ABERRATION - Aberration from the Brad Widdup stable rates as the standout bet of the day in the Shane Eades Transport Class 1 Handicap (1400m). Aberration has only missed a place once in eight-starts including a Cranbourne maiden win second-up over 1400m last preparation and a runner-up finish at Kembla resuming last start. Travencore and Smartedge ran the quinella in the last at Randwick on New Year’s Day which looks a strong form line for Aberration considering the son of Lonhro split the pair last start at Kembla. From barrier four with Christian Reith in the saddle $3.30 looks a luxury price.
GODUNOV - The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Prometheus was impressive winning at Kembla resuming and deserves to be favourite in the Poplar Petfood & Produce Benchmark 72 Handicap but $1.75 looks skinny especially when you consider the debut win of the Gerald Ryan-trained Godunov at Hawkesbury on December 17. Godunov did everything right to get the money at Hawkesbury running quicker time in his maiden than both the benchmark winners on the day over the 1400mand is open to plenty of improvement. $7.50 in early betting markets for Godunov looks a better investment than the odds-on quote for Prometheus.
RED VIKING - Red Viking is a horse who invariably needs a few runs in a preparation before he strikes winning form and gets his chance to return to the winner’s list in the Central Coast Council Mayor’s Cup Benchmark 68 Handicap (2100m). Trained at Warwick Farm by Paul Cave, Red Viking has finished runner-up in two of his four runs this time in and there are a couple of factors that suggest the six-year-old is ready to return to the winner’s list on Sunday. Red Viking’s latest win was over the Gosford 2100m on July 1 with the gelding winning over the same trip at Wyong earlier in that preparation and it is worth noting the Wyong victory came fifth-up in a preparation – the same stage in a campaign Red Viking reaches on Sunday. Red Viking should be right at his peak and is the horse to beat.
ROYAL PATRIOT - The Tim Marin-trained Royal Patriot stands out as the day’s best bet wearing blinkers for the first time in the Central Coast Carnival 3YO Maiden Plate (1600m). A three-year-old son of Arlington, Royal Patriot has finished in the placings in two of his three starts to date including a close second at Wyong last start having his first run over a mile. Royal Patriot will be right on the speed in a race devoid of genuine early pace and looks a good thing to record his first career win.
TOUCAN - Horses launching from barrier one over the 1200m at Coffs Harbour have produced a five percent profit on turnover since January 2013, so the inside gate is the first tick for the Felicity Firth-trained Toucan who chases his first win in the Two Tails Wines Maiden Plate (1200m). A three-year-old son of Dr Doute’s, Toucan has been to the races on two occasions launching from barrier 12 when less than two-lengths from the winner finishing fourth at Grafton on debut before finishing fifth at Coffs Harbour when he was less than a half-length away after jumping from barrier nine. Toucan gets all the favours in running form the inside gate on Friday and is ready to win.