Back at Headquarters in Melbourne this weekend with a nine-race card at Flemington.The track is currently rated a Soft 5 but I'd expect to see that upgraded to a Good 4 at some point with no rain forecast.
We have betting tips and comments for every race on the card 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 next weekend's Saturday Metro Mayhem tournament for the chance to win a share of the guaranteed $5k prize pool!
Tough race to start the day with an even bunch of two-year-olds, with many having only had just the one start. Landed with LONE EAGLE on top here as I think that's the strongest form line in the race. He ran 2nd on debut behind a pretty smart one in Cliff's Edge who may be a Spring horse and his trials leading into that debut were stylish. He charged through the line late and there was a big gap to 3rd so with natural improvement I think he's the one to beat here. ANDAZ and SIA both won over 1100m on debut and hold winning chances, while the value could be the Hawkes-trained ROYAL PHOENIX who resumes from a spell after running 4th on debut in January.
Tip: Lone Eagle
Nice race with a few fillies to follow. Big watch on WA filly SAMOVARE who won the Group 2 Champion Fillies' Stakes the last time we saw her, beating Ellicazoom. Ellicazoom has since come to Melbourne and performed well in Group 2 company behind the likes of I Am A Star so the form is very solid. I think we'll see Samovare get over more ground in time, but her class may be enough to win this first up over 1400m. The obvious concern is the 60kg first up but she's in the right stable and the WA form has proven very good in recent months. Prepared to back her but think she's found her right price now at $2.80. I've got PEDRENA as the hardest to beat. She ran 2nd to Soho Ruby last start but that was over 1600m and back to 1400m here suits her better. She also gets a 2kg weight swing on Soho Ruby and draws the inside barrier so expect her to probably box seat. She's well weighted to win. The value is SWAMPLAND who is definitely up to this grade and has put the writing on the wall in her past two starts without much luck. $8 is a good each way price for her and we can back both her and Samovare here.
Tip: Samovare (Best Bet) / Swampland EW
Very competitive race this and you can make a case for most horses. HUSSON EAGLE does his best racing down the straight, SANTA ANA LANE drops from a luckless Group 1 run last start, and O'MALLEY will relish the Soft track and has won before over this track and distance. The interesting runner is MILITARY REIGN who ran 2nd to Rock Magic in Group 3 company in WA last start. Rock Magic is a Group 1 performer so the form is probably a bit stronger than it may appear. This time last year MIlitary Reign won a 1000m Listed race on a Soft track in WA where he beat Malibu Style. We've seen Malibu Style come over to Melbourne and win so we can tie that form in here. Military Reign has never missed a place at this distance, which includes four wins from seven starts, and he's won three of his four races on Soft ground. With just 56kg he is well in this and I'm happy to nibble the $4 on offer. The value could be ROUGH JUSTICE first up from a spell at double figures. Tough race.
Tip: Military Reign
I wouldn't say this is a deep race but there are a few with sneaky chances at good odds. In saying that, it will be hard to roll the favourite GOATHLAND who gets in incredibly well with just 52.5kg here after the claim with leading rider Beau Mertens on board. I thought he was close to a good thing last start but it wasn't so, but he'll be better once again with that run under his belt and he's not finished outside the top 2 third up from a spell. I'd expect them to take him straight to the front with the lightweight and he'll be tough to chase down from there. The value in the race could be FALAGO who is a bit of a non-winner but carries just 51kg here and has never missed a place over this distance. CHARLEVOIX improved sharply to win last start when up to 2400m and is a stayer on the up so no surprise to see him win.
Pretty ordinary race this with not many horses in form at all. Going to back both Waller horses here who look well suited in this field. The first is ZOURKHAN who resumed with a dominant win over 1600m at this track last start. He drops 3kg from that win but does rise in class. He draws to be able to sit about 5th in the run and if the ground is Soft it will only help him. Normally when Waller's Melbourne runner hit form they tend to keep it so I think he'll go well again. Waller's other runner is ENCOSTA LINE who has been brought down from Sydney to find firmer tracks. His first up run on firm ground was particularly good over 1300m but he's failed at his last two on Soft ground. If the track is upgraded to Good then this horse will be in with a red hot chance in this field and at $9.50 he's the value. Weir's pair MASTER ZEPHYR and ORMITO could show up without surprising, while PORTION CONTROL will be in the finish once again. Big watch on KILMANJARO whose best form would win this but he's first up off a two-year break.
Tip: Zourkhan / Encosta Line EW
Wide open race this. Many horses step up to the 2000m here from 1600m at thir previous start and of them all, GUANGZHOU has the best time over the 1600m, albeit it was at Flemington which typically races quick. I really like the way this horse is going though. He bolted in first up to win his maiden by 3.5L, then charged home to just miss by a nose second up, and stepped up to Saturday grade last start when winning. He's crying out for ground so the step up to 2000m will really suit him. Happy with $6.50. KIWIA ran very well against the older horses last start when 3rd over 1600m at Cranbourne. The horse that finished 2nd has since come out and won so the form has stood. ROYAL ORDER will really appreciate the rise in distance, ALL OUT OF LOVE has all the weight but comes off a good win over this distance, and TELL THE TRUTH can go close. Wouldn't discount WINDBERN either after working to lead last start from the bad barrier. With a better draw here she can go close at big odds.
TIp: Guangzhou / Windbern EW
The Lindsay Park team have another solid chance here with SOVEREIGN NATION which is a horse I've liked for quite a while. He returned from a spell in which he was gelded and won dominantly over this track and distance. Draws to get a perfect run once again from barrier 6 and he's weighted well enough to win this again. The slight doubt is his second up record but I'm backing the fact that the gelding operation has made him a different horse. $4.80 is a decent price. I think the clear value is AIRALIGN who finished 7th first up over 1200m. But if you look at his first up form, typically it's pretty ordinary. If you look at his second up form, he's won 5 of his 6 starts so I'm expecting pretty sharp improvement here. The query is that he actually won first up last prep, but wasn't as good first up this prep. At $13 he is the value. CHARMED HARMONY can bounce back, and a big watch on LIZARD ISLAND first up from a tendon injury.
Tip: Sovereign Nation / Airalign EW
The money has come for DAM READY who is first up from a spell and has trialled well leading into this. David Hayes was very confident with this horse and it's easy to see why, but I'm going to hesitantly take him on here with Chris Waller's filly OVERSTEP. She won well last start and beat a couple of handy ones. Drops in weight here and has proven ability down the Flemington straight. I'll take the $4.80. SACRED SHAM ran a big race in Adelaide last start and can measure up here, while INVINCIBLE AL should strip fitter after his first up run and will appreciate the firmer ground. He's the value.
Tip: Overstep / Invincible Al EW
A wide open race to finish the day. Like the odds of SCHISM here who went around in Group 3 company in Adelaide last start behind the likes of Fuhryk and Miss Gunpowder which I think is a very strong form line. He was held up the entire straight and was only beaten 3 lengths, so you can put a pencil through that run. His form previous to that was solid and with a good draw and the 3kg claim he looms as a winning chance at $10. My only concern is the jockey. URBAN RULER can measure up here. Produced a big win last start after failing two starts ago. NIKITAS has run super in his two starts for Darren Weir, while his other runner APPROVED ANGER is chasing his third straight win. REWARDING EFFORT and PATTERN others to consider in a very tough race to finish the day.
Tip: Schism EW (Best Value)
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!
We’ve got some cracking fields to dive into for another Friday Night of racing with quality horses all around Moonee Valley and Canterbury. There looks to be a few smart types resuming and plenty of horses who look to have a heap of untapped ability. read more
The NBL Cup continues this week with Round 7. There are games on nearly every day, but we’ve made the weekend games our focus here. Check out our best bets from Friday and Saturday’s NBL action below and good luck following! read more
Another five game of A-League fixtures to look forward to this weekend, kicking off on Friday night and continuing through Sunday evening. As usual, the SundayLeagueShark has you covered with a few of his best bets of the week here. read more
The best Australian sports betting sites ensure safe and successful online betting for punters. Here's our list of the best sports betting options in Australia. read more
Julian Vallance from Sportsbet takes us through some of the key factors which he uses with pricing upcoming horse races such as performance ratings. Check out his video from Sportsbet here. read more
Over-Round is an important concept for both punters and sportsbooks. It's how Australian sportsbooks make money! All punters should understand over-round, how to spot it, and how to find better value on the Betfair Exchange. read more
Ever wondered why you can get such great odds at Betfair in comparison to other online bookmakers? We break down why that is the case and why Betfair isn't just for professional punters here read more
The 2021 AFL season starts on March 18th 2021 and we hope to see a somewhat normal season after a challenging season in 2020. Once again Richmond are the pre-season favourites in the AFL Premiership Odds betting. Can someone knock them off their perch this season? Check out the latest betting odds here. read more
Footy is back with the 2021 AFLW season set to kick off tonight! The Kangaroos have been installed as the pre-season premiership favourites with the Dockers, Blues and Demons also among the contenders. Check out the 2021 AFLW Premiership Odds here with thanks to Ladbrokes. read more
The countdown is on until the BBL10 season officially gets underway! We ranked our BBL10 top 5 batsmen to watch earlier in the week, and today we are doing the same for bowlers! Check out our BBL10 top 5 bowlers to watch, courtesy of Mr.Cricket, here. read more
The BBL10 squads are pretty much finalised and the season is not far away! We've taken a look at the squads for each team, and put together our predicted starting lineups taking into consideration availability of Australian national players and the playing schedule of the international recruits. Check out our BBL10 team lineups here! read more