Spring racing is knocking on the door at Rosehill and Flemington this Saturday with both venues hosting many spring carnival-credentialed thoroughbreds.
Rosehill features the Spring Preview which includes a number of talented imports and the $150,000 Rosebud Stakes where many new season three-year-old’s will be looking to kick-start their spring campaigns in style.
Over in Melbourne, the Aurie’s Star Handicap is the feature race on the card and an even field has been presented. Group one winners Hey Doc and I Am a Star have been easing in the betting with most of the money coming for Flippant and Cannyescent.
The fields at Rosehill and Flemington are packed with good betting opportunities and we have found our best for the day.
Free Tips and Form at Rosehill
Race 3. (13:10) Merrylands Premier’s Cup Prelude 1800m
Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott line up this quality front-running type which is coming off a classy win at Rosehill.
The four-year-old gelding loves to set its own pace out front and that has been evident at its last four starts. During that run, he has failed on only one occasion which came when the jockey went out too hard on the heavy track.
He prefers the dry track conditions and stepping up to the 1800m distance shouldn’t pose any problems after it was only narrowly grabbed on the line by Vaucluse Bay two starts ago on this track.
He drops in weight from 59.5kg to 53kg and jockey Tommy Berry is a great judge of tempo, which is going to play out well over this distance.
The odds are short, but it should have them all running off the bit heading into the home straight.
Race 4. (13:45) Dooley’s Handicap 1100m
Sir Plush has a reputation for being a money spinner this preparation, but all three starts have been good performances so take nothing away from him.
Bjorn Baker lines up the five-year-old which drops back to a distance where he won four of his five starts and a track where he has had plenty of experience on.
His placing behind Calanda at the start of July has been franked since and it didn’t have much go its way when running second to former Hong Kong runner Washington Heights last start.
He should find this race easier and the next best in the betting is Badajoz at $5.50 – the same horse Sir Plush defeated by almost three lengths to start this preparation.
Sir Plush looks like a good play in the fourth race of the day.
Race 6. (14:55) Smithfield RSL Rosebud Stakes (1100m)
This is a hot field, hence the place bet only, but Perast has enough ability to win.
We would have liked to see a bigger market push, but he did open at $24 and he has been backed into $15.
The three-year-old colt, trained by Paul Perry, was an impressive winner on debut at Scone when taking out the 2YO Handicap by 3.5 lengths. That performance showed that he can perform without needing race fitness under his belt, which bodes well for this.
He then went to the Inglis 2YO at Caulfield where he used too much energy early and paid the price for it late. To fight on for third behind Jukebox is a credit to his strength and that run might have taken its toll for the following run in the Todman Stakes.
He will likely go forward with the light weight on his back and give them something serious to catch.
Race 8. (16:15) ClubNSW Handicap (1400m)
The Snowden’s line up Faith’s Encore which has been a little expensive in two starts this preparation, but is overdue a good showing.
She’s a four-year-old mare which has run nice races behind quality thoroughbreds, including Samantha in the Fireball Stakes.
She should be in peak fitness following two starts this preparation, with the most recent coming at Rosehill where she dwelt out of the barriers and stormed home late in the race.
She’s a horse which will win many more races at this level and we’re playing her because of the current odds available.
Free Tips and Form at Felmington
Race 1. (12:15) VRC Member Raymond Ali Handicap (1400m)
Aljawzaa was a winner on debut at Gawler before racing at Sandown where she finished second behind She’s So High.
The filly then stepped up in grade at Caulfield on July 15 and it was rattling home over the concluding stages after getting very little luck throughout the run.
She was three-back along the inside, which is never ideal at Caulfield, and Craig Williams was unable to find clear running room until very late in the piece.
She did well to finish within two lengths of the winner and the rise up to 1400m is going to suit her perfectly.
She looks the type that still has plenty to learn, so the wide-open spaces at Flemington should allow her to settle and find a nice rhythm.
Race 3. (13:25) VRC Member Graeme McMenamin Handicap (1400m)
Punters have had great success betting on Rich Luck and now isn’t the time to jump off its back.
The five-year-old has won five from seven, including its last start win at Geelong where it put up a couple of lengths on its rivals in the finish.
The four-time winner at 1400m is always well-found in the market and that’s the case again here, but punters are getting great value at $5.50 compared to some of the past quotes he has started at.
$1.65, $1.75, $3 and $3.20 – his starting price at his last four starts and despite some stiff competition this Saturday, we’re prepared to take the value with a horse that returns a good return on income (ROI).
Race 7. (15.55) Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m)
Punters are faced with an even market where six of the 10 runners are quoted at single figures, but the big money has come for Flippant and we’d tend to agree with it.
The Snowden-prepared mare won its only start at Flemington down the straight and having straight-course speed is vital.
Many of its opposition haven’t gone well down the straight and Flippant has the experience needed to win at this level again. She showed good signs in the Ramornie last start and its light weight will help immensely.
She opened at $6 and has been firmly backed since.