It’s a big week for horse racing fans with The Everest running this Saturday for $10 million, but first we have some quality midweek action at Warwick Farm and Bendigo this Wednesday.
Midweek racing holds more importance throughout the spring carnival as they’re key lead-up races for major events and punters get to see the best up-and-coming types at this level.
Warwick Farm and Bendigo host a quality eight-race card and there’s value on offer for favourites and each way punters.
Warwick Farm free tips & form
Race 1. (13:25) Pluck @ Vinery Handicap (1100m)
Three-year-old colt on debut which has looked impressive in two trial wins to date.
The son of Exceed and Excel is bred to be quick early on in his career and he only narrowly missed out on running in the major Saturday races.
Being kept at midweek level could be better off for him and he could be one of these early season three-year-olds to look out for this spring.
Bookmakers opened him up at $2.40 and he has since been heavily backed into $2.05. He will likely start as the odds-on favourite.
Race 2. (14:00) McGrath Estate Maiden (1100m)
Faith In Hand has plenty to live up to given her connections. The three-year-old filly is owned by Makybe Diva Racing Group and they will be expecting a tidy effort here.
The Chris Waller-trained daughter of Fastnet Rock ran second at Sale two starts ago when finishing a length behind Josephine Sea and that form should hold up well at midweek level.
She then settled too far back at Flemington before making impressive late ground to run third behind the talented Divine Messenger. That run held plenty of merit as she finished off well in a quickly-run race and she deserves a winning turn.
Race 4. (15:10) McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1400m)
This Joe Pride-trained mare is long overdue a win and she should be fit enough to stake her claims on this.
The four-year-old was purchased from New Zealand and she looked to be packed with potential early on, but she hasn’t quite had the luck in running since.
She has some steady finishes this year which includes a placing behind Nonpareil and Regimen – she also finished close in behind Dagny and Cocoexcel.
That form looks good for midweek level and she’s getting close to peak fitness. The odds are appealing and punters are getting great value on this occasion.
Race 6. (16:20) McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1100m)
Beacon is currently on the drift in the betting ($2.40 – $2.60), but he’s smart and we’re expecting punters to come for him late.
The James Cummings-trained three-year-old was a smart winner on debut at Wyong over Faeger before running a close-up second at Canterbury behind the speedy Cudabeen.
The son of Lonhro quickly bounced back with a 1.5-length win at Canterbury last start where he flew the barriers to lead and never looked like giving it up.
That barrier speed is a key asset to have here and he looks like the only natural pace in the race. That will play into his hands and it’s good to see Hugh Bowman sticking with him.
Race 8. (17:30) McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1100m)
Zonk is a quality type out of the Les Bridge stable and there will be stacks of money placed on this four-year-old.
The I Am Invincible mare finished second behind In Times of War on debut at Warwick Farm before winning at Gosford by 1.3 lengths.
Her last two starts have come in behind subsequent city winner White Moss and that should be the best form guide coming into this race.
She gets in well on the weights considering the top weight has been allotted 62kg and that should make her tough to beat over the concluding stages.
Bendigo free tips and form
Race 3. (14:10) Jayco Bendigo Cup Nov 1 Handicap (1600m)
Jolie’s Café is on the quick back-up having run fourth last Friday night, but that should hold him in good stead for this.
The John Sadler-trained five-year-old was well-supported on Friday at $3.60 and although he finished fourth, he was only a half-length behind the winner.
He has had a busy campaign to date which has featured five runs since August, but he has more potential than most of his opposition here and the 1.5kg apprentice claim tops him off nicely.
Race 4. (14.45) Bendigo Mazda Handicap (1600m)
Steady money is coming for Gold Blush after she opened at $3.80 earlier in the betting.
The Darren Weir-trained five-year-old drops in grade having finished third at Flemington last start behind Falika in a rating 78 race. The drop back to the rating 70 is going to help here and she also gets a valuable 3kg claimer in the saddle.
Her win two starts back in this grade was impressive when winning by 3.5 lengths and although that came on a heavy track, this mare can handle all ground conditions.
She has drawn wide, but Thomas Stockdale will likely find a spot just off the rail and come with a run late.
Race 6. (15:55) Mypunter Handicap (1400m)
We were a little disappointing with Super Snob last start at Flemington, but the track wasn’t suitable and the ride from Stephen Baster was anything but good.
The Peter Morgan-trained filly was solid in the straight to run fifth, but she got way too far back in the running and punters should look at her previous form for a better guide.
She won by 4.25 lengths at Wangaratta which is a better indication of her form and it was only in April when she finished fourth behind the talented Merchant Navy.
She brings in strong form lines to only a moderate field and the inside draw with the light weight puts her in a great position to run in the top three.