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!

Star Queensland 2yo ROTHFIRE returns to the track after a ten-week break to contest the Group 2 Champagne Classic at Eagle Farm and with the inform Jim Byrne to steer, he can make it five wins from six starts. Expect the bold frontrunner SHOT OF IRISH (pictured) to bring up a hat-trick of wins at Flemington, assisted by the 2kg claim for Tahlia Hope. KHOEKHOE grew wings late last start to win at Caulfield and will be even better over the 1400m at Flemington on Saturday 😍. KINANE will need to be every bit as good as his “spruik” is to win the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic, stepping back in distance and from the widest gate. At around the even-money quote, he looks under the odds. SOUTHERN LAD ran on well without threatening the winner last start and is likely to find the 1100m a tad short at Randwick. MASSIMO has gone down as a short-priced favourite at his last three starts in the West, and only the most loyal Willy Pike followers will be on him at Belmont! ❎.

Enjoy the great racing Punters!

Flemington R2- 1. Khoekhoe @ $2.5 😍

The Matthew Cumani trained 2yo attacked the line strongly to win at Caulfield last start over 1200m. KOHOEKHOE gives the impression that he will love the step up to 1400m on Saturday and the wide-open spaces of Flemington should suit. He looks to have his rivals covered.

BET NOW FLEMINGTON RACE 2 HERE:

Flemington R8 – 13. Shot of Irish @ $3.4 😍

SHOT OF IRISH is thriving since relocating to Victoria, recording back to back wins at his last two runs. He is thrown in with the 2kg claim for Tahlia Hope and has five wins from seven runs on a heavy track. The wetter the better! Stepping back to 1600m he looks beautifully placed to lead all the way. Yes Please.

BET NOW ON FLEMINGTON RACE 8 HERE:

Eagle Farm R6 – 1. Rothfire @ $2.8 😍

ROTHFIRE burst onto the scene in Brisbane with wins in his first four races, before going down as a $1.20 favourite in The Jewel on the Gold Coast. He returns in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes on Saturday and is two from two first up. Connections considered sending the 2yo colt to Sydney for the Golden Slipper earlier this year, before deciding to focus on the Brisbane carnival. In form jockey, Jim Byrne should have no problem dictating terms in the lead. ROTHFIRE can get the prize en route to the JJ Atkins.

BET NOW ON CHAMPAGNE CLASSIC HERE:

NFL

Randwick R5 – 5. Southern Lad @ $2.6 ❎

SOUTHERN LAD finished strongly for second in the Wagga Town Plate, a length off the winner. There is no doubting the gelding’s ability. However, there are plenty of questions this Saturday. Will he cover ground or get too far back due to the wide gate? Will he be “running on” again stepping back to 1100m after 1200m last run? When you consider the quality of the opposition and his winless second-up record does the $2.6 look a good price? No Thanks.

BET NOW ON RANDWICK RACE 5 HERE:

Eagle Farm R7 – 5. Kinane @ $2.05 

KINANE was devastating last start, charging late to win the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate at Randwick. James McDonald produced a peach of a ride from gate 2 to save ground before the 3yo finished strongly. There is no JMAC this week and he has the “visitors draw” in gate 17. He is likely to get well back in the run from the draw. KINANE looks the best horse in the race, but he will need plenty of luck at a short price to salute. Pass.

BET NOW ON GUNSYND CLASSIC HERE:

Belmont R7 – 5. Massimo @ $3.2 ❎

MASSIMO has been an expensive horse to follow for punters, going down as a $2.30 favourite at his last three runs. Willy Pike has been aboard on all three occasions and he will need to be at his best to lift the Adam Durrant trained 3yo home. From a tough draw, he will struggle to sit close to the speed with cover and may be forced to settle further back than preferred, leaving too much to do late. He looks under the odds and I will be betting around him.

BET NOW ON BELMONT RACE 7 HERE: