A bumper nine race program has been assembled for Geelong on Wednesday, headlined by the Geelong Cup (2400m). The feature will have a strong bearing on the Melbourne Cup with the winner all but assured a start in the race. The weather is fine, the track is soft (5) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Geelong Cup 🏆: View the Field for the Geelong Cup
Race 1. (12:30) Coulter Roache Handicap (70) 2400m
2400m is a different pain barrier, but 2 Excelman (Bet Now: $2.30) does look the most progressive of this lot. Olly was very positive on him at Cranbourne last Sunday and the result was a dominant and soft win, bolting up by two lengths with something in hand. Off that, 2400m should be okay and he is the one to beat, clearly.
Fitter and up to 2400m are two big ticks for 9 Reflect The Stars (Bet Now: $6.50). She resumed over the mile at Bendigo and while she was never really a winning threat, liked the way she found the line behind Irish Playboy. Being in the Rosemont colours, this has been a target race for her you would assume and she’s got more upside than most.
4 Etna (Bet Now: $14.00) has done a really good job since joining Rhys Archard. He has won two on end, winning at Echuca two back before rising in grade/depth at Bendigo and was even more impressive despite having no friends in the market. He is a horse who loves give in the track. Not sure he gets it here, but hard to knock the way he’s racing.
Race 2. (13:00) Jack Rabbit Handicap (70) 1700m
2 Royal Order (Bet Now: $16.00) will love returning to a firmer track. Resumed on a near bottomless track at Mornington, something he hates, and the market agreed, sending him out $16+ after opening $9 but despite that, he ran alright I thought behind Do You Reckon. Gets a lovely run from the gate, up in trip, fitter and onto a dry deck, he’ll do me.
3 Scottish Dancer (Bet Now: $2.60) looks a progressive animal. Looked a good thing on paper last time out at Cranbourne and he duly saluted after sitting off the speed, then coming wide on the turn, finishing best. He’ll appreciate the rise to 1700m. The knock on the last run is that they really walked home, but he has got improvement to come.
11 Serengeti (Bet Now: $7.50) is the map horse and could be dangerous. A month between runs since winning at this track/distance, where Melham took her to the front, got complete control, and she was able to cling on and win. Should find the front once again and if she can get control and a cheap furlong, she’ll take some catching.
Race 3. (13:35) Geelong Australia Handicap (64) 1100m
Tricky gate to overcome for 5 Fundraiser (Bet Now: $4.20), but I think he’s got the early toe to overcome it and prove hard to beat. He resumes for the Hayes/Dabernig team, having not raced since Anzac Day when leading and tiring late behind Kuramae. Been given a good break and showed good zip to win his latest Flemington jumpout. Not a great deal of confidence, but leaning his way.
1 The Astrologist (Bet Now: $3.50) has class and that will carry him a long way here. Resumes for Team Corstens after a strong Winter prep where he placed on a couple of occasions at Saturday meetings behind some quality types. Has only had the one jumpout, which came in early September, so I think he’s an obvious market watch.
7 Swanky Cat (Bet Now: $18.00) has a good record here and I reckon a fast run 1100m will help her cause. She was brave in defeat last week at Kyneton after doing a power of work out wide and pulling. The effort just told late when a close up fifth. If she can relax in the run this time around, she can run a positive race at odds.
Race 4. (14:10) Dual Choice Plate (84) 1200m
Found this a very tricky race. With race fitness and the right racing pattern, I’ll go each way with 6 Music Addition (Bet Now: $6.50). The Gelagotis team has done a good job with him. Latest run came just over two weeks ago when on speed at Randwick and he tried hard. Just couldn’t quite finish it off when fourth to Athiri, a race where I think the form will be strong. He’ll cross, likely lead and prove hard to run down.
10 Ocular (Bet Now: $2.00) does look hard to beat but gee he’s short enough at around even money. In saying that, he has done little wrong this time in, the latest start seeing him score an impressive win in a fast run race at Bendigo, overhauling them late from off the speed. Heading in the right direction and has to be respected.
12 Wicklow Town (Bet Now: $6.00) is a big watch here. Talented four year old that resumes for Julie Scott. Hasn’t raced since July 25 when on speed and trying his heart out when a close up second to a very good animal in Mystery Shot, so that form does read well, and loved the way he went in a recent jumpout. Keen to see how he goes.
Race 5. (14:45) Melb Cup Carnival Country Series Hcp (78) 1500m
Another race that was tricky to sort out. Landed with 3 Polanco (Bet Now: $8.00), who had a run of outs but bounced back to winning form with a strong on speed win at Ballarat on testing ground. That win was several weeks ago, but gee I was taken by a tick over Cranbourne jumpout win where he led and was under a hold throughout to win. He looks to be flying.
6 Approach Discreet (Bet Now: $6.50) is the one on an upward trend. He has won two on end, both coming at Sandown under Olly, who remains on for this race. He jumped out in the same heat as Polanco mentioned above. He was back and not really asked for an effort, but he does seem more of a race day horse.
4 Southern Rock (Bet Now: $21.00) is a big watch here. Archie Alexander trained import that had a three run prep in the early part of the Winter to start his life in Australian life, and didn’t fire a shot, but what I will say is that he found wet ground each time. Been given a good break and will find firmer footing for his resumption. Not sure he wins, but can entertain for exotics.
Race 6. (15:20) Geelong Classic 2200m
There are two horses I want to back here. On top though is 4 Rousseau (Bet Now: $8.00). Son of So You Think for Chris Waller that comes through a 1600m maiden at Bendigo where he was eased back to near last in the run and in a very slowly run race, he had no chance of winning, but loved the way he worked home. If he can use gate one, gee I think he’ll run a big race.
5 Ultimate Edition (Bet Now: $3.00) won that Bendigo maiden mentioned above, and yes, he was quite impressive to the eye, but he did get total control in front and nothing was going to beat him in what turned out to be a 600 dash. If he cops earlier pressure, could be vulnerable, but a cheap lead again and he’ll go close to winning.
The other horse I want to back at odds is 8 Kenzan (Bet Now: $18.00). I’ve had something small on him for the Derby at the big odds so want to see him run well here and I think he can win. Was keen on him when he raced last time out in a maiden here, but he was very green and raw when asked by Olly for the big effort and was nabbed late by Art Glass. Would love to see a set of Blinkers put on, but ability wise, I think he’s up to these.
Race 7. (16:00) Geelong Cup 2400m
I can’t believe 3 King Of Leogrance (Bet Now: $7.50) is around double figures. Yes, his first up run to the eye was plain, but what I will say is that down the side, he ran some of the best splits of the race, but that took away his finale and he was gassed 300m out. Can sit much closer in the run here and that Turnbull form was the right form for the Caulfield Cup. He’s a great each way bet.
In terms of the internationals engaged here, the pick of them is clearly 2 Ashrun (Bet Now: $5.00). Speaking to Jamie Lovett about him a few weeks ago, I put to him could this horse be compared to 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist, and while Lovett said Ashrun has a fair way to go to reach that level, he’s heading there. He’s got the right form to win this and cement a Melbourne Cup berth.
The firmer the track is at Geelong, the better the chances of 1 San Huberto (Bet Now: $15.00) are. He needs a dry track to be competitive in these kind of races and he gets it here. His form from France reads well enough without jumping up and down, but OTI go to their #1 man for these imports in Olly and if gate one is used to advantage, I think he’ll run a big race.
Race 8. (16:40) Black Pearl Stakes 1200m
Think class can come to the fore here via 1 Xilong (Bet Now: $3.30). She resumed in the Northwood Plume where she copped heat on speed from the outset and battled away really well when fifth to Fiesta. Think she’ll lead these comfortably and second up last prep, she ran super behind Garner. If she can lead and get control, think she wins.
Big test here for 15 Mariamia (Bet Now: $11.00), but she looks very promising. Shane Stockdale trained mare that made a mess of them winning first up at the Valley over 1200m, rounding them up from the back to spank them, abeit a much easier race than what she faces here, but she’s a mare in form and draws soft.
7 Goldifox (Bet Now: $18.00) can be an improver at odds. Knuckled down strongly to win two back at Bendigo before racing at Cranbourne where nothing went her way and convinced she should have finished much closer when fifth to Groundswell. Does no work from the barrier and a big positive for her is that Jamie Kah steers.
Race 9. (17:20) No Fuss Event Hire Handicap (64) 1400m
Looks to be good speed here, which I think will suit 11 November Dreaming (Bet Now: $4.00). This mare is first up after a pretty solid Autumn/Winter prep where she ran well in some decent races behind some quality animals. Can’t find a recent jumpout or her, but the tempo in front, a solid one, will give her a decent chance to wear them down.
6 Kuzco Lad (Bet Now: $5.00) has done a good job since coming to Victoria for the WaterBott team, winning 2/2, each win coming at this track, with the latest being at this trip when on speed and fighting on strongly to win. Williams jumps off to ride November Dreaming if that’s a lead at all, but should be near the front and trying hard.
2 Playoffs (Bet Now: $8.00) is a talented animal for the Maher/Eustace camp that resumes. This four year old hasn’t raced since the Chairmans where he was being touted as a potential Derby candidate but pulled up lame and was spelled. Blinkers off tells me he might need this run, but he’s got a touch of class/quality about him.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Eight Number 1 Xilong
NEXT BEST: Race One Number 2 Excelman
LONG SHOT: Race Seven Number 3 King Of Leogrance
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 4, 5, 6, 8
Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7
Leg Three: 1
Leg Four: 2, 6, 9, 11
$50 Investment = 62.50% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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