Saturday Racing Preview – Mornington

The main racing on Saturday in Victoria will be held at the Mornington race track. It’s your typical autumn meeting in Melbourne with average sized fields on a soft track but with rain hovering above. Oh, did I forget to mention – it’s Mornington Cup day too. Track currently rates a soft 5 and the rail is true the entire course.

 

Race 1- Bm 78 1000m

Date: 25/3
Time: 12:40pm
Location: Mornington

AUNTY MO just doesn’t know how to win. But she has enough ability and superior earlier speed to trouble these this time. Each way. SCHISM is a winner first up but this is a big rise in grade. Is consistent though and deserves a shot. Trip and draw help enormously here. PINK PERFECTION former smart youngster who looks well in here. Is fast and will be right on speed all way.

The Early Crows Top TipAUNTY MO

 

Race 2- Females BM 78 1200m

Date: 25/3
Time: 1:15
Location: Mornington

STYLISH MIOSS is best horse in field but is resuming. Still, great draw and weight relief make her a big chance. JESTER ANGEL is just so consistent and is a real trier. Puts in every start and will be there again. VIATRIX will love this track and although up in grade has finishing power and is a last start winner. Respect..  Chance.

The Early Crows Top TipVIATRIX

 

Race 3- BM 90 Hcp 2000m

Date: 25/3
Time: 1:55pm
Location: Mornington

ANGELOLOGY looked great first up when winning this grade. Perfectly suited to this and weight relief a big help too. ANCIENT KING awkwardly drawn and out of form but is expected to improve 3rd up. Place. SNITZELWOOD has talent but taking a  moment to get his act together this campaign. Is 3rd up here so must be ready to pounce.

The Early Crows Top TipANGELOLOGY

 

Race 4- Mornington Sires 1500m

Date: 25/3
Time: 2:30pm
Location: Mornington

ESHTIRAAK will find this easier than recent racing which, apart from failing at stakes level last start, had been brilliant. Everything suggests a VERY bold showing. TOGA PICTA is an emerging talent. Got home like a train last start and this trip suits perfectly.. Big show. IL DIVO getting better with racing but top two are very smart.

The Early Crows Top TipESHTIRAAK

 

Race 5- Mitavite BM 78 Challenge Final 1600m

Date: 25/3
Time: 3:10pm
Location: Mornington

STRIKE FORCE is in great form this grade. Jock is riding brilliantly and is ready to win. Win last start was great pointer to this. HOKKAIDO will be heavily supported and has enough ability to warrant the money. Ran terrific 2nd in lead-up heat and weight relief helps. BACKSTREET LOVER was impressive when 2nd this grade two starts back. Small field suits. And is very fit.

The Early Crows Top TipSTRIKE FORCE

 

Race 6- $120,000 HAREEBA STAKES 1200m

Date: 25/3
Time: 3:50pm
Location: Mornington

BASSETT is racing in great heart but is getting in weight and is a tiny horse. Drawn poorly but will no doubt bustle across looking for cover. FAST ’N’ ROCKING is ready to rumble. Is best horse here when right. Didn’t rattle home last start as expected but is fitter now. Big show. RELDAS is now at peak of career and performance and fitness. Great draw and top jock makes for big show.  Will be right in this.

The Early Crows Top TipFAST ‘N’ ROCKING

 

Race 7- $300,000 Mornington Cup 2400m

Date: 25/3
Time: 4:30pm
Location: Mornington

BOOM TIME looks a promising stayer in the making. Won well at 4 of past 6 starts all this grade. Must be a major chance here. ALMOONQITH is out of form but back in grade. Bad draw and last start was abysmal…but he did get vaccinated that week. Expect a bolder showing. Chance. THE GOLD TRAIL is from England and we all know how good Charlie Appleby’s horses are first up here. Has good winning form back home too and may just blow this field away.

The Early Crows Top TipTHE GOLD TRAIL

 

Race 8- Mornington Guineas 1600m

Date: 25/3
Time: 5:10pm
Location: Mornington

SCREAMARR mixes form. Poor effort two starts back but then looks great winning last start. Place. CLIFF HANGER is racing in superb form this time up and has all the favours here. Perfect draw, has won at this grade and is in top stable. LORD MACAU Sydney galloper with good speed early and has shown he can hold it. Will lead for a good way.

The Early Crows Top TipCLIFF HANGER

 

Race 9- BM 78 1200m

Date: 25/3
Time: 5:45pm
Location: Mornington

JUST MAGICAL is back in grade and that will make an enormous different. Has been plying trade in BM 90 and Listed races of late and is now ready to pounce. MOSS ‘N’ DALE won a string of races when last in work and is well up to this grade. Only real concern is lack of recent racing. Very capable. MATERNAL good Godolphin mare who is rising in grade here but was showing a lot of talent when last in work. Watch market.

The Early Crows Top TipJUST MAGICAL

Advertisements

Saturday Racing Preview – Doomben

A very tricky card for us at Doomben this Saturday, with the wet weather throwing an extra spanner in the works.  Currently, the track is a heavy 8 with the rail out half a metre the entire course.

 

Race: 1- KISS AND MAKE UP AQUIS FARM QTIS TWO-YEARS-OLD HANDICAP (1050M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 12:07pm
Location: Doomben

It’s a big field in the first, but punters are only interested in the top two. Acceptile has been ultra-consistent this preparation and brings the Houtzen-Miss Exfactor form into the race. That is the best Queensland two-year-old form there is, and he’s drawn well in barrier seven to choose a spot forward and look the winner. Snitz has only had the one start for an easy win at Grafton. Normally you wouldn’t expect that form to translate to a metro Saturday, but the stable know how to place a horse. Barrier 14 is tough for a leader, but don’t discount.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Acceptile

 

Race: 2- QRIC EQUINE WELFARE PROGRAM OPEN HANDICAP (2200M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 12:45pm
​Location: Doomben

Feel like we’ve been here before? Morendi just keeps turning up in these 2200m races and is almost impossible not to back. His three-length win at Doomben was fantastic, and you just can’t poke a hole in how well he’s going. Magnatune avoided Morendi going to the Gold Coast last Saturday and came away with a very nice win. He drifted in betting that day which is a concern, and hard to know how he’ll go with two big races in two weeks. Outraged is more than capable of winning this if there is an upset, but he’s been up for an age.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Morendi

 

Race: 3- THE RAY WHITE ASCOT QTIS THREE-YEARS-OLD HANDICAP (2000M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 1:22pm
​Location: Doomben

Perilous Love has been outstanding since getting out over a mile, winning her last two starts by big margins. Impossible to ignore her win here over this trip last time out, even if it was at odds. Drawn well against she’ll be hard to beat. Ercolano broke through to claim his first win last time out in a midweek here at Doomben over a mile. There was a lot of style about that win, and it looks as though the extra distance will suit the lightly raced gelding down to the ground.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Perilous Love

 

Race: 4- MITAVITE CLASS 6 HANDICAP (1600M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 2:00pm
​Location: Doomben

Sheiswhatsheis claimed a big win last time out in a similar race here at Doomben over the mile. With two wins from three starts this really seems to be her perfect trip, and from barrier seven she should have no problems leading them again. Put a pen through the last start of Cantbuybetter, who is much better than that run suggests. Not totally convinced about him at the trip or grade, but not without hope. Deconstructed peaks third-up and gets out to the more suitable mile. He’s a mixed bag in Saturday class, so be weary.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Sheiswhatsheis

 

Race: 5- NOVOTEL BRISBANE AIRPORT CLASS 3 PLATE (1200M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 2:40pm
​Location: Doomben

She’s started very short in her last two, but Candika finally earnt her price winning last start at this class. She’s had a freshen up since that win and drops all the way back to 1200m. I’m not totally convinced about her at this trip, but it’s a soft field. Forbidden Kisses has been very good in her last two and is flying at the moment. She seems to need a little luck in running, but the 1200m comes at a good time fourth-up, and from barrier nine Browne should be able to keep her out of trouble.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Forbidden Kisses

 

Race: 6- BYRNE FORD KEDRON CLASS 6 HANDICAP (1200M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 3:22pm
​Location: Doomben

Quatronic is a very talented galloper who looks a class above this field. However, he has broken down in two of his last three races which is a massive concern. Assuming he’s sound, he shouldn’t have any issues dispatching this field, especially with three wins from four over the distance. Rhyme Nor Rhythm is the next pick in the market but finding it hard to see him winning. He was well beaten last time in town, even with some excuses. Don’t Tell Mama drops back in distance after a freshen up and change of trainer. She’s got a great record fresh so keep very safe.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Quatronic

 

Race: 7- SOUTHERN SHEET & COIL OPEN HANDICAP (1350M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 4:02pm
​Location: Doomben

Flamboyer has been very solid in his last two starts and is on the quick back up after finishing third as favourite on the Gold Coast last week. His best work does seem to be over 1200m, but his class could be enough here. Siegfried has two wins and a second from his last three starts and is a specialist around this distance. He has drawn barrier 15, but couldn’t have a better jockey on top, and is flying. Beatniks is also in fantastic form and comes back from a mile for this. I’m not entirely convinced about that, but she has won here and in the wet.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Beatniks

 

Race: 8- AUSTACK SADDLERY PRODUCE NO METRO WINS HANDICAP (1350M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 4:40pm
​Location: Doomben

One of the toughest last races you’ll find. Always Sacred has had an interesting preparation but looks very nicely place in this grade. He was very good winning a midweek here almost a month ago and does bring some pretty good Saturday form prior to that. The distance is the only big concern, with a pretty ordinary record over 1200m. All That Is might struggle to get a run, but she's one of the most consistent runners in the field. Saturday class doesn’t seem to be a problem, and she should be able to run out the 1350m stronger than most.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Always Sacred

Saturday Racing Preview – Rosehill

Another two Group 1s round out Rosehill’s feature meetings for the autumn, with a class field of stayers lining up in The BMW.  Currently, the track is a heavy 10 with the rail out 6 metres the entire course.

 

Race: 1- THE SCHWEPPERVESCENCE (1400M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 12:20pm
Location: Rosehill

A bit of a light race given its status, but this should be a good guide moving forward as the two-year-olds start to cover more ground. Astoria won his only start to date in a midweek race at Warwick Farm by a big margin. That was on a heavy surface so he shouldn’t have any troubles here in the wet. Villa Carlotta brings some of the best two-year-old form there is from her run in the Reisling three weeks ago. I’m not sure if that run suggested she would get 1400m, but she does look to have a bit of class. Muraahib has his first go the Sydney-way. He wasn’t far away in the Blue Diamond, so should be a live chance.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Astoria

 

Race: 2- E-GROUP SECURITY STAR KINGDOM STAKES (1200M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 1:00pm
Location: Rosehill

What a cracking betting race! Artistry resumed in great style winning the Maurice McCarten first-up, and against has a great record second-up and over the 1200m. She has a lot of class and hasn’t finished worse than second in her two preparations this season. Impending stays in open class and gets this third-up. There’s no doubting his ability, but I’m struggling to put my finger on how screwed down he will be. Dal Cielo came unstuck in the wet in the Challenge Stakes, but you can almost ignore that run. He’s a good horse in form and can bounce back in a big way here.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Artistry

 

Race: 3- THE DAILY TELEGRAPH NEVILLE SELLWOOD STAKES (2000M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 1:35pm
Location: Rosehill

Astronomos has opened a deserved short-priced favourite on the back of a massive win last time out over this distance at Randwick. He absolutely loves the wet, has won three from four at the trip, and two from three second-up. Looks very tough to beat. Import Floodlight has been kept very safe by bookmakers after a solid Australian debut. He is a winner at the distance, and you’d think he should improve with each start. Zasorceress finished a narrow second last start at Flemington over a mile and arrives in Sydney for the first time. Happy to risk her, but could run a place.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Astronomos

 

Race: 4- RYDGES PARRAMATTA DONCASTER PRELUDE (1500M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 2:15pm
Location: Rosehill

New Tipperary handled the step up into stakes grade last start finishing a close second after a tough run. Third-up the gelding should be perfectly primed for a big run and finds a field where he looks very well placed. Spectroscope could not have been more impressive winning his first Australian start here at Rosehill. That looked an unsuitable distance, so expect him to improve over more ground here. Echo Effect has been freshened up since his narrow second in the Hobartville and should be able to kick forward and lead again. This is tougher in open class, but he could be very hard to catch.

The Early Crows Top Tip: New Tipperary

 

Race: 5- POWER DISTRIBUTION AUSTRALIA TULLOCH STAKES (2000M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 2:50pm
Location: Rosehill

Prized Icon was annihilated in last week’s Rosehill Guineas after not handling the track at all. We know how good he is, but it’s hard to back him with any confidence on anything other than a dry surface. Jon Snow follows on the heels of Gingernuts, and while he looks a lesser horse, finds a much easier race. He was very close in both the NZ Derby and Levin Classic, so has a lot of class. Rising Red also finished close in the NZ Derby. He brings only Victorian midweek form prior to that, but the local hopes are very ordinary indeed.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Jon Snow

 

Race: 6- THE BMW (2400M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 2:30pm
Location: Rosehill

Our Ivanhowe was simply spectacular winning the Ranvet last weekend after finally finding some wet ground. He’s a real swimmer, and also brings three wins over 2400m. It’s a strong field, but he looks the one to beat. Humidor is in the middle of an outstanding campaign which included a win in the Australian Cup last time out. You can’t fault his form, and he has a good wet record, but without a win beyond 2000m, he comes with risks. Jameka is simply one of the best stayers in the country and finds this race fourth-up. She’s won the Caulfield Cup over this distance and won her only start on a heavy surface.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Jameka

 

Race: 7- VINERY STUD STAKES (2000M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 4:10pm
Location: Rosehill

Le Bella Diosa was seriously found out against the older girls in the Coolmore, but there do seem to have been excuses for her with coughing post-race. Her form prior to that was impeccable, including winning the Surround Stakes and NZ 1000 Guineas, so happy to give her another chance. Foxplay won as expected last start in the Phar Lap, and just considerably from 1500m to 2000m. This is her first go over this much ground, but hard to find a more in-form runner. Harlow Gold arrives from Melbourne on an Oaks campaign. She finished off very well against the boys in the Australian Guineas and has won in the wet. Really looks the one on the way up.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Harlow Gold

 

Race: 8- ASCEND SALES TROPHIES EMANCIPATION STAKES (1500M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 4:50pm
Location: Rosehill

A lot of the beaten brigade from the Coolmore back up here, although not sure if many are worth following. Daysee Doom looks the best of them and finds this race third-up. She’s won two from two her third time in and looks to be able to handle the wet. Extensible was good first-up behind Spectroscope and should be better for the run. She’s got a great 1400m record but should have any issues over this ground. Three-year-old Zenalicious looks to have found a very nice race on the back of a second in the Phar Lap. Barrier one isn’t ideal, but the 1500m looks as though it’s perfect fourth-up.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Zenalicious

 

Race: 9- EFM LOGISTICS HANDICAP (1400M)

Date: 25/3
Time: 5:30pm
Location: Rosehill

Handfast was good as favourite in the National Sprint last time out and is drawn well to find a nice position here. He brings some serious form into a fairly light race, and fourth-up should be hard fit. Stablemate Ancient history is another Godolphin international runner having his second Australian start. He was ok on debut at Kembla but would like to see more before you can back with any confidence. Mr Individual arrives from Melbourne for his autumn campaign after a freshen up. Bit of a risk going the Sydney way, but he has won two from four in the wet.

The Early Crows Top Tip: Handfast

Saturday Racing Tip Sheet

Rosehill Racecourse is the place to be this weekend for Group 1 racing action, with The BMW and the Vinery Stud Stakes set down for Saturday.

The Early Crows Racing Top Tips – 25/3/2017

 

ROSEHILL

Race 

Tip

Rosehill Race 3

ASTRONOMOS

Rosehill Race 5

JON SNOW

Rosehill Race 9

HANDFAST

 

DOOMBEN

Race 

Tip

Doomben Race 1

ACCEPTILE

Doomben Race 2

MORENDI

Doomben Race 3

PERILOUS LOVE

 

MORNINGTON

Race 

Tip

Mornington Race 7

THE GOLD TRAIL

Mornington Race 8

CLIFF HANGER

Mornington Race 9

JUST MAGICAL

Sunday Racing Tip Sheet

The Crow believes that life will be wonderful again by Sunday. Four big meetings – plenty of opportunity to find a winner.

The Early Crows Racing Top Tips – 26/3/2017

 

SCONE

Race 

Tip

SCONE Race 2

TIGERS IMAGE

SCONE Race 6

PRINCESS POSH

SCONE Race 7

JAR OF HEARTS

 

NOWRA

Race 

TIP

NOWRA Race 2

BAY MISSILE

NOWRA Race 4

AS GOOD AS IT GETS

NOWRA Race 7

VELLA LONCHICK

 

BALLARAT

Race 

Tip

BALLARAT Race 2

OUR SMOOTHIE

BALLARAT Race 4

GURU JIM

BALLARAT Race 8

GREAT GLEN

 

SUNSHINE COAST

Race 

Tip

SUNSHINE COAST Race 1

POET’S SOCIETY

SUNSHINE COAST Race 2

SCRABBLE

SUNSHINE COAST Race 5

GO THE GANTRY

Super Rugby Preview – Round 5

Crusaders v Force

5.35pm (AEDT), Friday, March 24 @ AMI Stadium, Christchurch

The Teams: The Crusaders have made seven changes, with All Blacks Wyatt Crockett and Luke Romano making their first starts, Scott Barrett moving from lock to loose forward, Matt Todd returning in the No.7, and Mitchell Drummond, Tim Bateman and Digby Ioane moving into the starting backline. The Force have also rung the changes, with Ben Daley replacing Pek Cowan, Tatafu Polota-Nau getting a start and flanker Isireli Naisarani making his run-on debut.

History: The teams have met 8 times, with the Crusaders winning 5, the Force 2, and 1 match drawn.

Form: The Crusaders are 4-0, beating the Brumbies, Highlanders, Reds and Blues in cliff-hangers so far. The Force beat the Reds at home in between gallant away losses to the Waratahs and Brumbies, before sitting out Round 4 with the bye.

Stats: Only 2 of the sides’ 8 games have been decided 13+ margins. The Crusaders are unbeaten in 3 previous home games against the Force. The Crusaders are 13-5 at home since the start of 2015. The Force have won just 4 of their last 19 Super Rugby games on the road.

Final Thoughts: The Crusaders will be happy with their unbeaten start, but they easily could have lost all of their games so far, forced to overturn deficits with late come-from-behind wins in the past three weeks. The Force have been better than expected, but just lack that overall class and firepower to get regular wins. Romano, Crockett and Todd should add some extra fizz to the Crusaders’ pack and drive the home side to a comfortable win – but a 20.5 line is a bit steep.

Crow’s Tip: Crusaders by 16-20 @ $5.00

 

Rebels v Waratahs

7.45pm (AEDT), Friday, March 24 @ AAMI Park, Melbourne

The Teams: The Rebels are unchanged, but Bernard Foley returns in a massive boost for the Waratahs, who have also named Jake Gordon, Jed Holloway and Ned Hanigan in the starting side, and moved Israel Folau back to fullback.

History: The Waratahs have won 9 games to the Rebels’ 2, but the Rebels scored a 21-17 upset in Sydney last year.

Form: After thrashings at the hands of the Blues and Hurricanes, the Rebels came out of the Round 3 bye with a much-improved showing in a 27-14 loss to the Chiefs. The Waratahs have lost 3 straight on the road to the Lions, Sharks and Brumbies after starting their season with a home win over the Force.

Stats: The Waratahs have a 4-1 away record against the Rebels. Six of the teams’ last 8 clashes have been decided by 1-12 margins. The Waratahs are 9-8 on the road since the start of 2015. The Rebels are 7-10 at home since the start of 2015.

Final Thoughts: Although a far better showing last week after their diabolical opening fortnight, the Rebels are still well off the pace. Fortunately, their opponents are equally beleaguered, coming into this derby off three extremely disappointing losses. But Foley’s return in huge, and Folau’s return to fullback should see a bit more of a familiar Waratahs rhythm return.

Crow’s Tip: Waratahs 1-12 @ $2.50

 

Blues v Bulls

5.35pm (AEDT), Saturday, March 25 @ QBE Stadium, North Harbour

The Teams: The Blues have made just one change, with Charlie Faumuina to start at prop – if he passes a fitness test. Bulls flanker Renaldo Bothma was slapped with a four-match suspension.

History: The Blues have won 12 games to the Blues’ 7, with 1 drawn – including a win in their most recent clash, 23-18 at Eden Park in 2015.

Form: Since winning their first game against the Rebels, the Blues have gone down to the Chiefs, Highlanders and Crusaders. The Bulls lost to the Stormers and Cheetahs before a Round 3 bye, before struggling to put away the lowly Sunwolves 34-21.

Stats: The Blues boast a 10-1 home record against the Bulls. Four of their last 5 encounters were decided by 1-12 margins. Both sides have scored at least 17 points in their last 14 clashes. The Blues are 9-8 at home since the start of 2015. The Bulls are 6-12 on the road since the start of 2015.

Final Thoughts: It’s been a rocky path for the Blues in 2017, but they haven’t been as poor in the past three weeks as many would have you believe – especially as some of their best cattle (Luatua, SBW) is on the sidelines. They were unlucky not to get the win in Christchurch, and shouldn’t have much trouble hosting a Bulls side that struggles on the road as has been poor so far this season.

Crow’s Tip: Blues 13+ @ $1.99

 

Brumbies v Highlanders

7.45pm (AEDT), Saturday, March 25 @ GIO Stadium, Canberra

The Teams: The Highlanders have named Patrick Osborne and Sio Tomkinson on the wings, with Tevita Li suspended and Richard Buckman replacing Rob Thompson in the No.12. Alex Ainley also comes into the starting pack. No major changes are expected for the Brumbies.

History: The Brumbies have won 12 games to the Highlanders’ 9. The Highlanders prevailed 23-10 in Invercargill and 16-9 in a Canberra finals match last year.

Form: The Brumbies are 2-2, rebounding from losses to the Crusaders and Sharks by downing the Force and Waratahs. The Highlanders are teetering at 1-3, with a win over the Blues their only success; they went down at home to the Chiefs and Crusaders in their first two games, and were belted by the Hurricanes in Wellington last week.

Stats: The Brumbies have won 7 of their last 10 against the Highlanders, but the Highlanders have won the last 2. The Brumbies have a 9-3 record against the Highlanders at home. The Brumbies are 12-7 at home since the start of 2015. The Highlanders are 16-6 on the road since the start of 2015.

Final Thoughts: The Brumbies have clawed their way back impressively with a pair of derby wins, but Australian sides playing each other is a bit of a false economy in 2017, and the visiting Highlanders represent a much tougher challenge. The Highlanders are struggling in the face of a heavy injury toll, but they are a proud side with plenty of class, and last week’s touch-up at the hands of the Hurricanes should be enough to spur them on to a pressure-relieving win.

Crow’s Tip: Highlanders 1-12 @ $2.60

 

Sunwolves v Stormers

9.55pm (AEDT), Saturday, March 25 @ Singapore National Stadium, Singapore

The Teams: The Stormers’ Springbok reps Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe and Pieter-Steph du Toit were left at home, while Huw Jones, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Jano Vermaak, Cheslin Kolbe, Juan de Jongh, Damian de Allende, Steph de Wit, Leolin Zas and Scarra Ntubeni are all out injured.

History: The teams met twice last season, with the Stormers prevailing 46-19 at home before being held to a 17-all draw at home.

Form: The Sunwolves are 0-4, losing to the Hurricanes and Kings at home, and the Cheetahs and Bulls on the road. The Stormers won their first three against the Bulls, Jaguares and Kings before enjoying the Round 4 bye.

Stats: The Sunwolves are 1-1-8 at home in their Super Rugby history. The Stormers are 8-7-1 on the road since the start of 2015. The Stormers have won their last 7 regular-season games.

Final Thoughts: The Stormers will be on high alert after last year’s shock draw away to the Sunwolves, and even more so without their best players available for this long-haul trip. But expect the enthusiasm of the Stormers’ ring-ins to be enough to account for the Sunwolves, who undeniably overachieved with their plucky efforts in South Africa over the past fortnight and have to be a strong consideration against a big line.

Crow’s Tip: Sunwolves +21.5 @ $1.90

 

Kings v Lions

12.05am (AEDT), Sunday, March 26 @ Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

The Teams: Kings captain Schalk Ferrerira has been added to a long injury list at the franchise.

History: The Kings and Lions clashed for the first time in 2016, with the Lions winning 45-10 away and 57-21 at home.

Form: The Kings beat the Sunwolves away but have lost to the Jaguares and Stormers at home, before being edged out by the Sharks 19-17 in Durban in Round 4. The Lions are 3-1 after accounting for the Cheetahs, Waratahs and Reds, with a loss to the Jaguares in Argentina their only blip.

Stats: The Kings are 4-14 at home in their Super Rugby history. The Lions are 11-6 on the road since the start of 2015. The Lions have won their last 10 games on South African soil.

Final Thoughts: The Kings have been far better in 2017, and were desperately unlucky not to come away with a watershed upset of the Sharks last week after being fuelled by the news the franchise was unlikely to be included in next year’s comp. But that resolve can only last so long for a team lacking genuine world-class players and battling a big injury toll. The Lions rocketed back to form last week and have too many attacking weapons for the PE strugglers.

Crow’s Tip: Lions -25.5 @ $1.90

 

Cheetahs v Sharks

2.15am (AEDT), Sunday, March 26 @ Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

The Teams: No major changes are expected at this stage for either side.

History: The Sharks have won 10 games to the Cheetahs’ 7. The Sharks prevailed 26-10 at home last season.

Form: After narrowly going down to the Lions and beating the Bulls and Sunwovles, the Cheetahs were hammered 44-14 by the Jaguares in Round 4. The Sharks have been up and down, snaring great wins over the Brumbies and Waratahs to bounce back from a narrow loss to the Reds first up, but only just putting away the struggling Kings in Round 4.

Stats: The Cheetahs have managed 2 wins in their last 4 games against the Sharks. The Sharks boast a 5-2 away record against the Cheetahs. Five of the last 7 encounters were decided by 1-12 margins. The Cheetahs have won only 7 of their last 15 games at Free State Stadium. The Sharks are 7-11-1 on the road since the start of 2015.

Final Thoughts: It’s all unravelled a bit for the Cheetahs after a solid opening fortnight, barely getting over the Sunwolves before a highly disappointing trip to Argentina. The Sharks were caught napping by the Kings last week, and should be grateful they got out of their clash with the Kings with four points. Nevertheless, the visitors represent good value against a small line.

Crow’s Tip: Sharks -3 @ $1.90

 

Jaguares v Reds

8.40am (AEDT), Sunday, March 26 @ Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aries

The Teams: Jaguares linchpin Nicolas Sanchez will be available after missing last week with suspension. Jake McIntyre replaces the suspended Quade Cooper in the Reds’ No.10, while prop and captain James Slipper has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

History: First meeting.

Form: The Jaguares have made a solid 3-1 start, beating the Kings, Lions and Cheetahs; an away loss to the Stormers is their only defeat of the season. After their first-up win over the Sharks, the Reds have gone down to the Force, Crusaders and Lions in increasingly demoralising fashion.

Stats: The Jaguares are 5-4 at home in their Super Rugby history, with 3 of their losses coming by margins of 5 points or less. The Reds are 2-13 on the road since the start of 2015, with their last overseas win coming almost 2 years ago.

Final Thoughts: The Jaguares are developing into the formidable side – especially at home – most predicted than would be in their ultimately disappointing debut season, and are really taking strides towards a finals spot with their early-season form. As you would expect from a virtual Argentina Test side. The Reds, meanwhile, have hit the skids after a promising start. They may actually be better off with McIntyre in the No.10 instead of the erratic Cooper, but it’s a big adjustment for them to make on the run and the Jags will be too good here.

Crow’s Tip: Jaguares -14.5 @ $1.95

Big Bets

OUR IVANHOWE is being heavily backed in tomorrows BMW Stakes at Rosehill, one punter has $4000 on the German runner in early betting.

Palmerbet Big Bets – 25/03/2017

Race Horse Bet
Rosehill Race 2 No 4. Jungle Edge  $1500 e/w @ $6.50
Rosehill Race 3 No 3. Astronomos $5000 @ $2.80
Rosehill Race 6 No 1. Our Ivanhowe  $4000 @ $4.40
Rosehill Race 7 No 2. Foxplay $5000 @ $3.60
Mornington Race 7  No 3. The Gold Trail $3700 @ $2.60