Best Bets 29th February 2020

The final weekend of what has been a blockbuster month of racing holds another Group 1 Saturday. Melbourne and Sydney once again are the main venues, with Flemington hosting the G1 Australian Guineas. Alligator Blood and Catalyst face off again in the sequel to their stirring battle two weeks ago, while CF Orr winner Alabama Express also joins in. Down at Randwick, there is a blockbuster nine race card, headlined by two G1’s. The Surround Stakes and The Chipping Norton Stakes are cracking races, with some big names going head to head. Racing also continues in Adelaide with the Lord Reims Stakes at Group 3 level, and the usual programs from QLD and WA. PlayUp form analyst Lewis Willoughby has found another five bets to be having, check them out below. 

Flemington R1 #4 Diamond Effort $1.65 at PlayUp – The win of this mare first up last start was nothing short of dominant. Over the 1100m at Caulfield she sat three wide without cover approaching the turn, and still put them away under hands and heels by 4L, eased down on the line. She ran the quickest sectionals of the race in each sector, and it wasn’t against any slouches either. She comes here second up stripping fitter, and sticking to the clearly favourable 1100m journey. She rises in grade, and also 1.5kg in weight, but she looks to have returned in excellent form, and can be making it two on the bounce. 

Flemington R7 #4 Catalyst $2.50 at PlayUp – The clash of the titans returns for a second time, with this boom NZ 3YO taking on Alligator Blood yet again. Last start they were locked in an almighty battle, with Alligator Blood just getting his nose out on the line. Catalyst, however, now comes here third up rock hard fit ready to peak, and steps from 1400m up to the mile, which is much more suitable. One attempt over the mile last prep resulted in a dominant G1 2000 Guineas win at Riccarton Park. I feel as though Alligator Blood will not improve off the last start effort, whereas Catalyst definitely will. From barrier four, he maps to sit right outside the leader again, and that last 200m he can show his dominance. 

Morphettville R8 #4 Hasta La War $2.25 at PlayUp – Still can’t believe how this bloke didn’t manage to win last start, after getting a long way out of his ground and rocketing home but just missing. I still feel he is SA’s best stayer by a long way, and today he should be able to recapture that dominance. Coming here third up fitter, stepping to the longer trip of 2600m. This horse can stay all day, so this extra 600m off last start is more than ideal. A senior, more experienced rider in Dean Holland steps aboard today and he will ensure it every chance. Drawn well, he will have these covered. FYI, he’s currently an $11 chance in the futures market for the Adelaide Cup, and I suggest you take some of that price now, because when he wins Saturday he won’t be an $11 chance anymore. 

Randwick R5 #4 Sweet Deal $2.90 at PlayUp – A dominant win at double figure odds by this John Thompson mare first up see’s it start a deserved favourite here today. That run was a 2L win over the 1200m two weeks ago in the G3 Triscay, and it proved she has returned this preparation in fine order. Coming here second up with an equally as good record (5:1-3), and stepping up to the 1400m is perfect natural progression. Drawn towards the inside in barrier two, she should find the lead easily again and stack them up. A number of horses she defeated in that first up run line up against her again today, and I can’t see them turning the tables. 

Randwick R7 #5 Fierce Impact $7.00 at PlayUp – Thought this Matt Smith trained galloper was desperately unlucky not to win the G1 C F Orr at Caulfield first up. He was still fifth at the 200m mark, and his last 100m through the line was exceptional. Steps up an extra 200m to the mile now is much more suitable, and strips fitter for the first up run. His record second up is strong (5:2-1), and is twice a winner at Randwick previously. He is a dual G1 winner at the 1600m journey, taking out the Torah and Cantala in Melbourne at the end of last preparation. This is a very competitive G1 race, but I feel the market has missed him slightly, and he entertains a great each way bet. 


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