Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Neil Morrice: International Racing Tips - Saturday 28 March 2020

Neil Morrice: International Racing Tips - Saturday 28 March 2020

Neil Morrice: International Racing Tips - Saturday 28 March 2020

Neil Morrice brings us all of his best bets and tips for Saturday's racing coming your way from Doomben, Morphettville and Gulfstream Park.

Doomben Best Bets

Race 3: RAQEEQ (5)
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: Robbie Fradd

The solid claims of RAQEEQ make him of major interest for top connections. The Champs Elysees gelding boasts five wins and nine places from 36 career starts but has been a regular earner of late, scoring at Canterbury and Eagle Farm before narrowly failing to complete the hat-trick when pipped in a photo here. Most trouble may emanate from two equally consistent performers in Mr Garcia and Ilwendo.

Prediction: 5-1-7

Race 4: TESARC (4)
Trainer: M Currie
Jockey: B Stewart

The hat-trick sought by TESARC is there for the taking in a race that might not be as tricky as it looks on paper. The selection has reaped a rich harvest with his triumphs at the Sunshine Coast and this track. He knows where the winning post is and is, without doubt, a much-improved performer that probably has more to offer. With three straight near misses, Staying Black is a must for all exotics while La Pulga can also earn.

Prediction: 4-15-6

Race 7: HERITAGE SASH (13) (Nap)
Trainer: T Edmonds
Jockey: Robbie Fradd

There’s a good opportunity here for HERITAGE SASH to get onto an uncontested lead, as was the case when he went all the way at the Gold Coast last time. Although the draw could have been kinder, he’s in a good place right now and should prove hard to catch. Jardin Rouge and hat-trick seeking Gypsy Toff can get into the argument but hopefully when it’s all too late.

Prediction: 13-6-2

Morphettville Best Bets 

Race 3: ECUMENICAL (4)
Trainer: M Huxtable
Jockey: A Jordsjo

The Zebedee filly ECUMENICAL made a perfect career start here and should remain unbeaten. The grey faces rivals such as Enaaya and Beau Rossa that have trialled well but is the one with the points on the board and should be too sharp for them.

Prediction: 4-8-1

Trainer: P Stokes
Jockey:K Zechner

On his second run back from a break SKILLED WIZARD went close here and with scope for progression has to prove hard to beat. It’s a race where those that matter have similar profiles which bring closers. Intrigue and Chokita into the equation for exotics.

Prediction: 7-13-12

Race 6: SERIOUS SPENDER (6) (Nap)
Trainer: Liam Macdonald/Andrew Gluyas
Jockey: J Holder

The authority displayed by SERIOUS SPENDER when scoring here last time makes her of serious interest. The Bernardini mare has a good draw and with her liking for the track should give short shrift to Birthday Cup winner Master Chum and the unlucky Pickelhaube.

Prediction: 6-1-2

Race 8: LI’L KONTRA (13)
Trainer: R Balfour
Jockey: D Tourneur

LI’L KONTRA can show that the losses sustained on her last visit here, when she was mugged on the line, are merely lent. A dual winner in the city last year she sets the standard for the others to aim at with Tequila Time and Equal Love musts for exotics.

Prediction: 3-1-2

Gulfstream Park Best Bets

Race 6: Hal’s Hope Stakes (Grade 3)
Trainer: Kenny McPeek
Jockey: Dylan Davis

Although failing to cut any ice in two outings at this meet a year ago, HARVEY WALLBANGER is finding some form and popped up as a 16-1 roughie in an Allowance Optional Claimer over course and distance at the end of February. That makes him the one to beat as he jumps into Group company, with the unexposed Prompt an overpriced foe that could also get into the shake-up.

Prediction: 1-11-4-5

Race 10 Orchid Stakes (Grade 3)
Trainer: Patrick Biancone 
Jockey: Florent Geroux

The distaffers take centre stage for this absorbing contest, and though it’s hard to strike your quill through many in the field the one with the ring of consistency here is KELSEY’S CROSS. This, in spite of the fact she’s started 22-1, 33-1 and 25-1 since coming off a more than 100-day break. She appeared to take a step forward with Geroux returned to the plate at Tampa Bay last start three weeks ago, and her trainer has a knack of deriving improvement from fillies as they mature.

Prediction: 2-4-12-6

Race 11 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks (Grade 2)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher - Jockey: Javier Castellano

Todd Pletcher is on the cusp of extending an outstanding sequence of trainer titles at this meet and unleashes a two-pronged attack on this coveted prize with MRS S and SPICE IS NICE. The race is full of imponderables with multiple scorers such as the unbeaten TONALIST’S SHAPE opposed by lightly raced improvers like FOUR GRANDS. Mrs S is herself on the up but his making a big class jump out of breaking her maiden. On the other hand, SPICE IS NICE has a good shot at reversing recent placings here with Tomalist’s Shape and is more appealing at the respective prices.

Prediction: 5-9-13-10

Race 12 Kitten’s Joy Pan American Stakes (Grade 2)
ZULU ALPHA (19) (Nap)
Trainer: Mike Maker - Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione

Pegasus World Cup hero ZULU ALPHA can continue to reach for the stars in what is a drop-in class that he should take in his stride. The Street Cry gelding, now a 7yo, has come a long way since his days with Dermot Weld as a juvenile, moving through four stables during his time Stateside. But it’s this year that he threw down the gauntlet as a potential champion by proving two lengths too hot for Magic Wand to handle in the Pegasus before cosily following up in the Mac Disrmida at the end of last month. The best of those taking him on might emanate from the same stable, as both Pletcher candidates CHANNEL CAT and CURRENT have claims from better draws while of the roughies PRINCE OF ARABIA could menace. However, a win for any of the three would be a shock.

Prediction: 9-1-4-7

Race 13 Appleton Stakes (Grade 3)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher - Jockey: Javier Castellano

Pletcher is three-handed in this sizzling Grade 3 but if SOCIAL PARANOIA is sufficiently wound up after a 200-day lay off he can prove the best. The Street Boss colt has a good draw and demonstrated his ability to deliver off a break when scoring over the course and distance exactly a year ago. He never missed the board in five subsequent outings, signing out with a win over an extended mile and a quarter at Keeneland. SOMBEYAY is right in the zone here following a couple of eye-catching earning runs while HALLADAY makes his debut at the course but tends to catch the judge’s eye. MARCH TO THE ARCH and BALLAGH ROCKS are also respected.

Prediction: 7-10-4-3

Race 14 Curlin Florida Derby (Grade 1)
Trainer: Barclay Tagg - Jockey: Manuel Franco

The feature wraps up Gulfstream’s series of preps for the 2020 Kentucky Derby which has been put back to September 5th.

DISC JOCKEY, AJAAWEED, TIZ THE LAW, INDEPENDENCE HALL and CANDY TYCOON are those that have the wherewithal to menace in a complex puzzle and I’m not surprised to see TIZ THE LAW vying for favouritism. He trounced Ete Indian in the Holy Bull and the latter endorsed it by wiring the Fountain Of Youth. He’s got the best speed figures in the race, has shown he can overcome trouble and both gate (7) and trip are perfect. Disc Jockey has never raced outside Gulfstream but his running style should be suited to the likely strong early pace; Ajaaweed must have that in order to stay on past tired horses in the stretch; Independence Hall has to be taken seriously, having lost his unbeaten record in the Sam F. Davis and now meets stronger foes. But did he run out of puff or were the excuses that he lost a shoe and had a breathing issue factual? Joel Rosario looks to have jumped off Ajaaweed to ride him, filling me with hope. Candy Tycoon claimed second in the Fountain Of Youth under a stalking ride, after breaking his maiden uncontested in front. It makes him versatile, and a definite player.

Prediction: 7-9-10-3

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