The Melbourne Cup Carnival picture will look clearer thanks to Geelong Cup Day on Wednesday. Several key runners are vying to sneak into the field for the Emirates Melbourne Cup with a win in the $225,000 Group Three Centrebet Geelong Cup (2400m) with Team Williams being represented by Tanby, who has been very well backed to win the classic two mile race on the first Tuesday in November.
Key Derby contenders will slog it out in the $100,000 Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) while horses looking towards the Sallinger Stakes will do battle in the $100,000 Geelong Australia Black Pearl (1200m).
Race One: Pro-Ride Racing Handicap (78) 2400m
Back Me: Reuben Percival had no luck last start. He is fitter, steps up to 2400m, Nash on top, hard to beat.
Don’t Back Me: Surface Tension had every hope last start at Bendigo and you’d be brave to back up on him again.
Big Danger: Devils Quest made up a stack of ground in the race mentioned above and he will lap up the 2400m.
Roughie: Our Serena on a firmer surface and a drop back from Listed company may see her run a cheeky race.
Race Two: Chisolm Petroleum Handicap (62) 1700m
Back Me: Humphrey The Horse was very impressive in breaking his maiden status, albeit in a weak Tatura maiden. He’ll press forward and give a huge sight at odds.
Don’t Back Me: Carnegie Dan is a classic money muncher who always runs on without winning.
Big Danger: Thawaabet has been racing well in Adelaide and her last start effort was crying out for longer and she gets that here.
Roughie: Zabillie has had two runs back from a long spell and should be ready to produce something.
Race Three: Schweepes Handicap (68) 1400m
Back Me: The Chevron flies when fresh and does have class. It also sees the return to the track of gun rider Jake Noonan.
Don’t Back Me: Sabres had a picnic in front at Cranbourne and was still beaten by Toned, a handy youngster. Stepping up to 1400m against the older horses is a big query.
Big Danger: Penzevengi got to the line very nicely last start at Adelaide behind Unser and although drawn awkwardly again, the pace will be on for him to charge late.
Roughie: Festina Lente was an alarming drifter in the betting yet won like a handy horse on debut at this track over 1200m. Big watch for Snowden.
Race Four: Geelong Milk/Pura Handicap (72)- 1200m
Back Me: Laguna Grande was well backed first up and missed out in a blanket finish. Form from that has been very strong and looks one of the better bets on the card.
Don’t Back Me: Jesse’s Miss is a frustrating mare to follow and I am sick of backing her.
Big Danger: Assertive Albert has always had a wrap on him after his arrogant debut win. Expect a big run first up.
Roughie: Zaamore will appreciate races over longer distances but there is a quiet tip going around for this one fresh.
Race Five: Lamby’s Restaurant & Bar (78) 1500m
Back Me: If you backed Face Off last start, you would have gone to the bar and asked for some absinthe on the rocks. If he gets luck, you’ll get your money back here.
Don’t Back Me: Although fitter, Frenetica looked to have her chance last start. Looks a risk for me until she puts the runs on the board.
Big Danger: Dead End contested the Golden Nugget at Ballarat and wasn’t disgraced. Big drop in grade and fourth run back should see him run a very good race.
Roughie: El Stupendo was given a beaut ride by Mallyon to win at Cranbourne and from the nice draw he’ll go to sleep and charge home late.
Race Six: Mr Papparazzi Geelong Classic 2200m
Back Me: Mustang. You have to be a serious three year old to beat the older horses so early into the season. Big watch on him at his Aussie debut.
Don’t Back Me: Perfect Punch looks to have talent, but this looks a bit rich for him. I also question the form around him because Quench The Thirst was ordinary on Saturday.
Big Danger: St Christophe is the up and comer who only got warm very late last start, suggesting the 2200m will be perfect for him.
Roughie: Fast Bucks hit the line well in a leader dominated race at Flemington and can surprise here.
Race Seven: Centrebet Geelong Cup (2400m)
Back Me: Bauer was very good in the Herbert Power and he did win this race in 2008. Looks very well placed.
Don’t Back Me: I’m Jake controlled the tempo and won a weak edition of the Ansett Classic. Big risk against some good horses.
Big Danger: Showcause was fantastic in the Bart Cummings given he did a stack of work and still found the line strongly behind Mourayan.
Roughie: Diyaraka finally gets to a decent trip and a bone dry track. Should go to sleep from the nice barrier and run a cheeky race.
Race Eight: Geelong Australia Black Pearl 1200m
Back Me: Gai’s Choice is knocking on the door to win one and a recent trial win suggests she’ll be hard to beat.
Don’t Back Me: Minnie Mah is a cat and is the bookies pal. Would not go near her.
Big Danger: Miss Bindi, if the pace is on, can fly at the end on a spacious track which will suit.
Roughie: Maquina trialled well behind Sister Madly and is drawn to get a soft run.
Race Nine: Market Square-Dual Choice Plate (1200m)
Back Me: Shadowfax. If anywhere near his best, he’ll be beating these.
Don’t Back Me: Top Drop was impressive first up, but flopped badly at Caulfield last start. Not for me.
Big Danger: Liquidation is a very good sprinter from Western Australia who flies when fresh and will get the gun run.
Roughie: Sense Of Sun has a horror barrier but is such a tough bugger that you can’t rule him out.
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