The Meadows betting preview, best bets & odds | Saturday 20/5/23
The Meadows are set to host 12 races on Saturday night from 6:24PM local time. There's two feature finals on the program with the “GRV Vicbred Series Final” over the 525m showcasing talented young guns Alpha Zulu and Flip Your Fifty as well as the Final over the 600m where Mepunga Mustang heads the betting from the inside box.
Best Bet: Zoha Bale (Race 4)
Melbourne Cup winning trainer, Mark Delbridge appears to have a stranglehold on this race with his group one dog Yahci Bale and Zoha Bale heading the betting. Expecting the latter to cause a minor upset. Zoha Bale has raced in patches since returning from tasting a heavy defeat in the 2023 Country Classic at Dubbo in March. In his four starts since, he has placed in two races and been well beaten in the other two races. Last week, stepping from box four he began as well as anything before hitting a flat spot, getting checked and being ultimately relegated to last. He whipped to the outside and finished off strongly visually making the 600m his next stepping stone. He has been given his ideal set up tonight from the stripes box with Trending Zari drawn inside him who is a known slow beginner. He was able to cross Manila Dusk last week and they match up once again this week yet Manila Dusk is drawn to his outside which should allow Zoha Bale to find the top here. The current favourite, Yachi Bale is having his third crack at the distance this preparation and is drawn where he wants to be. Despite this, Belle Violin, drawn to his inside, likes to use the track which could cause Yachi Bale some grief. Expecting Zoha Bale to find the arm and given he does so, he will rail hard and prove hard to run past as he's very strong.
Race 4 – Blue Hornet (3)
Form: 42625 | Career: 32: 8-7-6 | Trainer: Mark Delbridge
Next Best: Hara's Skipper (Race 6)
No superstars in this line up however, all finalists are terrific money spinners for their respective camps. Due to the even contest and plenty of speed influences in the race, Hara's Skipper appears the best betting opportunity. The two-year-old son of Sennachie x Hara's Annie has been winless in more than ten starts; however, he has bumped into some quality opposition and to his credit, ran some cracking races. Before lining up in last week's heats, he had faced Dirt Farmer who won a heat of the group one Sandown Cup on Thursday night, Golden Ratio, Valor Bale and Jackpot Joan. In last week's heat, he drew the squeeze and that's exactly what took place. Being relegated to near last, he thundered home in an eye-catching display when third to current race favourite, Mepunga Mustang. The key factor to tonight's final is, many, if not all his opposition race to some degree exclusively on the bunny. If they don't lead they're unable to produce a withering change of speed to go past rivals. With this, the obvious, they can't all lead. Hara's Skipper will likely settle towards the rear however, expect him to pick through this field with ease and prove hard to hold out if the gaps open up late in the piece.
Race 6 – Hara's Skipper (7)
Form: 22353 | Career: 24: 5-5-7 | Trainer: Vicki Wisener
Best Value: Raven Nighthawk (Race 1)
Leading Victorian trainer, Thomas Dailly will be aiming to have a big night having runners in a plethora of races across the program and he can kick off a winner with Raven Nighthawk. The one-year-old daughter of Barcia Bale x My Black Raven has started her career off in a good manner having won one and being placed in a further two races from five outings. The team have recently switched her to the Meadows 525m where she has placed in both her runs and is coming off a personal best 30.64 last start. Jumping from the three, she was able to show great acceleration zooming to the top and went clear by three lengths down the back. Aston Luciano was hot on her hammer and when making his run, clipped heels causing both dogs to lose momentum which allowed the kennelmate, Raven Owl to sneak rails runs to score by four lengths. It's safe to say Raven Nighthawk would've run one to two lengths quicker had the home turn tangled not occurred. This race appears very open and well within her grasp. The current favourite, Divine Nature has been rocks or diamonds thus far and races very green. In both his two turn starts, he has fluffed the start, dived to the rails initially and then looked to run off. The second favourite, Closure has also mixed his performances. He can run sub standard time leading for this class of animal however, in the races he hasn't led he has run very ordinary. Expecting Raven Nighthawk to kick up, lead and prove hard to run down.
Race 1 – Raven Nighthawk (1)
Form: 57132 | Career: 5: 1-1-1 | Trainer: Thomas Dailly