Horse Racing

The Gary Harley Favourite Backing Guide, 23rd February, 2019

The Rules: Pick the favourite or 2nd favourite in any race in Australia.

Any selections that get scratched will be updated by Saturday Morning.

After a solid beginning last week, the Gary Harley Favourite Backing Guide is back for another Super Saturday, and this week I’ll be trialing a NEW segment, featuring a mysterious contact of the Waterford TAB.

Gary, after finding out we only went 2/4 in his favourite guide last week and disgraced his name

Of course this weekend a biggie for the juveniles, with the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield, and the G2 Silver Slipper at Rosehill, which features Golden Slipper favourite Tassort in his Autumn debut.

But Wait! There’s More!

As if throwing in a free set of steak knives, There’s two more Group One races at The Heath- the Oakleigh Plate (2nd leg of the Melbourne Sprinting Treble), and the Futurity Stakes, while Rosehill also has the Group Two Millie Fox Stakes and the Group Two Hobartville Stakes, featuring the return of Australia’s best 3-year-old, The Autumn Sun.

Now it’s time to find out the ones who I’ve deemed the MLTWOTD (Most Likely To Win Of The Day)!


Rosehill Race 2 (SR2) No.3 – Tassort

1100m Group 2 Silver Slipper 1:30 AEDT

Arguably the best of James Cummings’ extremely long list of performing two-year-olds this season, Tassort heads the betting for next month’s Golden Slipper, but could shorten based on the events of Saturday.

In his only start last November, he stormed to a 5 length win in the Golden Gift at Rosehill, though it was against three runners. Set up with a nice trial win back on the 11th, The flying Kiwi James McDonald stays onboard, and he’s currently $1.75- That’s best bet territory for Gaz!

The real danger will be the unraced Waterhouse horse Faretti (Won both trials) and Team Snowden’s McLaren, who will be faster than whatever shitbox his namesake come up with for the F1 season.

Of course, backing two year old races is like smoking in a gas- Hang on, I already used that figure of speech.


Caulfield Race 5 (MR5) No.1 – Zousain

1200m Group 3 Zediative Stakes 2:55 AEDT

This is the best match race on the Caulfield card. In the red corner, it’s Chris Waller’s Zousain, and in the blue corner, it’s James Cummings’ Tin Hat.

Well as of Friday night, it’s now no-one in the blue corner.

Zousain could have been a 2-time Group 1 winner by now, but got pipped by the Autumn Sun on the post in the Golden Rose, and then just couldn’t get past Sunlight in the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Derby Day.

The Zoustar colt returned with two good trials in Sydney and Craig Williams QC takes the reins, and now with his biggest danger now scratched, should be winning at the primitive odds.

UPDATE 6:25 AEDT- Tin Hat has now been scratched and will possibly be sold to Asia, Zousain is now $1.45 and if he doesn’t win, I’ll say in hindsight that non-winners don’t win.


Caulfield Race 6 (MR6) No.11 – Alizee 

1400m Group 1 Futurity Stakes 3:30 AEDT

The Godolphin mare is low flying and now has a start in the All-Star Mile if James Cummings bothers to go for it. Opened up at $2.60 and as soon as markets opened, was backed into $2.20!

Hugh Bowman rode the mare to a superb win in the Christmas Classic first-up at Randwick just before the New Year, she then scored a soft win in the G2 Expressway back on the 2nd of Feb, and Hughie hops back aboard as she goes for her third Group 1 victory (2017 Flight, 2018 Coolmore Legacy).

As GH would say, the favourite is favourite for a reason!


Caulfield Race 9 (MR9) No.4 – Avilius 

1800m Group 2 Peter Young Stakes 5:30 AEDT

Hey look, another Godolphin runner!

Avilius is my favourite French-Australian since Jess Fox won 2 Olympic medals in the K1 Canoe Slalom at London and Rio (Qui la merde est Manu?).

Since he came to Australia in July 2018, his record is an outstanding 5 wins from 7 starts, with his only two failures coming in two of the major races- The Cox Plate (4th to Winx), and the Melbourne Cup (Flattened by the broken down Cliffsofmoher).

He goes up against Night’s Watch, who he beat in the Carlyon Cup two weeks back, with both on a collision course for the Australian Cup.

Do have two concerns though: Hugh Bowman goes on for the first time, and he’s drawn gate one, which doesn’t suit his racing pattern as he loves winding up and storming down the outside. Will have to be a good steer from Hughie, and I’ll be with him via financial investment!


NEW SEGMENT: Crazy Craig’s Lay of the Day!

A new trial segment, named after a mystical creature that roams Gippsland, known for his ability to land a plonk against the chalk eaters of Australia. He has been in hiding since backing Jaameh at 10/1 to beat Avilius in last year’s Bart Cummings (The sum was substantial) and being denied by a failed protest.

 Ascot Race 5 (PR5) No.4- Fabergino 3:30 AWST (6:30 AEDT)

Tiarnna Robertson’s mare is returning today and does have a very nice record, winning 4 of her 5 starts (Only loss being to Ambiente last start in June 2018), and on paper is the best horse in the field.

But she’s first-up with no trial, carrying 60 kilos and every chance of being stuck three deep the trip from Barrier 11. Despite these factors, she’s $1.65? That’s Craaaaaaaaazy short odds, and Crazy Craig has her in the gunsights!

My acquaintance Gabby from the Waterford TAB won’t be backing her, as he refuses to bet in 1000m races and only backs the 8.


Backing against a $1.65 favourite? That’s why we call him Craaaaazy Craig!


Good hunting readers- I reckon next week I’ll try out the Kenny Callander Betting Guide, where every horse must have an ‘S’ in it’s name.

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