9 December 2017 (Pakenham Cup day racing at Pakenham)






Racing at PAKENHAM with plenty of rain in Melbourne this week, meaning we end up with a penetrometer reading of 6.4, hence looking at a SOFT (7) surface.

RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to PAKENHAM for one of their days in the sun (rain), with the rail in the TRUE position. As a result, expecting them to be getting off the fence, with those off the pace given their chance on the outside. But as always be sure to monitor early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start with a decent benchmark 70 over 1000m and a tricky start with a few big tips flying around, hence several runners with limited experience, could be set to ready explode in a race like this. Despite the big tips (i.e. Mick Price very confident with BOOM CHICKA BOOM) the adequate ‘value’ isn’t there so looking at one at a better each way price in the form of MISS LEONIDAS right at the bottom of the list at a tidy enough $8.50+ with most operators. Was a forgive on debut (heat stress back in January), before a break, good trial and impressive maiden win. Tougher here, but can hopefully step up accordingly. Main dangers BOOM CHICKA BOOM, BEL SONIC and THE LAUNCHER each of which have done nothing wrong to date and are all very strong winning chances.

SUGGEST: MISS LEONIDAS (EACH WAY) @ $8.50+, FIRST FOUR (6, 7, 8 / F / 6, 7, 8 / 13) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 2: Next are a benchmark 78 over 1400m and another competitive affair. Slight lean MACATTACK here at a nice $7.50+ each way price with BET365 and SPORTSBET. Can improve here second up for underrated stable, gets in very nicely at the weights, down to 52.5kg after the claim and should get right run in transit behind the pace, but off the fence. Main dangers SOHO RUBY, WHYYOUASK and RED IS THE ROSE, hence market pretty spot on here, however suggested play added value compared with the main dangers listed above. Tricky race.

SUGGEST: MACATTACK (EACH WAY) @ $7.50+, FIRST FOUR (2, 5, 6 / F / 2, 5, 6 / 9) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 3: Next is a benchmark 78 over 2000m. Pace/tactics and how track is playing key here, with a tricky speed map to lock down, hence uncertainty as to how much pace (or lack thereof) there will be. Another competitive race, but have CASTA on top here at $4.60+ with most operators. Like the jump to 2000m and despite not having officially had a start over the trip, has run well over 2060m and most applicably here, went down to key rival here in FONTEIN LAD (clear favourite here) over 2200m and gets crucial 2kg swing in the weights for that narrow defeat. Main dangers FONTEIN LAD, GET THE PICTURE and MULTITUDE.

SUGGEST: CASTA (EACH WAY) @ $4.60+, FIRST FOUR (4, 6, 7 / F / 4, 6, 7 / 9), (4, 6, 7 / 9 / F / 4, 6, 7) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 4: Next is a benchmark 78 over 1000m and yet another tough, very competitive race with majority of the field at single figure odds. Looking at a two pronged play here, starting with a primary WIN play on INVINCIBLE AL at $4.60+ with UBET. Underrated galloper for mine, with good record despite get back racing pattern. Needs a smart ride to ensure we don’t get too far back, but as long as we are within range as they straighten can come over the top of them. Handy 3kg claim, but we do need a smart ride. Then, a secondary play on LEODORO at $11+ with UBET and BET365. Flies fresh, flies at the trip, handles the going, and most importantly good value at a double figure price.    



Race 5: Last leg of the early quaddie is a handicap over 1200m and simply can’t go past one of our faves in good old JUNGLE EDGE, despite the short $2.15+ price. One of the most underrated gallopers going around who is obviously the best in the race here, however does need to carry 60.5kg which is the main and only query. Carries weight well and is only slightly more than recent runs (wins) after the 3kg claim (was 63.5kg) including dungeon followers aboard two back at a double figure price when tough as nails, as usual. Best horse rule and given the price, just on a WIN only basis. Not worried about an upgraded track, as it will only lead to a better price. Handles better going (as I stated two back) totally fine, with many assuming he just excels on heavy.



Race 6: First leg of the quaddie is another handicap, this time over the mile (1600m). Sticking with **RIYADH** here at $9+ here with CENTREBET, BET365 and SPORTSBET. Another underrated galloper who we were on at a huge price last time when heavily backed (at a price) before running 4th, thankfully we had the winner as the main play in New Universe. Was dropping from 2050 on that occasion, so rise to 1600m here is ideal. At the price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Also, want a WIN only play on SILVERA at $4.50+ (BET365) who just looks too well suited here to leave out, on a soft track (3 wins from 4 attempts) and with only 54kg on its back, having carried much more in recent times. Main dangers JACQUINOT BAY (has been screaming for a wet track, must include in everything), ANOTHER COLDIE, CARRAIG AONAIR and MR GUSTAVO. Another competitive race, seems like the theme of the day.

SUGGEST: **RIYADH** (EACH WAY) @ $9+, SILVERA (WIN) @ $4.50+, FIRST FOUR (3, 8, 9, 10 / 7, 11 / F / 7, 11), (3, 8, 9, 10 / F / 3, 8, 9, 10 / 7, 11) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 7: Next is the feature of the day, the Pakenham Cup to be run over 2500m. Once **DE LITTLE ENGINE** shows anything, I’ve always been keen to jump aboard the train (pardon the pun) and it has been a recipe for great success in the past, hence let’s hope it continues here. Was super late at Ballarat, and similar to Jungle Edge (earlier) weight is the only thing that should be stopping this train. i.e. Meets key rival ONCIDIUM RULER 1.5kg worse off at the weights for a 0.5L margin, but think being fitter third up, and over the longer trip can counteract the weight differential disadvantage that is apparent on paper. Gun stayer once he gets to right trip and right level of fitness, hence once again enforcing the best horse rule here and with a bit of confidence at $6+ (most operators) to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main danger ONCIDIUM RULER and GREY LION.  

SUGGEST: **DE LITTLE ENGINE** (EACH WAY) @ $6+, FIRST FOUR (2, 3 / F / 2, 3 / 1), (F / 1 / 2, 3 / 2, 3) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 


Race 8: Penultimate event is the Vobis Gold Bullion to be run over 1400m. This might be dead easy with good old BURNING FRONT or wide open if another ‘best horse’ is stopped by leading/weight, etc. On this occasion going to leave at the short price ($2.50 rock bottom in a race like this for mine) and instead put a few eggs in the basket and hope for the best at some odds. Firstly, WALL STREET WOLF at $7.50+ with UBET and CENTREBET. This guy jumped on the scene with big wraps, and although hasn’t lived up to those lofty expectations, has been steadily finding form. Some nice runs this prep and the give in the ground should only suit further. Then, want a secondary play on *HOKKAIDO* at $26+ with LUXBET and BET365. Form is better than it reads on paper this prep, with a good victory first up (first ever first up win) before a forgive race as the heavens opened at Ballarat last time, so happy to forgive. The first up run makes me think might have returned better (last prep was plain) and if so, a good blowout chance at a juicy price. Then, also want something on *ARTIE’S SHORE* at a massive $91+ with CENTREBET. Never likely first up, can improve second up, handles the softer conditions (even heavy), should get decent run in transit and although may need this to get to right fitness levels, at nearly 100/1 worth a throw at the stumps. Happy to make the duo both BEST LONGSHOT bets of the day. Main danger BURNING FRONT.

SUGGEST: WALL STREET WOLF (WIN / EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $7.50+, *HOKKAIDO* (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $26+, *ARTIE’S SHORE* (EACH WAY – TERTIARY) @ $91+, FIRST FOUR (1 / 8 / F / 5, 10), (F / 1 / F / 5, 8, 10) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 


Race 9: We finish with a benchmark 70 over the mile (1600m) and a tough finish to what looks a tricky day on paper, especially with some uncertainty on how the track will play. Going with a two pronged finish here with not a great deal of pace on paper despite the decently sized field. Looking at IMPERATOR AUGUSTUS at $5+ (most operators) and SIGA LA VACA at $9.50+ with UBET and CENTREBET. Both will settle closer to the pace, but should have the luxury of staying off the fence (should it be off, especially by then) and position themselves in hopefully the ideal path in the straight. Happy to play the two, and then simply throw a blanket over the rest in a deep finish.  




Average odds $14.06+ per suggested runner!