An eight race card has been assembled for Belmont this Saturday for Birthday Stakes Day. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (15:24) Initial Plate 1000m
I think the Lark Hill trial from September 25 is the key form reference here. 7 Niccovi (Bet Now: $2.70) won the trial and for mine she was very impressive. She was pushed out, like most in the trial, but she responded very well and won under a hold on the line in fast time relative to the morning. Happy to be in her corner.
5 Marcee A Lady (Bet Now: $3.80) is a stablemate of Niccovi who ran second to her in the trial mentioned above. Pike was at her before the turn and she responded, getting within 3/4 of Niccovi but that filly was comfortably holding her. Barrier draw advantage and Pike remaining are the positives if you like her.
2 Tinsnip (Bet Now: $6.50) is a son of Snippetson for Adam Durrant who ran third in the Niccovi trial and I thought his effort was quite good. He got back off the pace and was presented wider on the turn, letting down nicely under not much pressure. I think 1200m+ will suit this horse, but if they go silly in front, he could well have last say.
Race 2. (16:04) David Grays Aglink Plate 1400m
8 Leading Girl (Bet Now: $2.70) for me. Team Williams trains this filly, who was confidently backed as an odds on pop on debut at Northam where she didn’t show much gate speed and was back near last before getting the cutaway and she showed an electric finale under Pike to win. Looks a good type and confident she can measure up.
1 Pagan Image (Bet Now: $2.90) is an Adam Durrant trained filly who is just a ripper. Been up a fair while but continues to race really well. Ran over this track/distance a fortnight ago where she took on the heavily backed Sophie’s Song but she had the momentum and found the best part of the track to score. Hard fit/in form and is reliable.
4 Blackwood River (Bet Now: $13.00) is an interesting runner. Son of Blackfriars resuming for the Stephen Miller team. Just had the one run to start his career in the Winter over 1300m here where he finished midfeld behind them boom youngster Special Reward. Loved the way he went in a recent Lark Hill trial and draws well.
Race 3. (16:44) Western Racepix Belmont Horse Of The Year Handicap (72+) 1200m
Hard to get away from 2 Electric Light (Bet Now: $1.85). She is just so reliable for Adam Durrant and the big tick for her is that she’s a winner. Ran over this track/distance a fortnight ago where she looked in a bit of trouble but once Pike got fair dinkum, her class came to the fore. Doesn’t lose anything with Parnham taking over and rates highly.
7 Masquerade (Bet Now: $2.10) is a son of Time Thief resuming for Team Williams. This bloke hasn’t raced since May 19 when winning impressively over 1000m at Ascot. Pike on, gate one…would have been on top had he done more in a recent trial. Wasn’t asked to do much and the time was slow. Just think he might need one more.
1 Zuccheros (Bet Now: $34.00) could be an improver. He’s getting on in years and his best days are probably behind him but with the right run he could add some value to exotics. He ran second last behind Electric Light in the race mentioned above but the race was dominated by the first few. If the speed is on, he’ll be strong late.
Race 4. (17:24) Birthday Stakes 1200m
5 Enticing Star…(Bet Now: $1.20) she wouldn’t have looked out of place if she got an Everest slot considering some of the horses that were originally picked. She’s a star for Team Williams and should make it 8/8. Her late Autumn/Winter prep was breathtaking and was that of a Group l horse. Trialled brilliantly behind Great Shot and does get the weight pull here.
1 Great Shot (Bet Now: $5.50) has to give the star mare 6.5kg weight, but one thing he has going for him is the softest lead in the world. He’ll lead these for fun and we know that if he’s left alone, he’ll give an almighty sight in front. Very good fresh horse and has been tuned up for his return with a couple of trial wins. He’s ready to go.
2 Properantes (Bet Now: $34.00) is a Colin Webster trained gelding who is first up here. He hasn’t raced since the Pinjarra Classic in February when finishing down the track behind Battle Hero, seemingly not being 100%. Been given a very good break with the Summer Carnival in mind and his two trials leading in have been encouraging.
Race 5. (18:00) Tabtouch Better Your Bet Handicap (66+) 1400m
Want to give 10 Patrocity (Bet Now: $7.00) another chance. He was three weeks between runs when racing over 1300m a fortnight ago where he was a drifter in betting and ran accordingly, lacking any real dash behind A Knight Of Pro. I think with the run under the belt and back up in trip, he can bounce back in a big way.
4 Arcadia Prince (Bet Now: $1.35) is a beautifully bred son of Pierro resuming for the Adam Durrant stable. This gelding hasn’t raced since June 9 when finishing down the track behind Roganella. Very good fresh record and he looks to have come back in slick order if his trial at Lark Hill is any indicator. Very encouraging.
2 New Time (Bet Now: $21.00) is an absolute beauty for Jim Taylor who comes through the A Knight Of Pro race mentioned above where he was on speed throughout and despite being one of the first horses under pressure, he kept finding to only be beaten narrowly. Should be on speed again and giving a great sight.
Race 6. (18:35) Devil's Lair Handicap (1MW) 1300m
2 Bold Success (Bet Now: $2.60) looks to have really turned the corner. He was forever going to be known as a proper milk drinker, but he finally got a win on the board two back at this track/distance before trying to repeat the dose a fortnight back and you could make a case he should have beaten A Knight Of Pro. Happy to be with him again.
1 Big Caroline (Bet Now: $5.50) is a ripping mare for the Giadresco team but just can’t quite crack it for a win. She steps up to 1300m after racing over 1200m here two weeks back where she got back off the pace but finished off strongly late to run third to Electric Light. Draws well and the claim for Kirby certainly helps.
5 Sigil (Bet Now: $8.00) is a Simon Miller trained gelding who is similar to the two mentioned above in that he struggles to greet the judge first, but is racing well enough. Ran over 1400m here last time where he was chasing a pretty hot speed and that scenario didn’t suit him but he stuck on well behind Lofty Lad. I think back, with cover, he can be more effective.
Race 7. (19:10) Crown Perth Opening Day October 20 Handicap (1MW) 1000m
Happy to be with 13 Sally’s Realm (Bet Now: $7.00). This mare resumes for Team Williams after an Autumn prep which saw her contest the Princess Series where she was far from disgraced. I think 1000m will be short of her ideal trip, but she can sprint well fresh and was sharp to the eye in a recent Lark Hill trial.
1 Night Voyage (Bet Now: $7.00) is a beauty for Martin Allan and should take some beating. Ran over this track/distance a fortnight ago and ran his usual honest race, running boom horse Battle Storm to a half length. Well in at the eights after the claim for Emma Stent and the depth here is nowhere near as strong.
3 Niccatrice (Bet Now: $8.00) is a Mark Bairstow trained gelding who is a proven city performer. Did a mighty job I thought when resuming at this track/distance four weeks back where he poured the pressure on in front and to his credit, he beat off the rest of the speed horses and looked home but was bloused late. If that hasn’t busted him, he should run well once again.
Race 8. (19:45) Amelia Park Lodge Handicap (72) 1600m
3 Elegant Blast (Bet Now: $5.50) get another chance for me. Was on her last Saturday over 1400m here and I think remaining at that trip from the resumption was her undoing. She was looking for further but couldn’t quite ping when third to Count Tomoz off. Up to the mile now looks ideal and have to respect the fact the stable backs it up.
1 Battle Torque (Bet Now: $6.00) is a month between runs for the Adam Durrant team since winning over this track/distance, largely thanks to some genius from Pike, who weaved his magic wand and clearly the ride won the race. He’ll drift back from the wide gate again, likely giving a start, but he’ll be very strong late.
4 Luke’s Gold (Bet Now: $23.00) could be a definite improver for Vaughn Sigley. Got a well deserved win at this track/distance two back attempting to repeat the dose but unfortunately he pulled up lame in a total forgive. He’s hard to trust, but has been given a month to recover from that outing and I think market will be the guide.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Four Number 5 Enticing Star
NEXT BEST: Race Three Number 2 Electric Light
LONG SHOT: Race Five Number 10 Patrocity
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 1, 2, 4, 5, 10
Leg Two: 1, 2, 5
Leg Three: 1, 3, 5, 13
Leg Four: 1, 3, 4, 5
$50 Investment= 20.83% 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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