A sensational Summer of Glory carnival climaxes this weekend with Victoria’s richest race for both the pacers and trotters.
The half a million dollar Del-re National A G Hunter Cup is scheduled for 9:30pm whilst an amazing bunch of squaregaiters get together for the $250,000 What The Hill Great Southern Star which will get underway at 8:33pm.
Alongside those Group 1 battles is a Group 1 sprint for the open class mares plus a trio of Group 3 contests on a magical night of Harness Racing.
Let’s take a deep dive into Saturday night’s explosive card of racing;
RACE 1 – Prydes Easifeeds Pace (2240m)
Not a race I’ll be getting too heavily involved in but I’ll be trackside as they score up to kick off Hunter Cup night so a tiny each way play on outsider Radius will do me.
1 Radius $41
2 The Hervery Bay $8
3 Pirate Bay $2.70
4 Small Town $8
RACE 2 – Baking Better Together Rising Stars Final (Group 3, 2240m)
The Crimson Prince kicked off Derby & Oaks night in style for us as he strolled to the chequered flag and paid around $7. He’s a big hope in the $30,000 Rising Stars Final but it’s a very even race.
Think About Me was honest last week but beaten as favourite whilst Scotlynn Beach and American Zest were both great in a slick heat. Jilliby Lorenzo is also worth throwing into exotics as he’s a talented type.
1 The Crimson Prince $7.50
2 American Zest $10
3 Think About Me
4 My Cash $7
RACE 3 – Bertocchi Pace (2240m)
Fake Smile was a beaten favourite last week and he will enter this race as the hot pot again. I’m tipping gate eight will sort him out again. My fancies are Love Ina Chevy and the almost forgotten Konan.
Konan, who has had a few trainers since leaving Emma Stewart’s barn, looks to have bounced back to prominence but this will be a big test. At his best, he could breeze against this mob and be there at the end. The other worth a play is Love Ina Chevy who could get a cheeky run in transit should he get to the pegs.
1 Love Ina Chevy $7
2 Konan $7
3 Fake Smile $2.50
4 Freddy Funk $5
RACE 4 – Pridmore Electrics Ladyship Cup (Group 1, 1720m)
Superstar, Belle of Montana, drew gate one in this Group 1 event for the mares and should be incredibly hard to overcome. She’d even more deadly from a trailing position but leading throughout is probably her go in this race.
McCarthy-Cross mare Bettor Enforce looks set for a sweet run into the lane and should run a place whilst Pick Up Line will also get a gun run from three-poles.
Soho Nolita is another one for exotics as she’s been in great form and skipped the Mercury 80 for this race.
1 Belle of Montana $1.24
2 Bettor Enforce $4.40
3 Soho Nolita $31
4 Pick Up Line $22
RACE 5 – DNR Logistics Vulcan Trotters FFA (Group 3, 1720m)
Sammy Showdown is a nice trotter in the making and is in superb form. Variance, Margaret Ruth and Magicool can all feature in the money in a competitive free-for-all trot.
1 Magicool $8
2 Sammy Showdown $2
3 Maraget Ruth $10
4 Variance $5
RACE 6 – What The Hill Great Southern Star (Group 1, 2760m)
A ripping race consisting of a proven champion (Tornado Valley), an up-and-coming megastar (Oscar Bonavena) and a handful of dangerous and talented and seasoned trotters.
Tornado Valley is a monster at Melton when in front and he is a 99% chance of leading here. Red Hot Tooth is fast but she’d likely take a sit on Tornado Valley whilst there’s a chance stable mate, McLovin, could punch through and get to the breeze quickly.
Others in the market are Kiwis, Temporale, Majestic Man, Massive Metro and Oscar as well as local combatants Red Hot Tooth, Dance Craze and Wobelee who is an extraordinary price considering his run at Ballarat in the Cochran Cup.
1 Tornado Valley $3.10
2 Oscar Bonavena $2.70
3 McLovin $21
4 Wobelee $34
RACE 7 – Edgell Sidewinders The Pure Steel (Group 3, 2240m)
Some nice types turn up here in what is effectively the Hunter Cup consolation. Thefixer bypasses the big one for a confidence boosting run in this $30,000 contest.
Bright Energy is a speedy five-year-old with great Sydney form and should he get on the bunny for Luke McCarthy, he will take some chasing.
Sicario is in decent form, outside of his Wedderburn Cup failure, whilst the scratching of Jilliby Kung Fu really hurts the competitiveness of the race.
1 Thefixer $2
2 Bright Energy $2.60
3 Sicario $6.50
4 Somebeachshadow $34
RACE 8 – Del-re National A G Hunter Cup (Group 1, 2760m)
There’s no absolute champion here but, geez, this is an even and competitive Hunter Cup. Bling It On is the best performed horse across his career but where he is exactly at is up for some contention.
Stable mate, Alta Orlando, is expected to lead from the ace but Kiwi Mach Shard is also very quick off the machine. Chase Auckland is an interesting commodity. It seems he cannot lead all the way and win so where he exactly gets to in the run is intriguing. Lochinvar Art could not have been any more impressive last week when obliterating the Melton mile track record in the Bonanza. Here, he lands the outside gate and driver David Moran will be so torn on whether to work forward early or drop back and hope for tempo.
Our Uncle Sam becomes a big winning chance (massive place chance) should Alta Orlando lead throughout whilst Ballarat Cup winner, A G’s White Socks, is the only other winning chance in my eyes.
1 Mach Shard $4
2 Our Uncle Sam $13
3 Chase Auckland $3.80
4 Lochinvar Art $10
RACE 9 – TAB Multiplier Pace (1720m)
A failed Derby campaign sees All Stars three-year-old, Smooth Deal, turn up in a modest race late on Hunter Cup night. He will enter an odds-on favourite but he’s by no means a moral.
Keayang Secret is a quality mare perhaps racing a shade below her best whilst Courageous Saint and Steel Screens could bob up.
1 Smooth Deal $1.70
2 Keayang Secret $3.20
3 Courageous Saint $10
4 Steel Screens $10
RACE 10 – Dynamic Print Group Pace (2240m)
An even race with plenty of each way chances with the favourite drawn out the back. Lets Went is a short enough price but I’d like to look elsewhere with Torrid Saint, Shawami Lass and Our Sportscaster are worth a look.
1 Torrid Saint $13
2 Lets Went $2.20
3 Our Sportscaster $13
4 Shawami Lass $7.50
RACE 11 – Pelt Plumbing & Gas Pace (2240m)
A nice race concludes the Summer of Glory carnival with Courtney Slater’s mare, Luvyoubabe, a warm favourite. Larajay Macray will be dangerous from the pole and Harpagus pops up with David Aiken after transferring from Gavin Lang.
1 Larajay Macray $4.40
2 Luvyoubabe $1.80
3 Harpagus $4.80
4 Bye Bye Barbie $81
Best Bet – R6 N3 Tornado Valley win
Best Value – R2 N10 American Zest
2, 4, 9
1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 10
6, 8, 9
1, 2, 6, 10, 11
1, 2, 4, 8