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Horse Racing – Love It Or Leave It | Sat 1st January

Placing a bet on a favourite – some punters can’t get enough of them, while others steer clear of them. Racing writer Justin Devine looks at some of the more fancied runners for this weekend’s horse racing and decides if he loves them 😍 or if he should leave ❎  them!

Happy New Year to all! The Pakenham Cup winner SMOKIN’ ROMANS steps up to 2800m for the first time this week in the Listed Bagot Handicap at Flemington and looks hard to beat with Jamie Kah in the saddle. He will find a good spot in the run and power to the line. American import LIGHTHOUSE has taken all before her in Australia and can add some black type to her CV in the Chester Manifold Stakes. Over in the West, MISS CONTEKI looks beautifully placed in the Listed Summer Scorcher after a freshen up 😍. 

APACHE CHASE will need to overcome a horrid barrier draw to win The Buffering at Doomben and looks under the odds in the big race. HERMAN HESSE and HUMBOLT CURRENT have both had their chances to win in recent weeks and continue to find one or two better than them in their races. That trend is set to continue at Randwick and Doomben respectively ❎.

Good Luck Punters!

Flemington R7 – 2. Smokin’ Romans @ $2.30 😍

SMOKIN’ ROMANS has four wins and two seconds from his last six runs including a dominant win over 2500m in the Pakenham Cup last start (below). He makes his own luck in his races sitting up close to the leaders and the 2800m for the Bagot Handicap is not a concern. Star hoop Jamie Kah is starting to find her best form and SMOKIN’ ROMANS looks bombproof. The best bet of the day.


Flemington R8 – 9. Lighthouse @ $2.40😍

US import LIGHTHOUSE made it three from three in Australia when winning well at Flemigton last start (below) over 1400m. She found the line strongly on that occasion and looks to have a bit more in the tank. Expect her to get the box seat run and she drops 5.5kgs. The Listed Chester Manifold Stakes is hers for the taking.


Ascot R6 – 6. Miss Conteki @ $3.10 😍

The Simon Miller trained MISS CONTEKI looks well placed here. She resumes after a small let up and is three from four when fresh and has won five from six over the 1000m at Ascot. Thrown in at the weights with 54.5kgs and drawn well she ticks all the boxes. I’m on.


Randwick R3 – 1. Herman Hesse @ $3.10 ❎

Is today the day for the stayer HERMAN HESSE? The Maher and Eustace trained import has raced well since coming to Sydney after beginning in Melbourne but he hasn’t won. Back-to-back second placings have frustrated his backers and he looked to have every chance in the Listed Christmas Cup when favourite. This race is easier BUT he does carry 59.5kgs after the claim. Has he missed his chance for another win this prep? I will be betting around him.  H


Doomben R6 – 5. Humbolt Current @ $3.70 ❎

The Waller-trained HUMBOLT CURRENT made up considerable ground to finish second when well backed last start and takes on a field of the “usual suspects” this week. There is no doubt that he will be fit enough, but does he want to win? He has gone eight runs without a win and has been well in the market at the majority of those runs. I expect him to run well but cannot entertain backing him as favourite. He is one for the thrillseekers.


Doomben R8 – 3. Apache Chase @ $2.40 ❎

APACHE CHASE is a very good horse! He has won three of his last four, with his only defeat a 4th placed finish in The Golden Eagle two runs back. He was a dominant winner at a short price last start and will jump a solid favourite in The Buffering this week. HOWEVER, he has drawn the widest gate and Jim Byrne is going to have to use him up early to sit close to the speed. Will he get planted three to four wide? The 4yo hasn’t won at his two Doomben runs and that is a concern. He is the best horse in the race, BUT I’m taking him on!



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