Winning Form brings us their best bets and tips from Hawkesbury on Thursday.
Best Bet: GARMISH (Race 7)
Value Bet: SHOWTIME LADY (Race 6)
Jackpot (race 5 – 8).
There are five unraced runners in the field, so as is always the case in these types of races, a keen eye should be kept on the betting markets to get some indication as to whether the connection believe that they can win first time out. Any betting support for a runner or runners should be respected. Of the raced runners, WHEEL could prove to be the best. He is seldom far off the action and had finished third in his two runs prior to ending up in sixth place last time out over 1100M, only just over a length and a half behind the winner. The form of that race has stood up well with three runners out of that contest subsequently winning. He does return from a 19 week rest during which time he was gelded and did finish third in his only barrier trial. From pole position, he should be right up there when they hit the line.
THE MAXINATOR has his first run since a shorter 16 week break and has had the benefit of two barrier trials, finishing third in the latest. He finished second over five furlongs when making his debut, three and a half lengths behind the winner and from draw five, he will be hoping to improve on that here.
MAREEBA is a 4yr old filly taking on the boys, but she attracted plenty of betting support and showed lots of pace before finishing third on debut over five furlongs, 1.2L back from the victor. She returns from a 25 week absence, but did win her only barrier trial to prove her fitness. She will have to overcome a wide gate twelve out of thirteen, but she should use her early gate speed to move across without expending too much energy.
With the late scratching of one of her main rivals, the door may have opened for today’s value bet, SHOWTIME LADY to chalk up her fourth career victory. She followed up her victory over 1300M three runs back with two second place finishes, the latest over 1550M, just over a length and a half adrift of the winner.
She raced up with the pace that day and from her wideish draw eight, she is likely to do the same today. CRYPTOGRAM is drawn one outside the top choice and showed marked improvement to win her maiden race last time out over 1500M when putting five lengths between herself and the opposition, this despite jumping awkwardly and coming three wide into the home straight. She has her peak run after returning from a 33 week break and if she is able to confirm that last effort, she should be a big runner in this line-up.
OBVIOUS STEP was bumped shortly after the start, but stayed on well to finish fifth in her latest outing over seven furlongs, 5.2L off the winner. She gets a kinder draw two and is trained by ex-SA jockey/trainer David Payne.
GARMISH kicked clear of the field and then held off all the late challengers when recording his maiden victory by a half length last time out over 1300M. He was returning from an 11 week rest that day and has cracked pole position here, which could make him hard to topple.
CAESARS PALACE has finished closer to the winner in each of his last three starts, the latest when third over 1300M, 2.8L behind the winner when returning from a longer 16 week absence. He battled all the way down to the wire that day and from his handy gate three, he could emerge as the biggest threat to the top pick.
LONG WEEKEND has hampered at the start, but recovered well to lead the field into the home straight before being run out of it late. He jumps from draw eight and should be involved in the finish.
DHAKURI won his penultimate run over this journey and then finished fifth next time out when stepping up to 2100M, two and a half lengths back from the winner, but he was hampered at the 1700M that day and also came four wide into the home stretch. He gets a wide gate ten, but he could prove to be more effective over this shorter trip.
VAN GOGH also won his penultimate outing, but in his case, over a mile and then followed that up with a fifth spot finish next time out over the same trip, 2.7L back from the winner. He was making good late progress in that contest, suggesting that the extra ground on offer here will be to his liking.
RODRICK’S SECRET was forced to race wide in the early stages before hitting the front at the 200M mark and then striding away from the chasing pack to post a six length victory last time out over a mile. The form of that race has been franked and notwithstanding having to negotiate a wide draw thirteen, he should be included in all bets.