EVERY week there are punters who blindly back under-valued short-priced favourites in Australia, so we’ve gone through the form to find the ones you should be following and those you shouldn’t.
We must reiterate the fact that just because a horse is a firm favourite, that does not mean it’s the best horse in the field. If every favourite won we’d all be rich, but picking out the contenders and the pretenders is a vital aspect to making money.
There are false favourites across the board at Randwick, Mornington and Gold Coast this Saturday, so here’s our tips for the best and worst favourites.
Favourites to avoid backing this Saturday
Guard of Honour runs in Race 6 at Randwick as the current $2.75 favourite and that’s far too short for the inconsistent gelding.
The four-year-old was struggling to find its best form, so trainer Kris Lees went to Muswellbrook last start where he started as the $1.90 favourite, but scoring the win wasn’t an easy as expected.
He only narrowly defeated an average field and the last time he ran in the city was when finishing ninth behind Bonny O’Reilly.
Carrying 60.5kg isn’t going to help and although there are no superstars running against it, bookmakers are kidding with the $2.75. We’d need at least $4 to touch Guard of Honour this week and we suggest punters wait for a similar price.
Fontein Ali lines up in Race 2 at Mornington and it’s clear that bookmakers struggled to install a clear favourite, but they settled with Fontein Ali, which hasn’t won in nine career starts.
The Clinton McDonald-trained five-year-old is coming off a second placing at Yarra Valley where she ran a moderate 1200m time and there are plenty of things going against it here.
The tricky barrier of eight will surely play a part and the $2.60 at Neds.com.au simply looks too short considering its race record.
Later on the Mornington card runs Kedleston, which was late scratched earlier in the week.
The Tony Vasil-trained gelding has yet to win from 11 starts, yet it continues to be well-backed with bookmakers and it’s turning into one of the most expensive horses to follow for punters.
Over the course of its career, Kedleson has paid low prices of $4.75, $4.25, $2.10, $2.75 and $4.25. Why? Because he continues to produce good enough runs to warrant attention at its next start, but we question the desire to win.
Given his form behind the likes of Catchy and Cao Cao as a two-year-old, we’d expect it to have won by now, but that’s not the case and we can’t follow it any longer.
Our attention moves to the Gold Coast where the unbeaten Bella Occhi lines up in the fifth race of the day.
We can’t deny the unbeaten form of the Ben Currie-trained filly by High Chaparral, but we simply can’t take the $3.90 against a much harder field and the barrier draw makes her almost unbackable.
Her combined winning margin of 11.9 lengths has been impressive at Toomwoomba and Ipswich, but she faces stiffer competition now and we don’t think she’ll be able to find cover from barrier 15. That could see her sitting three or four-wide throughout and that’s no place for a three-year-old filly to be.
Favourites to follow this Saturday
Awesome Pluck lines up in the Highway Handicap at Randwick as the $1.85 favourite with Neds.com.au.
That price might seem short, but the Jenny Graham-trained gelding has plenty of talent and not much went right for it last start.
The three-year-old finished third at Randwick behind Savatiano and that form has stacked up nicely. He has since finished second behind Victorem in a trial and he looks ready to fire for this.
We’ve seen better Highway Handicap fields and although there could be some trepidation in taking the shorts, the $1.85 is better than what it could pay come race day.
Punters could make it two-from-two with Noire in Race 8.
The Chris Waller-trained runner is flying this campaign with three straight wins and the confidence couldn’t be any higher with this four-year-old mare.
She rises in grade here, but next best in the field is Lanciato, which finished third in a rating 80 race last start so that form isn’t overly flash.
After opening at $2.05, punters have already taken that price and it’s now at $1.95 with CrownBet.com.au. That’s still value in our eyes and Noire shouldn’t let punters down this Saturday.
Our final favourite to back runs at the Gold Coast and is one of the shortest-priced runners of the day.
Sunlight was a devastating winner on this track last start, winning by 4.8 lengths and its only defeat to date came on debut where it finished third at Flemington.
The opposition at the Gold Coast is much easier than in Melbourne and that was evident last time out. Trainer Tony McEvoy is in good form and we can’t see the filly by Zoustar being caught from barrier three.
Take the $1.60 at Sportsbet.com.au and enjoy a nice two-year-old in the making.