RACING returns to Victoria on Tuesday as Ballarat hosts a strong eight race card.
We’re back in business following race-free Mondays and there are a number of quality runners taking to the track that could feature in some of the bigger autumn races, so let’s get straight into the action.
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Race 1 – Maiden Plate (1200m)
Hikaya returns after a lengthy layoff. The horse was decent on debut, finishing just shy of two lengths behind gun Hayes, Hayes and Daberning runner Long Leaf. Natural improvement is expected.
Race 1 tip: Hikaya to win at Sportsbet
Race 2 – Maiden Handicap (1100m)
Castlefield Lass finished second in back-to-back events and looks well placed to go one better on Tuesday. Despite the wide draw we think the horse can go forward and deliver its maiden win for trainer Alexander Rae.
Race 2 tip: Castlefield Lass to win at Neds
Race 3 – Maiden Plate (1100m)
Darren Weir-runner Branksome Chimes resumed in great fashion on January 12 and looks well placed to go one better. The Canford Cliffs colt gets a wide barrier, but with its superior gate speed it should be able to slide across and its fitness should be telling here.
Race 3 tip: Branksome Chimes to win at Neds
Race 4 – Maiden Plate (1400m)
Circomo is desperately unlucky to still be in the maiden grade following three-straight second placed finishes by less than a combined length. From the inside draw the Uncle Mo gelding should be hard to hold out.
Race 4 tip: Circomo to win at William Hill
Race 5 – Benchmark 58 (1400m)
I’m The Boss won well at this grade on January 16 and while it jumps in weight here, it is hard to go past. That win was at Ballarat and from gate four it will be the runner to beat.
Race 5 tip: I’m The Boss to win at Crownbet
Race 6 – Benchmark 64 (1500m)
Birds Of Tokyo is third-up, where it has placed in the past. The Luke Oliver-trained six-year-old has been less than stellar this preparation, but it runs much better has it gains race fitness. The daughter of Nicconi has won at a higher grade than this in the past and we believe it will bounce back to its best.
Race 6 tip: Bite The Media to win at William Hill
Race 7 – Class 1 Handicap (1200m)
Indernile delivered first-up at Ballarat on January 16 and we think it can go on with the job here. The horse was brilliant as a short-priced favourite on that day, and from an inside draw we believe it can go back-to-back in a smaller field.
Race 7 tip: Indernile to win at Crownbet
Race 8 – Benchmark 64 (1100m)
Admiral Michelle will jump out strongly here and give them something to catch. The horse broke the maiden well at Werribee last time out and draws the same weight it carried to victory on that day. It will be a tough assignment but we think Admiral Michelle is up to the challenge.
Race 8 tip: Admiral Michelle to win at Crownbet