$500k Country Discovery at Sale on Good Friday: Pro punter preview

country discovery
country discovery

The Country Discovery is a new, $500,000 sprint race to be run in country Victoria on Good Friday each year. It headlines Racing Victoria’s Good Friday feature raceday, which will rotate around some of Victoria’s best country racetracks each year. The 2022 Country Discovery will be held at Sale. The race is a 1100m open handicap with a maximum topweight of 61kg.

The Country Discovery 2022: Trevor Lawson’s preview

This a good race overall – it wouldn’t be out of place as a Saturday metro feature. The topweight is a Group 1 winner and there’s 96 raters on the minimum. They’d be very happy with this field.

Track The rail is back in the true and there’s no rain predicted, so it should be very good you’d think. If anything, Sale can play on pace.

Speed It’s a big field with good pace. Snapper and In The Boat will lead.

Runner-by-runner

Prices courtesy of TopSport, correct at time of publication.

IN THE BOAT [$5] is racing terrifically. He’s drawn out wide but has good speed, so it shouldn’t be an issue. Has solid claims here.

LOMBARDO [$5.50] was better second-up when fitter. He should be ready to peak here third-up and maps to get a good run.

SHOWMANSHIP [$5.50] is arguably the best horse in the race. He’s won 7/8 but resumes for a new trainer here and hasn’t raced for well over 500 days. He’s had had three jump-outs leading into this. He doesn’t have to be at his old best to go well here, but it’s basically impossible to say where he’s at now. The market will be a guide.

THE INFERNO [$9] had no luck resuming in the Lightning Stakes. He’ll settle just off midfield here and will be suited by the pace.

EXPRESS PASS [$9.50] is racing well and can settle well from a reasonable draw. He will be strong late.

BROOKLYN HUSTLE [$12] is always running on and will get back here again. It’s hard to be with her.

BLESS HER [$13] ran well first-up and maps to get a good run here. She’s a chance at double-figure odds.

HALVORSEN [$16] ran well last start. He’s produced some big figures but his best runs are down the straight, and he’s drawn to settle back on the inside here. Only a rough chance for mine.

SAVATOXL [$20] resumes here. He won first-up last prep when not fancied. He’s drawn wide here and will have to do a lot of work with the weight. Only a rough chance.

SNAPPER [$21] is racing well but all his best form is at Moonee Valley. He won’t get his own way in front here. Only a rough chance

CHASSIS [$26] ran okay first-up in the Hareeba at Mornington, and will be ftter here second-up. She’ll be strong late and I give her some chance at the odds.

SIRIUS SUSPECT [$34] was only fair first-up. His best runs are in slowly-run races, which this won’t be. I prefer others.

DIRTY THOUGHTS [$41] I’m happy to forgive first up down the straight. She’s better suited around the corner. She maps to get a good run here and isn’t the worst chance at odds.

VAINSTREAM [$41] ran super here two starts back but was a big spike rating. He then failed in the Hareeba at Mornington. Rough chance here.

ROCK PROPHET [$91] isn’t good enough to challenge these.

Verdict

I’ve got it pretty wide open with Lombardo and Showmanship equal top. I’d like a slightly better price on both, closer to the $6.50 mark, which we may be able to get on raceday. I’ve got In The Boat on the second line but at around $8, so he’s unders for mine. Express Pass leads the rest for me at about $13.

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