RACE 1 MEDIC AID WA MAIDEN 1:14 PM (1208M)
FOUR WHITE FOX showed plenty as a two and three-year-old when prepared by Simon A. Miller and if he’s anywhere near right should make a winning return for new trainer Adam Durrant. Has been off the scene since September 2016, however, he was sharpened up for this first-up assignment with a solid hit out in a lead-up trial down the Pinjarra Straight 1000 on March 12. Expecting FOUR WHITE FOX to naturally be a little rusty after such a long break, but this isn’t a particularly strong maiden and his best form has him clearly on top. The race fit WELCOME SHADOW will take some beating though, coming back in distance after competing well in a high-pressure maiden on Bunbury Stakes Day. Drawn to enjoy a nice run somewhere in the first three/four and he won’t get many better opportunities to break through. ZACKARIAH BEAU has been freshened since a disappointing last-start performance, however, if he could reproduce his previous effort behind Tycoon Legend then he’d be winning, while SAYAT has also been kept fresh since a poor last-start result, but is much better than that run suggests and could improve sharply without surprising.
Suggested: 3. FOUR WHITE FOX 1 x 3 units.
3. FOUR WHITE FOX
2. WELCOME SHADOW
4. ZACKARIAH BEAU
RACE 2 HORSELAND BUNBURY MAIDEN 1:49 PM (1208M)
Fairly open three-year-old maiden with over half the field capable of winning without surprising, but we eventually settled on IT COMES NATURAL again after being fairly keen on him Bunbury Stakes Day. Firmed from $7 to $4.20 on that occasion when racing outside the leader/winner Murray The Bulldog, however, he looked in need of the run when peaking late. Expecting him to come forward significantly with that hit out under his belt, and IT COMES NATURAL should roll forward again from his outside draw and take some getting past. The Lou Luciani stable are enjoying a good 2018, saddling up regular winners, and his three-year-old WISE MONKEY has to be included among the main fancies after two near misses this prep, against reasonable opposition. After a disappointing fresh effort, trainer Paige Kenney has fired in the gear changes on GOLDEN ARCHES, with blinkers, a lugging bit and a tongue tie all going on. Was racing first up without a trial last time, so he may have simply needed the hit out and we’re expecting to see a much sharper version here, while JUS TALKEN displayed impressive closing speed on Bunbury Cup Day, but did do a lot wrong in the early-and-middle stages, so we’re treading wearily with him despite the eye-catching last start performance.
Suggested: 3. IT COMES NATURAL each way.
3. IT COMES NATURAL
1. WISE MONKEY
4. GOLDEN ARCHES
5. JUS TALKEN
RACE 3 CHAFF CITY MAIDEN 2:24 PM (1410M)
Pretty keen on the chances of ZON ZOL after the now Justin Warwick-trained three-year-old hit the line hard first up in a similar assignment to this on Bunbury Stakes Day. Took a while to hit top gear on that occasion, however, Daily Sectionals did record a very similar final 200-metre time as Thisaway, who has gone to to win impressively at Ascot since. That strong effort in a high-pressure affair should provide ZON ZOL with the perfect platform to launch second up, and the sweet low draw is also a bonus. Thought ST ELIGIUS would compete well fresh on Bunbury Cup Day and that he did, working home nicely to finish a close-up third. Only has to hold form to go close again. Quite liked the performance of CYCLONE MAN in the same race when racing three-wide without cover and being beaten less than a length on the line. Has to be considered following that brave effort, while SALSATIONAL is more than capable of finishing top-four at her first start for new trainer Greg Beauglehole.
Suggested: 7. ZON ZOL win.
7. ZON ZOL
1. ST ELIGIUS
4. CYCLONE MAN
RACE 4 HARRADINE & ASSOCIATES VETS MAIDEN 2:59 PM (1690M)
This looks like the right race for the consistent MONTAGNA to break through for a well-deserved maiden win. The Steve Wallace-trained five-year-old has finished runner up at each of his three runs this campaign, running into some capable types in Royal Statue, Comparative and Frosty Beverage. This doesn’t appear as strong as what he’s been facing and, with even luck in running, MONTAGNA should prove very hard to beat. LUNA ROSSA has endured an interrupted prep, but looks ready to fire now, especially with the engagement of senior rider Glenn Smith. The blinkers have been added to extract that additional length of two and his best form puts him right in the finish. I’M SILK really caught the eye when making his debut on Bunbury Cup Day, when appearing very green, but making up a stack of late ground after encountering traffic issues. Ryan Hill may have given the public a lead by appearing to ride this fellow ahead of the consistent ACROSS THE SEA, who gives herself every chance by racing up on top of the speed and round out our top four.
Suggested: 1. MONTAGNA win.
2. LUNA ROSSA
6. I’M SILK
9. ACROSS THE SEA
RACE 5 AMELIA PARK HANDICAP 3:35 PM (1690M)
Interesting choice of race for WA Oaks aspirant RACY AVA, who was scratched from Saturday’s Natasha Stakes at Ascot, but you imagine this emerging filly will still take some beating against the older horses. Overcame some difficulties in running to record a soft 1800-metre victory second up at Ascot last start and while some of her more seasoned rivals will naturally provide tougher opposition here, she does appear to have the class necessary to get the job done. Stablemate LET’S TWIST appears the biggest danger and we expect her to be backed to upset the fave. Her two runs back from a break have been rock solid and she maps to enjoy the sweetest of runs in transit for new rider Jarrad Noske. Can win. DR SYKES is an interesting runner who will appreciate coming back to the mile after being twice tested over a middle distance in Albany recently. This looks a nice option for him and he’s another who’ll be backed to beat RAVY AVA, while KOSTYAZILCH is having his first start for new trainer Jim Enright and should also appreciate coming back in distance.
Suggested: 7. RACY AVA win.
7. RACY AVA
2. LET’S TWIST
1. DR SYKES
RACE 6 SKYRACING.TV PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES HEAT 4:10 PM (1208M)
Found this heat of the Provincial Championship Series very difficult to assess, with the majority of the original acceptors capable of winning on their day. Ended up rolling with Pingrup-based visitor GRADUAL INCLINE, who should appreciate coming back to this grade after a fair effort in a strong Graduation Handicap at Ascot last Saturday week. Apprentice Andrew Castle has been in reasonable form of late and the expected shape of this race means barrier one is a good draw for this fellow. GRADUAL INCLINE rarely runs a bad race and he’s worth a nibble each way. FAIR NAKITA displayed impressive closing speed to score a narrow victory on Bunbury Cup Day and she looks the horse to beat again. Loves racing on her home deck and we’re expecting her to drift back from a high draw and hit the line hard late. Expecting sharp improvement second up from class runner THE COBBLA and he should settle a touch closer than he did fresh on Bunbury Cup Day, while improving local ARFA CHANCE is eligible for easier races, but is still expected to roll forward and continue his strong form this campaign.
Suggested: 2. GRADUAL INCLINE each way.
2. GRADUAL INCLINE
3. FAIR NAKITA
1. THE COBBLA
6. ARFA CHANCE
RACE 7 GET THE TABTOUCH HANDICAP 4:45 PM (1008M)
Looking forward to the return of smart filly AMELIE ARGOT and she looks the horse to beat for in-form training combination Robert and Todd Harvey, who have saddled up six winners from their last seven runners. This well-bred three-year-old created a big impression when a dominant Northam debut winner last October and looked in very good order when runner up behind subsequent Ascot winner In Love With Paris in a recent Belmont barrier trial. AMELIE ARGOT appears to be a city-class horse racing in the provincials and, with even luck in transit from barrier one, should be too good for these. ROUND THE POINT is no slouch though and will provide some opposition, especially with the race fitness edge on our on-top selection. Comes back in grade after being tested in open three-year-old company at Ascot last start, and we’re expecting him to jump straight to the front and take some catching. MACROY is another smart three-year-old with the ability to make things interesting for AMELIE ARGOT. Stretched out nicely when winning her lead-up Lark Hill trial and she’s expected to have admirers first up, while Bunbury Cup Day maiden winner MURRAY THE BULLDOG is race fit, in form and in the right camp.
Suggested: 4. AMELIE ARGOT win.
4. AMELIE ARGOT
3. ROUND THE POINT
2. MURRAY THE BULLDOG
RACE 8 XXXX GOLD HANDICAP 5:20 PM (1410M)
Tough race to finish the Bunbury Turf Club’s 2017/18 season finale and we’re thinking the big-finishing ELIZA’S DREAM looks a good each-way play. Has raced well all campaign and hit the line hard at both runs since a four-week freshen, so if talented heavyweight hoop Glenn Smith can have him close enough on the turn ELIZA’S DREAM is going to be mighty hard to hold out late. This looks a nice third-up option for SNITZ ‘N’ GIGGLES and we wouldn’t be surprised to see this Justin Warwick-trained four-year-old fighting out the finish back in grade with blinkers on. MEN OF MUKINBUDIN can be a little hard to catch but he was brave in defeat when covering additional ground in a similar assignment to this on Bunbury Stakes Day. Has to rate among the main winning chances, while we’re expecting sharp improvement from SUPERIOR SMILE who is much better than what he’s shown in two starts this campaign.
Suggested: 1. ELIZA’S DREAM each way.
1. ELIZA’S DREAM
8. SNITZ ‘N’ GIGGLES
3. MEN OF MUKINBUDIN
2. SUPERIOR SMILE
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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.