With a string of second place finishes at juicy prices, the most recent in Monday's Darwin Cup, our resident horse racing expert is back once again to bring you some more great horse racing betting tips.
Those that have followed Tim's work, either on Twitter or through his subscription service at Tim's Tips, will know that Tim brings excellent form and great experience in the industry. Tim will be providing previews and analysis of feature races, with regular articles each Saturday and throughout the spring racing season.
Flemington Race 7 - Aurie's Star Handicap 1200m - Group 3
Intriguing race with the return of dual Group 1 winner Trust In A Gust as well as in-form Sydney galloper Shiraz making his way south to compete in this Group 3 event instead of the Missile Stakes in Sydney. To my eye there really only appears to be a few realistic chances in this.
TRUST IN A GUST returns here after nearly 4 months off the scene. Only had the one run in the Autumn where he was nosed out by Red Bomber over 1200m at Caulfield. The important thing from that race is that Red Bomber carried the same weight but still beat him. Today Trust In A Gust has to carry 6kg more than any other runner. His record is phenomenal, and he hasn't finished outside the top 2 at nay of his first up runs, but the 6kg weight difference might just make it too difficult for him today.
LE BONSIR has been struggling of late but does have a great record over this track and distance. He's never missed a place over the 1200m at Flemington, which included a 2nd placing behind Lumosty two starts back. Also has a good first up record (7:3-2-0) so I wouldn't be surprised if he snuck a place at $26 here.
SHIRAZ is the key runner here. Has won two 2 from 2 in Sydney this prep and both have been impressive. Last start he won by 2.5L over Countryman who has since come out and won. Both wins have been on Heavy tracks this prep but he is just as good on the firm tracks so that will pose no problems. Only question marks are over his ability down the Flemington straight, and barrier 1 may also pose a little problem. But with a 6kg weight advantage over Trust In A Gust and the form he is in, it is easy to see why he's been backed into favourite. Clear top pick.
DECIRCLES is another with a good record down the straight at Flemington but has struggled with form lately. Probably prefer him over 1400m and in an easier race than this. Prefer others.
PAGO ROCK tends to mix his form and has only placed once over the 1200m at Flemington. Hard to catch and hasn't won for quite a while - could sneak a place but I won't be including him.
PLAY MASTER recorded a good win over this track and distance last start, just holding off Lonrockstar. Now has 2 wins from 3 starts over the track and trip, and drops slightly in weight for this race. Drawn well and is racing in good form, can run a place.
LONROCKSTAR comes into this race with a very good chance at a good each-way price. His form recently has been excellent - finished 3rd of 20 at Morphettville four starts back where he was 3rd last in the run and charged home to be beaten less than a length. Followed that with a very unlucky 5th and then won over 1100m here before running 2nd to Play Master over this course and distance last start. Expect him to settle at the back but if the pace is on he will be steaming home late. Great each-way chance.
NADEEM LASS ran a fair race two starts back but was comfortably beaten last start and would need to improve significantly to feature here. Does have the ability to run well down the Flemington straight but I'll be risking her.
SMACKDOWN won 2 from 2 last prep and resumes after a short break. Not very well suited at the weights against some of these but you can't knock winning form. Does have a phenomenal first up record as well so could sneak a place at $34.
LIVING ON A PRAYER has his first start for a new stable today. Last start was beaten 3 lengths by Il Cavallo over 1000m here and he looks to be aiming too high here.
ZEBRINZ finished last prep with a hattrick of wins. Resumes after a 4 month lay off and generally needs a couple of runs under his belt before he starts hitting his straps. Better suited to 1400-1600m as well.
AUDINO is the outsider of the field and looks to be very much up against it at the weights in this class. Pass.
I think TRUST IN A GUST is the obvious class runner of the field but faces a stiff task today at the weights. Last prep he couldn't win when racing at level weights so the 6kg he has to give his opposition today might just be too big of an ask. SHIRAZ is the clear top pick for me and deserved favourite. Racing in terrific form which has also been franked since his last win. The inside draw might pose a slight problem but he is a confident on top selection. However, I wouldn't want to take any shorter than the odds currently available and if you are looking for a bit of value I would strongly recommend having an each-way bet on LONROCKSTAR at the $11 available. Will be storming home from the back and if Shiraz doesn't perform he might be the one at a good price to salute.
* best prices accurate at time of publishing
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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