There are some extremely competitive fields at Palmerston North today and it’s proven quite challenging to pick a couple of races for recommendations.  I’d tread carefully or if you want an interest, the place 6 or rugs challenge is a way you can spread the interest but use the ratings across a wider number of races.

Best Bet – M9 R3 – Tuff Night (7)

As I noted, it’s tough to find a standout bet today but Tuff Knight has some appeal.  The favourite (Bigtime Alifie – 3) is lightly raced and has had just one race out of C0.

There’s not a lot of early pace in this race at all – and that includes Tuff Knight – with Bigtime Sam likely to lead out.  Tuff Knight has run the closing sectionals to get over the top of this lot and he has a vacant box on his inside and an extremely slow trapper in box 8.
Rated price $2.50 currently $2.90FF.

On a day when the ratings threw up a number of winners, I took the tough way home but Tuff Night didn’t let us down at all.  The biggest surprise was the $3.40 on the tote.  Once he jumped and cleared the pack and got on the pace, it was pretty much all over.  Nice tuff run and a pretty easy win in the end.

Lay of the Day – M9 R1 – Lady Jellybean (7)

She’s a pretty loose favourite but as we’ve seen in the past, a favourite can attract money simply because it’s favourite.  I think there’s any number of negatives – she’s only recently out of C0, she hasn’t won from outside boxes, and she rates the worst in this field for ratings over the last 6 starts.  She’s been bouncing around from sprint to middle distance which sugegsts the trainers are still trying to find her optimal distance.  The one thing she has in her favour is early box speed.

The late scratching of box 3 means there’s only 7 starters so in theory, that should make it easier for back markers as well.  I like the even numbers in this race 2, 4, 6, 8 with 4 providing a bit of value.

Lady Jellybean was never in the race which was what we predicted.  A couple of the runners we preferred did little to excite but the 8 dog won and paid $7 which was great money.

Rugs Challenge

M3

The bookies look to have the two top rugs covered – box 3 is paying $2.60 while box 4 is paying $3.20.  Both rugs look like scoring early points so the prices shouldn’t fluctuate too much.

The blue rug had this wrapped up easily.

M9

The Predictor suggests box 4 has legitimate chances in 2 or 3 races and in a five race meeting, that could be enough.  The bookies have it on the third line at $7.50 and that’s nice value, especially if the favourite is toppled in the first race of the meeting.

Unfortunately, no luck with the blue rug for the second meeting but otherwise a great day.