Randwick/Caulfield Reviews

by Champion Picks on February 7, 2016



1st ALLERGIC – James McDonald
2nd TESTASHADOW – Samantha Clenton (a2/54.5kg)
3rd SLOW PACE – Tommy Berry

Reasonable start at the 2000m with Testashadow on the fence probably getting the best of it. Khalid also jumped well and came across to join him, whilst caught widest were Archean, Faust and the appropriately named Landlocked. Herne’s Oak sat behind on the rails with Allergic just off his shoulder, with Loophole and Rio Perdido content to sit back.

Very little action throughout the bulk of the trip – precious little speed on and McDonald on hot favourite Allergic was happy to sit just behind a leading pack of about half-a-dozen horses, taking his mount on little more than leisurely stroll.

They finally got to work out of the turn, Allergic going out widest to locate an empty lane. Landlocked initially looked to go with him and the pair gave chase to the leaders, with Testashadow still in front. It was all Allergic however, continuing his good form to romp to an easy win from Testashadow, with Slow Pace riding the winner’s wake to hit the lien well for third.

Watch: Allergic – the winner was in a class of his own.


1st ALL SUMMER LONG – James McDonald
2nd LORD VON COSTA – Jason Collett
3rd ROSE OF MAN -Tommy Berry

Good start for the large field with Lord Von Costa the best of them with Gunnaza, All Summer Long and Rose of Man not far away. Three Sheets sat just behind as Gunnaza looked to head the leaders and make the running.

Settling through the turn and Rose of Man looked to have the run of the race on the inside well covered, with Lord Von Costa on his outside from All Summer Long. Into the turn and the four leaders looked to have it to themselves, McDonald taking All Summer Long widest to fight out the run to the line. Gunnaza couldn’t go with them as Lord Von Costa and Rose of Man boxed on, but it was All Summer Long costing home for a comfortable win on the outside. Of the rest, Three Sheets and Hill Spy were the most eye-catching in hitting the line.

Watch: none

Race 3 – RANVET HANDICAP (1000m)

1st FELINES – James McDonald
2nd CRAFTINESS – Hugh Bowman
3rd GOT THE GOSS – Koby Jennings (a3/56kg)

Starter caught them in a great line with Craftiness leaping out hardest from wide with Eminent Duke and Felines alongside him. Happy Galaxy pushed along on the fence as Bowman slowed Craftiness and allowed Felines to take up the running, but remained three wide and unable to get across.

Little movement around the turn and into the straight, with Felines being briefly tackled by Eminent Duke before he fell away. Bowman tried to slog on with Craftiness but the weight was telling, Felines bounding away and continuing McDonald’s perfect start to the day. Got The Goss and Prince Harada kept going to claim the minor placings.

Watch: Felines – Another McDonald winner goes largely unchallenged, but will surely have to handle more weight next time.


1st AMICUS – Hugh Bowman
2nd PRESS REPORT – Winona Costin (a)
3rd I’VE GOT THE LOOKS – Brenton Avdulla

I’ve Got The Looks jumped first as Dublin Lass tried to get across from the outside, before Press Report and Miss Cover Girl pushed up on the inside to take the lead. Amicus got in behind them to take a nice position, with Queen of Kariba and Slots drifting to the back.

Around the turn and Dublin Lass was still caught widest as Press Report, in the lead, moved out well wide of the fence and took the field with her. At this stage, having straightened, Costin on board the rank outsider saw the opportunity and put her foot down, with others still looking for a run behind. She looked to move away as I’ve Got The Looks gave chase hardest, and Amicus found a ride on the inside to also put up a challenge. A huge boilover looked likely until the very last stride when Bowman booted Amicus forward to claim the narrowest of wins, with Costin and Press Report losing no friends.

Watch: Press Report – well undervalued in the market, the higher fancied runners needed every last drop of fuel to claim her at the last lunge.

Race 5 – INGLIS CLASSIC (1200m)

1st TWIST TOPS – Tommy Berry
2nd SOVIET SECRET – James McDonald
3rd CAN’T FIND SNIPPY – Andrew Adkins (a)

Huge Sydney field had an expectedly varied start, with Flash Fibian going out hardest from Our Belisa, Maddison Avenue on the fence, with Rampage and Twist Tops sitting just behind them. A huge pack followed next, with Soviet Secret notably caught out widest along with Man To Love. At the other end Chimboraa looked all at sea and trailed the field by a good 3 -4 lengths, not appearing the slightest bit interested.

Flash Fibian lead through the turn and opened up a two length gap to Our Belisa, who had Can’t Find Snippy on her outside and Rampage nicely placed on the inside. The distance Rampage had saved showed as they straightened, with him immediately moving up to the leader, before he too was swamped by Our Belisa and Can’t Find Snippy. The challenge was next taken by a hard finishing Twist Tops and Soviet Secret, who had been wide the entire race but was still not without a chance. Ultimately it was Twist Tops who got there, thanks to a perfectly timed run from Berry, with Soviet Secret coming hard and Can’t Find Snippy boxing on for third.

Watch: Soviet Secret – the runner-up covered a lot of ground and was still hitting the line hard, will be one to keep an eye on given a cushier run.


1st BULLPOINT – Jason Collett
2nd MEDCAUT – James McDonald
3rd LIBRAN – Brenton Avdulla

Fairly good start apart from Arab Dawn, who missed it completely, with stablemate Medcaut jumping well up the inside, joined by Bullpoint on the outside and the favourite Hasslehoof between them, slipping back to third. Zin Zan Eddie was next a length back, with Snippets Land on his inside and Libran sitting behind.

Collett on Bullpoint looked keen on some speed as he opened up a couple of lengths on Medcaut, who in turn put some space between himself and Hasselhoof, who remained somewhat wide despite the chance to come across. Snippets Land stayed inside with Zin Zan Eddie and Libran just ahead of a recovering Arab Dawn.

The field bunched as they rounded the turn, Collett still looking for home on the leader as Cameron started to rouse Hasselhoof. Bullpoint still looked strongest however and was joined only by Medcaut in the straight, the rest looking unable to go with them. A late rally from Libran out wide caught the eye, but there was no catching the front two as Bullpoint led all the way to take the honours.

Watch: Libran – ran reasonably wide for much of the trip and hit the line strongly.


1st SPILL THE BEANS – Tim Clark
2nd LE ROMIAN – Christian Reith
3rd COUNTER ATTACK – Jason Collett

Voilier and Spill The Beans shot out first, taking up the running with Zoutenant one back on the fence, followed by Tarquin, Counter Attack and Pride of Dubai caught three wide. Back further and also caught wide was Le Romian, caught in a tussle with Wolf Cry.

Voilier controlled things around the turn until tackled by Spill The Beans, who claimed the lead easily but had Le Romain hammering up his outside. Counter Attack also loomed on the inside, but Spill The Beans found the required effort easily and scooted in for a comfortable win from Le Romain, with Shards also running on well further back.

Watch: none


1st HEAVENS ABOVE – Tye Angland
2nd ROARING TO WIN – Winona Costin (a1/50kg)
3rd ALPHA BEAT – Blake Shinn

Never Back Down from wide got the best of the start, joined by Selita and Sports Edition also up front on the fence, with Roaring to Win and Himalaya Dream sitting immediately behind. Murt The Flirt and Keep It To Yourself were next, opening up a length or two on the rest of the field. At the other end Ghost Protocol missed the start poorly and had ground to make up.

Into the turn and Never Back Down and Sports Edition slowed the pace considerably, with the big mover Alpha Beat, who found passage along the rail and used it to move right up from well back. He held that rails position out of the turn and they fanned out, with Sports Edition, Keep It To Yourself, Selita, Murt The Flirt and Roaring To Win the order from inside to outside, with Heavens Above eventually taken even wider again to find a run. A good battle down the straight with Shinn going for home on Alpha Beat, and Selita giving a brief challenge before dropping off. The main challenge came in the form of Roaring To Win and a rampaging Heavens Above, who bounded past them all in an impressive finish down the middle to claim the line.

Watch: Heavens Above – the winner hit the line quite hard after having to take a decent trip.


1st MONTAIGNE – Jason Collett
2nd KELLYVILLE FLYER – Samantha Clenton (a2/54.5kg)
3rd EGYPTIAN RULER – Lester Grace (a2/52kg)

Reasonable start with Fabrizio and Classic Uniform getting the best of it, before Made To Order pushed hard from out wide to get to the front and across. All The Way and Makeaday claimed the rails run, with another gap to Embley, Der Meister, Egyptian Ruler and Montaigne back even further again.

Made To Order took the lead into the bend and slowed things, with the rest largely content to queue in an orderly fashion, about a dozen lengths covering the field. As they straightened Makeaday continued on the inside to put pressure on the leader, with Fabrizio, Classic Uniform and Kellyville Flyer on the outside. From widest however was Montaigne, shifted out to find a run and responding by far the best, kicking on for a good win from Kellyville Fyer. Egyptian Ruler and Soros ran on well to finish next.

Watch: none.

Horse to follow: Allergic, Felines, Press Report, Soviet Secret.



Race 1: Ian Miller Handicap (2000m)

1st Golden Mane – Damian Lane
2nd Mr Journeyman – Mark Zahra/Schockemohle – Damien Oliver

Ultimate Doom worked around them lead from Prima holding the inside and Commanding Time up handy. Tuff Host landed in a perfect trail around Forever True and they were tracked by Mr Journeyman outside Golden Mane. Ultimate Doom ensured there was no loafing and he ran along in front with Commanding Time forced to race without cover. As Ultimate Doom took a quick breather Schockemohle took off from the back and hit the lead before the 600m, putting Ultimate Doom under pressure and also Tuff Host behind them came off the bit and moved three wide. Mr Journeyman slipped up four deep and Golden Mane found his back. Schockemohle went for home at the turn but Mr Journeyman was there chasing, they dropped Tuff Host while Prima was still there on the inside and Golden Mane widest running on. In a driving finish Golden Mane got the better of the two on his inside to score. Mr Journeyman and Schockemohle shared second and there wasn’t much between Prima and Tucanchoo, running an improved race, close up. Tuff Host seemed to have his chance, perhaps the 2000m saw him out.

Follow: Schockemohle looks ready to win.

Race 2: Robert Hunter Handicap (2400m)

1st Black Jag – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Second Bullet – Damien Oliver
3rd Lucques – Damian Lane

Black Jag was dug up to take his usual front running role and didn’t have much pressure from Use The Lot while Lucques,Purple Smile and Vilanova were all looking for spots. Danjeu eased in behind them and Second Bullet settled a lot further back than he has of late. After sorting themselves out Black Jag did his thing clear of Lucques as Use The Lot eased and Danjeu moved along the rail to join him while Purple Smile also took a sit. Black Jag had them strung out then passing the 800m he hit his flat spot and the field bunched up. Lucques was also under some pressure and Danjeu was ridden up to get off the leader’s back, pushing Use The Lot three deep. Purple Smile tracked them and Second Bullet ran up behind them. Danjeu might have headed Black Jag before the turn but the leader kicked back, Lucques and Use The lot were wider out still trying hard and Second Bullet worked into the clear further out. Black Jag kept fighting, as he worried them all out of it. Second Bullet was a bit unlucky, getting much further back and striking trouble, as he charged late with Lucques shading Danjeu. Messy race and it should be treated warily.

Follow: none.

Race 3: Mal Seccul Handicap (1600m)

1st Grande Rosso – Stephen Baster
2nd Pure Karma – Craig Williams
3rd See What I Bring – Declan Bates

A bunch of them were looking for a leader in the first 100m and One Inch Punch was first to cross them. Rose Of Texas worked hard wider out to join him and Distant Rock pushed on too. Prix D’Or had a nice sit behind them inside Hero Master while following were Grande Rosso and Adirondack. One Inch Punch railed through to regain the lead at the 600m from Rose Of Texas, Distant Rock and Hero Master chimed in and from the back Pure Karma swept up to join them at the 300m. Just to his inside Grande Rosso had worked off the fence to go with him. Pure Karma was there to win in the straight but Grande Rosso, who had a bit easier run, fought him off and kicked clear late to win. See What I Bring worked his way through the field to grab third in a good effort from Hero Master while running on from last was Murphy’s Delight in a more than handy first-up effort. Adirondack battled on fairly too.

Follow: Murphy’s Delight, though he may need one more run.

Race 4: Chairman’s Stakes (1000m)

1st Extreme Choice – Damien Oliver
2nd Highland Beat – Damian Lane
3rd Gratwick – Daniel Stackhouse

Extreme Choice jumped well but Mandee had good speed and was first to the fence, Gratwick was between them before Extreme Choice ran to the lead. Highland Beat settled a couple back around Simply Invincible. Once he found the front Extreme Choice cruised along as he liked and Mandee came off the fence which pushed Gratwick three wide. Simply Invincible followed the leader around the turn while Highland Beat swung wide. Mandee was the first beaten and Extreme Choice opened up from the 200m without being asked by the rider and it was basically an exhibition gallop. Highland Beat finished off well to run to second and Gratwick didn’t do a bad a job to hold on for third though well beaten. Dam Ready ran on from last into fourth finding it a bit sharp for him.

Follow: outside the winner Dam Ready looks to have a future.

Race 5: Inglis Premier (1200m)

1st Valliano – Damian Lane
2nd Curvature – Ben Melham
3rd Lessyd – Craig Williams

Gretna and Dalradian paired off early but were made work by Nasdex a little who then settled third. Hell Of An Effort andValliano were a couple back while Segovia ran up wide out then Curvature at the back of that bunch. Gretna and Dalradian were still at it well before the turn as they opened up three lengths. Nasdex and Segovia were being ridden up at that stage too as Curvature pulled out. Valliano went looking for runs through, Hell Of An Effort dropped off. Dalradian got away from Gretna at the 200m but was a sitting shot. Valliano had him in his sights and went straight past Dalradian and kicked away. Curvature ran to second and stuck on well but was no match. Right down the outside from last on the turn came Lessyd in an eye catching performance considering the ground he gave away while Nasdex battled on and Hey Doc finished just ahead of him and the weakening Dalradian. Winner was far too good and gelding obviously did the trick.

Follow: Lessyd is screaming out for a bit more ground, might be a good Sires’ horse.

Race 6: John Moule Handicap (1400m)

1st Dan Zephyr – Michael Dee
2nd He Or She – Dwayne Dunn
3rd General Groove – Stephen Baster

Underestimation sprung out to the early lead before Dan Zephyr took over. Doomsday Warrior had the inside and Bel Rhythm settled a couple of lengths back. He Or She and General Groove were the next pair. Doomsday Warrior railed through to head Dan Zephyr midrace and they opened a few lengths on Underestimation. General Groove kept pinching runs on the inside of Bel Rhythm, Mighty Like started to follow him through underneath He Or She. Dan Zephyr regained the lead on the turn with Underestimation trying to match him. General Groove ran up behind them then a gap opened for him while He Or She was warming up down the outside. Dan Zephyr had a full head of steam up and kept going to hold off He Or She, General Groove had his chance between them as did Underestimation. Everything looked to get their opportunity here.

Follow: none in particular.

Race 7: W J Adams Stakes (1000m)

1st Shakespearean Lass – Rhys McLeod
2nd Trevinder – Chris Symons
3rd Grane – Jye McNeil

Atmospherical only jumped fairly then wanted to get her head up in the second half. Runsati broke quickly from out wide butDiamond Oasis drove along the inside to hold him out. Shakespearean Lass dropped in for the trail and Rough Justicefollowed her. Trevinder sat outside and Atmospherical wasn’t settling though improved a little. Diamond Oasis and Runsati really strung them out but come the home turn they were both showing signs of distress and Shakespearean Lass eased around them. Trevinder in turn came out to run on, Rough Justice stayed towards the inside and Atmospherical was widest at the 300m. Shakespearean Lass claimed the lead soon after but looked like being swallowed up by Trevinder who was closing. She gave a good kick though and held him off to bounce back to her best. They were flying from the back behind the first pair and the bolter Grane stormed into third just ahead of Rough Justice, Runsati stuck on very gamely and Reldas charged when it was all over. Atmospherical was close up too and considering she didn’t settle it wasn’t a bad effort.

Follow: give both Atmospherical and Runsati another chance.

Race 8: Manfred Stakes (1200m)

1st Puritan – Nick Hall
2nd Golden Spin – Mark Zahra
3rd Ready For Victory – Glen Boss

Golden Spin fired out with Tokyo Tycoon from wide alleys and they crossed to the lead fairly easily. A line of three behind the speed with Vostok inside Ready For Victory and Tulsa up a lot closer than expected. Gold Symphony was caught wide asSovereign Nation kept him out there. Bon Aurum was buried back on the fence with Puritan taking off around Palentino. Golden Spin was able to back it off and stack the field right up coming to the turn. Tokyo Tycoon, Tulsa and Gold Symphony were looming up. Vostok stayed behind the leader and Puritan latched onto the back of Gold Symphony and pulled out at the top of the straight. Golden Spin was entitled to have a kick left and he found a length on Tokyo Tycoon who couldn’t match him but it was Puritan coming out of the pack to chase. Ready For Victory was weaving through but Bon Aurum was stopped in his tracks. Puritan had the momentum up and he ran down Golden Spin, no excuses, in a very strong effort. Ready For Victory had his chance in third while Vostok stuck on okay. Top Me Up, who missed the start, caught the eye just behind the placings. Good first-up run from Sovereign Nation, Bon Aurum and Palentino had excuses.

Follow: plenty here – Bon Aurum, Sovereign Nation, Vostok, and that’s not underselling the winner who might be coming of age.

Race 9: Thomas North Handicap (1400m)

1st Written – Jackie Beriman
2nd Fast Approaching – Nick Hall
3rd Marli Magic – Tom Sadler

Fast Approaching poked the head in front early, though nobody seemed too keen, with Mrs President holding the fence andHerstory whipping up to join in. Nouvelle Again was outside Mrs President keeping Written three deep. Boundary was among the leaders but eased and wound up midfield. Blendwell was on her inside while Whistle Baby and Marli Magic were held deeper. Herstory had a pretty easy lead to the 600m until Written forced the issue and Fast Approaching went with her to make a line of three. Marlin Magic was on their back and Mrs President under pressure on the rail. Boundary was shuffled right out of it. Fast Approaching took over on straightening with Written still there and Marli Magic running on. Widest was Pindan Pearlcoming from the back. Written worried Fast Approaching out of it in the last 50m in what was a tough win considering she covered ground. Marli Magic wasn’t far away either and Pindan Pearl’s run was solid while Whistle Baby was also close up. Forgive run from Boundary who had no luck. Hard to make excuses for anything else though.

Follow: Pindan Pearl, Boundary.

Specials from the meeting: Schockemohle, Lessyd, Bon Aurum, Sovereign Nation.


Betting 360 Ep 105 – Rob Waterhouse

by Admin on February 4, 2016

Robbie Waterhouse barely needs an introduction.

As well as his own career as a bookmaker he is the son of a legendary bookie, is married to one of Australia’s greatest ever trainers and is the father of the CEO of one of Australia’s biggest corporate bookmakers. So there’s plenty to learn from someone with decades of experience in the racing industry.


Punting Insights

  • Why the basics of form study have remained the same throughout his career
  • The relative importance of various form factors such as sectionals, speed maps, weight, jockeys and trainers.
  • Why he doesn’t watch race replays himself but does employ a consultant to do so
  • The best advice he can give to aspiring punters including recommended reading

Today’s Guest:
Rob Waterhouse

>> Click here to read the transcript

Dave Duffield: Hi, Rob. Thanks for joining us today. I want to have a chat about quite a few things, so we’ll get stuck into it right away. In terms of doing the form, are you more from the data and analytical side or is it gut instinct and experience?

Rob Waterhouse: Look, I’m very old fashioned the way I do the form, a la Don Scott. It’s the way I’ve always done it, and the way my father did it. So I’m very much a fundamental analyst, I suppose.

Dave Duffield: And so as new information comes along, how do you try to incorporate that into the way you do the form?

Rob Waterhouse: I’m not sure what you mean by new information. I suppose rider changes, of course you have to make the adjustments and gear changes you have to make adjustments. But I deliberately don’t look at what anyone else thinks or what the markets are, virtually until I go to the races.

Dave Duffield: By new information I just mean, technological advancements. It might be speed ratings, sectional data that you can get now, anything like that.

Rob Waterhouse: I’ve always kept time ratings as well as class ratings, and I’ve always kept speed ratings. I sort of regard that as being a fairly normal thing to do, rather than the modern-day thing. For 30 years I’ve kept those three sets of ratings.

Dave Duffield: Quite a few people I’ve spoken to over the years have had to evolve the way they do the form. You haven’t had to make wholesale changes in recent times?

Rob Waterhouse: If I looked back to what I was doing 30 years ago, I don’t think it’s changed much at all. Perhaps I think some factors are a bit less important than they used to be; other factors are a bit more important. I think I’ve been pretty constant in the way I’ve done it.

Dave Duffield: Okay. I’d like to run through a few of those factors then.

Dave Duffield: Sectionals on their own, how important are they in the form that you do?

Rob Waterhouse: I find them of little use to me. I know some people love sectional times, but if the overall race time is slow and the sectional is fast, I think it’s of little use. If the sectional is fast and the overall time is fast, that’s a good horse. I think the overall time is much more important than the sectional.

Dave Duffield: What about the speed maps themselves? From Gai’s perspective, I know she likes them to be up on the speed. Are you the same from a punting or bookmaking perspective?

Rob Waterhouse: I think all analysts and all punters love their horses to be near the lead. The horse that leads wins 25% of races. The closer you are to the lead in a race the more chance you have of winning.

Dave Duffield: How much does that vary by track and just by race shape, say for example if there looks to be a hot speed?

Rob Waterhouse: Look, it does vary by track. At the long straight at Flemington, leaders have less chance than they do at say Moonee Valley. The point is this: you get a better price in the long straight for the leader at Flemington and a much worse price at Moonee Valley. From a punter’s point of view, the advantage is always to be on the horse near the pace.

Dave Duffield: Trainers? What importance do they play when, I mean obviously you’re looking at the horse, but when you’re trying to assess the trainer as well how much does that affect your rated price?

Rob Waterhouse: Look, I suppose what I’d say first of all is that trainer changes are of great importance and I think that the horses being trained by a trainer, it only works … There’s only an advantage, a small advantage when the horse is lightly raced. I think the better trainer gets more out of the horse more quickly than the lesser trainer, but once they’re an exposed horse I don’t think it makes any difference.

Dave Duffield: Do you look closely at trainer tendencies, whether they’re likely to have them ready first up or whether they’re coming off no trials, one trial, two trials?

Rob Waterhouse: There’s no doubt that some trainers are better at getting horses ready fresh and other trainers aren’t, and that does play a part. I’m very conscious of looking at first-up horses, as to who the trainer is.

Dave Duffield: Speaking of speed maps and trainers, along with that there’s also the jockey who plays a pretty important role. Once again, when you’re doing the form is that jockey ratings, or is it really based on watching a number of videos, or how do you do it?

Rob Waterhouse: Look, there’s no doubt that the better jockeys win more races than the worse jockeys, but the market does take it into account perhaps even more than it’s entitled to be. I think the jockeys are a little bit overplayed by the public, and I find myself betting against some of the better riders and hoping for the less fashionable riders.

Dave Duffield: Even in the bigger races, or are you just talking about the standard races?

Rob Waterhouse: No, even the bigger races. I think they occupy too large a part of the market.

Dave Duffield: Speaking of being overplayed, inside barriers can often be the same way. How do you assess them?

Rob Waterhouse: Look, I have strange views in regard to barriers. I think people worry too much about barriers.

Dave Duffield: When one’s drawn outside, and there’s been a couple of well-known cases of that, you’re not concerned?

Rob Waterhouse: Not concerned at all, and especially if they have a bit of pace, I think it’s of little worry, little concern.

Dave Duffield: Weight. It seems as though in recent times people have downplayed the importance of weight. How do you assess it?

Rob Waterhouse: I always marvel, people keep telling me that weight is of little importance, but when the weight-for-age races come around all those people disappear and don’t seem to be having a bet. Of course there’s a huge swing in the betting market, because of the level weights.
Weights obviously play a huge part. I think it’s interesting that the same people say weight is of no importance, now they’ve raised the top weights to 61 in New South Wales those same people are complaining of the weight being too much. Look, weight most certainly plays a part, a lot more than most punters say it does, but I don’t see it being an overriding factor.

Dave Duffield: Do you treat weight differently by, say, sprint distance to a staying race?

Rob Waterhouse: Yes, of course.

Dave Duffield: Or by 57 to 58 is a big difference to 60 to 61?

Rob Waterhouse: No, I don’t think there’s a difference between 60 and 61 as compared 58 to 57, but there is a difference of course that the longer the race is the heavier the weight is.

Dave Duffield: What about SP profiles? I think you’ve spoken about that a few times, looking at what the horse’s starting price was from its recent runs. Does that still play a part in what you do?

Rob Waterhouse: Look, if you look at all the factors that are available to someone doing the form, I think the starting price last start is possibly the most important thing. There’s a lot of information contained in that price. If a horse starts at a short price and runs poorly, the question for the form analyst then is to say should you be making it off where it ran, or should you be making off its SP, or somewhere in between? Only by answering that question to yourself can you get an idea as to what chance the horse has today.

Dave Duffield: What about from the other side? What about if a horse is a surprise winner at 50/1? Does that mean that you downgrade that performance in some way?

Rob Waterhouse: If the horse has had 25 starts and is a surprise winner at 50/1, you’re entitled to look at the form and say, “Look, I suspect this is a very suspect race and something is strange about this race,” but if it’s the first starter and it wins at 50/1, you just say that it’s been underestimated by the betting public and it should never have been 50/1.

Dave Duffield: Barrier trials have been more heavily scrutinized and publicised in recent times. Has that affected the way they incorporated into the market?

Rob Waterhouse: Look, it’s funny, Gai likes to win her barrier trials and other trainers don’t like to win their barrier trials. Barrier trials have always played a big part in working out the chances of first starters. I don’t think it’s changed much over the years. I think perhaps more horses try now in barrier trials than used to. That’s perhaps the biggest difference.

Dave Duffield: How do you handle betting on wet tracks?

Rob Waterhouse: Wet tracks are problematical. I suppose the first thing I could say is there’s sort of a concertina effect where favourites should be a bit longer and outsiders should be a bit shorter. Obviously, experience in wet is of great importance. I’d guess if I were to say, it’s better to run a bit poorly on a wet track than to have had no experience at all on a wet track. I think horses learn to handle going.

Dave Duffield: That’s a very, very quick snapshot of some of the form factors, but then post-race I’d imagine you do quite a bit of work on the reviews and replays?

Rob Waterhouse: Look, I don’t watch the replays, I suppose because I find them a bit boring. I do employ someone who gives me a report of every race everywhere, which is great. It’s hard to make any money betting off what you see on videos. I think it’s so over-fished. I think that the market is right on to everything that was in the video last week.

Dave Duffield: Is it true that in the past you used to price them up post-race though?

Rob Waterhouse: Yes, we most certainly did. We priced everything up.

Dave Duffield: Do you still do that now?

Rob Waterhouse: Yeah.

Dave Duffield: Can you just explain how that works?

Rob Waterhouse: The analyst that does this bit of work for me, I ask him rather than actually write a detailed comment, in most cases to say if that race were re-run again what price would you mark each horse?

Dave Duffield: That’s not a concept that most punters would use. What goes into that revised rated price for that run, considering the race has been run?

Rob Waterhouse: I suppose it’s like this. Occasionally we’ve had in the past a race that’s been declared a no-race for whatever reason and they’ve run the race again after the last race. With the benefit of actually seeing what happened in the first race, you would have an idea what the betting should be in the re-run of the race. I’m saying if the race were re-run, having seen the race run today, what would it be tomorrow that same race?
The horse that perhaps started even-money favourite and won the previous time, you’d say would actually be a bit longer than that and be 6/4. The horse that started 50/1 and ran a flashing third you may say obviously that horse should only be an eight to 10-to-1 chance.
I think one of the problems with doing comments is it’s easy to find an excuse for every horse in the race and saying nice things about it, whereas if you’re actually doing a market to 100 percent there’s nowhere to hide and you find that it’s easy to feel what’s actually being meant.

Dave Duffield: That’s interesting. The person that you employ to do those replays, does he watch the race… Like if there’s eight starters, does he watch that race eight times?

Rob Waterhouse: At least eight times.

Dave Duffield: So, although you’re not doing the replays yourself, he’s very thorough?

Rob Waterhouse: Very thorough. I must say, having said that, it’s hard to make any money out of it. Replays are very well dissected in Australia.

Dave Duffield: That’s the form side of things. From the betting, whether it’s your own betting, or from the bookmaking side of things, do you find that the successful people are betting to their own rated prices? Have you ever come across anyone that’s level staking? How do you find the more successful types?

Rob Waterhouse: I suppose the most successful people are the people who are disciplined. As you would have heard people speak of, I think the Kelly Criterion is the key to successful punting, which basically just means you have a good staking plan.

Dave Duffield: The returns there, basically, the bigger the margin that you have…?

Rob Waterhouse: Yeah, the more you should be betting.

Dave Duffield: Okay, and that’s the way you approach it as well?

Rob Waterhouse: Absolutely. I approached it that way before I ever heard of Kelly, but that’s the right way to approach it. I think most successful gamblers, they’re very aware of that concept.

Dave Duffield: You, like most other people, price up a race before you’ve even looked at a market, or you don’t really want to be aware of what the market is. Then if you get to the race day and there’s a massive discrepancy in your rated price and the market price, do you ever go over the form again and look to reassess, or you basically back your own judgement every time?

Rob Waterhouse: No, I want to work out where I’ve made a mistake, or decide that the market’s made a mistake.

Dave Duffield: Does that happen often?

Rob Waterhouse: Both things happen. The market often is wrong and I often recognise that I’m wrong, and I suppose sometimes I think the market is wrong but the market is right.

Dave Duffield: In terms of from a punting perspective, do you think there’s more value for a Saturday race during the week with people betting early or late and basically on course?

Rob Waterhouse: Look, the on-course market is fantastic as a punter because we bet to losing figures every race. It’s the best opportunity for any punter. Having said that, I’m sure that if I looked at the prices on a Wednesday I’d find mistakes and win at it. It’s just that’s impossible to back a horse with the corporates to win very much at all and I’d have a big influence on the market, so I really don’t think about it.

Dave Duffield: The more successful guys that you’ve handled, from the bookmaking days, would they have many common traits, similarities amongst their different approaches, or is each one quite unique?

Rob Waterhouse: I think the most successful punters are quite disciplined. Obviously the Bartholomew brothers have been the stars for the last 10 years or so, and they’re both very disciplined punters.

Dave Duffield: So they do the work, they trust their own prices and then they back accordingly, but without ever getting involved in the variance, whether that’s positive or negative?

Rob Waterhouse: The big problem is there’s always a tendency if you’re losing, to chase, and if you’re winning to bet smaller. The discipline part is just treat every race on its merits. That’s what they most certainly do.

Dave Duffield: What are your thoughts on each-way betting?

Rob Waterhouse: Each-way betting is instinct in the old-fashioned way of a quarter of the odds the place. It was a big advantage in certain races to the punter and a big advantage in certain races to the bookmaker.
I regard myself as being a place specialist, and bet aggressive prices every race for the place. I sort of like it as a bookmaker, to be betting for a place.
I suppose what I’d say is I used to say when there was a quarter of the odds the place, each-way betting, the successful punters betting each way would win less than they’d win if they bet straight out all the time. The losing punters would lose less than they’d normally use by betting each way. In other words, it tempered their results down in both directions.

Dave Duffield: Earlier you mentioned that the on-course bookies bet to losing figures each race. How would you describe the current state of on-course bookmaking, and then also, you’ve probably got some valuable insight through Tom, corporate bookmakers as well.

Rob Waterhouse: The ring in Sydney and Melbourne is very aggressive and very competitive, and we bet better prices than what’s on the official flucs board all the time, and every race we bet to losing figures. It’s a great opportunity for punters.
As regards to the corporates, the corporates, because of the tax structure, are only interested in high volumes, small turnover punters, and they don’t want big players betting with them. They just can’t afford them, because the tax structure is too high.

Dave Duffield: Do you see an obvious solution to that? Because that is a common complaint from many of my clients, just not being able to get a bet on and the frustration there.

Rob Waterhouse: The problem is it’s not the bookmaker’s fault, it’s the high tax rates. To the bookmaker’s point of view, I think they regard racing as being their shop window and they try and encourage their clients to bet on the sports where there’s no tax. There’s the problem, that racing is becoming but a shop window and the bookmakers are wanting their customers to bet on other things. A bit like hotels. Every hotel has a pub TAB, but they’d actually rather the punters bet on the poker machines than on the pub TAB.

Dave Duffield: Just to finish up then, we have quite a few people coming through, I suppose you’d say the younger demographic, 18 to 25 or even under 30 or so. What advice would you give a younger punter who’s enthusiastic and willing to put in a bit of effort? Where should they focus their efforts do you think?

Rob Waterhouse: I think they should read the Don Scott book or books, first of all, and there are other books that are also very good. I think you’ve actually got to have a bit of understanding before you can start to do the form effectively.

Dave Duffield: I was just interested that Don Scott, what would that be 30 years ago now, so that still holds up today you feel?

Rob Waterhouse: It does, because it’s an overall say rather than one aspect or different aspects. There are lots of books that have been written since then on various aspects of doing the form, but they usually just cover one part, whether it’s pace or times. Whereas Don covered everything quite succinctly, and also covered staking, which I think is a very important part that’s often neglected.

Dave Duffield: I’m sure there’ll be a lot of people reaching out now and going to Amazon and looking up the old Don Scott books. What would be the best book since? Because like I said, it has been a long time since those.

Rob Waterhouse: William Querin wrote a great book, an American book called Winning At The Races, but it’s probably out of print. Look, there’s so many of them and I feel reluctant to pick out one rather than another. I think it’s true that Don’s got his head and shoulders above the rest.

Dave Duffield: Well I’m sure there’s some guys doing their research now. I really appreciate you coming on the show, Rob. I’m sure it’s been insightful for everyone. All the best for 2016.

Rob Waterhouse: Thank you.

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Rosehill/Flemington Reviews

by Champion Picks on January 31, 2016



1st START WONDERING – Hugh Bowman
2nd MARENOSTRO – James McDonald
3rd KALEIDOSCOPE – Andrew Atkins (a3/50kg)

Start Wondering jumped the unbackable favourite, and Bowman immediately took him back and settled in for the trip. Marenostro and Hippopus probably jumped best, and fought for the front with Zee Zeely from out wider, who overtakes them both to establish front running.
Zee Zeely probably went out a little too hard, and Clark was reasonably quick to pull him back into line and slow the going. An orderly turn with the favourite enjoying the run of race, back and on the rails as Bowman pushed forward slightly. Into the straight and Marenostro peeled out wide and was followed by Start Wondering looking for a run, and also Kaleidoscope trailing in from last. Bowman found clear air and from there it was no contest, well ridden for an easy win.

Race 2 – TAB HIGHWAY PLATE (1500m)

1st HALFPENNY GATE – Koby Jennings (a3/56kg)
2nd COOLCAT DANCER – Winona Costin (a1.5/50kg)
3rd HERMOSA BEACH – Brenton Avdulla

Good start with Jostle the only runner to really miss it. Plenty pushed forward with Lady Lobban eventually claiming the lead from Coolcat Dancer and Edditare, followed by the favourite Hermosa Beach caught one out, with Halfpenny Gate a further length back on the rail.
The leaders switched the pace right off into the turn with most content to save petrol. Halfpenny Gate was the first to shift with Jennings taking a step out around the turn in preparation for a run, with Hermosa Beach one further out again and travelling reasonably.
Lady Lobban was comfortably claimed by both Coolcat Dancer and Hermosa Beach, who initially looked to be finishing stronger. Meanwhile Jennings had shifted again, taking Halfpenny Gate back to the rail to take advantage of a handy gap. It looked in vain until the gelding found something more over the last 50m or so, lunging in to narrowly claim the win.

WATCH: Halfpenny Gate – the winner was moved in and out before finding a run and battling hard to snatch the chocolates.

Race 3 – CANONBURY STAKES (1100m)

1st TESSERA – James McDonald
2nd DEFCON – Brenton Avdulla
3rd MOUNT PANORAMA – Tommy Berry

Good line out of the gate with plenty keen and McDonald on Tessera first out on the fence. Guard of Honour came up to join him with Jexelent sitting behind, and Mount Panorama on his outside unable to get across. Star on Monsoon also got a rails run, and Avdulla sat at the rear on Defcon.
Tessera held Guard of Honour for a comfortable lead, the latter content to sit on his shoulder with Star of Monsoon still hugging the rail, and Defcon emerging from the turn widest. From there Avdulla put the down in pursuit, coming up to take Tessera with relative ease. That looked to be the race until Tessera had other ideas, defying a lack of momentum to fight back as soon as Defcon headed him. The second wind was found and he dashed back to the lead for a comfortable win, after looking unlikely just a few seconds earlier.

Watch: Tessera – the winner was tough as nails when challenged.

Race 4 – WIDDEN STAKES (1100m)

1st HONESTY PREVAILS – Jason Collett
2nd SMART AMELIA – Christian Reith
3rd CHIPANDA – James McDonald

An explosive start with the battle for the lead well and truly on from the wider runners, Kentucky Miss and Vixen Lass getting the best of it, whilst at the other end Spright and the favourite So Serene missed it badly. Aghna was third out as the hot pace continued, with Honesty Prevails a further step back on the fence.
The two leaders in particular seemed keen to keep the foot down, and Chipanda came around wide, forced out further than McDonald probably wanted due to Aghna staying off the rail. Out of the turn and the favourite was already long gone, last having not recovered from the poor start. Kentucky Miss was the stronger of the front runners and boxed on initially, as Honesty Prevails and Chipanda laid down their challenges. Honesty Prevails was the superior, claiming the lead and never looking back to bolt it in for the win, with Smart Amelia running on well to claim second.

Watch: An impressive win from Honesty Prevails, whilst both Smart Amelia and Foxplay ran home in eye-catching fashion.


1st RIVER WILD – Brenton Avdulla
2nd NICCOCO – Tim Clark
3rd DENMAGIC – Tommy Berry

Fairly good start with hot favourite River Wild the best of them, getting out in front early before being immediately challenged by both Miss Sydney and Niccoco, who seemed keener on leading. Avdulla sat behind them, followed by Hierarchical with Doc Holliday on his outside. The pace was switched right off around the turn with leisurely going and very little jostling.
Out of the straight Clark got Niccoco moving first and looked to build an unassailable lead, as Avdulla had to take River Wild to the outside to give chase. Miss Sydney boxed on down the inside, whilst Denmagic turned up the heat on River Wild’s outside, who looked to be struggling. But the favourite looked to respond to the appearance of Denmagic, and the two went up to a tiring Niccoco together – River Wild eventually having too much stretch to salute by a neck.

Watch: none


1st ALLERGIC – James McDonald
2nd CAUTHEN’S POWER – Lester Grace (a2/52kg)
3rd MAGICAL STANCE – Andrew Adkins (a3/50kg)

Frank Who and Dance of Heroes got the best of the start, taking the lead from Cauthen’s Power and Allergic who had White Dove coming across on their outside, whilst furthest out was Magical Stance with Adkins caught in no man’s land and not going back or forward. Clark on White Dove was quick to take the initiative and put himself in front of the early leaders, the rest largely falling into line with Adkins finally finding a spot in the queue for Magical Stance, in sixth place and about one out.
Despite White Dove moving relatively freely, Angland decided to challenge immediately and moved Dance of Heroes up, but Clark responded to hold the lead narrowly, with Frank Who enjoying some cover in third, Cauthen’s Power on his inside, and Magical Stance yet again finding himself wide on his outside. Allergic sat just behind them, seemingly content to wait for a chance.
Plenty of movement out of the turn – Another Cocktail came widest, outside of Magical Stance, Frank Who put the cue in the rack, whilst Another Cocktail and White Dove looked to capitalise on their leading positions. Adkins was furiously changing lanes for a run, before finally getting some clear air down the inside and kicking on alongside Cauthen’s Power. They looked the strongest, however Allergic, having come from last and taking a long route, started to make rapid progress outside. They spread into a wall with Allergic swamping all to swoop for a convincing win.

Watch: Great contest. The winner was impressive and had to take a long journey, as did Magical Stance who covered more turf than the track mower. Both eye-catching.

Race 7 – EXPRESSWAY STAKES (1200m)

1st OUR BOY MALACHI – Tommy Berry
2nd SOLICIT – Tye Angland
3rd BIG MONEY – Robert Thompson

No standing on ceremony at the start, with all bursting out led by favourite Solicit, however it wasn’t long before Our Boy Malachi shot to the front with Berry giving him his head. The pace stayed on as Solicit gave chase, with Tiger Tees getting some cover on his inside.
Without wishing to be too brief, precious little of note took place thereafter. Tiger Tees and Solicit were hard ridden, and Big Money did well to make up some ground on the outside, but it was Our Boy Malachi’s race from the start and it never looked otherwise, Berry nursing him home by three lengths.

Watch: Who else? The winner couldn’t have been more impressive first-up after a long break with injury.


Horses to follow: Allergic, Magical Stance, Our Boy Malachi



Race 1: Michael Stewart Handicap (1100m)

1st Supido – Craig Williams
2nd Good Offa – Craig Newitt
3rd Chiavari – Ben Thompson

Just A Bullet showed his usual speed to clear them and Mr Walker slotted in with a trail. Ticket To ToorakChiavari andReady Sunshine were in the group behind them while This Is The Show and It’s A Shame Billy were in that bunch. Supidofound himself well back on the inside. Just A Bullet was full of running down to the 400m and broke away and Mr Walker and Ticket To Toorak were immediately under pressure. Supido had made a heap of ground closer to the fence and ran to a clear second soon after, travelling very easily. Supido had hit the lead clearly by the 200m and was going strongly. Chiavari was fighting on nicely and down the outside came Good Offa into second but they were no match for Supido who is a class above them. A line up a few lengths behind the placings with It’s A Shame Billy poking through for fourth. Of the beaten horses Star Stealer did nothing, only making a bit of late ground, and it might be best to drop off him at this level at least.

Follow: none.

Race 2: Peter Heath Handicap (1200m)

1st Onerous – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Lonrockstar – Tom Sadler
3rd Not A Happy Camper – Katelyn Mallyon

Lonrockstar may have been squeezed out as Havana jumped to one side. Havana took up the running and Not A Happy Camper and Decircles were up handy. Onerous sat in behind that trio with Zupacharged between him and Mister Milton. Havana had a few of them off the bit a fair way from home, particularly Zupacharged, but by the 400m Not A Happy Camper had moved alongside. Onerous ducked to the inside of the leader to make his run and Lonrockstar sailed down the outside from last. Onerous hit the lead about 200m and was going strongly as Lonrockstar’s run came to an end and he did it pretty easily. Not A Happy Camper boxed on well again for another place while Havana held off Zupacharged, who was tightened to a minor degree late, for fourth.

Follow: stick with Onerous, there are more wins in him.

Race 3: Barrie Kerr Handicap (1600m)

1st All Cerise – Ben Melham
2nd Vital Importance – Chris Parnham
3rd Ginali – Craig Newitt

All Cerise was able to find the lead easily from Darcy’s Law coming across. Vital Importance was handier than usual aroundMiss SofthandsNoela’s Choice was next and Tidy Prophet improved on her inside on settling and Ginali could see them all. All Cerise settled perfectly in front while Darcy’s Law looked to be going a bit hard. Miss Softhands also wanted to overdo it in the middle stages. All Cerise made the bend about one horse off the fence but by the 300m was closer to the outside rail and still travelling easily. Darcy’s Law was forced to go out there with her but couldn’t stay in touch. The field fanned across the track as a result with Ginali making a dash out near the leader and Vital Importance and Noela’s Choice in the centre of the track. All Cerise was able to control the race and she had a good kick left in the straight to win by a margin. Vital Importance held off Ginali for second while Noela’s Choice was never really in the race but managed fourth. Miss Softhands really didn’t help herself by pulling and she dropped away.

Follow: none, looks a messy race.

Race 4: Doriemus Handicap (2000m)

1st Tashbeeh – Tom Marquand
2nd Second Bullet – Damien Oliver
3rd Real Love – Dwayne Dunn

Eximius clearly jumped the best but couldn’t cross Star Rolling who held the inside. Tashbeeh landed in the box seat andSecond Bullet pressed on to sit outside the leader. Real Love and Arianne were the next pair while Bass Strait was happy to sit at the back. No change for quite a while as Star Rolling ran them along before backing it off inside the 1000m allowing the field to bunch up. The leaders stayed to the inside the his time with Eximius the first to go wide and Real Love and Bass Straight went out to the centre with him. Tashbeeh gained a split to hit the lead 300m out and left Second Bullet a length or so behind him with Star Rolling staying on for the time being. Wide out Real Love passed Eximius but was a mile off the lead. Second Bullet looked beaten half way down the straight but rallied and went with Tashbeeh over the last 150m and they hit the line locked together. Tashbeeh gained a narrow decision in one of those head-bobbing finishes. Real Love stretched out well down the outside and Star Rolling had his chance but held fourth.

Follow: Real Love is tracking nicely for the Adelaide Cup.

Race 5: Andrew Guy Plate (1100m)

1st Heatherly – Damian Lane
2nd Almighy Girl – Ryan Maloney
3rd Make Her Own Whey – Billy Egan

Heatherly showed a lot of speed to come towards the middle of the track and cross Sky Dazzle and LabdienLove Days andSafariann were a little further out and closer to the outside Magna Rossa led from Almighty Girl and Single Note on her back. Heatherly was still scooting along past the 400m and started to sneak away from Love Days and Sky Dazzle under plenty of pressure. Magna Rossa was being felt for and Safariann was also battling. Wide out Almighty Girl was winding up with Claudia Jean though the latter under plenty of riding. Heatherly went to the 100m a good couple of lengths clear but was starting to weaken as Almighty Girl stretched out late and she charged only to fail very narrowly, in somewhat similar circumstances to the previous race. Make Her Own Whey worked through the pack and just held on for third as Labdien started to rally along with Safariann. Of the others Magna Rossa weakened after having every chance while Alaskan Rose was spotted finishing off nicely late in the middle of the track. Like to see her again.

Follow: Almighty Girl handled the class rise easily.

Race 6: John Calvert Handicap (1400m)

1st King’s Command – Damien Oliver
2nd Duibio – Nick Hall
3rd Harbour Grey – Ben Melham

Harbour Grey was slow by a length or so but improved past a couple quickly. Gold Force was fast out and Mihany came across to join him in the lead. King’s Command landed in a good spot around He’s A Moral and Ayers Rock was caught a bit wide as Polar Vortex and Pattern held him out there. Duibio had Pattern’s back. Gold Force and Mihany declared each other on and skipped away before the home turn. King’s Command stalked them solo with Pattern, niggled at, on his back and Ayers Rock still wider out. Duibio jumped into the three wide line and seemed to travel okay. Mihany won the battle with Gold Force but he was a sitting shot for King’s Command who went to him at the 300m. He’s A Moral and Pattern went back to the inside while Duibio was running on nicely out wide. King’s Command had the perfect run and he had a kick late to hold off Duibio fairly comfortably and Harbour Grey charged home late to get into third over a game Mihany. Polar Vortex ran on okay late while Pattern rolled back to the inside fence and you’d have to say he was disappointing.

Follow: Harbour Grey is worth another chance.

Race 7: Kensington Stakes (1000m)

1st Headwater – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Bullpit – Craig Williams
3rd The Quarterback – Matthew Allen

Bullpit showed his customary speed to clear them though Straturbo went with him. Wild Rain tucked in behind and Pink Perfection was wider out. Iconic and Hard Stride settled a couple back with The Monstar and Headwater a bit closer to the middle of the track. Bullpit shook off those around him midrace and Straturbo and Wild Rain were thrown off the bit. The Monstar was being held up behind Wild Rain as Headwater went past him on the inside. The Quarterback also made his run inside the pack. Bullpit was holding them at the 100m but couldn’t stave off Headwater who made a late dive and arrived in time. The Quarterback kept coming to grab third from the luckless The Monstar. A bunch of them just behind the placings with Wild Rain every chance, Straturbo the same, Hard Stride stuck on and Yesterday’s Songs tacked onto them but was outsprinted. Headwater got the job done but that’s about his level.

Follow: there’s a race for The Monstar sooner or later.

Race 8: Kyle Smith Handicap (1400m)

1st Dan Zephyr – Michael Dee
2nd The New Boy – Nick Hall
3rd Agent – Dylan Dunn

The New Boy didn’t have a lot of trouble finding the lead and Bel Seal was there just off him. Dan Zephyr found himself three wide around Best SuggestionCamdus found a good spot with Agent on his outside. The New Boy had them pretty well stacked up coming to the turn and was able to go for home at the top of the straight. Bel Seal couldn’t go with them and Dan Zephyr was the only one setting out after him with 300m to run. Camdus was very one paced and Agent went past him easily while Best Suggestion was going backwards as well despite a cheap run. Dan Zephyr had The New Boy covered by the 150m and he edged away to score a strong win. Decent gap to the rest with Agent a solid third and Dig A Pony doing what she does best and running on when it’s all over. Auld Burns kept going to be close up after racing four and five deep all the way first-up from a long spell. Either it was a cracking return, and it was a good run, or it means you can just cross out all this form as a future reference. Camdus was very ordinary.

Follow: none.

Race 9: The Summer Series (1800m)

1st Pemberley – Daniel Stackhouse
2nd Siegestor – Jye McNeil
3rd Capodecina – Dwayne Dunn

Nobody seemed overly keen to lead but eventually River’s Lane crossed them and Hero Master moved alongside to keepAzurite three deep on the speed. Seattleite and Falago let that trio go while Pemberley and Prix D’Or were about midfield. Azurite was sent forward to the front after sitting wide but stayed off the inside. Hero Master and River’s Lane were happy to let him go and Falago seemed to travel okay coming to the turn. Pemberley was strung up between horses right down to the 400m. Hero Master took over at that point with Falago looming and River’s Lane took the inside run while Capodecina railed up underneath all of them. Pemberley was still looking and wider out Prix D’Or and Siegestor were running on. Pemberley got the gap in time and darted through to hit the front nearing the 100m and he held them off with a bit in hand. Siegestor continued his good form while Capodecina ran to his best as well. Hero Master stuck on gamely while the likes of Prix D’Or, Falago and Azurite were very disappointing.

Follow: stick with the winner.

Specials from the meeting: Real Love, Almighty Girl, Harbour Grey, The Monstar.


Randwick/Moonee Valley Reviews

by Champion Picks on January 24, 2016


Race 1 – SCHWEPPES QUALITY (1000m)

1st LE ROMAIN – Glyn Schofield
2nd DEPLOY – Christian Reith
3rd STOLEN TIME – Jason Collett

Deploy and Stolen Time jumped best and shot to the early lead, with Top Score settling just in behind, and Le Romain dropping to the back to relax whilst keeping touch with the small field. Le Romain was able to slide through to fourth on the fence to get the run of the race, into the straight and the two leaders battled it out with Shacked Up – all in vain however as Le Romain stuck to the rail and cruised through to record a comfortable win, without looking overly extended.

Watch – Le Romain – did it comfortably and would appear to have plenty more to give (given a similarly favorable run).


1st SCARLETT RAIN – Tim Clark
2nd TWIST TOPS – Tommy Berry
3rd PRIZED ICON – Hugh Bowman

Scarlett Rain bolted to the front from a wide gate, with Snow Surrender also starting hard along with Twist Tops on the fence, both settling to give Scarlett Rain the lead. Clark duly made his way across in front unchallenged, towing in To Excess from wider again. The leader rounded the turn looking full of running – Clark didn’t argue and cruised away for an easy win. Prized Icon was the pick of the rest, showing good toe to swoop home from well back and wide.

Watch – Scarlett Rain looked a class above and Prized Icon may have an interesting future.


1st ZIN ZAN EDDIE – Jason Collett
2nd VOILIER – Cathy O’Hara
3rd HIDDEN WARRIOR – Tim Clark

Voilier and Hidden Warrior got the best of the start and settled in to lead, with Red Excitement content to take up the running at the rear with the pace reasonably pedestrian. You’ll Never tucked in behind on the fence and found good position, with Zin Zan Eddie just on his outside. Little movement around the bend, with Shinn on Red Excitement then pulling out wide to make his run, but ultimately not extracting anything from his mount. Voilier turned on the rail and went for home immediately, before being tackled by Zin Zan Eddie and eventually surrendering the lead after a brief battle, Collett going on to claim a cruising win.

Watch: none


1st ALPHA BEAT – Blake Shinn
2nd EL SASSO – Tim Clark
3rd OFF THE RAILS – Christian Reith

El Sasso got a great start from out wide to come across and take the lead immediately, with Nite Rocker on the fence next best, and the rest happy to sit back by a length or so – Alpha Beat the best placed of them on the inside. Clark on El Sasso slowed them into the turn and continued to dictate terms, before the rest peeled out to make position except Shinn on Alpha Beat, content to loom on the rail behind the leader. As they straightened Shinn stepped out to find a run and ask the question, with Alpha Beat responding and moving to El Sasso. A match race from there as El Sasso refused to surrender at any point, but was eventually claimed by Alpha Beat who scored a narrow win.

Watch: El Sasso – brave. Led from the jump and dictated the race, was eventually claimed late but certainly didn’t knew when he was beaten.


1st ATOM EVE – Kayla Nisbet (a3)
2nd LORD VON COSTA – Jason Collett
3rd ALL SUMMER LONG – James McDonald

Slow start across the board with Supa Vision and Atom Eve eventually content to lead with All Summer Long settling in behind on the fence. At the other end, Sassaby sat well off the pack by some three lengths. In the turn McDonald made a shift and moved All Summer Long outside Supa Vision, with Lord Von Costa also moving, one lane out further again. Nisbet stuck to the rail on Atom Eve and kept the handy cover. Heading for home and all four fanned out across the track in pursuit of the line, Supa Vision tired with the rest boxing on, but Atom Eve was the hardiest and toughed them out by half a length. About Time was the best of the rest, running on valiantly for fifth.

Watch: none.


1st SWEET FIRE – Rory Hutchings (a 1.5)
3rd LUCY’S LOOK – Hugh Bowman

Even start apart from Pico Turquino, who completely missed the start by at least four lengths. They sorted themselves into a queue, Kellyville Flyer at the front from Pioneering and Sweet Fire on the inside, Pico Turquino catching the backmarkers to fall into line. Very orderly going and Penza took the opportunity to catch breath with little argument from the field. Out of the turn and McDonald shifted Pioneering out for his run, with Shinn taking Bet You She Rocks wider again. Sweet Fire always had the rails run and moved up to claim Kellyville Flyer, which nonetheless boxed on manfully. Best of the rest was Lucy’s Look, running on well from wide when the pace finally lifted.

Watch: none

Race 7 – TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1600m)

1st TESTA SHADOW – Samantha Clenton (a2)
2nd CAUTHEN’S POWER – James McDonald
3rd ARCHEAN – Jason Collett

Chestnut Road had the inside gate but missed the start by a length or two, with the rest of the field out well. Testa Shadow took the lead from Archean, Cauthen’s Power behind on the fence and Embley moving straight to the back of the field. Khalid was pushed up from out wide to take third, but was largely the only runner to put in much work. The field bunched around the turn, Khalid still caught out wide and Embley wanting to move up but being collared by jockey Reith, before eventually slotting in wider behind Khalid. Cauthern’s Power maintained the rails run throughout and was well placed as they straightened. Testa Shadow moved out slightly to open the door for Cauthen’s Power, which ultimately would not have enough to work through it. Archean and Khalid ran on well on the outside – the latter particularly given the less favourable route taken – but neither would have the late burst required to claim Testa Shadow.

Watch: Khalid – caught wide and exposed for most of the trip, still managed to hit the line well to narrowly miss the places. Would have been interesting with a more favourable route.


1st FELINES – Samantha Clenton (a2)
2nd ROSE OF MAN – Brodie Loy (a2)
3rd RAIDO – Hugh Bowman

Starter caught them well with Quell the pick from out wide, swooping across to take a strong early lead. Raido was first pursuer with Floral Insight on the inside, with Cosmic Cameo and Felines next, caught out wide and having to cover additional ground. Quell bolted on and opened up a three length lead in the turn, and upon straightening was headed nowhere but home as challengers organized behind. They soon caught the leader, Felines most impressively as the widest of the attackers. Bowman found the fence with Raido, and Rose of Man and Cosmic Cameo ran on well, but Felines simply too good.

Watch: Felines – impressive hard running in the straight given poor position earlier.

1st WHITE DOVE – Tim Clark
2nd MR STEAL – James Innes Jr (a3)
3rd THURSTON – Tommy Berry

Slow start with Mr Steal and White Dove pushing forward, joined by Red Dubawi which moved across from wider to shift into second. The small field spread right out with Thurston right back, trailing second last by a couple of lengths. Mr Steal looked to maintain a healthy lead from White Dove, on the fence and most relaxed, with Red Dubawi still splitting them but one out from the rail. Orderly running with little change through the turn, the field eventually bunching on the way out, with Thurston and King’s Officer in particular fanning out to see some clear air.Clark was able to wait before having to ask White Dove a question, and he got a healthy response, stepping forward to claim Mr Steal, and the pair broke away. The fresher White Dove looked to have the measure but there was no white flag from Mr Steal, which pushed and pushed all the way to the line, only being edged out by the smallest of margins.

Watch: none.




Race 1: Think Big Stud Handicap (2040m)

1st Monogram – Craig Williams
2nd Miss Maggiebeel – Katelyn Mallyon
3rd Defrost My Heart – Nick Hall

Not a lot of pressure early and Suspicious Minds wanted the lead while Monogram worked across from out wide easily too.Yellen dropped in for a trail inside PiranForever True settled in the clear midfield. Yulong Baby drifted out to last on the inside of Ring Da Belle who was up to her usual tricks of missing the start. Suspicious Minds was left alone in the lead and Monogram was happy to follow with a cold sit. No change at all to about the 600m where Defrost My Heart was stoked up to make ground and she flushed out Forever True and Piran while Yellen waited for a run. Monogram took over and kicked away around the turn and Yellen followed her through to chase. Defrost My Heart was still there while Yulong Baby was under heavy pressure  in the second half. Monogram had the perfect run and was untroubled in beating the fast finishing Miss Maggiebeelwho edged out Defrost My Heart for second. Forever True and Yulong Baby were next, the latter never travelled. Yellen might be at the end of her preparation as she had every chance.

Follow: Defrost My Heart was only second-up and her effort was solid.

Race 2: Hille’s Home Extensions Handicap (1200m)

1st Snoopy – Dylan Dunn
2nd Challenge Accepted – Luke Currie
3rd Danuki – Mark Zahra

Snoopy was one of the best out but was taken on by Downhearted three out and Street PrideDanuki tucked in for a trail around Tri Harda. Downhearted crossed to the fence to lead and Snoopy tried to keep his spot one off the fence to avoid a pocket. Irish Saturday copped a bit of a check and lost ground. Street Pride was forced to cover ground when Snoopy stayed off the inside. Downhearted was the first horse beaten and on the turn Snoopy and Danuki swept up to challenge Street Pride.Inner Circle was battling in behind them and Challenge Accepted wound up strongly from the back after missing the start. Snoopy dug in when it counted and surged away in the last 200m for a very impressive win. Danuki battled on but Challenge Accepted finished off very strongly late to grab second and behind them Inner Circle didn’t do much but managed fourth. Snoopy is a Group 2 or 3 horse up to 1400m and will be competitive at that level.

Follow: stick with Snoopy, nice run from Challenge Accepted and he can win in town.

Race 3: Cube Finance Handicap (1200m)

1st Choose – Ben Thompson
2nd Our Harmony – Jake Bayliss
3rd Mrs President – Katelyn Mallyon

Calaverite gathered speed to lead with Choose landing right on her outside. Celeritas had the box seat and Grand Gallop was up handy. A line of three next as Our Harmony tracked wide around Herstory and Miss Steele between them. Calaverite seemed to do it pretty well and had Choose being niggled at a fair way from home. Grand Gallop couldn’t match her either. Celeritas waited while Our Harmony slid up four deep to get into the race. Calaverite didn’t offer much of a kick, though, and Choose went straight past her at the 200m. Celeritas was one paced when into the clear and Our Harmony ran on gamely. But Choose sprinted clear and it looked quite soft on the line. Our Harmony kept coming into second and Mrs President launched from the back into third in a nice first-up effort considering she didn’t settle early. Miss Steele ran on without threatening and Celeritas had every chance. No excuses for Calaverite who had a nice run in front.

Follow: Mrs President is eligible for easier and she ran well.

Race 4: WT Partnership Handicap (2040m)

1st Flying Light – Dylan Dunn
2nd O’Lonera – Nick Hall
3rd Zandarral – Ben Melham

Flying Light and Zandarral jumped best with Flying Light holding the lead. Infinite Reign pushed on with Spirited Characterwider and O’Lonera was up handy in that bunch. Tossilini had the leader’s back and they were stacked up behind a moderate tempo. O’Lonera tried to force the issue a bit to get over and he moved outside Flying Light who kicked up to retain the fence. Spirited Character dropped in to a trail as they strung out a little. Tossilini held his spot and Teoflyte improved to have his back on the inside of Infinite Reign. Zandarral was shuffled back in the ruck behind them. Flying Light still travelled well and he started to click up inside the 600m. O’Lonera stuck with him but under pressure and they again slipped away from the chasers headed by Tossilini and Zandarral getting underneath everything. Flying Light established a break early in the straight and while he’d had enough on the line he posted an overdue win. O’Lonera didn’t give it up despite wanting to duck in and he probably should have won given the harder run while Zandarral poked through for a place from the fast-finishing Alamonteel andPoppiholla who both weren’t disgraced.

Follow: O’Lonera still has upside, Alamonteel and Poppiholla back in midweek company.

Race 5: 1Print Gold Star (1514m)

1st Burning Front – Brad Rawiller
2nd Khutulun – Ben Melham
3rd Del Prado – Damien Oliver

Del Prado was slow and settled last. Burning Front was untroubled in taking up the running from Tom Puss staying over a length away. Khutulun recovered from a slow start to move into third past Ten Goals. Del Prado passed Mister Miyagi on settling. Burning Front cruised along in front at his leisure then backed it off in the middle stages which flushed Ten Goals out three wide. Burning Front dashed again before the turn and kicked away from Tom Puss and Ten Goals. Khutulun continued to wait behind him and Del Prado had to make his run very wide and under pressure. Burning Front was over two clear of Khutulun by the time she past Tom Puss and by that stage Del Prado was over five lengths from the leader. Despite brushing the rail 150m out Burning Front was away and was never going to be beaten. Khutulun held second from Del Prado who made plenty of ground on her late and they spaced the rest. One horse race from the time the gates opened.

Follow: none.

Race 6: Campolina Handicap (2040m)

1st Wales – Steven King
2nd Use The Lot – Chris Symons
3rd Schockemohle – Daniel Stackhouse

Bullish Stock jumped poorly and crossed them at the tail. Use The Lot bounced quickly to lead Alrouz and Prima in a nice spot inside SchockemohleTucanchoo was caught wide so pushed forward to be closer to the speed and Rebel Rising followed.Wales settled in the second half. Tucanchoo eventually worked up to second outside Use The Lot and that left Rebel Rising without cover as they packed up in the middle stages. Use The Lot beat off Tucanchoo and Rebel Rising made his move with Wales pulling out wider. Prima was still there on the fence and Schockemohle followed Wales into the race. Bullish Stock was behind him but not travelling as well and the others were battling. Rebel Rising’s run had ended near the turn and Wales challenged Use The Lot with Schockemohle chiming in and they got away from the rest. Use The Lot was still fighting on but Wales just got the better of him in the last 50m. Schockemohle tried hard as well while Prima did a bit of good work late but after having a perfect run was still disappointing. Rebel Rising wasn’t disgraced after a wide run and Bullish Stock was gone as soon as the gates opened.

Follow: Schockemohle could pick up one of these races soon.

Race 7: Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m)

1st Holler – Craig Williams
2nd Churchill Dancer – Nick Hall
3rd Rebel Dane – Brenton Avdulla

Sirbible sprung out as usual and led with Holler who tagged him across. It Is Written let them go for a trail and Hucklebackwas able to get over from his awkward gate into a nice spot. Rebel Dane tracked him around Kievann. The next pair wereChurchill Dancer racing wide and Richie’s Vibe. Sirbible looked to over race badly in front with the head up and Holler was able to stalk him. It Is Written also had the head up and a move came from Churchill Dancer who slipped around them wide and that flushed Rebel Dane out while Hucklebuck was held together. Trust In A Gust was tracking up nicely in the four wide line with Rageese inside him. Sirbible was in trouble well before the turn and Holler stared him down. Rebel Dane edged closer with Churchill Dancer wider out while Hucklebuck was following Holler. There was something left in the tank with Holler and he held about a length on the chasers all the way home. Churchill Dancer did a huge job to run second and Rebel Dane, who had every chance but isn’t able to sustain long runs, just edged Hucklebuck out of a place. It Is Written wasn’t far off and Trust In A Gust ran on okay first-up. Disappointment was Rageese who we was never a hope while Mourinho found the line well enough late from well back.

Follow: Trust In A Gust and Hucklebuck were both off long breaks and ran very well.

Race 8: Browns Sawdust & Shavings (1000m)

1st Runsati – Linda Meech
2nd Beau Rada – Jamie Mott
3rd Trevinder – Chris Symons

Runsati had superior speed and led with Shakespearean Lass following him over. Canali was caught wide as Beau Rada andRoll The Ignition improved along the inside. Midfield was Bawcatme with Pathways. Shakespearean Lass was the first to be felt for and Runsati was still cruising. Beau Rada came out to challenge nearing the turn while Roll The Ignition waited but was being ridden up. Bawcatme worked to the outside and made his run with Trevinder wide out and Pathways weaving through. But Runsati broke clear and was too quick for them. A wall chasing lined up for the minors Beau Rada worried Shakespearean Lass out of second then Trevinder denied her third place as well. Close up in the bunch were Bawcatme, Pathways and Ready Sunshine who ran on from well back but without ever looking likely. Roll The Ignition disappointed. The winner was simply too fast.

Follow: none.

Race 9: Benchmark 84 Handicap (1600m)

1st Tuff Host – Daniel Stackhouse
2nd Volcanic Ash – Miichael Dee
3rd Pin Your Hopes – Damian Lane

Prepee was ridden with some urgency to lead but couldn’t hold out LeveractionVolcanic Ash landed behind them with a couple to Rationality getting into a trail. Tuff Host and Orion were midfield and Pin Your Hopes with Abbasso followed. Leveraction had Volcanic Ash stalking him as Prepee took the trail while Rationality was being heeled along to keep up. Prepee, Tuff Host and Orion were all under pressure as well coming to the turn. Volcanic Ash raced past Leveraction about 300m out and went for home. Rationality wasn’t going to get him as she was under the whip and Tuff Host came around her to chase. Nothing else was making ground. Volcanic Ash was all out with about 100m to go and Tuff Host had the last shot at him, he finished the best to score. Volcanic Ash had his chance and he doesn’t seem to quite get a mile based on this. Pin Your Hopes and Abbasso ran on nicely from the second half while Rationality couldn’t have had a better run. Koroibete made some late ground again as he did when resuming.

Follow: Abbasso and Pin Your Hopes were both nice second-up efforts.

Specials from the meeting: Defrost My Heart, Schockemohle, Trust In A Gust, O’Lonera.


Jon Roberts has spent the best part of a decade fine-tuning his approach to the biggest betting market in the world – the English Premier League.

He’s combined an extensive stats and trends database with a passion for the game, meticulous record-keeping and a willingness to go against the consensus.

Jon is on the podcast this week to explain how he has a very profitable edge betting the world game.

Punting Insights

  • How he combines both quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Where there are gaps in the market on a conistent basis
  • The types of stats he considers important
  • How he tries to maximise his returns

Today’s Guest:
Jon Roberts

>> Click here to read the transcript

Dave Duffield: Good day Jon, thanks for joining us. I wanted to get you on to talk about Football Advisor and then Champion. Just in case people don’t know much about your background just run the guys through it.

Jon Roberts: Yeah sure. I guess from a broader perspective I’ve worked in a number of start-ups over the last 15 years all around the digital marketing space but I had a strong passion for sports betting and particularly football. And that’s been sort of the semi serious over the last 8 to 9 years. I think at times there’s a lot of similarities I guess in terms of the start ups I’ve worked in and my approach to betting. You know, you’re looking for disruptions and gaps in the market. Very analytical, I think there’s been times where the betting’s paid for me working the start ups and vice versa.
But certainly over the last couple of years it’s been becoming increasingly moving towards being the sole source of income which it is now. And the last couple of years we’ve been running the Football Advisor website with great success for our UK audience and it’s really exciting to be partnering up with you, Dave and Champion Picks and bring it to a broader audience.

Dave Duffield: Yeah, so we’ll touch on that a bit later on but to run people through the way you go about coming up with your selections because you’re focusing on what should be pretty efficient markets being the English Premier League and Championship, some of the big leagues in Spain and Italy and places like that. What’s your process in working out whether you’re going to have a bet?

Jon Roberts: As we’ve talked a lot about how I work out I’d say it’s a little bit quasi quantitative/qualitative analysis,. I’ve got my own database of football statistics and results that go back more than 10 years.
I’ve got a naturally analytical mind and I do like playing with the numbers but often it can come down to that initial experience or that initial instinct. Even now I can take a quick look through a coupon and spot one or two where I think the bookies have probably got it wrong and then I’ve also got to weigh and use my statistical analysis to build odds models to compare it to see perceived value then that becomes a play.
But I also use what I’ve dubbed sentiment analysis and it’s quite a hard one to sort of explain. I guess it’s a combination of experience, instinct and looking at what information is available around each of these matches and try and separate what’s useful information and what’s not and then using that form an opinion for a go on a bet.

Dave Duffield: So maybe you want to expand on the sentiment analysis. I know you read various reports and try to get a feel for the way the market is. But are you going against that as often as you’re going for it?

Jon Roberts: Yeah I think more often than not we’re probably going against it, but I think in any form of betting and in fact anything in life if you find yourself too often on the popular side of opinion then you’ve probably not got an opinion at all.
So you look at it and a lot of statistics can be banded around and are often used to justify an opinion. So we look at it really to see whether it’s actually a valuable statistic that actually has meaning to the result of what we’re looking at or whether it’s just something that’s being used to fit the narrative of that particular article. And I think I really looked to sort of strip that away and look for some things that actually have actionable insight rather than just it sounds good on a blog post.

Dave Duffield: So this confirmation bias you’ve spoken about a bit, it sounds like you think that applies for a number of people where they’re looking for reasons to justify having that bet?

Jon Roberts: Absolutely, yeah. It’s a much more technical term you used there Dave. I used a lot of words but I should have started with that one.

Dave Duffield: You mentioned that you’re looking at the odds available and whether they’re basically an ‘overlay’ in our language. What comes first, again in our language, are you doing the form before you look at the odds available or does it come the other way around?

Jon Roberts: Yeah like I said it varies and often I’ll have to get into some part of consuming football related information for 3 to 5 hours a day, both through the purposeful exercise of actively working on our statistics and just for the pure enjoyment of it.
But normally through then, even 4 or 5 days even before the matches are starting, I’ve probably just gone through the coupons, the fixtures ahead and just made notes of teams that look interesting purely on paper in terms of where their odds are at, who’s playing and sort of building a picture of the matches I’m going to be interested in taking a closer look at. I think there’s football pretty much every day of the week now and pretty much every day of the year as well.
And I think that if you try and analyse every single one of those games, you won’t do it properly or you won’t do it in time. So I’m always sort of building up a picture of the matches where I think it’s going to be interesting or based off previous bets we’ve had or matches that we’ve analysed and if the play we made didn’t quite come off but we think it’s something that’s a growing trend or the market hasn’t quite sort of caught on to the changing form of that team. But I’ll know which teams I’m looking to follow during a certain period.

Dave Duffield: What kind of stats do you consider most important when you’re going through and basically doing the form for an upcoming game? What is important to you?

Jon Roberts: Yeah, that’s a good question. I put a lot of stock behind…I think it’s about a third of our bets are through the Asian handicap markets and so we look a lot at sort of goal ratio, supremacy, shots for teams and then just general form bias, statistics in terms whether we think the form is going to continue or confirmation bias sort of looking at teams where I think people were expecting the team to be underperforming but our statistical records show that they were on the rise and they’re probably one or two matches from actually hitting form. So it’s really sort of run on performance metrics such as shots, goal supremacy, how they’re performing against handicaps, underlying form issues which sort of my IP.

Dave Duffield: That all makes sense to me. How much of it is the actual result of the game? A lot of people work out whether they won or they lost and it doesn’t matter whether they’ve had twice as many shots or anything like that. Soccer being a low scoring game, how do you include that as a part of your process?

Jon Roberts: I think there’s no one metric that we’re forever married to and I think although we are always looking at various statistical angles within this. I still put a lot of it down to my own instinct, my own experience of doing this, you know, betting on these matches for the last 15 years and seriously properly for the last 8 or 9 years.
You can look at statistics and form any form of opinion but there’s always a selection for the bets I’ll be putting forward. Some will be more numbers based or statistics based and others will be solely instinct and I think that aligns us to if one area is not quite in the form then other selection criteria is picking up the bat as it were.

Dave Duffield: So how do you find an edge? How do you maintain that? Because some of the big boys in betting syndicates in this type of market, say English Premier League, they’re 1 or 2 percent ROI and are betting big and making good returns out of it. Your results are far and existent that so in broad terms, I don’t know how deep you can go but how do you achieve such strong results?

Jon Roberts: I think there’s quite a true fact there and the two that I’ll particularly highlight here is that I’m meticulous with my record keeping and members will see this as well in terms of, I keep an accurate record not just the bets placed but in terms of the competitions, I can tell you how many bets we’ve placed on any given team throughout all the leagues we’ve bet on the market type.
So I’m always sort of looking at a sort of 6 week sort of runway. We started hits a bit in form looking back and I started to overcompensate on certain markets or I overcompensated on certain teams. Overall I’m always looking at sort of where I need to recalibrate or readjust my edge. The only thing I think would put myself apart from the market is that we’re not afraid to go after quite a broad range in terms of prices and markets we look at as well.
From what I’ve been told about the people within the industry are at their jobs for bets for the last 2 years, it’s been around about $4.70 to $5 and I think it’s very rare to see a football service or a football tipster, even the pro punters in that price bracket. And I think we will look at those markets and then see where it’s going to be greater value in some of the other available markets, particularly in the Asian handicaps.

Dave Duffield: So instead of, say taking a team plus a half, you might have them, just to put words in your mouth but it might be half time/ full time. It’s probably a good time to chat about a bet that you had on Sunderland, you attacked it in a few different ways.

Jon Roberts: Yeah, I think the Sunderland match is a very interesting one. Firstly, if you actually take Swansea as the opposition, someone they were playing last night. We’d already tipped them off about a week ago at about #4.20 as sort of an outsider bet for relegations. Considering if you go back to 6 or 12 months ago they’re sort of a poster child team for how you should run a football club. You know, they’ve had great success, they play great football they’ve done it on a budget, they’re everyone’s sort of second team but something is going on internally within them as a club.
And I’ve heard different reports that there’s sort of power struggles within the club which would result in their manager moving on then they had quite a bit of a debacle in terms of the replacement of the manager they’re now keeping the caretaker to the end of the season despite the fact that results actually haven’t picked up since they got rid of Monk. It’s got all those early hallmarks of a team or a club that’s got some internal issues going on. So that already puts them as sort of a team I’m quite comfortable with opposing for the coming weeks.
It’s Sunderland and not many people would have probably been picking up Sunderland and putting it on the consistently worse performing teams over the last 4 or 5 years or with relegation. There’s been signs in our minds in terms of their recovery Jermain Defoe sort of coming back to form, you know Big Sam always has a factor and instinct too is looking at the prices. I think they first came on the market around$ 5.75, we got in at$ 5.50. You know, that playing a team that’s one place above then 4 points above them, the prices in our database they should have been around $3.80 to$ 4.20. Already we’re seeing a pretty decent value play and if you look at other markets I think the bookies actually had a pretty bad week. They had Newcastle priced over $5 at home to Manchester United which we took some good profits away from.
We didn’t follow this one but Leicseter were a similar price to Sunderland and just another example of the bookies underplaying them.
And certainly when we looked at those three markets, Sunderland should have been much closer in the odds and we were happy to play that pretty hard. So we structured our bets to really push on the Asian handicap so we could actually get Sunderland with a goal headstart so we pretty much would have won our money win or draw and had greater odds than evens. We then staked a small amount in terms of the win bet as well at $5.50 and then I guess where it really came into its own and this is something that we did on a frequent basis, that we actually really had a good think about how the match might play out.
And it’s one thing to think whether a team’s going to win but we actually thought if Sunderland do go ahead, Swansea is the type of team at the moment where their heads might drop form and slip a little bit. So it’s probably just as good a chance of it being a victory by 2 clear goals as it would be a 1. So we were obviously keen on that at about $14 which thanks to Jermain completing a hat trick about with a few minutes to go was very good across the board.

Dave Duffield: So that was a nice winner overnight or first thing this morning. You also don’t mind the occasional English terminology and I should point out that you’re actually city-based despite the accent. We call them multi you call them acca

Jon Roberts: Yes. Ask pretty much anyone, even sort of the bookies bets the tax we give them back. But I don’t agree to that if you’re going out there looking to get your big win. They’re very far between but it’s something that I believe I’ve perfected a strategy that allows us to collect reasonable odds and on a frequent basis. Again, that actually counts for around about 10-15% of the total bets we’ve played but it’s actually given about 26.5% ROI over the last few years. What we do is what I call an anchor bet this is where we’re really looking at one or two teams where we’re pretty strong that they’re going to win. Sometimes it’s above even, sometimes it’s below even.
And then we’re mixing one or two sort of values and teams which we think are stronger fancies so we don’t have them every week. And last night we did actually play that, we had Stokes with Sunderland and just to prove we don’t win every bet Chelsea were the only one to actually let us down on that anchor bet but our anchor bet was probably Stoke and Chelsea abd Sunderland were put in to give us the enhanced odds which would have been about just another 20 to 1 payout but it’s that kind of bet that we know we won’t win every one. I think we win around about 1 in 4, just under 1 in 4 of those but playing that way it certainly makes a good enhanced profit channel for us.

Dave Duffield: So speaking of bookies one of the challenges for most Aussie punters is just getting a bet on and all the limits that we come across at various corporates. One of the benefits of these markets is you can bet, depending on which bookie you’re funded with, you can bet in decent amounts. There’s no problems with liquidity.

Jon Roberts: Yeah most of the markets we’re playing are pretty high volume markets. There shouldn’t be too many restrictions. The key thing would be to followers to make sure that they’ve got one or two of the bookies that cover the Asian handicaps on a regular basis. You know people like SportsBet for example have the soccer the markets and then frustratingly don’t have them for others or they’ll decide which Asian handicaps they’re going to make available and it may not necessarily be the one that we want. But Bet 365 which is obviously available here now is good and they don’t always have the best possible price but they always have the market coverage which is good. Unibet, I believe are here locally as well known and things that William Hill and Luxbet have them from time to time.
The good thing for the folks here and actually one of the problems in the UK is the number of the international bookmakers and I’ll sort of call out Pinnacle, 10 bet and SBO bet here. And particularly Pinnacle are number one in terms of the value for the point and extension of markets. They actually advertise they’re not afraid of…they quite welcome winners on board so there’s very little chance of getting restrictions there and I bet it is available for Aussie players.
A lot of these guys don’t actually offer those markets now to the UK audience because of the changes in the on-shore tax requirements. So in a lot of ways the guys here should be able to get access to better value bookies and also grow into having a better account has been quite key as well. They often will have a lot of the Asian handicap markets to be won and some good prices on some of the more space selections that we have.

Dave Duffield: And Pinnacle for sure, they’re definitely one of the best and we’ll link out to a few of those in the show notes. So the reason I wanted to get you on was obviously an 18 month track record is very strong and you’re the type of person we want to partner up with.
So for Champion Picks we’ve had a really strong racing and harness offering for quite some time. We wanted to expand on the sporting side and there aren’t many bigger sports outside of what we’re talking about here and your record’s fantastic.
So basically as of now, partnering up, it’ll be around about 5 o’clock each day, each betting day which is at least half the week. The bets will go out so there’s plenty of time to get the bets on. It’ll be really clear as to how much to stake based on 100 unit bank and as long as you’re funded with at least a couple of bookmakers it’ll be pretty easy to get your bets on. So welcome aboard and all you need to do is maintain 20% plus ROI that you’ve been doing!

Jon Roberts: I’ll certainly endeavour to. I think over the last 8-9 years I’ve consistently been between 10 and 15% as a baseline and the last couple years could have been doing above 20% so I’m really excited to be part of the team here, really looking forward to getting to know some of the members. And we’ll obviously do some webinar and things in the coming weeks and really excited to be on board and hope we’ll being some more winners in like we did last night.

Dave Duffield: Excellent. Well thanks for joining us today. As for the members we’ll definitely put together some other FAQ’s, podcasts, webinars, whatever’s going to be needed to get people up to speed. We’ll handle that, you’ll handle the winners and we look forward to working together so thanks very much for coming on the show.

Jon Roberts: Great. Thanks for having me.

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Randwick/Flemington Reviews

by Champion Picks on January 17, 2016



1st SNIPPETS LAND – Winona Costin (a1.5)
2nd MARENOSTRO – Taylor Marshall (a2)
3rd SLOW PACE – Tommy Berry

Great Esteem looked restless in the gates and caused a bit of commotion at the jump, and then charged out early.  He was joined by Marenostro coming across to battle for the lead as Avdulla on Great Esteem collared his mount and settled him.  Both leaders were slowed to set a strolling pace with Monton settling in behind.  Slow Pace and Snippets Land found themselves some four lengths further back, but were quick to make it up and form a pack due to the lack of speed.

Monton looked comfortable despite pulling slightly, and was brought away from the fence and asked the question as they straightened – with np response.  Marenostro brushed off the uncompetitive Great Esteem to maintain the front, with both backmarkers punching forward at this point to make the challenge. Snippet’s Land has the superior pace with Marenastro hanging on for second from a fast finishing Slow Pace.

Watch: Snippets Land, Slow Pace


1st TESSERA – James McDonald
2nd MY COUNTRY – Winona Costin (a1.5)
3rd CANNY ROCKET – Tye Angland

Favourite Mount Panorama well and truly missed the start to hang back last. Tessara probably jumped best and looked to lead, joined by Serenasphere from outside, and Mandalong Belle who rushed up to join them.  Canny Rocket tucked in behind the leaders, along with Miss Ballanytne on the fence as the pace slowed.  Mount Panorama stayed back and hugged the rail waiting for any luck to appear.

Round the turn and Tessera maintained the lead with McDonald still holding tightly.  Mount Panorama moved slightly up the inside whilst Kings of Leon went in the other direction almost into the grandstand, and never recovered.  McDonald eventually woke Tessera up as he faced challenges from Canny Rocket on the inside – only briefly – and My Country flying on the outside, showing a superior turn of foot from well back.  The pursuer well and truly laid down the challenge but Tessera proved too strong with McDonald providing a fine ride.

Follow: My Country


1st SELITA – Hugh Bowman
2nd MISS ROYALE – Andrew Adkins (a3)
3rd IN A WINK – Samantha Clenton (a2)

Small field was caught fairly well by the starter, with favorite Miss Royale notably caught wide as Bowman took up the lead on Selita.  Tempo was slow which Miss Royale didn’t seem to appreciate, Adkins having a hard time getting her to adjust.  She eventually settled on the outside of In a Wink, who looked comfortable on the rail.

Bowman took Selita well off the fence as they straightened, with the rank outsider Youiz Jane following but unable to compete.  In a Wink stayed inside and ran on decently, briefly challenging before dropping off.  Miss Royale was widest and gave a spirited chase, but Bowman on Selita kept his mount ahead to hold on for a narrow victory.

Follow: none


1st LOOPHOLE – Glyn Schofield
2nd DANCE OF HEROES – James McDonald
3rd MORAL VICTORY – Hugh Bowman

Moral Victory was pushed out of the gates to lead, with Celestial Sky and Emerald City making an effort to get to the front from out wide, and Loophole and Banksters Bonus held right back.  Celestial Sky wasted no time taking up the lead, without quarrel from Moral Victory who seemed content to sit in with cover.  The pace then slowed to a crawl which didn’t suit Dance of Heroes, McDonald booting his mount forward from well back to sit just off Celestial Sky.  Meanwhile, Emerald City continued the crawl and was content to drop well back alongside Loophole.

They rounded the home turn with the notable mover Bowman on Moral Victory, shifting out to find some clear air.  Emerald City looked to need a fair bit of waking up from Collett before eventually responding and making a run – but also towing Loophole up to the action as Dance of Heroes continued to cling on from Moral Victory.  Loophole eventually went past them both with a superior turn of foot, Schofield timing his run nicely.   Emerald City couldn’t go with the winner.

Follow: Loophole


1st HERMOSA BEACH – Brenton Avdulla
2nd RED HOT DANE – James Innes Jnr (a3)
3rd ANOTHER VALLEY – Andrew Adkins (a3)

Favourite Hermosa Beach missed the start and fell out last, but Avdulla understandably wasted no time trying to recover position and pushed up through the backmarkers.  Sir Hagrid took the early lead from Showmore, with Vee Eight Sixty out wider making a concerted effort to join them.  Hermosa Beach eventually camped back in the pack as Sir Hagrid continued to drive hard despite some effort at restraint from Clenton, eventually slowing a touch to be joined by Vee Eight Sixty with a gap to the rest.

As the pair took a short breather around the turn, a wall of horses moved out wider led by Starshaft, with Hermosa Beach caught behind them all.  The lead closed as the favourite found some clear air ahead, which was all that was needed, justifying the punters’ faith to lope home comfortably.  Red Hot Dane was the best of the rest with a strong finish down the outside of the winner, with the backmarkers completely swamping those who made the running.

Follow: Red Hot Dane


1st RIVER WILD – Tommy Berry
2nd PAINTED FIRETAIL – James McDonald
3rd STRAVIGO – Koby Jennings (a3)

River Wild and Wide Acclaim jumped best from the gate, the latter being shifted straight back as Cruise Power took up the lead and bolted away to open up a two length lead on the chasing pack.  Adkins then immediately pulled him up and allowed that lead to close whilst still dictating terms and holding the rail position around the turn.  Also on the fence but well back was McDonald on the favourite Painted Firetail, looking for a run which wouldn’t eventuate until he some room in the straight.

Berry on River Wild established best position out of the turn, leading the bunch in pursuit of the leader, but he didn’t really wake up until Stravigo pulled up and joined him to lay down the challenge.  River Wild responded well to shake him off and kick on to take the honours, as the favourite Painted Fireball found his way through to be next home.

Follow: none


1st BOSS LANE – Andrew Adkins (a3)
2nd GOJO MIMO – Jason Collett
3rd BIG MONEY – Koby Jennings (a3)

Starter caught them well with Gojo Mimo on the outside the best of them to take up the early running.  Next was Bib Money drawing through on the rail, with Diamond Oasis behind with cover, and Boss Lane purposefully allowed to tail the field.

Out of the turn and the first challenge came from Big Money, however it was to be short lived as Boss Lane had found his way back to the fence, and used it to shoot up inside them both and cruise past them with ease to take the line, the first winner of the day on the rails.

Follow: none

Race 8 – PINGTAN CUP (1400m)

1st ROARING TO WIN – Winona Costin (a1.5)
2nd LUNAR RISE – Glyn Schofield
3rd RANDIKI – Chris O’Brien

Very good line out of the gates with Kurtley the best, coming from the outside to take up the early lead from Liberty’s Choice, who looked comfortable on the rail.  They spread right out with around twelve lengths covering the field as they moved around the first turn, with the favourite Tree of Jesse one of the backmarkers.

That favourite was hugely underwhelming and never fired a shot, as the leaders were swallowed up by Lunar Rise and Roaring to Win, the two racing away to contest for the win.  Roaring to Win was far too strong and ran on for a comfortable and dominant 2.5 length win.

Follow: Roaring to Win with the commanding victory


1st PIAMIMI – Adam Sewell (a3)
2nd MAGICAL STANCE Andrew Adkins (a3)
3rd GOT UNDERS – Lester Grace (a2)

Magical Stance and Scottish Border were the notable dawdlers out of the barrier, with Got Unders first to take up the lead at the other end of the field.  Grace held that lead and slowed the pace for the field, and provided cover predominantly for Cabeza De Vaca.

Another Cocktail was widest around the turn for Bowman, and he immediately got to work and looked to make his run – only to be swamped in turn from his outside by Piamimi, who came from well back to bolt down the centre of the track. Across on the other flank, Magical Stance had found the lead up the inside, swatting aside Got Under to make claim.  It was only slightly mistimed as Piamimi kept coming down the outside to claim the lead and salute – by the narrowest of margins.

Follow: none



Race 1: Better Beyond Plate

1st Lessyd – Craig Williams
2nd Hey Doc – Luke Currie
3rd Moshway – Mark Zahra

Bunched field with Moshway on the rail and Hey Doc and Climate sharing the lead. Unresolved and Sprung Dancing settled behind them while further out Queen Magdalene and Lessyd weren’t far away, though Queen Magdalene was under pressure early on. Bringaroochecked off heels and came to the outside. Moshway and Hey Doc looked to have the better of Climate at the 300m but Lessyd was also chiming in wider out. That quartet edged away from the rest of the field headed by Queen Magdalene wanting to run in and Bringaroo who was very green. Hey Doc claimed the lead near the 100m and was holding Moshway as Lessyd started to warm up and Lessyd finished the race off just a little bit better to beat his stablemate Hey Doc and a game Moshway. Considering they did a lot wrong Queen Magdalene and Bringaroo did a pretty good job to not be beaten that far.

Follow: doesn’t look a strong race so take the form on face value.

Race 2: owner.racing.com Handicap (1400m)

1st Miss Softhands – Damien Oliver
2nd Whistle Baby – Chris Symons
3rd Vital Importance – Chris Parnham

A few of them wanted the lead before Written and Domino Vitale won out. Whistle Baby and Blendwell eventually let them go and Miss Softhands found a nice spot behind them. Boundary found herself three wide. Dig A Pony was worse than midfield with Iteration, who was a shade slow away, and Vital Importance either side. Written was held together into the straight and challenged by Domino Vitale 400m out. Blendwell loomed three wide and Whistle Baby was banking on an inside run. Miss Softhands waited in behind them. A gap opened up for Miss Softhands soon after and she set out after Domino Vitale. Whistle Baby was presented with an inside run and she chimed in while down the outside Boundary and Vital Importance were winding up. Miss Softhands gained the upper hand late and made it a hat-trick this time in. She’s racing in great form. Whistle Baby did have every chance and ran well while Vital Importance showed she’ll measure up in mares company in Melbourne with a nice closing effort. Boundary and Dig A Pony were behind them but both are notoriously hard to catch. Iteration was very plain first-up after trialling well.

Follow: Vital Importance in races around a mile.

Race 3: Seascay Handicap (1400m)

1st Pattern – Michelle Payne
2nd Niccoco – Luke Currie
3rd Lahqa – Tom Marquand

Tyrannize worked his way to the lead with Chamarel outside him and over racing a little. Shining Star and Lahqa were looking for spot  next and Niccoco was in that bunch. Pattern found himself three wide but with cover. Twisting Typhoon landed on his back aroundRecalcitrata and Chiatorio. Tyrannize had an uncontested lead into the straight until Lahqa strode up around a struggling Chamarel to give chase. Niccoco was winding up further out and Pattern and Twisting Typhoon came off their respective backs to try to make ground. Tyrannize had a good kick and was still in front past the clock tower  but the chasers were closing. Niccoco stuck his head in front but Pattern had the last shot at him and finished best with something in hand. Lahqa ran his usual honest race and Tyrannize was game though did have a nice run in front. They got away from Twisting Typhoon, who wasn’t able to  match them and appeared to have his chance. Considering the trend of the day was for on-pacers to do well the win of Pattern was outstanding and he’s a horse with a future.

Follow: Pattern looks promising.

Race 4: Rain Lover Handicap (2500m)

1st Lucques – Damien Oliver
2nd Quick Strike – Brad Rawiller
3rd Danjeu – Craig Williams

Leica Day somewhat surprisingly took up the running after jumping well and Treasure Map came across to sit outside. Purple Smile lands in the box seat with Lucques up handy and the stablemates Quick Strike and Danjeu around midfield. A midrace move came fromNippinski who worked up into second place by the 1200m but Leica Day held the lead. However, Nippinski  prevented Leica Day from getting it too easily and as he was dropping off Lucques made a move getting around him. Danjeu worked his way through the field quite nicely following Lucqes while Quick Strike found himself shuffled back a little. Leica Day was a spent force at the 400m and Lucques swept past him with Danjeu. Quick Strike was winding up a couple of lengths back and closing in while nothing else was any chance. Danjeu definitely headed Lucques around 200m out and Quick Strike was looking his big danger. But Lucques had something left and he kicked back to regain the lead in the closing stages and outstayed Quick Strike and Danjeu. They were a furlong in front of Purple Smile who was shoved back to last on the turn but made good ground. Renew ran on but also a long way from them. Leica Day disappointed, perhaps he doesn’t get the trip but he was pestered in front.

Follow: none, they take turns.

Race 5: Mitty’s Racing Colours Handicap (1200m)

1st Duibio – Nick Hall
2nd Boomwaa – Michael Dee
3rd Not A Happy Camper – Katelyn Mallyon

A wall of them down the straight and Bawcatme probably held the lead with Sir Mask on his inside, Star StealerNot A Happy Camper,Samartested and Boomwaa all in a line. Barcode was hard up against the rail and Cyclone Andy was in the group. Bawcatme still had the lead coming to the 300m though wider out they were starting in close and Not A Happy Camper and Boomwaa were the main contenders. Samartested was still there battling and Judges weaved through looking a chance. Not A Happy Camper found the lead at the 100m and just as it looked like Boomwaa was going to grab her and win Duibio burst through underneath them coming from well back to score running away. Boomwaa did get the better of Not A Happy Camper. Judges and Bawcatme battled on behind the placings. Those right out wide didn’t come into the race at all and the likes of Star Stealer was disappointing after not finishing the race off as expected. Good performance by the winner to give away a big start and run them down. Overall though a messy race and one to be wary of form wise.

Follow: none, happy to throw the form guide away from this race.

Race 6: Inglis Dash (1100m)

1st Hellbent – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Mossin’ Around  – Craig Williams
3rd Geoff – Matthew Allen

The Big Dance showed her customary speed to lead Mossin’ Around  who followed her near the inside. Bitburg sat up handy with Beyond Purple on his back and Apriano striding up wider out. Hellbent took some cover and Gold Symphony settled near the fence midfield. Past the 400m Mossin’ Around got up underneath The Big Dance to take over and was looking good. Bitburg and Apriano couldn’t match her but Hellbent was under a hold easing to the outside. Tokyo Tycoon and Geoff were the widest running on. Mossin’ Around went for home but had no answer to Hellbent who took over 100m out and  edged away for a strong win, really reacting to the blinkers. Big gap to Geoff getting home nicely down the outside. Tokyo Tycoon and Gold Symphony hit the line together in fourth, the latter just a fair run first-up and he’ll need to improve a heap if he’s going to be a Guineas horse. Beyond Purple performed okay to be a head or so off him. Bear in mind this was a sales restricted race though the first two look pretty smart.

Follow: stick with Hellbent and Mossin’ Around.

Race 7: Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m)

1st Tudor – Darren Gauci
2nd Tried And Tired  – Mark Zahra
3rd Zupacharged – Harry Coffey

Tudor was ridden with purpose to lead and  was able to get there fairly easily. Tried And Tired and Decircles were handy as usual whileZupacharged found himself in a perfect spot with the distance increase. Dances On Stars sat midfield clear of General Groove andNoela’s Choice while Sarajevo was snagged out to last from the outside. Tudor just snuck away from Tried And Tired about 800m out and Decircles came off the fence to follow, as did Zupacharged. Dances On Stars was under pressure to keep up and Noela’s Choice swung the widest.  Tudor again found an extra length past the 400m and had them all chasing, in the process Decircles and Zupacharged found themselves about five lengths from the leader. Nothing else was running on. Tried And Tired was asked to really chase passing the 200m but could only get within about three quarters and Tudor held him easily. Zupacharged did make some ground on the first two into third but was never a winning chance and Dances On Stars kept going to finish next. Very much on pace dominated and a masterful front running ride from Darren Gauci to ensure Tudor ran 1400m out. Might be time to sack Sarajevo unless he can find some tactical speed.

Follow: none.

Race 8: Piping Lane Handicap (2000m)

1st Second Bullet – Damien Oliver
2nd Star Rolling – Dylan Dunn
3rd Faust – Craig Newitt

Inspector sprung out and went looking for the lead, finding it clear of Faust with Sabor A Triunfo getting up inside Oregon Spirit into a handy spot. Second Bullet was back better than midfield but when they slowed he whipped up to take up the running. Allergic and Star Rolling were back midfield with the former dropping back a little. Second Bullet relaxed in the lead and wasn’t tested. Faust moved to second as Inspector took a trail inside Oregon Spirit. Star Rolling was in the clear nest after the shuffle up. Faust was under pressure to star with Second Bullet coming around the turn and while he did stick on Second Bullet was still travelling easily and established a break 300m out. Inspector just battled, as did Oregon Spirit while Star Rolling started to run on. Allergic was in the clear too but a long way from them. Second Bullet was in a race of his own and he found four lengths at the 100m to easily account for Star Rolling. Faust clung on for third whileMetaphorical made a late dash at him. Inspector doesn’t run 2000m while Allergic was very plain after such a promising run behind the winner at their previous clash.

Follow: another on pace dominated race, Metaphorical back in mares grade could break through.

Race 9: Tauto Handicap (1000m)

1st Bullpit – Craig Williams
2nd Pink Perfection – Regan Bayliss
3rd Nadeem Lass – Matthew Allen

Pink Perfection jumped quickly and headed straight for the inside fence. Fab Fevola stayed in the middle of the track up handy as usual with Rough Justice and Bullpit further out. Belesron was following Rough Justice. The field was divided in three but the only horses in it were the leaders. Fab Fevola up the middle might have been narrowly ahead of Pink Perfection on the fence and Bullpit close to the outside rail. Rough Justice couldn’t go with them, which is unusual for him, and Belesron was also burnt off. Pink Perfection had Fab Fevola’s measure by the 200m then it was Bullpit looking dangerous out wide and it proved that way with Bullpit finishing it off a bit better to win clearly over Pink Perfection. Fab Fevola weakened and Nadeem Lass snuck up on the fence to snatch another placing. She was the only horse to make any significant ground.  The leading trio are all noted speedsters and the way the day panned out it suited them and they took the wind out of everything else.

Follow: sticking with Nadeem Lass each-way is always a good move.

Specials from the meeting: Vital Importance, Pattern, Metaphorical.


Caulfield review

by Champion Picks on January 10, 2016


Race 1: Louise Chapple Plate (1000m)

1st The Seductress – Jye McNeil
2nd Tokelau – Daniel Moor
3rd China Dream – Craig Newitt

Najmaat and The Seductress were the best out but couldn’t cross as Tokelau and Gatlinburg gathered pace. China Dream was stranded three deep and Mrs Martin followed him forward. Tokelau held them out and The Seductress sat on her outside. China Dream kept creeping on while Najmaat was being niggled at on the turn. Gatlinburg was already struggling at that point and Shadow Prince went by him. Najmaat was being held up for a run passing the 300m as Tokelau and The Seductress kicked away with China Dream still there and they were well clear of the remainder. The Seductress had the head in front 100m and just edged clear late. Tokelau stuck on very well as did China Dream who kept Najmaat out of a place. Running on from the back was Jackanory when the race was all over. Najmaat appeared to have every chance in the closing stages but wasn’t beaten far.

Follow: China Dream was excellent with a wide run and Jackanory hit the line nicely too.

Race 2: Chris Boothroyd Handicap (1600m)

1st Anaphora – Jye McNeil
2nd Yellen – Ben Melham
3rd Prepee – Cory Parish

Prepee bounded straight on the lead and was unchallenged early. Defrost My Heart sat up second around Kaniana and Yellenhad plenty of cover next. Anaphora followed and Lady Cumquat trailed them. Little to no change to the 600m with Kaniana the first to be pushed along. Prepee had them running along okay and the stayer Defrost My Heart was a bit flat footed. Yellen worked around her on the turn and Anaphora ran right up behind Defrost My Heart and into a pocket. Prepee had a good kick early in the straight and slipped away. Yellen was running on without dashing while Defrost My Heart caused all sorts of trouble for Anaphora who was trying to get through between her and Kaniana. Yellen looked to have Prepee covered at that stage but the leader wouldn’t surrender while Anaphora finally squeezed through and made a late dive between them to post a very game, and overdue, win. Yellen had every possible chance while Prepee ran out of her skin. Lady Cumquat ran on from last while Kaniana disappointed after a perfect run. Anaphora had no luck but was still far too good.

Follow: none.

Race 3: Summer Championship Heat (1800m)

1st Tashbeeh – Tom Marquand
2nd Radical – Regan Bayliss
3rd River’s Lane – Michael Dee

Patchy start and Master Reset was left in front with River’s Lane keeping him company. Kincaple Chief was stuck wide on a slow tempo so rushed around to take up the running. Tashbeeh wound up in the one-one with Radical on his inside and Hero Master at the back. Once Kincaple Chief found the lead here put the brakes on and there was no change until the 800m when Hero Master whipped around to third to try and get them moving. Tashbeeh let him go and continued to get good cover. Kincaple Chief was being pushed coming to the turn as River’s Lane strode alongside again and Hero Master kept his move going. Tashbeeh had to wait behind them while Radical was tracking his every move. River’s Lane grabbed Kincaple Chief on the turn but couldn’t get away from early on. Tashbeeh worked into the clear to his outside and Radical chimed in with his run wider out. Tashbeeh and Radical swept past River’s Lane 200m out and battled it out to the line with Tashbeeh keeping him to about a neck’s margin on the line. River’s Lane tipped Kincaple Chief out of a place but only about three lengths between the six runners.

Follow: Radical was only second-up and looks ready to win.

Race 4: Helen Cox Handicap (1800m)

1st Yulong Baby – Michael Dee
2nd Flying Light – Luke Currie
3rd Prima – Jake Bayliss

Tempered gathered pace from the inside to hold the lead over Praecereus. Bullish Stock had the box seat with Flying Lightoutside. Prima was trapped around them and improved into second going up the hill. Yulong Baby settled three back on the fence after easing from the outside alley. Tempered seemed to go along untroubled with Prima not pressuring but the tempo increased when Flying Light made a move before the 600m. Zandarral jumped onto his back for a cart home and they bunched right up with Yulong Baby relegated to last on the fence. Flying Light took over from Prima at the 300m while Tempered gave in quickly. Bullish Stock worked into the clear in plenty of time while Yulong Baby also found room getting to the extreme outside. Flying Light had trouble getting away from Prima as Yulong Baby started to wind up and he had no answer to her finish. Despite finding an awkward spot Yulong Baby was still too good and all honours to her. Flying Light ran another honest race while Prima was also game. Bullish Stock ran to about his level next.

Follow: stick with the winner.

Race 5: Jack Dunn Handicap (1200m)

1st Golden Spin – Tom Sadler
2nd He’s A Moral – Harry Coffey
3rd Magna Rossa – Katelyn Mallyon

Competitive early as Golden Spin tried to cross from the outside and eventually managed to find the fence. Magna Rossa was left three wide as Runson kicked up in the middle. He’s A Moral let them go and had the box seat inside Chase The Horizon. Golden Spin had Runson struggling coming to the home turn while Magna Rossa was still travelling okay wider out. He’s A Moral had to wait while Chase The Horizon was under pressure to pick them up and Land Of Freedom ran past him on the bend. Golden Spin went for home soon after and had a break on He’s A Moral left a bit flat but into the clear and Magna Rossa boxing on and nothing was making any impact from the back. They handed it to Golden Spin and he was far too quick in the last 600m. He’s A Moral had his chance while Magna Rossa was brave on the speed. Land Of Freedom worked home without threatening. The winner has put four on end and might be a handy type in the making.

Follow: outside the winner, forgive Magna Rossa.

Race 6: Timothy Rourke Handicap (1400m)

1st Jacqui’s Joy – Harry Coffey
2nd Majestic Lass – Ben Melham
3rd Egypt – James Winks

Single Note jumped well and went with Giggly early before the latter crossed to the lead. Majestic Lass was in the clear next. A gap to Jacqui’s Joy up a lot closer from a better gate and Egypt was with her. Tracking them were Devilishly and Drawn To You in what was a strung out field. Giggly was a clear leader mid race before Majestic Lass moved a bit closer around Single Note. Jacqui’s Joy also improved to track Majestic Lass everywhere while Egypt stayed a couple of lengths back. Giggly was a beaten horse on the turn and Majestic Lass and Jacqui’s Joy claimed her quickly, settling down to a two horse war from the 300m. Devilishly tried to run on wider out while Egypt and Single Note tried to rally. Majestic Lass had about a head on Jacqui’s Joy at the 100m but Jacqui’s Joy had something left and just got the better in the last few strides for her third straight win. A gap to Egypt just ahead of Single Note. Devilishly had her chance while Miss Clooney ran on when it was all over. The first two home had a bit on the rest of them.

Follow: Majestic Lass had a tougher run than the winner, look for her to atone.

Race 7: Ewen Stafford Handicap (1400m)

1st Fast Approaching – Nick Hall
2nd Baby Don’t Cry – Jason Benbow
3rd Tuff Host – Michael Dee

Fast Approaching beat them out but went looking for something to lead and The New Boy obliged. Oltre Finito made him work a bit to get to the front while Baby Don’t Cry landed in behind them. Rose Of Texas and Tuff Host settled a couple back and Bel Rhythm was around midfield. The New Boy strode out a couple clear of Oltre Finito mid race and that had Baby Don’t Cry under a bit of pressure to stay with them. Fast Approaching was still following his stablemate while Rose Of Texas was best of the rest chasing them. The New Boy had it to the 200m until Fast Approaching swept up, possibly a bit sooner than planned. Baby Don’t Cry rallied to go with him and that fired Fast Approaching up again and he forged clear late. Possibly her birthday here, as the runner-up was coming off being a beaten favourite in a weaker race, but a solid win. The New Boy weakened late and Tuff Host sailed down the outside to tip him out of third after looking to drop the bit on the turn. Rose Of Texas was close up and they got away from the rest headed by Koroibete making good late ground.

Follow: Tuff Host was only second-up and still has upside.

Race 8: Billie Swan Handicap (1200m)

1st Duke Of Brunswick – Nick Hall
2nd Nicoscene – Tom Sadler
3rd Taddei Tondo – Steven Arnold

Sandhill Flash made a dash for the lead from a wide gate and crossed Kievann and Nicoscene who eased to be third. Mighty Like was beaten for pace over the short trip and was next with Duke Of Brunswick recovering from a scratchy start. Mister Milton was stuck outside them while Herstory looked to be going a bit hard just off midfield. Sandhill Flash didn’t offer much resistance when Kievann challenged on the bend and Nicoscene loomed three out. Duke Of Brunswick was being pushed along at the 400m but started to warm up and he had them covered a long way from home. Mighty Like was in behind them and worked off the fence to run on. Duke Of Brunswick cruised to the lead inside the 200m and broke right away. Nicoscene was no match but staved the rest off for second and Taddei Tondo made a late burst to join and head Mister Milton and Mighty Like on the line. Herstory was quite disappointing considering her ability beating only one home.

Follow: none away from the winner, who had a bit on them.

Race 9: Summer Championship Heat (1600m)

1st Sadaqa – Ben Thompson
2nd Bass Strait – Ben Melham
3rd British General – Jess Payne

British General was ridden with purpose to lead and Sadaqa let him go with Commanding Time on their inside. Star Rollingwas up handy while Volcanic Ash was stranded three wide up the hill. Fast And Free improved after being a shade slow out to be between Ihtsahymn and Bass Strait. British General was largely left alone in the lead with Sadaqa happy to just track him. Volcanic Ash was still wide around Star Rolling and Commanding Time and trying to be held together. The bunched a little coming to the bend and British General was being challenged by Sadaqa and Star Rolling and that pushed Volcanic Ash four deep. Fast And Free was on his inside and Bass Strait pulled out to run on. Sadaqa made a dash for the line at the 200m but didn’t exactly sprint away. He did enough to just hold on from Bass Strait hitting the line well and British General kept boxing on top just hold third. Star Rolling and Volcanic Ash were right alongside him. Plenty of excuses for Volcanic Ash after a wide run at his first go at a mile.

Follow: stay with Volcanic Ash.

Specials from the meeting: Radical, Jackanory, Majestic Lass, Tuff Host.


Moonee Valley/Rosehill Reviews

by Champion Picks on January 3, 2016


Race 1: Benchmark 78 Handicap (1000m)

1st Heatherly – Damian Lane
2nd Conspicuous Maid – Michelle Payne
3rd Certain Ellie – Dwayne Dunn

Petite’s Reward made a beeline for the fence from a wide gate but was held off it by Heatherly booting through. Super Bryan eased out of that battle and Certain Ellie pressed on. Conspicuous Maid tried to get the back of Heatherly. Petite’s Reward was joined by Heatherly before the turn and the latter travelled by far the better. Certain Ellie got around Petite’s Reward to run on while Conspicuous Maid continued to improve behind Heatherly and ran to second at the 200m. But they were chasing in vain and Heatherly was far too strong, trotting in by a few lengths. Conspicuous Maid held off Certain Ellie for second while Bellomo ran one strongly wide out from last to be just behind them. Petite’s Reward cracked under the pressure this time.

Follow: Certain Ellie is eligible for easier races and she ran well here fresh.

Race 2: LF Sign Group Handicap (1600m)

1st Siegestor – Jye McNeil
2nd Marli Magic – Jess Payne
3rd Sadaqa – Damian Lane

Marli Magic made it across to the lead before the first turn and Sadaqa slid up to sit outside. Trade Commissioner landed in the box seat with Orion in a good spot outside him. Siegestor tracked that pair. Marli Magic didn’t break away this week and looked to control things about a length clear of Sadaqa to the 600m and about that point Orion moved three deep and they tried to go with the leader. Siegestor continued to follow Orion into the race and Azurite was on his back. Trade Commissioner waited behind the leader as they bunched up. Marli Magic had Sadaqa covered coming into the straight and Orion surprisingly dropped off. Siegestor swept around him with Azurite getting up underneath. Marli Magic looked to be holding them but in the last 50 Siegestor managed to reel her in to arrive in the last stride. Sadaqa ran his usual honest race for third and not a bad local debut from Azurite behind them. Orion had every chance and disappointed.

Follow: Azurite’s Australian debut was a promising one.

Race 3: Ranvet Handicap (1500m)

1st Young Nicola – Jye McNeil
2nd Darcy’s Law – Damian Lane
3rd Bet You She Rocks – Jordan Childs

Nobody seemed too keen to lead and Zambezi Diamond had the fence with Young Nicola sliding over and Bet You She Rocks between them. Darcy’s Law wanted to over race a bit in behind them and Penny To Sell settled in the clear. Zambezi Diamond wasn’t overly pressured but Young Nicola did stay right in touch and they edged away from Darcy’s Law and Bet You She Rocks in the middle stages. The only horse not under any kind of pressure on the bend was Young Nicola and she took over and went for home. Zambezi Diamond gave nothing and dropped out. Darcy’s Law and Bet You She Rocks were still together as they chased Young Nicola but the leader had a good kick and held them safely at bay. Darcy’s Law got away from Bet You She Rocks in the last bit and Penny To Sell was very one paced next. Not an overly strong race and it was Young Nicola’s first win for 14 months.

Follow: none.

Race 4: Jeep Handicap (1000m)

1st Runsati – Linda Meech
2nd Appalachian Annie – Jye McNeil
3rd Bawcatme – Mark Zahra

Star Stealer was last out and worked through to settle midfield. Plenty of early pressure with Piccolo Miss keeping Bullpit off the fence and Steel Trigger around Runsati following. They broke the field up and it was a few lengths back to Appalachian Annie and Star Stealer. Bullpit was being pushed hard to get the better of Piccolo Miss before the turn with Runsati getting away from the fence as Steel Trigger weakened. Star Stealer tried to make ground on the inside but wasn’t making ground quickly enough. Runsati went straight past Bullpit who stopped as if shot and Piccolo Miss kicked back on the fence. Star Stealer had plenty of room between them. Appalachian Annie started to run on with Steel Trigger also picking up again andBawcatme hitting the line out wide from the back. Runsati was out full of running and comfortably held Appalachian Annie and Bawcatme. Star Stealer didn’t sprint and while he wasn’t the best to begin it’s hard to use that as an excuse.

Follow: none, rough result and these are well exposed.

Race 5: VOBIS Gold Carat (1200m)

1st Rocky Boomboa – Damien Oliver
2nd Love Days – Mark Zahra
3rd Twisting Typhoon – Jake Noonan

Love Days broke well from wide out but wasn’t able to cross as Street Pride and Snitzel Music held her out. Antelucan was behind the leader in a bunched lot with Tokyo Tycoon, Artie’s Party and Rocky Boomboa trapped right off the track. They pulled up in front and Rocky Boomboa whipped around at the 800m to take up the running.Snitzel Music and Street Pride allowed him to cross and that kept Love Days three wide. Antelucan was shuffled back to near last when that move was made. Street Pride headed Rocky Boomboa on the corner with Love Days going with it three out. Snitzel Music was still there in behind them and the widest runner was Twisting Typhoon starting to get going after stumbling before the turn. Rocky Boomboa kicked back to regain the lead 100m out and Love Days looked to be peaking on the run. Twisting Typhoon really charged late to make it interesting for second in a real eye-catcher. Hats off to Damien Oliver for taking the initiative and that won him the race. Love Days was gallant and she should be forgiven, probably would have won had she made the early move.

Follow: Twisting Typhoon proved his debut win was no fluke with a super effort here.

Race 6: wedrive.com.au Handicap (2040m)

1st Leica Day – Jordan Childs
2nd Use The Lot – Chris Symons
3rd Rebel Rising – Craig Newitt

Got You Double sprung out and was a surprise leader out of the straight. Leica Day pushed forward to offset the barrier and sit up second with Speed Gonzales dropping into the box seat. Orator was up handy and Above was in that group. Use The Lot went back into the second half early then strode around them and joined Got You Double in the lead. Leica Day wound up with a gun run behind them and Speed Gonzales held the inside running. They seemed to get a breather in the mid stages and when the sprint went on 400m out Use The Lot put the pressure on Got You Double with Leica Day moving three wide stalking. A gap to Orator with Rebel Rising threading his way through the field while the rest were struggling. Use The Lot hit the front around the turn though Got You Double did give some resistance. Leica Day knuckled down to the task after hitting a flat spot and he was able to pick up Use The Lot, who did do plenty of work, for a second win in seven days. Rebel Rising attacked the line nicely into a place and Ring Da Belle did was she does best when the race was over. Got You Double wasn’t disgraced and he’d be better taking a sit.

Follow: nice run from Rebel Rising and he’s close to a win in a similar race.

Race 7: City Jeep Handicap (2500m)

1st Bling Dynasty – Craig Williams
2nd Slade De Cerisy – Brandon Stockdale
3rd Packing Empire – Dwayne Dunn

Very little pressure early and Slade De Cerisy rolled to the lead with Bling Dynasty happy to sit up outside. Rangers Runlanded third from the inside alley and Packing Empire had a nice trail. Bajour tracked him and Prince Kilkarlen had the fence. No action at all in the run until well into the back straight when Vihanna Victory took off from near last and rushed up to third with Kelkea on her back and Spectacular Vision also improving with that move. The leaders kicked back into gear when Vihanna Victory stuck the head in front momentarily but her run had ended by the 600m and she started to give ground. Slade De Cerisy and Bling Dynasty regained control. Packing Empire was a bit flat footed but stuck on with Rangers Run, Kelkea was under pressure to improve and Spectacular Vision got around her to get into the action while Bajour was being held up. Bling Dynasty laid it down to Slade De Cerisy on the turn and hit the front but had a battle. Packing Empire and Spectacular Vision couldn’t pick them up but we’re making steady ground. Bling Dynasty was just a bit strong and held the chasers for a solid win. Bajour ran fifth and it wasn’t a bad run as he lost momentum when the runs came mid race.

Follow: none in particular but forgive Bajour.

Race 8: William Hill Handicap (1200m)

1st Sirbible – Jye McNeil
2nd Judges – Dean Yendall
3rd Sir Mask – Jake Bayliss

Sirbible shot out from a wide gate and was ridden to find the lead, he crossed but Badajoz had some trouble as Boomwaa andTykiato showed speed inside them. Bel Seal was next three wide around Judges, who ran onto heels early, and Duibioimproving along the fence. Sirbible ran them along in front but looked comfortable doing it while Badajoz was being pushed along before the turn to stay with him. Boomwaa was strung up behind them with Tykiato sticking on but under pressure. Bel Seal and Sir Mask were running on wider out. Sirbible dropped Badajoz off at the 200m and sprinted clear for a very dominant win. A wall of them there for the minors, Judges got through late to grab second with Sir Mask wide out, Boomwaa battled on one paced with Tykiato. All honours with the winner. You’d be best to sack Badajoz, certainly at this level, as he was very weak.

Follow: none.

Specials from the meeting: Twisting Typhoon, Rebel Rising, Azurite.



Race 1

1st Scarlet Rain – Tommy Berry
2nd Cudabeen – Grant Buckley
3rd Ajani Kerrin – McEvoy

The two-year-olds got them under way with a good line out in race one and it was the favourite Scarlet Rain that had plenty of pace on the inside to lead them up. Alpha Son was up on its outside. Back behind them, Northern Fire was caught three wide with Ajani on the fence and Syrah in the middle. They bunched up before the turn, and when they came into the straight Scarlet Rain looked to travel best and soon after put up a couple of lengths. Cudabeen came with a run down the outside and ran in slightly at the same time that Arjani and Syrah moved out slightly looking for room which tightened Northern Fire and Adam Hyeronimus hit the turf. In the final part of the race, Cudabeen kept making ground on Scarlet Rain, but couldn’t quite get there and Scarlet Rain held on for a narrow but professional victory. The second horse was a very good run and should be followed.

Follow: Cudabeen

Race 2

1st Kangarilla Joy – Blake Shinn
2nd Bitburg Koby – Jennings
3rd Wide Acclaim – Brenton Avdulla

Cosmic Energry was slow to go in the second event and went back to last. Bitburg led initially with Miss Liffey going hard and running to the front soon after. Kangarilla Joy got a nice sit in third spot with Wide Acclaim working around the outside into fourth. Miss Liffey really hooked into the speed mid race and had about a five length break at the 600m mark, which was a lead she maintained into the straight. At the 300m mark, Kangarilla Joy looked the best of the chasers as she started to make ground without really being asked for an effort. At the furlong, Kangarilla Joy hit the front and Bitburg was trying to match her on the outside but when Blake Shinn asked Kangarilla Joy for the effort there was enough there for her to hold on for victory. Bitburg did a good job in second and Wide Acclaim ran third just in front of the fast finishing Unblemished Mark.

Follow: Bitburg

Race 3

1st Open Book – Sam Clipperton
2nd Wudang Mountain – James McDonald
3rd Got Unders – Nick Heywood

It was a very even line out in race three with Got Unders running to the front from Open Book who took the trail behind it as Make A Mark moved around the outside into second. Wudang Mountain had a nice trail in fourth spot on the fence. Around the turn, Got Unders was going ok in front, as Open Book was brought three wide to be in a striking position. Open Book hit the front inside the 300m as Wudang Mountain was ducking for a run back closer to the fence. In the final furlong, Open Book sprinted nicely and quickly had the issue beyond doubt. Wudang Mountain ground away once it got through the gap, but was no match for the winner. Got Unders held onto third in what was a reasonable effort. All credit goes to the winner here and to Sam Clipperton for a text book ride.

Follow: Open Book

Race 4

1st La Bella Rouge – Jason Collett
2nd Nights On Fire – Jess Taylor
3rd Angus Rock – Rebeka Prest

It was a good line out again in race four with a bit of a contest for the early lead. Burradoo showed plenty of pace from the outside and Keepa Coming kicked through closer to the fence. Keepa Coming ended up holding the front from Burradoo with Nights On Fire moving forward into third but out three deep. Angus Rock had the gun run behind the pace. Into the home straight, Nights On Fire, despite being three wide hit the front but they were all over the place challenging. Angus Rock used an inside run to join the front with Nights On Fire and La Bella Rouge who had come with a run down the outside. With a couple of strides to go, any of them could have won, but it was La Bella Rouge who stretched its neck the most in the final part and got the money from Nights On Fire who was a very good run and Angus Rock who had every chance. Tiger By The Tale got balanced in the final part and finished off nicely for fourth.

Follow: Nights On Fire

Race 5

1st Asinara – James McDonald
2nd Lucky Fish – Adam Hyeronimus
3rd Chandana – Sam Clipperton

Lucky Fish used its inside gate to jump immediately to the lead in race five. Hot Streak was a couple of lengths back in second when they settled down with Petrossian in third spot and the pace looked pretty good. Raised A Legend rounded out the top four mid race. Around the home turn Lucky Fish was still rolling in front and had a couple of lengths to spare once they straightened. Inside the furlong, Lucky Fish was still well clear and victory looked a probable. In the last 100m however, Asinara really charged out of the pack and raced straight past Lucky Fish to go away for a soft victory by about a length. The winner looked highly impressive, but may have also been a little flattered by the second horse sitting down slightly in the last 50m. Given the gap back to third, the first two can both be followed.

Follow: Asinara, Lucky Fish

Race 6

1st Selita – Adam Hyeronimus
2nd Bonete – Tommy Berry
3rd Miss Royale – Blake Shinn

Selita was a clear leader when the starter let them go in race six but Bonete had other ideas and soon after ran clear in front. Tears In Heaven settled second with Selita taking the trail in third spot. Mid race the pace looked genuine again as Bonete set up a couple of lengths break at the top. The field packed a bit at the 600m mark but there was no change in the order. Bonete had it early in the straight, but Selita was bolting in behind it and just needed clear running. Bonete kicked at the furlong, which opened up the gap for Selita and Miss Royale came with a run down the outside. In the final part it was a reasonably confident ride from Adam Hyeronimus as he urged Selita past Bontete and Miss Royale despite trying hard could not make up the ground. Those three came away to gap the rest. All credit to the winner after overcoming some difficulty to get the job done.

Follow: Selita

Race 7

1st Loophole – Tye Angland
2nd Magical Stance – Sam Clipperton
3rd Dance Of Heroes – Jason Collett

They stretched the distance out to 1900m in race seven and Caped Crusader crossed to take up the lead from Magical Stance who sat a length and a half off him in second place. Emerald City had the gun run on the fence in third with Dance Of Heroes outside of it but it was throwing its head about. The pace slowed into the back straight as Thermogenic moved up into second spot. Up towards the turn, Caped Crusader was being pushed a little as Thermogenic looked it in the eye and Magical Stance moved up three wide. Into the straight, Caped Crusader gave a little kick and shook of Thermogenic, but Magical Stance looked to have it covered as Emerald City looked for an inside run and then came around them, but wasn’t going well enough. Magical Stance had the lead inside the furlong, but Loophole was the fresh horse on the scene and finished best in the final part and came away and won it by about a length. Dance Of Heroes ran its usual respectable race in third spot. Caped Crusader was very ordinary in the straight which was in line with the drift it experienced in the market.

Follow: None to follow

Race 8

1st Great Esteem – Kerrin McEvoy
2nd Idance – Tommy Berry
3rd Timeless Prince – Winona Costin

There was a pretty good charge for the lead in race eight with Nite Rocker finding it on the fence and Slate On Edge joining it on the outside. Great Esteem looked to be caught a bit wide and was looking to ease, and Agent was looking for the same spot. Great Esteem strode forward to be outside the lead as Agent slotted in. The short priced favourite Start Wondering was caught very wide and was using petrol to work forward, but wasn’t getting any closer to the fence. Into the straight, Great Esteem had the front with Start Wondering being immediately asked for the effort by James McDonald. Great Esteem kept kicking and soon after had the measure of Start Wondering and then it was up to Idance to charge late along with Timeless Prince but both couldn’t get to Great Esteem who fell in to win. Start Wondering wound up fourth, which didn’t help favourite backers but the effort was good given he was wide and working all the way.

Follow: Start Wondering

Race 9

1st Richard The First – Taylor Marshall
2nd Supreme Effort – Brenton Avdulla
3rd Star Shaft – Brodie Loy

Adjective had enough speed to lead from Paceman in the final event, but soon after those two went stride for stride in front. Road To Summer settled third on the outside of Huka Eagle who got a nice sit behind the speed. Just beyond them was Proconsul who was caught three wide the trip. Early in the straight, Adjective and Paceman were going stride for stride in front with both riders going for the persuader. Inside the final furlong, Supreme Effort hit the front, Hyeroglyphics could be seen storming home out wide from last and Richard The First was coming through with its run towards the fence. In the final part, Hyeroglyphics peaked on its run as did Supreme Effort and it was Richard The First who hit the line best and grabbed victory. Supreme Effort held on for second and Star Shaft finished its race off pretty well to run third. Although Paceman was beaten a long way here, I am inclined to forgive the run as it didn’t find the front on its own today. Adjective should also be forgiven.

Follow: Star Shaft

Specials from the meeting: Cudabeen, Asinara, Lucky Fish


Caulfield/Randwick reviews

by Champion Picks on December 27, 2015

Caulfield review

Race 1: Schweppes Handicap (1400m)

1st Jacqui’s Joy – Patrick Moloney
2nd All In The Reflexs – Linda Meech
3rd Miss Clooney – Damien Oliver

Good early toe from All In The Reflexs to lead Validate who came across with her. Single Note dropped in behind them with Miss Clooney on her inside. The last pair were Drawn To You and Jacqui’s Joy. All In The Reflexs seemed to have it to herself and had them stacked right up a fair way from home. Validate was held together outside and Single Note started to creep forward. Miss Clooney ran up into a pocket. Suddenly they bunched and there was only a couple of lengths between the six and Validate was the first to be felt for. All In The Reflexs was entitled to have a kick and did as she slipped away from Validate and Single Note. Jacqui’s Joy was winding up right down the outside and Miss Clooney was checking off the leader’s heels. Jacqui’s Joy kept the run going and finished a bit too well for All In The Reflexs, every chance, and Miss Clooney poked through to grab the minor spot.

Follow: Jacqui’s Joy might be a pretty handy one.

Race 2: Joe Brown Plate (1100m)

1st Hell Of An Effort – Linda Meech
2nd Ponte Roma – Glen Boss
3rd Dot Painting – Daniel Stackhouse

Hell Of An Effort was easily the best away and had an easy lead from Hellbound who was dug up after a fair start. Dot Painting railed through into the box seat with Ponte Roma caught wide around Climatewhile Observed improved to midfield after an ordinary start. Hell Of An Effort was cruising on the turn in a line of three with Hellbound trying to go with him and Ponte Roma joining in wider out. They broke away from Dot Painting and Climate and nothing else seemed to be in the hunt. Hell Of An Effort shook off the challengers at the 300m though Ponte Roma was staying on. Hellbound was a shot duck and Climate loomed a bit wider out. Hell Of An Effort increased the margin in the last furlong and was far too good for Ponte Roma while Dot Painting got through along the fence into third. Climate had every hope and not a bad debut from Atlantic Express though he was safely held. Race experience proved significant here.

Follow: couldn’t go away from Hell Of An Effort.

Race 3: Allan Wicks Handicap (2000m)

1st Yulong Baby – Craig Newitt
2nd Ring Da Belle – Damian Lane
3rd Yellen – Ben Melham

Ring Da Belle gave them a start missing it by more than a length and Sea Spray was tardy as well.Yellen pushed forward and worked to the front with surprising ease. Fair And Equitable followed and To Be Honest pulled her way into second place. Sabor A Triunfo found the one-one and Yulong Baby was on her inside. Yellen was unchallenged in the lead though Fair And Equitable came off the fence in the middle stages and moved to within a length. To Be Honest was happy to let her go and Yulong Baby also came away from the rails. Yellen was still travelling okay about 600m out as Fair And Equitable was being felt for. Yulong Baby slid up three wide with Sabor A Triunfo on her back. Ring Da Belle had improved to be inside her and To Be Honest was snookered on the rails. Yellen still had it inside the last 200m but was being seriously challenged by Yulong Baby. A couple back to Ring Da Belle getting by Sabor A Triunfo and the weakening Fair And Equitable. Yulong Baby proved to be the better stayer in the shadows and edged away from Yellen, probably a better chaser, and Ring Da Belle snatched second in the last few strides. She keeps missing the start and that’s not helping her cause. Sabor A Triunfo was a little one paced second-up but ran okay.

Follow: stick with Sabor A Triunfo.

Race 4: Ken Sturt Handicap (1400m)

1st Danestroem – Jackie Beriman
2nd Anaphora – Jake Bayliss
3rd Sino Eagle – Linda Meech

Marli Magic was ridden with purpose to lead, Sino Eagle jumped well and cruised over to sit outside while Danestroem took the trail. Not A Happy Camper settled a couple of lengths astern with Anaphora on the inside and Lady Silhouette caught wide. They started to string out behind Marli Magic and by the 800m there’d be 10 lengths first to last. Sino Eagle stayed with her and Danestroem was comfortable in the slipstream. Another four to the rest of the field with Not A Happy Camper forced to bring them up to the field and was being ridden along before the turn as Anaphora improved on her inside. Sino Eagle had Marli Magic’s measure on the home turn and hit the lead soon after. Danestroem looked to be flat out chasing her while Anaphora was getting to the centre of the track. Sino Eagle was walking over the last 50m and Danestroem stuck her head out to snatch the win over Anaphora. Huge run from Sino Eagle and behind the placegetters Sense And Reason did her usual thing and ran on. Marli Magic knocked up but was still close up.

Follow: Sino Eagle is ready to win.

Race 5: Dennis Hanrahan Handicap (1100m)

1st Pink Perfection – Glen Boss
2nd Sentfromthestars – Katelyn Mallyon
3rd Simply Ming – Patrick Moloney

Speed came from wide out with Sheree and Pink Perfection looking to cross while Queen Extreme tried to hold them out before eventually taking a sit. Zambezi Diamond settled a couple further back from Brave Journey improving around Lago GirlCeleritas found herself last. Pink Perfection was travelling better than Sheree coming to the turn and Zambezi Diamond came off her back to loom. Queen Extreme stayed on the fence and Brave Journey and Sentfromthestars were the widest pair running on. Celeritas was still last on the inside. Pink Perfection cantered past Sheree near the 200m and Sentfromthestars was the only danger making ground further out. Zambezi Diamond couldn’t do any more and Simply Ming ran on from well back with Celeritas weaving through late. Usually vulnerable beyond 1000m first-up, Pink Perfection fought off Sentfromthestars with a couple of lengths to Simply Ming another honest placing. Celeritas had a dive at Zambezi Diamond but missed out on fourth. Huge question marks over this form but all honours to the winner.

Follow: be forgiving of Celeritas who was never a hope from where she found herself in the run.

Race 6: Frank O’Brien Handicap (1200m)

1st Golden Spin – Jordan Childs
2nd Chase The Horizon – Daniel Stackhouse
3rd Badajoz – Dylan Dunn

Cool Snitzel had plenty of pace and attempted to cross from out wide but was held out by Crystal Dreamer punching up on the fence. Golden Spin had to eased to avoid sitting wide as RunsonChase The Horizon and Spearhead improved. Golden Spin ended up four deep behind them with the next bunch Uncanny EffortTyrannize, who didn’t settle, and Badajoz with Georgie’s Luce in that bunch. Crystal Dreamer seemed to travel okay but you’d have had the house on Cool Snitzel at the 400m as she cruised on the outside. Chase The Horizon came off their backs on the turn with Golden Spin and Badajoz peeling out to make their moves. Tyrannize was under pressure to chase and nothing else was coming. Cool Snitzel took over at the 300m and kicked away though was all out with 100m to run and Chase The Horizon was closing in with Golden Spin and Badajoz. They got to Cool Snitzel inside the 50m and Golden Spin finished the race off too well for Chase The Horizon, who had every chance, and a game Badajoz getting up for third. He had to be vetted at the barriers and raced wide so the effort was solid. Cool Snitzel weakened late while Niccoco made ground but was never a winning chance. He wants 1400m or to race closer.

Follow: not sure this race is as strong as some suggest but could see any of the first four home winning next start.

Race 7: Cape Grim Beef Handicap (1800m)

1st Leica Day – Brad Rawiller
2nd Entre Nous – Jye McNeil
3rd Sir Berus – Michael Dee

Decent amount of pressure early and Belorum ran to the lead ahead of Use The Lot, who broke best, and the bolter Elmantosh sitting up second. After letting them go early Leica Day improved into a trail in fourth around Bring Back. Golden Mane and Sir Berus settled better than midfield with Allergic on the inside of Entre Nous and Seul Spirit. The favourite Warrior King followed them. Belorum seemed to be getting things his own way but may have been over racing in the lead. Elmantosh was the first to struggle as Use The Lot passed him while Leica Day just eased to their outside coming to the turn with a gap to the bulk of the field. Entre Nous was running on around Sir Berus, Golden Mane stuck to the rails and Allergic and Warrior King were battling to pick up. Belorum was grabbed by Leica Day at the 300m with Use The Lot between them, a couple to Entre Nous warming to the task and Golden Mane made a dash closer to the rails. Sir Berus was still there and further back Warrior King was labouring. Leica Day shifted his ground in the straight but held Entre Nous and they kicked away from Sir Berus who lifted late to grab third with Seul Spirit just ahead of Golden Mane. Fair effort second-up from Allergic but you’d like to see more and Warrior King was a big flop.

Follow: none in particular.

Race 8: Christmas Stakes (1200m)

1st Tuscan Sling – Harry Coffey
2nd Reldas – Nick Hall
3rd Sirbible – Jye McNeil

Tudor looked likely to get across after jumping well but they pushed up inside and Sirbible took it up from Nicoscene and Office Bearer which kept Tudor four deep. Tuscan Sling landed in a nice spot behind them from General Groove inside Taddei Tondo and Pago Rock caught wide. Sistine Demon found himself a long way back. A line of four coming past the 400m as they served it right up to Sirbible, Nicoscene and Office Bearer were forced to go as Tudor made his run though that quartet split at the top of the straight. A run presented for Taddei Tondo who was following them with Tuscan Sling and General Groove also took advantage of that gap opening up. Office Bearer may have hit the lead at the 200m from Nicoscene but they were wide apart, Tuscan Sling chimed in getting the better of Taddei Tondo and sailing down the outside from the back was Reldas. Tuscan Sling went with Reldas in the closing stages and was able to hold him off in a strong effort after he had all the momentum. A wall of them across the track for third and Sirbible somehow managed to kick back and snatch a place from Taddei Tondo, with Nicoscene and General Groove in that group. Take nothing away from the winner

Follow: wouldn’t mind another look at General Groove.

Race 9: Lord Stakes (1700m)

1st Signoff – Harry Coffey
2nd Lidari – Brad Rawiller
3rd Metaphorical – Daniel Stackhouse

Evangelist was slow by about three lengths and Jacquinot Bay found himself third last out, which is unusual for him. Inspector and Held Hostage were away well then handed up as Garud and Master Resetstrode forward. Jacquinot Bay rushed around them to sit up in second. Star Rolling settled around midfield with Precious Gem while Metaphorical eased to get cover with Tashbeeh on her outside. Garud ran them along a little to the 800m with Jacquinot Bay on his back. No moves by this stage and Master Reset and Inspector loped along behind the speed. Star Rolling stole some ground as they left the fence ahead of him and Metaphorical followed him through. Held Hostage was beaten but Precious Gem made a move out wide, tracked by Lidari while Tashbeeh was being hard ridden. Anyone’s race at the 300m with Garud being tackled by Precious Gem wide out and Star Rolling on the fence, Jacquinot Bay was still there and Metaphorical was getting through on his inside. Lidari was winding up and looking a big threat. A couple behind him were Tashbeeh and Signoff starting to hit top gear. Star Rolling hit the lead at the 100m from Garud and Metaphorical but wider out Lidari and Signoff were finishing the best and Signoff asserted his class with a superb first-up win. Lidari ran well for second at his first run for the Weir stable and Metaphorical, Star Rolling and Garud were all close up. Tashbeeh got going late but was no match on the day.

Follow: outside the winner, and this was probably a cameo, forgive Jacquinot Bay.

Race 10: Summer Championship Heat (1400m)

1st Volcanic Ash – Michael Dee
2nd Duke Of Brunswick – Damien Oliver
3rd The New Boy – Darren Gauci

Volcanic Ash was first to the fence but allowed Rock ‘N’ Gold and The New Boy to head him. Duke Of Brunswick refused to settle early outside Volcanic Ash while Chestnut Charlie had the drop on those ahead. They were a couple clear of Commanding Time and Pinyarda. The New Boy was keeping Rock ‘N’ Gold busy up front with the Price pair of Duke Of Brunswick, being ridden up, and Volcanic Ash waiting. At the 300m Volcanic Ash was shut out of a run between the two leaders and that allowed Duke Of Brunswick to pounce on them. Chestnut Charlie couldn’t reach that quartet and bumped into Pinyarda while the only one making any ground from the back was Fast And Free. Duke Of Brunswick had the lead but looked a sitting shot and Volcanic Ash came to his outside and made a late charge to just knock out his stablemate. The New Boy battled on gamely for a place while Fast And Free hit the line fairly well out wider just ahead of Rock ‘N’ Gold. Volcanic Ash would have been a good thing beaten had he not got there in time.

Follow: Volcanic Ash now he’s back in form and Fast And Free in something with less depth.

Specials from the meeting: Jacqui’s Joy, Sino Eagle, General Groove, Volcanic Ash.


Randwick Review

Race 1

1st Jeanneau – Thomas Huet
2nd Highland Beat – Brenton Avdulla
3rd French Fern – Winona Costin

Detective was initially a short priced favourite for the two-year-old event, but was taken out at the gates and sent the market into a bit of a spin.  Highland Beat ran favourite in the end over Jeanneau and it was Highland Beat that ran to the front narrowly on the outside but Overreactive came through along the fence to take it up when they settled.  French Fern got the sit in behind them and mid race Demolition was over racing and moving around the outside.  Jeannie was three deep but had cover around about midfield.  Into the straight, Highland Beat was moving up on the outside of Overreactive and was traveling the better.  Highland Beat had the front inside the furlong, but in the last 100m Jeanneau had built a full head of steam up and went past Highland Beat to record a strong victory, but it was a good effort by Highland Beat who had to cross from out wide initially and then didn’t get any peace up front.  The rest were pretty ordinary.

Follow: The first two home can win more races

Race 2

1st Sir Bacchus – Rory Hutchings
2nd Barood – Blake Shinn
3rd Denmagic – Kathy O’Hara

River Wild was pushed hard from an outside gate and came across to set up a clear early lead in the second event.  Yattarna settled in second spot and Entrancing was third but out three deep.  Back behind them, Barood had an nice run on the fence and the pace looked to slow mid race. Sir Bacchus was another that looked to have a nice run in transit just outside of Barood.  Early in the straight River Wild gave a bit of a kick and if you were on him you were on ok terms with yourself but it soon became apparent that Barood was the one traveling the better, and tickets on River Wild were confetti.  Inside the furlong, Barood went for home but it was then Sir Bacchus that was the fresh horse on the scene going the better and he edged past Barood in the closing stages to get the money.  Hitting the line pretty strongly in third spot on the line was Denmagic and he can be followed, although effort may have been flattered a little bit by the tiring effort of River Wild who can only be described as disappointing here.

Follow: Denmagic

Race 3

1st Mighty Lucky – Kathy O’Hara
2nd Junoob – Blake Shinn
3rd I’m Imposing – Tommy Berry

They raced over 2000m for the third event which was the Summer Cup and Mighty Lucky was away well and led clearly early with Kiseki Dane moving up on the outside and Junoob caught wide but moving around the outside and going to the front soon after.  Mighty Lucky settled in second with Kiseki Dane in third.  Mid race, Junoob stretched its lead to four or five lengths with no actual change in the order.  Up towards and rounding the home turn, Junoob’s lead was cut back to about a length and moves were coming from the back with Sebrina out three wide and I’m Imposing trailing it up.  Mighty Lucky cut the corner and up the rise ran up to go past Junoob along the inside.  From there on it was a one act affair as Junoob was a beaten horse and I’m Imposing was only finishing off fairly to get into third.  All credit with the winner here.  The run of Junoob was good after setting the pace and still beating the rest easily.

Follow: None to follow

Race 4

1st Music Man – Koby Jennings
2nd Destined To Win – Sam Clipperton
3rd Hot Mustard – Kathy O’Hara

Bank On Henry was very slow to go in race four and was a clear last after the first 50m and scrubbed along to make up lost ground.  Music Man led early on but Pera Pera was caught wide and worked around them to lead.  Shadow Affair settled in third getting a good run.  Hot Mustard had a nice run in fourth spot, but the same couldn’t be said for Bayview Emperor who was caught off the track with Swivet out even wider.  Pera Pera looked to have a pretty good lead in front as they approached the 600m mark.  After turning, Music Man railed up and as they came up the rise, Pera Pera was pushed along and Music Man traveled the better.  Those two had a break on the rest and bumped heavily at about the 150m mark, where Pera Pera came off second best and Music Man kicked away.  Quite a few of them flashed home here, with Destined To Win and Bank On Henry the two strongest finishers.  Swivet ran a good race here after being very wide, and although the winner had a nice run on the speed, it was a good effort to maintain its momentum after the bumping duel with Pera Pera who weakened thereafter.

Follow: Swivet

Race 5

1st Tree Of Jesse – Jason Collett
2nd Thud – Blake Shinn
3rd Il Mio Destino – Kayla Nisbet

Thud was a bit slow to go in race five and was towards the rear on the inside.  They took a while to sort themselves out with Diamond Fever working hard on the outside to lead from Awasita who used its inside gate to advantage to be in second spot from Hard To Hold on the outside in third.  Await used the inside to advantage to join Diamond Fever around the turn and Il Mio Destino came through even closer to the fence to be in a challenging position.  Half way up the straight Awasita had the front but there were plenty of challengers.  Tree Of Jesse was the one who came with the biggest run and it hit the front in the final part of the race and was actually eased down for victory on the line in what was a very impressive finishing sprint.  Thud and Il Mio Destino were both good filling the minor placings, but really were no match for the winner who can win better races than this.

Race 6

1st Medcaut – Blake Shinn
2nd Monton – Andrew Adkins
3rd Destiny’s Kiss – Jason Collett

Telepathic was sent out around about yours for theirs in betting and missed the kick and was a clear last.  Medcaut was straight on the bunny early but was taken on by Pheidon who rolled clear.  Montan was up along the inside getting a nice run once they settled down and Telepathic had recovered some of its lost ground to be back just past midfield.  The order didn’t change up to the turn, and some back in the field were under pressure to make ground.  Into the straight and up the rise, Medcaut travelled big time as it joined the leaders, Telepathic was into the clear but standing the leaders up a start and was pushed along.  If you had taken the shorts, it was time for the rosary beads.  In the final 200m, to the credit of Monton it fought extremely hard and was only caught by Medcaut in the last bound.  Destiny’s Kiss did what it does and finished off very well to be another very short margin away in third spot.  Generally you would say Destiny’s Kiss was the run of the race, but I have said that before, and ultimately it still fails to actually win a race.  In this case, I think Monton can hold its form and win soon.

Follow: Monton

Race 7

1st Cradle Me – Jason Collett
2nd Dances On Stars – Adam Hyeronimus
3rd I’ve Got The Looks – Blake Shinn

Sebring Sun was slow to go in race seven, but more notably, Echo Gal was back last when most would have expected it towards the lead.  Decision Time pinged straight to the front with Howmuchdoyouloveme working pretty hard out wide to be in second spot as Strawberry Boy kept it three horses off the fence initially.  Strawberry Boy then eased to take cover and had a nice run, as did Boss Lane.  Up the rise, Decision Time kicked and still led when they got to the furlong but soon after was challenged by I’ve Got The Looks who hit the front with Cradle Me dashing through towards the fence after coming from well back on the turn.  Dances On Stars put in a  strong run right down the outside in the final part, but in the end it was Cradle Me who had the strongest finish and held off Dances On Stars and I’ve Got The Looks who died on its run in the final part.

Follow: Dances On Stars

Race 8

1st Rule The River – Adam Hyeronimus
2nd Voilier – Andrew Banks
3rd Husson Eagle – Michelle Payne

Grunderzeit was slow to go in race eight.  There was plenty of jostling for the early lead with King’s Troop kicking through to lead but staying off the fence, which meant that Floral Insight was out very wide in second spot.  Voilier held the fence in third spot and Rule The River was smothered up behind them getting a nice run.  Violier had it up the rise with Rule The River coming through in the middle but there was plenty of other challengers and it looked anyone’s race at the furlong, with the exception of King’s Troop who had started to feel the pinch first up from a spell.  Husson Eagle was hard held as it came into the race half way up the straight but could’t go with Rule The River in the final part, nor could it get past Voilier who held second spot.  Although King’s Troop was a beaten horse a fair way out which didn’t suit favourite backers, the run was not too bad and it will definitely improve off this and can win races.  The winner is a horse in form, who has been placed well and just keeps winning.

Follow: King’s Troop

Race 9

1st Testashadow – Samantha Clenton
2nd Disgraceful – Rory Hutchings
3rd Alegria – James Innes

In the last, Embly and Cyclone were slow to go.  Footy Fan loves being in front and found that spot in this event from a wide gate.  Testashadow worked up to basically join him in front and Eye The World was trailing in third spot and traveling well.  Perfect Weapon was on its inside getting a nice run.  As they came around the turn, Eye The World was basically pulling its way into the race three wide.  They they approached the furlong there was a line of four with Disgraceful, Perfect Weapon, Footy Fan and Testashadow all in a line.  Testashadow and Disgraceful soon came away from the other two and Alegria was finishing hard.  In the end, Testashadow toughed it out best to get the victory over Disgraceful and Algeria, but there was a hard luck story in this that will go down as being beaten 4.5 lengths, which was Shadow Lord who the run closed on at a vital stage.  It may not have won the race, but the margin was unfair and is one to follow.

Follow: Shadow Lord

Specials from the meeting: Tree Of Jesse, King’s Troop, Shadow Lord



A-League tips for Round 12

by David on December 24, 2015

Our friends at EasyOdds have given us their thoughts on Round 12 A-League action:

Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets

Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta, NSW; Thursday, December 24, 7pm (AEDT)

The Christmas-New Year period is recognised as a pivotal period for clubs in the English Premier League. It’s likely to be equally important for sides in Australia’s A-League with just two wins separating sides holding down positions four down to eight.

Action kicks-off in round 12 with a Christmas Eve special between competition leaders Western Sydney and the team that sits just outside the top six, Newcastle. The Wanderers impressive winning streak ended last weekend after a 2-2 draw with the improving Perth Glory where poor finishing proved costly for Tony Popovic’s outfit.

The Wanderers are on their second longest ever undefeated streak in the A-League (W7 D1) and just five away from their best. The Jets were back to their miserly best against Adelaide United in last Friday’s scoreless draw but that was a seventh game without victory for Scott Miller’s side. The Wanderers won last time out against the Jets with a 2-1 win at Hunter Stadium on November 7 and we expect a similar outcome here.

EasyOdds say – Western Sydney Wanderers -1hcp v Newcastle Jets

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Qld; Sunday, December 27, 7pm (AEDT)

After a pulsating Melbourne derby in the furnace of AAMI Park last Saturday night that ended in a 2-1 win for Melbourne City over Victory, we don’t have to wait long before City feature in another marquee match-up. That comes on Sunday evening at Suncorp Stadium where third-placed Melbourne City take on a Brisbane Roar side that sits one spot and one point ahead on the table.

In contrast to City’s free scoring ways (16 goals in their past four outings), this fixture has produced just four goals in the past three editions comprising two wins for City and a 1-1 draw last time out on November 20. But it’s hard to see defence dominating this match-up. City boast two of the league’s top four goal scorers – Bruno Fornaroli has scored nine and Aaron Mooy six. The Roar have their own sharp-shooter with Jamie Maclaren tallying six for the 2015-16 campaign to date. Maclaren and Steve Lustica are under injury clouds while City may still be feeling the effects of that energy-sapping result last week.

EasyOdds say – Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City DRAW 

Other round 12 selections:

Adelaide United WIN v Wellington Phoenix 

Sydney FC (to nil) v Central Coast Mariners

Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory +1hcp