Racing in Melbourne is back at headquarters this weekend with a nine-race card at Flemington. The track is currently rated a Good 4 and with fine weather predicted we may eventually be upgraded to a Good 3.
We have betting tips and comments for every race below.
Don't forget that BeforeYouBet is running a free to enter racing tournament this Saturday at TopBetta! The winner of the tournament will earn a ticket, valued at $110, into the MEMSIE STAKES DAY tournament for the chance to win a share of the guaranteed $5k prize pool!
Competitive race to start the day and all eyes are on EBEDIYIN who is set to debut in Australia for Darren Weir. He was beaten 46 and 57 lengths in his last two starts in Ireland, but it's important to note that he was used as a pacemaker for another horse in both, which were Group 1 races. The minimum trip he's won over is 1676m, and has been stretched out to as much as 3200m. Has a win over Kellstorm who has come to Australia and won, so I do see him being competitive. He's trialled quite nicely leading into this, and we often see these horses improve significantly under Weir's care. My query is him being first up for 315 days over the mile, which I think is short of his best in the long run. We've never seen him on Good ground and while it wouldn't surprise me to see him win this, I think he's definitely short enough at $3.80. They've come for GERVAIS early in betting ($5.50-$4.50). He will be much improved off his first up run, and Williams is a noticeable booking for the ride. Has won his only start over the track and distance. I'd rather be playing on two others though. DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR is still pretty unexposed, and has enough ability to win this. He returned from a fairly long spell first up and did well to win, and then last start he struck a Heavy track and failed. Put a pen through that run and assess on his previous form. Peak fitness and up to the mile now; McEvoy wouldn't bring him to Melbourne if he wasn't a strong winning chance. He goes on top of RIYADH who has been good to us with his two recent wins at good odds. This is tougher than what he's faced previously and he does have 60kg to carry today, which is even tougher given it's 2kg more than any other horse in the race. Having said that, he is absolutely flying and I don't see that stopping him from being competitive here at good odds once again. Tough race to start.
TIP: Dollar For Dollar / Riyadh EW
This is a great little race. Firstly, I think DULVERTON is way under the odds here at $4.60. She's never placed at the track and she's only finished in the money on two occasions from 13 starts on Good ground. Both of her good runs this prep have been on Soft tracks, and the track here will be rock hard. I've got her rated about double what her price is. I found it pretty difficult to split SEA THE SPARKLE, DIAPASON and HELL OR HIGHWATER. In the end I landed on Sea The Sparkle who I think probably has the greater ability to go onto better races. She's won three from four, and her only failure came last Spring when she was caught wide throughout over 1700m here. She is yet to prove her ability on firm ground, which is the only query here, but I'm willing to back she will handle it. The key to her going on top here is the fact that she was able to win first up from a long spell in midweek grade, while Diapason has run very well without winning in midweek grade (albeit she should have won last start). This race lacks tempo and Hell or Highwater should be able to dictate. But Sea The Sparkle will be able to settle right up there on speed, while Diapason will be at least a pair further back. That gives the advantage to Sea The Sparkle, and so all things considered, she goes on top. HELL OR HIGHWATER is ready to win after three runs back. Hayes has said all prep to start backing her from her fourth run on, and she's the horse that has run and won better races than her rivals. Gets everything in her favour today and no surprise to see her lead all the way. Worth noting she is David Hayes' best bet of the weekend and he is normally bang on.
TIP: Sea The Sparkle
Looks a sit and steer job on ANCHOR BID here and at $1.60 he is probably backable. Two starts ago was a complete forgive run behind Royal Symphony, but showed us his true ability when running on strongly into 2nd behind that horse last start. I think the horse he finished ahead of (Evil Cry) is quite smart and the winner is obviously being set for the better races in the Spring. Should be able to take care of this field with ease and looks a nice anchor for any multis throughout the day. In terms of any at each way odds, THINK DIAMONDS could be worth including. She's been grinding home like a true stayer in her two starts so the 1800m should suit.
TIP: Anchor Bid
I've got PORTMAN a clear top pick here. First up run over 1200m was good and he ran through the line like he was really looking for further, so the step up to 1400m today is ideal. Most notably, Craig Williams jumps off last-start winner Orient Line in order to ride Portman here, which is a big hint. Comes out of a good form race, draws absolutely perfectly in barrier 5 and is well weighted to win this. Pretty keen at the $3. ORIENT LINE's recent form has been excellent. His record at Flemington is poor, but his last two starts at the track have been good. He won by over 5 lengths two starts back at Pakenham and his win at Caulfield last week was outstanding. The big negative today is Williams off and Newitt on. It was only because of Williams' excellent ride that he won last start and if eh finds the same traffic problems today I'm not so sure Newitt will produce the same result. I'll have something on to cover my bets as he's going far too well to completely ignore. $6.50 is a good price once again. KEN'S DREAM steps up to 1400m for the first time in his career. He's been racing well and I'd expect him to be in the finish. The concern is the wide draw with Allen on, though he is riding in decent form. Portman on top, saver on Orient Line.
TIP: Portman (Best Bet)
Pretty keen on LOVANI here at $4.60. She ran 2nd to Spanish Reef two starts ago (who I have a pretty big opinion of), beaten 0.2L, and Spanish Reef then came out and beat Ruby Sea by a length last start. Lovani, on the other hand, came out and won by 3 lengths last start, in an overall time that was quicker than Sea Ruby's win two starts ago. Lovani draws barrier 6 here so expect her to go straight to the front without much trouble, while Ruby Sea will once again get a fair way back from barrier 13. I expect FIRST APPROACH to go very close here. he comes out of two strong form races and just needs a good ride from the awkward gate. Williams taking the ride on BLACAZAAR catches the eye, while JAMINZAH, ATLANTIC FOX and ST FRANCO are ones at good odds to include. I'm pretty keen to see how RATOUTE YUTTY runs. She is definitely one to throw in at $31 and I think she might have some decent ability.
Tough race with several chances. Leaning towards RUETTIGER here for the Hayes/Dabernig stable. His last two runs have been good, and the latest was behind a very good horse in Ability. Goes up in weight with the drop in class but after the claim he actually gets in reasonably well. Has won over track and distance and with a few queries over his main rivals, I think he's found the right race today. Needs a good ride from Stockdale but $5 is a good enough price for me. The value could be OZI CHOICE who is currently best priced at $9. This horse normally needs his first couple of runs back from a spell before firing third up, but his first up run was very good and so he may be in good enough order to win this. Has a good record at the distance and has won his only race at Flemington, albeit it was at 1400m and not down the straight. Up in grade but in light with 53kg. MIGHTY LIKE also looks big odds at $16 and can win, as can DIVINE MR ARTIE if he finds his best form. ROUGH JUSTICE has a poor record over 1200m, MOSS 'N' DALE is a query dropping back from 1500m to 1200m.
TIP: Ruetigger / Ozi Choice EW
I was very keen on KILLARNEY KID two weeks ago when he was a late scratching. As I wrote two weeks ago, his record is 34:12-4-3 and in his first three runs back from a spell, his record is 17:2-2-1. Which means his record at his fourth run back and beyond is 17:10-2-2. He's won 3 from 5 at the track, 8 from 11 at the distance, and has 3 wins and a placing over this track and distance. He won a hurdle trial by 15 lengths after he was scratched, so I expect him to go very close in this. However, I can't look past KILMANJARO here after an eye-catching Australian debut last month over 1800m here. That was his first run in two years, and he was taken well-back from the wide barrier before being held up horribly between the 600m and the 300m mark. He was eventually brought to the outside and motored home to finish 3rd. He really should have won that race, and he's won his only second up start previously. Drops to 54kg with the rise in grade, and draws to sit a touch closer from barrier 3. He will eventually get out to 2400m and beyond (possibly Caulfield Cup) and if he's going on to that then I'd expect him to win this. They're the only two I'll be backing in the race and at $3.30 and $5 we can have a significant bet on Kilmanjaro and cover our bet with Killarney Kid. EXTRA ZERO is the value at $9.
Three at each way odds that appeal to me here. The first is INVICTUM DOMINA who won very well first up and I was very keen on her second up too but she was caught three wide without cover the entire race over the 1100m with 59kg in this grade. She drops to 55kg here and the key is she looks to be one of the only leaders or on speed runners in the race. So with the drop in tempo given the rise in distance, I think from barrier 9 she should be able to find the front quite easily if they want to. And if she finds the front and gets things relatively comfortably, I think she can run a huge race at $9. The second horse is PRINCESS OF QUEENS who ran a blinder first up behind Unique Lovely over 1100m in the same race that Invictum Domina was caught wide in. She has failed in both runs whe second up but based on that first up run I'm willing to take a chance. The extra trip will really suit her and she maps perfectly from the barrier. Down in weight to 54kg and she will run a good race here at $8. Two others worth mentioning that I will definitely have something small on is SPECIAL DIVA at $11. She is ready to peak third up from a spell and comes out of a strong form race behind Spanish Reef and Ruby Sea, while WHYOUASK has returned in superb form this preparation and if she handles the Good track, she will go close. Prepared to take on MOONLITES CHOICE who has to carry 3kg more than any other runner and maps poorly from barrier 1.
TIP: Princess of Queens EW / Invictum Domina EW (Best Value)
Another competitive race here. Going to stick with INVINCIBLE AL despite failing last start. he did way too much wrong in the run by pulling very hard early and therefore was gassed when it came time to sprint. Drops in grade here and if you assess off previous form he should be able to bounce back and go close here at around $6.50. HIGHLAND BEAT won that race last start which was in Listed grade so he drops in class here and is weighted well to win again. the slight concern I have with him is the drop back from 1200m to 1100m. His record suggests the 1100m isn't his best distance so I will only be backing him to cover my other bets. Williams takes the ride on KNOWABLE and he is an interesting runner first up from a spell. He won first up over 1100m last prep but that was only in maiden grade and he then went on to run over 1400m so I'm not convinced 1100m is his pet distance. EPIC MOMENT has been running well and can do so again. The value could be MISTY GIRL who won by over 6 lengths on debut and then ran well again in midweek grade last start despite racing wide throughout. She was 4 wide without cover and was only beaten 1,55L by Whyouask who should be very competitive in an earlier race. Back to 1100m a query but she looks smart.
Tip: Invincible Al / Misty Girl EW
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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