The Hunter is the latest addition to the New South Wales Racing Calendar and $1 million will be on the line when a quality group of gallopers do battle at Newcastle on Saturday.
The veteran Le Romain will carry the top weight and will face stiff competition from the likes of Home Of The Brave, Graff, Brave Song and Savatiano.
We have analysed every single horse in the field and our complete 2019 The Hunter tips can be found below!
Le Romain is as tough as they come and he goes into The Hunter with a genuine winning chance. His first-up effort in the Redzel Stakes, where he finished second behind Pierata and Trekking, was excellent and a repeat of that effort would have him right in this contest. Barrier 15 is a concern though and he does look as though he might get caught wide in the early stages. $9 seems around the right price.
Home Of The Brave
Home Of The Brave has raced well without winning in both the Premiere Stakes, Sydney Stakes and the Redzel Stakes this campaign. He is another galloper that has drawn wide, but he does have early speed and he should be able to find the lead fairly comfortably. Glyn Schofield is a good judge of pace and the Starspangledbanner gelding will give his rivals something to chase.
Graff is definitely the horse to beat in The Hunter. The question is whether you can get him as short as his current price. The answer for me is no. It has been a long time since he recorded a race win and he never really looked like winning in the Concorde Stakes, The Shorts or the Premiere Stakes. I like the fact that he has had a barrier trial between race starts and he does run well fresh, but I can’t get him as short as his current price.
Brave Song was a little bit disappointing in both the Testa Rossa Stakes and the Sydney Stakes, but he did produce an improved effort in the Redzel Stakes. He would still need to go to another level again to win this contest and I’m not sure that he has as much upside as some of the other gallopers in this field. $7 is under the odds.
Tactical Advantage returned to winning form with an impressive victory in the MSS Security Sprint at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day. There was plenty of merit in that performance, but this race is tougher and I have a serious question mark over his ability to run out a strong 1300 metres at this level.
Invincible Gem is the value runner in The Hunter betting. Her first-up record is strong, although it is fair to say that she doesn’t win out of turn. She gave Alizee a serious scare in the Missile Stakes first-up this campaign before she finished third behind Samadoubt and Happy Clapper in the Winx Stakes. I like the fact that she has been freshened-up for this contest and she will just need a little bit of luck in running from barrier 14, but she is definitely over the odds at her current price.
Savatiano was nothing short of dominant in the Tristarc Stakes before she failed to fire in the Empire Rose Stakes. You can put a line through her run in the Empire Rose Stakes as she clearly didn’t handle the wet track. A repeat of her Tristarc Stakes effort would have her in the mix and the $9.50 currently available does seem around the right price.
Redouble failed to beat home a single runner in the Redzel Stakes and he does look outclassed at this level. He is the extreme outsider in this field for a reason.
Bon Amis has been freshened-up since he finished a close third in the Show County Quality at Royal Randwick. He has recorded three wins from his five first-up starts and he is an unknown over the 1300 metres. The Bon Hoffa gelding is capable of a high-rating effort on his day, but $8 does seem under the odds.
Manicure won the Ladbrokes How Now Stakes in impressive fashion first-up and she has since chased home Tofane in both the Bass Strait Beef Steaks and the Furphy Sprint. She would need to produce a career best performance to be a genuine winning chance in The Hunter and the wide barrier draw doesn’t make things easy.
Renewal is a consistent performer that rarely produces a poor effort. He found the line fairly to finish fifth in the TAB Stakes at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day and he is a better galloper on top of the ground. This does look a touch beyond him, but it wouldn’t surprise if he is in the mix.
Fiesta’s form this campaign is better than it looks on paper. She wasn’t beaten far in the Sydney Stakes and the race wasn’t really run to suit her in the Redzel Stakes. In saying that, she would still need to improve significantly to be a genuine winning chance in this contest.
Siren’s Fury will return to the races for the first time since she failed to fire in the Tatt’s Tiara. Her first-up record isn’t bad, but she does look outclassed in a race of this quality.
Sir Plush failed to beat home a single runner in the Sydney Stakes and he finished sixth in the Goulburn Cup. A win in The Hunter would shock.
Jonker was not disgraced in The Golden Eagle and a drop back to 1300 metres for The Hunter does suit. It would not surprise to see him revert back to his usual tactics and he could go forward in the early stages of this contest. He is a better chance than his $41 odds suggest, but I’m not convinced that he will run out the trip strongly.
Goodfella is another galloper that comes out of the Goulburn Cup. This race is tougher and he has never done anything to suggest that he is capable of winning a race of this quality.
Sandbar is the first emergency for The Hunter. She was outclassed in the Sydney Stakes before she returned to winning form at Rosehill Gardens last start. This race still looks beyond her at this stage of her racing career.
Live And Free
Live And Free is the second emergency for The Hunter and looks unlikely to earn a start.
Miss Fabulass looked a star in the making, but she has not gone on with the job. She is unlikely to earn a start in The Hunter.