There is a stack of quality racing on Saturday night, including black-type racing at Melton, Menangle and Albion Park. Below are the best bets for the respective programs.
Best bet: Race 2, Number 4, Change The Print If he finds the front, then it is race over. This horse resumed with a very dominant win at Ballarat before racing here last Saturday night when leading and battling away well to run third in a much stronger race than this. He finds the front and from there, should dominate and prove far too good. This horse looks the good thing on the card.
Next best: Race 5, Number 5, Struve He’s short but should be winning. Emma Stewart trains this very talented four-year-old, who came on in leaps and bounds when last in work, putting together a number of wins before being spelled. This horse has trialled well leading in. He isn’t bullet proof and he can do a bit wrong, but he does look to have a fair bit on these in terms of ability.
Value: Race 4, Number 8, Ozzie Playboy This is mainly a place bet, 1×3 or even 1×4. He follows out a fast beginner and likely leader Kimble, who looks the one to beat on recent form. Ozzie Playboy was on his worst behaviour last time out, so I’d be forgiving of that run. If he can hold up and get leaders back behind Kimble, he can run a very positive race at big odds.
Best bet: Race 8, Number 9, Drop The Hammer He is short but all things being equal, he will beat this lot. Forget he went around last Saturday at Melton. He broke early and lost all hope, and his finishing tailed off. This horse returns back home and this is a very thin trotting race compared to what he has faced recently. This horse has proven he can do work in the run, so the wide gate is no issue, and he has a bit on these in terms of class.
Next best: Race 1, Number 10, Pitch Perfect He has let me down a few times recently, but I’m willing to give him another chance. He does draw wide, but has blistering gate speed and can lead this field up pretty comfortably. It will depend on what sort of breather he can get. If he can get a cheap middle section of the race, then I doubt they can run him down.
Value: Race 4, Number 4, Portlagere Provided there are eight starters, he’s a great each-way gamble. Clayton Harmey trains with Tommy Ison to take the drive. This horse ran here last Saturday when showing gate speed early before opting for cover and he found the line well enough in defeat when second to Robbiewillmake It. If he can get a cheap run just off the speed here, he’ll take some holding out at double figures.
Best bet: Race 2, Number 3, Ranger Bomb He looks a near good thing despite taking on a couple of quality locals. This horse has the Craig Cross polish and the stable has a lethal record when they bring them to the sunshine state. He came through the Breeders Crown Series in Melbourne where he was far from disgraced. He should find the front here and he’ll be too good for them.
Next best: Race 6, Number 3, Cruz This horse did some very good things during the Winter Carnival, including a track record in the process. This horse was far from disgraced last time out in a strong FFA at Melton but he should find the front pretty comfortably and it will all depend on how much pressure local champ Colt Thirty One applies. This should be a great race but Cruz looks like the one.
Value: Race 4, Number 2, Henry Hu LL Cool J and Balraj look like the two standouts, but they could declare each other on from the outset, so I want to have something small each way on a horse who could have a drop on the pair, and that is Henry Hu, who resumes for Grant Dixon. This horse is a former Kiwi who had two runs in Menangle during the summer at the start of the year, winning first up in a 1.52 mile rate before a close-up fourth. The trial at the end of October was just fair, but this looks like a real target race. This horse should cross the inside horse, then get the box seat.