RACE 1 CHUBB MAIDEN 12:59 PM (2019M)
‘The Wizard’ William Pike returns from suspension at this meeting and, as always, has secured a strong book of rides with Peters Investments filly MAGICAL CHARM looking ready to break through for her maiden victory. Has been steadily improving with race experience and we liked the way she finished off in a similar assignment to this here last start. Certainly isn’t going to be at fancy odds in this small field, but she’s not going to get a better opportunity than this and she only has to hold form to win this comfortably. THE DIVINE WIND caught the eye when ridden more patiently over the mile last start, with Daily Sectionals clocking her running the fastest splits at every marker over the final 1200m. Stepping out to a middle distance for the first time, but the way she kept working to the line on February 18 suggests she shouldn’t be taken lightly. SMOKE ‘N’ MIRRORS came unstuck in a farcically run event at Ascot on February 14, so the effort was perhaps better than it reads, however the bar plates going on is never ideal, while COOL WITNESS didn’t appreciate being ridden for speed last start but with a more patient steer on this occasion is capable of working home into a top-four finish.
Suggested: 8. MAGICAL CHARM win.
8. MAGICAL CHARM
3. THE DIVINE WIND
2. COOL WITNESS
4. COLONEL JESSEP
* Numbers amended after Final Scratchings.
RACE 2 ZURICH MAIDEN 1:39 PM (1108M)
We’re tipping an early double for William Pike in his first day back in the saddle since the Pinjarra Magic Millions meeting on February 10, with promising three-year-old SWEET DREAMIN’ ready to win. Has been very competitive at each of his three outings so far and his latest February 18 performance was full of merit when working early, racing in the three-wide line throughout and still managing to fight out the finish behind Demtimes. SWEET DREAMIN’ should appreciate a low draw on this occasion and while he’s capable of setting the pace, he’s more than likely going to land leader’s back, and from there he only needs clear galloping room to give this a shake. FROSTY BEVERAGE made a strong comeback to racing after over 12 months on the sidelines at Ascot on February 14, sliding forward to lead and boxing on under pressure to be beaten only a half-length against some smart opposition. Hard not to be impressed with the way he fought it out on that occasion and those standout formlines make him the likely favourite here. Not a lot has gone right for REBOW since his encouraging WA debut on December 29, including getting scratched at the barriers when a $4 chance at Ascot on February 17. Has obvious ability and his starting-price profile suggests he has to rate among the main winning chances, while we were taken with the recent trial victory of PEARLS AND PRAWNS and the way he covered the ground suggests he’s going to make his presence felt from a low draw on debut.
Suggested: 5. SWEET DREAMIN’ win (1) & place (3).
5. SWEET DREAMIN’
4. FROSTY BEVERAGE
13. PEARLS AND PRAWNS
RACE 3 NTI HANDICAP 2:12 PM (1410M)
Very tricky Class 5 Handicap with any of numbers 1 through 6 capable of winning this without surprising. Ended up rolling with KINGDOM AND EMPIRE on top after two brave recent efforts when thrust into the unfamiliar role of pacemaker, running along over 7 lengths above average (according to Daily Sectionals) to the 800m at Ascot last Saturday week and boxing on to be beaten only 2.5 lengths on the line. Should be able to take a sit on the back of likely pacemaker OUR BUDDY BOY on this occasion and looks set to enjoy a more suitable passage in transit. KINGDOM AND EMPIRE has a strong platform to launch here. Classy three-year-old REBELLIONAIRE caught the eye when resuming against his own age group on February 3 and was scratched after accepting to start at Ascot on February 17 due to a bruised hoof. Despite the minor setback, he still has to rate among the main winning chances. IN THIS LIFE is stepping out for her second assignment this prep and her second-up record (4: 2-0-2) has to warrant consideration. Was good when resuming and has the services of gun young hoop Chris Parnham, while FRIAR’S GIFT rated very highly in a fast race midweek at Ascot and doesn’t really know how to run a bad race.
Suggested: 1. KINGDOM AND EMPIRE each way.
1. KINGDOM AND EMPIRE
4. IN THIS LIFE
2. FRIAR’S GIFT
RACE 4 MGIB/AUB LIFE ONLINE MAIDEN 2:45 PM (1410M)
This is the first division of the 1410m Maiden and we’ve again sided with ‘The Wizard’ Pike, with three-year-old TEACHER’S PET ticking plenty of boxes. Looks ready to peak at her third run this prep, jumping from a sweet low draw on the quick back up, with the blinkers going on to extract a length or two. The Dan Morton-trained filly will also appreciate stepping up to the seven furlongs and this looks a great option for her to break through. Fellow three-year-old filly RACY AVA is the logical danger and looks set to give this a nudge first up after a 14-week break. Was given a strong workout in her lead-up February 19 trial and her peak performance in the Champion Fillies in November suggests she has class on her side. Will have plenty of admirers. BLACKWOOD FLYER has raced very competitively all campaign and the Daily Sectionals data from February 18 suggests she was the run of the race behind heavily-backed winner Katusha. Expecting her to be drifting back and running on late, while the same can be said for ZACKARIAH BEAU who produced produced a big finish when returning from a break at Ascot on February 17.
Suggested: 10. TEACHER’S PET win (1) & place (3).
10. TEACHER’S PET
11. RACY AVA
6. BLACKWOOD FLYER
1. ZACKARIAH BEAU
RACE 5 SURA MAIDEN 3:20 PM (1410M)
This is the second division of the 1410m Maiden and while there’ll be plenty of support for MOSCHARD, we’re thinking the David Harrison-trained MEGADON is ready to win. Elevated sharply third up in a fast race at Pinjarra on February 15, hitting the front before getting collared late, but he did strike trouble when trying to avoid a fallen runner on that occasion. The run was full of merit and with additional improvement from an inside draw, MEGADON can continue legendary jockey Paul Harvey’s solid comeback to race riding. MOSCHARD is the likely favourite and deservedly so after producing an eye-catching fresh effort against solid three-year-old company on February 14. Has impressive formlines against some quality gallopers, however, we’re a bit concerned about how far back he’s going to get from a high draw in this full field. Should be charging home late regardless. WELCOME SHADOW probably should’ve finished closer at Ascot last start when held up and losing momentum at a vital stage. Form out of that event has stood up well through recent winners Tycoon Legend and Nobelium also, while first-upper BREAK THE CHAIN is capable of competing well fresh and worked home well enough in his lead-up trial.
Suggested: 6. MEGADON win (1) & place (3).
2. WELCOME SHADOW
1. BREAK THE CHAIN
8. COULD BE QUEEN
* Numbers amended after Final Scratchings.
RACE 6 SUNCORP HANDICAP 3:50 PM (1410M)
The best race on the card from our point of view and we’re very intrigued to see how this plays out. After catching the eye at trials, we were really taken with the debut victory of THE REAL ZEEL at Pinjarra on February 15 and are keen to have him on top. Was three and four deep the entire in a roughhouse affair, and let down stylishly to get there in the final bound, with Infinite Beauty going on to race well at Pinjarra on Sunday. THE REAL ZEEL should be able to enjoy a more comfortable passage in transit on this occasion and although this is harder, we feel as though he’s more than capable of measuring up. Peters Investments filly AMERICAN JOY is returning from an 8-week break from racing and looks the likely favourite after a soft trial hit out at Ascot on February 13. Appears to have some class about her and is one of the Cerise and White’s WA Oaks prospects, so she’s expected to take some beating fresh. WATCH ME NEY NEY is improving every time she goes to the races and was totally dominant over the mile at Pinjarra last start. Coming back to the seven furlongs is a query but should still make her presence felt, while YOU AM I was backed for a stack in good company at Ascot last start and must be respected back in this grade.
Suggested: 5. THE REAL ZEEL win (1) & place (3).
5. THE REAL ZEEL
8. AMERICAN JOY
6. WATCH ME NEY NEY
7. YOU AM I
RACE 7 CGU HANDICAP 4:20 PM (1208M)
VERMONT LADY is another winning opportunity for William Pike and the penny looks to have finally dropped since a transfer to the Paige Kenney stable. Has always shown plenty of promise, but really delivered first-up at Ascot when working clear for a decisive victory, with the form out of that maiden stacking up very well since. Reckon she’s capable of elevating further, but VERMONT LADY only has to hold form to win again. First-upper BRONZE IDOL showed plenty as a juvenile, however, he hasn’t really stood out in two lead-up trials this prep. Must still be respected on what he showed last time in. TRIPELETTO raced a lot more tractably last start and was rewarded with a fighting all-the-way maiden win. Should derive confidence from the victory, and looks set to roll forward and fight out the finish again, while we have a bit of time for first-upper WATTO’S FURY and expect him to run a big race fresh.
Suggested: 5. VERMONT LADY win (1) & place (3).
5. VERMONT LADY
1. BRONZE IDOL
4. NOIR DE RUE
* Numbers amended after Final Scratchings.
RACE 8 MGIB PLATE 4:50 PM (1690M)
Found this a particularly tricky race to assess, but we’re confident MASSAGI will give her followers a big run for their money. Improved nicely at her second-up Pinjarra outing last start, leading them up and only getting overhauled close to the line, and she clearly looks ready to rip out a peak performance third-up. Can mix her form, but her best is not too bad and this looks a nice option for her. FOUR LETTER WERD didn’t fire as a $4.80 chance first up at Pinjarra but did improve when leading them up at Ascot last time. Expecting him to elevate further third up and does hail from the in-form Chris Gangemi stable. First-upper ROJO CALOR has promised a bit and wasn’t knocked around in his lead-up Pinjarra trial. Drawn to enjoy the right run in the first six/seven and we’re expecting him to make his presence felt fresh, while GAMBLED had no luck at Narrogin last start and wouldn’t be surprised to see him give this a shake.
Suggested: 9. MASSAGI win (1) & place (3).
3. FOUR LETTER WERD
6. ROJO CALOR
RACE 9 MGIB TRAVEL HANDICAP 5:25 PM (2019M)
Very interesting race to finish up with Peters Investments and Team Williams taking the rather unusual step of stepping last-start 1420m maiden winner MISSISSIPPI DELTA straight into this 2019m assignment at only her second start this prep. The money was on first up and she certainly delivered, with Daily Sectionals flagging her impressive closing speed, and it was good to see her begin well and park up in the first four/five in running. These guys are the best in the business, so who are we to disagree, and if they’re confident to set MISSISSIPPI DELTA this task then we’re happy to back them in. Another one for Pike! Hard to fault the lead-up form of Kiwi import PLAYS THE GAME and he comes back in grade after a top effort in a fast Class 5 event at Pinjarra. Looks the one most likely to upset our on-top selection. FIVE DEGREES is a promising three-year-old filly and is improving with every start. She’s going to give herself every chance by rolling forward and staying out of trouble, while TRIPLE EXPRESS is capable of adding some value to your exotic bets.
Suggested: 6. MISSISSIPPI DELTA win (1) & place (3).
6. MISSISSIPPI DELTA
2. PLAYS THE GAME
7. FIVE DEGREES
13. TRIPLE EXPRESS
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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.