We’re back to Rosehill Gardens this weekend, and the 1100m Class Three Highway Handicap has stood up again, with the country-restricted event being split into two very good races.
Thunderbet’s Johnny ‘Highway’ Patton will get two chances to steer readers into a winner, and the popular tipster has been in good form of late.
In both Highways, most of these horses are last-start winners or coming back from a spell, and the best plan of attack is to see how they look in the yard before placing a bet because I think there are a lot of question marks and different scenarios for both events.
It will remain a good track, and the rail is in a true position, making for what should be two very good races.
In the first Highway, which is the second race on the program, my first pick is Extravagant Lad ($8.50). The 5YO gelding goes into this first-up but trialled very well at Canberra recently behind the very smart Penthouse.
During its previous preparation, he raced behind some very nice horses, including Unique Prince.
He has won first-up before, loves the distance and going, and if he can handle the weight, he’ll be very hard to beat.
My second pick is Life’s A Party ($4.80).
Trained by Mark Jones at Mudgee, this 5YO mare, who has only eight starts, is a very exciting horse. Late last month, she finished second behind Gallant Star but they beat the rest of the field home easily.
She is another one who loves the distance and going and, with no weight, will run another great race.
My third pick is I’m A Steel ($4.20).
She comes out of a maiden race at Nowra, but she ran a very quick time on a heavy track and beat its rivals by four lengths.
Barbara and the team must have a big wrap on this horse to step it up to this class straight away.
The ‘each way play’ is Divine Sinner ($10 & $3).
Trained by astute trainer Cameron Crockett, this 4YO gelding is first-up.
Last preparation, he was very competitive in Highway races and finished behind the very smart Derry Grove.
Jake Pracey-Holmes goes on board and would be coming to the City for something worthwhile. Plus, he’s drawn a barrier and on paper, looks way over the odds.
Double delight for Highway punters
In the second of the Highway Handicaps and the third on the program, my top pick is Penthouse ($1.85).
How can I go past it? She’s first-up for this and has raced in Highways before.
Last preparation it also had no luck at Caulfield when caught wide.
Hannah Williams goes on board, and with the claim, it loves the distance and going, and this is probably the best bet of the day.
My second pick is Syrian Star ($7.50), who hasn’t raced since May.
During her most recent preparation, she didn’t have much luck whether it found the wrong part of the track or was wide.
Looking at the speed map, there is a bit of speed, and I think she will cosy up just in behind them.
She has won first-up, but the only trouble is her best runs have been on rain-affected surfaces.If she can handle a good track, she will be right in the finish.
My third pick is Blow Dart ($7). Just forget his last start in a Highway on December 22. He was caught wide and still managed to run fourth.
Regan Baylis goes on board, which is a great plus, but the barrier could be a worry. Still, if he can get across settling midfield, all statistics suggest this horse is right in this.
The ‘each way play’ is Ilzoomya ($17 & $3.50). He’s another one that is first-up for Luke Pepper.
He goes up in class, but the horses it ran against in its last preparation have won since.
The Scone-trained galloper goes down in weight, and Jake Barrett goes on board, and the apprentice has been riding winner after winner in the bush.
This horse will give punters a great site for their money.
Each way play: Ilzzoomya $17 & $3.50