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 Group 1 racing at Morphettville. EXPLOSIVE JACK can add the SA Derby to his already impressive CV with race specialist John Allen onboard. SIGNORE FOX has raced well so far this prep and if he brings his best barrier manners with him on Saturday, the Takeover Target Stakes at Gosford looks his race. AYRTON resumes after a short spell at Caulfield, and if his first two wins are anything to go by, the Mick Price trained 3yo has a bright future ahead of him. 😍

HOLBIEN will jump a short-priced favourite in Melbourne despite no wins for 46 weeks and I am happy to bet around him. CHERRY TORTONI is the class runner in the Adelaide Guineas, but he has struggled to produce his best at his last couple of runs. I’m not convinced that he can get the prize. Over in the west, COME PLAY WITH ME is expected to run well up in distance but the combination of a poor second-up record and a big weight don’t enthuse. ❎

Good Luck Punters!

Gosford R6 – 1. Signore Fox @ $3.10 😍

SIGNORE FOX was an impressive winner of the Group 3 Star Kingdom (below) two runs back and ran on strongly to finish just behind the placegetters in the Hall Mark last start after jumping awkwardly. The Snowden trained 5yo has a terrific third up record and can handle the cut in the ground. Tommy Berry is the cherry on top! If he jumps cleanly, he wins.


Morphettville R7 – 1. Explosive Jack @ $2.10 😍

EXPLOSIVE JACK is looking for a hat trick of Derby wins having already won the Tasmanian Derby and the Australian Derby and he looks hard to beat. There is no doubt he can stay the trip and his strong finish to win the Australian Derby was eye-catching to say the least. His rider John Allen has ridden three of the last five SA Derby winners and EXPLOSIVE JACK will get a soft run towards the rear before powering late. He has “been there done that” before. His rivals haven’t. I’m on.


Caulfield R9 – 4. Ayrton @ $1.75 😍

The unbeaten AYRTON returns to the track after a 19-week spell and is the most interesting runner of the day at Caulfield. The 3yo has dominated at both his starts with winning margins of four and five lengths respectively and looked to have plenty in hand on both occasions. His recent trial win at Echuca suggested he is ready to fire first up. I think he is a Group horse. The best bet of the day.


Caulfield R5 – 3. Holbien @ $1.90 ❎

It’s D-Day for the 6yo HOLBIEN! He has seven placings from 11 runs this prep, but ZERO wins. There is no doubt he deserves a win, but does he want one. No wins in 46 weeks and a 3kg claimer to ride don’t exactly fill punters with confidence to take the odds on quote. He will run well but doesn’t represent any value. No thanks.


Morphettville R8 – 1. Cherry Tortoni @ $2.10 ❎

CHERRY TORTONI has been costly for punters of late, with two unplaced runs in a row, both as favourite. The Paddy Payne trained galloper put in a huge run for second in the Australian Guineas back in February and looked set for a big campaign and hasn’t fired since. He is undoubtedly the best horse in the race. His style of getting well back and charging home always ensures that punters are in for a white-knuckle ride. He might just brain them. BUT I’m happy to take him on.


Ascot R7 – 1. Come Play With Me @ $3 ❎

The Durrant trained COME PLAY WITH ME was placed first up and will go around as a $3 chance in the small field this week. His first-up run was full of merit and suggested that the step up to 2150m this week will be ideal. However, the 6yo has a woeful second-up record (6:0-0-1) and will carry 62kgs. They say weight can stop a train, and it looks likely to stop COME PLAY WITH ME this week. Not for me!