Race 1 – 1:47PM FURPHY MAIDEN (1008 METRES)
Expecting HAMADA to take some beating first up. Showed promise when last in work, being sent out a $7.50 chance at her Belmont 22/08/18 debut, and looked very strong with the blinkers on when clearing out for a big Belmont 5/03 trial win, with the overall time standing up well considering it was only a three-horse heat. Suited from the inside alley and should get her chance. MY BLUEBOY will be better for the race experience after leading and fading as a $4.60 chance on debut, and the stable is hoping he will settle better with blinkers off, and a lugging bit and nose band going on. Should roll forward and make an impact. EMBASSY SQUARE has his share of ability, but is a bit of an awkward horse to ride and still has a lot to learn. Has to rate among the main contenders, while first-upper BRINGON THE VEUVE hasn’t been sighted since the Belmont 21/01 trials, which suggests a setback, but her form when last in work suggests she’s well placed in this assignment.
Suggested: 7. HAMADA win.
3. MY BLUEBOY
2. EMBASSY SQUARE
6. BRINGON THE VEUVE
Race 2 – 2:27PM AQUAVIVA CATERING MAIDEN (1008 METRES)
This looks the right race for WAR ANTHEM to break through. Really made the smart Henty Gal stretch at Narrogin 1/03 second up and did a big job to place behind Leading Man in a decent maiden on Bunbury Cup Day, overcoming some mid-race traffic issues. The form out of that race reads well and Jason Whiting should have him prominently positioned from a lower draw on this occasion. Looks the one. SMART TYCOON is the obvious danger though after leading and boxing on well in a competitive maiden over this track/distance on Bunbury Cup Day. Looks capable of elevating further and if he can find the front again, he’ll take some catching. William Pike handled VENORI first up and has stuck with this fellow, with improvement anticipated. Will drift back from the outside alley and work home late, while no surprise to see first-upper ROMAN KAL run a race fresh. Looking back, we liked his Lark Hill 22/10/18 trial win, and he should enjoy a suitable run in transit.
Suggested: 5. WAR ANTHEM win.
5. WAR ANTHEM
6. SMART TYCOON
4. ROMAN KAL
Race 3 – 3:07PM TABTOUCH – BETTER YOUR BET MAIDEN (1208 METRES)
Pretty keen on MAGIC EMPIRE first up. Was fairly costly to follow during his six-start initial racing campaign, however, he did run some big races and should’ve matured nicely over the last five months. Has been well hidden in his two lead-up trials when not fully tested on either occasion, and the blinkers go on first up in a sign of intent from trainer Adam Durrant. MAGIC EMPIRE maps rearwards from the outside alley, but is capable of storming home over the top late. Expecting CHIEF ARCHER to make his presence felt on debut. The $50,000 yearling purchase has caught the eye in two Lark Hill trials this prep, covering the ground nicely, and should get a soft run in transit from gate one. First-upper NEAT ACTION trialled nicely at Belmont 18/03 and maps to advantage from his low draw. The Neville Parnham stable is in a bit of form also, while like most of the Sean Casey youngsters, CALAG has been well educated at trials and the natural on-pacer is expected to have admirers debut.
Suggested: 1. MAGIC EMPIRE win.
1. MAGIC EMPIRE
8. CHIEF ARCHER
5. NEAT ACTION
Race 4 – 3:45PM INTEGRITY EXTENDED WARRANTIES HANDICAP (1108 METRES)
OVER THERE stands out as the horse to beat. Followed this filly closely when last in work, putting in some eye-catching efforts and racing without luck, so it was no surprise to see her record an impressive maiden win down the Straight 1000 circuit first up at Pinjarra 14/03. Recorded some blistering closing sectionals on that occasion and with a clean getaway from the low draw, OVER THERE should be too strong again. First-upper STELLA ANNE is a filly with her share of ability, competing well against some quality opposition when last in work. Readied for this assignment with a fair Bunbury 15/3 trial, but have to respect her talent and William Pike riding is obviously a big tick. Expecting ROSEBUSH to make an impact fresh also, stepping out for the first time in 86 days. Form last prep was hard to fault and she warrants consideration, while MARK MY CARD was strong to the line at Mt Barker 17/03, continuing a good run of results this season.
Suggested: 5. STELLA ANNE win.
5. STELLA ANNE
1. MARK MY CARD
4. CLAPPA THUNDER
*Numbers amended after Final Scratchings
Race 5 – 4:15PM AMELIA PARK MAIDEN HANDICAP (1690 METRES)
This looks a terrific option for LAVISTARR. Was only plain as a $2.40 fancy first up at Pinjarra 28/02, but she produced a much better effort stepping up to the mile second up, coming from last and hitting the line hard. Looks ready to produce a peak performance at this stage of her campaign and with even luck from the inside alley, LAVISTARR should be winning. VENGEANCE OF WAR was sent out a $2.70 favourite first up on Bunbury Cup Day and competed well after leading, being beaten home by two that had race-fitness on their side. That strong fresh workout should bring him forward for this assignment and he’s an obvious major player. AL’S FAMOUS comes through the same Pinjarra 14/03 race as LAVISTARR and continues to perform consistently. Has to be a top-three contender, while haven’t minded the first two runs of DELECTABLE DOLLY and believe she’ll be suited rising to the 1690 metres. No surprise to see her elevate.
Suggested: 6. LAVISTARR win.
1. VENGEANCE OF WAR
4. AL’S FAMOUS
5. DELECTABLE DOLLY
Race 6 – 4:45PM JCW ELECTRICAL HANDICAP (2219 METRES)
Interesting race this and is does look like a clash between STAIRWAYTOTHEMOON and STAFFORD’S LAD. These two have locked horns before and we’re locking in STAIRWAYTOTHEMOON to come out on top again. This promising filly competed against all the WA Oaks fancies in the listed Natasha Stakes at Ascot 16/03 and the run was much better than it reads, getting shuffled back to near last on straightening and doing her best work late. Well placed coming back to this race type and she should be close to a peak after two runs back from a freshen. The ever-improving STAFFORD’S LAD made a mess of them at Pinjarra last time after a couple of luckless runs in town. This fellow is rock-hard fit and has the right platform to win again. Forget GOLGOTHA went around in the Apprentices’ Challenge at Ascot 13/03 when having no luck at all. Look out for sharp improvement, while PALACE ROGUE is a talented type who will be fitter after a strong first-up result on Esperance Cup Day.
Suggested: 6. STAIRWAYTOTHEMOON win.
3. STAFFORD’S LAD
2. PALACE ROGUE
Race 7 – 5:15PM BUNBURY PLUMBING SERVICES HANDICAP (1410 METRES)
With William Pike going on FINANCE will be all the race, but we’re going to roll with FRIAR’S FANTASIA on top. Have some time for this mare and she has been kept fresh since enduring a tough time of things at Ascot 27/02, her second luckless run in succession. Did win over this track/distance three back and with even luck from a potentially awkward draw, FRIAR’S FANTASIA will take some beating. FINANCE has always promised plenty and Adam Durrant has been given the chance to get the best out of him. Hit a flat spot first up, but really knuckled down late, so probably needed the hit out and he’s the obvious horse to beat.TOGETHER WE DREAM comes through a reasonable Mt Barker 17/03 event and will appreciate being back on her home deck, while FROSTY BEVERAGE is better than what he’s shown in two outings back from a spell and we’re anticipating a much more competitive effort up in distance from a low draw.
Suggested: 5. FRIAR’S FANTASIA win.
5. FRIAR’S FANTASIA
8. TOGETHER WE DREAM
2. FROSTY BEVERAGE
*Originally published at 8:00am on Wednesday 27 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.