The first Saturday meeting of the year brings us racing from the major tracks Caulfield & Randwick, along with some great country races. Looking to build the bank, The Horse has found your best bets for the day.
Remember, for full race-by-race previews of Caulfield, Randwick-Kensington and Ascot, head to our horse racing website at racingbet.com.au!
This is a quality group of improving horses with many expected to win at this grade (bm70). The maiden of the field (13) Insaaf has been racing well without winning - and is offering $16.00 if you want to persist. We have been with (2) Sensationalisation its last two starts, winning once and placing once. The second place was in this grade at Flemington behind Zou Dancer. She comes from a leading stable, has Michael Walker in the saddle, and should be right in contention.
(7) Verspertine and (10) Licciardi are both handy enough horses, with the latter winning her last start by almost 4 lengths. The one on top is the short-priced favourite (1) Impecunious who won over 1200 metres in CL1 against Winsum (a handy horse). On that day she paid $31 but today we’re getting some pretty skinny odds. She has the services of Damien Oliver and gets the blinkers on for the first-time, which indicates the stable thinks she can improve with some increased focus. Any improvement would see her winning.
(9) Housay comes into this after placing third at the Valley in a bm78 behind Bandersnatch (by under a length). Before that he competed in a bm90 grade race at Flemington and wasn’t disgraced. This is a step down in grade from both those starts and he meets an easier field. Craig Williams stays on after last start, and he draws an okay gate considering the smaller size of the field. Looks well placed here.
The Cummings horse (2) Promotions has been a little disappointing—so while there is potential, not until he shows a little more. The two main dangers are (7) Cielo D’oro who is going for three straight, up in grade today but certainly able to tackle this one. And the horse that placed second behind him in their last start (8) Evening Glory, who gets the services of Jamie Kah today—and you’d be brave to ignore her ability to get something extra from the steed. Worth a saver.
This race could come down to simply whether (10) Miss Albania is happy to drop in behind the leaders rather than make every post a winner. And there is nothing to suggest that will be a problem. Of course Craig Newitt would prefer the lead, but hoping he doesn’t burn her early to get it. Pending a sensible ride, she should have more than enough class to get another win. She stays in bm70 after an easy win at Moonee Valley – and arguably meets similar competition today. The clear danger is (12) Lani Bang Bang who won last start but can measure up. Along with the first-up (13) Beauty Betty who is overs at $12.00. Two starts for two wins first-up, and has raced in higher grade than this. She also gets the claim of Lachie King.
Pretty keen to stick with (2) Edison here who drops back in grade but jumps up slightly in distance. Last start at this track he put 1.5 lengths on Hilo to win comfortably. He gets some additional weight today, but that shouldn’t prove too much of an issue for a gelding of his class. The small field works in his favour too, as does the Heavy track. Not going to overthink this one, just going to back the best horse that’s in fine form.
While Edison looks the best at Randwick, (4) Smart Image looks pretty tough to beat too. He has won 2 from 2 on Soft, but failed at his only attempt on Heavy, but happy to forgive that run as it was a Group 3 and he lost to North Pacific. He is 3 wins from 4 starts overall, the latest in bm72 grade where he closed out nicely from sixth to win by a small margin. The additional 50 metres today works in his favour, although maybe a few more would have been better. And that’s the only query, is it long enough to real them in if necessary. His stable mate (7) Aim would have been right in contention, but the Heavy track is an issue. Already raced in Group 1 company. The smokey at bigger odds is (2) Irish Songs, another one proven on Heavy going, he’s fourth to Edison two starts back looks solid form.
The Tony McEvoy horse (2) Fighter looks a good bet here after two consecutive second places in similar company. Barend Vorster stays on and he gets a nice little mid-field draw where he should sit off-pace. Last start he closed well but missed the prize, and today’s extra distance should be of benefit. The query is really whether you want to take the shortening odds in such a large field when plenty of traffic can get in the way. I have included it in the best bets, but like many McEvoy runners, the odds seem unders.
The one at odds (if you’re chasing an upset) is (1) Armament who has 11 starts for 5 places. If he holds his form from his first start, he could surprise. Worth a peanut.
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