Dick Powell's Australian Pick of the Week Jan. 9, 2019
Race 1 at Australia A (Muswellbrook) is a maiden handicap for three-year-olds going 1250 meters (just over six furlongs). Numbers 6, 12 and 17 are early scratches, and the ground is supposed to be a Good 4 for the one run around a right-hand turn. Fifteen are scheduled to go, and the lower the saddle cloth number, the higher weight they are carrying. These are three-year-olds, so the ones in here that have numerous barrier trials don’t interest me. I am looking for those that have some race form even though they are then likely to carry more weight. HYPER (#1) is a gelding by Medaglia d’Oro who had a trial last September, wasn’t seen again until June for another trial, then came back to race last month. He showed good speed that day and stalked the pace while three wide most of the trip. In the deep stretch, it looked like he was going to back up but showed good energy to keep third. It was a very good debut effort and he is listed at 6-1 in this one. Rider Greg Ryan has won 18 of his last 50 mounts (36 percent) and he has finished in the money 86 percent during that interval. In the past year, he is 89 for 350 (25 percent), so he is clearly the best rider in this race. CHARLOTTE’S HEART (#5) will have to overcome a wide draw but ran well in her career debut going 4 1/2 furlongs. She stretches out another quarter-mile and has to pick up 15 pounds, but rallied strongly in her debut after breaking slow. If you want to take advantage of the promotion below and are looking for a price horse who could get at least second, take a look at BEAUFORT PARK (#4). Off for eight months, he came back to run a good second in a trial, then returned in his career debut two weeks later. He had a nightmare trip after a slow start but was only beaten two lengths after being blocked 100 meters from the wire. The 25-1 morning-line shot could be worth a flyer. In a field with 15 runners, Hyper has shown an ability to get away from the gate and he is right in this with the expected improvement for his second career start. He draws post 9, and he should be able to work out another clear, stalking trip while picking up three pounds. With the big field, Hyper is clearly worth a win bet at 6-1. *Don’t forget TwinSpire.com’s Australian Racing Bet Back offer where you may receive $5 win bet back on Australian A tracks Monday through Thursday if you opt in and play at least four races on a single day. If you finish second, you get up to $5 back per race with a maximum of $50 maximum bonus per player each week.