Why do Channel Seven, all metropolitan papers and all social media sites, think it is a good idea to interview C-Grade celebrities about their selections for the big spring races? Then to make it worse they give them money to punt with for ‘charity.’ Getting Bruce for almost 365 day a year is bad enough! He is saying the same crap he has been saying for 40 years. Sorry, back to the point… has anyone ever watched the Channel 7 coverage of the races, then taken notice of what a young lass who appeared in 7 episodes of Home and Away has to say in regards to a tip for a race? Has anyone ever heard that so and so is backing the 9, then themselves run out the door to find a bookie to follow the tip? If you hear Rob Waterhouse is backing the 9, then that is when you run out the door to back it yourself! Has the Australian obsession with the celebrity got to the point where we need to hear what horses celebrities are selecting? Who cares what some idiot is doing in the Emirates tent (segregation at the races is disgraceful) and what they think will win? Would it or would it not be better to give professional punters or racing experts money to gamble with for charity rather than to someone who played 6 reserves games for Richmond, then was filmed in the background in two episodes of Master Chief? Footballers that are wearing $4000 suits don’t know which horse will win a given race simply because they can afford an overpriced suit. I wear thongs and shorts and can pick the odd winner! Surely an expert could make more money for charity than some moron who was not even smart enough to win Big Brother / was dumb enough to enter Big Brother / The Block / any of the other 4500 reality television shows that free to air channels promote as if they are curing Ebola? There is no need for time to be taken up listening to the opinions of ‘celebrities’ who openly admit that they know nothing about horse racing? Just because someone is seen as important enough to be given free drinks all day and segregated from the other racegoers, it does not mean they need to be consulted about serious racing matters. 90% of the racing industry is supported by wagering turnover. Without punting, racing ends. We should be trying to encourage people to actually win rather than making them watch / listen to someone with zero knowledge of the sport.
Derby Day Punt!
Win – 15. Azkadellia. Should have won last start. Has the best hoop in the word on this start.
Hardest to neat – 14. Tahni Dancer
Best longshot – 3. Wandjina
Win – 3. Abduction. Gets a huge weight turn around on her conqueror from last start.
Hardest to beat – 1. Fontein Ruby. Tough as nails
Best longshot – 5. Muscovado. Back all Gai’s horses on Saturday. They all look good!
Win – 4. Hucklebuck. This is his preparation. He hopefully will win this then win the Emirates next week.
Hardest to beat – 10. Woodbine
Best longshot – 7. Pornichet. the best longshot of the day.
Race 4. The Coolmore Stakes
The first Group One up for grabs is by far the most open. 1. Rich Enuff is the logical favourite for the race. He is a winner down the straight, and he is a huge talent. 5. Rubick won well first up and he is the sprinter on the rise. We know what the rest of the field can do, whereas this boy might still be on the rise. 8. Kuro is flying. This colt has won three in a row and he certainly can go on with the job here. 10. Galaxy Pegasus won beautifully last week, and he is experienced up the straight despite having excuses on that particular day. The other one that looks good value is 14. Earthquake. This filly was back to her best at her last start, and the horse that ran second to her last start, won brilliantly last Friday night. But this is not where the races ends. Unfortunately you can’t back them all!
Winner – 1. Rich Enuff. As long as the tough run in the Guineas has not flattened him, he should be running well. His one run down the straight was breathtaking and if he reproduces that he should be going very close again.
Hardest to beat – 5. Rubick. This boy is still on the rise. He beat Overreach nicely last start and he by all reports has come on remarkably since this run. He has been aimed at this race for a long time and he is yet to run a bad race. However, like Rich Enuff, the big crowd and the atmosphere might test him. The positive is that it at least looks like being a cool day.
Best longshot – 10. Galaxy Pegasus. The win last week was great and the Hayes stable is flying. He has plenty of improvement left in him and the way he can let down off a fast run race will give him an opportunity to storm home in this Classic race over 1200m.
Winner – 6. La Amistad. Last chance for the relation of the Diva to get into the Cup/
Hardest to beat – 9. Signoff. Last chance for this bastard also!
Best longshot – a tie 2. Caravan Rolls on and 11. Like a Carousel
Race 6. The Mackinnon Stakes.
Over the years it has become almost fool proof that the horses that run well in the Cox Plate backing up in this race again run well. The Caulfield Cup horses coming back in distance struggle and the stayers having a warm up for the Cup rarely win. So we can place our thoughts around the Cox Plate horses which are 2. Happy Trails, 3. Foreteller and 13. Criterion. These are the three to work around, but choosing which one will win is another proposition altogether. Here goes…
Winner – 13. Criterion. This entire has barrier one, a gun hoop aboard and he will be just behind the pace (if not leading) and will have plenty of time in the straight to build his momentum and hit the front at the right time. He is at each way odds and looks close to an each way certainty.
Hardest to beat – 2. Happy Trails. This boy is having his 4th 2000m race in a row and while that is a little bit of a worry, he does thrive over the ten furlongs. He was flying home late in the Cox Plate after missing the kick and he is a Group One winner this track and trip. He deserves a Group One win.
Best longshot – 3. Foreteller. Beaten just 0.3 lengths in the Cox Plate by one of the best international horses to ever set foot in Australia. That is good enough form to run well in this race. He loves the 2000m and you know he will be trucking home late in the race. He is a bit of a plodder like Happy Trails, but both always run well despite not winning Group One races too often.
Race 7. The VRC Derby
This race looks a little bit easier. 1. Hampton Court is the best chance in this race by a long way. Of course things can go wrong in the run, and he is a colt so he can get stirred up. But all things being equal, he is the winner. He is better than the other three-year-olds in the race and he has absolutely thrived since arriving in Melbourne. Gai is one of very few trainers to get a horse to win the Spring Champion Stakes and the Derby and there is no reason she can’t do it again. Hampton Court is the best of the day by far for mine.
Winner – 1. Hampton Court. He beat a horse named Sweynesse last start in a Group One race as if that galloper was tied to the fence. Sweynesse has since come out and run beautifully in the Cox Plate. He will be storming home and is ready to win. Also, his sire Redoute’s Choice has sired plenty of Derby and Oaks winners and his dam is from Makybe Diva’s family. He should win.
Hardest to beat – 9. Bondeiger. This colt’s breeding is second to none in regards to the 2500m. He might not have the class to go with Hampton Court, but he is the clear second pick in the race. His run last week in the Vase was brilliant and he will be flying home late in the race.
Best longshot – 8. Light Up Manhattan. There are a lot of horses these days that have ‘Manhattan’ in their names. This colt has been ticking along nicely and he will run the 2500m no worries. He is a stayer in the making whereas some other of these horses will get the 2500m but won’t enjoy it. He is worth an each way ticket.
Race 8. Myer Classic
1,2,3. Those are the numbers. 1. Sweet Idea, 2. Catkins and 3. Diamond Drille. Sweet Idea beat most of these horses easily last start. Catkins almost won this race last year. Diamond Drille is a Group One winner over the mile. These three never do much wrong and although almost every other horse in the field has some form of chance, for mine, the proven performers are the ones to follow. But again, it can be easy deciding that there are three winning chances, but to put them in order is another thing. Back all three perhaps?
Winner – 1. Sweet Idea. Can it be a Group One double for Gai? She has had Group One doubles on Derby Day before and Sweet Idea looks a huge chance based on her last start. She is at each way odds and from barrier one, we all know where she is going to be and she has proven time and time again that she is hard to get past.
Hardest to beat – 2. Catkins. Finally this girl gets back to the mile! It has been a year to the day since she ran at what looks to be a perfect trip for her. Last year she failed to beat Red Tracer by less than an inch and a similar performance on Saturday will see her right there when the whips are cracking.
Best longshot – 3. Diamond Drille. Proven at the mile and at Group One level and at $14. She will storming home and will be hard to hold out. Perhaps a solid win beat on the 1, a small win bet on the 2 and an each way go on the 3.
Win – 6. Deep Field
Hardest to beat – 1. Bel Sprinter
Best longshot – 2. Driefontein
Good luck and stay tuned.