Race 1 – 12:48PM TABTOUCH – BETTER YOUR BET MAIDEN (1016 METRES)
First 2YO race of the season at the Bunbury Turf Club and it’s a very tricky one to assess with the bulk of the field being first starters. Opted to lock in likely leader SHE KNOWS IT ALL on top after a particularly comfortable Albany 12/01 trial win, when showing sharp gate speed and hitting the line under a hold. Ridden for speed on debut by an in-form Tash Faithfull, She Knows It all will take some catching. Fellow I’m All The Talk juvenile WARM ‘N’ FUZZY has to be considered a major player also on the back of two Belmont trial wins this month. Has the early speed to utilise this low draw and showed some strength in his latest trial when coming out on top in a two-horse tustle. MADAM TORIO is on a quick back up after being a beaten fave at Ascot last Saturday, but she was three-wide the entire on a day where you needed to be close to the fence. She’s worth another chance, while keep an eye on the William Pike-ridden GRACIENNE, whose shown plenty of speed in her lead-up trial appearances.
Suggested: 11. SHE KNOWS IT ALL each way.
11. SHE KNOWS IT ALL
3. WARM ‘N’ FUZZY
4. MADAM TORIO
Race 2 – 1:28PM BUNBURY PLUMBING SERVICES MAIDEN (1116 METRES)
There’s a bit to work with in this 3YO Maiden and over half the field are genuine winning chances. Decided to roll with first-upper PARIS REPORT on top, having shown plenty of potential against decent opposition when last in work and stretching out nicely to win a Belmont 20/01 trial. Maps ideally with the cutaway rail in play and she should be making an impact. Playing God filly FIRE GODDESS really caught the eye in her latest Belmont trial win and from gate one, should be suited by the cutaway also. Fellow first-starter SUPERLOVE is also a recent trial winner that maps to advantage, while race-experienced and promising duo GOODBYEFEDS and MODERN TIMES will have a stack of admirers also.
Suggested: 6. PARIS REPORT win.
6. PARIS REPORT
10 FIRE GODDESS
2. MODERN TIMES
*Numbers amended after Final Scratchings
Race 3 – 2:08PM JCW ELECTRICAL MAIDEN (1420 METRES)
Going again with I HOPE YOU DANCE. Was keen on her at Pinjarra last start and while she did go down as a $3.60 fave, there was merit in the run, finishing alongside subsequent maiden winner Mexi Cola. Maps to get all the favours with the cutaway in play and saved up for one burst, she can let down to well for these. Flagged SANS LE SOU from the trials and her debut effort behind Kitgum reads well. Was pretty green that day, so the race experience will certainly help, and she has to rate among the main fancies in this. Dan Morton and William Pike combine with interesting first-starter SHOWADDYWADDY, and the market will be an interesting guide on debut, while MISS ALIGNED and MISS QUOTED are both more than capable of pushing for top-four finishes.
Suggested: 6. I HOPE YOU DANCE win.
6. I HOPE YOU DANCE
10. SANS LE SOU
7. MISS ALIGNED
5. MISS QUOTED
Race 4 – 2:48PM FURPHY – REFRESHING ALE MAIDEN (1705 METRES)
Pretty thin maiden this and no surprise to see $NZ100,000 yearling sales purchase QUEEN TAKES KING salute on debut. Hailing from the right camp for a 1705-metre first-up assignment, this filly has shown something at both trials and was strong against some reasonable opposition in her most recent Lark Hill 1450-metre heat. Gets the right run from this draw and should get the galloping room she requires with the cutaway in play. HUSSTARR is the obvious major danger, with a more conventional campaign and two minor placings to his name. Has the Durrant polish as well and he’ll take some beating. Expected to see a better version of CONQUERED ZONE with blinkers and William Pike on, and the rise in trip suits, while likely leader VERATAL wasn’t too bad after a torrid run last start and could box on into third or fourth at odds.
Suggested: 11. QUEEN TAKES KING win.
11. QUEEN TAKES KING
7. CONQUERED ZONE
Race 5 – 3:20PM AMELIA PARK BREEDING & RACING HANDICAP (1705 METRES)
Found it hard to look past AVA EXPRESS. Absorbed pressure in front in the early-and-middle stages as a $1.90 fave this track/distance last time, and he showed some depth to give a kick on straightening and hold the closers at bay. Emerging type for Keiran Regan and he can certainly win again. BRAVE CONTENDER made the most of a soft lead to break through this track/distance last start, having been knocking on the door for a while now. Has options from this draw, and has form and race-fitness on his side. CHANTREA was pretty impressive when winning ears pricked on debut, but she did get plenty of favours the way the race was run. Let’s see if she can do it again against these, while SCENIC JOURNEY and WILD GALAH are coming out of a higher grade and their best results stacks up well in this line up.
Suggested: 1. AVA EXPRESS win.
1. AVA EXPRESS
3. BRAVE CONTENDER
5. SCENIC JOURNEY
4. WILD GALAH
Race 6 – 3:50PM ALEX BROWN MEMORIAL HANDICAP (1216 METRES)
Some promising 4YOs engaged in this, but if HENTY GAL is on her best behaviour, she should have these covered. Ran some terrific races in a lengthy initial racing campaign, with form around some high-quality opposition, and after a false-start to this campaign (scratched at the gates Bunbury 8/01) she completed a satisfactory Lark Hill 13/01 trial and is ready to return to the races. Gate one is perfect for her with the cutaway in play and the Michael Lane camp is rarely missing at the moment, so locking in Henty Gal. Didn’t mind the run of COCKY DODD when a beaten fave last start, copping a fair bit of pressure in front after an interrupted lead-up to the race and boxing on in the straight. He warrants serious consideration, as does I AM SPARTACUS, who’ll strip significantly fitter after his first-up performance, while PERCEIVE should’ve finished much closer first up and is a must for your exotics.
Suggested: 4. HENTY GAL win.
4. HENTY GAL
2. COCKY DODD
1. I AM SPARTACUS
*Numbers amended after Final Scratchings
Race 7 – 4:20PM BRYON BAY BREWERY PREMIUM LAGER HANDICAP (1116 METRES)
Interesting short-course handicap this and going to stick with SOLID AZZA. Liked her when resuming in a similar event to this recently and she attacked the line with strength late, pulling late ground off the slick leader/winner Dew West. Comes forward after that hit-out and the Harrison/Azzopardi combo has been a good one of late. INDIGO WILD got the right run and cashed in to claim an overdue maiden win second up. Should enjoy another sweet passage with Pike back on board from this draw and she’s certainly in the mix, Likely leader TRAMONTANE has his knockers, but if he turns up anywhere near his best he’ll take some catching, while LADIES OF LONDON and TYCOON MIKADO have their share of ability and their peak form puts them right in the finish.
Suggested: 6. SOLID AZZA win.
6. SOLID AZZA
5. INDIGO WILD
3. LADIES OF LONDON
1. TYCOON MIKADO
Race 8 – 5:00PM RANGEVIEW STUD HANDICAP (1420 METRES)
He’s going to need a few things to fall into place from the high draw, but if he’s anywhere near right GUNNAGO should be winning this. Just failed to nail Flower Of War first up at Pinjarra and things haven’t really gone to plan for him in town since, including last Saturday when blocked for a run the entire straight. Looks well placed coming back to this grade and he can carry the 62kg to victory. SWEET DREAMIN’ is the obvious, chasing a third straight win with Pike on jumping from a low draw. Ticks plenty of boxes, but the blinkers off rising to 1420 metres is interesting. ICE TRADE hasn’t done a lot wrong, but is taking on much stronger opposition than she’s faced to date, while AFLICA’S GIRL was huge in defeat this track/distance last start.
Suggested: 1. GUNNAGO win.
2. SWEET DREAMIN’
6. ICE TRADE
3. AFLICA’S GIRL
**This edition of #TheLegUp by @thoroheadsWA originally published at 9:00am on Friday 24 January 2020
The Leg Up is provided by Thoroheads — Digital content producers servicing the Western Australian Thoroughbred Horse Racing Industry.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the Bunbury Turf Club.