Race 1 – E-Cycle Solutions Maiden Hurdle (3480m)
The Wolf rates this as the most open maiden hurdle so far this season, with five serious winning chances in a field of eight. The fresh blood on the scene is Multitude, and The Wolf thinks he might be the one. Making his debut for the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable, he is as tough as they come, having raced continuously without a spell since October last year, and he courageously lumped 63.5Kg to victory over a mile and a half at Kembla, a performance that had future jumper written all over it. The five year old has had two jumping trials in preparation for this and been highly impressive in both. Casterton tends to suit horses on speed, so if he can get things his own way he might be too speedy for them.
Recommended Bet: No.4 Multitude
Race 2 – Shojun Concrete BM 120 Hurdle (3480m)
This race brings together a variety of different form lines through maiden hurdles run at the Warrnambool carnival and far and away the most impressive winner there was Cougar Express. You can’t get too caught up in times when it comes to jumps racing, but he broke the track record and managed to run 3.5 seconds quicker than the two other divisions with first use of a drying track. The Jarrod McLean trained galloper doesn’t want it too wet, but as long as the track comes up rated a Soft 7 or better, you can bet with confidence. Brad McLean should take him straight to the front and he should be too strong for them.
Recommended Bet: No.3 Cougar Express
Race 5 – Phil Pullen & Co Open Steeplechase (3800m)
The Steeplechase will be the highlight of the card, a magnificent spectacle over the live hedges at Australia’s most picturesque racecourse. The race has attracted a full field as well so it should be super competitive. Top pick is the Simon Ryan trained Dormello Mo. The French bred gelding comes off a very solid run when sixth in the Brierly Steeplechase and this race is a couple of notches below that, class wise. He has won twice around this track and the only defeat he experienced here came when giving away 13Kg and the margin was a nose. Darryl Horner, who is having a breakout season in the saddle, will make valuable use of his three kilo claim.
Recommended Bet: No.1 Dormello Mo