Can Talbragar overcome wide draw in Country Championships final?

Talbragar is one of the favourites to win Saturday’s Country Championships final.

Another great and very open edition of the Country Championships Final will be run at Royal Randwick on Saturday. Thunderbet’s Andrew Price has had his say on the main players.

Typically, there is rain around this time of year; however, looking at the radar (and crossing our fingers) we should have a good track on Saturday’s fantastic day of racing. 

The Randwick 1400m should play fair and track bias shouldn’t be much of an issue when trying to sort out what is a very difficult race. 

The barrier draw has added a level of complexity to this race with several of the leading hopes drawing wide. 

One of those is Talbragar ($5) which has drawn gate 13 however the impact of this is lessened with JMac to steer. 

I’d be willing to bet the great man can push forward and find a nice spot and if that happens then it is the one to beat. 

Talbragar is impeccably bred, oozes quality and peeled off some nice sectionals in what I think was the form qualifier. It will look the winner a long way down the straight. 

I’m hoping that Bianco Vilano ($6.50) is ridden cold(ish) again. 

It does come here off a month between runs but the way it hit the line in the Southern Districts qualifier was simply outstanding. 

Big ticks are trainer (Ron Stubbs), rider (Tyler Schiller) and barrier 9. 

It is having its first crack at Randwick, but I imagine the big track will suit. The knock will be if the rain comes but if the track is a soft 5 or better (drier the better), Bianco Vilano will be charging late and is a massive hope at the $8.50. 

I’m going to throw in Running Bear ($13) for third. It was terrific in the qualifier behind Akasawa and has since won a Warwick Farm midweek BM72 for F&M. 

It comes here very fit, drops 5kg on the last run, and has Ashley Morgan to ride. From barrier 5 it should find a nice position in the first half of the field. Track and distance both ticks and the $12 on offer represents great value. 

I concede Akasawa ($5) out of the same qualifier is a good chance and Aaron Bullock is a tick however he will need to cope with the 59kg from gate 14 and might find himself in an awkward spot. The $4.80 doesn’t represent enough value for mine.

If you’re looking for a value runner, then Our Last Cash ($18) represents terrific value. 

It was very good in the qualifier behind Bianco Vilano and no doubt Donna Scott will have it cherry ripe here coming off a month between runs. Rachel King to ride is also a big plus.    

Thunderbet’s tips 

Top Pick: Talbragar $4.60

Second: Bianco Vilano $8.50

Third: Running Bear $12

Value Chance: Our Last Cash $17