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!

Godolphin pair VIRIDINE and KORDIA were both impressive last start winners and can go on with the job this week at Caulfield and Rosehill respectively. The on-fire McEvoy yard continue to place their horses beautifully and SIGN OF USSURI looks to have lengths on his rivals at Gawler with Barend Vorster to steer 😍 . MYSTERY SHOT will need to carry a big weight and overcome a tough draw to maintain his 100% strike rate and while he is a lovely type, it looks a big ask for him at Caulfield. BANDERSNATCH is yet to find his best form this preparation and looks under the odds at Rosehill while the ultra-consistent SOXAGON risks being a sitting shot late in the Listed Glasshouse at the Sunshine Coast❎ .

Good Luck Punters!

Caulfield R7 – 2. Viridine @ $2.6 😍

VIRIDINE found the line strongly to win well at Randwick last start with 61kgs and drops to 58.5kg for the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes on Saturday. He can handle some give in the ground and should get a gun run throughout and prove too strong in the run home.  I’m on.

BET ON SIR JOHN MONASH STAKES HERE:

Rosehill R8 – 11. Kordia @ $3 😍

KORDIA impressed when powering home to win first-up after more than a year away from the racetrack. He goes up in a grade this week but gets in with the luxury of only 54.5kgs. Expect him to move through the grades quickly and should have plenty on his rivals. I’m tipping win four at start five for the Godolphin prepared 3yo.

BET ON ROSEHILL RACE 8 HERE:

Gawler R5 – 5. Sign of Ussuri @ $2 😍

SIGN OF USSURI has thrived since returning to South Australia with back to back wins, including a dominant last start win at Morphettville (below). He continues to be beautifully placed by connections and will box seat in the run this week before powering away in the straight. For the best jockey and trainer combination in the country he ticks all the boxes to bring up his hat trick. Yes please.

BET ON GAWLER RACE 5 HERE:

Caulfield R5 – 2. Mystery Shot @ $3.6 

MYSTERY SHOT made it three from three with an impressive win at Caulfield last start and continues to get the job done. While he is a deserved favourite, the 5kg weight rise to 61.5kg and barrier 10 aren’t ideal. We will see how good he is this week and I will be betting around him.

BET  ON CAULFIELD RACE 5 HERE:

Rosehill R6 – 1. Bandersnatch @ $2.5 ❎

BANDERSNATCH put in a much-improved run last time for second but remains winless this preparation. From the wide draw, he may need to be used up early to find the lead or risk getting planted wide throughout. Can he do it at both ends with 60kgs? I’m doubtful. He looks under the odds.

BET ON ROSEHILL RACE 6 HERE:

Sunshine Coast R8 – 6. Soxagon @ $2.3 ❎

Got to hand it to SOXAGON! He continues to race well and find the box seat in his races. At his last start, he settled fourth before finding the line strongly to win by a length over 1350m at Doomben. He will jump favourite in the Listed Glasshouse at the Sunshine Coast this week. The 4yo will once again get a nice run in transit but the extra 50m and the long straight at the Sunny Coast will make it tougher for him. In a good field I fear that SOXAGON will be a sitting shot late. I’m betting around him.

BET ON SUNSHINE COAST RACE 8 HERE: