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Back to Belmont Preview, 26th May

Terry Leighton | Metropolitan Racing | Fri 25 May, 2018

Race 1 – Winter Is Coming

There is every chance this preview will be written in vain with around 70-80mm of rain forecast between now and the first race on Saturday. I for one, am a glass half full man (or if left outside at the moment, severely overflowing) and am confident our premier wet weather surface will hold up to a little bit of precipitation.

The first meet back at Belmont tends to be a bloodbath for punters and the overhead conditions won’t be making that any easier. We may well be wishing it was called off when Willy Wagtail steals race one. Unfortunately for Willy, there is no amount of rain which can make that scenario occur and it would take a Steven Bradbury type effort to see him claim gold here.

We kick the Belmont season off with a six horse staying race with three live chances. Master Magician is the only of the three to have raced on rain affected going when winning on debut over 1400m. I am not going to give that run a whole heap of credence when it comes to deciphering his wet weather ability here. At The Ready and Dudemanbro are clearly the other hopes and this race will almost entirely come down to who handles the conditions. There is very little between the three.

Dudemanbro has been unlucky at nearly every start this campaign and should be afforded the one by one here on the back of Master Magician. Happy having a small bet on Lucy at around the $4 mark.

Selections

4 Dudemanbro

1 Master Magician

2 At The Ready

Suggested Bet: 30 wins Dudemanbro (4).

 

Race 2 – Pike x 1

William Pike was a beaten $1.38 favourite in the jockey challenge on Thursday when unable to secure a single point for the entire meet. If you happen to see anything around the $1.38 mark here, I would be robbing the nearest bank and plonking it on. I doubt you’ll see $1.01.

Market Ruler was a dominant winner at his most recent outing and the Black Sabbath form has been further franked with that galloper winning again. There are a few sharp debutants engaged here, but it would take Market Ruler to not handle the going for him to be beaten. The $1.80 on offer is worth consideration.

Selections

2 Market Ruler

8 Alcina

1 Carolina Reaper

Suggested Bet: 70 wins Market Ruler (2).

 

Race 3 – Market Madness

In a now very common pattern for the opening markets, Bet365 go up around midday on Thursday before Sportsbet uses those markets as a guide to release their own shortly after. Every other agency then follows suit within minutes. It’d be nice to have a few more independent market framers around, but in this case if the man at the start of the chain gets a market very wrong, we can benefit from being able to ‘get on’ from whichever corporate has not yet barred you… or your missus.

Nordic King, $4.80 and Ancient Hope, $4.60 are two of the more under-priced horses you will see. Coming out of a maiden and class one respectively, with neither having any form being franked or winning with the type of authority which makes you take notice, I dare say both will trade at $10+ if not even longer on the day. Unless either are note swimmers of course. The good thing about under-priced horses is the over’s we can find elsewhere.

Alpha Sky has the dreaded jockey change of William Pike to Kate Witten (who has a terrific book of rides) along with the outside gate. This is the type of favourite I would look to take on and find value elsewhere, but there is absolutely no speed in this event and Kate should be able to find the front with this Patronize gelding. The Roganella and In Love With Paris form is far superior to that of his rivals. He can afford to lose a length or two with the jockey change and still be successful.

Gifted Warrior is the other with those form lines and I am willing to show some forgiveness from his last effort behind Alpha Sky. The horse never looked happy in the yard or behind the stalls and as we all occasionally do, he might have been having a ‘just piss off and leave me alone’ day. Brodie Kirby goes on (rant coming later) which means a 3kg swing on Alpha Sky.

Driftwood Girl should be shorter than she is in the market and isn’t impossible at $18. Very confident the winner comes from the top two and happy playing both for a double your money result ($2.70, Alpha Sky and $7.50, Gifted Warrior).

Selections

1 Alpha Sky

2 Gifted Warrior

6 Driftwood Girl

Suggested Bet: 60 wins Alpha Sky (1). 20 wins Gifted Warrior (2).

 

Race 4 – Pike x 2

My favourite horse running two weeks in a row. Boy Oh Boy WOWEE! I don’t think I have a great deal more to write about how good Galaxy Star is. I believe in time this will be the best horse running on the day and that is no mean feat with what’s to come. To fill out the remainder of this section of the preview I am going to rant.

Brodie Kirby has the ride on Pinzu here who was absolutely bolting when held up the entire length of the straight at his most recent outing. That bad luck will mean nought here as he fights for a minor placing, but it is becoming a little bit of a pattern for young Brodie. Seven days ago, rides on Come Play With Me, Taxagano and Outlaw Pete were poor. The ride on Come Play With Me was probably one of the weaker efforts you will see from a jockey who has a horse that far superior to his opposition it is not funny. But, for a young apprentice, despite all the hype, these can all be forgiven (after a few disgruntled tweets to mellow me out). The one which I am still struggling to get my head around is the effort on Tirreno in the last. Yes, I tipped it with a degree of confidence and I may have had a dollar or two on it, but it was a ride which smelt of either ‘I am not trying here’ or ‘I am ensuring I do not win this race’.

There has been wide spread outrage on social media, which makes me happier it isn’t just me carrying on like a pork chop, but the one thing I cannot fathom is the fact not one question was asked by the stewards. Blind Freddy can see something very wrong went on there and for those who genuinely believe there was no gap, then you need to pop into an OPSM as soon as possible. He had a good 50 or 60 metre gap with a stack of room to roll on the outside of Sharpbob and let down. From there it is more than likely he wins the race and this dickhead eats at Rockpool rather than another night with my overcooked mi-goreng (yes, I managed to stuff up two-minute noodles).

Anyway, Galaxy Star is a star and will be winning this. This is a class field with Pinzu, War God, My Greek Boy (the only danger if stealing it out in front), Pushin’ Shapes and three year old Mizlecki all flying, but she will make them all look second rate.

Selections

7 Galaxy Star

1 Mizlecki

3 Pinzu

Suggested Bet: 100 wins Galaxy Star (7).

 

Race 5 – Pike x 3

Another market we’ve been given a licence to have a dip at, with Arcadia Prince opening up around the $2.70 mark. A beaten $1.40 favourite first up when doing his best work over the final 50m, he will not only strip fitter here, but the extra 100m and inside gate will mean a charmed run for the Wizard. The $2.70 looks considerable overs for a race which has a lot of depth, but not much top end talent.

Arrum Boy is the value in this event and it is quite disappointing it runs into Arcadia Prince here as I would have enjoyed declaring him at around $15 in his absence. His first and second up efforts are better than they look on paper and he is another who drops out of that sharp Alpha Sky form race. Has had success on rain affected going in the past and from barrier four with senior jockey Shaun McGruddy back in the saddle he can run a cheeky race at around the $25 mark. Structuring a bet around Arcadia Prince to win and Arrum Boy to place at around $7 should reap rewards.

The rest of the field look like an even lot with some interesting form lines clashing.

Selections

3 Arcadia Prince

1 Arrum Boy

4 Chesten Flyer

Suggested Bet: 65 wins Arcadia Prince (3). 5 wins and 30 places Arrum Boy (1).

 

Race 6 – Sophia’s Choice

The anticipation for the clash of gun three-year old’s Stageman and Sophia’s Secret alongside form sprinter Speeding Comet is the encore to the main event of ‘will Sophia’s Secret go in the gates’. I know one or two early shoppers who are still hurting from her refusal to load in the WA Guineas. Losing your money all-in is fine, even expected. But to get to race day, watch your horse parade, pat yourself on the back for getting the big overs, then see her dig her heels in and give you a little head shake. Not an experience I recommend.

A very interesting speed map could provide the platform for this result with Albany speedsters Double Edged and Lady Stingray capable of holding up and leading this event from barriers 2 and 3. The King of Albany, Des Attwell trains the latter and while I do have a high opinion of her as a galloper and even higher opinion of the man, I think both will be seriously outclassed here.

Where Stageman lands from barrier 10 will be just as crucial. William Pike has shown his hand on this Written Tycoon gelding by riding him up in all starts to date and I suspect he will be looking to find a spot somewhere near the speed again. Easier said than done. I am not sure if the drop back to 1000m will be in his favour, but the Fabergino/Alpha Sky form lines cannot be knocked.

Sophia’s Secret is another who will probably want a touch further, but recent trials were hot and her previous first up effort she bloused the smart Three Secrets over 1200m. I am however, going to stick with Speeding Comet. I tipped him a fortnight ago against Enticing Star and he nearly got the job done, clearing out from the third horse by nearly four lengths. He is flying, jumping cleanly and has drawn to get a run just off the speed. Happy having a small each way bet on the race fit gelding to upset the star three-year-old duo.

A watch on Hard Of Heart who has recently been gelded.

Selections

1 Speeding Comet

5 Stageman

8 Sophia’s Secret

Suggested Bet: 20 wins and 20 places Speeding Comet (1).

 

Race 7 – MH370

I’m more chance of personally finding MH370 than finding the winner of this event.

I haven’t really tipped a great deal of value in this preview and unfortunately that won’t change here with Vital Silver getting the nod. Was a little soft first up when being nosed out late by Rock Mylady, but with that run under his belt should be cherry ripe of this assignment. His trial leading into that event was a belter, finishing on the heels of Winterbottom placegetter Durendal in rain affected conditions. A couple of boxes ticked there.

Value wise you can look around and suggest a few. Tranquilla Sunrise is a wet track specialist. Barrier 15 with noted speedsters Lord Ludlow, Lorentinio and Rhino’s Lad engaged is not ideal, but he is quicker than them early and should be able to find the top. I’d be asking Joey Azzopardi to channel his rides on Chix Pic and Agent Pippa and just let this son of Hurricane Sky run. He will probably stop dead at the 100m mark, but until then it will be good fun at $30/1.

Good luck in your quaddie.

Selections

2 Vital Silver

9 Tranquilla Sunrise

10 Field Of Vision

Suggested Bet: No bet.

 

Race 8 – Pike x 4

This is only the fourth William Pike winner I am tipping for the day, but he very easily could be going for a sixth in the last event.

Enticing Star is another galloper who needs very little introduction with every superlative already been used at her most recent outings. Has run some blistering closing sectionals to win from seemingly impossible positions and only bad luck beats her here. In saying that, the $1.55 on offer does look like a little thin compared to the $1.70 available about Galaxy Star or $2.70 about Arcadia Prince.

Sir Snugalot was backed with amazing confidence ($6 to $3) at his most recent outing before the avalanche of punters made the stewards cave and refund all bets due to him being denied a fair start. This happens 10 times a month and nothing comes of it. Money talks. He should lead this from barrier 3 and that weight of money cannot be ignored. The biggest danger to Enticing Star is getting caught up behind a wall of horses while a tear away leader kicks clear. At $15 and $4 the drum you’d have to consider him a reasonable investment.

Kokopu cannot win dropping back to 1200m, while Dynamite Dream is another hope of racing prominently and giving the favourite a scare.

Selections

11 Enticing Star

6 Sir Snugalot

13 Dynamite Dream

Suggested Bet: No bet. 

62 Comments | 4 months ago

Recent Comments

User piker

piker 30 May | Posts: 175

Yeah; I think only Willie could have won on Arcadia Pricnce; stole it off the 2 Paddies!

User GLAMOUR

GLAMOUR 27 May | Posts: 254

I Find Belmont far more compact an not having to walk so far to watch a race,and i think fir the amount of people you get on race day now its a.good size,facilities beed modernized and it woukd be great,Travk is great,its just that at Ascot you have to walk ...

User spinking

spinking 27 May | Posts: 1676

Geez Thunder I don't know about none of looked like getting beat. You would have been biting the nails if you had your last on Arcadia prince . Diva it wasSteve Wulfs birthday in the room there attached to that bar maybe a few there more than normal for that r...

User piker

piker 27 May | Posts: 175

But I like taking unders on a certainty!

User hash

hash 27 May | Posts: 5946

that's because the bar down stairs is where it/was at after the last at Ascotbig screens with the footy and sky racing etcreasonable drinks service and wait time for the crowd that tiny room pullsnever been cut off, kicked out or refused surprisingly so i'm a ...

User TheDiva

TheDiva 27 May | Posts: 9916

one thing i will say is that people tend to hang around that top bar (near the parade ring) for a fair while longer after the last... than what they do at Ascot. 15 mins after the last at Ascot... the place is a ghost town. 

User TheDiva

TheDiva 27 May | Posts: 9916

anybody on course? whats the crowd like? worst opening day ive seen in a long time. weather would have had something to do wtih it.. but also no promotion. doesnt auger well for the rest of the season. 

User Ridersonthestorm33

Ridersonthestorm33 26 May | Posts: 6410

Imagine if he didn't know any of the results! You'd go well the good news is Pikey rode six winners from seven rides...um well the bad news..... #-o

User RIO

RIO 26 May | Posts: 13637

True story : A fella said he had one bet today.. $50 each way Nordic King /:) ( Willy Pike ). =)) =)) You'd pack it away for a few weeks woudlnt you!!

User Ridersonthestorm33

Ridersonthestorm33 26 May | Posts: 6410

True story : A fella said he had one bet today.. $50 each way Nordic King /:) ( Willy Pike ).