Race 1 – 1:10PM TABTOUCH – BETTER YOUR BET HANDICAP (1008 METRES)
Only the five runners, but found it very difficult to split our top-three selections, eventually settling on first-upper TAWNY PETE. Have tracked this fellow’s progress closely over the journey and trainer Paul Roberts has been very patient, and that easy-going approach should start paying dividends into his five-year-old season. Tawny Pete travelled sweetly in his Lark Hill 19/11 trial, running good time and matching strides with the city-winning King Of Chaos, and he did defeat the promising Stormy Ora when winning his maiden first-up last campaign. Strong type and expecting him to take some beating. REBEL YELL was very well supported ($9.50 to $5.50) first up and got the job done after enjoying a perfect run on the leader’s heels in transit. Form out of that race has stood up well since via Excise Free, and Rebel Yell looks a horse with a bright future. ROSEBUSH has always promised plenty and she delivered first-up at Northam 15/11 with a sharp 1100-metre win. Has to warrant consideration on the strength of that performance, while CAPO DEL ARIA in on the quick back up after running a cheeky race when setting a good clip out in front at Narrogin last Friday.
Suggested: 1. TAWNY PETE win.
1. TAWNY PETE
2. REBEL YELL
5. CAPO DEL ARIA
Race 2 – 1:47PM FURPHY HANDICAP (2019 METRES)
Apprentice Jade McNaught is being given a terrific opportunity in pulling on the famous ‘cerise and white’ colours for the first time and we’re predicting a victory with AMERICAN JOY. First two runs back this prep were full of merit and she was among the main winning chances in Ratings 66+ company at Ascot 17/11, however, was scratched after being kicked by another runner in the barriers just prior to the start. Her preparation has obviously been hampered, but American Joy does look well placed in this company and she will be fit enough hailing from the Adam Durrant stable. McNaught should be able to ride patiently in this five-horse field and this four-year-old mare possesses the closing speed to work home over the top of her rivals late. ROYAL STRATA is the main danger, coming off an impressive 1675-metre second up win two weeks back. Clearly enjoying herself since a transfer to Justin Warwick and the way she attacked the line last time suggests the 2019 metres is not beyond her. FIRST GROWTH returned distressed after a racing at Ascot last Wednesday and surprised to see him backing up. Has obviously bounced back quickly and he’ll be hard to beat on his best form, despite the 61kg topweight, while BLACKBEEL should’ve finished closer behind Royal Strara last start but is unlikely to be suited in what will likely be a sit-and-sprint affair.
Suggested: 2. AMERICAN JOY win.
2. AMERICAN JOY
3. ROYAL STRATA
1. FIRST GROWTH
Race 3 – 2:22PM AMELIA PARK MAIDEN (2019 METRES)
Pretty confident DIFFUSION will be breaking through. The Blackfriars four-year-old has recorded back-to-back minor placings over the mile at Northam recently, with his most recent being in a particularly fast race behind promising types Indominus and Narrogin 23/11 winner Hyperspace. Has been strong on the line on both occasions also, suggesting he’s ready to rise to the 2019 metres here, and with even luck in running he should be saluting. POND ZERO has competed well against handy opposition in his three runs back from a break, but does face a reasonable step up after lining up over 1400 metres at Ascot 21/11. Still, this is unlikely to be a true test of stamina, so he should be able to lob along in a rhythm and still have fuel left in the tank to launch late. Didn’t mind the run of AL’S FAMOUS at York 11/11 and Throwdown has come out and made the form read well since. Should be working home well again, while VICE MASTER comes through the same lead-up races at Diffusion and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him race competitively stepping up in distance.
Suggested: 1. POND ZERO win.
1. POND ZERO
7. AL’S FAMOUS
5. VICE MASTER
2. BENNY BRUISER
*Numbers amended after scratchings.
Race 4 – 2:57PM RANGEVIEW STUD HANDICAP (1690 METRES)
Tricky little Class 5 Handicap this and ended up siding with KIA ORA STAR. Hailing from the in-form Michael Lane yard, this fellow didn’t have a lot of luck behind stablemate Friarandice last start, having also been a little stiff behind Double Digit in Ratings 66+ Handicap company at Ascot 27/10. Does enjoy racing over the Bunbury mile, with his performance behind Salon Du Cheval over this Track/Distance three back rating highly, and the booking of Chris Parnham is an obvious positive. No surprise to see AWESOME AS stretch their necks at her fourth run back from a break. Was gunned down late by the in-form Deception Game over 1400 metres here two back and her Ascot 6/11 effort was better than it reads. Does her best racing at Bunbury and reckon Shaun McGruddy will take her straight to the front and attempt to dictate terms. ELIZA’S DREAM is another major player and should be ready to step up to the mile at this stage of his campaign. Strong late behind Friarandice last time and will appreciate a low draw in this small field, while SENTIMENTAL FRIEND is the best horse in the race and will more than likely start favourite. Lumbering type who needs some winding up, though, so it will be interesting to see how he runs for apprentice Jade McNaught.
Suggested: 4. KIA ORA STAR win.
4. KIA ORA STAR
3. AWESOME AS
2. ELIZA’S DREAM
1. SENTIMENTAL FRIEND
Race 5 – 3:40PM ASP SECURITY MAIDEN (1410 METRES)
This looks the right race for classy filly PRINCESS PIERRO to record an overdue maiden win. Has pretty much raced against the best of her division throughout her career and has more than held her own on multiple occasions, but she will no doubt appreciate coming back to a provincial maiden and restoring some confidence. Has got a long way out of her ground in both the black-type Belgravia and Burgess Queen Stakes at her past two outings, attacking the line nicely in a high-pressure Belgravia, but should be able to land in a more prominent running position in this smaller field. Providing she isn’t over the hill this campaign, Princess Pierro’s class should shine through. First-starter ALTANI is an interesting runner and the way she covered the ground in a successful Lark Hill 19/11 trial suggests she’s going to make an impact on debut. Looks likely to control the tempo from out in front and she’s going to take some running down late. The blinkers go on ARCHANT for this third-up assignment and we’re expecting to see a much sharper performance. Hasn’t done a lot wrong in his two runs this prep and should enjoy a sweet run on the leader’s heels in transit, while haven’t minded the efforts of JARMAN in two starts this campaign and the way he’s attacked the line suggests he’s looking for this trip. Maps to advantage also.
Suggested: 6. PRINCESS PIERRO win.
6. PRINCESS PIERRO
Race 6 – 4:15PM HOT WELD FABRICATIONS MAIDEN (1208 METRES)
Plenty of winning chances in this All Aged Maiden and settled on DIGNITY BAY each way. Got well back jumping from barrier 12 first up two weeks back and ran on impressively behind the very smart Free Trade, clocking the third fastest final 200-metre split of the day. That closing speed is an obvious asset and he should be settling closer to the leader from a better draw in this smaller field. Expecting Dignity Bay to be hitting the line hard again. STORMY RULER is set to have plenty of admirers on debut after a strong all-the-way Lark Hill 19/11 trial win, stretching out well and appearing to have plenty in reserve. May have to absorb a bit more pressure here, with a few likely to make a play for the lead, but that trial result was too good to ignore. TEXAS MOON is one of WA’s best maidens and has been beaten a length of less at his past four appearances. Coming out of some fast Northam races and has to be included, while CAERHELAN caught the eye in a competitive maiden on debut and should enjoy a more favourable passage in transit from the low draw with ‘The Wizard’ William Pike on board.
Suggested: 3. DIGNITY BAY each way.
3. DIGNITY BAY
6. STORMY RULER
1. TEXAS MOON
Race 7 – 4:45PM THE BULL AND BUSH TAVERN MAIDEN (1208 METRES)
This is another competitive All Aged Maiden, but pretty confident GILLESPIE is the horse to beat. Followed him closely through a series of positive trial results and he produced a quality debut performance here two weeks back, racing three-wide without cover throughout and still closing to within 0.8L of Rebel Yell. The full brother and stablemate of sharp sprinter Ambiente looks to have his share of ability, and should enjoy a smoother passage in transit from a lower draw. COCKATIEL looks well placed coming back in class and distance, having found the going tough against the best fillies in town last start. Maps to advantage from the low draw also and shouldn’t be a maiden for too much longer. First-upper ZON ZOL will have plenty of admirers after a solid previous campaign and a decent Belmont 12/11 trial win. Well drawn and the Justin/Lucy Warwick combo are in good form also, while really taken with the Lark Hill 19/11 trial win of DEIMOS and no surprise to see him race competitively on debut.
Suggested: 8. GILLESPIE win.
2. ZON ZOL
Race 8 – 5:15PM BUNBURY PLUMBING SERVICES HANDICAP (1410 METRES)
Wide-open Class One Handicap to finish the day and thought LOVE ALWAYS could be a nice each-way play. Stepping out for the first time since July, the Brett Pope-train four-year-old has been sharpened up for this with two lead-up trials, making up good late ground in her most recent at Lark Hill 19/11. Has raced well at Bunbury previously and did finish fourth in the Rangeview Stud Classic over this track/distance first up last campaign, with that form stacking up very well. Likely to drift back and swoop late. Happy to give SWEET DREAMIN’ another chance after he over-exerted on top of the speed when a beaten $3 fave here two weeks back. Should’be have to burn as much fuel from the low draw and he’s a major player. EXPRESS FLIRT will be zeroing in on a peak performance at his third run back. Maps to enjoy a sweet run in transit also, while SAN CRISPINO is more than capable of sprinting well fresh and must be included in your exotics.
Suggested: 10. LOVE ALWAYS each way.
10. LOVE ALWAYS
1. SWEET DREAMIN’
2. EXPRESS FLIRT
9. SAN CRISPINO
*Originally published at 9:00am on Tuesday 27 November 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.