Ballarat Synthetic Tips July 20

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The opener is a Maiden over the 1200m and TESTA ROCK ($2 with bet365) can go one spot better than a debut effort that saw her finish a narrow runner-up on the Pakenham Synthetic on debut. That came over the 1200m on June 28 and she settled handy to the lead before just going down late behind Atlantic Seas. That pair put a three length gap on the 3rd placegetter, who has since gone on to claim her Maiden at Sale. Testa Rock went 2.6 lengths slower than standard benchmark, which is eight lengths better than the next best last start figures of any runner in this race. She will be ridden by Josh Richards, who is absolutely flying at the moment, providing punters with a 22% profit of turnover from his last 100 rides. He has combined with the stable on six occasions for three wins.

FESTIVUS ($2.50 with Sportsbet) shapes as a solid chance in Race 3 of the day at Ballarat. Another with one start under the belt, the Tony McEvoy-trained galloper stepped out at Bendigo over the 1400m on July 1 and stuck on well for 4th behind Toomuchtobear. Mr Brightside finished runner-up in that race and has since gone on to score at Geelong. The son of Teofilo went 4.6 lengths slower than standard, which is better than what any of the runners in this race have produced in their careers to date. Any improvement on that and he should take this out.

Looking for one at a bit of a price in Race 5 of the day and HOPKINS ($23 with Sportsbet) is not without a chance at the nice odds. The three-year-old comes back to a suitable level and was no match for Token Spirit in the recent Mahogany Challenge Final at Flemington on Finals Day on July 3, running 8th that day. He settled back that day and produced some nice splits from the 1000m until the 400m before fading late. At his start prior to that he narrowly went down behind So Able in a BM64 at Cranbourne and he was caught out wide that day. Craig Newitt rides and is able to produce on roughies. When combining with the Busuttin & Young stable he has provided a 28% profit on turnover.

The final event of the day is a BenchMark 64 over the 1100m and PUCKAPUNYAL ($3.60 with bet365) can give this a shake at her first run back from a spell. The Lindsey Smith-trained galloper has attracted some support in the early betting and showed talent over in Perth, winning two of seven before being sent over to Victoria. At her only start in this state, she was chopped out of it when looking to be in with a winning chance at Moonee Valley back in January. The daughter of Epaulette has the speed to overcome the wide gate and we should be seeing her fight out the finish.



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