As they say, little fish taste sweet – apart from of course Monster Fish in the last.  There’s a few short priced favourites running around today and the trick will be to see if we can sort the fish out from the chaff!

Bet of the Day – M9 R1 Thrilling Winter (4)

I’m normally a little nervous about dogs up in class, especially after just one start.  However, the sectionals tell us a very clear story – if Thrilling Winter can make even a fair start, it has the wheels to put this lot away.

The speed maps and sectionals also tell us that there’s not a lot of early pace on his inside so if he jumps as he did last week, he can get the early lead and likely the rail and from there should be too hard to run down.

According to the bookies, Bigtime Tank (7) is the biggest danger but he’s yet to show the early pace although he does possess a decent closing sectional. Conversely, one for bigger odds could be Flying Huey (5) who is the only dog with quicker opening sectionals than the favourite.  Huey has yet to win over the track and distance but was just beaten by Bigtime Rod in December in what would be a very competitive time.

Thrilling Winter looks fairly rated by the bookies at $2FF.

Monster Fish (M9 R5) looks like he should bounce back today.  He hasn’t won in the pink rug which is the concern as it was last week but the speed map suggests he won’t have the same issues he had last week.

Interestingly, or more accurately a worry, Thrilling Winter got the drift and ended up a clear second favourite.  All the money came for Bigtime Tank and as Neil has pointed out it’s normally a clear sign and so it proved.  To be fair, a disappointing effort from our bet of the day – had its chance.

Lay of the Day – M9 R4 – Kamada Park (5)

Kamada Park stunned all and sundry by actually jumping on two recent occasions.  Coupled with his strong closing sectionals, he was close to unbeatable in the lower grades.  However, last start he was back to a slower start and today he’s drawn the squeeze box of 5 – the two runs where he jumped on the early pace were from inside draws.

The predictor tells us that it’s a pretty even race with perhaps Iris Allen the only one without a legitimate case.

It’s tempting to look at a couple of KP’s runs and see him repeating.  The predictor has him clearly on top as well.  However, if you drill further into his ratings it highlights that all his best ratings have been from box 3 or inside.  His career best rating from boxes for and wider is just 41 (from box 5) so he will likely need to run a career best today to win.

The $2.80 on Kamada Park is too short for me and I’d be looking wider if I had a quaddie.

To be fair, my analysis was based on a full field – once Buddy Loaded was late scratched, the whole game changed.  The map raced out as predicted but the absence of one of the favoured runners definitely changed things.  Better still, if you had KP in your quaddie, you got double ups!

Another race where there has to be some concern about the favourites is M9 R2.  If Thrilling Amigo jumps, he risks getting carted wider by the dog in the red rug and we know that Bigtime Lilah (4) will also be heading wider too.  It makes it tough to get a clear picture of the start.  Ironically, Thrilling Amigo’s best chance could be if he misses the start and then sea could very well open up in front of him.

Once Lilah jumped and was clear, it was all over – as expected, Thrilling Amigo was no chance.

Rugs Challenge

M3 – bookies have box 3 ranked second at $3.50 but the Predictor suggests it has the other boxes covered.  No scratchings helps as well.  Box 3 looks to have a few strong chances in the later part of the card so if it picks up a few points early on, the $3.50 might look like great value.

M9 – the bookies have boxes 4 and 8 as the two favourites and with just 5 races, no value here.