RACE 1 – Sam Miranda Mares Handicap (1200m)
The first race on the cards for Ballarat Cup day looks to be a race between Cheeky Babe and Entrancing, which is what the market is suggesting. Cheeky Babe was just too strong last start at Moonee Valley and it looks as though She’ll have the edge again. With not much splitting the number two ans three horses in this race, it comes as a flip of the coin. The best each-way bet for Race one would be for for the number one horse in Sea Spray with C.Hall on board. Don’t let the weight scare you away, Sea Spray will settle back in the field from barrier eight and expect her to surge home late to be right in the finish. Over the odds and is the best of the roughies.
RACE 2 – City Of Ballarat Tonks Plate (1000m)
Believe Yourself is back in Australia after a competitive stint in Singapore, where she showed plenty of promise at group one level. She’ll be one of the chances but there are better options, too many queries. Schneller is the horse to be riding in this race and is coming off two wins in 1200m and 1300m races. Despite being in a stronger field this time around, Schneller had promised to develop into a classy horse and in this one should be up on the speed. A win to Smart Dart also wouldn’t shock who continues to firm in the market.
RACE 3 – Vobis Gold Eureka Concrete (1400m)
Finishing his last preparation with two wins from three starts sees Urban Ruler the favourite for this race. This horse is unbeaten fresh and if there was a race to be entered in, it would be this one. Luke Nolen on board and should be hard to beat if he settles in the first half-dozen. Either that, or the Tony McEvoy stable will spoil the party with Mr Markou, who has been racing excellently albeit in a shorter distance. This trip should suit him however and he comes in very well. The main danger.
RACE 4 – Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m)
The name of the race does not lie, and the horses will be running clockwise to add another tricky element to what was an already difficult race for the punters. American Genius is a short-priced favourite at the moment and has the advantage of already having a run under his belt. Garrard is also well-backed after solid trial form with plenty of early speed. Tony McEvoy’s Despatch is another one who found the line really strong in his trial, one who might shock is Algorithm with Blake Shinn on board. Expect to get the favourite beaten in this race.
RACE 5 – McKellar Mile (1600m)
Clearly the best horse in the race, Galaxy Raider is talented enough from the Greg Eurell stable and impressed at Sale last start. Another chance is Shockaholic who also had plenty to like about his last start performance and is the obvious danger. This race suits for Shockaholic and he is the better value bet since Galaxy Raider is stepping up in class. Denpasar is also an each-way chance at her figures, finishing second 1.8L at Ballarat last start. Our Boy Charlie also has a marginal chance but the class of either Galaxy Raider or Shockaholic should prevail.
RACE 6 – Thomas Jewellers Handicap (1100m)
The Thomas Jewellers Handicap is one of the few races of the day which has a bunch of winning chances. Ma Deuce is one of those chances and is holding favouritism after recording three wins from his four starts. He will be tough to hold out. Danuki, Chapel Road and Just Got Lucky will be around the finish as well, while a double-figures outsider in I’m Wesley has every chance of causing an upset. He is already proven at the distance and will also appreciate the drop in class of the field after racing in Tasmania. The conditions will do nothing but suit I’m Wesley and he’s your best bet in this race…. at those odds.
RACE 7 – Magic Millions 3&4yo Classic (1100m)
Race seven looks to have a few winning chances, but none have the upside and improvement that is still to come and show from Speedeor. He found the line with incredible vigor at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day and the form to come out of that race has proven strong. In saying no other horses have the upside of Speedeor, Secret Agenda is coming into this race as the easiest he will have contested in quite a while. First-up she was looking powerful, but her strong form did drop off in her past two starts so she’ll need to be at her best. Golden Spin is the other main contender in this one, coming into a stronger class of field. He goes well in this distance and shows the figures of a winning horse, so don’t be surprised.
RACE 8 – Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m)
The main race of the day has a very wide market and intrigues on the facts that plenty of the field are coming out of the Eclipse Stakes which was held at Ladbrokes Park. Do you take the form reference out of that race or do you skip around it and look elsewhere? Clearly over-the-odds and coming in well is Taiyoo who should have no problems seeing out the distances as a proven stayer, resuming from his last start win at Kyneton. Auvray looks set for this race at this distance and win there wouldn’t shock. Nearly every horse in this race is showing signs of a Ballarat Cup win, so quaddie punters would need to select the field here. Turnitaround, Lidari, Lord Van Percy, Lady Le Fay and Cool Chap are all capable enough types, but one winning chance that stands out is the Lee and Anthony Freedman-trained Nozomi who is a consistent runner and has won in this grade before.
RACE 9 – Hertz Handicap (2300m)
The Hertz Handicap hosts again a number of winning chances. Gun apprentice Ben Allen is in the saddle of the Darren Weir-trained I’ll Fly Away, who has recorded three wins from four starts since arriving in Australia. She should settle about mid-field but whether she’ll get enough cover is the query from an awkward barrier draw in a wide field. Tears Of Joy will be one of the major threats in this race and is dropping down a class. Last start ran second to Taiyoo and if the Kyneton Cup proves a suitable form guide then punters will be confident with Tears Of Joy. Charlevoix comes in as the obvious favourite despite his lack of competitiveness in his last start. Might need luck from an inside barrier with Nolen set to ride him quietly until the straight.
RACE 10 – Isuzu Handicap (1400m)
What better way to end the day of tricky racing than with possibly the trickiest race on the cards. Duibio will start as the favourite resuming from his last start effort finishing second to Chase The Horizon at Bendigo. Duibio has not won a race in nearly a year but could end that drought at Ballarat. Dean Yendall is on board with Septamore who thrives in races of this quality. He will be competing with a weaker class compared to his last start fourth. Act Of Valour is the other horse in the market and is definitely suited for this race. He is a winner at this track in the past and knows how to run at this distance. Don’t take this horse lightly.