BEST BET – Race 1, No1 Zumbelina.
NEXT BEST – Race 5, No6 Pursuit Of Honour.
BEST ROUGHIE – Race 6, No9 Romney’s Choice.
Race 1 12:30pm BEDFORD CA HANDICAP 1400m
ZUMBELINA (BEST BET) should get punters off to a winning start here. She has been dominant at both of her runs and wins this time in, but rises in weight here. The step up to 1400m should not phase her whatsoever and from barrier (1) she should get a perfect run in transit and dominate them in the straight.
SELECTIONS: No 1 ZUMBELINA, No 3 Cadogan, No 2 Fiery Trail, No 4 Miss Ballantine.
VALUE RUNNER: No 3 Cadogan.
Race 2 1:10pm GOLDNERS HORSE TRANSPORT GOLDEN GIFT 1100m
I loved SERENA BAY's win on debut at Kembla. She jumped, led, and when asked she quickened in a really good sectional for a 2yo in 32.9s for her last 600m. She looks to dominate the speed here and should be hard to beat.
FLORID has had the benefit of a 1050m trial leading into his debut run and that should hold him in good stead. He really quickened well against the older horses when asked and looks to be a talented colt.
IPSO FACTO should be better for the debut run and gets blinkers on here. His sire Pierro was a winning machine in the blinkers and they could have the same effect here.
ALLIED POWER has had the benefit of two trials leading into this and showed an improved effort at his most recent trial. He looks as if he will need further than this, and he should be hitting the line well.
SELECTIONS: No 11 SERENA BAY, No 5 Florid, No 1 Ipso Facto, No 4 Allied Power.
VALUE RUNNER: No 1 Ipso Facto.
Race 3 1:45pm HQ INSURANCE HANDICAP 1800m
LIAPARI won well off a setback at Canterbury last start and the step up here to 1800m looks ideal. Avdulla got everything out of him late over the shorter distance there. Should he have taken no harm from that run he will be hard to beat.
BALMAIN BOY gets one last chance here, out to the 1800m after running on well at his last few runs looking for this trip. With a claim he can break through here and shed his bridesmaid tag.
ESCHIELE draws a good gate here and gets a chance to break through after a smart claim for Adkins. He has been running quite well this preparation and gets his chance.
MONTAUK gets the blinkers back on here and a quick back up in an effort to spark him up. He has a horrid record at his home track but finds a winnable race here.
SELECTIONS: No 7 LIAPARI, No 3 Balmain Boy, No 1 Eschiele, No 2 Montauk
VALUE RUNNER: No 1 Eschiele.
Race 4 2:20pm TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP 1500m
Tricky highway here and I’ve landed on AL CUBANA after a good run last start in a highway. He came from well off them on a day where backmarkers were not suited at all and ran through the line. The 1500m suits perfectly and he will be hard to beat.
DELIGHTFUL FEELING won that highway race and got the perfect run in transit that day. The senior hops off and he gets Heywood to claim 3kgs down to 56kg which gets him really well in at the weights. Dunn in highways has been a licence to print money as of late.
BILL ‘N’ EVE drops 5kgs off his last two runs and gets out to the 1500m which should suit perfectly. He had no luck at Gundagai two back and looks to get a good run on the map here. With even luck he has a chance.
THE NICKSTER was a dominant winner at Gundagai last start. He took off early on and really smashed them. He looks to take up the same sort of role here and should be the one to run down.
SELECTIONS: No 12 AL CUBANA, No 1 Delightful Feeling, No 2 Bill ‘N’ Eve, No 11 The Nickster.
VALUE RUNNER: No 2 Bill ‘N’ Eve.
Race 5 2:55pm SIRE CUSTODIANS HANDICAP 2400m
PURSUIT OF HONOUR (NEXT BEST) looks to make it four in a row here and should be able to do so given the way he has been running through the line at his previous wins. He has had the benefit of that run over 2400m and looks perfectly suited here. Waller has suggested in the media that he is a stayer who we can look out for in the coming months. He looks as if he could be a player in the bigger races over the summer season.
SELECTIONS: No 6 PURSUIT OF HONOUR, No 2 Herne’s Oak, No 4 Vassal, No 9 Zourkhan.
VALUE RUNNER: No 2 Herne’s Oak
ROMNEY’S CHOICE (BEST ROUGHIE) has been running in the best form of his life this preparation and running some good time. The form around Circular has stacked up with her win at Goulburn in the Cup last weekend. 1500m suits perfectly and he will be hard to beat.
MURAQABA was caught in the wrong part of the track on Cup day at Flemington. The race wasn’t really run to suit either. The form out of both of his runs this time in has been quite good. He drops back to a weaker race here and has his chance.
UNBIASED gets a good weight drop here after a really good first-up run in a good race at Randwick. With that fitness on his side/the senior in Berry getting on board he could really springboard off that run and fly over the top here.
TRAFALGAR was, to put it simply, shocking first-up. He looked well set up for a good run and offered nothing. The race wasn’t really run to suit, but I would have liked to have seen him finish off. However, I can’t drop off him.
SELECTIONS: No 9 ROMNEY’S CHOICE, No 1 Muraqaba, No 7 Unbiased, No 3 Trafalgar.
VALUE RUNNER: No 9 Romney’s Choice.
Race 7 4:10pm #THERACES HANDICAP 1400m
ONEROUS was a weird run last start. He looked as if he was going to bolt in before changing his lead leg late and it cost him the win that day. Now that he comes back to Sydney he should be rock hard fit after three runs this time in and should be hard to beat.
MOHER has been dominating his races as of late and looks to do so here, but this race is set up a little differently here. He should get some pressure from the outset of the race, and he is coming back in distance, which is a touch concerning.
HIGH MIDNIGHT has trialled quite well twice leading into this. He is one who can sit up on a hot speed and sustain that speed throughout a finish. Cummings is placing his horses quite well as of late and this gelding has a fantastic record at this track.
ROCK FORTHE LADIES comes through the same race as Onerous at Flemington and was a little flat that day/was in the slow lane. Coming back to Sydney where he has a really good record gives him a chance, and he is really well weighted after the claim.
SELECTIONS: No 4 ONEROUS, No 3 Moher, No 2 High Midnight, No 1 Rock Forthe Ladies.
VALUE RUNNER: No 2 High Midnight.
Race 8 4:50pm ROADWORK SOLUTIONS HANDICAP 1200m
INTERSTELLAR won well at her first Australian run in the winter. She had some really good form around him in New Zealand before making the switch to Team Hawkes. She has trialled imposingly leading into this first-up run. She is yet to see good going, but off the trial I have no doubts that she will handle it.
BONNY O’REILLY looks much better suited to this race than she was first-up at Canterbury. She got a long way back and really hit the line in good time, but the bird had flown by then. Getting to a bigger track such as Rosehill suits, as well as a 3kg weight drop. She is also in Friday night at Canterbury, with no indication of where she is to run at time of writing.
CIARLET has been running well as of late without winning. She is yet to live up to her rich breeding tag given that she is a brother to Zoustar. But she can get back into the winners’ circle back on her home track.
PEPPERBERRY gets a big jockey change here and showed that she is still interested in racing last start with a tough effort behind Coys. She is adept in all kinds of going and down in the weights she has her chance here.
SELECTIONS: No 8 INTERSTELLAR, No 14 Bonny O’Reilly, No 10 Ciarlet, No 13 Pepperberry.
VALUE RUNNER: No 13 Pepperberry.
Race 9 5:30pm TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP 1100m
FIRSTHAND was a good winner in a good race last start at Canterbury. He ran a nice time and has always looked as if he has above average ability. This seems a really good step for him to take on a Saturday and he gets a good jockey change with Berry back on.
CARELESS has had a change of stables since his last prep and is now with Mark Newnham. When he was with Godolphin he was a solid Saturday performer and sometimes with these older horses a change of scenery can spark them into action.
SECRET TRAIL resumed with a really good win at Canterbury and looked as if she would have more improvement to come from that. She has drawn a really sticky barrier (14) but has proven in the past that she can win second-up and is well weighted after the claim for Heywood.
UPSCALE really lifted late last start to win in really good time. She really ran through the line there and looks well suited again. She does go up 2kgs for that effort, but the way she has been going this time in that should be no issue.
SELECTIONS: No 6 FIRSTHAND, No 5 Careless, No 9 Secret Trail, No 8 Upscale.
VALUE RUNNER: No 5 Careless.