Horse Racing

Racing: The Gary Harley Favourite Backing Guide, 16th February 2019

“The favourite is the favourite for a reason!”

– Gary Harley, over the years around the various racecourses of the Hunter Valley.

A new segment I’ll try to wheel out every weekend, named after a true legend of the Hunter Valley, Sky Racing form analyst and the man who called the Newcastle Knights in their epic 1997 Premiership win, Gary Harley!

Big Gaz! Picture: Dogs TV

It’s a big Saturday of racing coming up, highlighted by the beginning of the Winx Farewell Tour at Woyal Wandwick in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes, while racing returns to Flemington for the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, the first leg of the Melbourne sprinting treble.

Ah yes, and the annual Kangaroo Island Cup in South Australia will thrill us all!

Now when it comes to favourites or picks in general, I don’t like to describe them as a ‘Good Thing’, I term them as ‘Most Likely To Win Of The Day’, or MLTWOTD for short.

So here’s a few for the weekend.

Randwick Race 4, Number 10- Diplomatico.

Your typical promising 3YO colt trained by Team Hawkes, his two career wins both came at Sydney’s main track last October, his maiden on the Kensington track and the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes on the main course, before he finished 5 lengths behind Sunlight in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day at Flemington.

Ridden quietly in a trial, he carries 54kg in this Benchmark 88 with Brenton Avdulla taking the reins, I’ll be throwing my financial weight his way against Danny Williams’ Don’t Give A Damn.


Ascot Race 7, Number 4- Neurological

Martin Allan’s 4-year-old is in career best form, taking out the Fitzpatrick Plate In Albany, and then the Batavia Sprint In Geraldton.

Once again retains the services of the Wizard, and if he bothers to show up in a tougher field, he should be charging late.

If you are a Quaddie player, probably go wide this leg.


Ascot Race 4 Number 4 Celebrity Dream

No time for me to make a snarky comment except that It’s Pike.

Kangaroo Island R6, Number 1- Table of Wisdom in the storied Kangaroo Island Cup

The markets still haven’t come out for Kangaroo Island but I’m dead sure Dennis O’Leary’s gelding will open up as favourite, coming in on a winning hat-trick, albeit all of them at the 1500 at Gawler, so it is a bit of a step up.

He’s got to lug top weight at 59.5 kilos, but Justin ‘Harry’ Potter is on board, and he’s opted to use a wand instead of a whip, so expect some magic!

Randwick Race 6, Number 5- Winx

Apparently she’s good.

Let’s get some winners!


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