The Melbourne Racing Carnival comes to a close with Emirates Stakes Day bringing two big Group 1 races to Flemington this Saturday. It's been a tough week for punters with some blowout results and indifferent weather, so we hope to finish the week with a bang! Our horse racing expert Tim is back with more horse racing tips with a preview of both the Darley Classic and the 2015 Emirates Stakes!
Chautauqua comes into this as the raging odds on favourite but the Heavy track may see that price drift a little with many unsure how well he will handle the conditions. The race looks set to be run at a decent tempo with Buffering, Tiger Tees and Srikandi looking like the pace setters. Flamberge and Terravista will look for cover behind the leaders, while Chautauqua, Boban, Delectation and Lumosty all race best when settling towards the rear of the field.
BUFFERING: The veteran of the field who is sure to run his usual honest race. Won a relatively weak Moir Stakes first up at the Valley and then ran 5th behind Chautauqua last start. Willing to forgive him for that run, however, given Rich Enuff gave him absolutely no peace out the front and he was pressured for the whole race. The rain certainly helps his cause and he rates as a solid place chance.
CHAUTAUQUA: Produced a phenomenal performance to win the Manikato last start to remain undefeated so far this preparation. Looks to have gone to the next level as a sprinter and we know he does his best racing down the Flemington straight. Never finished outside the top 2 over this straight 6 furlongs and from barrier 4 in a small field he should be able to avoid bad luck. Big question is the heavy track for him but he flew home to win the TJ Smith earlier this year on a Soft 7 so it shouldn't prevent him from winning here.
BOBAN: Resumes off an 8-week break here and his last couple of fresh runs have resulted in two Group 1 wins. We never thought he was any good on Soft tracks until he won the Memsie on a Soft 6 but a heavy track is a completely different ball game. Another big hurdle for him is the fact he's never placed from 7 attempts at 1200m! However, you just get the feeling Chris Waller will have him tuned up to run a big race. Minor place hope.
TERRAVISTA: I reckon he's come back in good order this prep and you can completely forget he even went around at Moonee Valley last start. He's probably still locked away on the rail as we speak! Draws barrier 1 which is interesting as they migrated to the outside fence for the straight races on Thursday. The rain won't affect him and he's in with a great chance if Chautauqua fails to fire.
TIGER TEES: Past his best but he is a mudlark and he's raced well over the straight course at Flemington before so he might just run a cheeky race but I can't have him even with the wet track.
FLAMBERGE: Good run behind Chautauqua first up when simply outclassed. Ran well again in the Moir behind Buffering before going to Adelaide last weekend and narrowly getting the job done as the hot favourite. Has shown a liking for the straight 6 and is 4 wins from 5 starts on wet tracks. Blowout hope.
DELECTATION: Should have won last week when the track bias cost him the race. He ran super in the quicksand section of the track. Ran 2nd by a length to Chautauqua two starts back over this track and distance and has also won on a heavy track. Looks good odds at $17.
SRIKANDI: Ran well in the Manikato behind Chautauqua to be beaten 2 lengths back in 2nd. Should improve 2nd up and she looks to be one of the leaders in the race. Undefeated in the wet but first time down the straight is always a query. Has a bit to do to turn the tables on Chautauqua.
LUMOSTY: Holds a good record up the Flemington straight and resumed with a great performance to dead heat with Eclair Choice over 1000m who has since come out and won another Group 2. Steps up to WFA and she's only been tested on Soft before so the really heavy track might test her. I really like her but just a place chance here.
The big question is whether Chautauqua will handle the heavy track and if he does there is no question that he is your winner. Given he won the TJ Smith on a Soft 7 up in Sydney I think it's fair to assume he can handle the wet. Looks to have gone to a new level. TERRAVISTA should have finished much closer in the Manikato but barrier 1 meant he was in traffic the entire straight. He handles the wet fine and he won this race last year over Chautauqua. I think he's once again ready to run a big race. SRIKANDI is undefeated in the wet and is the up and comer on the block. Might find it a difficult task to turn the tables on Chautauqua but she'll be up near the lead and give a good sight. BUFFERING will run an honest race and DELECTATION is bigger odds than he should be. I think Chautauqua will win, but the better bet might be Terravista each-way at $8.50.
Strong field for the Emirates Stakes especially with a few internationals engaged. There looks to be a fair amount of speed in the race with the likes of Turn Me Loose, Ecuador and Coronation Shallan all leading types. Behind that Sons Of John, Rock Sturdy and Bow Creek should be looking for handy positions, while Disposition may looks for a spot a touch further forward after coming from last to win last weekend. Should be run at a decent gallop so those settling back should have their chance to make ground providing the track allows for it.
LUCKY HUSSLER: Winner of the Group 1 Toorak Handicap two starts ago before going down as the short priced favourite in the Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley last start (won by Turn Me Loose). Carries top weight under handicap conditions here and he's 0/2 on heavy tracks so prepared to look past him as a winning chance here.
AROD: Comes out of the Cox Plate where he overraced badly and dropped out. Previous to that he ran 2nd by half a length to the best miler in the world and there's no doubt he's much better suited at 1600m compared to the 2000m of the Cox Plate. Placed at his only run on soft but very unlikely to run if its heavy.
TURN ME LOOSE: Bolted up in the Seymour Cup to win by over 3 lengths and he took that form to Moonee Valley to win the Group 2 Crystal Mile last start. He's 3/3 at the mile and 1/1 on heavy so he profiles well for this. Looks one of the main pace setters so won't get an easy lead and this is a much stronger contest than what he's faced.
BOW CREEK: Went into the Blackbook of every punter in Auastralia after storming home to finish 2nd behind Turn Me Loose at Moonee Valley at his first run in Australia. Generally he improves sharply 2nd up but the concern is the heavy track given he failed at his only start on heavy. He was a $2.50 favourite that day and went for a 5-month spell after that so tough to know if there were other issues. Does drop 3.5kg from his first up run and looks very well suited here.
DISPOSITION: Just an ultra consistent horse who tries his best every race. Finished runner up in two consecutive Group 1s before dropping back to Group 3 grade last start and sneaking up the rail to win. Think he is better suited at 1400m than 1600m and the draw is slightly tricky. Wet track no problem and back to 54.5kg gives him a chance.
MAGIC ARTIST: Was a tragedy beaten on his Australian debut in the Mackinnon Stakes. Was climbing all over the back of Gailo Chop and should have won but there are questions to come out of that performance. The track heavily favoured the inside runners so was he flattered by the bias? And dropping back to 1600m on the one week back up is a huge query, as is the wet track. He only has 3 placings from 6 runs on soft tracks so if he gets a heavy track he might not go well. Dropping to 54kg is a big positive for him though.
ECUADOR: Racing in reasonably good form and he's another that drops back from the 2000m of the Mackinnon to the 1600m here. However, he's only missed a place once from 6 starts over 1600m so he may be more adept at this distance. Drops from 59kg to 54kg and he's had six top 2 finishes from 9 runs on Soft tracks. Go well.
MESSENE: Mixing his form but he drops to 53.5kg for the first time in a very long time and is also aided by a great barrier. Can probably forgive his latest run when the inside runners were heavily favoured but he failed on his only attempt on a heavy track. Think he's past his best and the only thing keeping him a very slim chance is his significant weight drop.
MORIARTY: Not good enough to win a Group 1 of this quality and certainly not on a heavy track! 0/4 on heavy and 0/6 on soft! Pass.
AMOVATIO: Think this horse is a really big dark horse in this race. Forgive his last start where he was caught in the worst part of the track at the Valley when nothing made ground all night (except Bow Creek) and look to his hat trick of wins before that. Fantastic record over this track and this distance, drops to 53kg and drawn well. Slight query on the wet track but does have a 2nd placing at his only start on heavy. Think he's a roughie!
POLITENESS: Flying this prep with 3 wins on the bounce, the most recent at Group 1 level in the Myer Classic. Drops to 53kg and the more rain the better for her chances! She will settle in the back half of the field and be charging home. Has to be a good each way chance.
SONS OF JOHN: Sydney galloper who came to Melbourne last start and should have finished a touch closer when well beaten by Turn Me Loose. Previous to that, however, he ran consecutive placings behind Winx, beaten 0.2L and then 2.4L. Great form for a race like this and he's never missed a place on wet tracks. Good each way chance.
MAY'S DREAM: Racing consistently in lesser races than this but just cant find another win. Doesn't have the most appealing record on wet tracks and this looks a tough race for her. Does sport the blinkers for the first time but they'd have to make a significant improvement for her to win.
ROCK STURDY: Racing well in much easier races in Sydney but looks to be aiming too high in a race of high quality horses. Doesn't go badly on the wet tracks and he will certainly appreciate the massive drop to 52.5kg but I prefer others.
CORONATION SHALLAN: Good win in a Group 3 at Moonee Valley last start where he beat Azkadelia who has since run a blinder. Aided by the rail in that victory though when there was a bias towards front runners. Gets in with a light weight and has place 5/6 on soft tracks but this is significantly harder.
HE OR SHE: Finally broke through in Melbourne last start and I think he can go on with the business now, but this may come a little soon for him. Will love the drop in weight to 52.5kg but he's only ever seen one soft track and that was four starts ago when finishing 5th over 1400m. Think he would prefer it firm and while I think he has plenty of wins in store, this isn't one of them.
BOW CREEK goes on top and I'm taking the chance that his failure on a heavy track was due to more reasons than simply him not handling conditions. His first up performance in Australia was phenomenal and he normally fires 2nd up. He looks much better suited than MAGIC ARTIST who should have won the other day but might not handle conditions, and 2000m back to 1600m on the one week back up is an interesting move. POLITENESS is flying and the more rain the better, she can run well again. DISPOSITION never runs a bad race and down in weight he can run well again, while AMOVATIO looks a blowout hope. SONS OF JOHN has form around Winx and TURN ME LOOSE looks the best of the on-speed runners.
1st BOW CREEK
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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