Track: GOOD(4) - Weather: RAIN - Rail: TRUE
Betting Portfolio ($50):
Plenty of rain forecast Friday afternoon and evening and not quite clear at time of writing when that is going to come through (but now looks like it is going to settle in mid Friday arvo and clear by Saturday midday). They are not going to water the track because of the pending rain, so expect a very firm GOOD (3) to kick off with, which may favour those on-speed, and for the track to soften as the rain falls – really hard to judge how much or when it falls so just going to have to watch the radar and modify bets accordingly.

Extremely small fields and even we are struggling to find something to bet on! Definitely not going toyou’re your fortune tonight. We appreciate everyone has different financial circumstances in these troubled times, so stay home, stay safe and bet responsibly.

For the Manikato Stakes, these MV sprint features basically come down to which horse gets the split on the home turn, there are always a stack of unlucky runners in these races and being drawn inside and back in the field is just asking for trouble. In terms of speed, we have the super speedy 8-PIPPIE clearly leading, from the 2-HEY DOC and the 4-SPLINTEX sitting next, the 9-BELLA VELLA in clear room and the 10-DIAMOND EFFORT pushing forward on the rails, and expect they ride the 6-DIRTY WORK more forward from an inside barrier. For a sprint race, there actually doesn’t seem to be that much pressure up front, but they know not to go slow on 8-PIPPIE and they will kick clear on her regardless with little pressure up front, she can jump and run as she likes tonight.

The 1-TREKKING is pretty under rated, which is not something you say very often about a horse in blue, especially after they have won a Stradbroke and a Goodwood. Had an unsuitable inside draw here in the Moir for a drop back horse, but pulled out and hit the line well and went on to hit the line well again in the Everest. Excellent career win strike rate and should be at peak with the two runs in and drawn middle suits a swooping horse. Note the good soft track runs have been at a SOFT(5) and think wetter than that is some query. Is a tricky mission to back-up off a feature race in less than a week and switch racing directions so maybe keep an eye on the betting market to see how much confidence there is, but a strong winning chance. The 2-HEY DOC won this race last year at long odds in a small field leading and dictating, fitter for the two runs back in and excellent track stats. Probably better on firm ground and you would think the two who beat him home last start have him covered in this. The 3-KEMENTARI failed so badly at stud that he got gelded (that’s one seriously negative workplace review he had) and has returned to terrorise punters further. Had support 1st up at Flemington and did loom into the finish and probably has improvement to come on that. He probably ends up at the back of the field from this barrier and would need them to be swooping and winning to be a factor, and willing to wait for him to get another win on the board before backing. The 4-SPLINTEX was safely held by the (6) and (10) last run, although the track did favour those running on. On speed and proven on wet ground is a big plus, not quite clear how he is going this time in, but likely improver tonight at odds sitting in clear running on speed from a middle barrier on a wet track. The 5-ORDER OF COMMAND has excellent wet track form, wining 5 from 10 on soft tracks, and always get stuck carrying big weights these days, so probably actually suited up to WFA grade. Ran on well 1st up when lumped with 62kgs and then flat run second up is always excusable. He is drawn to sit wide and swoop into the race if that is the racing pattern, and whilst he probably finds this Group 1 level a challenge, doesn’t deserve to be $70.

The 6-DIRTY WORK was a strong come from behind winner last start to just grab the (10) and was favoured by the racing pattern that day. Solid form behind the best sprinters in the land in Sydney before that, but coming to MV where he is two runs for duck eggs and the 1200M where he is three runs for duck eggs which has to be a concern. He is the one who might get into an awkward position on the rails so they might have to ride him more forward here tonight and keep an eye on the market as he should probably be shorter based on his form and last start win. The 7-LYRE has been frustrating punters for a while, often drops back and often has no luck but win strike rate is starting to look a bit wobbly. Handles it wet, but likely to drop well back along the inside and need a lot of luck, which probably won’t come. The 8-PIPPIE is just about impossible to beat when she is on song, which is often when fresh (1st up 4 from 4) and she can struggle to hold her form (2nd up 1 from 3, 3rd up 1 from 3). She ran them off their feet here in the Moir, when they didn’t challenge her, but she needs to use up a bit more energy from barrier 1 to hold them out tonight (even though there isn’t that much pressure up front again). Handles it wet, but probably a query on the worse side of slow. She is probably more vulnerable tonight over 1200M (note in one of those 1200M runs the jockey took a sit instead of leading), and slightly concerned about trainer stating they may “hold her up a bit” to make sure she runs the trip as she is best ridden flat out to the lead. Suspect the track may favour those on-speed even if the rain comes and just a matter of whether she can go back to back brilliant performances. The 9-BELLA VELLA is a MV specialist, who was stuck on the worse ground on the rails here last start on a night where swoopers were winning. Gutsy mare who holds her form, and like that she can go forward here in clear running from a middle barrier and suspect that last run here was actually better than it looked. Had a barrier trial win since (something Victorians can’t do), handles it wet and she looks a really good value winning chance tonight and she can expose the (8) if she has an off night. The 10-DIAMOND EFFORT was the unlucky runner here in the Moir, drew well, but ended up racing very tight between runners coming into the turn and once she got into clear running hit the line well and probably should have placed at least. Superior wet tracker who was literally only just grabbed last start right on the line by the (6). Really tricky ride from an inside barrier here as they are going to have to push forward with the leader and make sure she doesn’t get stuck on the rails back in the field. When you take them on, the gap invariably opens, when you back them, it stays shut, but have to respect her based on being the unlucky runner last start and strong chance. The 11-BROOKLYN HUSTLE loves to run on off a fast speed, which he did last start here, drawn a nice middle barrier, is the racing pattern going to allow them to run on? Last three runs have all been at MV, twice he has cut the corner and had a lot of luck getting into the race. Although 1200M form looks a little wobbly, the two unplaced runs were the Coolmore and the Blue Diamond and racing well enough to be a solid chance here.

So assuming we get substantial rain from mid arvo, and the racing pattern favours those on-speed this looks a good betting race. We are keen to having something on the gutsy mare 9-BELLA VELLA here as a value top pick, last run was better than it looked as she got stuck on the rails which was the worse going, excellent MV form and like that she can lob on speed here in clear running whilst the unlucky stories unfold behind her. We are going to rate the 10-DIAMOND EFFORT as the main danger, but fully appreciate it is a very tricky ride from an inside barrier, wish she had drawn middle, but she is just racing so well and loves it wet and want to stick with her regardless and backing on trust. If they are winning on-speed then the 8-PIPPIE is going to be hard to beat again, she is more vulnerable here tonight though. Respect for the 11-BROOKLYN HUSTLE and 1-TREKKING and best roughie is probably the 4-SPLINTEX who might go a lot better back on a wet track. Looks a good betting race, and we will be backing to top two picks straight out at $14 and $8 which looks good value, and having a box quinella on the top three selections.

One who can be frustrating to follow as he tends to drop back and run on too late, but gets out to a suitable trip tonight and yes, he has ran on well in two runs in this time over unsuitable distances. Was an eye catcher warming up late last start, there looks to be enough speed and although drawn barrier 1 hoping he can swoop around the small field and win this at around $4.50.

Tough on-speed mare who we have been waiting for to run again. Fitter for the 2 runs in and battled it out strongly last start when seemed to just run out of condition late. Probably prefer a bit more rain to come, but should jump and lead here and although stepping up in distance to the 2000M likely to give you a good run for your money at around $7 each way.

One we have been following and was looking forward to her on a wet track, but doesn’t look like there will be that much rain before this race. She is hard fit and racing really well and another who will jump and lead here and as long as back to the dry ground isn’t an issue think she might give the short priced favourite who is drawn wide a run for their money here at around $10.

QUINELLA: Race 8: 9-BELLA VELLA#1,8,10 boxed x $6 = 200%
Tough sprinting mare who got caught in the worse ground on the rails here last start. Has excellent MV and wet track form and like that she is drawn out in clear running here tonight, she can go forward and present into the race on the turn whilst the hard luck stories unfold behind her back in the field. Back each way at around $13 which looks overs and anchor in a quinella with the classy 1-TREKKING, the speedy 8-PIPPIE and the wet tracker the 10-DIAMOND EFFORT.

These 955M races are totally awful to bet on, and this is a good example of that, really don’t like any of these. This one is fitter for the two runs in, which have been plain, but has good MV form and a firmer track is a big plus for her. Went forward outside a smart one last start and cracked. Extremely speedy and might jump and run tonight at around $20 and do something.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 2: 8-SIMPLY OPTOMISTIC at around $3.50
Current favourite in a small field and he is racing well, but there are quite a few winning chances here and prefer to be on others. Drawn inside, small field, drops back, probably not that much speed and think he gets caught out here when others go for home and happy to risk.

TURF DELI WONDER BET: Here we try and turn $5 into enough to have a proper bet tomorrow.
EARLY QUAD: Races 1,2,3,4 : 5,6 / 1,4,5,7,8 / 2,3,4,5 / 2 x $5 = 12.5%
Really not much in the way of value tonight, and although the early quad looks pretty skinny, there are some even betting races so hopefully we can push the quadie dividend towards $500. In the first leg the 5-THINK WE’RE DUE probably jumps, leads and wins but put in the consistent 6-IRISH FLAME as a backup. Take the (1), (4), (5), (7), (8) in the second leg and hope the favourite gets beaten and roughie 4-CLEAN ACHEEVA does something, quite a few chances in the third leg like the (2), (3), (4), (5). Small field in the last, and really we think the 2-ICONOCLASM probably jumps and leads and wins and big plus is the ground should still be fairly firm for him by this race. No huge collects, but might pay better than expected.

The Tips: