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Track: GOOD(3) - Weather: STORMS? - Rail: TRUE

Betting Portfolio ($100):
This is pretty much our favourite race day of the year, kicking off our favourite racing week of the year, and best racing month of the year. We were a bit dubious when they moved the Thousand Guineas to this program and away from the mid week slot, but having the four Group 1’s on the same day really seems to work well.

It is mainly fine weather heading into the weekend, with a shower or two around, but not much to report. The main thing to watch out for though is the thunder storms forecast for Saturday afternoon/evening, and with this meeting kicking off on a late 1pm start with 10 races they may become an issue later in the day. Rail goes back to TRUE here, but it was in the same position just two weeks ago so doubt that the ground against the fence will be much advantage. Maybe watch out and see if the racing favours on pacers on very firm ground, especially earlier in the day.

We love betting on this day, so it is double up time for the Betting Portfolio with plenty to bet on. There is a stack of value around today and most of these have been racing against each other so you can line them up and bet with confidence.

RESULTS: Bit of a disaster of a day - so get the brush and pan ready. The track strongly favours those running on, which totally screws the tips as we were tending towards the on pacers (which is normal for this day). First wipe out of the year for the Betting Portfolio, the Lay of the Day wins, and annoyingly we had two narrow 4ths for each way bets.

BEST BET: Race 8: 6-BADAWIYA $15 WIN 3rd W=$5.70
QUINELLA: Race 8: 6-BADAWIYA, 1-PASADENA GIRL x $2.50 3rd 6-BADAWIYA W=$5.70, X
QUINELLA: Race 8: 6-BADAWIYA, 4-JAMEKA x $2.50 3rd 6-BADAWIYA W=$5.70, 2nd 4-JAMEKA W=$8.10
This one is absolutely flying at the moment and was very impressive winning at Flemington last week when she dashed away from them and extended. Lots of class fillies in this, but think she might have the edge here. She is proven over the 1600M, and a few of these are 3rd up and up in distance again. Drawn outside and may just want to sit a little closer than usual to make sure the on pacers don’t pinch this race. Happy to back straight out at around $5.50 and save with a quinella on the main dangers, the classy (1), and the on pacer the (4).
RESULTS: Looking good coming up to the home turn and looks the winner on turning, but a class filly goes home the better. Honest effort.

We really liked the run of this one in the Guineas Prelude, and that is normally the best form race for this. He led that day, had to work to hold onto the lead, kicked clear on the home turn – and only just got nabbed on the line. Better off at the weights today too. Maybe the strong 1600M here might just find him out, but he will go forward again and don’t think there will be much pressure up front. Should get a perfect run and if the track is tending towards on pacers think he is going to be very hard to beat. Lovely each way bet at around $9
RESULTS: Not suited with the runners on winning, but disappointing regardless.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 5: 6-BONDEIGER $7.50 EW 4th W=$11.90
QUINELLA: Race 5: 5-EXCESS KNOWLEDGE#6,9,10 x $6 = 200% 2nd 5-EXCESS KNOWLEDGE W=$5.40, 3rd 9-BOHEMIAN LILY W=$6.50
We have been waiting since last spring for this one to return to some form and think he is just about ready. Had a fantastic spring 3YO campaign last year when stepped up every time and only just missed in the VRC Derby behind a smart one that has gone on. Had a full year off due to injury and has been taking time to run into form, but was running on nicely here last start in a much weaker race. Up in distance again – and we may just be going off one run too early here, but think he will step up this spring. Back him each way at around $11 and let’s take a 2nd bet in this with quinellas around the 5-EXCESS KNOWLEDGE, who we have layed successfully a few times now but want to back today. He loomed up here like the winner last start and should have a lot of improvement from that run, so take in quinellas with the each way bet the (6), the (9) and the (10) who had no luck here last start caught wide all of the way.
RESULTS: Runs on well and looks to have a placing all sown up for the whole of the straight - yet somehow just missed 3rd! Should have a lot of improvement to come too, so keep following now he has had the 2400M run.

BEST ROUGH: Race 10: 9-CATCH THAT CAT $5 EW 4th W=$22.50
Fitter for the 2 runs in after close to a year off, and she has a pretty good win/place strike rate. 1st up she got a perfect run behind the speed and just found the MV specialist too good. Then 2nd up here last start she drew an outside barrier, and was caught wide early and fought on OK out wide in a race where those closest to the rails finished 1-2. Up in class here, but nice barrier and she should be able to sit just off the speed here. Think she might do something today at around $21
RESULTS: Races well and runs on to only just miss the placing - probably just not suited at the weight scale here against these better horses.

This one doesn’t look particularly well weighted against her rivals here, but there is a stack of speed here and it might set it up for one running on late. Will have to get away from inside barrier, but was really good here last week when had to wait and come around the field before finishing really hard. Looks to have some ability, so worth a little warm up dabble at around $15, and suspect we will get much better odds on the tote come race time.

RUNNING DOUBLE: Race 6,7: 2,5,8 / 1,7,14,15,17,18 x $18 = 100% 3rd 8-MONGOLIAN KHAN W=$9.00 / 1st 1-LUCKY HUSSLER W=$5.90
Let’s do something a bit different here and take a wide running double. Going around the favourite the 7-KERMADEC in the Caulfield Stakes as just a bit concerned about him dropping back in a small field with not much speed and leaders often win this race. If he gets beaten, and there are plenty of good horses going around, then that opens up the running double nicely. So try the 2-FAWKNER who won this race last year, the 5-PORNICHET on speed, who looked like he is returning to his best form last start and watch for the 8-MONGOLIAN KHAN on pace and inside barrier, who is coming along nicely this spring and may be ready to do something. Into the Toorak Handicap (Race 7), and the main chances are the 1-LUCKY HUSSLER (just a little concerned about being top weight), and the 7-DISPOSITION. But there are a stack of long odds chances who may cause the upset here, such as the 15-ABIDEWITHME (strong pace suits, wide all the way last start), 14-JACQUINOT BAY (wide barrier, but excellent 1600M record and lightest weight in a long time), 17-RHYTHM TO SPARE (should have placed in this race last year off similar form), and 18-MOONOVERMANHATTAN (well drawn, light weight). Good chance of a result here if we get one of the long shots up in the 2nd leg.
RESULTS: Not far off a collect here, but one of the favourites wins the 2nd leg anyways so the dividend isn't huge.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 4: 1-AMOVATIO at around $5.50 1st W=$5.70
1st up coming off two good winter wins, but lumped with 60 kgs in this, and likely to drop well back in a race with very little speed, on a track that often favours those racing on speed. This field isn’t the strongest, but hard to see him getting warm here so happy to risk at around $5.50.
RESULTS: You know you are having a rubbish day when the Lay of the Day gets miracle gaps on the rails. Ordinary field, but incredible luck.

TURF DELI WONDER BET : Here we try and turn $5 into a whole lot more with a silly multiple bet.
TRIFECTA: Race 9: 5,6 / 1,5,6,11,15 / 1,5,6,11,12,13,15 x $5 = 12.5% X / 11-LIZARD ISLAND 2nd W=$18.70 / X
Let’s take a trifecta in the feature race and this should blow out nicely if the favourite gets beaten. We think there are two main winning chances are the 5-DAL CIELO and 6-BON AURUM. The main dangers are the favourite, the 1-PRESS STATEMENT and the 15-TULSA, but there are a lot of horses at odds with good barriers on speed who make poke into the finish like the 11-LIZARD ISLAND and 12-KENTUCK FLYER. So go wide in a trifecta and hope for a result.
RESULTS: Miss the winners but found the value place getter at least. Trifecta doesn't pay anyway with the favourite winning.

SPENT: $100
RETURN: $6.00
NET: $-94.00

The Tips:



7-SERENE MAJESTY 1st W=$10.90

3-THE BOWLER 2nd W=$3.90

9-BOHEMIAN LILY 3rd W=$6.50

8-MONGOLIAN KHAN 3rd W=$9.00

7-DISPOSITION 2nd W=$4.60

6-BADAWIYA 3rd W=$5.70
4-JAMEKA 2nd W=$8.10


3-WAWAIL 2nd W=$4.60


Others: 15,13,11

Pace: EVEN

1-PRESS STATEMENT is the raging favourite and highly spruiked Sydney horse and it is customary to have one of those in this field every year. Most of the Melbourne 3YO’s aren’t really impressing so suspect that the new form line may indeed be the way to go here. In winning form and that is very important for this feature race. Proven over the mile with Group 1 winter QLD victory. Had no luck two runs back in the Golden Rose when couldn’t get a run at a crucial stage in the straight and then stalked the leaders and won as he liked last start against a small field. Likes to settle just behind the speed and the outside barrier here is probably the main issue – he is likely to get caught wide. First time to Caulfield, first time Melbourne way of going, and that has bought a few unstuck before. A lot will depend if they are running on OK or not today. Definitely looks the one to beat, and no surprise to see him win this, but not sure we want to get on at the odds on offer with plenty of values around others in this. Chance. 1st W=$2.70

5-DAL CIELO is a NZ visitor who looks like he may be a player in this. Only missed the place once in 6 career starts so far, and has a Group 1 victory to his name. Only the 2 runs in and stepping up in distance again here to the 1600M, but plenty to like about last start. The Guineas Prelude is normally the best form reference race for this one, and he finished third, not beaten far at all, and comes into this with slight weight advantages against many he met there. He went to the lead last start, there was a bit of pressure early, he gave a kick on the home turn, and they really only just got him on the line. Was a huge run. Track probably just favoured on pacers that day, but decent chance it will do the same again here. He has drawn a perfect barrier to go forward again and despite the big field can’t actually see much pressure up front today. Maybe the last little bit the only query seeing most of these have had extra runs this time in and he is up in distance. Perfect draw, on speed, really like the way he kicked last start and each way odds. Can’t say no to that. Strong chance.

6-BON AURUM has been really under rated and you can’t knock winning form going into this race. Only missed the place once in six career starts, and that was his first start. He has really stepped up after being beaten in a Sandown mid weeker to win this last two – and both of those wins have been super impressive. Both times he has been caught back and wide (he has won from barriers 13 and 12) and he has had to make long hard runs at them – but he has stepped up both times. Have to respect the Guineas Prelude winner going into this race. Previously he was racing forward and don’t think there is much speed here, so suspect he is going to settle a lot closer today and give himself every chance. Simply cannot fault form, he continues to be under rated and you are probably going to get good odds again today. Strong chance.

13-TARZINO has had only the 3 career start but he is going places rather quickly. Only just won his heavy track maiden, but that was a pretty strong field. Then quite dominant running on down the middle of the track to win here 3 weeks back. He was also quite well backed that day. This is stronger again, but he does represent a new form line to these and he is in winning form and that is both big ticks for this race. His runs have been well spaced which is a slight concern, and he not sure the inside barrier is the best here as he does drop well back in the run and will need a lot of luck getting through the field. But fit, in form, on the up, and think he has to be considered. Chance.

15-TULSA is really starting to step up and looks likely to go onto bigger and better things, even if he doesn’t win this race today. Fitter for the 3 runs in, and real eye catcher 2nd up at Flemington when stepping up sharply in distance and was really rocketing home late. Huge run. Black booker. Drew outside barrier and dropped well back, but closing very rapidly here in the Guineas Prelude. Though note he does meet most of these worse off at the weights today. He has drawn wide today - again – the poor owners cannot get any luck with barrier draws. He is a really strongly finisher and seems to be going places. Drawn a barrier he would be in the selections here, but suspect he may drop too far back and leave it a little late in this. If they are running on and winning he goes right up in calculations. Chance.

2-ODYSSEY MOON has been going along OK, but without really impressing. Was thereabouts in all of the main Autumn 2YO races in Sydney, but normally found one better. Three runs back in Melbourne this spring have all been good, without being outstanding. He has been stepping up in distance each time though and he should be fitter today. Last start here in the Prelude he drew a wide barrier and had to make a very wide run on the turn, and the racing pattern probably favoured those closer to the fence that day. His win strike rate is starting to look a little ordinary and his form pattern is reading like he may prefer some give in the ground which he is unlikely to get here. Drawn wide again and likely to drop well back again. Hard to see him winning this, but he probably does represent a good value rough place chance and does appear to be over the odds. Rough place.

10-LAST BULLET is over from Adelaide and has been competitive against these his last 2 starts. Has been slowly away his last 2 starts too which is a bit of a worry, as his normal racing pattern is to jump and race on speed. Last start he was slow away and ridden along to keep up with them, before going wide and making solid ground to the line. Good effort – but he won’t win this race if he is slow away again. If he jumps and settles on speed he is probably a rough place chance, dropping back again doubt he will be a factor here. Place.

9-BASSETT has had only the 3 starts but is coming along really well. Not far off in QLD Group1 over the 1600M in the winter, and he was 2nd up and stepping up 500M that day – something he is attempting to do again here. Strong win 1st up when the race was set up for him by the two up front going too hard, but that form has held up. 2nd up and up 500M here is a huge ask, especially into a feature Group 1. No horse has won this race 2nd up in the last 20 years – but not sure that many have actually tried. Normally winners of this race have 3 runs in at least though. Very professional horse who should get a good run here on speed from a middle barrier, and may look likely early in the straight – but suspect he will get run down the last little bit. May go onto other good races this spring though. Place best.

11-LIZARD ISLAND has been coming along really nicely, but mainly in weaker races. Had 4 runs in so ready for a tough 1600M slog here if required. Ran home really well at Sandown, then settled on speed and stuck on really well at Flemington against the (6) before an easy on pace win in a maiden. He is going along well, and nice inside barrier here so should get a gun run on the rails behind the leader. Ticks the winning form box too. But form history shows that it is very unusual for a horse to win a Group 1 race coming off a maiden win so suspect he may find one better here. Strong place chance though. 2nd W=$18.70

12-KENTUCKY FLYER is coming into this race off a different set of races than most of these so worth some consideration. Fitter for the 3 runs in, and made a early run at MV when the ride won the race. Last start here he blew the start and ended up at the back of the field, and had to make a wide run on the bend, got baulked for a run, but was fading on the line. Think he got outstayed by the (13) there – but he does meet him a nice 3kgs better off in this. Drawn a nice barrier and likely to sit handy today and give himself every chance (as long as he jumps OK). Class may be the test, but reckon if you want a monster first four or trifecta he is the most likely suspect and won’t be that far away. Only for dream dividends – but give it a crack. Rough place.

14-SNOOPY is the only Beagle in this race of 3YO colts and geldings. Won his first two starts this time in, then got squashed for runs at Flemington so totally forget he went around there. Right in the finish here in the Guineas Prelude and that is normally the right race for this. Does meet pretty much all of them from that race slightly worse off at weights in this though, which is a concern. Got the perfect sit behind the speed last start and peeled out at the right time to win, but wasn’t quite good enough. Wasn’t beaten very far at all though. Suspect the same thing will happen here today, and he may get caught wide from his barrier, shouldn’t be too far away, but likely to find one better. Place.

3-READY FOR VICTORY is one we really thought would go on as a 3YO and become a major player, but he has been very disappointing this spring. The Autumn majors just seemed to come around too quickly and he ended up jumping into the Golden Slipper at just his 2nd race start and wasn’t disgraced when he seemed to get on the wrong leg in the straight. Should have improved over the break and come back ready to step up – but he hasn’t. Fitter for the 3 runs back in, 1st up ran on really well here which just held up for a clear run early. 2nd up again he managed to get stuck on the rails and struggled to get clear, but came again late. Last start here in the Prelude thought he was just plain disappointing, he was struggling to keep up on the turn, but seemed to keep working towards the line and wasn’t beaten very far. Blinkers go on first time. If he stepped up and showed his true ability he would be right in this, and guess he wasn’t beaten that far last time, so you could stick with him. But think he is starting to have too many excuses and prefer to look to others today. No 3rd W=$10.40

4-RAGEESE is a Sydney visitor who looks well held by the (1) based on their last meeting. Normal racing pattern is to drop back, but ended up leading in a small field last start. Best form so far has been on soft tracks. Another who has drawn out and can see him dropping out and way back in this field and suspect he will just give too much of a head start to one racing up near the lead in this. No

7-SHARDS is the powerful Goldolphin stable blue coloured runner. Another who has only missed the place once in 6 career starts, and has been competitive against the (1) and (4) in Sydney. Does look safely held by the (1) based on last start though. Can race handy, but is drawn out a little so might get caught wide. Watch the market as likely to be moves for one or more of these Sydney runners as they are the new form line to the Melbourne brigade who seem to be pretty even. Prefer others though.

8-SOVEREIGN NATION was really good winning an extremely weak Bill Stutt Stakes last Friday night. Had to make a hard run around them on the bend there, and the track was strongly favouring on pacers, so it was a fair effort. Wasn’t disgraced against many of these at Flemington the start before when he was the widest runner in the straight and seemed to lose balance a few times heading towards the line. In winning form so that’s a big tick for this, but sheesh that was a weak race last week at MV. Barrier 1 probably not the best as he is likely to drop back in the run and be caught inside runners today. Prefer to risk. 4th W=$22.70

16-MORE THAN MOST doesn’t have as good a record as many of these and looks to be flying a little too high. Fitter for the 3 runs in, made good ground at Flemington, but was still beaten a clear margin, and then wasn’t disgraced behind a very smart one at Pakenham (and had to carry 4.5 kgs more than the winner there, who won impressively at Flemington last week). Drawn a nice barrier and can take a position here so may run better than expected, but the class is going to be the test. No

17-MR INDIVIDUAL (emerg) has been coming along OK and was right in the market here 1st up when ran off on the turn. Sorted that all out with on pace maiden win, and then not beaten far here in the Prelude. Settled behind the leader that day and come out at the right time to make his run at the top of the straight and fought on well to the line – but many went past him and were going better. Suspect that group will have him covered again today, and barrier is no help to his chance either. No

Summary: This is always a great betting race, and a race where traditional form lines are really, really important. Most of these have been racing against each other, so you can line them up, sort them out, and clean up big if you get it right.

If you look back over the history of this race one thing really sticks out. You need to be in peak form to win a feature Group 1. Looking back over the last 20 years, 12 winners of this race had won their lead up race, and 17 of them ran in the first 3 at their previous start! That is a huge statistic – and two others had ran 4th at their lead up run. You could almost just put a line though everything that hasn’t placed in its last run. The Guineas Prelude is always the best form line for this race, 8 of the last 20 winners coming through that race, and 5 of the last 10 winners.

The speed here should be even, without being over fast. The leaders look to be either 5-DAL CIELO or 11-LIZARD ISLAND, and there are quite a few who can sit handy like the 6-BON AURUM , 12-KENTUCKY FLYER, 14-SNOOPY(wide), 16-MORE THAN MOST. But don’t think there will be too much pressure up front and if the track if tending toward on pacers those who drop back might struggle to get into the finish.

Our rule for this race has always been – back the best run out of the Guineas Prelude, and we reckon there was a clear stand out this year in the 5-DAL CIELO so he goes in as clear top pick. He had to work to hold the lead that day, kicked on the turn and was only just run down in the line. Slight query is that he might just get out lasted at the 1600M but think he is a great bet today. The main danger is the 6-BON AURUM who just keeps on winning (and starting at good odds), and should have every chance racing on speed. The short priced favourite the 1-PRESS STATEMENT the other obvious danger, but doubt we will back him at those odds. If they are running on OK then 15-TULSA definitely goes into the finish. Loving that we have double figure odds about our top two picks here and will be having a bash at them. Think this is a great betting race and there is lots of value in a wide trifecta here if the favourite gets beaten, and look at those drawn good barriers and racing on speed to blow the trifecta dividend out. Keen to bet.

One to risk: 3-READY FOR VICTORY 3rd W=$10.40
Roughie: 11-LIZARD ISLAND 2nd W=$18.70

The Key: Best run from the Guineas Prelude.

RESULTS: Total dominant win from the short priced favourite here - and very brave move of the jockey to go to the lead from the outside barrier on a day when the leaders are not winning. 11-LIZARD ISLAND the one to follow going forward, sticks on really well along the inside which is the worse part of the track.

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