TAB Betting Blog: Beacon a shining light despite juicy odds

Horses charge up the straight at Sydney's Warwick Farm Mark Evans/Getty Images

The best of the midweek racing action comes from Warwick Farm and Sandown. Read on as tab.com.au form analyst Mitchell Lamb brings you the pick of the runners from both venues.


Warwick Farm Race 7 No.3 Beacon (Brenton Avdulla) - $6.50

A late drifter in betting first up, Beacon somewhat raced accordingly when beaten five lengths into fifth behind talented type Cradle Mountain. In fairness, the son of Lonhro wasn't really suited the way the race was run, being exposed and having to chase a long way out; he also looked a touch underdone prior to the race, so it wasn't too bad an effort in hindsight.

The three-year-old now stays at midweek level in similar grade, but I'm confident this race, at the top end anyway, isn't as good as the one he ran in on ANZAC Day. He's bound to strip a lot fitter and it should be run at a good clip, so Brenton Avdulla should be able to get him into a midfield or better position and hopefully have something bring him into the race as they approach the home turn.

Beacon has shown previously that he's got a decent turn of foot when things have gone his way, so hopefully he gets every opportunity to display that here. Class wise, he's probably the best galloper in the race and he definitely is as far as upside goes. So combine that with the odds on offer, he looks a great bet to me.


Sandown (Hillside) Race 5 No.4 Groovin' (Damien Oliver) - $6.50

Groovin' is a proven mare in this type of grade and, after an eye-catching first up run against the males, this looks a very winnable race back with her own sex and up in distance.

A mile is pretty much her pet trip. She's two from three over the 1600 metres, and that includes a win over group galloper Theanswermyfriend early in her career, plus a win against the males at Bendigo last prep. She really did put in a lovely effort behind Lucky Fish a fortnight ago; in another four strides she wins that race.

I expect Damien Oliver to try and have her midfield here with some cover and hopefully he isn't forced to expose her too early; she's that type of mare who loves a bit of a smother and charge at the leaders with one run. If that happens she looks well up to this.

Sandown (Hillside) Race 7 No.9 Seattle Boom (Daniel Stackhouse) - $5.50

This flashy son of Snitzel is a horse that's obviously had his issues, but one thing Seattle Boom is blessed with is genuine speed and I think we'll see that on full display at Sandown on Wednesday.

The best way to ride this horse is to be aggressive on him from the jump. Sometimes he doesn't get away as well as you'd like; but he's a big, burly sprinting type and once he gets his legs underneath him he's got great early pace and I expect him to lead this lot up.

He did win first up at the beginning of his last prep, beating a handy field in Adelaide, and he did there what I'm hoping he'll do here: burn them off early and power away. Obviously his fitness levels will be somewhat key to that occurring again, but over the five furlongs I'll take the risk he can hold on even if he begins to knock up late.


Warwick Farm Race 5 No.7 Balmain Boy (Tim Clark) - $10

After a nice start to his career where he won two of his first five starts and was tested in the very best company as a three-year-old, Balmain Boy never kicked on from that point and has turned into a disappointing commodity for the most part and a horse that's extremely hard to trust.

But in saying all of that, this is a very weak race he's in here, especially compared to what he's gone round in at his first two starts this prep. With any luck he's going to be in the finish of this on that alone. Now, is that enough to put your hard earned on him? Well, no matter what race he's in you'd want some odds about a horse that hasn't won in two-and-a-half years. But considering what he comes up against here, the double figure odds on offer are appealing.

Also, I reckon he's going okay; both of those latest efforts have been good to my eye. He ran on nicely with limited room first up behind Veladero. Next up at Hawkesbury, in a very good race when dropping back in trip, Balmain Bay was outsprinted when the pressure went on. But he held his ground well over the last part of the race to be beaten less than four lengths by Siren's Fury and Stonebrook, which is considerably better grade than this 74 rater.

He's not a horse you'd be all in on, but he's in the right company to make his presence felt.


Warwick Farm

Leg 1 - 1,2,3,4

Leg 2 - 1,2,4,7

Leg 3 - 1,3,4,7,10,11,14

Leg 4 - 3,18

($100 = 44.64%)

Sandown (Hillside)

Leg 1 - 4,6

Leg 2 - 2,6,9,13,15,16

Leg 3 - 5,9

Leg 4 - 3,5,7,10,14,18

($100 = 69.44%)