Bendigo Cup Day is one of the most exciting country cup days on the Spring Racing Calendar as we prepare for another value-packed card on Wednesday.
The $500,000 Bendigo Cup shapes up to be an exciting battle with even money on offer for Lord Belvedere, Pondus and Zebrowski, while there are plenty of other winners to be found on the program.
We’ve cast our eye across all nine races and you can find all of our tips below.
Hostile Takeover strips fitter for his last start when second to Miss Conduct over a similar trip at Sale a fortnight ago.
Mighty Feat was unlucky not to score first-up at Cranbourne when a nose second over the 1200m, a run that suggests he should see out the 1400m nicely.
Yulong Premier is clearly a horse of ability, as we saw on debut two weeks earlier over the same trip at Ballarat.
The son of Pierro weakened over the final 200m but should be better for the run. He gets his chance now under William Pike and is worth a look each-way.
Kardinia has found the money in back-to-back runs over the 1200m and is one of the few runners with race fitness on his side in this maiden contest.
Madame Bolli has found similar form placing in her last two runs at Mornington and Sale and is coming off a four-week let-up.
Saturday’s Moonee Valley Gold Cup winning rider Jamie Kah has been booked to ride and the pair are more than capable of leading all the way from the front.
The wide draw should prove no problem for Llessur based on the way she won first-up over the 1000m at Echuca a fortnight ago.
Scott Cameron’s four-year-old mare raced four-wide without cover the trip but still managed to storm home and win by two lengths.
She’s found the placings twice previously over this distance and should take a power of beating with Damian Lane sticking on board.
Hi Stranger has won two-from-three first-up in the past and was plenty competitive at Listed level last time in. The top-weight does look a minor query, but he’s capable of finishing over the top if William Pike gets back early.
Overkill is only lightly-raced but has left nothing to the imagination winning three of his four starts.
The son of Fastnet Rock is another dominant first-up performer and should run well providing we get a firm-ish track.
Rock Prophet’s recent form doesn’t read particularly well but this is a significant step back in class for him coming ot of the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington.
He’s been freshened leading into Wednesday’s run and should be afforded every opportunity under Jamie Kah for the first time.
Derive is resuming from a three-month spell and has placed twice previously over this distance under Jamie Kah.
The Ellerton and Zahra-trained filly showed plenty of muster in a recent Flemington jump-out and has also found the money previously first-up.
Anitra wasn’t far away over the 1400m at Flemington when half a length fourth to Poland. The step back to the 1300m should suit and she is a much better chance than the current market price suggests from the rails draw.
Dune Field has won previously over this distance at Sandown and has also been a consistent performer second-up where finding the money on both occasions.
The New Zealand sprinter strips fitter for his last start fifth over further at Cranbourne and should improve considerably in this contest from the soft draw.
Capodanno is making his Australian debut and could be a real factor if we get something close to a wet track.
Mrs Beckham found the line for second last start at Moe over the 1200m. Damian Lane has a job ahead of him from the wide draw, but she should be fitter for that run and come close.
Lord Belvedere can be forgiven for his disappointing performance in The Bart Cummings after hitting some traffic down the straight.
The Maher and Eustace-trained galloper won his previous start over the 2500m at Flemington and should take great improvement out of his latest effort with Mark Zahra replacing Ben Melham in the saddle.
Pondus is making his Australian debut and has been freshened off his last run in the Ebor Handicap at York.
Zebrowski looks the value coming off a last start second in the Group 2 Herbert Power (2400m) at Caulfield.
The son of Savabeel was very competitive at Group 1 level back in the Autumn and should find this contest much easier with William Pike on board for the second time.
Very open race with almost equal money on offer for Starouz and Think ‘N’ Fly.
Starouz has turned in two competitive efforts over the mile in back-to-back starts and couldn’t have been more impressive when second behind Sovereign Award at Moonee Valley three weeks ago.
Think ‘N’ Fly loves the mile where he’s won three times previously.
The son of So You Think was caught three-wide in his last start over the track and distance but still found the line for third half a length behind Irish Playboy.
Kipketer was a late scratching in last week’s Sale Cup and looks to have found a more suitable contest here.
John McArdle’s five-year-old has found the money in each of his last four starts, which includes a win over this trip at Ballarat last month. If Jamie Mott can settle in just off the speed, he’s a live chance.
Quite like the look of Tatunka here on his home track.
The five-year-old galloper found no real luck in his first-up run settling well back over the same distance before being caught four-wide at the turn.
The good news is he’s won previously second-up and also owns a pair of wins to his name over the 1400m.
The booking of William Pike signals plenty of intent from the Bob Donat stable and he does look a much better chance than the market suggests.