Eight races will be run and won at Belmont this Saturday, and hopefully the rain stays away so we can race. The weather is fine, the track is soft (7) and the rail is out nine metres for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (14:23) Bernard Couch Memorial Maiden 1000m
6 Strip The Moon (Bet Now: $17.00) on top but I think it’d be best to just watch this event. Lindsey Smith trains this six year old gelding, who has had two career outings and resumes here. He hasn’t raced since late March when down the straight at Pinjarra and running a game third. Looked pretty good in a recent trial and this race isn’t strong.
10 Scandalous Miss (Bet Now: $2.20) does look the one to beat but it’s just a question mark of where she gets to from the wide gate and how much work she’ll have to do in the run. She sat on speed over 1100m last time at Northam and tried hard but was no match for the impressive Mr Genoa. If she can overcome the gate, the one to beat.
8 Admiral Husson (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Husson Lightning gelding resuming for Adam Durrant. This gelding debuted down the straight at Pinjarra back in February where he finished down the track behind Round The Point. Looked solid enough in a Lark Hill trial last week and Pike being booked is a good lead.
Race 2. (15:03) Happy Birthday Jacquie Young Plate 1400m
Another tricky maiden but landed with 3 Hotham Valley (Bet Now: $10.00) for the Parnham stable. Ran over the 1300m here a couple of Wednesdays back where he had the suck run just behind the speed and loomed large to win but couldn’t quite finish it off when a narrow second to Daishio. Was 1000-1300 that day so up to 1400m now looks ideal.
2 Rebel Knight (Bet Now: $2.15) is three weeks between runs since racing over 1200m here where he was on speed throughout and looked to travel well under Pateman. Gave a good kick when asked for the big effort but couldn’t hold out the finale of the impressive Samizdat. Little query at 1400m but ability wise he’s probably the pick of the bunch.
8 Ebony Magi (Bet Now: $21.00) is a son of Blackfriars resuming for the Vaughn Sigley yard. This bloke has had two public trials to prepare for his debut, both coming at Lark Hill, the first of which seeing him run fourth to Daishio before bolting up in a 950m trial last week. If he can overcome the draw, he’s in the game for sure.
Race 3. (15:43) Tabtouch Handicap (78+) 2000m
I think it should be easy work once again for 4 Red Army (Bet Now: $1.18). I don’t think he’s been liking these wet tracks in recent times but he’s just been too good for them, the latest seeing him bolt up over 2200m here a fortnight back. Pike jumps off to ride State Prosecutor but the horse loses nothing with Smith steering.
1 At The Ready (Bet Now: $4.80) should run second. Adam Durrant has this bloke racing so well and he’s been up for a long time which is a credit to both the horse and stable. He ran second to Red Army in the race here from two weeks ago. He had his chance to run down the fav but in the end was well held. Something similar to happen again but does run second all things being equal.
Up in trip, it’ll be interesting to see what 6 First Affair (Bet Now: $31.00) does. He hasn’t done much this time in but I thought his run a fortnight ago over the mile here behind Abdicator was that of a horse wanting further, which he gets here. Gets in well at the weights after the claim and does look to have upside.
Race 4. (16:23) Iron Jack Handicap (72+) 1650m
Hard to get away from 6 Battle Torque (Bet Now: $2.25), who is in career best form at the moment for the Adam Durrant stable. He is looking for four on the bounce and appears well placed to get it. Latest win at this track/distance three weeks back was dynamic, producing a brilliant finale from the back. He can sit closer from the draw, keen on his chances.
4 One Short (Bet Now: $3.70) looks one of the hardest to beat. Steve Wolfe trains this gelding, who ran over 1400m here three weeks ago where he was near a genuine speed throughout and tried hard but Abdicator proved far too good. That horse went on to bolt up a fortnight back, so the form reads well. Up to the mile a question mark but hard to knock the way he’s going.
One horse who will be attacking the line late is 8 Luke’s Gold (Bet Now: $18.00), who I think is racing well this time in but just can’t get luck in running. Ran over this track/distance two weeks ago and worked home with purpose when eventually clear behind Abdicator. Depth not as strong this time around. Just needs clear air.
Race 5. (17:02) Amelia Park Handicap (1MW) 1000m
10 Glimmer Girl (Bet Now: $4.80) is four weeks between runs since racing over 1200m here where she was run off her legs somewhat and couldn’t really get balanced up at all due to the speed when midfield behind By Decree. Don’t think they’ll go hard this time around, blinkers go on and Pike takes over. Leading chance.
8 Deep Cover (Bet Now: $10.00) is a Jason Pateman trained gelding who has been quite consistent in recent times but just hasn’t put enough wins on the board. Won well first up and in three subsequent runs has been tidy without winning, the latest at this track/distance when a narrow fifth in a blanket finish. Should do no work from the gate and can certainly win.
1 Imperial Venus (Bet Now: $10.00) was somewhat of a shock winner at this track/distance a fortnight ago but there were some punters who knew he’d run well because he was backed in late and landed some decent bets at the odds, finishing hard along the inside to grab the win in the last stride. More depth and rises in rate, but again is going around at good odds.
Race 6. (17:37) Grant Thornton Handicap (1MW) 1300m
2 Big Caroline (Bet Now: $6.00) on top for me. This girl is three weeks between runs after racing over 1200m here where she got well back off the pace but finished off hard late to run second to Count Tomoz Off. Should be able to sit a touch closer from the good draw and the claim for Castle helps, plus the mare thrives on wet ground.
12 Bold Success…(Bet Now: $3.70) gee whiz. If he was fair dinkum, he’d be spanking this lot, but he’s only won the one race which doesn’t fill you with much confidence. Resumed at this track/distance a fortnight ago and again finished off strongly without winning when third to Grey Enigma. He’ll get back and launch late.
1 Russian River (Bet Now: $27.00) is a son of U S Ranger resuming for the Bruce Watkins yard. This bloke hasn’t raced since January 20 at Ascot when finishing fourth behind the talented galloper Sandalwood. He has had two trials to prepare for his return and is a first up winner. Think he’s one to watch from a market perspective.
Race 7. (18:15) Magic Millions Handicap (66+) 1400m
9 Midnight Sky (Bet Now: $3.10) for me. Thought she was huge in defeat at this track/distance last time given she was coming back in trip from 2200m, an unusual path, but she got close to beating Spillinova. Would prefer her over a bit further, but there looks to be good speed here and she’ll get her chance to finish over the top.
7 Minus Looks (Bet Now: $4.00) is racing really well at the moment for the Steve Wolfe team but just needs to put a win on the board. Has finished runner up at his past two, the latest over 1300m here when a narrow second to Grey Enigma. Yet to win at 1400m but he is giving the impression that he’ll be okay with it.
15 Our Mate Al (Bet Now: $23.00) might be eight years of age but he’s going great guns and can certainly win this with luck in running. Ran over 1200m here a couple of Wednesdays back and savaged the line from the back to run second to Guns Of Navarone. He’ll eat up the extra furlong and does have enormous upside.
Race 8. (18:50) Crown Towers Handicap (78+) 1400m
Normal luck, overcome the draw and 5 Abdicator (Bet Now: $1.80) should be winning the get out. Pike has ridden him an absolute treat at his past two starts and of course that’s resulted in two impressive wins. I reckon the mile sees him right out so back to 1400m, I think he’ll be more dynamic and is the one to beat.
10 Atlanta Blue (Bet Now: $3.40) does look the only remote threat to Abdicator. Somewhat of a wet track specialist who ran second to Abdicator in the mile race here from two weeks ago where he kept coming but just failed to reach that horse. Gets a 2kg weight pull and barrier advantage, so it’s easy to see why he’s been well backed.
9 Settlers Creek (Bet Now: $35.00) is a seven year old trained by Colin Webster who was the subject of a Stewards Enquiry given the steer and tactics from Troy Turner certainly raised eye brows with the horse looking desperately unlucky. He normally produces a flat second up run but I can’t remember him running so well first up.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Three Number 4 Red Army
NEXT BEST: Race Eight Number 5 Abdicator
LONG SHOT: Race Six Number 2 Big Caroline
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 1, 5, 8, 10
Leg Two: 1, 2, 9, 12
Leg Three: 1, 3, 7, 9, 15
Leg Four: 5
$50 Investment= 62.50% of the dividend if successful
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