Off the back of an almighty Melbourne Cup carnival, we dive straight into some midweek racing coming from a number of venues around the country. There is listed racing at Hawkesbury, with the feature being the Ladies Day Cup over 1600m. There is a strong card coming out of Bendigo, while Murray Bridge, Ipswich, Ascot and Launceston also host races. Happy Valley kicks off later in the evening if you’re still keen to have a bet. PlayUp form analyst Lewis Willoughby has identified his five best of the day below.
Bendigo R1 #5 Nantucket $2.15 at PlayUp – Although short, I think the price above even money available for Nantucket is a good bet, seeing as though he brings in much stronger form lines than the rest of his rivals. First up here, two jump outs over 800m have been sound, barely asked for an effort in either of them. He was just kept under a hold and worked to the line under his own steam. Three runs last prep resulted in three second placing’s, with two runs at Saturday metro level in very strong form lines. He finished behind Our Playboy on debut who is now a Group 3 winner, and recently finished 6th in the G1 Coolmore Sprint. I concede he needs a touch of luck from barrier three, but J Kah is in fine form and will give him every chance. Selections: 5-6-3-4
Bendigo R2 #7 Manaajim $2.30 at PlayUp – Another shorty here, but again looks the obvious clear pick in the race having performed very well in all three career runs to date, but just hasn’t broken through. She was huge last start, reeling off the fastest last 200m split of the entire meeting when running 2nd behind Violinist. Given a quick break between runs, she should be fresher and will relish the step up to 1400m. With the rail out +8m here at Bendigo, I’m tipping that they will utilise barrier one and punch up to either lead, or be very close to the speed, and ride her like the best horse in the race. I can’t see many dangers, if any, in the race, and she should be too good. Selections: 7-3-9-5
Bendigo R5 #9 Kuna Magic $3.40 at PlayUp – Very interesting runner here, who makes her Victorian and new stable debut for the Ellerton & Zahra camp. She is an ex-NSW filly, originally with Nat Jarvis, who was a very eye-catching winner on debut at the Sapphire Coast back in June. After settling near enough to last, and spending most of the straight off-camera near the outside fence, she appeared with 100m to go flying towards the line and managed to get up. To be fair, it was a pretty weak country maiden race, but the style in which she won was purely on talent alone. Her two jump outs at Flemington have been strong, and she looks to have matured outstandingly well since moving. Not sure what they do from barrier 11, they could go back like the did on debut, but she has also been ridden forward in her jump outs. Selections: 9-7-4-2
Hawkesbury R7 #5 Archedemus $5.50 at PlayUp – Third up here in this Listed event, and his two runs since joining the Hawke’s team have been a bit rocks and diamonds. First up in Melbourne he was only 2L behind Windstorm over 1400m which was impressive, and then last start at Randwick over 1400m he sat up on speed and compounded quite badly, while the leader stuck on and won. Third up now sure to be fit, coming back to a dry surface could be the key, and he has two previous wins at the 1600m, including being one from one at the track and distance. He should roll forward again here up on speed, drops 1.5kg from last start, and will be looking to hold on over the concluding stages. Selections: 5-6-2-3
Hawkesbury R9 #4 Donnachiara $8.00 at PlayUp – Keen to have a bet on this Anthony Cummings mare who comes here fourth up into her campaign and should be at the peak of her fitness. All runs this prep have been good, especially a last start victory over 1800m at this track. She has contested G3 level previously, and although well beaten I assume the camp must have an opinion of her over these longer distances. Up 2kg from last start, but gets a lovely map from barrier three, and just looks over the odds at around that $9 quote pre-scratchings. Not the worst each way bet to round out the day at Hawkesbury. Selections: 4-1-5-2