Firstly there is one Quality race to bet on at Riccarton today which involves backing two horses for a healthy profit here.
Many punters have been waiting for this race, the Couplands Mile, ever since Hastings. The bookies are hoping for a miracle that he gets beaten as they in for a massive payout if Opie can get the job done. But is it as cut and dried as it looks? The negatives have got many a hot favourite beaten before. Firstly, he maps to settle last and with only a moderate tempo likely, he will need an uninterrupted passage home from the 600m. he could race too freshly after a 39 day break. His only failure was here in the 2000 Guineas. So it does set up for one of the most interesting races over Cup week.
The speed map shows a moderate tempo suiting runners in the first half of the field.
5.Te Akau Shark looks the obvious winner after his two impressive wins. He has trained on exceptionally well also. He’s $1.50 and may not pay more than that by race time. So how can he get beaten? Looking at the speed map, there is no obvious leader and only 3 or 4 who will look to be on the pace early. So it is likely to a slowly run race and he will be at the back. On a decent surface they will likely come home in about 34 seconds off the front if nothing takes the bull by the horn and attempts to get a break on them midrace. So if he is 7 or 8 lengths off the leaders with 600m to go he is going to have to break 33 seconds to win. He could run that but he is likely to have to come wide to do it so won’t want anything getting in his way. Opie hasn’t been riding with his usual good judgement too, so it is going to be a very interesting race. If you got the earlier odds you will be happy but at $1.50 he is no value. Plus he hasn’t raced for 39 days and his only failure was here in the 2000 Guineas when fourth. Remember, slow tempo is what almost got Winx beaten at Flemington! Based on the negatives, the value looks to be in the quinellas and trifectas.
11.Livin’ On A Prayer looks the obvious one to win if it goes to custard for the favourite. She ran home in 11.56 for her last 200m on Saturday, the fastest of the day, and gets in on a winning weight. She has the early sped to land in the first six and from there, will be the one the Shark has to run down.
4.Shadows Cast shared the winning stake in this last year. Maps to get all favours.
6.Watch This Space led this race last year and set a moderate tempo. He battled well for 4th. Could hold on for a place.
9.Rangipo won well last start and should get all favours.
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