.8. He has been gelded though, won a recent trial and the Hayes stable is going well… so there’s every chance he could return with a new peak. Betting on him will be very interesting.

12 Streets Of Avalon: 95-99. $14.00

His last start 99 rating win over this T&D is very competitive. In the past though he typically regresses after a peak run so some allowance must be made for that.

14 Man Of His Word: 96-99. $16.00

Ran well LS over 1200m and his 98 rating is competitive. The step to 1400m suits.

9 Violate: 94-99. $17.00

She’s run 97.5 and 99 in her last two first up runs which can be very competitive in this race.

13 Zebulon: 96-98. $17.00

Ran a solid 96.6 rating last start with a strong sustained close from the back. He’s clearly had problems with just 11 starts as a 7YO but does have the talent to measure up.

6 Sircconi: 94-98. $18.00

First up, he’s an inconsistent type but can pull out a big run on his day with ratings between 98 and 101. He’s never come close to that first up though.

4 Liten In My Veins: 96-98. $21.00

First up here. He has some good form around the 98 level that can be competitive, but bar plates on is a query.

5 Rock N Gold: 93-96. $51.00

Ran a competitive 98.3 two starts ago, but the rest of his form is well below the standard needed here.

10 He Or She: 89-95. $351.00

Has been horribly out of form for quite some time.


BETTING STRATEGY

This is a tricky race with a stack of first up runners, plenty of queries and as you can see from the forecast ratings above, a large number of horses that are capable of running in the range needed to be very competitive.

It’s a low confidence race, but if you are playing then the only bet I could recommend would be FURRION (providing he’s not a noted drifter in the market.) Stake approximately 1% of your bank and aim to get the best price on the Exchange.

 BACK – Win – Furrion

4:10pm Caulfield R7 – 1200m 2YO Open SW G1 – The Blue Diamond Stakes


THE TRACK

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is out 3m.

Saturday is forecast to be a warm 29c, so I expect we’ll be racing on a Good 3 surface by jump time.

I expect on pace / handy runners will be well suited on the day, however it won’t be impossible to make ground out wide when the pace has been on early and that very much looks the case in this race.


SPEED & TACTICS

I Am Immortal (9) likes to go fast and doesn’t have much option but to press forward. Bella Rosa (10) is a good chance to follow him across, while Vinicunca (4) and Free of Debt (6) have enough natural speed to be up there and make the outside runners work.

Based on I Am Immortal’s history, let alone the potential contribution from others, it’s hard to imagine this won’t be run at a solid to fast early speed with much slower sectionals home.

Early Pace Rating: Solid to Fast

Late Pace Rating: Slow to Moderate

Best Suited: 1.5L to 5L off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

Based on the exposed form and the prospect of one or more runners hitting a new peak in this race, a rating of at least 98 will be needed to be somewhere in the finish, with the winning mark likely to be in the 100-101 range.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order. Ratings quoted are adjusted back to WFA for each horse.

11 Athiri: Forecast 98-101. Assessed $5.00

She ran a super competitive 98.2 in the Fillies Prelude, 0.7L behind Lyre. However, she was only first up and raced without cover, providing Lyre with the perfect trail into the race. She’s been set for this race all along so I expect her to have decent improvement to come and James Cummings is building a terrific record at getting his horses to peak at the right time. Wide draws are no problem in Caulfield sprint races and actually win more often than inside draws due to the fact it’s just a long straight run to one moderate turn and horses can sit wide without covering a stack of extra ground, while getting the benefit of less traffic and the ability to build momentum at the right time. She’s a leading chance with a very solid betting profile.

7 Lyre: Forecast 98-101. Assessed $5.50

Brings the best lead up rating with a 100 LS winning the Fillies Prelude and she was strong late, putting some good substance around the win. She was big odds that day and did a perfect run into the race, but there’s no doubting the quality of her figures. 1200m looks no problem for her and she profiles well.

8 Vinicunca: Forecast 97-101. Assessed $7.00

Ran to 99 LS in the Prelude and I liked the way she was able to show early speed, relax and then kick before being run down late. She will be fitter here and with a nice run just off the fast speed she has prospects to run to a new peak that certainly make her capable of winning the race.

6 Catch Me: Forecast 94-99.5. Assessed $10.00

She was the benchmark 2YO heading towards this race prior to the Fillies Prelude with a 99.5 rating achieved off an unfavourable run. However, she ran poorly in the Prelude as a $2.10 favourite. The blinkers go on for the first time here, she’s drawn nicely and it wasn’t too long ago that the Snowden’s had Capitalist produce an ordinary lead up to the Golden Slipper before rebounding to win the grand final easily. Catch Me definitely has the talent to win this, but it’s impossible to be confident after that last start.

4 Shotmaker: Forecast 95.5-98. Assessed $16.00

He raced wide without cover when on debut behind I Am Immortal, so his 96.3 rating in that race has good merit. While that’s comfortably short of the likely standard here, it’s not impossible for him to improve to a new peak that could put him in the finish.

14 Andrassy Avenue: Forecast 95.5-97.5. Assessed $16.00

She brings a little bit of X-factor to this race after an impressive 95.5 rating win at MV over 1000m last start where she was running away from them at the end. She could certainly improve to a new peak up to 1200m and it wouldn’t surprise to see her run very well.

1 I Am Immortal: Forecast 94.5-97.5. Assessed $17.00

He’s won both the BD Preview and Prelude for Colts & Geldings, but has shown that he likes to run along fast early and any attempts to restrain are likely to see him over-race. His ratings are very competitive, but the way he was stopping at the end of 1100m last time raises a big question mark whether he can hold that rating at 1200m, let alone make the little bit of improvement he’ll probably need to win.

13 Brooklyn Hustle: Forecast 92.7-97. Assessed $17.00

She had a big boom on her after that debut win at Moonee Valley and rightfully so, but she was quite plain in her return to racing behind Lyre in the Fillies Prelude. We suspect a great deal of talent is there, so it wouldn’t be a shock if she jumped out of the ground here, but at this stage she’s yet to put a rating on the track that could be considered a genuine chance of winning this race, so I can’t have her.

10 Loving Gaby: Forecast 93-97. Assessed $18.00

There was so much hype over her debut win at Caulfield and most of it looks misplaced to me. She had good pace up front to suit, her overall time rating was moderate and she got a dream run through the field. Visually it looked like she was powering to the line late, but she actually ran the slowest rating L200m rating of any winner on the day. Her 93 rating from that run is around 3L short of what will be needed to win this race. She no doubt has the potential to improve and I’ve allowed for that, but there’s no way I can have her anywhere near favourite in this race. Every now and again one of these types sneaks under your guard and jumps out of the ground with a massive rating improvement, but over time you’re well and truly on the right side of the ledger potting them until you actually see something with substance.  I’ll be very surprised if she’s not a drifter in the market on the day.

2 Hawker Hurricane: Forecast 94-97. Assessed $26.00

Comes off a very solid 95.8 rating performance behind I Am Immortal last start and looks better suited stepping up to 1200m. He can certainly run to a new peak in this race, but barrier 2 is likely to see him MF or worse on the fence, which is a distinct negative.

12 Lankan Star: Forecast 94-96. Assessed $41.00

Ran a solid 94.5 in the Fillies Prelude behind Lyre. The jump needed to win looks too large, but it wouldn’t surprise if she ran well.

9 Bella Rosa: Forecast 92.5-94.5. Assessed $101.00

Has a best of 93.3 over 1000m, which is a long way below the winning standard and will likely be working hard up on a fast speed. Hard to imagine her elevating to a big new peak over 1200m

3 Free Of Debt: Forecast 89-93.5. Assessed $151.00

Has a peak of 92.2 which is well and truly below the winning standard of this race. That was over 1000m and he then stepped up to 1200m and rated lower at 89.

5 Game Keeper: Forecast 88-92.5. Assessed $201.00

A peak of 90.7 say’s he’s outclassed in this race.


Betting Strategy

There’s no one standout in this race, but I do have some firm opinions around the main chances and there are a few value angles there.

I’m happy to back the two best value runners Aithiri and Vinicunca and save on Lyre, who isn’t offering a significant edge.

 BACK (WIN) ATHIRI – Bet to WIN (stake 0.9% of your total bank.)

 BACK (WIN) VINICUNCA – Bet to WIN (stake 0.6% of your total bank.)

 BACK (WIN) LYRE – Bet to SAVE (stake 0.4% of your total bank.)

Total outlay is 1.9% of your bank, which is not a large risk. On current prices we’re looking at a net win dividend of $3.15 to $3.70 for Athiri or Vinicunca to win, with the protection of breaking even if Lyre wins. That’s a nice bet.

4:30pm Warwick Farm R7 – 1200m 2YO Open SW – The Inglis Millennium


THE TRACK

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position. There are possible storms around Sydney on Friday and Saturday, but it will also be hot 33 degrees.

It’s impossible to predict with any confidence whether rain will hit the track and how much effect it may have, so we’ll assume nothing at this stage.

Expect them to get off the fence in the straight, which will help those sitting off pace and looking to run on around the outside more than we typically see.


SPEED & TACTICS

Espaaniyah (6) looks likely to press forward with the intent to lead. There are plenty around her and out wide that will also be pushing up, which should ensure at least a genuine tempo.

Drawing mid-wide in the big field will be no disadvantage at all and may in fact be an advantage with a long run to just one turn and those horses more likely to be able to get clear and build momentum at the right time.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine

Late Pace Rating: Average to below average

Best Suited: Lead to 3 lengths off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

Dawn Passage and Accession bring dominant ratings into this race, which should ensure a minimum requirement of at least 87-88 (at the weights to be carried) to challenge for a win.

It’s unlikely both will fail and allow the winning standard to be lower.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order.

2. Dawn Passage 89-92 $2.50

Comes off an outstanding debut win over 1000m at Randwick with the best lead up rating into this race and everything about that run from the way he travelled to his acceleration and late strength suggests he has the potential to go to a new peak, especially up to 1200m.

1. Accession: Forecast 87.5-90.5. Assessed $3.20

Has gone to new peaks at each of his last two and was particularly impressive last start showing a nice turn of foot. He’s got a good grounding for 1200m here and is clearly a danger to Dawn Passage.

14. Lady Naturaliste: Forecast 84-86.5. Assessed $19.00

Two of three Melbourne ratings, including last start at Sandown over 1200m are very competitive with all bar the top two here. She could run well.

7. Espaaniyah: Forecast 75-85. Assessed $26.00

Not surprised it was a massive blower last start at Randwick because the debut win at Moonee Valley didn’t have a lot of substance. That SP says she may still have some talent, but happy to risk until we see it.

9. Blazing Miss: Forecast 83.5-86.5. Assessed $26.00

Has been racing well in good form, but four runs into her first prep there doesn’t look to be much upside.

5. Pandano: Forecast 80-85. Assessed $31.00

Won easily up at Newcastle but this is much harder.

8. Biscara: Forecast 81-85. Assessed $31.00

Sound behind start Filly Catch Me last start, but need to find 3-4 lengths to challenge in this.

12. Pretty Brazen: Forecast 81-86. Assessed $34.00

Ratings are okay, but that’s at 1000m and looks some query at 1200m.

10. Avon River: Forecast 80-86. Assessed $41.00

Has had some excuses in recent runs, but needs to make 4-5L improvement.

The horses below are all outclassed.

13 My Fire Phoenix
3 Castelvecchio
11 Salome
15 My Sweet Fish
6 Soami


Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) DAWN PASSAGE – Bet to WIN at $2.6+ (stake 1.7% of your total bank.)

2:55pm Caulfield R5 – 1100m 2YO C&G G3 SW – The Blue Diamond Prelude


THE TRACK

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position.

There’s a small chance of a shower on Saturday, but it shouldn’t impact the track at all. A top of 21 degrees is forecast and that combined with 3.8mm of rainfall on Thursday should mean there is minimal if any need for irrigation on Friday.

That’s good news and means we can be more confident that the track will play evenly without a significant pattern.


SPEED & TACTICS

Expect I Am Immortal (1) to want to lead again from an inside draw. He set an above average pace over 1000m on debut, so expect similar here.

Hulk (2) showed speed on debut and Languishing (3) did similar in his trial so expect both of them to be prominent, but unlikely to be pressing I Am Immortal to any great extent.

Early Pace Rating: Above Average

Late Pace Rating: Below Average to moderate

Best Suited: Lead to 4 lengths off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

All of these are open to improvement and we have three first starters, including $6.50 chance Shotmaker.

Based on what we’ve seen so far though, a rating of at least 85 at the weights to be carried will be needed to be competitive. There will however be more than one in this race run to a new peak and based on those potential levels along with the dominant 91 rating that I Am Immortal brings off his debut, the winning standard is likely to be in the 87 to 91 range.


Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

2. I Am Immortal: Forecast 90-92. Assessed $2.20

He was great on debut, leading at a strong speed and kicking on to run good time and a 91 rating at the weights in this race, which is consistent with solid 2YO Group class. He’s still a bit green which offers potential upside and I like the signs he showed last start to suggest that 1100m will be no issue at all. With clearly the best rating in the field, upside potential and the prospect of leading again he profiles very strongly.

6. Brazen Brando: Forecast 84-88. Assessed $8.50

He was good on debut behind I Am Immortal from a long way back in the field, copping a chequered run up the straight. He definitely should have finished closer and looks suited up to 1100m.

10. Shotmaker debut. Assessed $10.00

Fancied in the market at $6.50 on debut so I’m respecting that, but at the same I thought his trial was solid without being anything special.

1 Hawker Hurricane: Forecast 84-87.5. Assessed $11.00

His Ballarat Magic Millions win rated solidly and the form has held up well around Alburq and Absolute Flirt. 1100m looks suitable.

4. Auxin: Forecast 84-87.5. Assessed $13.00

His ratings are competitive, but he looked to have every chance behind I Am Immortal last start after a soft run and was just fair over the final 200m.

3 Aussie: Forecast 82-86. Assessed $18.00

Beaten 3.3L 2nd behind Dawn Passage at Randwick on debut. I liked the way he travelled and his acceleration when asked was okay, but he was just sticking on okay at the end of 1000m. He needs to improve 2.5L to 3L on that performance.

9 Languishing debut. Assessed $21.00

On debut off a decent looking trial win, but this is aiming high.

5 Hulk. Forecast 79.5-87. Assessed $23.00

Ex Weir which immediately presents uncertainty. I expect him to be much better for his debut run at Moonee Valley, but he needs to find at least 3.5L improvement to be somewhere in the finish.

8. Groot: debut. Assessed $61.00

This looks too tough on debut.

7. Exeter: Forecast 81-85. Assessed $67.00

Beaten 3.5L behind I Am Immortal on debut without any obvious signs that he could suddenly improve.


Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) I AM IMMORTAL – Bet to WIN at $2.3+ (stake 1.9% of your total bank.)

3:30pm Caulfield R6 – 1100m 2YO F G2 SW – The Blue Diamond Prelude


The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position.

There’s a small chance of a shower on Saturday, but it shouldn’t impact the track at all. A top of 21 degrees is forecast and that combined with 3.8mm of rainfall on Thursday should mean there is minimal if any need for irrigation on Friday.

That’s good news and means we can be more confident that the track will play evenly without a significant pattern.


Speed and Tactics

Expect Vinicunca (16) to press forward, but outside of that, none of the raced horses have shown any great speed or intent to race on the lead.

First starters Fawwaza (5) and Maneefa (10) worked forward in their trial up on the lead but were hardly fast. Outside of that it’s very difficult to map them with any confidence.

No doubt a few will be ridden with some intent to hold positions, but it’s hard to imagine anything better than just average speed.

Early Pace Rating: Average

Late Pace Rating: Average

Best Suited: Lead to 3 lengths off the lead


WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

There are a couple of smart Fillies here with Catch Me, Brooklyn Hustle and Athiri providing plenty of quality depth.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, a rating of at least 84-85 at the weights to be carried will be needed to be competitive with the winning standard likely to be at least 87 and potentially up to 90-91


Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

1. Catch Me: Forecast 90-92.5. Assessed $2.40

Comes off a high rating win in the BD Preview, which represents the second best 2YO performance we’ve seen so far this season, behind Tassort. She did that off a less than ideal trip and draws to get a much softer run in this race, which could see her improve again. She’s clearly the horse to beat.

6. Brooklyn Hustle: Forecast 86-91. Assessed $4.50

There’s been plenty written about her debut win back on 1st December and it was an outstanding performance. Her overall rating doesn’t do the performance justice, with indicators through her sectionals and what she actually achieved from her position in the field more consistent with a horse that is not too far off what we’ve seen from the favourite Catch Me. You can never be certain until you see them do it, but at the same time she may have improved even more during her spell. Drawing wide is no problem in Caulfield sprints, if anything it will allow her to get into her stride and build momentum at a time that suits. She’s the most interesting runner at Caulfield all day and a definite winning chance.

5. Athiri: Forecast 84.5-90.5. Assessed $7.50

Her debut win at Rosehill on 1st December was impressive and her recent trial suggests she’s come back well. That debut gave me an impression she’ll be better at 1200m and potentially 1400m in time, but her rating stacks up as competitive and she does have prospects for a new peak first up here.

4. Lankan Star: Forecast 82-86. Assessed $23.00

Needs to make big improvement to measure up to the top chances, but I did like the way she hit the line over 1000m winning at MV last start.

2. Vinicunca: Forecast 81.5-84.5. Assessed $26.00

First up (Gai) after a narrow win at Flemington in November. This is much harder, but you can never really count out Waterhouse 2YO’s.

8. Lyre: Forecast 76-84.5. Assessed $34.00

Won at Sale LS and I feel the very slow pace probably masked how much edge she had over that field. That said, this is a massive step up.

13. Indiscretion: Debut. Assessed $34.00

P Stokes is an astute trainer so he’s not here for fun, but it’s a deep race this year.

7. Pelican: Forecast 75-83 Assessed $51.00

First up. Needs to improve massively on her debut win in Adelaide.

16. Presently: Debut Assessed $51.00

On debut, aiming too high.

3. Movie Role:  Forecast  79-84.5 Assessed $67.00

Won OK at Randwick fore just okay at the Magic Millions. Doesn’t look up to this level though.

10. Sensitivity:  Forecast  76-83 Assessed $81.00

Good debut at Geelong but this is significantly tougher.

9. Beach Club:  Forecast  77-82 Assessed $101.00

Looks outclassed off her run at MV.

14. Miss Elena:  Debut Assessed $101.00

Looks to be aiming too high on debut

12. Fawwaza:  Debut Assessed $201.00

Looks to be aiming too high on debut

11. Amarula Queen:  Debut Assessed $251.00

Looks to be aiming too high on debut

15. Moneefa:  Debut Assessed $251.00

Looks to be aiming too high on debut


Betting Strategy

On current market prices there is no compelling betting value. Catch Me and Brooklyn Hustle are value neutral at the moment and are the only two I could consider if the market shifted between now and jump time.

 BACK (WIN) Catch Me

 BACK (WIN) Brooklyn Hustle

2:45pm Caulfield R4 – 1000m 2YO C&G LR SW – The Blue Diamond Preview


The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is out 3m.

The track was verti-drained on Tuesday and will be heavily irrigated to cope with the extreme heat of 44c on Friday. Saturday will be a much milder 27c.

That type of intervention (while necessary) does raise some uncertainty about how the track will play.

However, given it will only be 27 on Saturday, there will hopefully not be any significant overnight watering to deal with temperatures on race day and that creates a little bit of confidence that the track will play evenly, without a major pattern.


Speed and Tactics

Eight of the thirteen here are first starters so mapping is naturally more speculative than in other races.

From what we’ve seen in races and trials / jumpouts though I expect there to be at least genuine speed. Alburq (8), I Am Immortal (6) and Hulk (3) all look to have good early speed and despite a lack of pressure from out wide, their natural style should see them run along a little.

Microphone looks the only possible pace drawn out wide, but I suspect they’ll look to ride him 3-wide with some cover, which is a nice position in Caulfield sprint races that have large fields.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine – Average

Late Pace Rating: Below Average to Average

Best Suited: Lead to 3 lengths off the lead


WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

With eight of the thirteen on debut here and a couple hard in the market off the back of nice jumpouts / trials, it’s impossible to identify a winning standard for this race with any confidence.

However, what we do know is that Microphone ran a strong rating when winning on debut at Flemington off the back of strong measures on the clock. Auxin was just behind him in that race so even if only one of those performs well here, it will set a decent standard for the others to match.

The first starters will genuinely need to be above average to win.


Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

1. Microphone: Forecast 96-98.5. Assessed $3.60

There was plenty to like about his debut win at Flemington including good speed measures on the clock and the way he hit the line strongly. That rating was a genuine stakes class performance that sets a strong standard for the others to try and match here.

He’s drawn 13, but wider draws in these types of Caulfield sprint races have a better record than inside draws and offer much better betting value, so I wouldn’t let that put you off. It allows horses to track up 3-wide with cover, building momentum at the right time (rather than being cluttered on the inside) and with just one small turn they don’t face a major disadvantage covering extra ground.

It’s difficult to be confident in a race with so many first starters, but Microphone’s debut suggests he’s a genuine Blue Diamond contender and he profiles particularly well for this race.

3. Auxin: Forecast 94-96. Assessed $6.00

Followed Microphone in the run on debut at Flemington and matched him all of the way, just losing a little ground over the final 100m. It was a very solid debut with a good rating, from a horse that has obvious scope to improve. He maps nicely here and is a definite chance.

9. Hulk: Debut. Assesed $6.00

On debut for Weir of an impressive recent jumpout win where he really strung the field out over the final stages. It’s hard to get a confident measure on his talent, but he certainly looks above average and does map well from barrier 3.

The concern I have from a betting perspective that in the last 5 years Weir has debuted 164 two-year-olds for just a 9.7% win strike rate and -52.5% loss on turnover. If the market really likes them as favourite then the -18% POT from those runners is not as bad, but beyond that, his others that start in the market 2nd to 4th ranked are losing 53% on turnover.

The key point about this is the comparison to Weir 2YO’s beyond their first start. If you backed all of them over the last five years it shows a +26% profit on turnover, a massive difference! It’s not Weir’s style to have his 2YO’s near their best on debut.

Sometimes they are still good enough to win, but they win far less often than the market expects. Despite the obvious talent of Hulk, I have to think he’ll be better with the run and look for him at his next start.

10. I Am Immortal: Debut. Forecast $7.50

He’s been pretty impressive winning a jumpout and trial with good times. What I did note though was that he was slapped along a little to do it and still looks to have a bit to learn about racing. I wasn’t all that impressed with the way he travelled and hung at different times.

There’s no doubt that he has some talent, but the pressure of an actual race does raise a query about those habits and I have to allow for that in my price.

12. Tempo: Debut. Forecast $13.00

Has some early speed, maps well and jumpouts look okay. He’s a tough one to gauge, but I’m a little surprised he’s single figure odds in the market. Ultimately the final market price will be the best guide to him.

11. Lodestar: Debut. Forecast $21.00

Trialled nicely on Tuesday to suggest he’s not hopeless. There’s more hustle and bustle in this race though and he may be under a bit of pressure early from barrier two to hold a position or end up in a tough spot MF on the fence.

2. Alburq: Assessed 91-93. Forecast $21.00

Two runs have been okay but he’s led both times and been no match over the final stages for the eventual winners. You have to respect decent previous experience, but he doesn’t appeal as the type of horse that will suddenly make the big improvement he needs to win this race.

7. Exeter: Debut. Forecast $23.00

Looked good in a recent jumpout but the time was a little plain.

6. Brazen Brando: Debut. Forecast $34.00

3rd behind I Am Immortal in a lead up trial. Haven’t seen enough in three trials now to think he could win this.

13. Unique Bambino: Debut. Forecast $67.00

This looks to be aiming a bit high on debut. Maiden best.

4. Logans Blade: Assessed 87-90. Forecast $201.00

Well beaten at 80/1 behind Microphone on debut

8. Hernandez: Debut. Forecast $251.00

Looks up against it based on his trial.

5. Biggie: Assessed 84-87. Forecast $401

Well beaten at 100/1 behind Microphone on debut


Betting Strategy

The lack of exposed form definitely makes this a low confidence race, but Microphone brings a very solid profile to the race and is the only one I could back in this race:

 BACK (WIN) MICROPHONE – Bet to WIN at $3.8+ (stake 1.1% of your total bank.)

2:45pm Caulfield R4 – 1000m 2YO Fillies G3 SWP – The Blue Diamond Preview


THE TRACK

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is out 3m.

The track was verti-drained on Tuesday and will be heavily irrigated to cope with the extreme heat of 44c on Friday. Saturday will be a much milder 27c.

That type of intervention (while necessary) does raise some uncertainty about how the track will play.

However, given it will only be 27 on Saturday, there will hopefully not be any significant overnight watering to deal with temperatures on race day and that creates a little bit of confidence that the track will play evenly, without a major pattern.


SPEED & TACTICS

Ten of the sixteen here are first starters so mapping is naturally more speculative than in other races.

From what we’ve seen in races and trials / jumpouts though I expect there to be above average speed. Jedastar (11) was fast early on debut and should push forward from out wide and inject good speed into the race. Lobster Noodles (8), Be Brilliant (7) and Andrassy Avenue (16) have all shown speed in their lead ups for debut.

There’s plenty of others as well that won’t be too far away. However they settle down, it’s hard not to see a good early speed in this race.

Early Pace Rating: Above Average

Late Pace Rating: Below Average to moderate

Best Suited: Lead to 5 lengths off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

While ten of the sixteen are on debut, the main market chances Catch Me, Anaheed, Jedastar and Pretty Brazen have all had a run.

Catch Me, Anaheed and Pretty Brazen bring the best ratings and it’s reasonable to assume that at least one of them will run up to that form, if not a new peak. That suggests the winner will need to rate at least 95 to fight out the finish of this race.

That’s a very solid mark for a lower level Fillies stakes class race, so there’s no doubt a first starter will need to be above average to win.


Race Assessment in number order

1. Catch Me: Assessed 95-98. Forecast $4.00

Was an impressive winner of the Gimrack at Randwick back in the spring with a rating that is very hard to beat and the nature of her win suggests he’s likely better than that, with new peaks to come. Her recent trial win at Racing.com Park suggests she’s come back well.

At the time of writing she’s in barrier 13, but wider draws in these types of Caulfield sprint races have a better record than inside draws and offer much better betting value.

It allows horses to track up 3-wide with cover, building momentum at the right time (rather than being cluttered on the inside) and with just one small turn they don’t face a major disadvantage covering extra ground. With the Snowden polish heading towards the Blue Diamond, I expect her to be hard to beat.

4. Anaheed: Assesed 94-97.5. Forecast $6.00

Was impressive winning on debut back in October by 4 lengths (Heavy ground), still showing she has a bit to learn, which typically translates to upside / improved performance. She trialled nicely at Racing.com Park recently and looks to get a nice run from barrier 2, although a middle draw in a big field like this would have been preferred.

5. Pretty Brazen: Forecast 95-97. Assessed $6.50

A very narrow second to Microphone at Flemington on debut in a race that was particularly strong on the clock. He rating from that performance suggests she’s a genuine chance.

3. Jedastar: Assessed 91-94. Forecast $11.00

Won by 2.3L at Flemington on New Years day showing plenty of early speed, but the figures were just okay, and certainly below the higher rated Fillies in this race. A recent jumpout shows she’s come back well, but she does need a clear new peak to win. May get a bit of pressure up on the lead.

16. Westport Debut. Forecast $12

Trialled well behind Catch Me recently. That reference alone along with Tony McEvoy’s strong 2YO record suggests she has some claims.

14. Shih Tzou Debut. Forecast $13

Another to trial well behind Catch Me at Racing.com park.

2. Biscara: Assessed 85-91. Forecast $21.00

Was okay in two runs during the Spring but they were in races where the figures lacked substance. She has prospects to resume with a new peak, but it’s unlikely to be high enough to win this.

18. Be Brilliant Debut. Forecast $31.00

She has gate speed and did look good in a recent jumpout, but the quality behind was very questionable. Looks to have some ability but this may be aiming too high.

6. Andrassy Avenue Debut. Forecast $34.00

Has looked good in trials / jumpouts but not convinced about the overall quality.

8. Donttelltheboss Debut. Forecast $51.00

Not sure on jumpouts? Market suggests outclassed

9. Kibibi: Assessed 85-90. Forecast $51.00

Failed on debut in the Gimcrack at Randwick, but also started 50/1

13. Miss Elena Debut. Forecast $67.00

Not sure on jumpouts? Market suggests outclassed

15. Urjuwaan Debut. Forecast $67

Well beaten in a Cranbourne trial

11. Lobster Noodles Debut. Forecast $101.00

Has early speed. Jumpout time was very moderate.

10. Lady Doro Debut. Forecast $151.00

Not sure on jumpouts? Market suggests outclassed

7. Dama Rapida Debut. Forecast $251.00

Well beaten in two trials. Needs a weak maiden.


Betting Strategy

This is a difficult race to play with Catch Me, Anaheed and Pretty Brazen all bringing solid credentials. My strongest opinion is that Jedastar needs to improve notably to beat them and her market prices doesn’t reflect that.

If there is a play in this race, you could LAY JEDASTAR up to $8.00

 LAY (WIN) Jedastar (Small Stakes)

2:25pm Gold Coast, Race 8, $2M Magic Millions 2YO Classic


The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position.

The track came in for some criticism for being too hard last week so will be interesting to see if they have gone for more watering.


Speed and Tactics

Speed looks like being strong from the get go. Unite And Conquer and Betaima have the quickest early speed figures and given where they’re drawn, they are sure to inject plenty of pace early.

A few others like Czarson, Movie Role and Girls Are Ready will roll forward, while the likes of The Odyssey and Oh Five Glory will be keen to hold good spots off their nice draws.

Early Pace Rating: Above average

Late Pace Rating: Below average

Best Suited: Lead to 6 lengths off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – Winning Benchmark

In the past three years, the winners (Capitalist, Houtzen, Sunlight) all had run WPR ratings of 100+ leading into the race and the latter two were able to produce 100+ figures to win.

Last 3 winning ratings:

  • Capitalist 96.6
  • Houtzen 101
  • Sunlight 101.5

This year, not one single runner has cracked the 100 mark.

Dubious boasts the highest rating in the field, having recorded a 99 on debut in late September, but his most recent run came in at just 92.

The three highest last start ratings in the field belong to Czarson (98), Unite And Conquer (96.5) and Yes Yes Yes (96.2).

Based on those numbers, we anticipate the winner will have to rate at least 96 to win and possibly up to 100, if a couple of them make improvements into what should be their Grand Final for this campaign.

Of course, it is not unusual for two-year-olds to take a big leap in the early part of their careers, so given there is no dominant performer/performance this year, it’s possible an upset result could happen without being overly surprising.

That said, it’s a race that generally runs to script, with favourites having won seven of the last nine runnings.


Race Assessment in number order

1. Unite And Conquer: Forecast 95-100. Assessed $6.50

Was too speedy up the straight at Flemington running a 93.5 on debut and then lived up to the short price tag at Wyong, improving his speed figure and overall rating to 96.5. Has since been given a trial, where he appeared to be overshadowed by stablemate Czarson, but not reading too much into that. Jumps from barrier 14 if the emergencies don’t secure a start. That’s not ideal, but he does have one of the best early speed figures in the race.

2. The Odyssey: Forecast 88-93. Assessed $21

Showed promise in two runs before a break, then came back with a new peak of 87, in a race where he had the better of Sun City and Krameric. Has since taken on Exhilarates, where the weights were against him last week, rating a new best of 88.3. Obviously needs to take another big step forward to beat all of these, but at least he’s drawn to get an economical run. .

3. Yes Yes Yes: Forecast 95-100. Assessed $7.50

Has shown lovely improvement in each of his three runs and put himself right in the mix for this with a promising 96.2 rating at his most recent win at Moonee Valley. We noted on that occasion he’s a horse that’s likely to rate higher when he gets into a high pressure race. Likely to get that scenario here, although we weren’t anticipating him jumping from 16 of 16.

That said, he comes in with one of the top three last start ratings, is still on an upward spiral, from a stable with a proven record of success on this day. Could become a value play if the market continues to overreact to his draw.

4. Dubious: Forecast 92-99. Assessed $9.50

As noted from the top, boasts the highest rating in the entire field with the Breeders’ Plate 99 on debut. Resumed on the new track at Eagle Farm and had to race wide (not certain that was a big negative) under top weight and proved too good.

He did give ground late there, indicating Ciaron Maher has left a little up the sleeve for this, his Grand Final. Given he gets the economical run, he is a probable improver here.

5. Sebrakate: Forecast 86-91. Assessed $301

Hit a career best three starts back at Rosehill of 91.5, which is obviously well short of the required mark. Has regressed to around the 86 mark at latest couple.

6. Hightail: Forecast 90-93. Assessed $41

Unusual to see a Snowden youngster backing up for its third Saturday in a row. Has made steady improvement in each of three starts, getting to a 90.7 last week in Sydney. Speed figures weren’t hopeless in comparison to most of these, so capable of running a race, but hard to see him improving enough to beat all of them.

7. Czarson: Forecast 97-102. Assessed $5.00

Brings the best last start rating to the table after leading throughout at Rosehill. Had a very time of it early there and was able to sprint home in a very strong sectional rating in comparison to what most of these have achieved. Beat Exhilarates comfortably on debut prior to that and has since looked sharp in a trial against stablemate Unite And Conquer.

The draw is the potential negative here, as to where he might end up. Even though he’s led, he hasn’t had to show blinding speed to get there and a couple of others look faster, so it’s a matter of whether he gets in. As far as form goes, he is entitled to be right at the top of the pecking order. We have assessed him at this price penalising him a full point on his last start win and he still comes out the clear top rater.

8. Exhilarates: Forecast 94-99. Assessed $6.50

Has kept improving with every start and comes through the same race that has provided three of the past four winners of this. Finished off nicely at Wyong prior to her win last week and looks like she will relish 1200m. Has had a few starts, so not sure how much improvement there is to come, but she gets the right run and looks certain to appreciate the good speed.

9. Betaima: Forecast 84-88. Assessed $201.00

Will show speed from the outside draw, but looks a major risk at the trip and beyond that, hasn’t hit a mark anywhere near the required level for this.

10. Champagne Boom: Forecast 87-92. Assessed $101.00

Won in soft figures on debut at Caulfield and has gone backwards off that rating in two runs since. Seemed to have her chance at Wyong and find it hard to see her turning the tables on those that finished ahead of her there.

11. Better Reflection: Forecast 91-95. Assessed $61.00

Posted a big margin on debut at her home track, then did it tough at Doomben and kept coming to win. Speed figures from that race were superior to The Odyssey on the same day, but subsequent form says the boys race was probably still stronger. Drawn out again so might end up with a similar run to last time. She’s a rough hope, but needs quite a few ahead of her in the market to come up short on what they have already produced.

12. Girls Are Ready: Forecast 90-94. Assessed $41.00

She’s improved nicely from her debut to post a couple of Sydney wins, probably in softer races than some others. She took a big step forward last time and needs to do the same to be in the finish here.

13. Courseshewill: Forecast 78-80. Assessed $1001.00

Won her first two in soft figures but has been found out in two better races since resuming.

14. Movie Role: Forecast 91-97. Assessed $51.00

Took good improvement from first to second starts and had a margin to spare over Hightail (3rd) when notching a winning figure of 91.1 at Randwick. Like quite a few others, is in that fringe brigade whereby she needs to take a big step forward and other more established runners have to regress.

15. Oh Five Glory: Forecast 80-88. Assessed $251.00

Has a best of 87.5 which is obviously going to be short of the required level. One thing in her favour is a softer draw this time, but likely to be outclassed.

16. Champagne Jet: Forecast 80-85. Assessed $801.00

Hasn’t gone on from the debut win over stablemate Betaima. Outpointed in an Ipswich midweeker last time and that’s not going to be good enough to be in the finish here.

17. Em Gala Miss: Forecast 80-85. Assessed $1001.00

First emergency. Not good enough.

18. Em Krameric: Forecast 91-96. Assessed $51.00

Second emergency. Career best 94.6 came in the Breeders’ Plate and best in three since then was 91.3. Better credentialed than a few others and if he happens to sneak into the field, will beat more home than beat him. Just not sure he’s sharp enough at 1200m.

19. Em Rome 3: Forecast 94-98. Assessed $16.00

Third emergency. Would come in as one of the better chances if the field falls away and he gets in. Had his chance to beat Sun City, but was only first up and there’s certain to be improvement to come.

20. Em Alburq: Forecast 90-94. Assessed $66.00

Fourth emergency. Better than some others, but unlikely to get a run.

21. Lubuk: Forecast 89-96. Assessed $81.00

Fifth emergency. Big improver at second race start and looks a horse of the future, but unlikely to get the chance to show that in this race.


Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Bet to WIN at $5+ (stake 1.0% of your total bank.)


Related Articles

BetSmart Ratings

The Rating Bureau, as BetSmart, are one of the most respected horse racing teams in Australia. Led by pro ...

Betsmart Education

Do you want to be a professional racing punter? Or you’d like to learn some insights from someone who ...

Wagering and Fundamentals

In the first installment of the Betsmart Series, Wagering and Fundamentals takes you through the important task of correctly ...