Race 1 – 12:42PM MICHAEL LANE RACING MAIDEN (1008 METRES)
Have liked the trial efforts of PRETTY STYLE and she looks set to go close on debut. The $47,500 yearling hails from the in-form Lou Luciani stable and while she’s only competed in 400-metre trials, that is not unusual from Luciani-trained two-year-olds. Impressed with the way she’s stretched out alongside the likes of Bubaroochy, Miss West Coast and Pure Dynamite recently, and she looks ready to make an impact. Fellow first-starter TOMMY BLUE has to warrant serious consideration after her strong Lark Hill 11/3 trial win over SHOWZALI. Hard not to like the way she let down in the straight and she maps to advantage from the low draw. SHOWZALI is making her first appearance since last October’s Initial Plate, when considered one of the major players as a $7 chance. Readied for this with two lead-up trials and will no doubt attract plenty of support with William Pike in the saddle, while EURASIA has caught the eye at his past two trials and no surprise to see him running on strong from back in the field.
Suggested: 8. PRETTY STYLE win.
8. PRETTY STYLE
9. TOMMY BLUE
Race 2 – 1:17PM BVA METAL FABRICATIONS MAIDEN (1108 METRES)
Quite a few genuine winning chances in this three-year-old maiden, but happy to roll with BLANKENBERGE on top. Was doing her best work late first up on Bunbury Stakes Day, and Fair Joy has since made the form read well with a good effort in a competitive event at Pinjarra 20/3. Has the gate speed to hold a prominent running position from barrier one, and BLANKENBERGE should get her chance. AVALON BAY was rock-solid on debut, stretching the well-regarded Leading Man all the way after enjoying a perfect run in transit. Maps to land in a similar running position and is expected to elevate with race experience. No surprise to see KITGUM run a race on debut. Went to the line under a strong hold in his Bunbury 15/3 trial and with the blinkers on, looks primed to perform well, while on-pacer VALIDATION wasn’t far away in a competitive event on debut, and she’s expected to roll forward and box on late.
Suggested: 6. BLANKENBERGE each way.
1. AVALON BAY
Race 3 – 2:00PM BULL AND BUSH CHARTER AND PRIVATE TOURS MAIDEN (1208 METRES)
BLACK DUCATI will be all the rage on debut and the Michael Lane-trained three-year-old looks a standout on Bull & Bush Tavern Cup Day. Caught the eye when coming from last in her first trial outing, before leading them up and clearing out for a 4.5-length win at the Lark Hill 11/3 trials, comfortably clocking the fastest time of the session. If she can bring that form to raceday, it appears as though only bad luck stands in her way. UNIVERSAL APPEAL has competed well at her first two runs with Adam Durrant and has to be considered one of the better chances in this. Ran into a smart one in City Circle last time out and really should be finishing top three. WILD GUST has raced well all campaign, but keeps falling short of an elusive maiden win. Race fit and in form, and William Pike back on board has to be another positive, while first-upper FOXY DREAMER looks suited from a low draw and performed well enough in her lead-up Lark Hill trial.
Suggested: 13. BLACK DUCATI win.
13. BLACK DUCATI
9. UNIVERSAL APPEAL
6. WILD GUST
11. FOXY DREAMER
Race 4 – 2:30PM PLUMBERS AND GASFITTERS BUNBURY MAIDEN (2019 METRES)
TOO CLOSE THE SUN is a half-brother to Group 1 winning stayer Trap For Fools and looking forward to seeing what this fellow can do stretched out to a middle-distance for the first time. Has competed well against decent opposition at his first two appearances and he does appear to be screaming out for this trip now. The Lindsey Smith stable have had a big week and if TOO CLOSE THE SUN elevates as expected, he could make a mess of these. SCINTILLATING certainly deserves to have won a maiden before now and will no doubt be fancied, having raced well all campaign. Has the 2000-metre run under his belt and Neville Parnham has his stable firing also. DOC FRIAR is the interesting runner and no surprise to see her run a race third up. Big effort after covering a heap of additional ground last time and will no doubt appreciate the rise in distance, while TALENT SCHOOL is race fit and in form, and gives herself every opportunity up on top of the speed.
Suggested: 7. TOO CLOSE THE SUN win.
7. TOO CLOSE THE SUN
11. DOC FRIAR
9. TALENT SCHOOL
Race 5 – 3:10PM CAPEL TAVERN HANDICAP (1410 METRES)
Competitive contest and this looks set to be a good betting race. The talented-but-wayward FLOWER OF SCOTLAND appears to get her chance, coming back to a track/distance where she is unbeaten in two starts, and mapping well from the low draw with 3kg claimer Jade McNaught on board. Interesting to see Paige Kenney taking the lugging bit, tongue tie and one-eyed blinker off for this assignment, but if FLOWER OF SCOTLAND has her head in the game, she really should be very hard to beat. FRIARANDICE has been freshened since a flat Pinjarra 24/2 run, but did stretch out nicely in her mid-prep Bunbury 15/3 trial. Loves this track/distance and suited from an inside alley. Above average three-year-old PAGAN IMAGE resumes from a spell and has been sharpened up with two Lark Hill trials. Maps rearwards from the high draw, but will be running on strong late, while fellow youngster PURE MAGNUS didn’t see out the 1800 metres at Ascot last Saturday, but no surprise to see him rebound on the quick back up in this.
Suggested: 1. FLOWER OF SCOTLAND win.
1. FLOWER OF SCOTLAND
6. PAGAN IMAGE
7. PURE MAGNUS
Race 6 – 3:50PM CEILINGWORKS AUSTRALIA HANDICAP (1410 METRES)
Hard not to have been impressed with the effort of HEAVENLY AFFAIR on Bunbury Stakes Day and this filly should take some beating in this. Raced three-wide without cover throughout on that occasion and looked to have done enough, prior to the smart Henty Gal getting over the top of her late. Looks ready for the rise to seven furlongs and with even luck from a mid draw, she goes close. LEADING MAN is the obvious horse to beat after a strong first-up victory on Bunbury Cup Day. That was a good win after being slow away and having to make a sustained forward thrust, so this fellow certainly appears to have his share of ability. You simply have to respect every runner the Mark Bairstow yard produces at present and Victorian import ARMED AND READY has to be one of the major players. Good effort behind the smart Shuwish second up at Pinjarra 14/3, while SAXY FILLY comes through the same race and has been building trust with a series of competitive performances.
Suggested: 6. HEAVENLY AFFAIR win.
6. HEAVENLY AFFAIR
2. LEADING MAN
1. ARMED AND READY
11. SAXY FILLY
Race 7 – 4:20PM THE BULL & BUSH TAVERN CUP (2219 METRES)
Confident dual Perth Cup winner STAR EXHIBIT can carry 62kg to victory in an intriguing edition of The Bull & Bush Tavern Cup. Was supposed to be taking on the big guns on the east coast, but connections opted to keep him home and make the most of the 62kg maximum topweight rule. His performance to win the 2019 Perth Cup was jaw-dropping and he followed up with an effortless Detonator Stakes victory under 59.5kg. Adam Durrant has this fellow right back on top of his game and his class should shine through. Stablemate COME PLAY WITH ME hasn’t quite lived up to lofty expectations this campaign, but it will pay to forget his Bunbury Cup run after everything went pear-shaped in running. Drops 4.5kg and expecting him to bounce back strong. HE’S A PARKER is flying and was arguably a good thing beat in the Bunbury Cup. Ticks plenty of boxes, while ELEGANT BLAST also had excuses in the Bunbury Cup and it was hard not to like the way she attacked the finish line.
Suggested: 1. STAR EXHIBIT win.
1. STAR EXHIBIT
3. COME PLAY WITH ME
6. HE’S A PARKER
5. ELEGANT BLAST
Race 8 – 4:55PM BVA METAL FABRICATIONS HANDICAP (1690 METRES)
Peters Investments three-year-old STRONG HEART looks the obvious horse to beat, having been scratched from last Saturday’s black-type J.C. Roberts Stakes and saved for this assignment. Was heavily supported on Bunbury Stakes Day and did a good job to nose out seasoned campaigner Golgotha in a head-bobbing finish. Coming back in distance at this stage of his WA Derby prep isn’t ideal, but he should get a sweet run from the inside alley and may simply have a class edge on these. The race-hardened and in-form SAN CRISPINO has to be a major threat with her ability to race up on top of the speed. Senior rider back on suits and she’ll be thereabouts. WORLD IS YOURS improves every time he goes to the races and carried 60kg to a solid third-up Pinjarra 14/3 win. Can win again, while SPIRITUAL WARRIOR was a touch disappointing at Ascot last Saturday, but no surprise to see him rebound back in this company.
Suggested: 2. STRONG HEART win.
2. STRONG HEART
3. SAN CRISPINO
1. WORLD IS YOURS
4. SPIRITUAL WARRIOR
Race 9 – 5:25PM DAVID JONES MEMORIAL HANDICAP (1208 METRES)
Happy to side with FA’LION MASCHINE each way in the last event on Bull & Bush Tavern Cup Day. Impressed when coming from last to win this track/distance three back and she was a bit stiff in a blanket finish to a similar event to this on Bunbury Cup Day. Enjoys being ridden patiently, so she’ll need additional luck in running, bit if the gaps appear she’s going to be hard to hold out. FRIAR’S FANCY was rolled in controversial circumstances on Bunbury Cup Day and simply have to respect Lou Luciani and Mitch Pateman, who are both in a rich vein of form. HORIZON caused a mini-upset on debut, but to win after racing wide throughout was impressive. Will attract a wave of support with William Pike on from a low draw, while the blinkers have gone on DYNABELLE and she maps to enjoy a sweet run in transit.
Suggested: 4. FA’LION MASCHINE each way.
4. FA’LION MASCHINE
8. FRIAR’S FANCY
*Originally published at 8:00am on Friday 22 March 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.