This Wednesday the Grafton Cup Carnival kicks off with the meeting headlined by the Ramornie Handicap 2013– tips and betting selections for which are detailed below.
Set to run as Grafton Race 7 at 3:41pm (AEST) there are 14 horses left in contention for the $150,000 Listed Ramornie Handicap (1200m) this year following the early scratching of #12 Liesele.
Ramornie Handicap odds at bookmaker.com.au are currently led by the reigning champion Howmuchdoyouloveme ($4.20) who is well fancied to go back-to-back in the classic despite having to carry the 60.5kg top-weight.
Other single figure fancies in the mix then include last start Rosehill winner Big Bonanza ($5) coming right back to 54kg, smart mare Pentasia ($8) who must pass a fitness test on Wednesday after issues with a recent blood test, last year’s Ramornie third placegetter River Lad ($8.50), the Desleigh Forster-trained Adebisi ($9) and Peter Snowden’s resuming Soledad ($9).
So are these bookies’ picks the ones to back in your Ramornie Handicap bets this week?
Or is there value to be found tipping an upset from a double figure outsider such as the rails-drawn Border Rebel ($11) or even multiple stakes performer Youthful Jack ($26).
Having gone over the Ramornie Handicap field and form the team at Races.com.au has made our selections as follows.
#3 River Lad ($3.50)
Gets a gun run from barrier three whereas Howmuchdoyouloveme has to overcome double digits (again) in 10. Were defeated by the favourite by just a long neck last start in the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) when carrying 58kg. They drop back to 57.5kg here but Howmuchdoyouloveme goes up from 60 to 60.5kg so weights are in favour of River Lad. Have been in top form this time in with two wins, including a black type, as well as a host of minor placings. Were sixth in the Lightning but that was over a too short 1000m. Third in last year’s Ramornie and in much better form. Their time to shine.
#1 Howmuchdoyouloveme ($4.20)
The weight (60.5kg) and the gate (10) rule them out for the win but really don’t expect there to be much in this one. Come off two good wins from wide barriers (16 of 17 and 11 of 11) with big weights (59.5kg and 60kg) so have proved they can do it. Beat many of these in both the Lighting Handicap and then the WJ Healy last time out, do they have one more in them? Only just held on in the Healy and go up in weight for this so might not be able to hold off River Lad for round two. Still they have class, Brenton Avdulla comes back on after missing the Healy due to suspension, and won this last year by four lengths so track holds no fears.
#9 War Ends ($34)
Adds awesome value to the Ramornie Handicap exotics here and yes, it’s a big class rise, but think they can handle it. This Gold Coast-trained Redoute’s Choice six-year-old entered calculations when they backed up from a horror run at Rockhampton to win the John Carlton Quality Handicap over 1215m at Grafton last week. Had good autumn form in Brisbane earlier winning at Doomben and then second to Tokamak in early April. On paper their 13th to Bellton in the Group 3 BRC Sprint was no good but they were beaten under five lengths off a big break. Go better with a little less time between runs, which they get here, and the 54kg is also to their advantage. Don’t discount.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from bookmaker.com.au and subject to change