Last week we had a mammoth nine-race card on for punters at Cranbourne, but it is back to the usual eight races for tonight’s meeting.
The weather has again been hot in Victoria with a high dominating the southern States and keeping temperatures up. It was hot here last week too, but the relief is racing is in the evening when things are a shade cooler. The false rail has been moved out a further three metres on last week and will be at the six-metre position tonight. The track has been irrigated and is again rated perfectly as a Good 4.
The card is extremely tricky with four lowly maidens to kick off the proceedings. Not a great meeting for depth of quality and suggest punters look for the betting moves as the best guide to finding a winner.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 1 / 3,5 / 1,3 / 7,8.
Wide Play: 1,4 / 3,5,8 / 1,3,8 / 3,5,7,8.
BEST BET: R5 – 1. BELWAZI
Next Best Bet: R6 – 5. RAYMAX
Best Roughie: R7 – 4. EXPINSIVE
No1 BELLA MIA gets a critical gear change with the blinkers going on for the first time. She has proven most reliable and ran close third against her own sex in a 1500m maiden at Mornington on January 1. Luke Nolen replaces Daniel Stackhouse and she has drawn perfectly in gate five.
No4 FONTEIN ALI has been knocking at the door with successive seconds in the country. Latest she ran a good second over 1500m in a maiden on a bog track here on December 12. She is on the week-to-week back up but has a good jockey in Brad Rawiller and a good alley in gate four to help her tonight.
No5 FOXANNE has shown potential at her two starts back from a long spell landing inside the money on both occasions. Latest she ran a closing third out wide over 1400m against her own sex in a 1400m maiden at Warrnambool on January 7. Ben Allen rides her for top trainer Darren Weir.
No9 WHITE WITH ONE has been around about at her four starts but she claimed her first placing last start when finishing a good third 1720m maiden at Geelong on January 5. She gets new rider Michael Walker replacing Regan Bayliss and she is rock hard for this race.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 WHITE WITH ONE
No8 ESTRELLA FELLA is from the leading stable of Team Hayes and has finished inside the money at two of his four starts. Latest he ran a good fourth in a 1117m maiden at Echuca on December 31. Regan Bayliss replaces Jake Duffy and should get a cosy run from gate five. Good chance here.
No11 TROON is a three-year-old gelding who has been close up at his five starts. Last start he ran a solid fourth over 1300m in a maiden at Stawell on January 5. He was backed into the $2.60 favourite that day and with Michael Dee as the new rider looks to have good prospects in an ordinary maiden on paper.
No5 SUTHEBYS was working home well when claiming his first pay cheque finishing third over 1300m maiden at Sandown on January 3. He did a good job and with Stephanie Thornton’s 1.5kg country claim will carry 57kg. Another bonus is he has drawn on the inside rail.
No9 KING KABUTO is resuming from a 20-week spell tonight. Has only raced twice for a 12th at Geelong over 1421m and a fifth over 1212m at Sale back in August and September. He drops a kilo in weight to 57kg and Luke Nolen is keen to ride again. Suggest to watch market but can improve.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 KING KABUTO
No3 HARDLY SURPRISING looks to have the hoof right on the till with two strong seconds at two career starts. Latest she ran out wide and fought hard to finish second over 1400m maiden against her own sex at Warrnambool on January 7. Drawn perfectly in gate two and Luke Nolen is the new rider.
No7 NECESSARY has finished inside the money at her two career starts. Latest she was easy in the betting at $7.50 but she showed true grit to go down narrowly over 1318m maiden at Geelong on January 4. Leading apprentice Ben Allen will ride again and like her chances here from gate eight.
No4 JEALOUS TYCOON is by leading Victorian sire Written Tycoon and made an imposing debut when she ran a strong third in a 1318m maiden at Geelong on January 4. She was not fancied and came close to causing a boil-over at the rank outside odds of $101. Won’t be so wide here.
No1 BOSSY ROSE worked very hard to earn third place over 1400m maiden at her second career start at Echuca on December 20. She then came to the city where she ran a credible eighth in a 1300m maiden at Sandown on January 10. She is on a quick back up tonight. Bookies have held her tight in their markets.
VALUE RUNNER: No BOSSY ROSE
No7 BEL SELEVA faces a very mediocre field here in this maiden for fillies and mares. Last start she ran a strong second in a 1000m maiden at Yarra Valley on December 28. The experienced heavy-weight rider Rhys McLeod rides her for good trainer David Bricdeoake and this is only her third start.
No2 PARIS FLIRTING has been placed second three times at her six starts so far. Latest she ran a close second over 1100m in a maiden at Stony Creek on January 8. She does rise 1.5kg in weight to 58kg but this is a low class field and she has something of a score on the board.
No8 ELECTRON battled on steadily enough to finish 2.8 lengths adrift of the winner at her debut in an 1100m maiden at Stony Creek on January 8. That was a fair effort for a filly beginning her career and she is only against her own sex tonight. Gets the experienced Jye McNeil as her new partner.
No12 PLEDGEOFALLEGIANCE has the bubble cheeker coming off for the first time. She was a $2.45 favourite but flopped finishing second last in a 1000m maiden here 41 weeks ago. The length of her spell suggests she suffered an injury and would keep her most safe at her resumption tonight.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 PARIS FLIRTING
No1 BELWAZI (BEST BET) has won four and finished second once from seven starts. She still ran 2.8 lens adrift of the winner when finishing eighth over 1000m at Sandown on January 10. She is back in country grade here, after winning at Moonee Valley three starts ago. Leading apprentice Stephanie Thornton’s 1.5kg alleviates her weight down to a comfortable 59kg and she has gate five.
No4 TERINDAH will relish his return to the country tracks after failing at Caulfield last start.
No6 WRECKING BALL was an outstanding winner over 1000m at Hanging Rock last start. This is harder.
No7 MERIDIAN STAR has recorded two smart wins in the country from past five starts. Definitely respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 MERIDIAN STAR
No5 RAYMAX (NEXT BEST BET) is a lightly raced son of Rothesay who has shown plenty of promise at his five starts. He broke the ice with a clever win over 1600m in a maiden at Mornington on December 13. He then was raised to Flemington where he performed well to run a credible sixth over 1700m on January 1. He gets top jockey Jamie Mott replacing a 3kg apprentice tonight and has drawn right on the inside rail.
No3 AKAMON broke his maiden status with a smart win over 1720m in a maiden at Geelong last start. Looks the danger.
No8 CHARLIE CHEVAL ran a solid fourth over 2100m at Sandown last start and drops back to the country tonight.
No1 STARTIERRA was a tear-away winner over 2025m at Kyneton two starts ago and was solid over 2080m here last start.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 STARTIERRA
No1 BLUE TYCOON is a four-year-old who ran a strong third over 1200m here on January 5. He gets the highly talented Lachlan king to ride and his allowance will reduce his impost down to a comfortable 60kg in a country field. Can improve further on his debut here at this track.
No3 BALLINACLASH has been most consistent finishing just behind the money at recent starts. Latest he ran a close fourth to Von Richer over 1209m at Yarra Valley on January 9. Senior rider Brad Rawiller replaces a 3kg apprentice tonight and would respect on 60kg.
No5 PERUGGIA found the hot shot King’s Will Dream far too good but fought on well to run second over 1200m at Warrnambool on January 7. He won at Sandown and Donald last winter and will get top rider Jye McNeil to guide here. Will have the Darren Weir polish too.
No4 EXPINSIVE (BEST ROUGHIE) was easy in the betting out from $10 to $15 before running a great second over 1200m here on a bog track on December 29. Has been kept fresh for this event and has a fantastic record second-up of two wins at four starts fresh. Top jockey Regan Bayliss rides the mare tonight.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 EXPINSIVE
No7 SEDUCTIVE MISS looks a good chance to end the night on a high for punters on her great win over 1500m at Geelong two starts ago. Last start she had no luck when caught deep before leading and fought on strong to run fourth over 1700m at Stony Creek on January 7.
No8 DAYS GO BY is resuming from a 28-week spell but has shown potential at only two starts. Last start she careered away to a 1.7 length win over 1600m maiden her eon July 6. She was put away to mature and is being brought back here for her resumption tonight. Good chance.
No5 MERCURY ROCKS is resuming from a 12-week spell and goes well fresh. Last start he ran a solid fifth over 2000m at Mornington on October 22. He won his maiden over 1600m in a maiden at Bendigo three starts ago. He will wear concussion plates for the first time tonight.
No3 ELEGANT QUEEN was a flawless 2.25 length winner at Mornington three starts ago. Last start she ran a solid ninth over 1600m at Sandown on January 3. The 2kg claim of her apprentice rider reduces her weight down to a comfortable 57kg and she has a great alley in gate three.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 ELEGANT QUEEN