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!

The Group 1 Coolmore Classic and the inaugural running of the All Star Mile headline a great weekend of racing. VERRY ELLEEGANT finished strongly last start and looks to be the horse to beat in the Phar Lap Stakes 😍, while ATHIRI looks unders in the Magic Night Stakes ❎. The Stokes trained JUMBO OZAKI 😍 has taken all before him at the provincials and deserves his chance to impress in the city, while Damien Oliver and Mick Price combine down the straight with MASTERING 😍. The 60kgs might prove too much for UNFAIR DISMISSAL at Morphettville, while EXPRESS FLIRT for the Wizard in Perth looks under the odds ❎.

Good Luck Punters. 😉

Rosehill R3 – 4. Athiri @ $3.70

Ran on well in the Blue Diamond (below – white cap) without ever looking the winner. Athiri won her only start in Sydney before racing in Melbourne and any Godolphin 2yo must be respected. Gate 1 is a concern with wet conditions expected and she meets some top class opposition here. Looks under the odds in a competitive race and I’m looking elsewhere.

BET NOW ON MAGIC NIGHT STAKES HERE:

Rosehill R5 – 11. Verry Elleegant @ $ 3.60 😍

Began her career in New Zealand before crossing over to Australia for the Spring Racing Carnival last year. She was an eye-catching second behind AMPHRITRITE in The Vanity (below) and the step up in distance should suit. The Waller stable has enjoyed recent success in this race, and VERRY ELLEEGANT looks a Group 1 horse. She gets in beautifully at the set weights and the early money suggests she is the one to beat. I’m with her!

BET NOW ON PHAR LAP STAKES HERE:

Flemington R2 – 7. Jumbo Ozaki @ $2.60 😍

The Phillip Stokes trained 3yo destroyed his rivals on debut at Pakenham (below), winning by 7 lengths. He followed that win up with another victory at Bendigo and has been brought to town this weekend. He looks well above average and this is is not an overly strong race. Should make it 3 from 3 this week.

BET NOW ON FLEMINGTON RACE 2 HERE:

Flemington R9 – 5. Mastering @ $3.00 😍

Was a winner two starts back at Caulfield (below), and has trialled well in preparation for this weekend’s race. MASTERING has 2 wins and 3 seconds from 6 tries at the 1200 metres, including a second at his only previous attempt down the straight. Damien Oliver takes the ride from a middle gate with options to go either side of the straight depending on how the track is racing. The one to beat.

BET NOW ON FLEMINGTON RACE 9 HERE:

Morphettville R4 – 1. Unfair Dismissal @ $2.60 ❎

The Tony McEvoy trained colt returns after 24 weeks off, on the back of a solid Gawler barrier trial. Has a good deal of ability. First up over 1400 metres and 60kgs is the question mark this week for me. The $2.60 doesn’t represent any value and I am happy to bet around him this weekend.

BET NOW ON MORPHETTVILLE RACE 4 HERE:

Ascot R3 – 1. Express Flirt @ $2.05 ❎

The 6yo gelding has been racing consistently and should be rock hard fit this weekend.  The “Wizard” Pike takes the ride and Express Flirt is one of a number of his rides that will start favourite at Ascot this Saturday. While it’s hard to bet against Willy Pike, the topweight of 59kgs is a concern, and some of his rivals look progressive types. I’ll pass.

BET NOW ON ASCOT RACE 3 HERE:

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