Ben Melham shaping as the jockey to follow at Cranbourne on Thursday

Cranbourne races Thursday and a heavy track to contend with for the eight-race card scheduled to kick off at 1pm and Ben Melham shapes as clearly the jockey to follow with a great book of rides.

BEST BET

Race 6 No. 2 – Saint Of Katowice @ $2.25

Wanted to lay in when beaten narrowly at Ballarat on the synthetic last time and the stable has looked to rectify that with the addition of blinkers this time around. Gets 2kg off for in-form apprentice Josh Richards and this looks an ideal assignment. Kicked off the preparation with successive wins at Swan Hill and Kyneton and showed enough with those easy wins to be well backed ($5 into $4.80) when eighth at Rosehill in Benchmark 72 grade at his next run. Ultra-consistent with two wins and eight placings from 12 starts and this isn’t hard.

NEXT BEST

Race 5 No. 2 – Alexander Hamilton @ $5

Getting up to a more suitable distance now after making ground late over 1600m at Sandown last time when finishing midfield. That was his third run back from a spell and drops from a Benchmark 70 to a Benchmark 64 against a moderate lot. Won three times last preparation with the last two over 1900m and 1950m so the 2025m with the expected economical run from a low draw should see the son of Redwood figure prominently.


BEST VALUE

Race 8 No. 1 – Jagged Edge @ $20

Had to contend with 64.5kg last start even allowing for a 3kg claim and battled on well enough for 2¾ length second over 1000m on the Ballarat synthetic a month back. Drops 5kg here in a slightly tougher race but drawn to get a perfect trail and well over the odds around $20. Has a wet track win on his resume, only three wins have been at this 1000m distance and ready to deliver a prime performance third-up.

JOCKEY TO FOLLOW

BEN MELHAM

RED ROCKETSHIP (Race 1 No. 12 – $11), LUNCHTIME RED (Race 2 No. 2 – $3.25), NEWZEEL DEAL (Race 3 No. 8 – $4.80), LUNARES (Race 4 No. 14 – $3), ZA’EX (Race 5 No. 4 – $5.50), HAVIERON (Race 7 No. 2 – $7), MOSSCON (Race 8 No. 10 – $4.20)

QUADDIE

1, 2, 3, 4, 7
2, 4
4, 12, 16, 18
1, 4, 8, 10

(160 combinations)

Originally published asOn The Punt: Top bets for Cranbourne Thursday

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