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Inside word: Balaklava Publican’s Day

There’ll be plenty of cheer in the air tomorrow as the state’s publicans decent on Balaklava for the popular mid-week meeting. On the track there are a couple of very nice races, particularly for the younger horses which will create a lot of interest for punters.

Jockeys to watch

Jeff Maund has had the most success at Balaklava in 2019 riding four winners at 30.8%. He has two rides on Wednesday with Jim Smith’s Sugar With That in Race 5 and Michael McLean’s Zaazoe in Race 8. Maund has enjoyed a career best season with 40 winners so far and with three months to go until the new season, he is on track to double his best result in the last ten years.  

Apprentice Gary Lo isn’t far behind him at the track this season with three winners at 30% and has four quality rides on Wednesday including two for Phillip Stokes. He partners the debutant Nature Deel in Race 3 and takes the ride on the filly Queen’s Song. Her only race start was over a year ago where she finished back in the field against some quality horses in Tequila Time and Gytrash. She’s had plenty of time off but returned to the track to run third and first in a couple trials last month.

Trainers to watch

The state’s leading trainer Tony McEvoy loves taking his runners to Balaklava and has enjoyed three winners and four placings this year at 27% win and 63.6% place rates. He is set to saddle up four runners on Wednesday including maidens Cut the Strings, The Pugilist and Xilong along with last start winner Indrabeel. His in-form stable jockey Barend Vorster takes the ride on three of the four runners, while Todd Pannell rides the debutant Xilong. Pannell partnered the filly to a strong trial win at Gawler last month and looks a strong chance in a good maiden race. 

Strathalbyn based trainer Kristie Evans is also enjoying a great year at Balaklava with two wins and two placings at 40% and 80%. She has the one runner in Race 7, Madness Invalencia which will be ridden by Eran Boyd who has ridden four winners for Evans this season.  

Best Bet: Ventriloquism (Race 4)

Won her maiden in start number four at Murray Bridge last month. Had form around Beauty and Schilldora this time last year. She’s third up now and after her impressive win last start, Raquel Clark should be adding another win to her growing tally this season.

Value Bet: Jackpot Johnny (Race 6)

Has won two from four at the track and placed on one other occasion. Was a nice trial winner at Gawler last month and while his fresh record isn’t amazing, in this grade he looks a great chance to give Kate Cowan her first winner on Australian soil.

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