Racing at ROYAL RANDWICK with penetrometer 6.18, meaning we're on a HEAVY (9) after Saturday’s meeting was postponed due to the state of the track. After a sunny Sunday where the track would have improved the forecast isn’t good again for today with more rain expected and a chance of thunderstorms later in the afternoon. Fingers crossed we get through unscathed.
RAIL: TRUE ENTIRE CIRCUIT (Rail in the TRUE position for the first day of The Championships. First time we’ve raced here for a month when rail was out +3M on March 6. As usual, tempo key factor, however given the heavy rain, expect the inside to be a no go zone especially as the day goes on and winners will need to be getting away from the fence. No brainer that whatever you have your money on will need to be able to handle heavy going to be a chance.)
Race 1: Tricky opener, especially given the heavy track. FURNACES does look the one to beat. Main query is there looks to be plenty of pressure up front so will need some luck from the wide gate to ideally get a sit just behind the leaders. SOOBOOG was all the rage on debut @ $1.67 but found one better and that was a 2YO by the name of Vancouver. Nothing wrong with that defeat in hindsight. Monitor markets, but at this stage, too much guesswork, so we will look to watch and learn, unless something jumps out in the yard.
SUGGEST: NO BET AT THIS STAGE (CONFIDENCE 0%)
Race 2: Tricky race now after the two key scratchings in SWEYNESSE and KERMEDEC, which has completed flipped this on its head. HI WORLD, SUPARA, WASHINGTON HEIGHTS all look to be very well suited here and you could actually make a claim for every runner here. i.e. Rank outsider here FAROLITOS is the lethal O’Shea/McDonald combo. In saying all that, with minimal confidence we think DIAMOND VALORES is worthy of something each way @ $13+ (SPORTSBET) in a very tough and even race.
SUGGEST: DIAMOND VALORES (EACH WAY) @ $13+ (CONFIDENCE 20%)
Race 3: Sticking with one of the most consistent horses running around at the moment, and one who has been very good to the dungeon and that’s **PHRASES**. We were on at $35, 3 starts back and just missed last time at $15 as our best value bet of the day. Once again, represents excellent each way value @ $16+ (SPORTSBET) and keen again on an each way basis. And again will make our BEST VALUE bet of the day.
SUGGEST: **PHRASES** (EACH WAY) @ $16+ (CONFIDENCE 40%)
Race 4: And now for one of the hardest races you’ll find in the Country Championship Final. What you will find though is plenty of value given how open it is, meaning the potential for big profit if you can crack the code. We suggest a play at YET TOBE CONVINCED @ $67+ (SPORTSBET) and also something each way on *APISTANNA* at $251+ (BET365) who at such odds we will mark as our BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day.
SUGGEST: YET TOBE CONVINCED (EACH WAY) @ $67+, *APISTANNA* (EACH WAY) @ $251+ (CONFIDENCE 20%)
Race 5: Here we have two who were extremely profitable for us last time in PITTSBURGH FLYER (we were on at $13 first up last time) and NAYELI (who we were on at the huge price of $81 and saluted!!!). We have a lot of respect for PEEPING who is racing brilliantly will leave for saver/multiples given the shorter price. Instead prefer to stick with PITTSBURGH FLYER @ $5+ with the Magic Man aboard. Look for stable confidence from the in-form Hope stable. Looking deeper, best value with SULTRY FEELING @ $10+, worth a smaller each way play.
SUGGEST: PITTSBURGH FLYER (WIN/EACH WAY) @ $5+, SULTRY FEELING (EACH WAY) @ $10+ (CONFIDENCE 40%)
Race 6: And now for the first of 4 consecutive Group 1s starting with the Sires Produce. We rate PRIDE OF DUBAI very highly and got us the chocolates last time in the Blue Diamond, but just going to steer away from him and the other favourites here in what looks a tricky affair especially given the heavy rain. EGNLISH is the other who looks hard to beat but always wary of runners contesting group 1s when focus was something else. i.e. Golden Slipper. So, with minimal confidence we will have a few small plays at a few at odds which we think are good enough to surprise here. These are ODDYSEY MOON @ $18+ (SPORTSBET), RAGEESE @ $18+ (SPORTSBET) and QUEEN OF WANDS @ $151+ (SPORTSBET). In a tough race like this, where we think there are queries on those right in the market prefer to run with our ‘lower risk, higher reward’ motto.
SUGGEST: ODDYSSEY MOON (EACH WAY) @ $18+, RAGEESE (EACH WAY) @ $18+, QUEEN OF WANDS (EACH WAY) @ $151+ (CONFIDENCE 25%)
Race 7: And now the Derby and a decent field has assembled, however we can’t go past PREFERMENT who looks set to complete the Victorian and ATC Derby double. Hard to beat here at $3.60+.
SUGGEST: PREFERMENT (WIN/EACH WAY) @ $3.60+ (CONFIDENCE 40%)
Race 8: What a ripping edition of the TJ Smith. TERRAVISTA is all the rage and no doubt will be very hard to beat, but given the avalanche of money for the now clear favourite, we now think best value most definitely lies with CHAUTAUQUA and as a result is our top pick here at the better than expected $3.80+ (SPORTSBET). Scared stiff of TERRAVISTA who is a must for savers/multies. Blowout hope PRESS REPORT at $126+ (SPORTSBET). Race doesn’t end there with dungeon favourite LANKAN RUPEE always a chance but just have to risk on the back of the below par Newmarket run.
SUGGEST: CHAUTAUQUA (WIN) @ $3.80+, PRESS REPORT (EACH WAY) @ $126+, TERRAVISTA (SAVERS/MULTIES) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 9: And now for one of the great betting races of the year, the always open and ultra-competitive Doncaster. We tipped ARABIAN GOLD a few weeks back when we had a crystal ball look at this race and snapped up the $51 which was on offer and $13 place which happens to be bigger than her current win dividend here. The more rain the better, however slight setback earlier in the week the obvious concern as you normally need everything to go right to win a race like this. As much as we’re very happy with the $51 win / $13 place secured, just can’t suggest today if you missed the boat as $12+ today is rock bottom given the setback which is in the back of our minds. If you got on, an option is to greenbook by laying her on Betfair. So, we’re most definitely trying to kick her home, but will now play around the following who we think represent best value. ROYAL DESCENT @ $8+ (BET365) on top, ahead of SACRED FALLS @ $18+, DIAMOND DRILLE @ $34+ and NINTH LEGION @ $126+ (SPORTSBET).
SUGGEST: ROYAL DESCENT (EACH WAY – PRIMARY) @ $8+, SACRED FALLS (E/W) @ $18+, DIAMOND DRILLE @ $34+, NINTH LEGION (E/W) @ $126+ (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Race 10: Prefer to wait and see how things pan out prior and see if the storms have come yet. As a result, steering clear for the time being but will yell out if we get keen on anything closer to jump time.
SUGGEST: NO BET AT THIS STAGE (CONFIDENCE 0%)
** BEST VALUE **: PHRASES @ $16+
*BEST LONGSHOT*: APISTANNA @ $251+
Average odds of $54.28+ per suggested runner.