Weekend racing has counter spread between two tracks that just about couldn’t be any further away if they tried, so attention will be divided between the Ballarat Cup in country Victoria and Ascot over in Western Australia.
The Perth carnival starts this weekend with a lot of Melbourne based runners and hoops heading up to raid the West, a delicious weekend of racing kicks off what should be an enticing carnival.
Race 6: O’tauto was only beaten by Harbour Views two starts back which has no shame attached, and followed that run with a third behind the same horse and winner Star Missile at Flemington. Had no luck there and should be hard to beat here ($3.30 Playup). Bumper Blast cruised home at Flemington, beat Platinum Angel who has franked that form with a good one in Group 1 class. Has won last two and will be rock hard fit.
Race 7: Bravo Tango loves the 1400m, barrier won’t help him here but is all class over the trip. Carries big weight here but was all honours in win at Flemington last start and should prove too good here ($5.00 Playup). Marcel From Madrid won well in Ararat last time out, had to lift after disaster run previously. Found no luck then but was never in it. Over Exposure is resuming here after a long spell, has trialled quite well and has some G1 form worth noting.
Race 8: Fifty Stars is the class horse here, will be carrying a huge weight but at best is quite above these. Has been ok this prep, was superb on wet ground behind Fierce Impact then fought well in the McKinnon stakes. Double You Tee was incredibly stiff in Kyneton Cup, took the lead and looked home before being pipped late. Beat home Pacodali last start who franked that form at Sandown. Is on fire at the moment and is worth backing ($8.00 Playup). Harbour Views is the second emergency as we sit, if he gets in he becomes the won to beat, found no luck or room until late last start then flew home. Is a genuine star. Last years winner was 2nd emergency too.
Race 9: Li’l Kontra comes back to the 1100m here, was great in a fast run G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes, was fourth there and ran a hell of a race. Has the class to win this. King of Hastings has the best form line in the field, ran behind Super Seth two starts back who franked that form winning the Caulfield Guineas. Follow that form! ($4.80 Playup). Hawker Hurricane has some solid form lines of its own, was good when running behind Garner on Cup day, loves this trip and will be a danger.
Race 10: Esperance was solid last time out, winner had afterburners on and big weight proved too much for him. Comes down dramatically in weight here and is the one to beat. Get on ($3.70 Playup). Great Again has only missed once over 1200m, lovely first-up record and has strong form lines. Will prove the main danger here. Milwaukee will race away from Flemington for the first time in a long time, usually runs well 2nd up.
Race 8: Gatting connections are very bullish about his chances here, claiming “he’s the best horse in the race” at barrier draw. Was terrific when beating Mystic Journey but that form hasn’t been franked and he hasn’t reached that level since. Best of Days also hasn’t lived up to potential this campaign, has the class but not sure he is running well enough to win this. Tellem We’re Comin was superb in the Northam Cup, Willy Pike not on board this time around provides a query. Has incredible turn of foot which makes him the one to beat ($4.80 Playup). Reykjavik was a big winner last start at Flemington, comes back home here but isn’t favoured by the draw. Wouldn’t mind a nibble each-way though.
Race 9: Rebel Yell won well when resuming, draw isn’t ideal but last time he wasn’t done any favours either. Don’t be put off ($5.00 Playup). Minus Looks was good last start without anything to show for it, maps really well here and will prove a danger. Carocapo was brave last start when defeated, tempo was too much.
*All odds correct at time of writing.