25 November 2017 (Ballarat Cup Day racing at Ballarat)






Racing at BALLARAT for their showcase day of the year, being the main Saturday metropolitan meeting in Melbourne. Fine weather in Melbourne all week, however the chance of storms Saturday and most importantly anywhere from 1 - 8mm forecast. Massive difference between 1 and 8mm hence hard to guess. Penetrometer 6.18, hence currently GOOD (4), if midway point of that rain comes then you’d assume a downgrade into the SOFT range.

RAIL: +3M (600m – WINNING POST), TRUE (REMAINDER). We head to BALLARAT for their day in the sun, with the rail out +3M from the 600m to the winning post, and remaining true for the remainder. Hoping for an even track, pace dependant, but be sure to keep a close eye on early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start with a benchmark 78 for the mares, to be run over 1200m. Have wanted to have something on LOVE DAYS recently first up at bigger prices in tougher races, but been saved on both occasions and looks now set to return here. Given I entertained in those tougher events, as much as I’m not as excited about the $4+ on offer here with BET365, has the class to be hard to beat here assuming they have her wound up ready to go. Happy top play on a WIN only basis, in addition to GO DOWN who looks very well suited here at a tidy $9.50+ price with SPORTSBET. Very consistent type who if trained by a bigger name would be much shorter in the market with the same form. Very good behind smart one first up, and goes well second up, looks very well suited in this competitive opener to the card. Main dangers ROYAL FASHION, BRUGAL REWARD and SOHO RUBY.

SUGGEST: LOVE DAYS (WIN) @ $4+, GO DOWN (EACH WAY) @ $9.50+, FIRST FOUR (2, 4, 5 / 3, 9 / F / 3, 9) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 2: Next is a benchmark 70 over 1100m, with a big field assembled but don’t think this race actually runs that deep. Running with SACRED SHAM here first up at a respectable $5+ with UBET. Very consistent galloper who has been racing in better races than this in short career and goes well fresh. Should get a good run from barrier 6, can handle softer ground if the rain does come and as a result like on an each way basis. Main dangers CREATIVITY (would have been keen, had not drawn barrier 15), CLUB TROPICANA, WRITTEN IN STONE and VIA BALCIANO.

SUGGEST: SACRED SHAM (EACH WAY) @ $5+, FIRST FOUR (13, 14, 16, 17 / F / 13, 14, 16, 17 / 9) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 3: Next is a benchmark 78 to be run over 2300m. Slight lean to Weir runner ORMITO at $9+ with SPORTSBET. Not often I want to back something that is 0 placings from 6 starts, but this gelding looks nicely placed and set to hopefully be right in the finish here over the more suitable 2300m distance. Interestingly was even nominated for the much stronger Ballarat Cup, but no surprise for the stable to elect for this far more suitable race. Also, want something on ELECTRIC FUSION at a very tidy $19+ with BET365. Like the rise to 2300m after dropping to the mile last time, run two back over 2000m was good for a race like this when only beaten 0.5L at Moonee Valley. Main danger most definitely LYCURGUS who just missed for us when up in Sydney two weeks back. Happy to leave things there.

SUGGEST: ORMITO (EACH WAY) @ $9+, ELECTRIC FUSION (EACH WAY) @ $19+, FIRST FOUR (roving 2, 5, 6 / F), (6 / F / F / 2, 5) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 4: Next is the first of the features, starting with the Magic Millions 2YO Clockwise Classic and a good, competitive field of two year olds assembled. Slight lean COUNTERCURRENT at $6+ with most operators. Good to see Bjorn Baker make the trek to Ballarat and I dare say it’s predominately for this filly. Won well on debut (only 1 start to date), when didn’t start well on the back of strong backing (SP $1.90), before winning comfortably. Also, want something on *SPEEDY KITTY* at a juicy $21+ with most operators. Also, not the best start, ending up at the extreme rear, before hitting the line well on debut in good race at Caulfield. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers LE POMME DE PIN (just missed behind Long Leaf who won well last week) and OUR TONINICCONI on debut for that white-hot combination of McEvoy/Currie and two year olds in general, on the back of very nice trial and has been the subject of strong support in early markets.  



Race 5: Next is the Vobis Gold Eureka Stockade, for the three year olds, to be run over 1400m. Tough race, very little between most and many very different form lines to try and line up. Market illustrated this with 7 of the 10 runners at single figure odds. Finding it hard to split two here, hence given the odds, will simply run with both on WIN only basis’. The first is CAPTAIN HARRY at $6+ (BET365) for that more than handy Yendall/Weir combination. Loved the way he hit the line with blinkers added last time and looks set to be part of the finish here with a similar run, from a good gate. Should have little/no excuses. Then, there’s JUST A JOKE at $6.50+ (SPORTSBET) for the white-hot Waterhouse/Botte stable. They are low flying. Debuts here (watch market), however has had two trials to be ready for this, the lattest behind the more than handy Fabrizio over 1200m in quick time. Main dangers PIQUE, GAUDI, TEZLAH and PREPARE TO WIN.

SUGGEST: CAPTAIN HARRY (WIN) @ $6+, JUST A JOKE (WIN) @ $6.50+, FIRST FOUR (1, 2, 3, 9 / 6, 8 / F / 6, 8) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 


Race 6: Final leg of the early quaddie is a benchmark 70 over the mile (1600m) and there looks to be one way over the odds here in the form of SIGA LA VACA at $17+ with BET365. Yes, will need some luck from the bad gate (13), but won a decent race for this last time, beating home $8 pop here CASTA and meets it 1kg better of the weights for that win, over this same track and distance, and we’re getting more than double the odds? Third placegetter from the race BURRUM’S BUZZ ($6.50 - $7.00 here, hence a third of the odds and meets at level weights here) won well last week in Adelaide (and is also in this), which is obviously a great sign. Happy to play there, in addition to WENNER who looks nicely placed here up to the mile at a tidy $8+ with UBET and SPORTSBET. Happy to play the two, ahead of main dangers BONUS D’ORO, CASTA, ROYAL ACE and BURRUM’S BUZZ.

SUGGEST: SIGA LA VACA (EACH WAY) @ $17+, WENNER (EACH WAY) @ $8+, FIRST FOUR (3, 5, 7, 10 / F / 3, 5, 7, 10 / 9, 12) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 7: First leg of the main quaddie is a benchmark 84 over 1400m and there l;ooks to be good speed on paper. Going to play a few here given the odds available. First and foremost, going to give NEW UNIVERSE another chance at $6+ (LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU, BETSTAR) after having excuses on Cup day when I thought he would be hard to beat. Given how the track played, was little chance back and wide, however also apparently didn’t let down as well as usual with the addition of ear muffs. They come off, should get race run to suit, will really appreciate the pace up front and providing the similar pattern of getting back and coming wide is working (we’ll know by race 7), then on top and primary play. Then, want to play DUSTY JACK at a tidy $12+ with LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU, BETSTAR and BET365. Looks to have found form again, bad gate, but can hopefully get back given pace on paper and similar to top pick, if those off the speed are getting their chance, then that shouldn’t be a major negative at all. Finally, a longshot play on RIYADH at a juicy $35+ with UBET. This guy is underrated and keeps bobbing up at a price. 1400m shorter than I would have liked, but has been freshened since run over 2050m in the Moe Cup. Main dangers BROADWAY AND FIRST, ORIENT LINE, URBAN RULER and OZI CHOICE.

SUGGEST: NEW UNIVERSE (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $6+, DUSTY JACK (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $12+, RIYADH (EACH WAY) @ $35+, FIRST FOUR (7, 8, 11, 12 / 10, 17 / F / 5, 10, 17) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 8: Next is the feature, the listed Ballarat Cup to be run over 2200m. Like our Italian buddy here in the form of ANTONIO GIUSEPPE at $7+ with most operators. Been set for this, last start was a total forgive given how the track was playing and prior to that was not far away in the Group 1 Metropolitan, not far behind Big Duke who has run 4th in a Melbourne Cup since. Like the odds, like the race, happy to make our BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main danger most definitely MR GARCIA who is still somewhat of an unknown quantity despite proving too good on Oaks Day, but this is definitely tougher here and is short enough at $3. Happy to play around the two who look to have a class gap based on current form.

SUGGEST: **ANTONIO GIUSEPPE** (EACH WAY) @ $7+, FIRST FOUR (7 / F / F / 1), (F / 7 / F / 1) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 


Race 9: Penultimate event is the Magic Millions 3&4YO Classic to be run over 1100m. Finding it hard to split two here in the form of **DIVINE QUALITY** ($5.50+ - BET365) and DEBONAIRLY ($4+ - CROWNBET, BET365) and given the better odds available for **DIVINE QUALITY** will run with that suggested play. Looked a real talent early days and although just the one win this prep (ultra-impressive first up win), has had excuses at past two and can get back into the winner’s stall here. At the price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main danger most definitely DEBONAIRLY who was found to be lame last time, hence you can only assume right now and if so, hard to beat. Happy to leave things to the two only despite several others with legitimate claims.



Race 10: And we finish with an open handicap over 1200m. Was finding it hard to split two here in CHAMOIS ROAD ($6.50+ - CROWNBET) and OBERLAND ($5.50+ - UBET, BET365) and am ‘just’ leaning towards CHAMOIS ROAD at the better odds here. Ultra-consistent galloper, who was far too good for OBERLAND on 9 September, but I have little doubt OBERLAND is going much better now and does get good weight swing. CHAMOIS ROAD has recent form around Lord Aspen, Moss ‘n’ Dale and So You Too which is the right form for mine in a race like this. Like the handy 1.5kg claim from Ben Thompson also. Drawn to get gun run. Primary play ahead of a secondary longer shot play on *JUST MAGICAL* at a juicy $31+ with BET365. Always have to respect those coming across from WA, however this gelding was a more than handy galloper in Victoria prior (one that we have had success with in the past at juicy odds) to the stint in WA which has hopefully done it the world of good. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main danger most definitely OBERLAND, ahead of TOY BOY, FALCOOL and SUSPENSE.

SUGGEST: CHAMOIS ROAD (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $6.50+, *JUST MAGICAL* (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $31+, FIRST FOUR (3, 12, 13, 14 / 2, 11 / F / 2, 11), (12 / F / 12, 13, 14 / 2, 11) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 



Average odds $11.89+ per suggested runner!