Best Bets 24th October 2020

Strap yourselves in punters, as we launch on arguably the biggest 72 hours of sport in the entire year. It all begins on Friday night, with an 8-race card under lights at The Valley that culminates in the running of the G1 Manikato Stakes over 1200m. An action-packed sprinting event with a cracking field assembled. Then we back up on Saturday for a 10 race program, including the 100th running of the time-honoured Cox Plate! Although there is only a limited number of international raiders this year, it still promises to be a thrilling contest, and a worthy centenary running of one of our greatest races. AFL grand final Saturday night, and NRL grand final Sunday arvo… what more could you want. Racing on Saturday also takes place at Randwick, Doomben, Morphettville, and Ascot. PlayUp form analyst Lewis Willoughby has outlined his five plays of the day below.

Moonee Valley R3 #7 Bella Nipotina $4.40 at PlayUp – Thought we are getting a very competitive price about this Hayes & Dabernig filly, who lines up here over 1200m fourth up into her campaign. The prep so far has been full of merit, with a dominant G3 win first up, and then a run in the G1 Moir where she got stuck wide without cover, and was likely outclassed also. Forgetting that run, her effort last start was great, and she looks ready to peak now. Drops 0.5kg into this race over the same distance and grade, and looks to get a lovely midfield run from barrier 6. If that rain comes, she has great heavy track form, with a 2nd placing behind Prime Star in the Inglis Millennium last prep on a heavy 9. Thought she deserved to be much closer in the market to the favourite. Selections: 7-1-5-4

Moonee Valley R4 #9 Mussenphere $18.00 at PlayUp – Going to have a very small each-way play on this Price & Kent Jnr horse, purely for the fact that I know it should be able to handle the heavy going. It comes off a dominant 2L win at Cranbourne last start on a soft 7 over 1400m, and gave the impression that extra distance will suit. Her final 100m effort in that last start win was impressive, and was simply eased down over the line. Should find a forward position from barrier 8, she has good gate speed and will be able to put herself in the race. The booking of M Zahra its a huge push, currently riding in outstanding form and you don’t see him jump on many at these big double figure odds. Selections: 8-2-1-4

Moonee Valley R6 #6 Young Werther $2.30 at PlayUp – Very keen on Young Werther in the G2 Vase here, who was an absolute certainty beaten behind Khoekhoe last start in the Listed Super Impose at Flemington. After enjoying a lovely run in transition, he was left with nowhere to go at the top of the straight, and had to stop and start, duck and weave to try and find runs to the line. He picked up inside the last 150m and savaged the line, running the quickest last 200m split of the race by over 2L. The way he was able to accelerate off an interrupted run, especially for a staying horse, tells me that he is very talented. Third up here, out to 2040m will suit, and his breeding suggests that he would be able to handle the wet track. If he runs very well at this track and trip, he might be back in a years time to contest a different race… Selections: 6-3-5-1

Cox Plate tip – Russian Camelot win $4.20 at PlayUp, Fierce Impact each-way $26.00/$6.50 at PlayUp

Manikato Stakes tip (Friday night) – Diamond Effort win $7.50 at PlayUp

Randwick R3 #1 Destination $3.10 at PlayUp – Expecting the Godolphin runner to be winning here in the Brian Crowley Stakes, fifth up into the campaign but comes off a break between runs and a trial in the interim to make sure he keeps ticking over. All runs this prep have been super, including 2nd place finishes behind Prime Star and Wild Ruler. The 1200m now at the peak of his prep really should be ideal, and those form lines that he comes out of are very strong. He is extremely well weighted with only 56kg at set-weights, and should enjoy a lovely run jumping from barrier 2. The early price was quickly snapped up, but I think he still represents a bet at his current quote. Proven in city grade, R King comes back on, and this doesn’t look an overly hard contest. Selections: 1-5-4-3

Randwick R9 #11 Icebath $3.20 at PlayUp – A lot of punters, myself including, will be hoping that today is finally the day for Icebath to rejoin the winners stall, and he has every reason to here in the last at Randwick. His runs this prep, although not winning, have been full of merit and come out of some very competitive form lines. 5th behind Flit in the Silver Eagle, and finished less than a length off the winner in three runs that preceded that. Rock hard fit now, gets a great map from barrier four, and will only carry 54.5kg after the claim for Tom Sherry. That is an unbelievable weight seeing that he is dropping back to bm78 level, as he is clearly a better horse than this grade. If any rain does come, his wet form is strong and he should be able to handle it. Selections: 11-2-12-3


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