Shepparton News

Generation of mug punters


- With Aydin Payne

Welcome back to another edition of Payney’s Punt.

We are walking a little bit slower today with our pockets weighing us down thanks to a fill up midweek. But we do have a spring in our step because tomorrow is Cox Plate day. The Group One Cox Plate (2040m) is one of the most thrilling races on the calendar and we can’t wait to see who enters the history books. There is expected to be some showers late on Friday night that may hang around tomorrow.

It looks like they should start racing on a Soft 5, with the chance of an upgrade to a Good 4.

The rail will be in its true position, so hopefully we can see them win from any spot on the track.

As always, if you are looking to turn silver into gold tomorrow, please remember to gamble responsibl­y. Race 1. 12.15pm — Inglis Banner (1000m)

A tricky race in the opener with all but two making their debut. Hard to get a read on who might set the speed. Equivocal (7) is the early favourite thanks to a recent jump out win. Red Rapid (11) has won two jump outs and beat home Equivocal earlier this month. Nobel (17) was bought for $2.1 million. Has come through strong Sydney trials and won a recent jump out at Flemington. Field Of Dreams (8) ran second in that Flemington jump out. Yakutsk (13) ran fourth on debut and the time was quicker than average. Bemote (6) beat her in a recent jump out. With 10 races on the card, it might be best to not be greedy and watch them run around in the first. But for those who like to live dangerousl­y, Nobel goes on top.

Top tip: Nobel

Race 2. 12.50pm — Handicap (1000m)

There is a bit more form to work with here. Expect Starry Legend (10) to bounce out and lead from 1 and 11. Starry Legend has built a handy record with three wins from four starts. Is unbeaten at this distance and has form on soft ground. Should lead from barrier two and be hard to chase down. Is a dual acceptor.

Ranting (6) is the next best runner in the race. Returns from a spell and has two runner-up finishes when fresh. Has the talent, but yet to win at this trip. Dexelation (3) has a chance. Won last start over 1000m and has seven wins on soft ground. Free Of Debt (2) and Excess Funds (5) are two to watch. Grandview Avenue (1) can match it with these runners, but does come back from a long spell.

Top tip: Starry Legend

Race 3. 1.25pm — Crockett Stakes (1200m)

There are nine lightly-raced fillies stepping out here. A bit of a head scratcher with multiple winning chances. Dancelittl­esister (9) looks the obvious leader from New York Baby (2). The latter commands respect after a dominant win at Flemington first-up. Then went to G3 level and just missed out with a strong second. Robodira (1) needs dry ground and we could lean towards her if it dries up. Had excuses last start behind New York Baby and just needs to get back to Furious Stakes form. Two runner-up finishes

over this trip. Star Waltz (6) looks a great each-way play. Had no luck last time out, but cruised home two back at Geelong. Our Heidi (8) ran second on debut on a rainaffect­ed track. Showed plenty of promise and returns from a spell. Expect to be fighting it out.

Top tip: Robodira

Race 4. 2pm — Red Anchor Stakes (1200m)

Expect Dosh (9) to jump out and drift to the lead from barrier nine, along with Tadweer (7) and

Generation (4). Dosh has never missed the placings from four starts and we have been big supporters. Rises to 1200m for the first time and the query will be whether the filly can run out the trip. Generation just missed last start at this track/distance. Is third-up and will be fitter here. James McDonald on board is a big tick. Has great soft form. Goes on top and is our best of the day.

He’s Xceptional (1) looks overs. Has great form over this trip and at The Valley. Don’t be surprised if the gelding hunts them down. Tadweer is undefeated, but rises in class here. Athlric (5) is another to watch. Drops back to 1200m and beat Generation home two back.

Top tip: Generation

Race 5. 2.35pm — Fillies Classic (1600m)

The early pace should come from I Like Big Putts (10) and The Amazonian (9) and it should be a quick tempo. Heresy (2) is finding plenty of love early. Had no luck whatsoever last start in the G1 Thousand Guineas and can bounce back.

Fortunate Kiss (3) also had no luck in that race. Kicked to the line strongly, but has drawn wide.

Vianello (1) is on the short back-up. Won last start over 1400m ahead of

Stern Impulse (4). Maracana (7) beat home Stern Impulse over 1400m at Ballarat last start in an easy win. Has drawn wide and might give them a head start, but should be flying late. Is undefeated and expect a big run.

Top tip: Maracana

Race 6. 3.10pm — Crystal Mile (1600m)

We should see either Buffalo River (4) or Rhinoceros (10) lead with

Second Slip (6) close behind. If the rain intensifie­s and the track is downgraded to a Soft 6-7 range then Buffalo River looks hard to go past. Swam home last weekend over 1400m. Fourth-up now, so should be able to run out the mile.

Elephant (5) maps to get a cosy run behind the leaders. Didn’t have the best of luck last start in the G1 Toorak. Expect improvemen­t here.

Embolism (8) beat home Elephant in the Toorak and third-up should be fitter again. Second Slip (6) set a quick pace in the Toorak and faded to run seventh. Rises in weight, but does have Linda Meech on board. Toss up between the Buffalo and Elephant.

Top tip: Elephant

Race 7. 3.45pm — Moonee Valley Vase (2040m)

The front runners look to be

Samarkand (11), El Rocko (4) and

Sharper (7), while race favourite

Forgot You (1) drifts to settle at the back. He looks hard to beat. Flashed home in the G1 Caulfield Guineas. Last 200m was the second quickest of the race. Has two wins at The Valley which is a big tick for a backmarker. One of those wins came on a Soft 7 track. Blackcomb (14) was luckless last start and blinkers go on. Ran second in Derby Trial and will be charging late. Same can be said for Capital Legend (15) who has a great turn of foot. Samarkand is one for the roughie lovers. Has placed at this trip and at this track. Loves wet ground and if there is any leader bias then a place would not surprise.

Top tip: Forgot You

Race 8. 4.25pm — Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m)

Expect an above average pace with 9, 3, 12 and 10 pushing forward.

Floating Artist (12) was disappoint­ing last start in the Coongy Cup.

Pondus (10) on the other hand, was quite the eye catcher when fresh in the Bart Cummings. The import led them and tired late, but second-up should be fitter. His second-up form is terrific (4:2-2-0). Harpo Max (7) put in a superb performanc­e in the G1 Metropolit­an last start. Can handle dry or wet conditions.

Starcaster (9) looks juicy at $26. Toughed it out to win the Benalla Cup last start and has been racing really well.

Top tip: Pondus

Race 9. 5.10pm — Cox Plate (2040m)

The feature race is upon us and it promises to be a belter. Expect to see Callsign Mav (4) take up the front running with Zaaki (1) in tow. Those to settle back will be Anamoe

and Captivant (10). Zaaki has plenty to prove after going under last start when odds-on favourite. Wasn’t the first and won’t be the last galloper to let punters down at short odds. But we are sticking with the gelding. J-Mac jumping back in the saddle is a massive tick. Is fourth-up and was at this stage of the prep when he smashed opponents in the Doomben Cup. Mo’unga (5) looks worth having a nibble on. Flew home two back to finish on the heels behind Incentivis­e and then last start covered ground in the Epsom. Looks prime for a run over 2000m. Should get a decent run behind Zaaki. Anamoe (9) was brilliant in the Caulfield Guineas and at 49.5kg is going to be dangerous. Verry Elleegant (6) can win. Has an 11:5-3-0 record over 2000m. Will appreciate soft ground. Not ready to lay into talented imports Gold Trip (3) and State Of Rest (8) who start their preps here.

Top tip: Zaaki W, Mo’unga P

Race 10. 5.50pm — Tesio Stakes (1600m)

An open race to end on with plenty of value if you can land it. The early speed will come out wide from Annavisto (4) and Flying Mascot (14). Annavisto is taking up the early money. Has been racing well, but we are looking elsewhere. Ecumenical (11) placed behind Annavisto three back and has claims. Only Words (7) beat Ecumenical home last start.

More Prophets (3) ran second over the mile last start. Handles both conditions and will be charging late.

Good And Proper (12) has shown slick times. Got Magna Bella (5) on top. Hasn’t raced for more than a month now, but did have a trial at Morphettvi­lle and won that. Placed second last start at this track and distance in the G2 Stocks Stakes. Carried 57kg and drops to 54kg. Meech should get up on the pace from barrier nine.

Top tip: Magana Bella (EW)

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 ?? Picture: Scott Barbour/Racing Photos ?? Ready to bounce back: After a disappoint­ing last run, expect Zaaki to bounce back in style in the Cox Plate.
Picture: Scott Barbour/Racing Photos Ready to bounce back: After a disappoint­ing last run, expect Zaaki to bounce back in style in the Cox Plate.
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