The Warrnambool Carnival was a booming success despite the lack of spectators populating the historic hills and grandstand.
The excitement for the two-day jumps and flats racing remained immense, especially in the Grand Annual Steeplechase, when a new jumps star emerged in the ex-Kiwi Ablaze, who beat the winners of the past two Annuals, Gold Medals and Zed Em. The veterans have relinquished their crown to a new ‘King of the ‘Bool’.
Ablaze gave his co-trainer Ciaron Maher – a Warrnambool boy – his fifth success in the world-famous jumps race, which equals the record held by New Zealand’s John Wheeler.
The Warrnambool Cup was won by the Lindsey Smith–trained Too Close The Sun, who Smith said has the talent to be a spring Cups contender, especially in a race such as the Caulfield Cup. He could even reach the heights of the Melbourne Cup if the internationals stay at home.
You can check all the spring major betting markets on Sportsbet’s futures.
While the South Australian Carnival continues in Adelaide with the Group 1 South Australian Derby at Morphettville on Saturday, there is a new focus on racing in Queensland as the abbreviated Brisbane Winter Carnival kicks off at Doomben.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, up to 18mm of rain is expected to fall on Friday and Saturday, affecting the Morphettville racecourse track surface – our tip is to look to bet on a slow rating.
The return to Randwick in Sydney should see a track firming into the good range. The forecast is for fine and warm weather, so an improvement on Thursday’s slow 6 is expected.
Caulfield is the focus in Melbourne. The track was rated a soft 5 on Thursday. Strong wins and no rain will dry the track, although 6mm to 10mm is expected to fall on Saturday.
Doomben has been set as a soft 5 on Thursday, but only a sprinkle or two of rain is predicted by BoM through to Saturday. Warm and sunny weather has been forecast for Friday and Saturday, so expect it to get back to the good range.
BRC Sprint: Kementari the class act of the field
Group 1–winner Kementari gets his chance to break through for a morale-boosting win in the Group 3 BRC Sprint (1200m) at Doomben, despite having to lump 61kg in the 10-horse field.
Kementari, son of Lonhro, was a star spring three-year-old in 2017, when he won the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill, but he lost his way after that.
He was retired to stud in 2019, but proved infertile, resulting in him receiving the nastiest cut of all – he was gelded and returned to racing.
Kementari has had two runs at Group 3 level in Sydney since his return and has come in third for both. He looks to have the edge on his rivals.
Like most of the BRC Sprint contenders, Kementari is being aimed at the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on 6 June. A win in this race will see Kementari’s odds shorten for the Eagle Farm feature.
Locals Vega One and Outback Barbie look to be Kementari’s dangers on the field.
BRC Sprint tips: Back the class in Kementari to win, as there looks to be plenty of speed in this race. Also consider Vega One, whose first-up fourth at the Sunshine Coast was very good from a wide alley. Outback Barbie is good fresh and is drawn to park on the speed.
South Australian Derby: The legend of Camelot
Russian Camelot missed a start leading into this race due to an elevated temperature, but O’Brien said he’s not concerned as the imported colt is fit and well.
There is no doubt that had Russian Camelot won at Flemington on 25 April he would be vying for favouritism with the local star Dalasan. As a punter, this is the time to get on. A win in this race will see Russian Camelot firm dramatically for the spring features betting – check his odds on Sportsbet’s futures betting markets.
South Australian Derby tips: This is a cracking field. The value looks to be with the rising star, Russian Camelot, to beat Dalasan and Warning.
The best of the rest: Horses and tips across Australia
Race 7, number 17: Bottega (trainer Gerald Ryan)
It’s rare for a three-year-old to win against seasoned campaigners. But Bottega is a raw talent and he showed when he finished hard for second behind the exciting Kinane in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate at Randwick on 18 April – over the same course and distance –that he’s ready to win. The Kinane form line might be the best form line going around at the moment. Watch for a scratching.
Race 8, number 3: Greyworm (trainer Team Hawkes)
Not the most endearing of names (although Game of Thrones fans might pick him based on the character of the same name), but this grey sprinter won the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m) over this course and distance on 18 April, and it’s hard not to see him winning again. If there is a danger, consider the underrated Snitz (number 8), who won at Randwick on the same day in slightly quicker time.
Race 1, number 6: Out Of Isolation (trainer Greg Eurell)
Greg Eurell’s team are doing really well at the moment, so keep following the Cranbourne-based trainer. The aptly named Out Of Isolation is making his debut, but he’s been impressive in jump-out trials at Cranbourne. Watch the market moves on Sportsbet’s betting markets at Caulfield. Out Of Isolation has been a solid firmer.
Race 8, number 5: Vainstream (trainer John Pascoe)
This is a more than handy field, but Vainstream comes off an excellent win at Caulfield on VOBIS Gold Race Day two weeks ago. He looks good value at around $7 at the time of writing.
Race 4, number 7: The Sinner (trainer Natalie McCall)
We tipped The Sinner last week but he was a scratching. Not well served from a wide draw, but Ryan Maloney rides him, and the good speed here will suit him to settle and get over the top late.