The $300,000 Bendigo Cup might have only seven runners this Wednesday, but punters get their first look this season of Qewy.
The Charlie Appleby-trained international finished fourth in the 2016 Melbourne Cup and it’s going to be interesting to see how he competes this time around.
Both Bendigo and Canterbury have light nominations this Wednesday, largely due to the increased number of meetings during the spring carnival, but punters are getting some competitive betting fields as the Melbourne Cup gets closer.
Bendigo Cup Day free tips & form
Race 2. (12:30) Bendigo RSL Maiden Plate (1400m)
The in-form Tony McEvoy lines up Vinland which has performed well in two tough races to date.
The three-year-old colt finished fifth in the Cooper Stakes on debut before running sixth in the Inglis Nursery, but he pulled up with a vet problem.
That was 11 months ago and he’s been given time to get over that problem. The betting suggests he’s recovered well and the lack of exposed form in this field should give him a significant advantage.
It could pay for punters to follow the betting moves on the day, which should tell the full story.
Race 3. (13:00) Heathcote Winery Shiraz Handicap (1600m)
Knowable’s form line might not read well on face value, but he’s a talented type on his day.
The Steve Richards-trained four-year-old is coming off a second placing at Bendigo when he ran within a nose of the winner, but it’s his form prior to placing that punters should focus on.
He ran eighth and 13th at Flemington during the winter, but he rebounded with a fifth last month and that performance would take him close to winning here.
It’s a small, but tricky field and Knowable is a value runner.
Race 4. (15:35) Bet365 Price Guarantee Handicap (1000m)
We’re expecting this price to shorten with the likely scratching of Raspberry Rose, but she will still represent value.
The Aaron Purcell-trained mare has won two of her six starts so far, which included a win at Mornington last start.
That narrow win came second-up after a long break and she was considered good enough in the autumn to race in the Typhoon Tracey Stakes and the Moomba Plate.
She’s by Exceed and Excel so natural pace is ingrained into her and she should be tough to beat over this distance.
Race 5. (16:10) Bendigo Locksmiths Handicap (1100m)
Punters will have to take short odds for Thronum, but he’s the quality animal of this field and he should be returning in style.
The Lindsay Park-trained four-year-old is coming back after over a year off the track, but he’s one of the quickest around and he showed that early on in his career.
He won the Rosebud Stakes at Randwick before running third in the Up & Coming Stakes behind Divine Prophet. He didn’t fire in the Group 1 Golden Rose before pulling up with a problem in the Stan Fox, but that’s still incredible form for this midweek race.
He opened at $1.50 and has drifted out half a point, but there will be many multi bets running through Thronum.
Race 6. (16:45) Poyser Isuzu Trucks Handicap (1100m)
Pirapala was an outstanding winner last start when scoring by 2.5 lengths over My Boy Greg, which punters will see in the first race at Bendigo.
The sparingly-raced four-year-old has always shown plenty of ability and she finished third behind city-performed Zenalicious at Warwick Farm last year before returning in February with a handy performance behind I Thought So.
She has had her problems, but that was a big indication of ability last start and we think punters are getting good odds this time around.
Race 8. (18:00) Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m)
There’s a betting battle between Qewy and impressive last start winner Kiwia, but we’re favouring the international form.
Qewy didn’t run very well in the Glorious Goodwood last start, but that’s at a level much higher than this and Qewy has already shown his form in Australia when winning the Geelong Cup and running fourth in the Melbourne Cup.
Charlie Appleby has had incredible success down under and this is one of the weakest Bendigo Cup fields in recent history. Kiwia is an impressive Saturday-graded type, but this is another kettle of fish and we think Qewy has its measure.
Race 9. (18:40) Melbourne Cup Carnival Heat 8 (1400m)
Former New Zealand runner Night’s Watch has been relatively successful since arriving in Australia, but punters will be hoping he can return to his best form.
He looked above average putting consecutive wins together to start this campaign, but he has since finished sixth in fourth in two subsequent runs.
He’s a quality type which had Derby aspirations last season and we’re expecting his current odds of $3.30 to firm in a touch.
Canterbury free tips and form
Race 3. (13:10) McGrath Estate QLD Handicap (1900m)
Shield Wall has form behind I Am Serious and that’s serious form.
The Chris Waller-trained mare finished third behind its stablemate last start, which has subsequently won again, and that looks to be the best form guide for this race.
The four-year-old settled last at Canterbury and finished off stoutly over the 1550m. The increase in distance to 1900m should suit well and she looks a nice chance at even odds.
Race 5. (16:30) McGrath Estate Agents NSW Handicap (1250m)
Dissolute is the second Godolphin runner in the field with Drachenfels attracting more attention at $3.40, but we believe Dissolute has a better winning chance.
The four-year-old is coming off a good run behind White Moss and although he hasn’t won in a while, he has placed in four of his last five starts.
He gets the inside draw to his advantage here and punters should expect to see him settle closer to the pace and kick strongly.