January has never looked so good! Rosehill will keep the punters happy in the western suburbs of Sydney, while racing returns to headquarters for the Melbournian racing fans. With the autumn features on the horizon, join our experts as they outline their best bets!
Rosehill Race 8
#4 Step Aside
Step Aside looks the best bet on a competitive program of summer racing. The Redwood gelding was a brilliant winner fresh before racing without luck second-up. The talented four-year-old chased home a smart one third-up, and he meets easier opposition on Saturday. The current track conditions are advantageous, and he should get the run of the race from the perfect inside draw. Hard to toss!
Buillt looks the obvious danger to the favourite. The I Am Invincible gelding is arguably in career best form, and he has been specked in early betting. From barrier three he will drift back and watch the race unfold, and if he doesn’t get too far out of his ground during the early stages of the race, he can make his presence felt late. This is his acid test!
Suggested Bet: Step Aside @ $2.50
Rosehill RACE 9
#6 Our Kobison
Our Kobison entered most punters black book after a slashing first-up run! The Kobayashi gelding strips fitter second-up, and he will take up his favourite roll as race leader if he can jump cleanly. James Mc Donald will attract further market support, and if he can rate the big boy on top of the speed, it could be curtains a long way from home. He is pure class, and I am happy to push the chips in!
Shohei can run a big race at a decent price. The Mikki Isle mare is knocking on the door, and a little give in the track puts her into all winning conversations. The 55kg is luxurious, and if she can avoid an early speed battle, I expect her to be looming as the whips are cracking. Her recent winning record is the primary concern.
Suggested Bet: Our Kobison @ $2.00
Rosehill Race 10
#9 Pioneer Lass
Pioneer Lass is flying! Her second-up performance at Group 3 level was a career highlight, and with even luck in transit, I expect her to continue on her upward trajectory on Saturday. The predicated heavy track plays into her favour, and she has been crying out for the longer trip all campaign. Barrier three will allow her to run out a strong 1500m, and she has been supported at the juicy odds in early betting. All roads lead to a big performance!
Centrestone will have supporters after running gamely against some serious gallopers this campaign. Her record at the trip must be respected, and I suspect she still has improvement to come for the preparation. James McDonald and barrier two puts her name in lights, and I expect her to make her presence felt at the pointy end of the race. Too consistent to dismiss.
Suggested Bet: Pioneer Lass @ $10.00
Flemington Race 8
Slane is over the odds. His last start victory at Cranbourne was brave and resilient, and he looks well placed to continue on his winning way on Saturday. The 2000m is ideal at this stage of the spell, and if he can find the front from the awkward gate during the race’s early stages, he may prove hard to run down. The class rise is the primary concern.
Divine Purpose will start favourite after a consistent campaign to date. The Divine Prophet mare has narrowly missed victory several times this preparation, and she should be rock hard fit after recent racing. The 2000m holds no fears, and I expect the Peter Moody and Luke Nolen to attract further market support. She will be there fighting as they reach the clock tower.
Suggested Bet: Slane @ $9.00
Flemington Race 9
#10 Bel Air
Bel Air is always thereabouts. The Written Tycoon gelding was finally rewarded with a victory last start after a string of tragic and sickening losses in the shadows. The 1400m is in his wheelhouse, and I suspect he has the fitness edge on the majority of his rivals. If Damian Lane can time his run on the consistent four-year-old, he will look the winner inside the final furlong.
Riot And Rose has been off the scene due to injury since Paul Keating was in office. He has been trialling exceptionally well leading into this first-up target, and if he is 100% sound, he can win. His best form reads exceptionally well for this event, and his racing and pattern style is suited to the long Flemington home straight. It may pay dividends to watch for any further market support.
Suggested Bet: Bel Air @ $3.80
Flemington Race 10
#7 Manhattan Thunder
Manhattan Thunder was an impressive first-up winner at Moonee Valley. The Manhattan Rain gelding was hammered in betting, and he performed accordingly. Benchmark 70 isn’t an issue, and he strips fitter after his dynamic fresh performance. Barrier eleven is advantageous late in the day, and if the track favours the swoopers throughout the meeting, I expect his quote to shorten significantly. Over the odds!
Wiggum has been up longer than a Big Bash season. The Rich Enuff gelding impressed during the Melbourne Cup carnival, and he looks well placed here, meeting easier opposition. He has been freshened up since his gallant effort at Cranbourne in a strong-form race, and he finds his pet distance. He is having a breakthrough preparation, and if he can carry the grandstand throughout, he can continue to impress and surprise.
Suggested Bet: Manhattan Thunder @ $10.00