A capacity field of Stradbroke Handicap hopefuls...
Geelong Cup Day 2017 headlines the midweek racing action as the countdown the Ladbrokes Cox Plate on Saturday heats up and below are the Races.com.au team’s insider tips across the card.
A nine race program at Geelong Racecourse kicks off at 12:30pm (AEDT) and continues through until 5:20pm (AEDT).
There are scattered showers early on in the day forecast for Melbourne’s southwest meaning the current Soft (5) Geelong track rating is set to stay favouring the gallopers who prefer the give in the ground.
With that in mind the punters are coming for the proven wet-trackers at the meeting that is headlined by the Group 3 $300,000 Geelong Cup (2400m).
The 2017 Geelong Cup field of 12 take to the track in Race 7 at 4:00pm (AEDT) with more than half chasing a win to try and make the line-up in the Group 1 $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The major Geelong Cup Day support races are the Listed $120,000 Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) for the staying three-year-olds and the $120,000 Listed Rosemont Stud Stakes (1200m) for the fillies and mares.
See below for our complete Geelong Cup Day racing tips and exotics for you to lock-in through Ladbrokes.com.au who are also offering the best odds on Winx to win the 2017 Ladbrokes Cox Plate on the weekend!
Race 1 (12:30pm) – $25,000 B&B Aluminium Products BM64 Handicap (1400m)
- 1st: #7 Star Major
- 2nd: #2 Good Therapy
- 3rd: #8 Artistic Design
STAR MAJOR ($4.80) is the untapped chance having had just one run to date. It was an eye-catching effort though winning over 1400m at Sale in June by 3.5 lengths on a Soft track. If this four-year-old shows up like that again can challenge the better experienced runners. GOOD THERAPY ($8.50) is wide with a big weight, but has the speed to overcome the gate with upside after the disappointing first-up effort at Geelong. This distance is better. ARTISTIC DESIGN ($14) also first-up, drawn well in gate three with winning form up to a mile.
Race 2 (1:00pm) – $30,000 Jack Rabbit Vineyard BM78 Handicap (2400m)
- 1st: #1 Tiger Tim
- 2nd: #3 Ubin Thunderstruck
- 3rd: #4 King Way
Think the bookies have this one about sorted. TIGER TIM ($3.70) is firming and gives the weight away, but looked a PB last time out at Ballarat on Soft going and just needs to show up again and handle the increased metres after running away by 3.5L over the 2000m. UBIN THUNDERSTRUCK ($3.40) is the well-supported favourite drawn the rails with Craig Williams aboard, may just win for Darren Weir turning the tables on Tiger Tim in the race that looks the form line to follow into this. KING WAY ($5) can bounce back returning to the track he’s got previous winning form at in the mud. Pulled-up sore after the Moonee Valley fifth last time out and will be better here after some strong runs in good company.
Race 3 (1:35pm) – $30,000 No Fuss Event Hire BM70 Handicap (1700m)
- 1st: #2 Beach Life
- 2nd: #8 Bonville
- 3rd: #1 Pufnstuf
BEACH LIFE ($3.10) is the one the punters want and every with 59.5kg from barrier 10, think it is worth sticking with the favourite who has good form on rain-affected tracks, including a Heavy (8) win at Geelong two back over 1530m. Group 1 performed and can atone after missing the kick and pulling up lame last time out in his Mornington sixth. BONVILLE ($9) is weighted-well and Damien Oliver rides the four-year-old second-up off a Bendigo fifth carrying more weight. Will be fitter for the run and is placed over 1900m at Geelong here in the winter. PUFNSTUF ($6) gives the weight away carrying 61kg but the strike-rate is outstanding (36% Win / 64% Place). Showed improvement late over the mile last time out, extra 100m suits and has winning form at the Synthetic track.
Race 4 (2:10pm) – $50,000 The Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series Heat 5 (1500m)
- 1st: #6 Vellastar
- 2nd: #3 Emoji
- 3rd: #4 Eschiele
VELLASTAR ($10) presents as a great value chance at double-figures, the Lope De Vega five-year-old undefeated of Soft tracks (3-3-0-0). Beaten over the Moonee Valley mile by Sebring Dream last time out, but this distance is better and can surprise at a price. EMOJI ($4.60) is wide but early speed will see the in-form son of Denman get around. Racing in super consistent fashion with four straight top three runs. ESCHIELE ($9.50) is second-up and placed here first-up over 1340m here as a roughie, fitter for the run and can be in the money again.
Race 5 (2:45pm) – $40,000 Shojun Concrete Dual Choice Plate (1200m)
- 1st: #12 Urban Ruler
- 2nd: #6 Kirani
- 3rd: #4 Smackdown
Hard to bet against the firm favourite URBAN RULER ($2.60) here with D. Oliver riding from barrier two in this sprint. Street Boss four-year-old races for the first time since the winter, when in nice form, and was carting around big weights. Down in the kilos, has class, flies fresh (3-2-0-1) and handles Soft going (3-2-0-0). KIRANI ($8) in gate four comes off the first-up win at Bairnsdale and gets the chance to go back-to-back over a distance he loves. SMACKDOWN ($13) from the Weir stables gets the right conditions to atone for some mediocre recent form. Has winning form here and can surprise.
Race 6 (3:20pm) – Listed $120,000 Roderick Insurance Brokers 3YO Geelong Classic (2200m)
- 1st: #7 Johnny Vinko
- 2nd: #3 Animalia
- 3rd: #11 Ocean’s Fourteen ($10)
JOHNNY VINKO ($7.50) has a wide barrier to overcome, but the distance to do it and looks the value to win out of the right lead-up. Is a maiden after three runs, but was only two lengths off Main Stage and Cliff’s Edge in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) at Flemington last start and that form was franked in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Classic (2000m). ANIMALIA ($4.80) is ultra-consistent having run top four in all seven starts to date for Godolphin. Fourth in the UCI Stakes, gets the run of the race here from the barrier and out to win back the love the of punters. OCEAN’S FOURTEEN ($10) from the inside alley has upside after the barnstorming 2.75L win over 1620m at Donald last time out. Well-bred and will relish the extra distance.
Race 7 (4:00pm) – Group 3 $300,000 Geelong Cup (2400m)
- 1st: #6 Fanatic
- 2nd: #4 Gallic Chieftain
- 3rd: #2 Lizzie L’Amour
Think there’s massive value to be had in this year’s Geelong Cup. FANATIC ($21) at the price is very tempting. Lindsay Park stable did it last Saturday with 50/1 shot Boom Time in the Caulfield Cup and this mare is bred to stay being a daughter of Melbourne Cup winner Shocking. She hit the line well making up ground for the sixth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) last time out and that form has been franked. GALLIC CHIEFTAIN ($2.90) is the clear favourite and is in good form. Gets the run of the race from barrier two and was third in the Herbert Power, which is the form to follow here. Handles Soft going (4-1-2-0) and has claims for the punters. LIZZIE L’AMOUR ($16) is big value place chance. The Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained mare looks out-weighted to win, but the Soft track (5-4-0-0) puts her back in the mix after her 10th on a Good (3) in the Cranbourne Cup. Group 1 winner back across the Tasman and looking to show her better form down under finally getting conditions to suit.
Race 8 (4:40pm) – Listed $120,000 Rosemont Stud Stakes (1200m)
- 1st: #8 Another Diamond
- 2nd: #2 Quilista
- 3rd: #16 Crystal Fountain
ANOTHER DIAMOND ($21) could prove the roughie of the day despite the sticky gate. She’ll need to be quick out to get around, but Soft-going is her go and the last start second at Moe was brave. If she gets to the front, could be hard to run down at a price. QUILISTA ($4.20) is in excellent form and deserving favourite after the third to Snitty Kitty over 1100m at Caulfield last time out. That form was franked with the winner taking out last weekend’s Group 2 Caulfield Sprint and this mare will enjoy stepping-up to 1200m (5-2-2-1). CRYSTAL FOUNTAIN ($6) also being kept safe in betting and should get a dream run from the draw. Won over 1100m here with 59kg last start in early August, is unbeaten at the track, unbeaten at 1200m and trialled well since. Big chance.
Race 9 (5:20pm) – $30,000 IGA Liquor BM70 Handicap (1200m)
- 1st: #16 Just Hifalutin
- 2nd: #7 Ajani
- 3rd: #5 Harbour Grey
JUST HIFALUTIN ($6.50) gets the run of the race from the barrier and is second-up after a close fourth at Mornington over 1000m. Extra distance suits here and she has won on Soft going before. AJANI ($5.50) has Hugh Bowman aboard, needs to work from the nasty gate but comes off back-to-back thirds so is in good form. HARBOUR GREY ($18) roughie of the race with the inside alley. First-up form is good, is versatile and loves the give out of the track.
*All times are local (AEDT) and subject to change
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