Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for Day 1 of The Masters, which sees three $1million Group 1 races run over the course of the next three weekends. The Railway Stakes is today’s feature race of the day on a huge card of racing in Perth.
We’ve got betting tips and comments for every race below!
Best Bet: Race 7 Arcadia Dream
Best Value Bet: Race 8 Achernar Star
Great race to kick things off! There’s a couple of huge jockey changes with some key runners here, which could make all the difference. Jeraft has won his past three starts but he goes from Chris Parnham to Steve Parnham today, which is a hugely negative jockey change. From a betting perspective, there’s only really two I’m interested in here. Like A Butterfly was very good last start behind Jeraft and gets a 1.5kg weight swing on him today. She’s third up, up to the mile, well-drawn in barrier 1 and should be really competitive. Reveille gets Damian Lane taking over from Jordan Turner and draws well in barrier 5. She’s got stacks of ability but just finds it hard to win recently. If she jumps cleanly, I’m sure she’ll be right in the finish with Lane doing the steering. Miracle Man had absolutely no luck in the Peters Stakes last start behind Freo and he gets Pike on board today. He appeals but I’ll likely stick to backing Like A Butterfly with a saver on Reveille.
Don’t like this race at all. Stageman is incredibly short for a horse that will be coming from somewhere near last on the turn, and as we saw last start, it’s pretty hard to do that regardless of what price you are. He clocked the fastest final 200m of the day but could only manage 3rd. If he’s within striking distance on the turn, he’s the one they’ll have to hold out, but at $2.15 he’s short enough. The Nicconian is the one that they will all have to run down. Stageman did just that two starts back but The Nicconian bounced back to lead all the way over track and distance last start. With no other real natural leader in the race, he might be able to skip away and catch a break. Chesten Flyer looks a solid each way bet at around $7.50 if you want to play it that way. He has never missed a place at the track and should enjoy a great run from barrier 1. Candlelight Star recorded some good late sectionals last start and Damian Lane goes on today. Likely to be coming from back in the field like Stageman but looks primed third up. The complete blowout could be Kokopu, who won his first two starts last prep and looks big odds at $35.
Couldn’t believe my eyes when State Solicitor opened the $2.60 favourite. He would have been lay of the day at that price. He’s come back terrible and looks a shadow of the horse that started favourite for last year’s Winterbottom Stakes. Happy to stick with Freo who comes into this on the quick back-up after winning again last weekend in the Peters Stakes. That followed a dominant win at this track and distance. Provided he handles the back-up, he should be hard to beat again. In Love With Paris has had two starts back from a spell and run 2nd on both occasions. She’s carried a big weight on both occasions and looks much better suited third up and down to 54kg. Craig Williams takes the ride from the good barrier so she has obvious claims. Pinzu looks the value in the race. This stable won the race last year and it wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve targeted him to win this first up. He’s run 2nd in four of his five first up runs and has been in the money in three of his four starts at the track and distance. Damian Lane is a notable jockey booking so from the good barrier I’ll be having something on at $10.
Three I’m mainly interested in here. Dance Music has won three of her four career starts. The time she failed, she got very worked up pre-race and subsequently failed as the $1.50 favourite. But she atoned for that with a strong last-start victory, despite sitting three-wide without cover on the speed throughout. She’s pretty clearly the one to beat. Fire And Rain returns from a spell. He won first up last prep and holds an overall record of four wins from seven starts. He’ll put himself right on the speed and I reckon Paul Jordan will have him tuned up to win this. At $7.50 he’s a decent price. Cup Night has run well all prep and has been the recipient of some terrible rides. He draws wide here so will likely get a long way back but if they overcook it up front, watch for him hitting the line out wide at around $19.
A couple of nice types going around here. Mississippi Delta has won six from 11 and comes up favourite. She won two starts ago over the mile and then stepped up sharply to 2200m last start, where she went down by the bare minimum of margins. That run will do her good and she now comes back slightly to the 2100m. Drawn ideally in barrier 6 and looks hard to beat. Salon Du Cheval started a $4.20 in that same race as Mississippi Delta but had no luck midrace, being posted three-wide without cover. That was the first time he’d finished outside the top two in eight career starts. From the good draw today, he can bounce back and looks value at $6.50 given his SP profile. Prize Catch was well backed last start and got the job done. He’s the stablemate of Salon Du Cheval and although he has the weight to carry, he’s capable. Damian Lane is booked to ride Blue Tracer at $19. There is a very legitimate case to say this horse should be undefeated in five starts this preparation. The two he’s lost, he’s been desperately unlucky. He’s yet to win in 11 starts at Ascot but barrier 1 and Damian Lane, I’m prepared to have something on.
There looks an absolute stack of pace here. Hoping Damian Lane can find a position on Pearls And Prawns from the wide barrier or even cross to lead, but he might find that difficult. She’s super-talented, as her record suggests with five wins from seven starts. The obvious query is that draw but she’s a filly I really like. Celebrity Dream will just watch it all unfold in front of her and the hot tempo should really suit her. The two 1000m runs have both been unsuitable so the rise to 1200m is really in her favour. Misty Metal is consistent as the day is long and always shapes as a terrific each way chance. No different here, especially if she can bounce out and cross to the rail. Private Dancer, How To Fly, Showcase and Sally’s Realm are all knockout hopes.
Arcadia Dream could be a star and looks a good thing here. She was dominant last start in turning the tables on Lady Cosmology and she’s drawn a peach again today in barrier 3. Granted, they did completely set the race up for her last start but there’s no less pace on paper today and the harder they go, the better it is for her. Lady Cosmology was pestered throughout that race by the stablemate of Arcadia Dream, to the point the connections and jockey were questioned to basically see if it was team riding. But with the Gai Waterhouse runner engaged, as well as speed from the likes of The Velvet King, there looks to be plenty of competition up front for Lady Cosmology. The Velvet King was dominant first up and if he can slide across to sit outside the leader without going too hard, he’s a legitimate chance. Darren Weir brings across Junipal so you always have to respect his horses in a race like this. Blackwood River isn’t hopeless at $20.
There will be plenty of punters on the Pike train to finish the day here but I’m tipping Moet De Vega to jump from barrier 1 and win. He resumed with a nice win first up and should be able to go on with it at just his fourth career start. One Short has a terrific second up record and comes out of a decent race first up. He carries weight today but he’s drawn well and represents a decent each way bet at $8.50. Royal Statue is the Pike runner and he also returned from a spell in good style, winning over the track and distance. He’ll be back and chasing Moet De Vega but he finished off very nicely first up and of course it wouldn’t shock if he repeated the dose here. Ouqba Jack brings decent form to the race but draws horribly out wide.
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