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 brilliant racing continues this Saturday with Black Type racing all over Australia. ELLSBERG was too good leading all the way in the South Pacific last start and is well placed to repeat the dose in the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas. Godolphin sprinter TREKKING resumes in the Victory Stakes at Eagle Farm and he looks a class above his rivals. With four wins from her last five runs GEORGIE’S PRIDE ticks all the boxes at Eagle Farm, living up to the adage of “winning form is good form”. 😍

STEINEM will jump favourite in the Australasian Oaks and after a tough run last start and with the inside draw I am taking her on. ROYAL CELEBRATION is proving a tough one to catch and I will be betting around him in the Hawkesbury Gold Cup, while the short price on stayer GRAND PROMENADE at Sandown does not appeal. ❎

Good Luck Punters!

Eagle Farm R4 – 2. Georgie’s Pride @ $2.50 😍

GEORGIE’S PRIDE made it four wins from five runs this prep with a dominant 4+ length win last start when dropping back in distance to 1200m and the 3yo filly looks ready to step up to 1300m. Jim Byrne has a great affinity with the horse and she is perfectly drawn in barrier 4. She ticks all the boxes. Yes, please.


Hawkesbury R7 – 3. Ellsberg @ $2.10 😍

ELLSBERG gave nothing else a chance when leading all the way in the Listed South Pacific last start (below) and he looked to have plenty up his sleeve. He has placed at his only previous Group 3 start and Tim Clark is a master at riding on-pace runners. I expect the colt to go straight to the lead and not give his rivals a chance. I’m on.


Eagle Farm R8 – 1. Trekking @ $1.95 😍

The dual Group 1 winner TREKKING resumes after a lengthy break and to be honest, he is in another class to his rivals. He won the Group 1 Goodwood in Adelaide around this time last year (below) and finished less than two lengths off the winner in the Group 1 Winterbottom in Perth at his last start. He has trialled well and the money ($2.5 – $1.95) suggests he is ready for his first-up run.  The Godolphin prepared sprinter only needs clear running to get the prize. The best bet of the day.


Sandown R4 – 3. Grand Promenade @ $2.30 ❎

GRAND PROMENADE has been racing consistently with back to back seconds over 2000m and the market suggests the step up to 2400m will suit. However, no wins for over a year (last 6 starts) rings the alarm bells as does the 58kgs. On the positive side, John Allen is a strong booking who can get the best of his mounts late. Am I taking the short price?  No thanks.


Hawkesbury R8 – 7. Royal Celebration @ $3.10 ❎

ROYAL CELEBRATION put in a much improved run for third over 1400m last week and the 1600m of the Hawkesbury Gold Cup this week looks like his Grand Final. The Ron Quinton trained 5yo is proving hard to catch in recent times, with no wins for over a year and this is a good field as you would expect at Group 3 level. Is he up to this class? Pass.


Morphettville R8 – 13. Steinem @ $3.90 ❎

STEINEM tasted defeat for the first time when putting in a big run from the rear of the field in the Group 3 Auraria Stakes to finish just off the placegetters as a short-priced favourite. His jockey had no choice but to settle rearward from the poor gate on that occasion and the Maher and Eustace filly made up considerable ground. This week she has drawn gate 1 and I fear that she is going to struggle to get out of the “coffin” in the run and get held up at crucial stages. How much did her big finish take out of her last start? Jye McNeil will need to produce a peach. I’m not convinced. Not for me!