Group 1 action once again this weekend in Melbourne with the running of the Australian Guineas at Flemington, which headlines a 9-race card.
The forecast for Friday is a scorching 36 degrees and while Saturday is predicted to be overcast, there's only a very slight chance of a few drops of rain, but nothing that should cause a track downgrade so we will be racing on a Good track.
We've got horse racing tips for all 9 races, including a full runner-by-runner preview of the Australian Guineas!
Race 1 - Lazumba
Race 2 - Creativity
Race 3 - Estaminet (best bet)
Race 4 - Assign
Race 5 - Dan Zephyr
Race 6 - Lumosty
Race 8 - Jesse Belle
Race 9 - Divan
MAHUTA: Can't knock his form - he's won 6 straight including the Group 2 Autumn Stakes last start. This is obviously the hardest race he's had to contest but Weir will have him ready to go.
TARZINO: Victorian Derby winner that put in a particularly eye catching run first up over 1400m. My gut feel is that the 1600m will still be too shot for him but if the pace is on and he's close enough it wouldn't surprise me to see him win.
VANBRUGH: Well back first up in the Hobartville. Should improve significantly from the inside barrier but I struggle to see him being a winning chance here.
READY FOR VICTORY: Covered ground last start after firing up mid race and understandably finished well back. He did place behind Press Statement in the Caulfield Guineas over 1600m so he could be the improver here with a good draw.
XTRAVAGANT: Star Kiwi that has his first start in Australia here and comes into this as favourite after winning by 8 lengths in a Group 1 over 1400m in NZ last start. He failed two starts back over the mile but that was due to the soft track. He won the 2000 Guineas over 1600m last prep by 8.5 lengths. Looks the real deal.
BON AURUM: Should be ready to peak 3rd up but he'd need to improve significantly to be a winning hope here.
SOVEREIGN NATION: Didn't have much luck in the CS Hayes last start when he wore blinkers for the first time. He could be an improver here with a bit more luck.
TIVACI: Controversial winner of the CS Hayes Stakes last start but his run was huge regardless of the result. Will get back once again from the gate but should be charging home.
PALENTINO: First past the post in the CS Hayes but lost on protest. He won't get a great run from barrier 16 which seriously hinders his chances. Has the ability to win but will need a great ride and plenty of luck.
RIVER WILD: Completely blew the start last start which cost him any chance after he was well supported. Brett Prebble comes down from HK to take the ride and he should get a good run from barrier 6. Looks a great value chance at nearly 20/1.
SNOOPY: Ran very well behind Mahuta last start. Will need luck going forward from barrier 14. Not sure he has the class to win a Group 1 against this field. Each way if you like him.
JAMEKA: Nice return first up in the Vanity but it looked to me like she's looking for a lot more ground and the 1600m will be too short for her still in my opinion. Wouldn't surprise me to see her run a big race though.
PERFECT REFLECTION: Absolutely no luck last start. If you watch her WA races, it's clear that she needs time to wind up and room to get going, neither of which she got last start. Barrier 2 here could prove costly again but she gets the blinkers on first time and it wouldn't surprise me if she won.
RISQUE: Hugely impressive win on her Australian debut last start in the Kevin Hayes. Already a Group 1 winner at the mile in NZ and she'll run a big race.
SAILING BY: Huge run first up in the Autumn Stakes behind Mahuta and sure to improve stepping up to the mile here at her second run back. Maps to get a great run from barrier 7 and she definitely isn't the worst hope at 40/1.
Very hard for me to go past the Kiwi Xtravagant who romped in by 8.5 lengths over the mile in Group 1 company in NZ, and bounced back to win by 8 lengths in a Group 1 last start. If he brings that form over here he probably wins.
However this is an outstanding race and he will have plenty of competition. Mahuta just keeps winning and while this is his hardest test to date, he can give a big sight out the front. Palentino and Tivaci both ran huge in the CS Hayes, but they will both need plenty of luck here, while River Wild shapes as a good each way chance after completely blowing the start in the same race. He's worth another chance.
Of the fillies, Perfect Reflection and Risque both shape as good chances. The WA filly sports the blinkers for the first time, while the NZ filly is already a Group 1 winner over the mile in her home country.
Tarzino the one to be flashing home.
Sticking with Xtravagant but there is any number of hopes behind him to fight out the placings.
2nd PERFECT REFLECTION
Place your racing bets at CrownBet this Saturday and if you place a 3+ leg fixed odds win multi at all the major venues and one leg fails, get your stake back as a bonus bet up to $50!
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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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