Best Bets 5th May 2020

It’s day one of the ‘Bool carnival! The much anticipated event in the Victorian racing calendar will be taking place over the two days only this year, restrictions due to COVID regulations. But if you think for a second that it will impact the quality of racing, you’d be very wrong. A cracking day of jumps racing comes before us today, with four maiden jumps, the Brierly Steeplechase, Grand Annual Steeplechase, and the Gallywood Hurdle to close out the card. The Grand Annual is without a doubt the feature, it is Australia’s ultimate test of staying and jumping endurance, over the marathon 5500 metres. Previous winners include Zed Em and Gold Medals, who both line up for another shot today. PlayUp form analyst has sunk his teeth into the form for day one, and identified five key bets. See them below: 

R1 #9 So Belafonte – $3.40 at PlayUp Comes here second up in his hurdle preparation after boxing on very soundly last start at Pakenham over the 3200m. He was far from disgraced in that run, forced to hit the front at the top of the straight and was just no match for others in the very late stages. Fitter here today and better for the one run over the sticks, they may look to just cuddle him up for a fraction longer this time so he can keep finding late. He finished in front of My King’s Counsel that day, and there is nothing to suggest the latter can turn the tables. On the drift early in the week, he could get to a enticing price. Selections: 9-2-7-3

R2 #3 Exemplar – $3.90 at PlayUp Ran first up last start at Pakenham over 3200m, and officially recorded a DNF that day. When looking at the race however, I think he was given a very kind time by rider Steven Pateman. He took the second hurdle very awkwardly and was unbalanced on landing, and then reportedly failed to travel comfortably for the remainder of the race, although he stuck on well in the pack with others. Approaching the last, Pateman eased him out when he realised he was not a winning chance. If it was not for that awkward jump early, he could’ve been very competitive, therefore I suggest he gets another go here. Trial since was fine, and will be better for the fresh run. Can bounce back here. Selections: 3-7-2-5 

R6 (Brierly Steeplechase) #10 He’s A Genius – $5.00 at PlayUp Think we are getting a great price here about a jumper who looks to have tremendous upside. A two time winner over the sticks, his last start effort in the BM125 steeple was outstanding, sitting up on speed the entirety and pulling away very impressively late, giving nothing else a look in. Wasn’t necessarily an easy race either, making the dominating display all the more impressive. Gets in well again here with another low weight, and has won a trial in the lead up to get him sharp again. The fact he has form this preparation at the track and distance is sure to count for a lot, I think he can make it two in a row. Selections: 10-4-8-2

R7 (Grand Annual Steeplechase) #5 Ablaze – $1.90 at PlayUp Finding it very hard to tip against the favourite Ablaze here, even at the short quote. He is clearly the class horse of the field at the moment, even with his lack of experience over the jumps compared to others, with only three starts, but three wins! Picking up where he left off earlier in the year with a dominating fresh win last start over the 3230m journey at this track, he gave nothing else a look in. He steps up here to a more serious event, and also does have to rise in distance out to 5500m for the first time. His superior staying win in The Jericho, however, leads me to think he will see it out. Top chance, bet late as I think he will drift in the market. Selections: 5-2-1-3

R8 (Galleywood Hurdle) #7 Runaway – $1.80 at PlayUp This horse has some serious jumping ability, one of the most exciting prospects for the whole carnival in my opinion. He has won his last two jumps races by a combined total of 22L, and a tick over run in the Stawell Cup in between was far from disgraceful as well, only beaten 5L with the 62kg. He comes into this event rock hard fit, and has been kept on the mark with a 2800m hurdle trial win at the end of April. His recorded winning times have technically been slower than others in this race, but I can easily put that down to the fact he has been a mile in front at the end of his races and not fully tested through the line. Looks the superior hurdler here. Selections: 7-8-1-5


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