Racing at Ballarat goes to a twilight meeting this Wednesday with the first race due to start at 4.30pm and the last race to be run at 8pm.
Victoria is experimenting with twilight midweek meetings to see the affect on betting turnover in the mid-summer.
It is not an easy meeting to find winners with four maidens to kick off the eight-race card.
The first two maidens are very low class. The star of the evening appears to be the Northern Hemisphere import Kings Will Dream who created a big stir with his flawless win at Warrnambool at his Australian debut for leading trainer Darren Weir earlier this month.
Unfortunately punters will have to wait until the last race to catch a glimpse of this Irish-bred import.
Victorian will get slight relief from what has been “Hellish” temperatures with a top of 31C forecast for Wednesday but the forecast is bleak with the hot weather to return for the weekend. The false rail will be out to the seven-metre position from the 600m to the winning post and at the three-metre position for the remainder. The track will be irrigate and is expected to be a Good 4.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 6 – 1,6 – 2,3 - 2
Wide Play: 2,6 – 1,3,6,8 – 1,2,3,9 – 2,5,6
BEST BET: R8 – 2. KINGS WILL DREAM
Next Best Bet: R6 – 1. NAT’S THE BOSS
Best Roughie: R5 – 1. CHARLTON
No2 NICOSMILE returns to racing in a very low key maiden with only five opposition here and if he has any ability should win this. Claims sole placing at three starts when finishing third over 1900m maiden at Geelong at penultimate start on July 11. Hails from the top yard of Team Hayes and has top rider Andrew Mallyon on board.
No1 AURIC GOLD went within centimetres of winning over 1400m in a maiden at Pakenham last campaign in June. Latest run he faded to finish 10th in a 1600m maiden at Sandown on January 10. That was his second start back from a spell and won’t find a race much easier than this one.
No3 VIV SAID NO ran successive seconds over 1200m and 1300m at Ballarat and Bendigo this campaign. Last start he was never on the track and worked hard out wide to finish fairly running fifth over 1200m in a maiden here on January 16. Expected to be a serious contender in this race.
No4 MILADY CABRIOT ran a well beaten third over 1400m maiden at Echuca on December 20, before finishing last of eight on a bog track over 1670m at Cranbourne on December 29. Struck a Heavy 8 track and was on a nine-day back up. May appreciate the gap between runs and this is mild to say the least.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 MILADY CABRIOT
No1 LORD MORNINGTON faces only a field of six runners though is on a quick seven-day back up. Will have the addition of blinkers to wear for the first time. Last start ran a steady fifth over 1214m maiden at Moe on January 17. Has a good alley in four and gets Dean Yendall to ride. Gained successive places at prior two starts.
No2 OVER AND ABOVE is a three-year-old making his debut for the top stable of Team Hawkes. Gets ace jockey Dwayne Dunn to ride. Has no trial form to use as a guide but is from a most astute stable and would suggest to watch the market here. Won’t get any easier than this.
No5 CONGA D’ORO showed plenty of speed to lead but was reeled in when finishing third over 1209m maiden at Yarra Valley on January 9. That was second-up from a 30-week spell and will strip fitter for the outing. Gets top jockey Regan Bayliss to ride and is from a leading stable.
No6 SUMMER SHAM is a well-bred filly by leading sire Not A Single Doubt making her debut for the top yard of Danny O’Brien. She has no trial form to use as a guide but is expected to be ready for this encounter and it is not a strong maiden. Suggest to watch the betting.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 SUMMER SHAM
No14 ROOBEENA is a well-bred daughter of Exceed and Excel who made a good debut with a strong second over 1000m in a Group 3 at Flemington on November 7. She faces far milder opposition today and she is from the top juvenile yard of Tony McEvoy. She gets top rider Andrew Mallyon to guide.
No11 ALL TOO HANDY faced her own sex when running a good third over 1000m maiden here on January 14. That was at her debut and she is from the leading stable of trainer Darren Weir and has top stable rider Dean Yendall to steer. She makes plenty of appeal as the main danger.
No2 CONCRETE is a product of the astute yard of Busuttin and Young and is by the leading stallion Fastnet Rock. The colt is named after a former top class Perth galloper Concrete and he gets ace jockey Dwayne Dunn to guide him at his debut. Would keep very safe here at debut.
No7 TEMPLAR is a colt who made some impression at his debut with a strong third over 1000m in a maiden at Sandown on December 30. He has again drawn well in gate three and Michelle Payne keeps the ride on the two-year-old. Should appreciate the extra 100m today.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 TEMPLAR
No3 CARIBBEAN WONDER looks a good chance on second over 1100m in a maiden at Stawell on January 9. Was backed from $10 into $7.50 and only just missed the major money. Has drawn perfectly in gate one and gets top jockey Dwayne Dunn to guide at second start. Should be right in the finish.
No1 BELICHICK gets top jockey Damien Oliver to ride at her debut. She underlined she was primed for a first-up assault with a close but strong win in an 800m trial at Cranbourne on November 17. The son of leading sire Star Witness has had plenty of time to mature further and would respect here.
No5 EVOLUTIONIST was caught up to four deep when finishing well to claim third over 1200m maiden at Seymour on December 21. That was three starts ago. Latest he was a $3.70 favourite when running a solid sixth after a tough run when trapped deep over 1530m maiden at Geelong on January 11.
No9 RECYCLE was having only his second start when he finished well to run a close second over 1400m in a maiden at Echuca on December 31. He was not wanted in the betting easing out to $21 but it was a good effort by the gelding. Popular jockey Harry Coffey again rides from gate four.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 RECYCLE
No6 SKY PUNCH was the object of strong betting when backed into a $3.10 favourite and finished sixth over 1530m at Geelong on January 11. Copped a decent bump at 100 to 50m position and still kept on chipping away. Senior jockey Jamie Winks replaces a 2kg claiming apprentice today.
No2 POTENTATE is a son of top sire Fastnet Rock who broke his maiden status with a smart win over 1600m in a maiden at Werribee two starts ago on December 24. Last start he ran a strong third over 1720m at Geelong on January 11. He was backed into a $4 favourite that day and would respect.
No4 BIG SUR was held very tight between the 200m to the 50m before finishing fourth over 1330m at Geelong on January 11. That was first-up from a 22-week spell and had no luck in the running. Senior jockey Luke Nolen replaces a 3kg claiming apprentice. That is a significant ploy.
No1 CHARLTON (BEST ROUGHIE) will wear ear muffs for the first time. Last start ran a solid seventh over 1800m at Sandown on December 20. He was a clever winner over 2100m at Pakenham four starts ago and was only second-up last start. Will have superior fitness now and is at his right distance.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 CHARLTON
No1 NAT’S THE BOSS (NEXT BEST BET) drops down from city class after finishing a good sixth over 1300m at Sandown on January 10. The five-year-old had to thread between runners that day and did good work. He gets the 2kg claim of apprentice Stockdale today to reduce his impost to 59.5kg and he loves this trip with two wins and four placings at seven starts. Makes a good case.
No6 CRITICAL THINKING was taken up to Queensland to contest feature races after breaking his maiden status over 1200m at Seymour last winter. Watch.
No4 LORD SMEDLEY capped his last campaign with a clever win over 1400m at Mildura. Goes okay fresh.
No7 THE CHEETAH is back from a Queensland campaign where he raced in far stronger class. Goes well fresh.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 THE CHEETAH
No3 HAMMERSTEIN won in grand style over 1968m at Yarra Valley on January 9. He strode to the winning post with a comfortable 1.25 length margin and he drops a kilo today down to 59kg. Top jockey Dwayne Dunn replaces Michael Walker and he is again drawn well in barrier four.
No1 GILCHRIST was badly held up from the 400m to the 200m and still finished off nicely to run a close fifth over 1800m at Sandown on January 10. He does rise 2kg to 63.5kg today but keeps regular rider Jamie Mott on top. He is suited at this distance and is down a few grades in class here.
No2 COLUMN was in a three-way photo when finishing third over 2009m at Warrnambool on January 7. The five-year-old Northern Hemisphere import had ran a solid second over 1850m at Kyneton at his prior start on December 23. He did win over 1600m at Pakenham this campaign too.
No8 TRE DIECI ran as an easing $3 favourite when finishing second over 2000m at Stawell on January 5. He had won at his previous start over the same trip. With the 3kg claim his weight will drop to a comfortable 56kg – which is 3.5kg less than he carried last start. Has been most consistent.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 TRE DIECI
No2 KINGS WILL DREAM (BEST BET) is an Irish-bred import in the leading stable of Darren Weir. He was plunged into a $1.85 favourite before finishing powerfully to claim an easy 3 length win over 1200m at Warrnambool on January 7. That gave him perfect stats for his new campaign in Australia and he has Irish jockey John Allen replacing Dean Yendall today. The four-year-old drops a half-kilo on top to 60kg and looks a good bet to end the day.
No7 SPALDING COVE was finishing powerfully last start though finished mid-field and if repeats the effort is a chance.
No5 OUR MALLEE HOFF the blinkers go on and the winkers come off. Was a smart winner at Swan Hill five starts ago and placed third at Morphettville last start.
No6 ORAKEI OVERLORD was a comfortable 1.25 length winner over 1200m at Hamilton last start and is down 1.5kg to 58.5kg.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 ORAKEI OVERLORD