Sydney Specials: Newcastle- Saturday 18th of November 2023

We head to Newcastle for The Hunter meeting with some intriguing betting races on the ten-race card.

Going to stick with Canberra Legend for the best of the day. He drifted in betting at his Australian debut and did it tough, sitting wide and eventually working around them to sit outside the leader. He ran seventh but wasn't beaten far and looks to get a better run from barrier five here.

Despite the tough run, he still ran to form, rating 108 with Timeform, which was his overseas peak. That can be viewed two ways- either that's about as good as he goes, or that he was able to run to that despite having things against means he can elevate now.

I'm happy to back in the latter and getting to the 1 7⁄16 m on the big track at Newcastle looks a much better scenario for him. He remains down with 117lbs, meeting a few out of his last start better at the weights, and should have more improvement to come.

He's about the same price he was first up but I think he can improve at least two lengths which would go a long way to getting him home.

For the value play I'm looking at the feature, the $1 Million Hunter and I'm tipping Opal Ridge can bounce back here.

She was very good in second in The Kosciuszko first up before just an even effort in The Invitation but still not beaten far and I think the form out of that race has stood up strongly.

She carried the full penalty there with 130lbs, the same as the winner Espiona, and now drops down to 117lbs on the big track, drawn out wider which I like. We saw a similar scenario in the Listed Luskin Star (1300m) at Scone in the Autumn where she posted a very fast time and strong figure. I think she's capable of running to that level here and at the weights, she should be very hard to hold out.


Bet of the day: Race 6 #9 Canberra Legend at $4.40

Each-way play: Race 8 #14 Opal Ridge at $10/3.30

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