It’s an absolutely huge day of midweek racing here, with a total number of seven meetings taking place all around the country. The highlight is undoubtedly the feature day of the Grafton carnival, with the standout races being the Grafton Guineas, and the Listed Ramornie Handicap worth $200k. A lot of leading riders and horses have made the trip for this meeting, and it looks a great 8-race card to keep us entertained. Racing as well from Sandown Lakeside, and Warwick Farm in Sydney, as well as Doomben, Naracoorte, Belmont and Pioneer Park in the top end! PlayUp form analyst Lewis Willoughby has identified his five best ‘plays of the day’ below.
Sandown Lakeside R2 #12 Yulong Island $9.00 at Playup – I was seriously shocked when they elected not to lead on Yulong Island when racing fresh last start at Caulfield. As it turned out in that race, the leader won, so I think it was a serious opportunity missed. Second up here and fitter, jumping from barrier one and I really hope they roll forward this time. On a heavy track at Lakeside early in the day with the rail out +7m, this could be a winning move. Untested on a heavy track, so that is a concern, but so are a number of other horses in the market. The race at Caulfield last start has turned out to be a solid form race, so here’s hoping Yulong Island can continue that. Each way bet. Selections: 12-10-7-2
Sandown Lakeside R4 #5 Copper Fox $11.00 at Playup – Second up here, and comes off a very good return to racing last start when 2nd behind the talented Our Wind Spirit at Geelong over 1100m. He got back to near last in running, and was met with a wall of horses in front of him at the top of the straight. Once clear, he worked home through the line very impressively, recording the fastest last 600m and 400m of the entire day. Strips fitter now, and comes here up to 1300m with an unbeaten second up record of 2 from 2, and he is also unbeaten at 1300m from one attempt. I think he has come back in very good order, and being an NZ bred horse I think he will handle the heavy going. He shouldn’t be as long as he is in the market, each way again. Selections: 5-10-7-3
Sandown Lakeside R6 #2 Ruban Bleu $3.50 at Playup – Fourth up into the campaign, and is absolutely flying this prep and arguably running in career best form. I was keen to back him wherever he landed next after a huge run last start over the unsuitable 1100m at Caulfield, and he has landed here back in midweek grade, and back out to 1200m which is very suitable. His wet form is strong, he has drawn well in barrier 5, and the 2kg claim for usual rider L King is just a cherry on top, bringing him down to a seriously competitive weight in this midweek level. Loves the 1200m, and as long as the track is allowing horses to run on from towards the rear, he looks a serious bet at his current quote. Selections: 2-8-3-4
Grafton R6 #3 Ready To Humble $4.60 at Playup – Racing very well this prep, coming here sixth up into its grand final as a very fit and in form horse. Last start winning the Highway Hcp at Rosehill nicely, and also has form at Grafton earlier this prep over a shorter trip. Out to the mile here looks perfect, and is very well drawn in barrier one to position up on the speed without much fuss. Gives away some weight to other chances, but maps for a perfect run and looks the one to beat. Selections: 3-4-6-8
Grafton R7 #5 Hightail $5.50 at Playup – Fourth up into the prep, and coming off a 12th placed finish in the G1 Stradbroke at Eagle Farm. However, he was only beaten 3.6L in a serious blanket finish, so there is a lot of credit to be taken from that run. Back to 1200m and way back in grade, and with only 56.5kg looks very well weighted in this field. The booking of Glen Boss is a big help, and should be afforded a lovely run from barrier 4. Two starts back was a solid G3 winner over the trip, he looks the class horse of this field. Selections: 5-2-4-10