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!

It’s time for the cream to rise to the top! Blue Diamond winner ARTORIUS is screaming out for further ground and looks beautifully placed in the Listed Exford Plate. AYRTON continues to impress and while bigger things are planned for him throughout the carnival he can’t easily account for his rivals at Flemington in The Sofitel. Kiwi visitor ENTRIVIERE narrowly missed on Australian debut in the Autumn and can make amends for that loss in the Group 2 Sheraco Stakes at Kembla Grange 😍.

Imported stayer PONDUS will find the 2500m and 60kgs too big a burden in the opener at Flemington, while PRINCE OF BOOM will need to tidy up his manners to secure a win at Doomben. At Morphettville, money muncher HINCHPIN will once again go around favourite. He is one for the thrill-seekers ❎!

Good Luck Punters!

Flemington R2 – 1. Artorius @ $1.75 😍

Blue Diamond winner ARTORIUS came home like a rocket to narrowly miss when first-up over 1200m on the McNeil Stakes (below). He won at his only previous second-up run and has been crushed in early betting ($2.25- $1.75). Up to 1400m this week, I expect him to zoom past his rivals in the straight. The best bet of the day.

BET ON EXFORD PLATE HERE:

Kembla Grange R6 – 3. Entriviere @ $2.60 😍

Emerging New Zealand star ENTRIVIERE is building a formidable record with five wins and two seconds from seven career starts. She found the line well despite having no luck for second in the Group 2 SAPPHIRE STAKES back in the Autumn (below) and was a winner at her only first-up run. Te Akau Racing have a terrific record when travelling horses to Australia and ENTRIVIERE looks one of the best in the stable. I can’t wait to see how she runs and am happy to back her.

BET ON SHERACO STAKES HERE:

Flemington R5 – 2. Ayrton @ $1.55 😍

AYRTON made it five wins from six starts when doing all that was required when winning first up and will strip fitter for that outing. He is a Group 1 horse running around in the Listed Sofitel with 56kgs. Seriously? Jamie Kah’s loss is John Allen’s gain. Sit and steer.

BET ON THE SOFITEL HERE:

Flemington R1 – 1. Pondus @ $2.80 ❎

The Team Williams prepared stayer returns to Australia after doing his recent racing in Ireland. He showed great promise last year in Australian conditions finishing second in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Bendigo Cup at his only two runs in the Spring. He will be competitive in all the races he contests, but the 2500m first up and 60kgs looks a big task. The $2.80 looks short. Not this week.

BET ON FLEMINGTON RACE 1 HERE:

Doomben R4 – 1. Prince of Boom @ $2.60 ❎

PRINCE OF BOOM looked terrific in the Brisbane Winter Carnival when winning the Group 2 Champagne Classic and I had high hopes for him this Spring. However, he did plenty wrong when unplaced as a $2.40 first up and was the first horse beaten. Stepping up to 1400m this week, he will need to give a minimum of 3kgs to his rivals. Pass.

BET ON DOOMBEN RACE 4 HERE:

Morphettville R4 – 4. Hinchpin @ $2.90 ❎

One win and five seconds from nine career runs say it all! HINCHPIN has tested the patience of his backers and been a money muncher. The McEvoy trained 5yo has chased strongly for second at his last two runs and the market suggests that he is ready for the 1600m this week. BUT, he hasn’t won for over two years! Can he finish strongly and get the prize? Maybe. Am I backing him? No thank.

BET ON MORPHETTVILLE RACE 4 HERE: