Race 1 – 1:37PM THIRSTY CAMEL BOTTLESHOPS MAIDEN (1008 METRES)
Thinking FRIAR’S CLASSIC will appreciate returning to the circle track at Bunbury and from gate one should get his chance to record an overdue maiden win. Jumped from the inside alley at Ascot two back and ran the well-regarded Flower Of War to a length, before laying inwards badly and disadvantaging Chris Parnham significantly down the Pinjarra Straight 1000 course last time. Maps to land leader’s back and with clear galloping room late should go close. OH HELL produced a solid debut effort at Narrogin 22/12 and the form out of that race has been good, with both Rapisarda and Shesapocket Rocket winning since. Looks capable of elevating second up. PLANET FEVER has competed well enough in three runs back from a break and finished alongside our on-top selection at Pinjarra last start, while SWANKY LASS led them up at her first outing for new trainer Roy Rogers at Esperance 15/12 and boxed on reasonably well late.
Suggested: 4. FRIAR’S CLASSIC win.
4. FRIAR’S CLASSIC
7. OH HELL
2. PLANET FEVER
9. SWANKY LASS
Race 2 – 2:12PM PARKS SHOPPING CENTRE MAIDEN (1410 METRES)
Really decent Maiden for the three-year-olds and expecting this to be a good form reference. Looking forward to the return to racing of WITHOUT REASON and wouldn’t be surprised to see him attacking the finish line strong late. Showed a bit in four starts as a juvenile, holding his own against decent opposition and always gave the impression he’d improve significantly with time. Worked home well enough in his Belmont 24/12 trial and he can give this a shake first up over the 1410 metres. STRONG HEART is the obvious horse to beat and the likely favourite following his good Pinjarra 2/01 debut result. Bound to be well found with Pike on board and looks another Peters Investments youngster with above average ability. SECAIT is an interesting runner having been unsighted since a slashing Ascot 6/11 debut. Likely to drift back from a high draw, but should be charging late, while LOCOMOTIVE should’ve finished much closer first up at Bunbury 1/11, when encountering major traffic issues in the straight.
Suggested: 2. WITHOUT REASON each way.
2. WITHOUT REASON
3. STRONG HEART
Race 3 – 2:47PM PARKS TAVERN AND RESTAURANT MAIDEN (1410 METRES)
Peters Investments filly SUBLIME IMAGE will be all the rage, but thinking MIA STELLA might be able to make things interesting. The Ray Vincent-prepared four-year-old raced three-wide throughout and just missed nabbing Zero Demerits in a deceptive photo finish at Bunbury 23/12, clocking the fastest final 400-metre and 200-metre splits of the day. In-form hoop Dan Staeck should give her the right run from a sweet low draw and her last-start performance was simply too strong to ignore. Sublime Image was $2.50 into $1.90 at her Pinjarra 26/12 debut, but got too far back in a low-tempo affair, rattling home when the race was all over. ‘The Wizard’ Pike should have her more prominently positioned from barrier one and if she gets clear air late, then she’s going to be might hard to hold out. First-upper COSMIC REFLECTION has run her fair share of good races over the journey and hasn’t been knocked around by Ryan Hill in two lead-up barrier trials. Likes to get back and run on, so expecting to see her attacking the line late, while the consistent BOMBARDMENT tries hard and is a lock for all your exotic bets.
Suggested: 10. MIA STELLA each way.
10. MIA STELLA
11. SUBLIME IMAGE
9. COSMIC REFLECTION
Race 4 – 3:17PM SOUTH WEST CELLARS MAIDEN (1690 METRES)
This is a fairly open 1690-metre All Aged Maiden and it could be the day for SASSY ‘N’ RED to break through. The strong-finishing five-year-old ran some big races when last in work and almost got the job done first up here on New Year’s Day, displaying sharp closing speed to run on into second. The 2.5-length margin back to the third placegetter is always a good sign and no one is riding Bunbury better than Lucy Warwick this season, so Sassy ‘n’ Red gets her best chance yet. AMILLIONITE improved nicely second up over the mile at Pinjarra 2/01 and no surprise to see her elevate further here. The Pike/Durrant combo obviously must be respected at all times and this filly should figure prominently. BEE QUICK hasn’t done a lot wrong in her three appearances so far and the blinkers have gone on to help sharpen her up. Dion Luciani is doing a good job with his team at present and Bee Quick has to rate among the main contenders, while DO A PATAKY is a filly with a bit of upside and thinking she might be able to improve second up over the mile.
Suggested: 6. SASSY ‘N’ RED each way.
6. SASSY ‘N’ RED
7. BEE QUICK
9. DO A PATAKY
Race 5 – 3:25PM BUNBURY JAGUAR AND LAND ROVER MAIDEN (1690 METRES)
Have been strong on SEND MY LOVE at both runs this prep and simply have to follow up one more time. Had no luck first up when encountering major road blocks in the straight, before getting shuffled back out of position in a muddling run race at Ascot last time, and attacking the line strong late. Should be ready to produce a peak performance third up over the mile and this smaller field should be an advantage if Paddy Carbery opts to ride her patiently again from the high draw. Nice horse in the making and happy to give Send My Love one more chance. Like his trainers, TIME TO HUNT is flying and starting to fulfill the promise he shows as a younger horse. Past two wins have both rated well and expecting him to be given every opportunity again by Jarrad Noske. SUMMIT TRAIL had no luck at all third up at Ascot 29/12 when caught three-wide the entire and whacking away quite well under the circumstances. Previous midweek win was full of merit and this fellow looks right on top of his game so far this prep, while the dreaded bar plates have gone on BERGIO, but he’s racing too well to ignore and maps to enjoy the run of the race.
Suggested: 7. SEND MY LOVE win.
7. SEND MY LOVE
1. TIME TO HUNT
5. SUMMIT TRAIL
Race 6 – 4:20PM RDA – SOUTH WEST HANDICAP (2019 METRES)
Pretty confident Victorian import HIGH ENERGY can get the job done third up in WA. Liked the way the former Darren Weir-trained four-year-old worked home first up and then he was a touch unlucky not to score here second up, in a race that was tipped upside-down by an unlikely tearaway leader. This race appears thin when it comes to winning chances and with natural improvement, High Energy should be a bit too strong for these. STAFFORD’S LAD has been knocking on the door this prep and was strong late in a reasonable run here on New Year’s Day. The blinkers have come off to help him settle and obviously the booking of William Pike is a major positive. MODERN NEWS had been a costly horse to follow prior to her good Pinjarra 20/12 maiden win, running the fourth fastest last 200-metre split of the day to score. Form out of that race has been solid since and she’s a major player, while BENNY BEAU is being stretched beyond the mile for the first time, but has good Sliced Bread form and maps to advantage from the low draw.
Suggested: 2. HIGH ENERGY win.
2. HIGH ENERGY
9. STAFFORD’S LAD
7. MODERN NEWS
1. BENNY BEAU
Race 7 – 4:50PM BUNBURY BLIND GALLERY & ULTRASONIC CLEANING HCP (1208 METRES)
Have a lot of time for TAWNY PETE and this strong Class Three Handicap will be a great test to see exactly where he’s at. The strapping five-year-old did everything wrong when a moral beat first up, but put it all together when sent straight to the front by Glenn Smith at Bunbury 16/12, charging clear to win big and his sustained closing speed stacked up impressively on the day. With a clean getaway, expecting Smith to again make a play for the lead and if he can get there, or at least roll along outside leader, then he should get an opportunity to produce his best. TRAKIATO is a promising type, hailing from the white-hot Pearce Bros camp, and is coming off a fighting first-up Pinjarra 26/12 win when lifted over the line by Jarrad Noske. Accounted for a decent line up on that occasion and this fellow gives the impression he’s a city-class horse in the making. Thought the first-up effort of KISS THE BREEZE was pretty good under the circumstances and she maps to enjoy a much more favourable passage in transit from the low draw. This looks a nice option for her, while natural on-pacer GLASGOW GIRL was rolled as a $2.05 favourite first-up down the Pinjarra Straight 1000, but is trained by Lindsey Smith, so expecting her to improve with that hit out under her belt.
Suggested: 2. TAWNY PETE win.
2. TAWNY PETE
3. GLASGOW GIRL
4. SAINT SALVADORE
*Numbers amended after scratchings
Race 8 – 5:20PM PARKS TAVERN AFTER THE LAST HANDICAP (1410 METRES)
Found this to be a rather tricky finish to the day and with low confidence sided with STORMY RULER on top. Trounced his maiden rivals at Narrogin 22/12, but didn’t get a lot of favours against some handy opposition at Pinjarra last time, racing wide throughout and only finishing 1.3 lengths from the winner. Hoping he can work forward and take up an on-speed running position, and if he can get there without burning too much fuel then he should give a good kick late. VINTAGE STOCK has a stack of ability, but things haven’t quite gone to plan this prep. Had excuses last time in the same race as Stormy Ruler, when arguably a good thing beat after encountering traffic issues, but it was still good to see her strong at the finish. The luckless CARRANYA LASS continues to race well and finished alongside both Stormy Ruler and Vintage Stock at Pinjarra 2/01. Must be included in all your exotics, while TYCOON MIKADO may have been a shade disappointing last time, but looks suited off a 21-day break and just needs a bit of luck jumping from the high draw.
Suggested: 9. STORMY RULER each way.
9. STORMY RULER
12. VINTAGE STOCK
6. CARRANYA LASS
2. TYCOON MIKADO
*Originally published at 9:00am on Friday 11 January 2019
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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.