Jason Bonnington's Preview for Tabcorp Park

Sat, 31 Jan 2015

After what has seemed like an eternity of waiting and more than handful of exhilarating Country Cups, the moment has arrived. Tonight at TABCORP Park the finest Victoria Cup field - and one of the greatest fields of any race in harness history - will assemble to vie for Grand Circuit glory in front of what should be a packed and adoring Melton crowd. From a punting perspective the main race is a minefield but with Fixed Odds available on every race, there's an opportunity to search for value we are not normally afforded. As per usual on these bug nights we'll also be playing the Early and Standard Quads and with the way Good Form has been travelling of late there's every reason to believe we're going to taste some genuine success!

Track information

Circumference: 1040m
Sprint Lane: Yes
Leader's win: 42.42% (28/66 from last 7 meetings)
Leading Trainer: Andy Gath & Geoff Webster (4 wins from last 7 meetings)
Leading Driver: Greg Sugars (6 winners from last 7 meetings)

The Moral

Race 6 - No. 4 Menin Gate

Despite his last start failure to the outstanding Jilliby Jagger my opinion of this bloke has never changed & I'll be flabbergasted if he doesn't lead and win.


Best Value - $20 Each Way
R1 No.8 - Mach Doro$7*
This is by far the most even of tonight's three Vic Derby qualifiers and that's why we're capable of looking for some value. In my assessment of this race I had the above pacer marked on top and at a price of $3.50 courtesy of his brilliant speed, encouraging recent efforts and gate eight draw which I hope will see him behind the leader in transit. It goes without saying then that the $7 offered by TAB is too good to refuse.
R3 No.1 - Almost El Eagle$8*
This race is only over a mile but with a few horses wanting to get forward early and some gun stayers drawn wide on the frontline there'll be pressure on throughout and they will run some brutal time. It's for that reason I'm banking on Almost El Eagle, a renowned sit-sprinter with an awesome 200m burst of speed, to land the trail in transit and have a great chance of out-zipping his rivals via the Sprint lane late.
R7 No.6 - Christen Me$6*
You could have gotten as much as $8 about Cran Dalgety's 7-time Group 1 winner straight after Tuesday morning's draw but he has sensibly been wound back in by his many fans. Simply put, I believe he is Australasia's best pacer up to a middle distance and unlike many of his Vic Cup rivals he's enjoyed an ideal, almost faultless preparation for the race.
Money Race(s)
R5 $90 Flexi Box Trifecta
I'm really confident that the five key runners here will comprise the Trifecta and while it probably be easier to just box them up and hope for some value I'm weighting the Tricks so that we'll get a better result if the best horse engaged (Chancellor Cullen) or the best drawn and suited horse (Uncle Wingnut) get the chocolates tonight.
1,5/ 1,4,5,8,11/ 1,4,5,8,11 $48 gets 200%
4,8,11/ 1,4,5,8,11/ 1,4,5,8,11 $42 gets 116.67%
R6 $90 Flexi First 4's
Much of our night will rely on Menin Gate (4) winning here but I'm very bullish that he will. On talent, Artistic Flite (8) and Show Me The Bling (10) should battle out minor money although I am hoping Justbritell (5) blisters out to lead before handing up to Menin Gate (4) because that will give us an awesome chance to jag some value from the event.
4/ 5,8,10/ 5,8,10/ 5,8,10 $30 gets 500%
4/ 5,8,10/ 5,8,10/ Field $45 gets 150%
4/ 5,8,10/ Field/ 5,8,10 $15 gets 50%
Early Quaddie(s) - $120 EARLY Quads & $140 Quads
2,4,7,8/ 9/ 1,2,3,4,5,6/ 4$48 gets 200%
2,4,7,8/ 9/ 1,2,3,4,5,6/ 5,10$36 gets 75%
2,4,7,8/ 6,11/ 1,2,3,4,5,6/ 4$36 gets 75%
Quaddie(s) - $120 EARLY Quads & $140 Quads
1,4,5,8,11/ 4/ 3,6/ 4,9,10$60 gets 200%
1,4,5,8,11/ 4/ 3,6/ 3,5$10 gets 50%
1,4,5,8,11/ 4/ 4,7,10,12/ 4,9,10$60 gets 100%
1,4,5,8,11/ 4/ 4,7,10,12/ 3,5$10 gets 25%

*Prices are indicative and subject to change. Visit tab.com.au to see latest prices