An enormous night of Group 1 racing takes place at the Bendigo Harness Racing Club with the runninng of the Victoria Derby, Victoria Oaks, Victoria Cup and the Bill Collins Sprint.
Our team has gone through the mammoth 11-race program to find the best bets and value propositions ahead of Saturday night pacing.
Bendigo race 3
#5 Captain Rival
There is no doubting what trainer Emma Stewart can produce in these Group races and she looks to have Captain Rival ready to peak at the right time.
The two-year-old colt started a $2.5 in his heat of this Home Grown Classic 2yo final and, despite being beaten, ran quite well.
He was pulled out of the speed battle early to take a sit, but was posted wide throughout and kept surging to the line to hold on for second.
Stewart would surely have left a heap of improvement to come for this race and he draws much better gate than his two main rivals in Hes Charlies Angel and Commander Buzz.
Suggested Bet: Captain Rival win at $3.2
Bendigo Race 5
#6 Perfect Stride
Should have finished much closer than he did last start in the Group 2 Kilmore Pacing Cup over 2690 metres.
He was darted back to the inside in order to use the Kilmore sprint lane but found nothing but trouble and rump steak all around.
He is going much better than his form line suggests and he finally draws a gate where he can settle midfield, one off the fence and have full, unimpeded momentum heading into the home straight.
There looks to be an abundance of early speed in this race which will play into his hands perfectly as he conserves energy and then launches his late sprint.
Each-way odds to find out!
Suggested Bet: Perfect Stride each-way at $6 the win and $2.10 the place.
Suggested Exotic: Trifecta – 6, 9/ 6, 9/ Field
Bendigo race 6
#3 act now
Juvenile wins do not come any better than what Act Now put together in his lead-up Derby run and that is going to have him absolutely peaking for his grand-final event.
He is another Emma Stewart-strained stayer who just continues to impress every time he steps out onto the course and the gate draw will allow him to use this early speed to zip across and lead this field with ease.
The only query might be how he handles a very fast run 2600-metre affair, but, on paper, this race looks to be his to control and dictate.
American Dealer could be his only danger, but the last time they went head to head, Act Now thumped him.
Cannot see anything changing here.
The best of the night.
Suggested Bet: Act Now win at $2.15
bendigo race 8
#5 Amazing Dream
What an incredible edition to the Victoria Cup with King of Swing needed to exhaust every bit of energy and talent out of his soul to win this.
His gate is what makes us want to side with Amazing Dream who is going to get the charm run in behind what looks to be a hectic early tempo.
Torrid Saint and Max Delight are going to tear each other apart for early ascendancy and that leaves Anthony Butt with the perfect trailing run either one or two pairs back off the fence.
This is only his second start in Victoria after winning the Kilmore Pacing Cup a fortnight ago and is seems to have settle in very well.
Suggested Bet: Amazing Dream win at $3.7
Suggested Exotic: Boxed Trifecta – 1, 5, 13