After an incredible three-day weekend of group one racing we drop back to midweek grade this Wednesday, but the quality thoroughbreds are still in action.
The big stables such as James Cummings and Chris Waller are out in force to see which runners have spring racing potential and midweek racing gives them a good guide for the future.
Canterbury features some nice up and coming types across an eight-race card and Geelong has big betting fields where each way value is the flavour of the day.
Canterbury free tips & form
Race 1. (13:25) All Too Hard Maiden Plate (1550m)
Chris Waller lines up the son of Savabeel which finished strongly to run third on debut at Warwick Farm.
The three-year-old was an each way chance in the betting market, but it ran well to finish within 1.4 lengths of Sparky Lad and that should be a good form guide for this run.
He’s currently an odds-on chance, but he opened up at $2.30 and has been steadily backed throughout the week.
Race 2. (14:00) McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1550m)
Four-year-old gelding for Hawkes Racing which has been facing some tough fields this season and it should find this much more to his liking.
The son of Dream Ahead was a maiden winner at Kembla Grange last year and it returned in 2017 with a quality placing behind Fragonard at Rosehill.
He was quickly spelled following that run which suggests he might have had some injury problems, but he will find this easier than his last two starts which came behind Awoke and Malahat.
The small field suits and the odds are value.
Race 4. (15:10) McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1900m)
This isn’t a very strong field and History Repeats could repeat history with another win.
The Waterhouse/Bott-trained mare had run against some classy opposition before winning last start at Hawkesbury in maiden grade. She had finished close in behind I Thought So, Molten and Sweet Deal.
That form is great for this and stepping up over more ground looks even more ideal against a field which lacks quality.
Punters let it drift out to $2.35, but the money is coming back in for her.
Race 5. (15:45) Schweppes Handicap (1250m)
Marsupial is the clear class runner of the field, but it needs its confidence back after a rough start last time out.
The James Cummings-trained three-year-old was on the spring radar for many when he finished second behind Tango Rain at Rosehill in August, but he only battled behind Viridine in the Heritage Stakes when more was expected.
Dropping to midweek grade should help and with form behind the likes of Golden Rose winner Trapeze Artist, Property and The Mission, Marsupial should take advantage.
Race 7. (16:55) Theraces Handicap (1100m)
Khan has obviously had its troubles off the track, but the place odds are too good to pass up at this level.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained colt scored a quality win on debut in the Breeders’ Plate this time last season where he defeated the talented Condor Heroes.
He then ran last in the Silver Slipper before running seventh in the Black Opal Stakes behind Trapeze Artist. Those runs were disappointing on paper and he never really hit out as expected, but he has been given time to recover and class is permanent.
Most of the money has come for Beacon at $3, but Khan represents value for a top three finish and we’re expecting some money to come for him late.
Race 8. (17:30) McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1200m)
Slow Burn is a talented type for trainer Les Bridge which typically finds form quickly after a spell.
The four-year-old mare was a winner on debut last season when beating Noire by four lengths and that was a dominant display.
She subsequently ran at very short odds her next two starts, but was unable to win. She ran third behind Sisken in a tight finish at Canterbury before running sixth behind Test the World at Warwick Farm.
There’s plenty of confidence in the betting market and we’re expecting a big effort.
Geelong free tips and form
Race 1. (12:25) Roderick’s Insurance Maiden Plate (1755m)
Well-backed runner for Darren Weir which ran second on debut behind subsequent winner Black Sail and then he hasn’t been far away since.
He produced a solid run for fourth at Bendigo last start behind another subsequent winner in Tavistock Abbey and that form should hold up well at this level.
He’s knocking on the door of a win and this looks a suitable target.
Race 3. (13:35) Prestige Jayco Maiden Plate (1240m)
Royale Effort has been nearing its debut win and it doesn’t get a better opportunity than what is presented here.
The Lindsay Park-trained three-year-old has placed in three of his four starts which included a second placing behind Double Jeopardy at Pakenham last start.
Rising up slightly in distance should allow it more time to settle into a good position and drawing the inside barrier should see him land on the speed and kick strongly.
Race 4. (14:10) Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1340m)
Sia was very disappointing last start when getting rolled as the $1.40 favourite, but we’ll allow it another chance.
The Hayes/Dabernig-trained three-year-old filly won by a half-length on debut at Geelong before running fifth at Flemington against a tough field.
There was plenty of expectations last start, but she might have needed the run and she made good ground late to finish close.
Most of the money has come for the Waterhouse/Bott-trained Our Crown Mistress, but Sia still has the goods and the inside draw to work with.