The Group 3 Bendigo Cup headlines an exciting nine-race program in country Victoria on Wednesday.
The rail will remain in the true position around the entire course and at publish, the track is rated in the soft range.
Race 1 - 12:30pm AEDT
No Fuss Events Hire Maiden Plate (1400m)
There isn’t a lot of exposed form to divulge ahead of Race 1 on Bendigo Cup Day, and a couple of runners will be making their debuts.
I can’t find an angle that I am particularly keen on, and I am happy to stay out.
Race 2 - 1:00pm AEDT
Rising Sun Hotel Maiden Plate (1100m)
It’s a similar scene in Race 2, but with even more debutants.
Something good might come out of this race, but I am happy to watch and wait until Race 3 to open my account for the day.
Race 3 - 1:35pm AEDT
Catanach’s Jewellers BM64 Handicap (1100m)
Ziavera will enjoy good improvement into her second campaign start on Wednesday and looks a winning chance.
The Uncle Mo mare returned some quality efforts during her debut preparation in autumn, winning at this point of her campaign and finding form around some decent horses in town.
I think there was a lot to like about her resuming effort for fourth in BM64 company at Pakenham, and she is drawn to receive every chance in this contest.
2 Units Ziavera
Race 4 - 2:10pm AEDT
BRC Electrical BM78 Handicap (1100m)
This shapes as a decent contest, and a horse like Lankan Star has claims on winning.
Lankan Star hasn’t been seen at the races since June, but she was a good horse for the Lindsay Park stable last time in, winning the VOBIS Gold Dash at Caulfield most notably.
She has placed in Group 1 company previously and has reportedly relished her time away from the track – more than happy to have something on in something of this quality.
1 Unit E/W Lankan Star
Race 5 - 2:45pm AEDT
TAC Be Races Ready 3YO BM64 Handicap (1300m)
Chequerboard is another horse resuming on Bendigo Cup Day that rates as a key winning chance.
The Fastnet Rock filly made just three appearances at the races during her debut preparation, but stamped herself as one to watch by winning each of her first two starts.
She had clearly had enough by the time she finished down the order behind Cherry Tortoni at Flemington in June, but this is a drop in class from that race, and the form reads extremely well.
2 Units E/W Chequerboard
Race 6 - 3:20pm AEDT
Racing Refund BM70 Handicap (1300m)
Dune Field will enjoy good improvement into this race and looks a winning chance.
The Shamexpress gelding was a good horse for Geelong-based Jamie Edwards last time in and ended his preparation with consecutive wins at Ladbrokes Park.
He kept his best work for late when fifth, just over two lengths behind the winner at Cranbourne when resuming, and he’s drawn to receive a lovely run this week from barrier 3, and with Luke Nolen in the saddle.
2 Units E/W Dune Field
Race 7 - 4pm AEDT
Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m)
The Bendigo Cup is always an outstanding contest, and a classy and capacity field of local and international stayers will step out on Wednesday.
Irish raider Pondus will have his first Australian start in the Bendigo Cup, and anything close to his best form would see him into the finish.
The Sea The Moon gelding has had just twelve career starts for three wins and four placings, and he returned to the races in June for a second placing in Listed company at Limerick over 2515m.
He followed that up with a classy win, also in Listed company and over a mile and a half, before two somewhat flat efforts in tougher races, including the Ebor Handicap.
He has been freshened since that run, clearly races well earlier in his preparation and has a class edge over a lot of these rivals.
4 Units Pondus
Race 8 - 4:40pm AEDT
Bendigo Locksmiths BM70 Handicap (1600m)
Zende has continued to improve with racing this preparation and is ready to win on Bendigo Cup Day.
The Brazen Beau gelding has missed a placing just twice through eight career appearances so far, and he was last seen hitting the lien for second over a mile at Morphettville on a Saturday.
He appears to be in peak fitness for this contest and might not be offered a better opportunity to win.
2 Units E/W Zende
Race 9 - 5:20pm AEDT
Filkel – Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series Heat BM78 (1400m)
Merchant Of Venice looks well placed for a return to winning form in the final race on Bendigo Cup Day.
The So You Think gelding finished midfield in BM70 company at Flemington when resuming and was last seen filling the minors at the same grade in Hamilton.
Fitter third-up, he is drawn to receive a lovely run this week and will be ridden by Jamie Kah, who is arguably in career-best form at current.
3 Units Merchant Of Venice