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!

Racing is starting to heat up as Spring approaches! MASKED CRUSADER and SHOWMANSHIP put their streaks on the line at Randwick and Caulfield this week and should continue on their winning ways. They both look to have big Spring’s ahead of them. BOHEMOTH resumes at Morphettville after a short lay off and he looks ready to fire in the Spring Stakes. I’m happy to take VIRIDINE on in the Regal Roller Stakes with the jockey change, while RETURN WITH HONOUR looks under the odds at Eagle Farm. MONTELENA made the most of a perfect ride to win last start and will find things tougher at Belmont up in class ❎

Good Luck Punters!

Randwick R3 – 7. Masked Crusader @ $1.6 😍

MASKED CRUSADER got tongues wagging winning three on the trot before heading out to the paddock earlier this year. Resuming after a nice trial he looks well placed in a BM88 on Saturday. His effortless last start win at Randwick (below) gave an indication that he has a big race in him this Spring. Yes, please.

BET ON RANDWICK RACE 3 HERE:

Morphettville R7 – 2. Bohemoth @ $2.7 😍

BOHEMOTH has a win and three minors first up and has trialled well in preparation for the Group 3 Spring Stakes on Saturday. The Jolly trained 5yo was unlucky to not get a black-type win during the Adelaide carnival, following up a second in the McKay Stakes with a fast-finishing 4th in the Group 1 Goodwood (below). This looks much easier and the early money ($3 – $2.7) suggests he is ready to fire. I’m on.

BET ON SPRING STAKES HERE:

Caulfield R9 – 4. Showmanship @ $1.85 😍

The Western Australian visitor has won his last four and boasts a career record of five from six. While it is difficult to know how good his opposition have been, the Grant and Alana Williams trained gelding has won easily and looks to have plenty more left in the tank. The Wizard Willy Pike has relocated to Melbourne for a stint and has partnered SHOWMANSHIP to all his five wins. This is a BM84 in August. It’s a long way from Perth. I think he brains them. The best of the day.

BET ON CAULFIELD RACE 9 HERE:

Eagle Farm R6 – 1. Return With Honour @ $1.7 ❎

RETURN WITH HONOUR was an impressive winner on debut at Randwick on boxing day last year, and has been disappointing at his four runs since. First up this week, he will jump a short priced favourite and looks under the odds.  59kgs and the widest gate are also a concern. Pass.

BET ON EAGLE FARM RACE 6 HERE:

Caulfield R7 – 2. Viridine @ $2.7 ❎

VIRIDINE made the most of a Damien Oliver peach to come through along the rails and get the money in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes last start. Prior to that he chased home mudlark JUNGLE EDGE in the Sir John Monash for a respectable second. Has he peaked this prep? With Olly committed to Oaks winner MIAMI BOUND Mark Zahra rides this week. Others look better value for mine. No thanks.

BET ON REGAL ROLLER STAKES HERE:

Belmont R5 – 4. Montelena @ $1.65 ❎

MONTELENA broke a run of seven losses to win well at Belmont last start. He received a perfect ride from Chris Parnham on that occasion and everything fell into place throughout the race. This week he comes up against a much more experienced field. Can he make it two on the trot? Will he get all the favours in the run again? I’m not taking the short price to find out.

BET ON BELMONT RACE 5 HERE: