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City racing takes a break this Saturday in Melbourne and instead racing will take place at Bendigo, where the feature race is the $150,000 Golden Mile (1600m), the race which kicked off the Australian career of classy animal Jet Away 12 months ago.


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Race One: Daiquiri King Handicap (84) 1100m Form Guide

Back Me (13:00) : The pace will be an absolute corker, so I’m looking for a swooper and the best one out of the lot is Magnus Reign (Best Odds: $11.00), who is closer to the end of his prep than the beginning, but still appears to be racing well. Outclassed in the Oakleigh Plate, then worked home well late for fifth to Bloomingdale Miss at the Valley. He’ll get back, but with the hot speed in front, he’ll get his chance to charge at them late.
Big Danger: Big fan of Rich Jack (Best Odds: $3.00) and he’ll be winning races in town if his trial form is anything to go by. He’ll roll forward and more than likely will cop pressure hence why he isn’t the top tip, but he is too good of a horse to dismiss.
Roughie: Schumacher (Best Odds: $13.00) made up a little bit of ground in that Bloomingdale Miss race at the Valley, then was later found to have not pulled up 100%. Provided he has overcome that issue, he’ll certainly be in the mix here given he’ll get back also and more than likely track up Magnus Reign.


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Race Two (13:35) : Jayco Handicap (90) 1300m Form Guide

Back Me: Prepared to forgive Hosting (Best Odds: $5.00) for his first up failure at the Valley given he was held up between runners and probably isn’t suited by the track. Bigger surroundings here, drawn well, Symons back on…D-Day for him now I think if he is going to go back to blacktype company.
Big Danger: Laouhu (Best Odds: $4.00) was given a pearl steer by Steve Arnold to win last time out at Sportingbet Park, controlling the race from the front and kicking hard when challenged. Tumbles in weight here and maps quite well.
Roughie: Digitalism (Best Odds: $5.00) hasn’t raced since winning Sportingbet Park in the Winter of last year, but he looked to trial quite nicely a couple of weeks back at Terang, placing second behind Bec Said No Credit. Look for any betting confidence.


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Race Three (14:10) : Woodside Park Stud Handicap (70) 1000m Form Guide

Back Me: Good race for the three year olds. I am a huge fan of Adelaide gelding Lucky Symbol (Best Odds: $3.80), who strung together three very impressive wins on his home track before running a very game third to Brotherly Secret at the Valley after racing wide throughout. Went to the trials at Murray Bridge and couldn’t have been more impressive, winning comfortably and running one of the fastest trials recorded there. That’s good enough for me.
Roughie: Shane Fliedner doesn’t go away empty handed whenever there is a meeting on his home track and his youngster He’s Commanding (Best Odds: $51.00) is sure to run well here. Found them a bit too nippy first up at Sportingbet Park, then was much better when closing off late for fourth at Werribee. Drawn well, on his home track, definite chance.
Roughie: Tankster had three runs during the Spring, winning impressively first up at the Valley before placing there again which was followed up by a fair sixth to Lord Of The Sky at Caulfield. First up here, so look for betting moves and how forward he is in the yard.


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Race Four (14:45) : Gold Rush 1000m Form Guide

Back Me: Putting boom colt Wilderness (Best Odds: $3.10) on top. Should note first that he is also accepted for Moonee Valley. He is a $2.4 Million purchase making his debut here off the back of a really impressive trial win at Canterbury where he led and sprinted clear late. He looks to have loads of talent, and where ever he goes, he’ll go close to winning.
Big Danger: I think Eloping (Best Odds: $2.50) is at the end of her preparation, but with so many unknowns and little raceday depth outside her, plus the good gate, she has to rate as a massive threat. Two starts back she ran second to the best youngster in Australia, Earthquake. That form should be good enough to be a force here.
Roughie: Real Warrior (Best Odds: $19.00) had trialled well prior to his fair debut at Sportingbet Park where they were just too nippy for her over the 900m. Extra 100m looks ideal and she has the run under her belt.


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Race Five (15:20) : Centrebet Stayers Challenge Final 2400m Form Guide

Back Me: Best bet across Australia for me this weekend in Signoff (Best Odds: $2.25), who I think will win this race then will win again over this track/distance in several months time to claim the Bendigo Cup. He is a very, very exciting prospect for Darren Weir who was outstanding at the Valley last time out, making a run 800m from home and rounding up his rivals like a horse who is certainly Group class. Won a recent trial at Terange with ease and I can’t see him losing here.
Big Danger: Malabar Man (Best Odds: $5.00) looked to find his race last start over this track/distance and he duly saluted, albeit narrowly. He did carry 60kg there, and drops 6kg for this. Just not sure where he is at. He’ll be winning more races, just not sure if it’s here. Still should run well however.
Roughie: Former kiwi Beauty Perception (Best Odds: $10.00) has had two runs in Australia and has been excellent in each, both at the Valley. Looked the winner last start, but was outbobbed late by Mariner. That run should top him off beautifully for this and I expect him to be in the money.


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Race Six (15:55) : Bendigo Gold Bracelet 1400m Form Guide

Back Me: The second of my good things on the card, this time with Sino Eagle (Best Odds: $4.40). Was very strong at the end of her race three back when winning at the Valley, then packed too many punches at Flemington, beating home Five All, who then turned the tables next time out in the Tressady Stakes. That form looks really good for a race like this, should lead comfortably and take a power of beating.
Big Danger: Hazard (Best Odds: $4.20) has placed twice from as many runs this prep, running third to Knoydart in the Hareeba before running second to Bonaria in the Mannerism. Both horses have since gone on to bigger and better things, so the form around her is very good. In saying that, it’s been nearly a year since she has won. That is the concern. Still, looks a danger.
Roughie: Twilighting (Best Odds: $17.00) has really struggled to put it together since her three year old days, which saw place at stakes level and perform well in a couple of Group l races. Her last fresh run resulted in a third to Elite Elle at the Valley. A repeat of that should see her be in the mix here.


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Race Seven (16:30) : Golden Mile 1600m Form Guide

Back Me: Going for some value in the tough stayer Mourinho (Best Odds: $11.00), who caught everyone off guard with his slashing second at Flemington to Mouro, a real up and comer. He is a second up winner, and his two trials prior to that first up run were very good. Happy to take double figures.
Big Danger: Inclined to include Tigerland (Best Odds: $6.00) than ignore him. Excellent first up run at Flemington, before needing every bit of the Wangaratta straight to claim the Cup narrowly. He should come on big time from that win, drawn beautifully and on the minimum for an exciting prospect.
Roughie: Fat Al (Best Odds: $16.00) ran third in that Mouro race that Mourinho ran second in. He was never going to win, but I liked his last 100m where he found the line and ran through it, suggesting that an extra furlong should suit. Not well in at the weights given he hasn’t won for 18 months, but he has class.


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Race Eight (17:05) : Bendigo Guineas 1400m Form Guide

Back Me: You think Trust In A Gust (Best Odds: $3.30) would have had enough by now, but whatever Darren Weir is doing with this horse, it is working, because he has been fantastic, winning four on the trot before being unlucky at Wangaratta when getting held up and just failing to pick up Worth A Ransom. Meets him 2kg worse off at the weights, but that was his first run in over a month, so I am tipping there will be improvement.
Big Danger: Consorting (Best Odds: $5.00) really caught the eye last start at Caulfield, and was one of the runs of the day when making ground on a leaders track to run second to high class colt Not Listenin’tome. 1400m looks ideal, bigger track and a wide barrier will ensure he gets clear air.
Roughie: Written Up (Best Odds: $15.00) looks the sneaky knockout hope here. I didn’t his effort at Wangaratta to run third behind Worth A Ransom and Trust In A Gust after he also got held up for a few strides. He should sit much closer to the speed from the good draw and like Trust In A Gust, that was his first run in over a month.


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Race Nine (17:40) : TROA Handicap (78) 1600m Form Guide

Back Me: Thin race to end the card. The obvious here is Daybreak (Best Odds: $4.40), who was so brave in the Wangaratta Cup, sitting wide with no cover, kicking hard to lead in the straight to only go down in the last hop to Tigerland. Drawn wide, but should roll forward, and gets in beautifully at the weights after the claim for Josh Cartwright.
Big Danger: General Groove (Best Odds: $7.00) was okay last time out at Randwick when sitting back in a slowly run race. He did make up ground very late to run sixth to a promising type in Leebaz. Back to Melbourne and up to a mile looks ideal and the stable/jockey combination have been on fire recently.
Roughie: Ominous (Best Odds: $13.00) is an interesting runner here for Nigel Blackiston. Former French stayer who had four runs during the Spring, with the highlight being a fast finishing fifth in the Sale Cup to Mouro. Look for him to get back and work home strongly late.


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Best Bet: Race Five Number 3 Signoff (Best Odds: $2.25)

Next Best: Race Six Number 5 Sino Eagle (Best Odds: $4.40)

Best Roughie: Race Seven Number 3 Mourinho (Best Odds: $11.00)


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 5

Leg Two: 1, 3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

Leg Three: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11

Leg Four: 1, 6, 7, 8, 9

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