STRAIGHT UP IT CLASS 2 HANDICAP Tips (Race 2)
Albury Value Bet - Race 2 No. 1 Divine Caprice
The Hayes & Dabernig stable cross the border with half a dozen gallopers for the Thursday meeting from Albury which includes Divine Caprice, who although generally needs a bit of luck with her racing pattern, is the class runner of this field.
A city winning two-year-old at Flemington last year, the daughter of Sebring followed that with two more competitive Saturday efforts before being tipped out, and aside from a flat second-up run behind a speedy Written Miss, has been fair in other two attempts this campaign.
Her last outing came in a Benchmark 64 at Werribee, where she made some inroads but was completely unsuited in an event dominated by the on-speed runners and off a freshen-up, is certainly capable of striking in a race of this nature.
HIB INSURANCE BROKERS CLASS 1 HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Albury Best Bet - Race 6 No. 3 Swagger
With a few progressive gallopers in this field, including the stable mate at longer odds, this does look stronger than your average Country Class 1 but that means we do get a reasonable price for this import from the local Mitch Beer yard.
Following a Maiden victory in New Zealand, Swagger made his way across the ditch and via the Australian debut at Wagga, caught the eye with a big run from the rear for second, putting more than length on Landmine in the process who franked the form with an easy win on Australia Day.
Given the betting drift for that 1200m resumption, he's clearly open to improvement while it's worth noting that Halo Warrior (Jan 19 winner) is the short favourite in a Class 4 earlier on this card (Race 5), whereas we're getting more than double the odds for this gelding in a Class 1.
STUART GORDON LANDSCAPING BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP Tips (Race 7)
Albury Next Best Bet - Race 7 No. 2 Encircle
Making her move to the Craig Weeding stable last winter was this five-year-old and she had instant success for the new yard, recording two wins and a second from four attempts before being spelled, which included a brilliant first-up victory when storming home late.
She reeled in Balle D'or on that occasion, a galloper that went on to win three more races that campaign (two at Benchmark 64 level) and via her last victory on September 17, held off Turbeau (Benchmark 70 competitive) and Toffee Doll, who subsequently placed twice behind King Magnus, a Melbourne winner in January.
In a Benchmark 58 field that has a decent tail to it, they are the best form lines in the race and from gate two on Thursday, the soft draw will held offset the 61.5kg for Encircle who has had the benefit of a January trial on this circuit.