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BlackBook - Friday, 18 February 2022

Please see below for our #BlackBook runner comments for Friday, 18 February 2022. The runner's highlighted are our #BlackBook runners (the key runners of focus), while those included in the 'other' section of each race are additional runner's that have jumped out well enough to be worth noting. Our figures and benchmark ratings are from PuntingForm.

BENALLA - Race 2


#1 CHART BUSTER bolted in a Gold Coast trial back on Jan 4, winning by 3L over the 1000m but never got to the races and returned to Melbourne for a little freshen up. He returned to win Heat 13 on Feb 4 in nice time ahead of the talented Yes Baby Yes, he just cruised throughout along the rail before getting a niggle late and extending. He’s got some nice form on the board and has had some lovely trials and jump outs, which is a good base and he should be going close to breaking the maiden this preparation.



#2 AVOID ME was certainly the pick of the 2yo’s, leading throughout in Heat 5 on Jan 18 under a ridiculous hold throughout while the rest of the field was pushed out, yet making no ground on her. The 2yo filly is by Pariah out of an un-raced Encosta De Lago mare that’s a sister to some reasonably handy gallopers in Vezalay, Serene Miss and Volando. In only her first jump out, she did this with absolute ease. Big watch.

#2 AVOID ME is flying at the jump outs, taking out Heat 16 on Feb 3 as she led throughout again and won under a strong hold. This backs up her Jan 18 jump out, which was won in the same circumstances so she clearly has speed to burn and expect her to show that on debut.


It's been a frustrating 2022 - we've had 9x tips SP at $2.20 or less for only 1x winner... which is just ridiculous. In saying that, we've got to stick to the system as we get the overs and are there abouts - the tide will turn. Just wanted to put a note out that we're feeling the frustration as every unit play is exactly what we back personally (to the $), so we're certainly looking for a change of luck!

Benalla, Race 2 - CHART BUSTER

He's a 4yo gelding who's back for his fourth career preparation now and looks in good order - he's always been there abouts in his 6x career runs with 4x placings and a 4th and a 5th, beaten no worse than 3.8L. His two runs last preparation rated +7.0 (first up) and then +0.2, with that last start rating the best least start rating of the race and the best peak rating of the race. If he runs to his best here first up, he's the one to beat.

The reason for his QLD trial was that he was in the Magic Millions MDN race, but was scratched at the barriers - from memory, Jake Noonan had the ride on this gelding up there as his only ride. The stewards report said "The start was further delayed when CHART BUSTER became fractious in the barrier getting its off fore limb cast over the partition sustaining an abrasion to the off fore." He gets a few gear changes to try help with that including a barrier blanket.

PROOINGA had no luck at all first up, so completely forget that even happened (and was still good enough to be only 3.35L off the winner...) - jump outs prior to that run were good. Feel as though TWOTOCHOOSE is going to need further than the 1200m he gets first up here - CHART BUSTER lost to La Zucca by 1.2L last start with TWOTOCHOOSE finishing 1.5L behind La Zucca a couple starts prior to this, so they have similar form just that TWOTOCHOOSE will certainly get out over much further (1600m+) while CHART BUSTER looks a more ~1200m horse.

Can't go past CHART BUSTER who has always ran an honest race and has some nice form on the board alongside some really nice jump outs - happy to back him in to run an honest race and be the one to beat. If Jake Noonan was willing to fly up to QLD for only the one ride on him (after trialling on him in QLD), then he must have an opinion of the horse and no surprise he's on here at Benalla. Playing the SP as he's getting short around the ~$2.30 mark.

Moonee Valley, Race 1 - AVOID ME

Hard to argue that any other race would be more suitable than a 955m 2YO maiden at the Valley... she has speed to burn and from barrier 4, she can't be much more suited than she is here.

ASTELENA split Kiki Express and Semillion in her only Feb 4 jump out, but didn't do it as easily where she was pushed out and shown the whip. BERRY BUBBLY looked to be held up on debut in a tough Caulfield race but gave nothing in the straight and just went backwards over the final 400m or so. CUT THE CHASE won an official Cranbourne trial impressively after going untouched in a previous jump out. FRONTENAC was 3.35L off Xtravagent Star on debut (which is super form) but then didn't give much at Pakenham 2nd up, although Sir Bailey has since won.

Jump outs super, drawn well and winnable race - we're going to have to have something on. Look to make the most of some bonus back offers, such as UniBet or MoneyBall.


Flemington, Race 4 - CASTILLIAN

Having an early bet in the 2YO race as there looks to be some overs. Jump outs were absolutely super and not quite sure why he is such a big price - for those interested in the jockey bookings, it looked as though Ethan Brown rode him in his first JO but Mark Zahra was on board for his latest JO on Feb 4 with Ethan Brown riding the stablemate in the same heat, and now Ethan Brown riding here on debut.

He seems well over the odds and was happy to have a bet at the $20+ available - if possible, look to take advantage of the bonus back offers for some insurance such as on Bet365 etc.


We recommend you have a TAB, TopSport (click here), Bet365 and Betfair account. As a rule of thumb, our new 'units' system will be based on the following staking plan:

  • 0.25 units is a speculation ('spec') bet at a bigger price.

  • 0.50 units to 1.00 units is a low confidence bet.

  • 1.00 units to 2.00 units is a medium confidence bet.

  • 2.00 units to 3.00 units is a high confidence bet.

  • 5.00 units is the maximum bet and is a 'special', or a very high confidence bet.

Total outlay is 3.50 units.

Benalla, Race 2

CHART BUSTER ~ 2.00 units WIN @ Betfair SP

Moonee Valley, Race 1

AVOID ME ~ 1.50 units WIN @ Betfair SP

*extra early bet for Saturday - he's now into $17-$18 most places, which is still worth a bet.*

Flemington, Race 4

CASTILLIAN ~ 0.50 units WIN @ $21.00 (Bet365 or Sportsbet)

Overall (since 21 Oct, 2021): +3.01 units at Recommend Price | +39.81 units at Betfair SP

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