Race 1 – 1:30PM DONNYBROOK FC PREMIERS 2018 MAIDEN (1000 METRES)
This looks the right race for MY LADY FAIR to break through. Was arguably a good thing beat when finishing third in one of the hotter form races going around at Bunbury 14/11, before drifting well back and a sit-and-sprint
Placid Ark Stakes at Ascot last start. Looks much better placed down significantly in grade and she should get the job done. Have a bit of time for first-upper PICASSO BAY, who looked above average early but has obvious issues that saw her lose form drastically last prep. Looked like she’s heading back in the right direction with a positive Belmont 26/11 trial win and at her best she can win. Obvious second pick. SASTA has been competing fairly well since shifting to Mark Wright’s yard and her Class 1 effort last start was solid, while William Pike jumps aboard first-upper KING STREET, who scored a comfortable Lark Hill 3/12 trial win.
Suggested: 5. MY LADY FAIR win.
5. MY LADY FAIR
3. PICASSO BAY
2. KING STREET
Race 2 – 2:15PM SKIPPERS PLUMBING SERVICES MAIDEN (1100 METRES)
Pretty keen on GREAT CHARADE. Has been freshened up since taking on some of WA’s better three-year-olds in the Fairetha Stakes at Ascot 10/11, and the blinkers have gone on to have him nice and sharp for this 1100-metre assignment. Appreciates being ridden patiently, so the small field is certainly a positive, and if he’s close enough on straightening, he should have too much closing speed for his rivals. Have been impressed with the recent trial results from PURE MAGNUS and expecting him to be really competitive at his first outing in 56 days. Should enjoy a nice run in transit on the leader’s heels. Have liked what we’ve seen from ARTIC BLUE at trials, strolling to the line for a soft 1000-metre heat win at Bunbury 11/12. Anticipating positive tactics from Glenn Smith on debut, while MELTEME competed evenly at her recent debut and the winner of that race (Truly Great) is fancied to win at Ascot this weekend.
Suggested: 3. PURE MAGNUS win.
3. PURE MAGNUS
4. ARTIC BLUE
5. OLIVIA KNOWS
*Numbers amended after scratchings
Race 3 – 2:55PM WA MARRON MAIDEN (1675 METRES)
Happy to go again with FIND THE GAP on the seven-day back. Could only manage a sixth-place finish after being backed from $3.20 to $2.25 and favourite at Pinjarra last Sunday, but the run was better than it reads on paper considering he was bottled up on the rail, and was unable to build momentum and work his way into the race when needed. This fellow looks suited coming back to the mile and should get the galloping room he requires from the higher draw. AL CAPITANO continues to knock on the door and was beaten by barrier nine at Northam 6/12, running on from well back and clocking a race-fastest final 200 metres. Has a similar draw to contend with, but he’s race fit and in-form, and should go close. MERIT DREAM has been beaten for speed at both runs this prep, but has finished off strong on both occasions. Should be able to hold a more forward running position up to the mile from a low draw and she’s a top-four contender, while PRO FESSIONAL kept coming at Geraldton 24/11 and the Pike/Durrant combo must always be respected.
Suggested: 2. FIND THE GAP each way.
2. FIND THE GAP
1. AL CAPITANO
9. MERIT DREAM
6. PRO FESSIONAL
Race 4 – 3:30PM WILLIAM BARRETT & SONS MAIDEN (1400 METRES)
This looks the right race for TRADEMENT. Hasn’t had a lot of luck with the barriers and has another high draw to contend with here, but he has finished off so strong at each of his three runs this prep and with even luck should be hard to hold out. Form around him stacks up and his final 200-metre split last start was the fifth fastest on the entire card. Expecting to see SURE CONVICTION fighting out the finish. Didn’t have a lot of luck in the same race as Tradement last start when shuffled back to last on straightening, but he caught the eye late and gives the impression he’ll appreciate this trip. Blinkers going on is another positive. WILD GALAH turned in a flat run as a $2.45 fave last time when racing for the third time in 19 days. Have to respect that starting-price profile though and no surprise to see him bounce back to form after a 21-day break, while ACTION FIGURE worked home well enough first-up over 1116 metres at Bunbury 5/12 and will no doubt relish the rise in distance here.
Suggested: 3. TRADEMENT win.
13. SURE CONVICTION
10. SHADOW HUNTER
1. ZON ZOL
*Numbers amended after scratchings.
Race 5 – 4:00PM MAINLINE PLUMBING HANDICAP (1100 METRES)
Going to stick fat with the wayward TAWNY PETE. Was keen on him first up, however, everything that could go wrong did and he gave jockey Glenn Smith a torrid time, fighting him throughout and proving very difficult to handle. Trainer Paul Roberts has made sweeping gear changes in an effort to straighten up the raw-but-gifted five-year-old, and if he has his mind on the job we’re expecting him to bounce straight to the front and run his rivals ragged. First-upper FLASH OF THUNDER will no doubt have plenty of admirers with William Pike on board and was sharpened up for this with a reasonable Lark Hill 3/12 trial effort. Has plenty of gate speed so should roll forward from the draw and make a play for the lead. Albany visitor COLD AS COLD has some ability when right and cruised to a soft Albany 30/11 trial win. Maps to enjoy a sweet run in transit and his best form stacks up, while DEHEUNE continues to race well on her home track and has to be included in your exotic bets.
Suggested: 1. TAWNY PETE win.
1. TAWNY PETE
2. FLASH OF THUNDER
3. COLD AS COLD
Race 6 – 4:30PM ALL AMERICAN AT MAGIC MILLIONS HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
Solid Class 3 Handicap this and kept coming back to three-year-old REBEL YELL on the eight-day back up. Kicked off his campaign with back-to-back wins here — knocking off Gillespie and Rosebush, who have both franked the form since — before a more than competitive effort against some sharp opposition at Ascot last Saturday. Had a couple of excuses last week, so he probably should’ve finished closer to the talented Market Ruler and that filly would be odds on if she was in this race. Regular rider Paul Harvey going back on is another positive. SWEET DREAMIN’ has been heavily commissioned at his past two Bunbury outings, but things haven’t quite gone to plan. The weight of money highlights his strong profile and with William Pike back on board, we’re expecting him to attract plenty of support again. TRIPELETTO has come back to racing in peak form and we liked to way he kept fighting second up in this grade. Likely settles leader’s back and should get his chance from there, while no surprise to see big finisher WANTED DESIRE running on into a top-four finish first up since April.
Suggested: 3. SWEET DREAMIN’ win.
3. SWEET DREAMIN’
6. WANTED DESIRE
1. VITAL DANCER
*Numbers amended after scratchings.
Race 7 – 5:00PM SOUTHERN BUILT HOMES AND SHEDS HANDICAP (1675 METRES)
Plenty of hopes here but rolling with OUR MATE AL on an each-way basis. Looked home-and-hosed when hitting the front first up in a similar assignment to this before getting nailed right on the line by Royal Strata, and he followed up with another top effort in this grade, running the fastest final 600, 400 and 200-metre splits of the day behind Eliza’s Dream. Should be at peak fitness at this stage of his campaign and with even luck in running, My Mate Al should go close. FOUR WHITE FOX had no luck when resuming at Northam 28/11 and the William Pike ride drew a line of questioning from Stewards, after he strolled to the finish line relatively untested. Shouldn’t encounter similar traffic issues from a higher draw here and expecting him to give this a shake. AWESOME AS is always a contender in these events and her Bunbury record is rock-solid. Expecting her to take up the running and show some cheek, while KIA ORA STAR just got impeded at a vital stage in a similar event last start and the blinkers have been added to extract a length of two.
Suggested: 6. OUR MATE AL each way.
6. OUR MATE AL
1. FOUR WHITE FOX
3. AWESOME AS
4. KIA ORA STAR
Race 8 – 5:35PM HASTIE WASTE AND SOUTH WEST BIN HIRE HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
Wide-open Class 1 Handicap to finish the card and reckon this could be the day for EXPRESS FLIRT. Was sluggish away last start and settled further back than anticipated, and then didn’t get a lot of luck when held up at various stages in the straight. Thought the run was full of merit so if he can begin better, make the most of his low draw and settle somewhere in the first four/five, then he really should be figuring prominently at the finish. RACY AVA appears the class horse of the race and expecting her to be strong late first up without a trial. Has had some issues that have prevented her from fulfilling her potential thus far, but if she’s anywhere near right she should give this a nudge. LOVE ALWAYS is on the quick back up after never seeing daylight at Pinjarra last Sunday. Should’ve gone close to winning with clear galloping room on that occasion, while the effort of BEAT THE BELL in the same race as Love Always was better than it reads and her previous Ascot midweek performance behind Magic Planet was super.
Suggested: 3. EXPRESS FLIRT each way.
3. EXPRESS FLIRT
5. RACY AVA
9. LOVE ALWAYS
6. BEAT THE BELL
*Originally published at 9:00am on Friday 14 December 2018
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.