This Saturday we head back to The Valley where a fantastic field is set to line up for the Group 2 Australia Stakes. Our resident horse racing expert Tim is back once again to bring you some more great horse racing betting tips on the feature race of the day.
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A cracking field is set to line up for the Group 2 Australia Stakes over 1200m at The Valley on Saturday with four Group 1 winners engaged.
Mourinho and Richie's Vibe are previous winners of this race and will be looking to join Black Caviar as the only horses to win this race twice.
The speed in this race looks fairly hard to predict. Sirbible will certainly lead, but it's hard to know what tactics the likes of Trust In A Gust, Durendal, Kievann, Rageese and Holler will employ. Each of those horses have led or sat up on the speed in some of their races, but they've also raced off the speed too so it makes the speed map hard to plot out.
I suspect we will see Sirbible speed out to set up a clear lead, with Kievann kicking up on the inside from barrier 1 and Holler coming across from barrier 8 to sit outside him. Richie's Vibe and Durendal will use their good draws to sit handy to the speed, while Mourinho could either sit on the leaders back or on the rail in midfield from barrier 2.
Rebel Dane should settle worse than midfield but get a lovely run from barrier 6, and I think Rageese will try and slot in worse than midfield from barrier 9. Hucklebuck will just try and get into a nice rhythm from barrier 11, and the big query is whether Trust In A Gust will roll forward from barrier 13 or choose to go back.
There is a fair bit of rain predicted in Melbourne on Friday (8 to 20mm) and a shower in the morning on Saturday so we may be racing on a Soft track come race time.
REBEL DANE: One of four Group 1 winners among the field but he's the best suited of that lot over the 1200m trip. Last prep he won over 1100m first up where he beat Ball Of Muscle and Shiraz - solid form. Has Group 1 sprinting form and at WFA over 1200m he looks very well placed, especially with the favourable barrier. Will love the wet track if it rains. Top pick.
MOURINHO: Has won 3 races when he's been first up and also has one win from one start over 1200m but I think the trip will be too short for him against this quality of field. Good draw and good record at the track, but more of a place chance here.
HUCKLEBUCK: He's a very good horse. Group 1 Emirates Stakes winner in 2014 and has only had the one start since then where he under-performed in the Group 1 Goodwood but pulled up lame. Went straight for a spell and resumes here, 252 days later. Trainer seems to think he will need the run and the barrier hurts, but don't underestimate him.
TRUST IN A GUST: Group 1 Toorak Hcp winner in 2014 but has only had two starts since then. Comes into this with a great record first up and a great record over both the track and distance. The barrier makes things very interesting as I mentioned above. I think he's a sneaky chance if he returns at his best, but it's hard to be confident until we see him perform.
IT IS WRITTEN: Saves his best racing for this track and distance. His form isn't quite strong enough but he just seems to improve massively at this track. Drawn well and he could be the blowout.
CHURCHILL DANCER: Good behind Durendal when carrying 59kg in the Standish. Not quite up to this level, especially with the quality of this field, and the barrier hurts him even more.
RICHIE'S VIBE: Won this race two years ago but has struggled to reach the same level of form since. Finished 2nd in Adelaide last start under a big weight and his best form seems to be behind him. The good draw helps though so he should get a lovely run.
DURENDAL: Absolutely flying with 4 wins from his last 5 starts. Just keeps improving with each step up in grade and he was solid again last start when winning a Group 3. This is his acid test though given he has to carry 58.5kg in WFA Group 2 level against a field that is stronger than anything he's faced before. Can't knock his form though and from barrier 5 he's set to enjoy probably the run of the race.
WRITTEN UP: Won over this track and distance two starts ago but that was a BM 90 race and he carries 3kg more in this Group 2 race today. Good record at the track but draws poorly and hard to see him measuring up.
KIEVANN: Was racing in terrific form before finishing back in the field at Caulfield last start. This looks a massive step up in grade. Might cause problems for those caught behind him on the rail!
SIRBIBLE: Never missed a place over this distance and is undefeated at this track. Recorded a dominant win here last start under the big weight but this is a huge step up in grade. He'll lead the field and might run a cheeky race.
RAGEESE: The Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes runner up to Pride OF Dubai finally broke his maiden last prep in a Wyong maiden. Continued to race respectably in Group 1 and Group 2 company without winning. Resumes here and this is probably slightly short for him. Awkward draw, happy to risk him.
HOLLER: Recorded a dominant Group 3 victory at this track to finish off his campaign last time in work and he resumes here today. He led all the way that day and I question the form coming out of the race but he did win by 4 lengths. Weighted well and if he catches a break on the turn he could be hard to run down.
If we get the kind of rain that's predicted we could be racing on a Soft track which means REBEL DANE is incredibly well suited here. He's got fantastic winning form over 1200m and resumed last prep with a strong win over 1100m so the 1200m here should pose no problem first up. He loves the cut out of the ground and from barrier 6 he will get a great run. He is weighted well and is a clear top pick.
I think VOLLER is the up and comer along with DURENDAL. The Godolphin horse has Group 1 form behind Press Statement and Exosphere and he recorded a dominant win over this track and distance to round off his campaign last time in. Durendal has won 3 straight and is the new kid on the block. He just keeps improving and from barrier 5 he will get a fantastic run in the race.
RAGEESE could run well despite the awkward draw and short distance but only if the track is Soft. If the track is Good I don't think he'll run a place but he's shown good form on the wet ground so that could be the key. Big watch on HUCKLEBUCK returning from a long spell - his trainer thinks he will need the run but he's a very good horse at his best. Also keen to see how Trust In A Gust returns as well as Mourinho.
1st REBEL DANE
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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