Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Ballarat on Wednesday, May 20th.
After debuting for Before You Bet on Saturday, Trent Crebbin is back in the chair to preview Wednesday's meeting at Ballarat in Victoria. The track is currently rated a Soft 5 with the rail in the true position.
Check out Trent's preview and betting tips for every race at Ballarat below!
Best Bet: Race 8 - (5) Iowa Hawkeye
Best Value Bet: Race 1 - (12) French Boss
An incredibly open two-year-old maiden to kick things off, made more difficult by the track conditions. Plenty of rain forecast for the day so we could be working on a soft 7 with poor conditions. Only a few of these have had race starts, and the two that look to have any hope based on those efforts are (11) Energy Within and (12) French Boss. French Boss ran well on debut after being taken back to last from the widest barrier, finishing 2.8L adrift of Chrome Angel at Warnambool. French Boss ran the quickest last 400m and 200m of the entire day, on a day where group class sprinters were present. That was on a soft 7, so expect him to handle the track and settle midfield from barrier 7. He looks value at $14. Energy Within has handed in two solid runs, the latest finishing close up at Sale. Of the unraced, (9) Camerata is by Redoute’s Choice and won a jumpout well but could settle in an awkward position back near the fence. (8) Sir Warwick won a Caulfield jumpout and should push forward from a wide barrier. There’s a host of other chances, but happy to have something small each way on French Boss at $14.
Another maiden here that looks a bit more straightforward. (1) Cabinho and (3) Intellective have come up basically equal favourites at around the $2.20 mark. Of the two, I think Cabinho has more upside. This gelding was slow to recover on debut late last year, before running well first up, finishing 2nd with 2.75L back to 3rd. Cabinho clearly ran the best sectionals of the race with a last 600m 0.26 seconds better than the next best. Up to 1400m from barrier 4 looks perfect, and he gets Damien Oliver, who only has four rides on the day and is riding very well. Intellective is a huge chance, starting $1.90 and finishing 3rd after racing wide last start. Yendall might look to take luck out and lead from the wide barrier. (8) Vistabelle started $1.90 on debut and ran well, before failing on soft ground last time out. That’s enough to put me off, especially at the early quote of $5. (6) Sublime Diva is one who should certainly appreciate the extra distance, being by champion mare Makybe Diva, but it’s hard to see her winning based on her debut 9th. I’ve got Cabinho on top at $2.20.
Tough race. The current favourite is (12) Vivid Art from the Waterhouse/Bott stable at $3.50. You’ve got to respect the stable bringing one over from Sydney, but the training duo aren’t exactly an ATM in Victoria, going at -14.5% ROI in Vic Country for the season. (14) Crunchie is currently an emergency for Patrick Payne with no jockey engaged, however I’d expect a few to come out and with Billy Egan not riding in the race, it seems likely Payne’s go to man would get the reins. This filly was good on debut, finishing 2nd behind an impressive subsequent winner, Paddy Mac. (9) Rue Grande could be the one from barrier 3. Third up now at the mile with blinkers on looks perfect, and a soft track shouldn’t bother this filly, with a narrow placing on heavy ground to Thee One late last year, who raced well at Flemington Saturday. She’s building to a win and maps well here. Other chances to (4) Down Under Dancer who was good first up on a heavy track, and (6) Green Delight who will appreciate the extra distance and has a soft track placing. I’ve got Rue Grande on top at $4.80.
An 1000m BM64 dash, with another big open field. (6) Careless Whisper resumed on a heavy Sandown track, running 2nd to Mockery and just feeling the pinch late. She’ll be fitter now and should push forward from barrier 8 after winning her maiden by leading over 1200m. (4) Starden Lass brings good form for this first up run, actually starting $4 and placing against Alabama Express. A soft track won’t faze this filly, and she did win on debut. My question is whether the 1000m is a bit sharp for her, but she does get in form apprentice Matthew Cartwright and won’t do any work from barrier 1. There’s not much between (3) Naval Envoy and (2) Inspired Sun, who finished first and second respectively in a Geelong maiden earlier this year. (1) Bray Street Boss is hard fit and ran respectably in a strong Adelaide BM80 last start. The start before that he finished 4th, beaten 1.4L by potential superstar Masked Crusader and running the next best sectionals of that race. Back to 1000m looks fine, but a soft track is a bit unknown. He’ll get back from the widest barrier but will be finishing hard. With the benefit of race fitness, I’ll lean the way of Bray Street Boss at $7.
The favourite (5) Sapphire Crown has been well backed early off a good debut win where not much went right, he raced greenly, but managed to win. He’ll go forward from barrier 10, but this is a decent BM64 and he’d need to improve. (4) Black And Tan resumed last start, narrowly getting the job done as favourite. He took on some strong Sydney/Queensland races before a stable change to the Maher/Eustace camp who are going at 18% for their last 50. He handles wet tracks and looks the play in the race at $9.50. (9) Royalty is first up in his 2nd campaign after last racing behind Dalasan in the Carbine Club Stakes. His runs prior would put him right in this race but might not be fully wound up off no official trials. (7) Deserved also brings excellent stakes form and is first up here. She kicked off last campaign with a 4th behind Sassy Salitage, beating home the likes of Talented, Meuse and Lady Lupino. A soft track is an unknown with her, but she should get through it being by Dundeel. Happy enough to play Deserved at $8.50 and Black And Tan at $9.50.
Up to 2000m for the stayers here, and (3) Arty Lucas is the favourite after a good 2nd behind Shepard at this track and distance last start, starting $2.50 and putting a gap on the 3rd horse. He’s had one other start at the track and distance for a two-length win on soft ground. I’d expect Dee to roll forward and try and find a spot forward of midfield, and if he gets cover, he’ll be hard to hold out. (12) Jenkins was a horrible watch at The Bool, settling near last and finding all sorts of traffic in the straight. He needs another win but is racing well, likes it soft, and should be ready for 2000m now with Willo sticking. He’ll probably be back in the field again but if there’s speed on he’ll be running on well. (10) Allano comes out of the same race, and was good just beating Jenkins home, but started $26 and had a much easier run. I can’t get him as short as he is now. (6) Meteor Light comes in to this 2nd up, and he absolutely loves the wet. He was solid first up, sitting outside all the way winner Shot Of Irish before weakening late to finish 4th. He’ll be right on speed from barrier 3 and can win. (5) Eckhart presents 3rd up, a stage of the preparation where he races well, and gets the Payne/Egan combo. The form from his last start reads well with Adversary coming out and placing at Flemington, and Under Oath winning the Casterton Cup easily since. Happy to back Arty Lucas at $4.2 and Eckhart at $15.
(11) Shahzade is the early short priced favourite coming off a good 2nd up win at Sandown on a heavy track. She’s a deserved favourite, but I’ll be taking her on in an open race. Damien Oliver sticks with (10) Zoubo from barrier 1. She should be ready to tackle 1400m 3rd up now, handles wet ground, and some of her three-year-old stakes form would win this easily. (13) Darlamax drops back to 1400m off a short spell and broke his maiden by 7 lengths on a heavy 10. He can definitely win but the setup doesn’t scream back me. (7) Bianco Nuovo will be better over further but is up to this class, while (12) Lucky Wick could be the value at $13. She maps rearwards but loves the wet (3:3-0-0 on heavy tracks) and is in good form. Something on Zoubo at $6 and Lucky Wick at $13.
Onto the final race of the day, and it’s a pretty good BM64 with some progressive horses. I was surprised to see the price about (5) Iowa Hawkeye. I thought his last start effort on a soft 7 was excellent, sitting outside the leader and finishing 3rd beaten under a length. Eckhart in race 7 will give us a guide to that form, with Iowa Hawkeye beating that horse home by 3 lengths. First up he ran very well, racing three wide no cover in a hot form race behind the likes of Orleans Rock (who should’ve won at Flemington), Hidden Legend, and Excelman. 3rd up now, with a 1600m run under his belt, if Dee can get across to sit handy or even lead without doing too much work, he’ll be very hard to beat. (13) Persan is the favourite at around $3 coming off a very good maiden win with the 2nd placegetter breaking his maiden easily the next start. That was on the same day, track and distance as Iowa Hawkeye’s last start. Persan ran a quicker time earlier in the day with a cosy run, but it explains the favouritism here. Outside of those two, (7) Garimpeiro was good winning on debut ahead of Intellective (race 2) and (8) The Regiment is in good form, finishing a distant 2nd to Russian Camelot at Pakenham, and a narrow 3rd behind subsequent Flemington winner Librate. I can understand why Persan is favourite, but the odds on offer for Iowa Hawkeye at $5.5 are the way I’ll be playing the race.
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