Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing on Wednesday, January 29th.
Today's midweek raceday is slightly different from normal weeks as we venture out to the regional Victoria and New South Wales with meetings at Geelong and Kembla. We also have a meeting from Ascot in the West, and you can find all of our best bets below!
A couple of interesting maidens throughout the day at Geelong and the first of our race previews is the opening race on the card. We have two debutants in the race and one of those is (5) Toff Choice, a 3YO gelding by Toorak Toff. He comes into his first run with a total of five jumpouts under the belt. Two were back in June before he went out for a break, and he returned with a jumpout at Sandown before two more at Mornington. The Sandown jumpout and his first one back at Mornington were quiet, he wasn't asked to do much at all, but his latest was a bit more serious. He went to the line locked together with Groundswell in that jumpout, and if anything he probably jumped out better. Groundswell of course ran 3rd in the Caulfield Guineas so the fact he's matching motors with him is a very good sign for a maiden. I'm expecting a big run on debut here and the market reflects that with him listed as a $4.40 chance. The other horse I'll be backing, or at least saving on, is the Mick Price-trained (7) Zende. He's had one career run which was back in September, where he ran 4th. He was put straight out after that and returned with a jump out at Caulfield on 21st January. I thought it was a good piece of work and this stable are going very well at the minute. Would have preferred a stronger jockey booking but from the good draw he has to be included. The other horse high in the market is (6) Whittington Stone but I personally thought the jumpouts of the other two horses were better than his, so I have to take him on at the prices. Backing Toff Choice and at least saving on Zende.
This looks a really nice race for (7) Proper Rogue. He's had two career starts and run 2nd on both occasions. On debut he was runner-up to the smart Star Surprise, before being beaten a nose by Equaletta. That's all good form for a maiden like this. He returns today as a gelding and he actually jumped out in the same heat as Zende, which goes around in Race 1. If Zende wins that race, expect Proper Rogue to shorten more than he already has. Oliver was aboard in the jumpout and stays aboard for raceday and he looks quite clearly the horse to beat. (6) Palacio Musico is next highest in the market and the jumpout was good but not scintillating. He was beaten 5L on debut on the synthetic so appears short enough.
Danny O'Brien sends around (4) Fletcher's Mutiny with Damien Oliver aboard here. He's a 3YO gelding by Dissident and he debuts over 1300m. We saw a really smart Dissident 3YO win over this distance on debut at Sandown on Wednesday in the form of Ellis Park, trained by Mark Kavanagh. This horse profiles similarly and will likely be a miler in the future, thus the 1300m on debut isn't a big issue. He jumped out at Werribee and I thought it was a pretty nice effort under little pressure. This maiden has some depth to it but he's drawn well and with each way odds available, he's worth a bet. (2) Teebird has run 2nd in both of his first up starts leading into his resumption today. He jumped out at Flemington and that was in the same heat as Just Benjamin, so there's plenty of depth to it. Teebird wasn't placed under any pressure but he travelled beautifully. He should run well. There's been a really good early market move for (10) King Princess, but I thought his jumpout was just ordinary.
A deep race here but I'm going to have a small each way spec on (7) Physicality at $34. He's got two career wins and both have come when he's first up from a spell. Trainer Symon Wilde has a 25% strike rate at Geelong this season and a 113% ROI. Additionally, jockey Josh Cartwright has a 30% strike rate for the stable this season, with 21 of the 30 horses he's ridden finishing in the top three. Something small at the odds.
One bet for the day at Kembla Grange at a meeting which is particularly uninspiring. (8) Task And Purpose is one of two Waterhouse runners in the race. Adam Hyeronimus takes the ride from barrier 11 and from there you'd expect it to roll across to land on speed. She's run twice this prep and has finished 4th on both occasions. Notably, in her eight starts when first or second up from a spell, she's only placed once. However, third up from a spell, she's had three starts and has never finished out of the top two. Expecting her to improve and she should get her chance from on speed but with that said, just about anything could win this race and it wouldn't shock me to see a blowout. Small each way at $12/$3.80.
Fascinating little race this one. (1) Yulong Earth has had an eventful start to life over in Western Australia. He's had two starts for new trainer Mark Bairstow. The first of those was at Pinjarra, where he sat outside the leader, hit the front and was set to win comfortably before ducking out at the 100m mark and stopping. He was made to trial twice and then returned last week over this same track and distance, where he settled back in the field from barrier 10 and flew home to run 2nd, beaten a head. He ran the clear fastest final 200, 400m and 600m of the race. If he behaves and runs to his best, I reckon he'll win this, but that's a big if and we're taking $2.65 to find out. His manners last start were enough to convince me he's turned the corner. (3) War Anthem dropped back unsuitably in distance last start purely to tackle a Westspeed Platinum race limited to 4YO's and up. He's probably been looking for 1400m but it was astute placement to put him in the 1100m that earned him plenty. He did his best not to win and he's shown that a bit throughout his career, so I remain a little bit unconvinced that he's a genuine winner. Now up to 1400m suits him better and Ascot is his kind of track, but he gets a negative jockey change with Jason Whiting replaced by Harry Grace. He'll run a place and be right in the finish but I have Yulong Earth to beat him. (8) Dalgaranga is the interesting runner at double figure odds. He should have finished closer last start but was held up at a critical stage of the straight. His only career win came at this distance but he's yet to run a placing at Ascot from six attempts.
I had to toss up whether to include this race because there's four winning chances I've chosen to highlight. (7) San Crispino is favourite after running a good 2nd to Burning Pride last start at Bunbury, and Burning Pride then came out and won again on the weekend. San Crispino at $3.40 is under the odds in my opinion, as a horse who has only three wins from 41 career starts. Even though he's racing in very good form, I have to bet around him, but only small. (4) Rosie Red Dress is the horse I've put on top. It's not often I put horses coming off Geraldton form on top in a race in town, but her run was huge. She came from 2L off the pack last on the turn to be beaten less than a length. In doing so, she recorded the second-fastest final 200m of the entire meeting, bettered only by Field Of Vision, who then went on to win the $100k Batavia Sprint at its next start. Big jockey change here with Craig Staples replacing Tyla Conway and she should go close. Two at odds I'll also be backing are (3) Flirty Friars ($13) and (5) Street Fair ($11). Flirty Friars had support first up but punctured after leading to finish well back in the field. But he was beaten even further first up last prep before coming out and winning by 3L second up. He's got a good record at this distance and should improve sharply. Street Fair ran 2nd to Put A Spell On You first up, who then won again, before a plain effort last start. Drawn wide but third up could bounce back at a decent price. Main bet Rosie Red Dress, something on the two at double figures.
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