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Darran

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Darran last won the day on June 27

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About Darran

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  1. The Aussie action in Melbourne and Sydney this week comes from Caulfield and Rosehill respectively and I have bets in 3 races from each venue. Caulfield R4 (4.35am) Ballet Master is the pick here as I like the form of his win at Randwick last time. The horse he beat Bandersnatch also runs tomorrow at Rosehill and I think he will win tomorrow although won't be tipping him up as he is too short a price. With more rain forecast if the track gets into the heavy range then we know that he handles it which would be a concern for some of his main rivals here. Ballet Master @ 7/1 with Betfair Caulfield R7 (6.35am) The feature race on the card and if it does get into the heavy range then Jungle Edge will be a big danger, but for me Viridine can beat him anyway. He finished 1 place in front of Jungle Edge in the June Stakes which was a strong race. He followed that up with a win at Randwick and looked good in doing so as well. That was in a Heavy 9 so really testing ground wont bother him. I think he will take a sit behind Jungle Edge and then pounce in the home straight. Viridine @ 6/4 with Bet365 Caulfield R8 (7.10m) Knowles looks over priced here at double figures. She ran really well last time at Moonee Valley against the track bias and she was still in last place at the 400m marker. Her final 200m was only beaten by the winner. She ran really well over course and distance back in April on a Heavy 8 as well and a repeat of either of those efforts will see her go close. The concern is the draw as she is in 16 and will likely be ridden for luck again. Still at the price I am happy to take a chance. Knowles e/w @ 14/1 with William Hill (4 places only 3 places in Australia as it stands) N/R Rosehill R2 (3.10am) Given I was going to put up New Arrangement last week when he was a non-runner you would think I would be putting it up here, but there are a couple I prefer. My Swashbuckler is another to come from Europe having been trained in France. I thought he ran a huge race on his 2nd start in Australia at Randwick last time. At the 400m he was in 12th and didn't get into the clear until 350m out. Once in the clear he finished off the race well to finish 3rd. That was over 1600m and he now goes up to 2000m which will be ideal. He looks to have a cracking chance. I am also going to back Korcho who was trained by Hughie Morrison and a year ago ran a really good 2nd at the July meeting over the same trip as today. He's had two starts in Australia and he was given a bit of a quiet ride first up before finding all sorts of trouble at Randwick last time. On his UK form I think he has a real chance in this and better ground is going to help as well. Fulmina is a warm favourite after an impressive win last time and is clearly a danger, but for me the value is elsewhere. My Swashbuckler @ 5/1 with everyone Korcho e/w @ 18/1 with Betfrred Rosehill R7 (6.15am) I was on Trumbull last time when he finally decided to leave the stalls at the right time and he duly scored. If he starts like that again I think he has a good chance of following up because he is clearly in flying form this prep. The previous start he finished 2nd and Noble Boy was back in 3rd. I am adding him to the bets as well because he raced on the slower part of the track that day so you can upgrade his level of performance. Clearly on that effort those two aren't going to be far from each other. Trumbull @ 14/5 with Bet365 Noble Boy @ 5/1 with Bet365 Rosehill R8 (6.55am) Kordia could be hard to beat here, but I think the value is elsewhere in the shape of Inanup. I really liked his 1st up run when he was 2nd to the very progressive Adelong. He came from the back that day and had to come the widest of all. He had good pieces of form last prep as well and with a better draw the hope is he can sit a bit closer to the pace than he was able to last time when he was drawn out wide. He should also come on for that run as well and he is at a price we can back him e/w. Inanup e/w @ 7/1 with William Hill and Betfred
  2. Wasn't to be at Newton Abbot although Bubble O' Clock is certainly one to keep an eye on as he looked the winner when he made his move, but then a lack of match practice seem to tell and he was only 3rd in the end. He was pretty keen in the early stages as well which wouldn't have helped. I was also surprised he was held up and I can see them being more aggressive on him next time maybe over a shorter trip. Onto Stratford tomorrow and starting with the last race on the card it is no surprise to see Jack Snipe's price tumble. 365's 16/1 didn't last long and he is currently only 5/1, but I still think that is value as he ought to be favourite. He is 5/6 in points after the last couple of years and the one time he was beaten it came in a match at the end of last season when he may well have had enough. He ran in the 4m race at Cheltenham's hunter chase night and he was in the lead until his stamina ran out in a decent race and he ended up pulling up. However he only went off 12/1 for that and this race is certainly worse. He has yet to win over hurdles, but he went really close on a couple of occasions and he hasn't run over them since 2016. We know he stays well which you can't say about some of these and I reckon he will attempt to make all which is often an advantage at Stratford. The 3 horses ahead of him in the betting are all from yards where gambles have to be noted and it wouldn't be the first time a well handicapped pointer has bumped into a Dr Newland runner! Even so a mark of 92 is probably around 10-15lbs on the low side and if he runs to form it will take a good performance to beat him. Jack Snipe @ 5/1 with Bet365 In the previous race I think it is worth backing Captain Buck's. His trainer reckons he can win a few races with him over the summer and it is easy to see why. He was beaten in his first two points for Rose Loxton including in a match at 1/7, but then on what turned out to be the final day of the pointing season he won over 2m4f and did it well. He's down in grade from when he was last seen under rules which will also help him and as much as you wouldn't say he was massively thrown in based on his pointing form, on his old form he is. He wouldn't be the first horse to rekindle his form after a spell pointing and with his trainer also part owning him you would imagine he thinks he is well handicapped as well. Captain Buck's @ 5/2 with Bet365
  3. It is good to have jump racing back and hopefully we will see some well handicapped pointers/hunter chasers out in the next few weeks. The 5.20 at Newton Abbot has a couple of horses in Bubble O'Clock and Cheltenham De Vaige. Both are running off 100 and although neither look really thrown in I do think there is scope for both being capable of winning off their marks. Bubble O'Clock has been nibbled in the betting already which doesn't surprise me. He ran in the 2m race at Stratford on hunter chase night and usually that race isn't overly strong, but last year's race is a strong piece of form. He finished a staying on 4th that night and the 3 horses who finished directly behind him have all won handicaps since. He ran twice in the early weeks of the pointing season finishing 3rd and then falling last time, but it is clear he doesn't see out 3m and he ran well in both. This trip on quick ground looks ideal for him and if he's fit then he is capable of winning this. Cheltenham De Vaige was due to run on that Stratford card as well, but he bolted on the way to the start and had to be withdrawn. He is likely to be taken down to the start early as he usually is because he can be very headstrong. I think he is the type that will improve for being ridden by a pro jockey given is quirks. He pulled up on his only start in 2020, but I suspect the ground was plenty soft enough for him that day and he is better than that. He has a slightly higher pointing mark than Bubble O'Clock. My main dangers would be Duc Kauto who had useful form last season and Oxwich Bay who finds it hard to win, but usually goes close. He ran last week at Southwell, but ran out. I have split my stakes on both, but if pushed I would favour Bubble O'Clock as that Stratford run makes him look capable of winning off this mark. Bubble O'Clock @ 7/1 with Betfair Cheltenham De Vaige @ 9/2 with Bet365
  4. Some cracking jumping action at Warrnambool in the early hours of the morning with the first 6 races on the card over obstacles. Races 4 and 6 are the feature contests on the card and both look competitive. Not sure it will be a full house like at Casterton last week, but I will give it a go. Race 1 (2.35am) As has become the norm the maiden hurdle has divided. Da Deputy, Hoof Hustler and Little Phoenix all have claims, but I am taking a couple against the field. American In Paris has the best form for me. He had trialled well going into his hurdling debut at Ballarat last month and the winner was given a very good ride from the front (somewhat similar to the Derby this afternoon) and he wasn't able to make the ground up in testing conditions. Sadly we are down to 7 runners, but I am still going to put Yulong Emperor up e/w as he is over priced at double figure odds. His last two runs have been in stronger contests than this. He was 2nd to Hokkaido Miss and then 4th to Ventura Storm with Stanley in 2nd who won last week. He shouldn't be double figures to land this. American In Paris @ 13/8 with Betfred Yulong Emperor e/w @ 12/1 with Betfred Race 2 (3.15am) From the same race I have just mentioned Hierarchical was 3rd and I am really keen on him to win this. In his last 3 hurdle starts he has finished 2nd twice and then that 3rd last time. All 3 pieces of form are strong and this looks the perfect race for him to finally lose the maiden tag over hurdles. He has the beating of the other previous hurdle runners and those who are making their debuts are going to have to be pretty good to beat him. Hierarchical @ 15/8 with Betfred Race 3 (3.55am) Good race this. Britannicus got a deserved win last week, but I don't think he wants a Heavy 10 so he is crossed off the shortlist. Bee Tee Junior is the unknown having only run twice over hurdles in New Zealand. He's been racing on the flat to get him fit, but this is a hot race. Stanley got a deserved win last week and is clearly progressive, but he has 5L to make up on San Remo and I am not sure he can. Longclaw was a good 2nd last time to a good horse over course and distance last time on this ground. He is the last one I struck off my shortlist. The two I am going with are Hokkaido Miss and San Remo. I was really impressed with the former last time and as mentioned above she beat Yulong Emperor by 12L. That was a top hurdles debut. On the same card San Remo beat Hierarchical and had Stanley back in 3rd again very good form. Since then he has run as well as could be expected in a strong race at Flemington to keep him ticking over. He looks a big price in my view. Hokkaido Miss @ 23/10 with Bet365 San Remo @ 13/2 with Betfred Race 4 (4.35am) It's a shame we have a few non-runners in the Kevin Lafferty because it looked a really strong race. It's still a good contest, but I think it is between the top two in the market. Killarney Kid won this race impressively last year off 129 and he's only gone up to 133. He's had two decent runs on the flat at Flemington and plenty of hurdle trials to get him fit, but I just wonder if a lack of match practice jumping in a race puts things in Gobstopper's favour. He's been superb this prep and has already won 2 big hurdle races. Obviously he is going up in the weights, but the fact he was a good 2nd on the flat last time proves he is still in flying form and i take him to win another major prize. Gobstopper @ 11/8 with Betfred Race 5 (5.15am) Flying Agent should have beaten Michelin last time, but even so that was still a top effort and I just can't see him losing this. He has the beating of his main rivals here on that form. He's deservedly odds on so I am not going to put him up although the 5/6 on offer is tempting I must admit. I would be surprised if he doesn't win. Race 6 (5.55am) The Thackeray is the big chase on the card and the market has Bit Of A Lad, Georgethefifth and Michelin very close together although none of them will be the pick. Georgethefifth clearly loves it over course and distance and he has done it very easily on both times he has been here, but they were weak races and this is a very different test, but he is respected for sure. Michelin is the up and comer although as I mention above I thought he just got first run when beating Flying Agent last time and I think Flying Agent would reverse form should they run against each other again. Bit Of A Lad landed the Australian Steeple last time and beat Shamal by 8L. Stritctly speaking Shamal isn't weighted to reverse form, but I think he can and I am amazed Shamal is such a big price. He won for us last week and although he only just got up he was carrying a big weight and it was a good performance. Obviously he is carrying a big weight again in a stronger race, but I think he will come on for it and I would imagine backing up in this was always the plan. He looked in need of the race when 2nd at Sandown as I thought he travelled like the winner and now he is 3rd up I think he can reverse form. The ground won't be an issue and he shouldn't be as big as 6/1. Shamal @ 6/1 with everyone bar Bet365
  5. Yeah Chester is one you can easily watch for free, but I think that's one of the reasons why they aren't racing until at least September. Epsom only racing tomorrow because its the Derby. I did notice some people sat at Southwell just as they entered the back straight on Wednesday and Bath had in running punters watching on as well. I imagine most courses have spots where you can watch the action from without having to go inside, but again at the moment it seems a bit pointless.
  6. I'm looking forward to some more cracking action in Australia over the weekend and hoping to build on last weeks fantastic showing. On Saturday we have winter finals day at Flemington which looks a tough card, but I have bets in 3 races there. Randwick is the Sydney meeting this week and I have bets in 5 races there. Also on Sunday there is top class jumping action at Warrnambool and I will be previewing that tomorrow. Not time for massive previews but here are my tips and brief thoughts. Flemington R2 (3.25am) Ex UK horse Lord Belvedere was a big price winner for us a couple of weeks ago and although he's nowhere near that price tomorrow I think he can win again. He was strong in the finish that day and he looks like he has been building up nicely for this contest as his main target of the prep.The 2nd Chapada is weighted to reverse form and he is clearly a danger, but he may already have peaked this prep so I am sticking with Lord Belvedere. Lord Belvedere @ 9/4 with William Hll Flemington R5 (5.10am) I don't think Rich Charm would have won a couple of weeks ago in the race won by I Am Someone, but he had no luck in running at all inside the final 200m and he ran much better than 9th of 11 suggests. That was over 1100m and going back up to 1200m is ideal for him. This is his 3rd run of the prep and he is 4/4 3rd up and granted more luck in running I think he can make it win number 10. Rich Charm @ 9/2 with William Hill Flemington R8 (7.05am) The main race on the card and it is very competitive. Heptagon has a big chance of gaining another win, but I have left him out in favour of 3 against the field. Plein Ciel is the other one at the head of the market and he dead heated with Shot Of Irish. I put him up that day as he was showing like he was returning to his best form having been under par for a bit. He looks set to peak here and he ought to go very close. Reykjavik won over course and distance in May and he looked good in beating Shot Of Of Irish. He was also in the Moonee Valley race mentioned above and he was 5th, but it was a total forget run as he had no cover and it was hard to come from behind that day. He's better than that and is overpriced. Moss 'N' Dale has a shocking 1st up record, but he ran a huge race 1st up a month ago over 1400m here. That bodes well for this run especially as he is 4/6 2nd up. This clearly has been a target and again he looks a big price. Plein Ciel @ 9/2 with Betfair Reykjavik @ 16/1 with Betway (4 places) Moss 'N' Dale @ 22/1 with Betway (4 places) Randwick R4 (4.20am) Mr Dependable had a poor draw last time and had to have plenty of use made of him to get across to the rail to make the running. He was caught late on which wasn't a surprise, but it was clearly a huge run. He is now 3rd up and has drawn nicely in 4. The slight doubt is the trip in the ground, but as long as his jockey gets the fraction right in front then I think he will see it out and will be hard to beat. Mr Dependable @ 7/5 with Bet365 Randwick R5 (4.55am) I was tempted by Lashes but she was disappointing last time and although there there was a bit of an excuse I still thought it was a poor run. I like the chances of Longbottom who has been really consistent this prep. Since coming to Sydney he has been 2nd, 3rd and 3rd. He deserves to win a race again and to me this looks a winnable contest. If he runs to form he should be in the finish over his best trip on ground he enjoys. Longbottom @ 6/1 with Betfair Randwick R7 (6.10am) Threeood was given a ride which saw James McDonald pick up a ban a couple of weeks, but I tought she didn't really get the run of the race. It was her first poor run this prep and clearly the stable are happy to have another go. Her form is strong prior to that and she can bounce back. I am having an e/w saver on High Low Bet whose form figures since a Warwick Farm win in March don't look great, but she actually ran the quickest last 600m of the race last time when finishing 7th. She didn't settle that day either so to quicken the way she did was promoising. McEvoy is back on again and she is up to winning this. Threeood @ 4/1 with William Hill High Low Bet e/w @ 14/1 with everyone Randwick R8 (6.50am) I am pretty keen on Handspun here. He got awful luck late on at Rosehill last time and was still 9th at the 400m marker. It took to around 250m for him to get a clear run and even then it wasn't the clearest. Only the winner had a better last 600m and last 200m than him and he is drawn a lot better today so hopefully he will settle a bit close to the pace and get a clear run. Handspun @ 100/30 with William Hill Randwick R9 (7.30am) Selection now a N/R
  7. My wife is Australian so I had decent knowledge of it anyway as I made sure I learnt how it all worked just in case we ever happened to move there, but just didn't have the time to bet on it every week with the other things I bet on. I will try and keep it up when they do return but will have to see how it pans out. The great thing is though that most horses race on a Saturday every 2-3 weeks so you can easily get a hold on the form. Jumps wise there are only about 90 races in a season so you have a fairly small pool of horses to work with and I think you get some great value as the favourites tend to be over bet because there isn't such a jumps focus in Australia. I had dabbled in jumps racing over there in the past, but just wish I had picked it up sooner and realised it could be something else to make a profit on without adding much to my normal punting workload.
  8. No I record them on sky and watch them when I get up although the Hong Kong action got in the way this morning. If they aren’t on sky then I watch the replays via Racing.com which I can put on my tv via chromecast and watch then without looking at the result. I’d love to watch them live as the tv coverage is superb but obviously it would mess the body clock
  9. Great morning on the Aussie racing with 8 winners from 11 races including Frankely awesome at 25s and all 4 jumps winners
  10. Busy morning of Australian action with Caulfield and Rosehill my flat meetings of focus, but we also have 5 jumps races from Casterton so I have looked at them as well. Caulfield R5 (5.10am) I have put up Felicia before and hopefully she can gain a deserved win tomorrow. She has run well on all 4 starts so far this prep. The 3rd here two starts back over 1100m is strong form and then she was 2nd a couple of weeks ago over today's trip of 1200m at Moonee Valley. This looks a good race for her and Craig Williams gets on board for the first time as he bids to win the jockey's championship (ends at the end of next month). Felicia @ 11/5 with Bet365 Caulfield R7 (6.30am) I put up Alfa Oro when he won last time, a month ago, at Flemington. It was a really gutsy effort as well as he held off the challenge of the 2nd to make it 4 wins from 6 starts and the other two times he was 2nd. He is clearly very progressive and having won two handicaps at Pakenham at odds on it was good to see him progress to Metro level. He has a great draw in 5 and I think he can go in again. Alfa Oro @ 6/4 with Bet365 Caulfield R8 (7.05am) I am really keen on Harbour Views here. Again another horse I put up when he won last time and you may remember that I mentioned connections were hoping he would turn into a Cox Plate contender. He has won 6/9 starts and he had an excuse two starts back at Morphettville when he was found to have mucus in his lungs after the race. It was good to see him bounce in great style to win at Moonee Valley a couple of weeks ago and he proved he can stay 2000m. I don't really see any dangers although it will be interesting to see how South Pacific gets on in his first start in Australia. He was a Royal Ascot winner last year and was last seen in the Goodwood Cup. I'd imagine he will need this though and we know that Harbour Views is at peak fitness. Harbour Views @ 23/20 with Bet365 Rosehill R3 (3.45am) As I have mentioned we have jumps action at Casterton, but the best jumps horse in Australia is actually running on the flat in Sydney. Albaze's trainers have suggested he could go to the Melbourne Cup if he gets his rating up enough and I think he can win this to help that. He is a good horse on the flat as well and he landed the longest flat race in the country the Jericho Cup back in December and then followed that up with a win over 3000m at Moonee Valley in February. That proves he has the speed for this sort of trip as well as being able to stay the 5500m in the Grand Annual. This looks a pretty poor contest as well and the heavy conditions will also make it more of a stamina test anyway. I think he looks really hard to beat. Ablaze @ 13/8 with Betfred Rosehill R6 (5.30am) Wu Gok was so tough when he won the Winter Cup last time. I thought he was beat, but he fought back really well to get up by a long head. I think he can win again though despite the fact other horses who have finished behind him the last twice are weighted to beat him. Just long last time he looks like he is going to get a soft lead and I think he will be hard to pass. He loves heavy ground which he gets again and I think he is overpriced. I also want to back Frankley Awesome who not surprisingly is a daughter of Frankel. She has been placed in a couple of G1's last year and has been getting fitter with each start this year. She ran really well here a couple of weeks ago when running on well from well back to finish 6th. Crucially she was on the wrong part of the track as the inside was like glue compared to the rest of the track and you can upgrade the performance. She also looks overpriced at double figures. Wu Gok @ 11/2 with Bet365 Frankley Awesome @ 25/1 for the win and 11/2 for the place with Bet365 Rosehill R7 (6.10am) I am going to give Trumbull another chance. He does seem to be a horse who always finds some sort of trouble and yet again last time he had no room until 150m where he finished 2nd. He just needs to be a bit quicker away from the stalls and to really help his cause. I do think though he will manage to get his head in front at some stage and this looks a good race for him to do so. Trumbull @ 6/1 with Betfair Rosehill R8 (6.50am) Another horse who was on the wrong part of the track here a couple of weeks ago was Night Of Power and he still ran well to finish 6th over a trip short of his best anyway. Up to 1500m will help a horse who has won over a range of trips from 1500m to 2400m. He was made favourite last time which was his 1st race of the prep so he was clearly fancied and his 2nd up form is much better than his 1st up form having won twice and finished 2nd once in 3 2nd up starts. Night Of Power @ 16/5 with Bet365 Casterton R1 (3.06am) Little Phoenix is favourite for Div 1 of the maiden after a couple of decent trials, but I am going to go with the proven hurdle form of Stanley and Hierarchal. They finished 2nd and 3rd to Ventura Storm 11 days ago and that looks pretty good form in view. Both horses have good placed hurdles form now and I think the latter will improve for going on a quicker surface rather than the Heavy 10's he has been on the last twice. Holburt was a disappointing favourite 11 days ago, but should also improve for a better surface. Stanley @ 4/1 with Betfair and Betfred Hierarchal e/w @ 8/1 with Betfred N/R Casterton R2 (3.41am) I am taking the front two in the market here. Britannicus was disappointing last time, but clearly hated the Heavy 10 ground last time. His 2nd to Inayforhay is really good form and he won a BM64 on the flat in-between. This quicker ground should see him in a much better light. I am also going to back Steam Roller again. He fell 11 days ago when he was trying to get into contention, but they have changed the headgear on him and hopefully that will help wake his ideas up early on. The extra trip isn't going to do any harm either so he is worth having a saver on. Britannicus @ 15/8 with Betfred Steam Roller @ 100/30 with Betfred Casterton R3 (4.16am) I think Diamond Star Halo is the most likely winner, but he's priced up about right for me at 11/10. I think he has the best form in the race and I don't really like the 2nd favourite much. Coleridge finally broke his maiden tag last time, but he got an easy lead there and I am not sure it will be the case here. A couple of the bigger prices like Mystic Prince and The Hotz wouldn't be totally out of it either. Casterton R4 (4.51am) Steve Pateman trains half the field here and I think he can have the winner in Mapping. There was lots to like about his run 11 days ago at Ballarat when he was 4th in a maiden chase. Given it was a hot race and he was only 2nd up after a break, also ran in a flat race last month, it was a massive run because he also needs a few runs to get going. I must admit his 3rd up stats are only slightly better, but that run last time suggests he is further forward and he had very good form last year. Markwood is favourite and is always one to oppose for me as he is just one paced out in front. He was behind Mapping last as well and I don't think the form will be reversed. Referee was 3rd in that race, but I think Mapping can improve past him. I am also going to save on Pentelligentsia another Pateman runner. He ran well before being bought down at the last at Sale by Markwood. That was his first run since June 2018 so he should strip fitter here. Mapping @ 9/2 with Bet365 Pentelligentsia @ 13/2 with Betfred Casterton R5 (5.26am) I really like Shamal here despite having top weight. I thought he ran really well when 1st up in the Australian Steeple a month ago. He finished 2nd that day and he should improve for the run. He had some good form in New Zealand and he deserves to be top of the weights. Elvision is at the other end of the handicap and although he won easily on his 1st chase start last time he did only have Markwood to beat and I am going with the proven class here. Shamal @ 4/1 with everyone
  11. A nice 18/1 winner to start the day and Mount Papa also won.
  12. No time for written reasons this week, but for those following my Australian tips over the last few months I have bets in 5 races tomorrow. Flemington R1 (2.45am) - Man Of Peace 17/5 Bet365 Flemington R6 (5.45am) - Chapada 7/2 Bet365, Alfharis 4/1 with everyone and Lord Belvedere e/w 18/1 with everyone Flemington R7 (6.25am) - King Of Hastings 9/5 Bet365 Randwick R3 (3.40am) - Broken Arrows 11/2 Betfair Randwick R4 (4.15am) - Mount Papa 5/2 Betfair
  13. Usually my biggest bets during Royal Ascot week come on the jumps, usually something turn up at Ffos Las that looks good however the only jumps action I will be looking at is in Australia with 4 jumps races at Ballarat in the early hours where a St Leger 2nd makes his hurdles debut. Race 1 (2.45am) 1st division of the maiden hurdles and I thought there were 4 in with a chance. American In Paris won on the flat in April, but has been poor in two runs since. Has looked good in trials, but the horse who finished in front of him has been poor since so not sure the trial form can be trusted. Holburt beat Savvy Ken in his first trial, but then looked laboured behind him a couple of weeks later when only 5th. Hi jumped OK in those trials and did win a BM58 on the level last time. Usually up with the pace on the flat. Hoof Hustler has had two trials and won them both including having Sir Issac Newton in behind on the first of them. Last time he beat San Remo and he won a maiden hurdle on his next start so he looks promising here. Steam Roller has been 3rd twice over hurdles and was way too far back last time where horses were finding it really hard to make up ground in really testing conditions. With a better ride on better ground he can go close here. Just going to mention Savvy Ken who does need a horse to come out to get a run as he is 2nd in the betting. He dropped away very tamely on his hurdles debut and he is surely better than that, but it's enough to put me off if he does get a run. For me I will split my stakes between Hoof Hustler and Steam Roller who look the best priced out of the main contenders. Hoof Hustler @ 5/1 with Betfair Steam Roller @ 11/2 with Betfair Race 2 (3.25am) Ventura Storm finished 2nd in the 2016 St Leger, has won a couple of decent races in Australia and run in a couple of Melbourne Cups. He does seem to have lost his way of late though so connections are trying him over hurdles to see if that brings him back to life. I was impressed with how he trialled and he looks a good jumper although they were both slowly run and this should be run at a quicker tempo. He clearly is the best flat horse and has a great chance of winning, but I prefer to take a couple e/w against him given his odds on price. Hierarchal has finished 2nd in both hurdles starts and has done nothing wrong so far. It is hard to see him not being involved again. I am also going to back Crafty Lion for the 3rd time. He placed at big odds for me two starts back and then fell when still going well last time. I can't resist backing him again at another big price. I must admit that I didn't really fancy Infinite Reign or First Crush despite their single figure quotes so I might be missing something, but they aren't for me. Yulong Emperor makes some sort of appeal at big odds given he was 2nd last time and although beat 12L it was a big step up from his hurdles debut. Hierarchal e/w @ 15/2 with Betfred Crafty Lion e/w @ 16/1 with Betfred Race 3 (4.05am) Sadly the non-runners have ruined this as I really fancied Runaway, but he's now 4/6. 2nd to Gobstopper in the Galleywood and the Australian Hurdle are a cut above the level the rest of these have shown. He trialled well last week as well. Glorious Sinndar started life with George Margarson back in 2013 and showed little in 3 maidens. He then went to Germany before finding himself over in Australia. He is 3/3 over hurdles winning twice in 2016 and then again in 2018. His last run was in June 2018 before March this year when he was 2nd which was a good effort, but he has been poor since. Slowpoke Rodriguez is the only other one in single figures, but he's not run over hurdles since 2016 and was well behind Runaway in the trail last week. This is Runaway's to lose in my view although at the price it's a no bet race. Race 4 (4.50am) I like Flying Agent in this contest as he makes his jumping debut. Now Michelin does get a weight pull here having finished 2nd to Flying Agent over hurdles last time, but they ran in the same steeple trial as each other and I was way more impressed with Flying Agent. He jumped really well and coasted home in 3rd place. Michelin wasn't bad by any means and wasn't worked over hard either, but I think Flying Agent can continue to build on that win last time and looks the value to me. Scholarly has jumped pretty poorly in two steeple trials and he isn't great over hurdles either. I'm surprised they are going chasing with him. Markwood is solid, but just can't see out his races regardless of trip. My Kings Counsel never looked likely last time but had trialled well before that. Flying Agent @ 11/4 with Betfred
  14. New Arrangement gets a run although becomes a win only bet now as we are down to 3 places and the price has come in with the non-runners. Across Dubai is still e/w but obviously just the 3 places now. The short price fav has come out of the 5th at Rosehill so Bring The Ransom is no longer a double figure price although still going to put him up e/w
  15. Only time for some very brief reasoning this week, but I gave bets in 4 races at Moonee Valley and 5 races at Rosehill. Moonee Valley R3 (4.35am) Sikorsky should have won last time a couple of weeks ago, but he just didn't have quite enough at the end of the race after doing plenty early enough. He doesn't have a great draw here which is a worry, but the shorter straight should help and he can win this after connections decided to give him another week after scratching him last week. Sikorsky @ 13/8 with Betfred Moonee Valley R4 (5.15am) Great Again was a good winner 1st up at Flemington and I think he can win again. His record over 1200m reads 5/7, 2nd up he's won twice and finished 2nd twice from 4 starts and on soft ground he's 6/8 and finished twice the other two starts. He showed great guts the last day and I think he can get the better of main danger Tavisan. Great Along @ 11/4 with Betfred Moonee Valley R7 (7.15am) With Royal Ascot next week we have last year's Britannia Stakes winner Biometric make his 2nd start in Oz. I thought he ran really well 1st up even though he only came 9th. He was last as they turned from home and he got no luck in running in the straight. It would be no surprise to see him improve massively for that run as well and Craig Williams takes over in the saddle. Plein Ciel is a horse I have followed for a while, but he's been out of form for a bit now. However he's first up run at Flemington a month ago was a return to form especially over a trip which was short of his best. He was just beaten in 3rd that day and is worth adding as a saver as if he builds on that he's a big player. Biometric @ 7/2 with Betfair Plein Ciel @ 6/1 with BetVictor Moonee Valley R8 (7.50am) This is a good race which could see horses going to the big races in the spring. Django Freeman is the main selection. He was 2nd in the German Derby on his last start in Germany and he was one just to watch on his Oz debut at Flemington last month. Over a short enough trip he ran a cracking race to finish 3rd to Reykjavik. The Melbourne Cup is on his radar and stepping up to 2040m is going to see even more improvement. I am going to have a saver on Harbour Views even though he is the market leader. I put him last time and he was only 3rd behind a massive priced winner, but he was found to have mucus in his lungs after that so he is worth giving another chance to. Connections are eying up a tilt at the Cox Plate so he needs to be winning this to be up to that level. Django Freeman @ 11/4 with Bet365 Harbour Views @ 9/5 with Bet365 Rosehill R3 (3.55am) I have to give a last chance to Miss Einstein. She didn't get much luck in running and arguably wasn't given the best of rides behind Bound To Win last time. McEvoy takes over in the saddle and she deserves a win this prep as her two previous runs are top notch form and more than good enough to land this. Miss Einstein @ 100/30 with Betfair Rosehill R4 (4.10am) The Lord Mayors Cup over 2000m here a couple of weeks ago is clearly the key form race and although others are better off in the weights now I think Wu Gok can win again. His form on a heavy track is superb and he looks set to get a very easy lead again just as he did last time. There is no other speed in the race and I can see him making all again. Wu Gok @ 13/8 with Betfred Rosehill R5 (4.50am) Rari is first up after looking decent last prep. The concern is he has finished 2nd 5 times and won just 1 of 10, but he trailed well behind Classique Legend recently and that bodes well for this. I also like Bring The Ransom who is a big price. She had no luck at all behind Mo's Crown last time. She was still in 10th passing the 400m mark and was crowded most of the way down the straight until she was checked about 150m out losing all momentum. It was some effort to finish as close as she did. Rari @ 7/1 with Bet365 Bring The Ransom e/w @ 12/1 with Betfred Rosehill R6 (5.30am) Across Dubai is another having his 2nd Oz start having been trained over here. He got no luck here a couple of weeks back over 1500m and he wasn't knocked about late on when he's chance had gone. He can only improve off that effort and an extra 300m trip will also help. New Arrangement is one of the reserves so isn't guaranteed to run, but he was really unlucky last time and ought to have won. He's another who used to be trained over here and his last 3 runs have all been good enough to win this especially as he didn't have much luck in the other two either. Across Dubai e/w @ 10/1 with Betfred (4 places unlike in Oz) New Arrangment e/w @ 7/1 with Betfred Rosehill R7 (6.10am) Adelong was set to run last week, but they scratched her which was probably a wise idea as this looks weaker. Yes others who have run behind her recently are better off in the weights, but she has really impressed me and I think there is plenty more to come. Adelong @ 9/5 with Betfair