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Menangle Super Sunday preview

Harness racing gets the occasional mention on the blog, I've always loved it - it was my first introduction to betting as a little tacker. Those days are long gone and the sport in Australia have moved ahead in leaps and bounds, onto bigger, faster tracks, but not necessarily greater prizemoney. Tomorrow is one of the great days for the sport in Australia - SEVEN Group 1 races, featuring the Len Smith Mile.

Lining up with the preview is harness racing expert, Ben Krahe, @benkrahe.


Preview for Super Sunday at Menangle (Len Smith Mile Day) on Sunday 30 Jun 2013

R1 – NSW Rising Stars Series – 1609m
Good quality race here. The prepost favourite COURAGE TO RULE is obviously the one to beat but at the current odds on quote I’m making it my lay of the day. Horses to venture into NSW such as FREYBERG (a kiwi who has been most impressive since crossing the Tasman), BEAUTIDE (one of Tassie’s best horses) and BALLOCHBUIE (unbeaten in 2 starts since coming north from Mexico) all have great chances. Another with a great chance is ESSBEE DOUBLEYOU who is likely to be behind the leader. I could get off on the wrong foot here, but I will be taking on the fave and betting around it.

Suggested Bet – Lay the fave COURAGE TO RULE if you can in the red.

R2 – Breeders Challenge 2YO C&G Final – 1609m
First of a few races today where there will be a dominant favourite. LETTUCEROCKTHEM will be very short and justifiably. It will be finding the front and just winning. Belinda McCarthy’s second stringer IMAGE OF COURAGE looks to be the main, if only danger. Those fighting out 3rd will be the likes of ULTIMATE ACE (gets soft run), WHATCHAMECALLIT (could look for the pegs early) and THEARTOFCONFUSION.

Suggested Bet - First Four 4/12/1,3,5/Field

R3 – Breeders Challenge 2YO Fillies – 1609m
SPICY STRIDE is the prepost favourite here but this may be the first time it doesn’t get its own way here with DARK DIVA likely to come out fast. I’m happy to take the fave on at the even money quote, and IF you can manage to lay this odds on , I’d be getting stuck into it. I prefer to look at horses like OCEAN DIVA and MAJESTIC AMY (which will both find the lead hard if there’s speed on), or LUDA (which may head for the pegs early).

Suggested Bet – OCEAN DIVA E/W

R4 – Trotters Monte – 1609m
The Monte is for horses ridden under saddle and will provide an entertaining spectacle. This particular version will feature international drivers and is a great addition by HRNSW. ANDYS FAVOURITE is arguably the best performed Monte horse in the field having won several of these events and if it trots away well from the tapes it will be up vying for the lead early. BEAT THE MONARCH is a newcomer to this type of event and even off the 20m hcp , it will be extremely hard to beat with the guidance of Seryn Adams. The others in contention are HEZA BOY STAR, MODERN MISTAKE and TOPNOTCH DREAM . Beware – If PRINCE EDDIE gains a start it will be in the top 2 selections.

Suggested Bet – Back 2 horses to win – BEAT THE MONARCH and ANDYS FAVOURITE

R5 – Breeders Challenge 3YO Fillies – 2300m
The rest of the Breeders Challenge races are over 2300m and this makes things a little more interesting. The longer distance around Menangle can really test some horses with its long sweeping bends and long straights. FRITH is a superstar having recently won Group 1s at Melton (VIC Oaks) and Gloucester Park (WA Oaks), and will be adding this trophy to her mantelpiece. It’s a matter of how far here and the rest are running for the exotics. MARRIED TO THE MOB has been around the money lately and is improving, and Tarelle will be getting a nice soft run from the 1 barrier. The run on horses such as LAAGANOOSH and GETTING LUCKY will be flying home to possibly fill the minor placings.

Suggested Bet – First Four – 9/1,5/1,5,6,12/Field

R6 – Breeders Challenge 3YO C&G – 2300m
BEBRAVE deserves to be favourite here after a good win in the semi but this is arguably the most open race of the day. with other winning chances being ULTIMATE ART, BLISSFUL GUY, ALMOST EL EAGLE, TAMAHAY and HOME OF THE BRAVE. I’m sticking with HOME OF THE BRAVE here, which came with a withering burst in its semi. Its Track:8-4-1-1 and Distance 8-4-1-3 stats are just too consistent and although drawn the carpark I think he’s a great ew chance. I also expect a big run at good odds from TAMAHAY who will be coming home hard and is just hitting form.

Suggested Bet – HOME OF THE BRAVE E/W

R7 – Breeders Challenge 4YO Mares – 2300m
Not many chances here with the only winning chances being LOUVRE, LIGHT IN EVERY DAY and OBAHMA JOY. I’m going with LIGHT IN EVERY DAY (approx. $5) - although drawn the carpark, it looks like the horse that can go forward and be in front for a long way. LOUVRE is the best performed horse in the race with nearly $400k in prizemoney but will need some speed on to win . It’s a better sit sprint horse for mine than when it won in the death seat last time. OBAHMA JOY is airborne at the moment having won its last two including a win in the Semis.

Suggested Bet – LIGHT IN EVERY DAY to WIN (quietly confident)

R8 – Breeders Challenge 4YO C&G – 2300m
Limited winning chances here with MACH BEAUTY and GRAND STRIDE the main contenders and HEZA PRESIDENTE and CONDAGEN the only others with winning chances. The likely speed map looks like HP leading early with MB taking over in front. GS will more than likely have to death seat which means trouble for it. If MACH BEAUTY runs along like it did last time it will be hard for anything other than a pegs runner to beat it. I’m very confident that if MB can get away with a cheap quarter it can salute here. At worst, this horse will be in front for a very long way . Remember MB was an emergency for the Miracle Mile – how many others here will ever even get to those heights?

also First Four – 11/7,9/4,7,9,10,12/Field

R9 – Len Smith Mile – 1609m
The main race of the day?? Interesting here because of the draws. Can EXCEL STRIDE hold the lead from the 1 pole? Will Lauren Panella send GAIUS CAESAR out humming and try to cross? Will there be a change of tactics announced similar to the Miracle Mile to throw a spanner in the works? What about GARNET RIVER? More than likely will cross them all then hand up – but will Excel Stride get there first? This race poses a lot of problems for speed mappers and I would tread warily. But if you must have a bet (and that’s most of us!) then I’m sticking with EXCEL STRIDE , although I’d like at least $3. I can see GR leading and letting stablemate ES take the lead off it. It does its best work by far when in front , and if it does find the lead then it will run 1.51 or better and that will probably be good enough. Those looking for value could do worse than backing GR for a place as it will probably be behind the leader.

Suggested Bet – EXCEL STRIDE to win (with no confidence)

R10 – Where Horses Fly Series (C0-C1) 1609m
Great races these last two gives country qualified horses a chance to race at Headquarters and for $25k prizemoney. Jack Painting could be winning both of them too. I think MACY SUPREME is the best horse in the race and will be winning. Those looking to fill the placings include AFTERBURN (for the inform Tritton stable and should appreciate Menangle while quietly driven), PARISOLOGY (ran 2nd in a similar race here 2 starts ago sitting in the death) and DARK DEFENDER (going ok for Jason Proctor).


R11 – Where Horses Fly Series (C3-C4) 1609m
Hopefully we don’t NEED a winner by now, but the get-out stakes will be providing us with one. This is LIVING LORD's day having headed to Menangle three times before without success. Looks to be the class horse of the race and won’t be missing a place. SKIPPERS CANYON seems to own the 1 or 2 barrier and with a soft run looks the obvious danger as it loves to run next to the pegs. NICKEL PLATED TABMAN won easy last time at Newcastle with the inform Lauren Panella in the bike and can definitely look to fill a placing.

Suggested Bet – LIVING LORD to Win , and SKIPPERS CANYON to place



QUADDIE (Races 6-9) 3,4,5,10,11,12/7,11,12/7,11/1,6,8,11

BEN KRAHE - @benkrahe


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