The big stables are out in force this Wednesday and spring preparations kick off for many top-rated thoroughbreds.
Punters are expecting many of the fresh up contingent to be well-backed as the big stables (Hawkes, Godolphin, Snowden) all attract the stable betting moves.
Canterbury features a quality seven-race card on Wednesday where some stakes-performed thoroughbreds are in action and Sandown, albeit on a rain-affected track, also features some rising stars of the turf.
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Free Tips and Form at Canterbury
Race 1. (12:25) McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (1100m)
Showtime is having his first start since running second in the St Albans Stakes at Moonee Valley in March and there was plenty to like about his first campaign.
The Snitzel colt kicked off its career with a placing behind Luiza before running fourth in the Canonbury Stakes behind Pariah. He then ran third in the Silver Slipper behind She Will Reign, which is great form for a midweek race.
His trial form has been solid in preparation for this maiden race and he will never get a better chance to get off the mark.
Race 3. (14:35) Tab Handicap (1550m)
Team Hawkes line up Notio which has been knocking on the door of late and looks a winning chance against an even field.
The four-year-old gelding stays in this grade after he ran second behind Special Missile at Canterbury on July 26 and having experience on this track warrants attention.
His form before that included a run at Caulfield where he ran seventh behind Nikitas. He ran on well after getting too far back during the run and punters should take plenty of confidence from that effort.
His form reads well and we’re expecting bookmakers to have him well in the market.
Race 5. (15:45) Tab R70 Handicap (1250m)
One of the higher profile fresh up runners at Canterbury, Lubiton looks a good each way chance.
Bjorn Baker lines up the Snitzel mare which last raced when finishing 56.7 lengths behind Bonneval in the ATC Oaks, but it’s clear that she didn’t handle running out the distance.
Her form prior included some great form behind the likes of Dawn Wall and Global Glamour, which is strong form for midweek racing.
She will have to carry a big weight, but drawing the inside barrier should allow her to rail up around the turn and find a good kick in the straight.
Race 6. (16:20) Schweppes Handicap (1100m)
Beacon faces a tough task at only its second career start, but it looks a weighting special.
He’s a three-year-old gelding for James Cummings which scored a quality one-length win at Wyong on debut. He was expected to win at odds of $1.60 and he didn’t disappoint.
He’s a well-bred son of Lonhro which is being tipped to compete in the early spring features for Godolphin and with only 53kg to carry, he will get every chance to show his turn-of-foot.
We are worried about Cudabeen, which could run the quinella, but we couldn’t overlook the weight difference between them.
Free Tips and Form at Sandown
Race 1. (12:00) Sheamus Mills Bloodstock Handicap
It’s tough to overlook the debut win of Esperance. The James Cummings-trained gelding scored effortlessly by eight lengths over Sleek Achieva and it was a pure galloping display.
He’s a son of Bernadini which seemingly thrived on the slow track and he should get conditions to suit again on Wednesday.
There was plenty of betting support for the three-year-old at Echuca and we’re expecting bookmakers to accept plenty of action again.
Craig Williams returns from holiday to ride and that’s a great sign.
Race 3. (13:00) Chef’s Hat Plate (1300m)
We’re following Craig Williams again here and he links up with the Bussutin/Young-trained Wassergeist.
The colt by Fastnet Rock was well-backed on debut at Sandown when running fifth, but that came in a tough handicap field and there’s less exposed form here.
He is bred to enjoy the longer distances so the 1300m will be ideal again and he’s definitely a type which will continue to improve this season.
Look for a solid each way price.
Race 5. (14:10) Moorookyle Park Handicap (2100m)
Scratched from racing on Monday at Wodonga, Bird of Tokyo takes on a harder field which is a good sign from connections.
It shows confidence in the six-year-old which ran second behind Alamonteel at Morphettville last start and it drops down in grade to rating 78 here.
Her form throughout this year has been good without winning, but conditions look perfect for her now and she has contested stronger fields in recent history.
Her placing behind Wildflower on June 10 was followed by another strong placing behind Whirlpool at Sandown. That came on an unsuitable dry track (12 starts for no wins and two placings), but she should get some sting out of the ground which is great.
She has had eight starts on a heavy track for three wins and four placings, so respect her form in the wet and hope conditions are suitable.
Race 6. (14:45) Le Pine Funerals Handicap (2400m)
Ubin Thunderstruck gets our vote because he had no luck last start.
The Darren Weir-trained gelding was well-backed to win at Swan Hill, but jockey Harry Coffey put him into an awful position coming into the straight and he never had a chance.
He drops in grade on Wednesday and he has drawn out wide, which should allow Ben Allen to sit back in the field and come wide down the straight.
He loves the soft track conditions and punters should get the right price.
Once again, all odds are with Sportsbet – our No. 1 rated bookmaker. New signups can claim a $501* bonus bet with Sportsbet by clicking HERE.