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The Belmont Winter Carnival gets underway this Saturday where the feature race is the Belmont Sprint (1400m). The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out two metres for the entire circuit.

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Race 1. (14:09) Tabtouch Better Your Bet Plate 1000m

Back Me

Pretty keen on the Paige Kanney trained 5 Stella Door (Bet Now: $3.70) to debut with a win. Had two trials in the Summer behind some nice types before being tipped out. Back in work and his trial last Monday at Lark Hill was the standout of the morning, spanking them and running good time under no real pressure. Looks above average and confident he can get the job done.

Danger

4 Gotta Motor (Bet Now: $4.60) is a Fred Kersley trained gelding and we saw the stable win the 2YO race here last Saturday with a well backed runner with Jade McNaught steering. Looking to repeat the dose here with this Sessions youngster, who has had a couple of trials in readiness for start one, the latest coming over 950m at Lark Hill. Looked pretty good, but time was 11 lengths slower than the time Stella Door run on the same morning, which is the negative, but stable is going well.

Long Shot

3 Marocchino (Bet Now: $31.00) is a Maschino gelding for Lou Luciani stable that resumes. Debuted at Ascot back on December 15 where he was very green in the run, sitting out the back and didn’t really come on at all behind Beethoven, a well performed juvenile. Been given a good break and did look to trial up quite well recently at Lark Hill, so keen to see what he does here fresh.

Race 2. (14:49) Joseph O'Dea 60th Birthday Handicap 1200m

Back Me

Class/brilliance should get 1 Flirtini (Bet Now: $1.45) home. Had trialled up really well prior to resuming over 1200m at Ascot two weeks ago where she looked a good thing on paper and ran up to those expectations with a spank job of her rivals. This race doesn’t appear much stronger and once again gets the claim for Azzopardi, so barring bad luck, she should be winning.

Danger

Back in trip will suit the Neville Parnham trained 5 City Circle (Bet Now: $6.50). She was a few weeks between runs when racing over 1300m here last Saturday where she sat off the speed and loomed large to beat Flower Of War, but that horse just packed too many punches late and clung on. Like this filly back to 1200m, fitter…not sure she beats Flirtini but runs well all the same.

Long Shot

2 Lordhelpmerun (Bet Now: $9.50) deserves another chance. Resumed in a hot sprint race at Ascot three weeks ago when back, wide with cover, and presented to do something at the top of the straight, but couldn’t really go on with it and was disappointing behind Special Reward. I think back to his own age group and back on a track he has run well at in the past, an improved showing is expected.

Race 3. (15:29) The Peninsula Dining Room Handicap (76+) 2200m

Back Me

3 Dark Musket (Bet Now: $6.00) for me. Didn’t mind him at odds last time out at Ascot and I thought he was given every chance in the run. Tried hard, ran well, but was no match late for Come Play With Me. Hoping he can sit a tad closer in the run this time around and he does tend to save his better runs for Ascot, so with that in mind, happy to be in his corner again.

Danger

4 Noir De Rue (Bet Now: $5.00) is a real one batter for Justin Warwick but up in trip, he does appeal. Was at this trip a few runs back and ran well, but has come back in trip recently and has been solid but has lacked the change up speed, the latest run seeing him run third to the in form Touch Of Silver. Has run well at Belmont in the past and now up in distance, he appeals.

Long Shot

7 Sonnen (Bet Now: $20.00) is going quite well at the moment for the Stephen Miller stable. He comes through the Beg To Differ race from three weeks ago where he was ridden positively from the gate to land the box seat and tried hard but couldn’t quite finish it off when running sixth, beaten a couple of lengths. Has a really good record at Belmont, so he can bounce back here.

Race 4. (16:09) Lin Ryan 80th Birthday Handicap (64+) 1300m

Back Me

Insert Mike Tyson throwing a dart blindfolded GIF. Very hard race but I think one of the safer options is 3 Friar’s Gift (Bet Now: $14.00). Impressive winner over 1400m at Ascot two back before being given a few weeks off and came back to 1200m where he was back, wide with cover, and was good late behind Free Trade. Like him back up to 1300m and Kirby remains on.

Danger

4 One Short (Bet Now: $6.50) is a Steve Wolfe trained galloper who I didn’t mind at a price when resuming at Ascot two weeks ago where had the suck run behind noted speedster Mervyn before getting the inside split in the straight and finishing off hard but just missed out on picking up the leader and eventual winner. Good second up record and up to 1300m a definite tick.

Long Shot

Had she drawn a better gate, I’d have 1 Blackline (Bet Now: $9.00) on top. Just not sure where she gets to from the barrier but convinced she’s come back well based on the two trials, the latest coming last Monday at Lark Hill when under no pressure, finishing sixth to the Group l performed Gatting. She tends to save her best runs when produced fresh, so giving her a chance despite the gate.

Race 5. (16:50) Crown Perth Handicap (1MW) 1200m

Back Me

13 State Attorney (Bet Now: $2.80) doesn’t have the greatest of winning strike rates for the Adam Durrant stable but he is usually thereabouts. Was hard in the market when resuming at the Ascot midweeks where he settled off a good speed and presented to win but couldn’t quite get the job done when running second to Gates Of Babylon. He is knocking on the door to win. Hoping it’s here.

Danger

Just have to put a line through the resumption of 1 Fine Scent (Bet Now: $13.00) at Ascot two weeks back. This Simon Miller trained mare was trapped wide no cover on speed and that pretty much sealed her fate when down the track behind the progressive Michael Lane sprinter Free Trade. Does draw better this time around and has placed 3/4 at Belmont, so giving her another chance.

Long Shot

The drop in depth should suit the Steve Wolfe trained 6 Captivated Point (Bet Now: $26.00). He had the box seat sit behind Free Trade at Ascot a fortnight ago and was there to be a threat but he failed to go on with it and was disappointing behind the Michael Lane sprinter. I don’t think there is a horse of that quality here so perhaps for wider multiples, I’d be including him.

Race 6. (17:25) Belmont Sprint 1400m

Back Me

I think bad luck will be the only thing beating 5 Galaxy Star (Bet Now: $1.40) for the remainder of this prep. Bad luck, poor ride…make of it what you will, but she should have won first up in the Roma Cup at Ascot. Just got too far back, held up, out late, savaged the line to just miss out on picking up Vital Silver. Her record at Belmont, 3/3, speaks for itself and she should be winning this.

Danger

That’s taking nothing away from 3 Vital Silver (Bet Now: $6.50). He sat on speed from the wide gate and was there to be beaten but he found plenty late under Peter Hall to hold on and beat Galaxy Star. 1400m on the bigger track does look a better set up for the mare, but he’s got the runs on the board, has the right racing pattern and can kick on for a place…just don’t think he’ll beat the mare again.

Long Shot

1 Great Shot (Bet Now: $12.00) should be suited up to 1400m at Belmont. He attempted to lead all the way in the Roma Cup first up and I thought Craig Staples gave him a peach in front. He controlled things in front to suit and kicked strongly, but just lacked the killer blow and finale first up when a close up third to Vital Silver. Likely lands in front, gives a sight and should be stronger this time around.

Race 7. (18:05) Free Entry To Belmont Park Handicap (70+) 1000m

Back Me

She has the weight, a tricky gate, taking on the older horses…plenty against 2 Market Ruler (Bet Now: $6.00) but she’s just so reliable. Ran over the 1000m at Ascot four weeks ago where she sat off a very fast speed and presented to win when brought wider, but Hoboken had momentum out wide and got the better of her late. Tricky set up here, but has class and is 2/2 at Belmont.

Danger

9 Stageman (Bet Now: $3.70) is a son of Written Tycoon for Adam Durrant who has the right stats in his corner to beat these. Looked to have his chance first up at Ascot behind Mervyn but has won 2/3 at the track, 3/3 second up and is 2/2 at the track/distance, so there is plenty going for him here. Just hope he isn’t too far away and doesn’t give away a long start.

Long Shot

1 Dam Ready (Bet Now: $34.00) could be a knockout chance at odds. He comes through the Hoboken race from four weeks ago where he was never really in the hunt, sitting back near last off the hot speed, and was never likely, but made up good ground. Looked well enough in a Lark Hill trial on Monday and is a winner at Belmont. He’ll likely go around big odds and is a definite chance.

Race 8. (18:37) Des Russell 50th Birthday Handicap (64+) 1600m

Back Me

13 True Attraction (Bet Now: $4.80) for me. Team Williams trains this talented three year old, who resumed over 1200m at Ascot a fortnight ago where he was off the bit a fair way out chasing the hot speed but loved the way he worked to the line late behind Flirtini, suggesting that further the better, and he gets the mile here. With class on his side, he’s well in at the weights and appeals big time.

Danger

11 Leading Girl (Bet Now: $2.20) is a Team Williams trained filly who resumed over 1200m at Ascot two weeks back when back in the run and spotted the in form Free Trade a start. She got close to winning when clear but Free Trade had the good run on speed and had enough in hand on the line. Looks like she will have no issue with the step up the mile and has quality.

Long Shot

1 Diamond Tonique (Bet Now: $16.00) looks absolutely spot on to defend his Broome Cup title after two excellent runs back from a spell, the latest coming over the mile at Ascot two weeks ago when like first up, was unlucky in the straight and should have finished closer when fourth to Hyperspace. Whatever he’s doing at the moment is a bonus but he’ll really come into his own when getting to Broome.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race One Number 5 Stella Door

NEXT BEST: Race Six Number 5 Galaxy Star

LONG SHOT: Race Three Number 3 Dark Musket

 

Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):

Leg One: 1, 6, 7, 8, 13

Leg Two: 5

Leg Three: 2

Leg Four: 11, 13

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