A note from last week – my best bet on the last Friday’s card, ZEBULON (off at 5/2), was stuck 5 wide wide the entire way and could not get get any protection from the wind (“cover”). Usually horses stop early in the stretch with such treatment but Zebulon held on, even making the lead inside the 3/16ths pole (300m out). He faded late to 4th, but TVN race commentators said it was a HUGE effort, which I agreed with. This one could be very good, and certainly can win at the same level.
Race 1C (Flemington) – 10:50 pm EDT, Friday, July 18th
An interesting handicap, many lightly raced runners. This is roughly equivalent to a non-winners of one (N1x) over here. Also, Flemington is THE track in Australia, so the incentive to win there is always high.
For my money the best two trainers of sprinters in Australia (and probably in the top ten in the world) are Mick Price and Peter Moody. Mick Price comes in with a first time stater (FTS) in the #11, FITNA. Usually Aussie trainers enter an unraced horse in a maiden race before entering a handicap, but I have a lot of trust that Price places horses where they belong. Since none of the other horses look that tough, I am going to put this one on top. As they go over the betting before the race, it will be fairly obvious if this horse is truly live. If the animal is 8/1 in Melbourne, don’t bet. If it is 3/1 or less, it might eat this group for lunch.
#4 Tan Tat Diamond won a race at Geelong (a track similar to Delaware Park over here) by a neck, earning a speed figure close to the handicap par of 32. Should improve second out and drew well OUTSIDE.
#1 Gloop and #10 Lola Lu also are close to the speed figure par of 32, but Gloop’s best race was against winners and also has an outside draw. Lola Lu’s only race was a close second against maidens.