Race 1 – 1:03PM TRACEY & GEOFF THOMPSON MAIDEN (2000 METRES)
Pretty confident BLACK ATTACK will get the job done in the opening event. Showed plenty of promise during her previous campaign when prepared by Vaughn Sigley and put the writing on the wall with a slashing first-up performance at Northam 7/10, sustaining a long, wide run after dropping out to last from barrier 14. Certainly won’t be any value here following that eye-catching effort, and especially with ‘The Wizard’ Pike climbing on board, but Black Attack should just win. TRACE SEA comes through the same race as our on-top selection, making up good ground after also drifting back from a high draw. Suited up in distance third up and should enjoy a sweet run in transit from her inside alley. TORTINA has a race-fitness edge on her rivals, being deep into her prep, and she’s expected to roll forward and box on late, while LIKE HIM A BIT is coming off a close-up placing behind Lennon’s Song at York, with that galloper among the main winning chances in Race 6 on this program.
Suggested: 7. BLACK ATTACK win.
7. BLACK ATTACK
8. TRACE SEA
1. LIKE HIM A BIT
Race 2 – 1:43PM WESTERN MEAT PACKERS MAIDEN (1200 METRES)
Intriguing Three-Year-Old Maiden and you could make a case for most of these. Thinking this looks the right race for EMERALD ROSE, who should be ready to produce a peak performance at her third run in. Held her own against some of the best juveniles in WA during a Karrakatta Plate campaign last season and her two 1000m runs this prep are better than they read on paper. With a clean getaway from a low draw, Emerald Rose can land leader’s back and if they runs come late, she’s going to be hard to hold out for the in-form David Harrison yard. THE FUGAZI reemerges 88 days after a strong debut against older maidens at Belmont, drifting back and clocking strong late sectionals. Is likely to settle rearwards again from the draw, but does have the closing speed to still make his presence felt. First-upper FAIREDU hasn’t started since her competitive Ascot 3/03 debut, however, she did trial very nicely at Belmont 8/10 and is suited from a low draw, while possible leader PURE MAGNUS has shown enough at trials to suggest he’s a major player on debut.
Suggested: 4. EMERALD ROSE each way.
4. EMERALD ROSE
1. THE FUGAZI
3. PURE MAGNUS
Race 3 – 2:18PM QUBE PORTS & BULK TRANSPORT MAIDEN (1000 METRES)
Another maiden with a host of winning chances and we’re just leaning towards MY LADY FAIR. Showed good gate speed and was forced to work outside leader first up at Belmont 10/10, and looked home before $2.50 fave Prince Of Promise gained a rails run and sprinted too well late. Thought the effort was full of merit and provides her with a strong platform to launch second up, while she should also enjoy a suitable run in transit stalking the leading pair. $105,000 yearling purchase BOOTLEG RASCAL is expected to attract plenty of support on debut after progressing nicely at trials, and he has the dynamite Durrant/Pike combination in his corner. Should be able to hold a forward position from his low draw also. Likely leader RAPISARDA is returning from a good break, but did look fairly sharp with an all-the-way Lark Hill 25/09 trial win. Should run along out in front and give them something to chase, while THE PEN was a little underwhelming when a beaten $1.75 favourite at York 11/10, but is certainly worthy of another chance.
Suggested: 8. MY LADY FAIR 1 x 3 units.
8. MY LADY FAIR
7. BOOTLEG RASCAL
6. THE PEN
Race 4 – 2:53PM CIVILCON CONSTRUCTION HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
Promising type DECEPTION GAME is skipping a few grades to take his place in the Class 5 Handicap, but we’re confident he can rack up a third straight win. Hailing from the mighty Adam Durrant camp, this fellow has recorded very strong closing sectionals in his recent victories, knocking off subsequent winner Lady Sass before accounting for the well-regarded Velago in a sprint home at Northam last start. Pike should give him every conceivable from the low draw and Deception Game should be too strong late sliding down to 54.5kg. Wouldn’t be surprised to see POINT run a big race. Has dropped a fair way down in the official handicapper ratings — having peaked at 77 around this time last year — and he looks well placed back in this company. Last-start performance against strong opposition was better than it reads and this small field suits. VERMONT LADY will appreciate the booking of high-quality hoop Chris Parnham after taking control of her junior rider when a tearaway leader last start. Suited back in trip also and her best form stacks up, while AWESOME AS caught the eye first up at Belmont 10/10 and has a very good record over the Bunbury 1400m.
Suggested: 6. DECEPTION GAME win.
6. DECEPTION GAME
2. VERMONT LADY
5. AWESOME AS
Race 5 – 3:30PM SOUTH WEST ISUZU MAIDEN (1400 METRES)
Good contest to kick off the late quaddie, but if front-running three-year-old COCKNEY CREW can hold his current form then he really should run them ragged. 29 days between runs isn’t ideal, however, he has held his own against the likes of True Defender and Pagan Image recently, and the latter is considered a winning chance at Ascot this weekend. Expecting Lucy Warwick to send Cockney Crew straight to the front from his mid-draw, establishing a decent head-start on the rest of the major players and boxing on too well late. Have been really taken with the booming finish of HOT STYLE at his past two appearances, clocking outstanding closing sectionals in the process. Has another high draw to contend with, however, we’re still expecting him to swoop home into the top four. PRATTLE competed well first up at Kalgoorlie, running into a red-hot $1.40 favourite Moschard, and looks most advantaged from a map perspective. Should be afforded every opportunity, while BARBIE WILL DO never really got a crack at them at York 11/10 and should be running on strong late with Chris Parnham now on board.
Suggested: 10. COCKNEY CREW win.
10. COCKNEY CREW
2. HOT STYLE
14. BARBIE WILL DO
Race 6 – 4:00PM QUBE PORTS & BULK STEVEDORING HANDICAP (1675 METRES)
Maiden three-year-old ARNIE’S BOY is an interesting runner in this Class 1 Handicap, but he’s shown enough to suggest he can give this a shake. Had strong form around highly-rated juveniles Special Reward and Kelly’s Calisto last campaign, and his first-up Northam 7/10 performance was full or merit, racing three-wide without cover throughout and boxing on really well late considering. Should be able to work across and enjoy a more favourable passage in transit on top of the speed, and we’re expecting him to prove difficult to counter late. It doesn’t read too well on paper, but the second-up Belmont 10/10 effort of PROZONE wasn’t too bad and he should be ready to find his best form at this stage of his prep. Anticipating positive tactics from a high draw and this does look a good option for him. LENNON’S SONG was perhaps a touch lucky to break through over 1920m at York 11/10, but the win was on the cards after two strong lead-up runs. Coming back to 1675m is interesting, but she should enjoy a sweet run in transit from the draw, while CASLAVSKA must be respected after a decisive maiden win at Northam 7/10.
Suggested: 4. ARNIE’S BOY 1 x 3 units.
4. ARNIE’S BOY
5. LENNON’S SONG
Race 7 – 4:30PM THE C.E.M. ALLIANCE SPRINT (1100 METRES)
Another competitive quaddie leg and a fresh AMELIE ARGOT looks the way to go. Created a big impression with dominant wins at her first two appearances, before being sent out a $4.40 chance against the likes of Fabergino and Stageman at Ascot 28/04. Was certainly below her best at her two runs prior to a spell, but she looked in good nick when stretching out nicely in a Belmont 8/10 trial, hitting the line with plenty in the tank. Gives herself every opportunity by beginning well and racing on top of the speed, and if she produces her best Amelie Argot should be too sharp. ROUTE EIGHTY EIGHT hasn’t quite performed up to expectations in three runs back, but is naturally suited coming back in grade. Maps to advantage and should get her chance. No surprise to see THE ANAESTHETIST run a cheeky race at his first outing in 46 days. Gary Crispin and Jason Whiting are a decent combo and this fellow should get a reasonable run from the inside alley, while PRINCESS ZELDA trialled well at Belmont 8/10, and is expected to drift back and swoop late.
Suggested: 6. AMELIE ARGOT win.
6. AMELIE ARGOT
9. ROUTE EIGHTY EIGHT
5. THE ANAESTHETIST
8. PRINCESS ZELDA
Race 8 – 5:05PM MARKET CITY MEATS HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
Looking forward to seeing what exciting three-year-old MANKIND can produce against this decent line up. Has been kept fresh (59 days) since zipping home along the outside rail to score a soft debut win down the Pinjarra Straight 1000, displaying impressive closing speed in the process. A half-brother to WA Derby winner Respondent and star sprinter State Solicitor, Mankind looks another quality type from the Peters Investments production line and if he can hold a midfield position in running, we’re confident he can run over the top of these late. ADAMUS did a top job to score second up against well-regarded opposition at Northam and Team Giadresco appear to have unearthed a smart customer. Does have the task ahead of him from the outside alley though. STARTTHEFRIAR is first-up after a WA Derby campaign and covered the ground nicely in his Belmont 8/10 trial. Won on debut over 1100m at York last prep, and has a bit of class about him so no surprise to see him sprint well fresh, while DISTANT TRILOGY has put in three good efforts against strong opposition this campaign, but the awkward draw may make life difficult for him and apprentice Fiona Bell.
Suggested: 9. MANKIND win.
1. DISTANT TRILOGY
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.