Race 1 – 12:25PM GREATER REWARDS WITH WESTSPEED PLATINUM MAIDEN (1100 METRES)
Decent contest to start the day and thinking NATIVE CHIMES can knock off promising first-starter MISS CONTEKI. Native Chimes is having her first outing since the WA Guineas and last prep she was really stiff not to at least win a maiden. Has form around some quality types and should get the run of the race from this draw. Miss Conteki looks the likely leader and her trial results suggest she’s going to take some beating on debut. AGENT JAY ran into the smart Weaponson first up when a $4.20 chance on Boxing Day, and DIGNITY BAY is capable of working home into a top-four finish first up.
Suggested: 8. NATIVE CHIMES win.
8. NATIVE CHIMES
9. MISS CONTEKI
3. AGENT JAY
1. DIGNITY BAY
Race 2 – 1:05PM TABTOUCH – BETTER YOUR BET MAIDEN (1200 METRES)
Flagged STAR TALENT as a horse to follow out of trials and eager to see what he can do on debut. A half-brother to outstanding sprinter Enticing Star, this fellow worked home stylishly in his Lark Hill 13/01 heat, and confident he can settle in the back half and still get over the top of these. AMASENUS is another recent ‘Topnotch Trialler’, clearing out for a smart Belmont 20/01 heat win. Should roll forward and give a kick on debut. TIFF HAS SPOKEN will appreciate this low draw and expecting him to impact, while HOOLAHOOPS was an $8 chance at her Ascot debut and looks suited rising to 1200m.
Suggested: 4. STAR TALENT win.
4. STAR TALENT
2. TIFF HAS SPOKEN
Race 3 – 1:45PM FURPHY – REFRESHING ALE MAIDEN (1675 METRES)
This looks the race for WATTO’S REWARD to break through. Attacked the line with strength in a similar event to this last start and had there been a bit more tempo early-and-middle he probably wins. After a lean period, the Alan Mathews camp looks back on track and with even luck Watto’s Reward should be too good. Liked the way REDMILL toughed it out against odds-on pop Mexi Cola at Pinjarra last time and he has to be a genuine chance here on that result. MAGIC EMPIRE is a proper money muncher, but is rarely too far away, while MODERATOR and THE ROAN RANGER are locks for your exotics.
Suggested: 13. WATTO’S REWARD win.
13. WATTO’S REWARD
1. MAGIC EMPIRE
7. THE ROAN RANGER
Race 4 – 2:25PM MT BARKER CHICKEN MAIDEN (1400 METRES)
Fairly thin maiden this, but have seen enough from MELARAB at trials to side with him on debut. Has been really well schooled at trials (eight in total), but the penny looks to have dropped this time in work and his latest Lark Hill 13/01 heat was eye-catching. Maps soft from this draw and surprise if he doesn’t go close. RUM RAKER has been good in two 1000m outings to date, with the form around him stacking up. Rise to 1400m is a slight query, but this is easier than what he’s been facing. CONVICTED MAN is knocking on the door, while an improved showing is anticipated from DAVEEDO second up.
Suggested: 8. MELARAB win.
3. RUM RAKER
1. CONVICTED MAN
Race 5 – 3:00PM LJ HOOKER BUNBURY COLLIE MAIDEN (1400 METRES)
This is a significantly stronger division of the 1400m Maiden and promises to be a good form reference moving forward. Keen to be on board with PUCKAPUNYAL after she was a good thing beat at Pinjarra 23/01, when jammed up in the box seat and only getting out when the race was all over. Could find the front and simply looks ready to win. EXPRESSIONIST is the obvious major danger, having been stiff at both outings so far. Pike going on is significant and he’ll be making things interesting late. GOODBYEFEDS is always thereabouts, while PATY’S FORCAST and CORNFLOWER will be running on strong.
Suggested: 9. PUCKAPUNYAL win.
8. PATY’S FORCAST
*Numbers amended after Final Scratchings
Race 6 – 3:35PM AMELIA PARK HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
Hasn’t been a great start to 2020 for trainer Darren McAuliffe, but front-running 3YO FUHRER is poised to post a positive result for the prominent yard. Showed promise last spring and moved well in his lead-up Bunbury 24/01 trial, so if he finds the front he’s going to take some running down fresh. Fellow first-upper UTGARD LOKI steps out for his new stable after a very encouraging initial racing campaign. Has significant upside and is expected to impact. MR KUNAFA goes good also, but faces a tough task with this draw and 61kg, while at his best BLACKWOOD RIVER can win this.
Suggested: 7. FUHRER win.
3. UTGARD LOKI
1. MR KUNAFA
2. BLACKWOOD RIVER
Race 7 – 4:10PM RANGEVIEW STUD CLASSIC (1400 METRES)
MONEY MATTERS has to be the horse to beat in this year’s Rangeview Stud Classic. Blew his rivals away when winning his maiden here, before going to town and scoring another convincing high-rating victory last Saturday week. Displayed sustained speed and strength on that occasion, and if he hits that peak again it’ll take a special effort to run him down. Quality filly SANABREANNA looks the one most likely and she certainly has the talent to salute. Will be spotting the fave a reasonable head start though, while fellow fillies MONTELENA and PUT A SPELL ON YOU are genuine top-four contenders.
Suggested: 1. MONEY MATTERS win.
1. MONEY MATTERS
4. PUT A SPELL ON YOU
Race 8 – 4:45PM MBL FOOD SERVICES HANDICAP (2000 METRES)
He’s going to be super-short again, but it’s hard seeing any of these rolling MEXI COLA. Got the maiden win he was looking for when a $1.80 fave at Pinjarra 23/01 and he looks set to elevate even further up in trip at this stage of his prep. BLAISZEN CAZAH ran into a rather smart filly in Chantrea last Monday and that formline has to be respected. Maps soft from this draw also. BONNEVILLE BLACK was ridden upside-down at Ascot last time, so there was merit in the performance, while GALIBA should be just about ready to run a race at this stage of her campaign.
Suggested: 1. MEXI COLA win.
1. MEXI COLA
8. BLAISZEN CAZAH
3. BONNEVILLE BLACK
Race 9 – 5:20PM LONG LEAF AT RANGEVIEW STUD IN 2020 HANDICAP (2200 METRES)
Fairly open affair to finish the program and this has the potential to be a William Pike special with BLACK ATTACK. Had four trials prior to her first-up 1800m effort, when held up in the straight and finishing on the winner’s heels for apprentice Chris Graham. Suited up in trip, blinkers are on and ‘The Wizard’ has won both races on her previously. NICE GO is on the four-day back up, but still has to rate highly after her Ascot placing on Wednesday. STAFFORD’S LAD hit the line hard last start and has a good track/distance profile, while PLAYS THE GAME looks well placed back on his home deck.
Suggested: 8. BLACK ATTACK win.
8. BLACK ATTACK
6. NICE GO
2. STAFFORD’S LAD
1. PLAYS THE GAME
**This edition of #TheLegUp by @thoroheadsWA originally published at 9:00am on Friday 31 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.