Deane Lester’s Ballarat Best Bets


Lightly raced four year old THE GAUCH is building a solid record and looks the one to beat when he contests the Benchmark 70 Handicap (1100m). The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained stallion has only had six starts for three wins and three second placings, and has been freshened since his solid second behind OCULAR over 1100 metres at Bendigo on October 7. He is perfectly drawn in barrier two, handles all conditions but his superior form has been on good ground which he will get in this race and represents one of the best bets of the day.


HI STRANGER is a progressive horse from the Shane Fleidner stable that has returned to racing in good form and should run well again when he contests the Tonks Plate (1200m). The four year old resumed with a fast finishing win over 1100 metres at Bendigo on October 27. He has been kept fresh for this race, drops 5.5kg on that run and has been stakes placed over 1200 metres. Melbourne Cup winning rider Jye McNeil takes the mount and has enjoyed good previous success aboard HI STRANGER, who is well placed to record his 5th career victory.


THE ASTROLOGIST is a recent addition to the Leon Corstens stable and looks to have his form to a new level this campaign which now sees him as the one to beat in the Magic Millions 3&4YO Classic (1100m). The four year old was a dominant winner over 1100 metres at Geelong on October 21 before racing well out of his handicap rating yet still performed well when finishing a narrow 2nd behind EXHILARATES in the MSS Security Sprint (1200m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day. He drops significantly in grade here, goes from being the lowest rated horse in the field at Flemington to the highest rated in this race. Elite rider Craig Williams is building a good rapport with THE ASTROLOGIST who looks the best bet of the day.

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