Wicklow, Meridius unlucky but promising | The Follow Files

HorseBetting blackbook tips

We love the spring. The good horses are racing, the big races are on and there’s plenty of futures markets for the early shoppers to sink their teeth into. While Saturday’s meetings at Moonee Valley and Royal Randwick were full of quality fields, the tracks were awful and dominated by on-pace runners. It’s hard to take too much out of those meetings, especially the horses who were flattered by the conditions, so we have made a case going forward for a couple of horses who defied the bias.

Royal Randwick | Track: Heavy 9 (Heavy 10 after R7) | Rail: +7m Entire

Race 10: Benchmark 94 Handicap (1600m) | Time: 1:43.47

  • Horse to follow: WICKLOW (4th)

Maybe this race has just gone poorly, but WICKLOW was probably the only horse all day at Randwick who was a bit stiff not to win. He was given a good steer by Brenton Avdulla, but at the business end he had a wall of horses in front of him and the run didn’t come when he needed it to. While he was in the best part of the track, he lost momentum at a crucial stage.

When to bet: He’s had a few runs this time in, but Saturday’s run was his first in a little over a month, so we expect to see the Chris Waller gelding at the races in the near future. He’s shown the potential to be Stakes class, but we will leave Waller to the race planning. He can win on a fairer track next start.

Moonee Valley | Track: Soft 6 | Rail: True Entire

Race 3: 3YO Handicap (1200m) | Time: 1:12.27

  • Horse to follow: MERIDIUS (2nd)

There weren’t too many horses to make up ground at all on Saturday at Moonee Valley, but MERIDIUS was certainly one who did. The Lloyd Kennewell-trained colt by Extreme Choice got well back in the 1200m affair and stormed home to be beaten only narrowly by the race favourite, Shalaman, who led on the fence. If he had another stride, he would have won it.

When to bet: Being by Extreme Choice, we expect to see this horse stay at the sprint trip rather than going to the Caulfield Guineas, despite holding a nomination for that race and the Cox Plate. There’s plenty of races around for a horse like him and he can win wherever he goes next.

Race 8: Handicap (1600m) | Time: 1:37.87

  • Horse to follow: UNCLE BRYN (2nd)

Another runner-up that we want to follow is the classy UNCLE BRYN. While the margin was almost four lengths to the in-form Military Expert, they ran close to 1.5 seconds quicker than both the Feehan Stakes – won by Mr Brightside – and the other 1600m race on the program. Uncle Bryn was wide and back while the winner got a good time of it out in front. He closed off really well under Ben Melham, clocking the quickest last 200m of the race and the 10th fastest of the entire meeting.

When to bet: This five-year-old would not be out of place in a race like the Toorak Handicap (1600m) with a light weight.

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