High class racing action continues in Australia this weekend, with meetings from Rosehill, Ascot and Pakenham gaining the majority of the attention from punters. A bumper nine race program at Rosehill is highlighted by the $150,000 Group lll Festival Stakes, with many horses heading there following the Villiers Stakes at Randwick, in what promises to be one of the most competitive races of the weekend. With the weather forecast looking fine ahead of the action, and with the track at Rosehill in excellent condition, it could well be a day for the favourites in Sydney. Meanwhile, the Masters at Ascot also takes place on Saturday, with the Kingston Town Classic the final Group 1 race of the year. Finally, Pakenham Cup Day is the main attraction in Melbourne, with plenty of runners to back for punters.
THE STEEL BUILDERS FESTIVAL STAKES – 1500M – 05.00PM
Having missed out in the Railway Stakes recently, Rageese is looking like the favourite for this one, especially following his performance on Crown Oaks Day. Elsewhere, Religify was excellent in the November Handicap, and seemingly now at the peak of his fitness, could well go close at Rosehill on Saturday. With an excellent record at Rosehill, it would certainly not be a surprise to see Red Excitement go close, and with double figure odds, could well be worth backing as an outsider. Finally, Famous Seamous is also capable of causing an upset, despite his huge price.
Betting tips for Festival Stakes:
Outright – Religify
Each-way – Red Excitement
STARLIGHT STAKES – 1100M – 03.40PM
Unsurprisingly, having won four from his last five races, Nieta is the favourite for the Starlight Stakes, especially given the speed shown over the last two successes. Kim Waugh trained Shiraz has trialled well on two occasion leading into this race, and having been beaten by less than a length in a GroupII at Randwick, looks in with a shout here. Elsewhere, having won at Sandown Hillside recently, Husson Eagle is in contention at Rosehill before heading to Magic Millions Day. Also in with an outside chance thanks to a good gate draw is Gerald Ryan trained Bachman.
Betting tips for Starlight Stakes:
Outright – Nieta
Each-way – Shiraz
PETERS INVESTMENTS-KINGSTON TOWN CLASSIC – 1800M – 05.00PM
Allan Sharrock has been preparing Kawi for the Classic throughout this Australian campaign, and despite being unlucky in both the Lee Steer and in the Railway, the six-year-old has already demonstrated enormous potential, and could well claim the biggest win of his career to date. However, Tradesman will certainly be one to look out for elsewhere, with a 100% winning record over 2000 metres, and finished alongside Kawi in the Railway recently. Meanwhile, Scales Of Justice is a free-runner than has continued to impress this season, although this race may well be a step to far for four-year-old given his inexperience. Finally, Perfect Reflection has been backed as the favourite by many bookmakers, and having already won the Railway over the likes of Tradesman and Scales Of Justice, could well so again on Saturday.
Betting tips for Kingston Town Classic:
Outright – Perfect Reflection
Each-way – Tradesman
SUPERIOR FOOD SERVICES PAKENHAM CUP – 2500M – 04.40PM
Swacadelic was an impressive runner up to Qewy in the 3200m Sandown Cup, and with a good record over such distances, it is little wonder that the Aaron Purcell trained six-year-old is among the favourites once again here. However, it is Pilote D’Essai that is currently heading the betting among the bookies, having found his best form in the Ballarat Cup. Also impressing in that same race where Puccini and Desert Jeuney, and the duo could both go well again here for Wayne Walters and Nigel Blackiston respectively. Elsewhere, despite struggling over 2040m at Moonee Valley on his last start, Little White Cloud looks ready for the step up in distance, having battled to a sixth-place finish. Another potential outsider if Crafty Cruiser, who with a good gate draw is competitive on dry tracks such as Pakenham.
Betting tips for Pakenham Cup:
Outright – Pilote D’Essai
Each-way – Swacadelic