Winning Form bring you all of their best bets and tips from Saturday’s Australian racing taking place at Royal Randwick.
Best Bet: VERRY ELLEEGANT (Race 7)
Value Bet: SPIRIT RIDGE (Race 9)
Jackpot (race 7 – 10).
Today’s best bet, VERRY ELLEEGANT is a 6yr old mare taking on the boys, but she is an eight time Group 1 winner who finished second in her last start over seven furlongs, just a head behind the winner when returning from an eighteen week rest. She overraced early and had to be held up at the 1200M mark that day, but still finished her race off well. From her handy draw two, she could add another win to her already impressive number of Group 1 victories today.
THINK IT OVER had his consistency rewarded with a Group 2 win last time out over a mile, albeit by just a short-head. He came four wide into the home straight in that contest, but went on to finish powerfully to snatch victory in the shadow of the post. He gets gate six and could emerge as the biggest danger to the top choice.
KOLDING is the stable companion to the top pick and did finish nineth in his latest outing, which was in the same race as his stable mate and mention above, 1.9L back from the winner. He had to be held up between the 400M and 200M that day, but was making good late progress once getting a clear run. He jumps from draw four, but as he meets the top selection on the same weight terms today, be may have to settle for the same result.
NATURE STRIP goes for his hat-trick after wins over six furlongs and the latest in a Group 3 event over five furlongs, putting two and a half lengths between himself and the opposition. He jumped awkward in that race, but recovered quickly to get to the head off affairs and then stretch away from the chasing pack in the dash down to the wire. He was returning from a 21 week absence that day and has already got six Group 1 victories to his credit. Starting from gate four, he looks to be the one to side with here.
MASKED CRUSADER won a Group 3 race over 1100M by 0.8L last time out when returning from an 18 week break. That effort was made more encouraging by the fact that he was slow away and then came six wide into the home straight. He jumps from draw two and should be right up there when they hit the line.
LOST AND RUNNING returns from an 18 week rest, but has had the benefit of two barrier trials, winning the first and finishing second in the latest. He also has his hat-trick run after winning his last start over 1300M by 2.3L, despite being bumped at the start. He boasts a fine record of six wins and one second place finish from seven starts to date and although facing a wideish gate seven, he should not be lightly overlooked here.
SPIRIT RIDGE put his disappointing penultimate effort firmly behind him by finishing a head second in a Group 3 event over ten furlongs last time out when returning from an 11 week rest. He raced up with the leaders that day, so from his wide draw seventeen, he should use that early gate speed to move across without expending too much energy. As such, he is taken to be the value bet on the day’s program.
A 4yr old filly and a 6yr old mare could chase him home, with the slight preference going to MONTEFILIA, who is trained by ex-SA jockey/trainer David Payne. She is seldom far off the action and finished third in her latest outing over a mile, just under three lengths behind the winner when returning from a longer 20 week absence. She is equally at home with the longer journey of today’s race and notwithstanding a wide gate twelve, she looks to be a serious contender for top honors.
SHE’S IDEEL was examined by the vet down at the start before ending up in seventh spot last time out in a Group 2 race over a mile, 4.2L behind the winner. She, on the other hand has a cozy draw two and has her peak run after returning from an 18 week break.
EQUATION was hampered on the turn before going on to complete his quartet of victories last time out over seven furlongs by 0.8L. He returns from a 27 week break and has not had a barrier trial, so his fitness will have to be taken on trust, but the form of that last win has stood up well with two runners out of that contest subsequently winning. He needs to negotiate draw ten, but he should be viewed as a serious runner in this line-up.
VALAQUENTA in turn goes for his hat-trick, having won his latest outing over 1100M by just under half a length. He came five wide into the home stretch that day, but finished off his race well. He jumps from an even wider gate twelve, but he should keep the top pick honest.
GRAVINA has cracked pole position and has his first run since a 14 week absence, but he did win his only barrier trial to showcase his well-being. He is another who goes for his hat-trick after two victories over six furlongs, the latest by a head and the form of that race has been franked. He should be included in all bets.