Benalla takes charge of Monday racing as the BetDeluxe racing team circles the best bets and tips.
A warm day means we will be racing on a good track that should favour horses who race close to the speed or in the lead.
Race one presents with the best bet of the day.
Benalla race 1
Ben & J D Hayes have quickly applied the blinkers to Tributo after a solid enough debut over 1100 metres at Ararat.
This three-year-old gelding raced with the winkers on his debut last start after sitting outside the lead and whacked away to finish just over a length away from eventual winner Tranquil Bay.
The race he comes out of rated quite well and there is every possibility he has taken a stack of improvement since that race-day experience.
Blinkers going on should really liven him up and it would be a surprise if Jake Noonan did not press the button early in the race and try to control proceedings by leading from start to finish.
Tough to see this horse getting beaten if the fitness elevation and blinkers give him an extra two to four lengths on his prior performance.
Suggested Bet: Tributo win at $2.70
benalla race 3
The market looks to have undersold the Sandown jump out performance of Variara.
The three-year-old colt from the Shane Nichols yard sprung the barriers cleanly, led the field on his ear and darted away to win the jump out nicely.
He wanted to go on with the job after the finish line as well, which shows us he should be able to attack the line with great vigour on debut.
He seemed to wear blinkers in the jump out and from what we have seen, he did not over-race and strutted a nice head carriage in the run.
Draws very soft barrier and we can back him each-way.
Suggested Bet: Variara each-way at $9 the win and $2.8 the place.
Suggested Exotic: Quinella 5 & 10
Benalla race 7
Predicting a huge spike from Shezdelicious after being well beaten on a heavy track at Hamilton over 1600 metres last start.
She was only having her second ever run in Australia after being hauled over Patrick Payne from New Zealand and probably just lacked the race fitness to be at her best.
The run should have brought her on beautifully for this rise in distance to 2000 metres and getting back onto dry going will only enhance her chances of winning.
Payne has elected to apply the blinkers to this horse again, which hopefully elevates her performance even more.
Not too fussed about the weight given the soft barrier and economical run should mitigate the 61kgs she has to lug around the course.
Suggested Bet: Shezdelicious each-way at $6.5 the win and $2.10 the place.
Suggested Exotic: Boxed Trifecta – 3, 4, 6
Benalla race 8
#6 sly samba deer
He has been a pest for punters for way too long, but Sly Samba Deer can make amends in this event.
Really like the way he let down from the rear of the field to fly home and finish third when conceding a start that rendered it nearly impossible to win from.
He was snicked back from the wide barrier and ran a strong last 600 metres.
Getting back up to 1400 metres and drawing the pole will see him settle handy to the speed rather being reefed back.
Harry Coffey will allow him to stride out under his own steam as he looks to ascertain an on-pace position.
Last chance saloon.
Suggested Bet: Sly Samba Deer win at $3.10
Suggested Exotic: Exacta – 6 & 3