Race 1 – 1:35PM AQUAVIVA CATERING MAIDEN (1675 METRES)
Low key start to the program, with FIND THE GAP coming up on top. Was keen on him last Sunday in a similar event to this and while he had every chance, it was the first time he’s had to breeze outside leader and that just took away some of his closing speed. Reckon Lucy Warwick will attempt to gain some cover from the draw and with a soft run in transit, Find The Gap should be able to get the job done. WILD GALAH is the obvious main danger, although the 28 days between runs is a query. Disappointed as a $2.45 favourite in this grade last time, but his previous form was strong and if he’s on top of his game, Wild Galah will take some beating. REGENT STAR has worked home well enough at his past two and he’s enjoyed being ridden patiently recently, so he’ll will appreciate this smaller field, while SUDAN has appeared a bit one-paced at both outings so far but being by Hala Bek, should be suited rising to the mile.
Suggested: 1. FIND THE GAP win.
1. FIND THE GAP
6. WILD GALAH
2. REGENT STAR
Race 2 – 2:10PM TABTOUCH – BETTER YOUR BET MAIDEN (1400 METRES)
Liked the way COSTA DEL SANTO finished off at Pinjarra last start and no surprise to see him run over the top of them here. Drifted a long way back jumping from barrier six over 1200 metres on that occasion, but clocked standout late sectionals in what was quite a high-rating maiden. Suited stepping up in distance and with clear galloping room has the closing speed to salute. PURE MAGNUS is the obvious horse to beat after missing out narrowly first up over 1100 metres last Sunday. Stepping up to 1400 on the quick back up is a slight query, but simply have to respect the Justin Warwick stable. Record isn’t anything flash but don’t mind DO A PATAKY as a horse and expecting her to run a race fresh. Finished alongside Coming Around in her lead-up trial and that form reads well, while LOOKS LIKE MAGIC comes through the same race as our on-top pick and caught the eye late when running on from last in transit.
Suggested: 3. COSTA DEL SANTO win.
3. COSTA DEL SANTO
1. PURE MAGNUS
8. DO A PATAKY
7. LOOKS LIKE MAGIC
Race 3 – 2:45PM CIVILCON CONSTRUCTION MAIDEN (1400 METRES)
Reckon this is the day for EXPLOSION. The 11-start maiden has promised plenty over the journey, but hasn’t quite lived up to expectations, however, his Ascot midweek performance last start was too strong to ignore. Charged late and clocked the fourth fastest final 200-metre split of the day on that occasion, and his previous result over this track/distance behind Gillespie stacks up well also. With even luck Explosion should be hard to hold out. Three-year-old first-upper APPARITION showed potential as a juvenile, and Belmont placings behind the likes of Kelly’s Calisto and Dawn Armada read particularly well. Has been readied for this with two lead-up trials, suited from a low draw and the Harvey Racing combination continue to do a good job with their team. Honest type ZERO DEMERITS has been beaten less than a length at both starts this and expecting him to roll forward from the outside alley. Should box on well and fight out the finish again, while ZON ZOL should be ready to peak third up and maps to enjoy a soft rails run from an inside draw.
Suggested: 2. EXPLOSION win.
1. ZERO DEMERITS
4. ZON ZOL
Race 4 – 3:15PM THE BULL AND BUSH TAVERN MAIDEN (1200 METRES)
Found this All Aged Maiden to be quite a tricky assignment and eventually sided with first-starter LATITUDE HILL. The Bruce Watkins-prepared four-year-old has been well educated at trials and was convincing in his latest 1000-metre Bunbury 11/12 heat win. Finished alongside subsequent Ascot-winning stablemate Tycoon Mikado in his previous trial and should enjoy a suitable rails run from barrier one. If he can work his way into the clear, Latitude Hill should give this a nudge on debut. TENACITY followed up a good trial result with a fighting second behind the well-regarded Truly Great at his first start for new trainer Eden Gardiner. Likely to be sent forward to lead again by Mitchell Pateman and will give them something to catch. WILLHEGO WEST firmed late in tote betting at his Pinjarra debut, but looked a little flat late after being exposed to a genuine tempo. That should run bring him forwards and the blinkers going on is a sign of intent. Expecting him to run a race, while first-upper REGAL CHANT was solid in her lead-up trial and maps to enjoy a sweet run in transit.
Suggested: 3. LATITUDE HILL win.
3. LATITUDE HILL
4. WILLHEGO WEST
7. WILD GUST
*Numbers amended after scratchings.
Race 5 – 3:45PM BUNBURY PLUMBING SERVICES HANDICAP (1675 METRES)
This Class 3 Handicap does appear to have the makings of a ‘trap race’, but if everything goes to script then TIME TO HUNT should come out on top. After winning his first two starts, he’s been a frustrating and costly horse to follow, however, it was hard not to like the way he attacked the line first up at Ascot and this isn’t a particularly deep race. The Pearce Bros have hit a bit of form recently and with a soft run from a nice draw, Time To Hunt should be breaking a lengthy drought. Wouldn’t be surprised to see HE’S A PARKER run a big race at his second outing for new trainer Hec McLaren. Was never on the track in the same Ascot race as Time To Hunt first up, but he should enjoy a much more suitable on-pace run from this low draw. Best form stacks up. The well-travelled Kiwi import COLLABORATE hasn’t been far away in two runs this prep and finished alongside Time To Hunt last time. Only has to hold form to figure prominently, while BLAISZEN CAZAH is on the quick back up after a fighting maiden win over this track/distance last Sunday.
Suggested: 2. TIME TO HUNT win.
2. TIME TO HUNT
1. HE’S A PARKER
4. BLAISZEN CAZAH
Race 6 – 4:15PM AMELIA PARK HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
Impressed with the last-start Mt Barker victory from GLIMMER GIRL and expecting her to be hard to beat again. Has certainly mixed up her form in six starts since joining the Martin Allan stable, but she was right on top of her game in the Great Southern last time, scoring a dominant win with all her closing sectionals stacking up on the day. The second-placed It’s Not Trading waltzed in at Albany last start, so the formline held up, and Glimmer Girl does look well in with only 54.5kg also. The in-form FRIARANDICE is the obvious hardest to beat after recording two wins from her three runs this prep. Racing in career-best form and maps to advantage with Chris Parnham in the saddle, so she certainly ticks plenty of boxes. Have a bit of time for LICKETY SPLIT and expecting sharp improvement from him third up. Caught the eye fresh and was found to be lame last time out, but if he’s right he will give this a shake, while DISCOVILLE looks another big improver second up. Never in contention from barrier 10 fresh, but should take up a much more prominent running position from a low draw here.
Suggested: 5. FRIARANDICE win.
2. LICKETY SPLIT
10. TIPS AND SCANDALS
*Numbers amended after scratchings.
Race 7 – 4:45PM CHAFF CITY HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
One of the more competitive races on the card and in time is likely to prove to be a strong form reference. Have tracked TYCOON MIKADO closely over the journey and confident he has the quality to make it two wins from as many starts this prep. Was well ridden out in front first up at Ascot and while he won the race in the early-and-middle stages, his last 200 metres was a bit soft, so there appears to be a bit of improvement there. Tycoon Mikado is suited from another low draw and gives himself every opportunity up on top of the speed. SAINT SALVADORE is a new recruit to the Michael Lane stable and has shown enough in two lead-up trials to suggest he’s going to give this a shake first up. Didn’t do a lot wrong in three Geraldton appearances this time last year and his recent trial form around city-class opposition really stacks up. CARRANYA LASS is due for a change of luck after being a bit stiff at her last three outings. The blinkers go on and she looks suited coming back to the 1200 metres also, while the super-consistent TEXAS MOON is coming off a well-deserved Pinjarra maiden win and his previous Bunbury effort behind Caerhelan reads well.
Suggested: 2. TYCOON MIKADO win.
2. TYCOON MIKADO
4. SAINT SALVADORE
7. CARRANYA LASS
1. TEXAS MOON
Race 8 – 5:20PM RANGEVIEW STUD AT MAGIC MILLIONS HANDICAP (2000 METRES)
Have plenty of time for promising filly ARSINOE and with even luck in running she really should be saluting. Impressed with a first-up Northam victory, before running into smart types Beat The Devil and Archant at her next two, with both those gallopers being well fancied at Ascot this weekend. The way she’s been attacking the line late suggests she’ll relish the rise to 2000 metres and from a low draw with Chris Parnham on board, Arsinoe should be afforded every opportunity. Didn’t mind the WA debut of Victorian import HIGH ENERGY at Pinjarra 9/12 and the run wasn’t too dissimilar to that of Summit Trial, who came out and won at Ascot midweek. Staying type, so he’ll relish the step up in distance second up also. HOODLUM THUNDER is a fairly serious racehorse at his best, but there is a massive gap between his best and worst runs, and it’s hard to ever be too enthusiastic about his chances these days. A repeat of his effort behind Trump This two starts back will see him fighting out the finish though, while the way STAFFORD’S LAD handled his first middle-distance assignment last start suggests he shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Suggested: 8. ARSINOE win.
2. HIGH ENERGY
6. STAFFORD’S LAD
11. CAPTAIN JACK
*Numbers amended after scratchings.
*Originally published at 9:00am on Friday 21 December 2018
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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.