RACE 1 KOOKAKRUMB MAIDEN 3:50 PM (1200M)
There’s a bit of a boom around about unraced filly SARISKA and this looks a good option to kick off her racing career. Was shown up in a Lark Hill trial before a spell back in August and was very well backed in early markets when first emergency at Ascot last Wednesday, however, the Vaughn Sigley-trained three-year-old did not gain a start. A lot of punters have been eagerly awaiting the debut of SARISKA and she looks set to start a very warm favourite, so if the cackle is on the money she should just win. FAIR SONARI trialled well prior to a solid first-up effort at Narrogin, with Merivale Miss coming out of that event and winning here on Sunday. Should naturally improve with that hit out under his belt and we’re expecting a top three finish from him. Peters Investments youngster BON VOYAGE was a $4.20 chance at his Northam debut back in August and that starting-price (SP) stacks up well. Wasn’t knocked around in his lead-up trial and should be running on late fresh, while fellow first-upper JOY’S BOY dominated his lead-up trial and was a $5 chance at his Northam debut, so he’s another with a strong SP profile.
Suggested: 9. SARISKA win.
1. FAIR SONARI
2. BON VOYAGE
3. JOY’S BOY
RACE 2 BOQ BUNBURY MAIDEN 4:20 PM (1200M)
This is a tricky All Aged Maiden and appears to be a race capable of springing a surprise result, and without a huge amount of confidence we’ve gone with local three-year-old YOU AM I on top. The Michael Lane stable has been posting some positive results recently and this fellow’s been sharpened up with two encouraging lead-up trials. YOU AM I showed plenty as a summer two-year-old before not coming up in three winter starts, but his peak form reads very well and if he brings his best first up he should take care of these. Former Victorian REBOW is an interesting runner who showed promise when trained by former WA horseman John Price. Now prepared by the Pearce Bros, this four-year-old was under the ultimate stranglehold from Jarrad Noske in his lead-up trial, however, it’s obviously hard to know how much is actually under the hood. The market will provide the best guide to the chances of REBOW first up. I WONDER has endured two tough runs so far, but should enjoy a more comfortable passage from a low draw with the in-form Troy Turner in the saddle. Expecting sharp improvement from him, while Peters Investments debutante DASHING IMAGE wasn’t knocked around in his recent trial, but Adam Durrant doesn’t usually ask them for too much in their educational heats. Worth keeping safe also being a half-brother to star racemare Perfect Reflection.
Suggested: 4. YOU AM I win.
4. YOU AM I
5. I WONDER
6. DASHING IMAGE
RACE 3 MJB INDUSTRIES MAIDEN 4:50 PM (1675M)
Another All Aged Maiden that’s well-and-truly up for grabs, and we simply kept coming back to WARBO N’GRATO, who gets his best chance yet to crack it for an elusive victory. Placed in eight of his 15 starts, the Trevor Towie-trained five-year-old has got back from high draws and run on at both outings this campaign, hitting the line hard at Ascot last Wednesday week with the form out of that race stacking up well since. This small field is right up his alley and if WARBO N’GRATO is going to win one then this is his race. Former Victorian five-year-old WILLING ACCOMPLICE was sent out an $8 chance at his WA debut last Sunday week and appeared a bit one-paced in a similar mile maiden. This event doesn’t appear to be as strong as last time though and he should also naturally benefit from the first-up blow out. WILLING ACCOMPLICE second best. RINGER SOAK is a four-year-old we’ve been tracking closely since trials and she should be ready to come into her own stepping up to the mile third up. Drawn to enjoy a nice run in transit and this mare is a genuine winning chance, while BOULET DE CANNON comes through the same race as WILLING ACCOMPLICE and probably should’ve finished closer on that occasion. Capable of improving into the top four in this.
Suggested: 1. WARBO N’GRATO win (1) & place (3).
1. WARBO N’GRATO
2. WILLING ACCOMPLICE
6. RINGER SOAK
4. BOULET DE CANNON
RACE 4 SURELINE SCAFFOLDING AND RIGGING HANDICAP 5:20 PM (1675M)
Small but competitive Class 5 Handicap and any of the original seven acceptors could win at their best. We narrowed it down to a race in two between OUR MATE AL and DUSHA ZACHISTKI, eventually rolling with OUR MATE AL on top. This fellow looks ready to win at his fifth run this campaign, putting the writing on the wall when closing late at Ascot last start, with the form out of that race stacking up well since. OUR MATE AL was in a purple patch around this time last year and he appears primed to hit peak form again in this. The consistent DUSHA ZACHISTKI got sucked in to using the dreaded cutaway rail at Ascot last start, but that certainly wasn’t the place to be in a race that suited the swoopers. The run was much better than it appears on paper and he should also enjoy coming back to the mile. Hard to beat. BARRY’S RABBIT goes okay but did disappoint when a $3.70 chance at Narrogin last start. We’re anticipating sharp improvement back in distance and the booking of regular senior rider Troy Turner is also a positive, while GINGER NINJA hasn’t raced om 36 days but is coming out of a strong form race at York and is more than capable of positing a top-four finish.
Suggested: 2. OUR MATE AL win.
2. OUR MATE AL
4. DUSHA ZACHISTKI
3. BARRY’S RABBIT
5. GINGER NINJA
RACE 5 GAS IT PIPE CONTRACTING TROY GARD MEMORIAL HCP 5:50 PM (2000M)
Promising three-year-old AMERICAN JOY finally got some racing luck at Pinjarra last start when scoring a quality maiden victory and the Team Williams-trained filly looks set to go back-to-back stepping up to 2000m for the first time. The daughter of Melbourne Cup winner Americain had been a good thing beat at her November 2 and November 23 outings, but made the most of a perfect run last start by effortlessly disposing of her rivals over 1500m. AMERICAN JOY appears to have a bit of class on her side and all things being equal, it’s hard seeing her getting beaten. CASSOWARY STREET appears to be the horse most capable of causing an upset and should be ready to produce some of her best at her third run back from a spell. Was a little flat second-up off an 11-day break in a similar event to this last start, but we’re expecting her to bounce back and the Brett Pope stable is coming off a Boxing Day double at Pinjarra. I’M A LOVE MAN continues to race well in similar events to this and was only 2-1/2 lengths behind Sophie’s Revenge last start, with that in-form mare going on to win again at Pinjarra on Boxing Day, while MISS RUMOUR MILL finished alongside I’M A LOVE MAN last start and is always a first four chance in these events.
Suggested: 5. AMERICAN JOY win.
5. AMERICAN JOY
3. CASSOWARY STREET
4. I’M A LOVE MAN
6. MISS RUMOUR MILL
RACE 6 LGA WA HANDICAP 6:20 PM (1400M)
Looking forwards to this contest with our top four selections all capable of winning, although we do have a strong opinion of FINANCE and expect him to be a bit too good. The Greg Carige-trained four-year-old defeated the highly-regarded Red Army when winning his maiden before running through the Regional Championships Series, having no luck in the $100,000 Final at Ascot when blocked for a run most of the straight. FINANCE is unlikely to encounter those traffic issues in this small field, has drawn to enjoy the right run in transit and should be winning. RARE COIN is a promising four-year-old who resumed in a hot field at Pinjarra last start, holding his own in a fast race won by subsequent Ascot placegetter Blackline. We have a bit of time for this fellow, although he does like to drift back in his races, and we’re not sure he can come from behind FINANCE and get past him late. SNOW BLOSSOM is another big finisher who appeared to have her chance to crack it for a win last start, but again found a way to get rolled. Still hard to fault her form though and there’s no doubt she’ll be charging home into the finish, while connections of on-pacer RISING SEA have opted for Tayla Stone’s 2kg claim and he’ll naturally strip fitter following his solid first-up effort in the same race as SNOW BLOSSOM.
Suggested: 3. FINANCE win.
2. RARE COIN
1. RISING SEA
8. LOWLANDS BOY
*Numbers amended after final scratchings.
RACE 7 DIXON FINANCIAL SERVICES HANDICAP 6:50 PM (1200M)
Tricky Class 1 Handicap to finish the day and we’re going to play the percentages by locking in Peters Investments three-year-old STATE PROSECUTOR on top. The likely short-priced favourite is racing for the first time in 104 days, but did look nice and sharp when winning his lead-up trial, and did salute first up at Belmont when kicking off his previous campaign. The sparingly-raced STATE PROSECUTOR should have benefited from the typically patient Cerise And White approach, and appears placed to win first up. NO ORDINARY GIRL was run off her feet when returning from an eight-week break down the Straight 1000m at Pinjarra last start, but is more than capable of improving into a top-three finish up in distance here. Will more than likely get back from her high draw, but should be running on late. LIGHT THE FUSE competed well when returning from a six-week break last start, continuing her consistent form. Gives herself every chance by beginning well and racing on pace, so she’s a must for your exotic bets, while JELANI EXPRESS narrowly shades A GOOD PLAN for fourth.
Suggested: 4. STATE PROSECUTOR win.
4. STATE PROSECUTOR
6. NO ORDINARY GIRL
5. LIGHT THE FUSE
1. A GOOD PLAN
*Numbers amended after final scratchings.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the Bunbury Turf Club.