Racing in Melbourne takes place at Headquarters this weekend with a 9-race card to find winners for at Flemington. The track is currently rated a Good 4 and despite a chance of some slight rain I'd expect it to stay around that mark.
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!
Does look a nice race for ROYAL SYMPHONY who was ultra impressive when winning on debut at Pakenham over 1200m. The way he finished off the race suggests the step up to 1400m won't be an issue and provided he can find a bit of cover from barrier 11 he should prove too good. ANCHOR BID could be the value for Darren Weir. He rarely gets one to win on debut so the fact he finished 3rd at Ballarat and comes straight to town is encouraging. He was well-backed on debut so that tells me he is up to this class and he looked like he needed extra ground. Should get a good run from the draw. RIVER JEWEL will lead and be tough to run down, while AMSCHEL is a horse I definitely want to follow going forward. Might need even longer than this but Craig Williams is a positive sign.
Tip: Royal Symphony / Anchor Bid EW
Some handy types engaged here and I see no reason to jump off INVINCIBLE AL here after he saluted for us at double figure odds last start. He absolutely flew home over the 1000m and he even has some more positives in his favour today, such as the same weight as last start but leading jockey Beau Mertens takes over from Michelle Payne. I would have preferred if he had have drawn wide down the straight, but I think with 54.5kg he's a fantastic chance of winning again and I'll happily take the $6 on offer. The value in the race is OVERSTEP who also flew home in the same race last start after initially striking some trouble. The extra 100m is definitely in her favour here and I like that she's drawn wide. At $10 she's the value. ASHLOR and KEN'S DREAM are the class horses in the race and can't be discounted despite carrying all the weight.
Tip: Invincible Al / Overstep EW
Wide open race with any number of winning chances. Tempted to give VITAL IMPORTANCE another go here with a quieter ride and the step up to 1400m. She was a touch too close last start from the good gate and staying at 1200m didn't suit, and with a bit of speed on paper here she might be a decent each way bet at $12. MAMZELLE TESS continues to race in great form. The wide barrier hurts as she will go forward and have to try and slot in, but if she does I could see her winning this. WINE TALES has been very costly over the journey but second up back on to a Good track will suit and she's another that will appreciate speed. Can't bring myself to back her though. NIMINYPIMINY has to be included on the back of last start and with Craig Williams taking over. SCHISM worth including.
Tip: Vital Importance EW
Tough race again over the 2000m with a handful of winning hopes. DUKE OF ELLINGTON won a better race than this over track and distance a few starts ago and if he gets a good ride today he can win. He draws horribly and carries 59kg but if he can get into the three-wide line he can wind up in the long straight and come over the top. The race he won three starts ago was a good form race and he won dominantly so at $6.50 I'll be backing him. I also want to stick with ENCOSTA LINE who will relish the extra 200m today. He also draws wide but gets Oliver on board today which is a positive and I'm prepared to give him one more go at double figure odds. No knock on SAYED.
Tip: Duke Of Ellington / Encosta Line EW
Decent staying race this. MEGABLAST is the one to beat here in my opinion after his eye-catching Australian debut at Moonee Valley, but I'll be taking him on here for a couple of reasons. Firstly, he has the extra weight to carry, but secondly, he will find this track much firmer than Moonee Valley which is typically much more 'cushiony'. Flemington can get very firm, and given this horse is much better suited with the cut out of the ground, I'm prepared to back others because of that. I'll be backing FALAGO once again after he won at good odds last start when we mentioned him as the value in the race back onto a firm track and up to 2500m. That win means he's now finished in the top two at all three starts at this track and distance. He goes up 4kg in weight here but he draws well again and I just think at the $8.50 he'll give us a great run. There's a horse I want to mention who is 100/1 in the market and I think that's actually value. That horse is NORDIC FLIGHT, who's done absolutely nothing in his four Australian runs. But, his best racing overseas was beyond 2200m, and he's only raced up to 1700m here so far. He's had a change of stables and is now with Archie Alexander, who has given him a solid trial leading into this. He finished 2nd in that trial over 1860m. Plus, his three wins overseas came on Good tracks, so getting back onto a firmer surface, straight up to 2500m and first up for the new stable on the back of a good trial, I think the 100/1 is worth taking. COUGAR EXPRESS, SHAKOPEE, BULLISH STOCK all have claims, as does CHARLEVOIX with blinkers on first time. BENALL shouldn't be 70/1 given he ran 2nd to Charlevoix last start and Charlevoix is a $5.50 chance here.
Tip: Falago / Nordic Flight EW (Best Value)
ABILITY returned from his gelding operation like a new horse at the Valley and might just be ready to go to the next level. This is a step up in class and a competitive field but his win was dominant and his second up record suggests he could even improve off of that. $4.20 available and I think that's about his right price but he does have the scope to go on to better races unlike most of these. MIGHTY LIKE is one that I'll be keeping safe given he's never finished outside the top two in his five first up runs. He returns from a lengthy spell here but is worth including with Beau Mertens on board. ROUGH JUSTICE, LAKE COMO and LITTLE INDIAN are worth including.
REWARDING EFFORT looks set to peak here and gets the ideal draw to win this but I'm just not convinced after his first two starts this campaign. With the minimum weight and Craig Williams on board he will have no excuses here but I'll be backing HOT RUBY who is flying and should be ultra competitive again here. She dropped from a win over 2000m to 1500m last start and was only beaten half-a-length, so with any luck from the barrier she should be fighting out the finish. RIYADH looks the value here after two good runs to start this prep. He's won two of his six races when third up from a spell, the only concern is the firm track.
Tip: Hot Ruby / Riyadh EW
TSHAHITSI's win last start was absolutely dominant but with the wide gate and the rise to 59kg here I'm taking him on with CANNYESCENT who is flying and gets in with just 52.5kg due to the rise in grade and the claim for Mertens. He's won four of his six races this prep, and the two he lost were because of an internal bleed and a Heavy track. Happy to back him here. The value could be ROYAL RAPTURE who has a tremendous record at the track and should be very fit now. Draws well enough and carries just 58.5kg after the claim. LOYALTY MAN and MY PAISANN worth including.
Best bet of the day here with SAMOVARE who is going to really relish this step up to 1600m after closing hard to finish 2nd at her Melbourne debut over 1400m when carrying 60kg. She was a Group 3 winner over 1600m in WA last prep and I think with the good draw and Oliver on board again, she can win this. WIDGEE TURF the biggest danger for me and probably worth having a saver bet on him from the good draw. STAR MAJOR the interesting runner coming off a dominant maiden win and straight into Open company.
Tip: Samovare (Best Bet)
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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