|1.||THE HERVEY BAY||$3.50|
|6.||YANKEE LINCOLN NZ||$6.50|
|7.||MISS HARTLEY NZ||$16.00|
|8.||PETER PERFECT NZ||$34.00|
|10.||ELEGANT JEWEL NZ||$34.00|
|11.||SINGLE TREE ROAD||$16.00|
OVERVIEW: Much of tonight’s meeting is horribly hard to assess with big fields and slippery Speed Maps; that’s certainly true of this opening event as well. There’s little doubt however that based on is very best recent runs THE HERVEY BAY (1) deserves to rate on top. In his last five starts that bloke has twice gone within 5m of Arden Voyager – who would start at $1.30 here – and split those efforts with a monstrous win at Shepparton. If he leads, which is possible, he should be too good, but the same is true if he lobs the leader’s back and gets an exit in the closing stages. That being said there are another handful of proper winning hopes. MAJESTIC CRUISER (4) is a better horse than he often shows and will outclass many of these if fit enough, and his recent trial win over stablemate Kasbah Kid should help in that regard. YANKEE LINCOLN (6) can also be dangerous with the right run from a bad draw and the same goes for DARK TERROR (12). FORM ANALYST (3) has one of the most interesting roles to play in the event as he’s a small winning chance from off the speed but a serious player if he finds the front while BRACKENREID (2) also possesses knockout claims now he has two runs behind him so far this campaign.
EARLY SPEED: 1,3 + 2,4
RATINGS: 1/ 4/ 6/ 3/ 12/ 2/ 7/ 11/ 9/ 8/ 10/ 5
SELECTIONS: THE HERVEY BAY (1), MAJESTIC CRUISER (4), YANKEE LINCOLN (6), FORM ANALYST (3)
|4.||FEAR NOT Em 1||$|
|5.||ROBBIE ROYALE NZ||$4.50|
|6.||GUS AN MAORI||$16.00|
|11.||RONALD J NZ||$5.50|
|12.||MONARO MARO NZ||$5.00|
|13.||FATHER CHRISTMAS NZ||$34.00|
OVERVIEW: On a truly tough night to analyse this exceptionally strong squaregaiting affair is the most mindbending race of them all. Plainly put, a case could be made for nine or even 10 runners engaged but in contests’ this convoluted Speed Maps and tactics are what often separate the heavy hitters from the also-rans and in that regard ROBBIE ROYALE (5) and EMERALD STRIDE (2) both look very well placed. EMERALD STRIDE (2) will almost certainly cross the pole and while she’s mixed and matched her lead/trail strategy this campaign in a race where the pressure will be very genuine expect her to trail an appropriate rival – and expect that appropriate rival to be ROBBIE ROYALE (5). If those two occupy the premier positions they look the hardest to beat but IMSETTOGO (7) will be better placed away from Bendigo so goes in the mix along with impressive last start winner MONARO MARO (12), her very gifted but resuming stablemate RONALD J (11) and also SCRUFFY DOOLAN (1) wo will be very reliant on the tactics EMERALD STRIDE (2) employs. Persuasive cases can also be made for CASH LOVER (9) who is flying this prep and the resuming IZMOK (10) but watching markets, particularly for those returning tonight, will be a major part of our punting strategy here.
EARLY SPEED: 2 (Early Leader) + 5,6,7?
RATINGS: 5/ 2/ 7/ 12/ 11/ 1/ 9/ 10/ 6/ 3/ 8/ 13
SELECTIONS: ROBBIE ROYALE (5), EMERALD STRIDE (2), IMSETTOGO (7), MONARO MARO (12)
|1.||MARJORIE JEAN Em 1||$|
|9.||MISS WHAT USAIN||$7.00|
OVERVIEW: In 2020 winning sprint races from second row draws is no easy assignment but SHESSKYLAH (10) will do just that tonight. Superbly bred and seriously gifted she has abused inferior rivals at her first two runs back this prep and while this will be tougher she should be driven like the best horse engaged and win like that as well. Filling out exotic wagers looks the way to go here and to that end four key runners must be included for the minor podium positions. In a race where there’ll be some mid and late-race pressure as SHESSKYLAH (10) asserts her authority expect MISS WHAT USAIN (9) to be finishing off with intent so she goes in along with REGULUS (4) who didn’t set the world on fire last weekend but might have a class edge on most of these tonight. Others in the multiple mix are VANITY BAY (7) who steps up in grade but has crazy gate speed and should cross soon after the start along with EXCITER (2) who draws well on paper but does look vulnerable to being entombed by fast beginners drawn out wide on this sharp front line.
EARLY SPEED: 7 + 6 + 2,4,5
RATINGS: 10/ 9/ 4/ 7/ 2/ 3/ 8/ 11/ 5/ 6
SELECTIONS: SHESSKYLAH (10), MISS WHAT USAIN (9), REGULUS (4), VANITY BAY (7)
|5.||BIG GUN JOHNNY||$2.50|
|10.||EL JAYS MYSTERY||$26.00|
OVERVIEW: If anybody has the key tonight’s fourth event please email and we’ll organize a pick-up point just outside Melbourne’s ring of steel. In simple terms this field is replete with runners that don’t appear overly close to breaking through any time soon, but one must here and so we’re leaning toward the resuming BIG GUN JOHNNY (5). When he’s in the mood that fellow has devastating early pace and more than his fair share of talent and after trialling well with a Group 1 winner at Terang recently you’d hope Jimmy Herb would set him alight early and ask this field to try and run him down. If he’s a run short then the key threats are BETTERNBETTER (3) who is going better than his figure formline might suggest, COURAGEOUS AFFAIR (2) who was woeful fresh but has proper talent when right and VILLAGE SAFARI (4) caught the eye second up from a break and relishes the chance to compete in these types of races.
EARLY SPEED: 5 (Potential Leader) + 1,2
RATINGS: 5/ 3/ 2/ 4/ 7/ 6/ 9/ 1/ 10/ 8
SELECTIONS: BIG GUN JOHNNY (5), BETTERNBETTER (3), COURAGEOUS AFFAIR (2), VILLAGE SAFARI (4)
|3.||ARTS DASH NZ||$21.00|
|4.||BIG GUN JOHNNY Em 1||$|
|9.||BE MAJOR THREAT||$16.00|
OVERVIEW: Going forward his best trip will not be 1710m and it’s quite unlikely he’ll find the front tonight but there was something about the way TERRYRAMA (2) toyed with his rivals at Bendigo last start that makes you believe he’s seriously above average and should be handling these. That being said it’s tough to totally declare a horse like him that’s rising in grade and tackling adverse circumstances so while he’s the clear benchmark there will be winning threats. Chief among them is PLAN CE (1) who can lead or trail and be dangerous either way while TINA CALLS (7) is also well in the frame courtesy of her dramatic recent improvement and the chance she’ll cross these at the start. If the lead bunch overdoes things then STEEL SCREENS (10) is also well up to winning on ability alone though markets should be watched as he’s fresh up from a break while CRIME WRITER (8) can prevail but only if PLAN CE (1) leads and he gets some fortune late.
EARLY SPEED: 1,5,7 + 3,6
RATINGS: 2/ 1/ 7/ 10/ 8/ 5/ 3/ 6/ 9/ 11
SELECTIONS: TERRYRAMA (2), PLAN CE (1), TINA CALLS (7), STEEL SCREENS (10)
|5.||TINDER SURPRISE NZ||$16.00|
|10.||SONNY WEAVER NZ||$16.00|
OVERVIEW: We are a long way off contesting Australia’s major futurity series this season but in this event we’ll see a few very early auditions for the Vicbred Super Series and Breeders Crown and there are two horse in particular the judges will be assessing; YOUAREMY SUNSHINE (8) and FIREROCKFIREROLL (9). From a tactical perspective FIREROCKFIREROLL (9) has the edge as he should be in front of his major danger with the impetus to rush around and challenge for the front. The question remains however whether that fellow is close enough in talent to YOUAREMY SUNSHINE (8) that he can park and beat him tonight. This analyst believes probably not. He didn’t do much more than was required first-up last weekend but there was something about that final 70 metres that reminded you how good YOUAREMY SUNSHINE (8) is so he should overcome all obstacles with FIREROCKFIREROLL (9) a clear second pick. Talented fillies FINAL PEACE (6) and VOUCHERS (3) are next best while we’ll also learn a little more about TINDER SURPRISE (5) and SONNY WEAVER (10).
EARLY SPEED: 3 (Likely Early Leader) + 1 + 4,6
RATINGS: 8/ 9/ 6/ 3/ 5/ 10/ 1/ 4/ 2/ 7
SELECTIONS: YOUAREMYSUNSHINE (8), FIREROCKFIREROLL (9), FINAL PEACE (6), VOUCHERS (3)
|3.||RUPERT OF LINCOLN NZ||$14.00|
|5.||BETTOR BE THE BOMB||$34.00|
|9.||MY KIWI MATE NZ||$21.00|
OVERVIEW: Let’s not mistake this fact for one solitary moment; LOCHINVAR ART (12) is one of the best pacers Australia has harboured for several years and a freak of the very highest order. Whether or not he’s the premier pacer right here and right now remains to be seen but he will murder this handy but not outstanding fast class field even if it means circling and parking in transit. He’s done it before, he’ll do it again. The race for second is slightly more intriguing. If they were all hard fit then MAJOR TIMES (11) and KASBAH KID (8) would almost certainly fight out silver medal honours but given both are fresh up into a race where they may run outrageous time it’s also worth considering horses like BETTOR BE THE BOMB (5) and RUPERT OF LINCOLN (3) at least when considering wider exotic wagers. Indeed playing wide for third in Tricks and hoping for a rough-nut looks a solid play.
EARLY SPEED: 3,4,5
RATINGS: 12/ 11/ 8/ 5/ 3/ 9/ 10/ 6/ 7/ 1/ 4/ 2
SELECTIONS: LOCHINVAR ART (12), MAJOR TIMES (11), KASBAH KID (8). BETTOR BE THE BOMB (5)
|1.||C K SPUR NZ||$14.00|
|3.||OUR KINGS LANDING NZ||$34.00|
OVERVIEW: Tactics will be intriguing in this open class squaregaiting affair but the truth is regardless of strategy the result may be unmoved. The wonderful position Chris Alford finds himself in here is that he can rifle forward early with WOBELEE (7) or jag back and remain totally confident that his steed possesses the requisite weaponry to win either way. Indeed the longer his regional rivalry with MCLOVIN (8) continues the more apparent it becomes that speed will beat stamina in this war of wills. That being said if everything went perfectly for MCLOVIN (8) he is such a powerful beast with such an enormous competitive drive that he can win, particularly if WOBELEE (7) was parked and he had the chance to launch one, long, committed assault. Nothing else can win though SUNDONS COURAGE (4) and CRUISIN AROUND (5) will run their normal honest races at this level and C K SPUR (1) will also get the opportunity to show us how good he is though his lack of outright speed may also cause him bother from a draw where he will need some.
EARLY SPEED: 4 (Likely Leader) + 5?,7?
RATINGS: 7/ 8/ 4/ 5/ 1/ 2/ 6/ 3
SELECTIONS: WOBELEE (7), MCLOVIN (8), SUNDONS COURAGE (4), CRUISIN AROUND (5)
|4.||HOOK EYE JOH||$8.50|
|12.||ZARAS ALL GOOD||$11.00|
OVERVIEW: Tough race to close out but if FIFTYSHADESOFHAY (9) can find her best form she’ll like outclass these with the threats being BLAZIN CRACKER (6), MACHSTIQUE (11) and HOOK EYE JOH (4) if he can recapture his very best form.
EARLY SPEED: 2,5,6 + 1,3,7
RATINGS: 9/ 6/ 11/ 4/ 8/ 10/ 12/ 5/ 7/ 2/ 1/ 3
SELECTIONS: FIFTYSHADESOFHAY (9), BLAZIN CRACKER (6), MACHSTIQUE (11), HOOKE EYE JOH (4)
|4.||ARGH ME HEARTY||$16.00|
OVERVIEW: ROCKINGWITHSIERRA (9) restrained to last from the extreme alley, came out very wide on the home turn and motored to the line when an eye-catching second at Cranbourne last week. She is maintaining a consistent form line and gets her chance to break through for a win. LONG WEEKEND (8) beat ROCKINGWITHSIERRA (9) last week but he enjoyed a lovely run in front and is awkwardly positioned on the second row here. He possesses high speed and is a chance again if he receives some luck in running. WHERES SEGGY (7) was able to lead throughout and defeated SONNYS AMAZING (1) by a comfortable margin three starts back and had little luck from the second line at his past two performances. He is likely to go forward at the start despite the wide alley and he should be competitive under these conditions. ICANMOTOR (6) was having his first run for six weeks when he moved around to race without cover and tired into seventh last time out. He should be sharper from that run and he was very good at his first two placed efforts so he is worth another chance. SONNYS AMAZING (1) and EASY ROLLING (5) are both capable of showing up without surprising.
EARLY SPEED: 7 (possible leader), 1,5
RATINGS: 9/ 7,8/ 6/ 1,5
SELECTIONS: ROCKINGWITHSIERRA (9), LONG WEEKEND (8), WHERES SEGGY (7), ICANMOTOR (6)
|3.||ALBY TWO CHAINS||$3.80|
OVERVIEW: It is a difficult race to assess with three debutantes plus two horses coming from interstate with good credentials competing. ALBY TWO CHAINS (3) is a beautifully bred first starter for trainer John Nicholson. He is related to many winners including Jilliby Kung Fu (1.48.8, $529,710) so he is worth thought on breeding alone. He hasn’t trialled since a close second behind the 3yo pacer Topzavski at Bacchus Marsh back in February but he beat home the subsequent 2yo winners Sebs Choice and Something Bettor in that performance so he must be respected. AUSTRALIANA (6) hasn’t raced since being unplaced in the Bathurst Gold Tiara (Group 1) in March but she joins trainer Lisa Justice and won a Melton trial last week, where she led out then took a trail with 1200m remaining. She obviously has ability and is worth an investment. YEAH MATE (9) is a former Tasmanian pacer, which is undefeated from two starts. He finished third in the trial that AUSTRALIANA (6) won when he ended up being three back on the markers before moving up without cover from the 700m. He has a nice trailing draw behind a fast beginner and should run a good race first up. AZTERIAN (2) tried to lead throughout when second behind Knights Templar last week. He will be trying to push forward to find the lead again and should run his usual honest race
EARLY SPEED: 2 (likely leader), 3?
RATINGS: 3,6/ 2,9/ 5
SELECTIONS: ALBY TWO CHAINS (3), AUSTRALIANA (6), YEAH MATE (9), AZTERIAN (2)
|5.||FLING IT ALL ABOUT||$41.00|
|10.||PETITE LOVE NZ||$7.00|
OVERVIEW: ALLANON (7) produced a big performance when he missed away, moved around the field out three horses wide to park without cover and battled on strongly for second behind Daring Angel at Cranbourne. He is a strong staying type and strikes a suitable assignment so he is a big chance of breaking through for a victory. BILL DISPUTE (9) is resuming since a Melton victory in June but defeated ABITOFADREAMER (8) in a field of two at a trial victory last week so she should be somewhere near her peak fitness. HES THE MIGHTYSPIN (3) was slow into stride, circled around the field to run to the front mid-race and tired late when sixth at Melton last outing. He does have ability when he puts it altogether and was placed at his first two runs of his current preparation so he is worth another chance. PETITE LOVE (10) will appreciate a drop back in class for this assignment and finished sixth behind the smart trotter Hatchback at Melton last outing. She possesses a good turn of speed and rates as a value hope. ATEGO TITAN (11) is returning from Tasmania and joins trainer John Nicholson. He is risky beginner but he might step away reasonably well since he is following the horses out from the handicap of 10m and he might be able to show up with the right luck in running.
EARLY SPEED: 1 (possible early leader), 7
RATINGS: 7/ 3,9/ 10,11/ 1,2,8
SELECTIONS: ALLANON (7), BILL DISPUTE (9), HES THE MIGHTYSPIN (3), PETITE LOVE (10)
|3.||VALLEY OF TERROR||$5.00|
|4.||THE BLUE WREN||$12.00|
|7.||REDAND BLUE FELLA||$21.00|
OVERVIEW: ILLAWONG LORD (6) has been placed in three of his past four starts and gets his chance to break through for a win. He pushed forward to race without cover and battled on well for third last outing. RUNSAFARIRUN (8) will appreciate a drop back in class for this assignment and should run a good race. He was runner up behind Jobells Image in April then behind After Lunch in May, which are very good form pointers for this event. JIMMY HAMBONE (5) has the ability to show up but is still learning. He finished second behind Lady Flora on July 14 but made mistakes at his other two starts. He finished fourth behind Australiana at a Melton trial effort last week and has too much ability to dismiss. VALLEY OF TERROR (3) is a promising maiden, which has been runner up in three of his past four starts. He pushed forward to lead and was gunned down in the latter stages last week so a forward showing is expected. BLUE CHIPPED (1) and THE BLUE WREN (4) are both capable of showing up without surprising.
EARLY SPEED: 1 (possible leader), 3,6
RATINGS: 6/ 5,8/ 3/ 1,4
SELECTIONS: ILLAWONG LORD (6), RUNSAFARIRUN (8), JIMMY HAMBONE (5), VALLEY OF TERROR (3)
|1.||STUNNING I AM||$7.50|
|3.||BETTERMAN STRIDE NZ||$16.00|
OVERVIEW: AMERICAN SWEETHART (2) is facing a steep rise in class for this assignment and may not be able to take the lead away from STUNNING I AM (1) early but she has been very impressive at her past two runaway victories, recording a fast final half on each occasion so she is capable of taking the next step forward. FRIENDS (5) appears to be well placed in this field and he enjoys the sprint distance so he should make his presence felt. He began quickly to lead when third at Kilmore then finished unplaced behind the in-form pacer Justice Served last outing. He probably hasn’t been at his best form since resuming but he should be very competitive here. MICTON MOUSE (4) won the Tasmanian Derby in March. He began quickly to lead but over-raced badly and finished fourth at Cranbourne last time out so the drop back in distance will suit him. STUNNING I AM (1) is a short course specialist and is worth thought along with RECLUSIVE (6).
EARLY SPEED: 1 (possible leader), 2,4,5
RATINGS: 2/ 5/ 4/ 1,6
SELECTIONS: AMERICAN SWEETHART (2), FRIENDS (5), MICTON MOUSE (4), STUNNING I AM (1)
|4.||FIRST AND ERST||$6.00|
|5.||MACH HU NZ||$14.00|
|7.||OUR SEQUEL NZ||$26.00|
OVERVIEW: DIAMOND GRACE (1) is racing in sparkling form and is drawn to receive the perfect run behind the leader. She trailed the leader Rockingwithsierra and produced a big victory two starts back then enjoyed a similar trip when a close second behind the classy mare Arabella Star. The draw and distance suits her here. RADICAL MAJOR (2) was able to run to the lead shortly after the start and ran along at a genuine tempo when he scored comfortably in a mile rate of 1.55.1 last week. He is rising in class but he is a good chance of finding the lead again and he should take catching. APOLLO ROCK (3) settled three back on the markers and used the sprint lane when third at Cranbourne last week. He was getting home better than DIAMOND GRACE (1) in the final stages but he might be giving her a start again here. FIRST AND ERST (4) possesses a good turn of speed and is racing consistently against handy opposition. She might not be able to find the lead here but she will run her usual honest race. LENARD ESS (6) is capable of improving and MACH HU (5) may be a key to the result as he does possess brilliant early pace.
EARLY SPEED: 2 (possible leader), 1,4,5
RATINGS: 1,2/ 3/ 4/ 6
SELECTIONS: DIAMOND GRACE (1), RADICAL MAJOR (2), APOLLO ROCK (3), FIRST AND ERST (4)
|2.||TOREA LANE NZ||$3.80|
|3.||GEE HEE ROCKS||$5.50|
|6.||MISS BLUE GLORY NZ||$2.00|
OVERVIEW: MISS BLUE GLORY (6) has done a very good job since coming from Queensland and will appreciate competing in a small field of six runners. She charged home to win at Cranbourne two starts back then had no luck behind Radical Major in a mile rate of 1.55.1 at Melton where she came out very wide from near last on the home turn and finished off strongly. ROYAL OBSESSION (5) will enjoy stepping up in distance and will probably try to outstay his rivals. He was driven very aggressively over the middle distance and was an impressive winner at Cranbourne on May 03. He has only been placed in two of his eight starts since but he is worth another chance under these conditions. GEE HEE ROCKS (3) finished solidly via the sprint lane in a final half of 57.0 seconds so he did very well to finish third in the race won by American Sweethart last week. That was his first run in six weeks and he should be fitter so he cannot be underestimated. TOREA LANE (2) put together five straight victories prior to her past two attempts, where she has performed well but has seemingly had her chance. She is drawn to be prominent throughout.
EARLY SPEED: 2 (possible early leader), 1,5
RATINGS: 6/ 3,5/ 2/ 1/ 4
SELECTIONS: MISS BLUE GLORY (6), ROYAL OBSESSION (5), GEE HEE ROCKS (3), TOREA LANE (2)
|5.||OUR SAFARI SUN||$2.20|
|6.||TIZ A GOODTIME||$3.80|
OVERVIEW: OUR SAFARI SUN (5) is racing in good form and gets his chance to break through for a win. He began quickly but couldn’t lead, ended up in the one out and one back trail before working home well and missing out narrowly behind Freedom Writer last outing. TIZ A GOODTIME (6) has performed nicely in his two efforts since July 2018. He finished off quickly from near last when an eye-catching second behind The Blue Wren at Melton and is capable of going one better here. ROSE COOPER (3) produced her best run for some time when second behind Bellissima at Kilmore, where she worked home well. She will be suited against this opposition and is not without a chance. GROOM (2) didn’t run a bad race last outing despite finishing seventh and LOTAKEVI (4) disappointed at his latest ninth but is usually competitive against this class.
EARLY SPEED: 5 (possible leader), 4
RATINGS: 5/ 6/ 2,3/ 4/ 1
SELECTIONS: OUR SAFARI SUN (5), TIZ A GOODTIME (6), ROSE COOPER (3), GROOM (2)