Race 1 – 1:24PM FORTY WINKS BUNBURY AND BUSSELTON HANDICAP (1216 METRES)
Was keen on VINTAGE STOCK first up at Ascot 21/11 and happy to give her another chance in the opening event of the day. Supported from $2.50 to $2.30 on that occasion, the Alan Matthews-trained filly just had to burn excess fuel to cross and lead from barrier eight, which left her vulnerable late. Won’t encounter that sort of early pressure in this small field and that solid workout should provide her with a strong platform to elevate second up, with the cutaway being in play giving Paddy Carbery options from barrier one. MANKIND will more than likely start favourite after being a good thing beaten last start, when held up at a vital stage in the straight. William Pike goes back on and it is hard opposing anything carrying the Cerise And White colours at present. DAWN ARMADA was just shaded by the unbeaten Playing Marika at Ascot 21/11, having previously taking on the best fillies in town in the Burgess Queen Stakes. Can win without surprising also, while COOL FROST has shown enough at trials to suggests she’s not just making up the numbers on debut.
Suggested: 4. VINTAGE STOCK win.
4. VINTAGE STOCK
1. DAWN ARMADA
5. COOL FROST
Race 2 – 2:04PM BUNBURY 4X4 AND IRONMAN MAIDEN (1116 METRES)
This looks a nice debut option for TRULY GREAT and you’d imagine he’s going to be well found. Showed up in at trials behind exciting youngster Dance Music back in August and stretched out nicely when covering additional ground in his latest Lark Hill 19/11 950-metre heat. The cutaway being in play should allow Pike to ride patiently from the low draw and be afforded the galloping room necessary to let rip late. Fellow first-starer SHADOW HUNTER is another to have shown up at trials and no surprise to see this fellow take it right up to Truly Great. Stretched out alongside the promising Pletto back in August and wasn’t asked for much of an effort when weaving through between runners from last in his latest Lark Hill 19/11 trial. Cutaway helps his cause also. Another of the Blackfriars offspring in MELTEME can make a splash on debut. Comes through a fairly hot trial at Lark Hill back in September, but a little surprised that Jason Whiting is not on board. ‘The Fish has given punters a lead by opting to stick with CHOSEN ART, who led them up on debut at Narrogin, but was no match for Euphonious late.
Suggested: 5. TRULY GREAT win.
5. TRULY GREAT
4. SHADOW HUNTER
6. CHOSEN ART
Race 3 – 2:39PM HARVEY NORMAN ELECTRICAL BUNBURY MAIDEN (1420 METRES)
Fairly competitive All Aged Maiden this with over half the field capable of winning without surprising. Eventually we rolled with BARAMAGIC on an each-way basis after an encouraging showing against reasonable opposition at Ascot 21/11, cornering awkwardly but working to the line well against the likes of Playing Marika, Dawn Armada and recent impressive Bunbury winner Archant. Blinkers going on should enhance his performance and he was forced to scout wide on the turn on debut, so the inside draw with the cutaway in play certainly suits. $625,000 yearling purchase FASHION ICON is yet to really hit her straps, however, her Northam 15/11 effort was a lot better than it reads, when blocked for a run and losing momentum at a vital stage in the straight. Form out of that race stacks up and with an uninterrupted passage, we’re expecting to see her be running on and figuring prominently. FLYING TARGET is really knocking on the door and is on the six-day back up after encountering traffic issues here last Thursday. Probably should’ve finished second on that occasion and Lucy Warwick has chosen to ride this filly ahead of Baramagic, so there’s a strong lead there. While PICK YOUR BATTLES hasn’t done a lot wrong in his two outings so far and with even luck from the draw, has the ability to make his presence felt.
Suggested: 6. BARAMAGIC each way.
11. FASHION ICON
10. FLYING TARGET
3. PICK YOUR BATTLES
Race 4 – 3:20PM TYREPOWER BUNBURY COLLIE & TREENDALE HANDICAP (2238 METRES)
BLOOMY’S SUN only needs to hold form to be saluting here.The natural on-pacer was well handled out in front by Troy Turner at Ascot 21/11 and looked home, before emerging talent Habari swooped late to pinch a narrow victory. The 2.5L margin back to third reflects the strength of the effort also and the race fit/in form five-year-old looks ready to return to the winner’s list. Always have to respect Adam Durrant-trained stayers, especially with William Pike in the saddle, and DRINK THE RAINBOW will no doubt have plenty of admirers. Has been thereabouts in similar events to this recently, and the Blue Tracer and Black Attack formlines read well. Bloomy’s Son’s stablemate MASTER PEARL will be better with the recent 2019-metre fourth-up run under his belt and he should be boxing on late, while HYPERSPACE got the job done as a $1.70 fave at Narrogin 23/11 and it will be interesting to see how the three-year-old handles the step up to 1720 metres.
Suggested: 1. BLOOMY’S SUN win.
1. BLOOMY’S SUN
2. DRINK THE RAINBOW
3. MASTER PEARL
Race 5 – 3:55PM DALE ALCOCK HOMES SOUTH WEST HANDICAP (1420 METRES)
FRIARANDICE and LICKETY SPLIT look the two main winning chances here, and going to side with the Michael Lane-prepared Friarandice. Produced a career-best performance when a dominant first-up winner over this track/distance, before looming to win and getting out-muscled late in a similar event last start. Copped a bump 150 metres from home on that occasion and just seemed to get unbalanced, which proved costly considering the half-length margin, but lost no admirers in defeat coming from worse than midfield in running. Maps to advantage from a better draw and should be afforded every opportunity by new rider Chris Parnham. LICKETY SPLIT is a horse with considerable upside and he did a big job to be beaten only two lengths in Graduation Handicap company first up at Ascot 17/11, having raced wide throughout from barrier 12. Looks really well suited back in this grade from the inside draw, however, a bar plate has been added to the off-side front and that puts a slight query on his ability to produce his best. SCANDAL MAKER dug deep to fight off the challengers over this track/distance last start and score his first win since joining the Mark Wright stable. Maps to enjoy a suitable on-speed position in running again, while HIGH TEA was nice and sharp first up at York 22/11 and is capable of running on into the first four again.
Suggested: 5. FRIARANDICE win.
1. LICKETY SPLIT
3. SCANDAL MAKER
6. HIGH TEA
Race 6 – 4:30PM ALLAN FOR BREAKFAST HANDICAP (1116 METRES)
STORMY ORA looks on track to record a third straight win. Hailing from the in-form Harvey Racing stable, this sharp four-year-old has impressed with contrasting victories at her two runs this campaign, showing brilliant gate speed to dominate out in front first up at Ascot 31/10, before finding a way to salute narrowly after racing wide throughout last start. Showed plenty of depth on that occasion, winning when things didn’t go her way, and she’s the one to beat again. First-upper RETOSONA has looked in good order in her two Lark Hill lead-up trials, running into subsequent Northam winner Beat The Devil, prior to a comfortable all-the-way heat win recently. Has some class about her also so she’s expected to run a race fresh. KENTOO is another expected to go close at his first assignment back from a break. Capable type on his day and his lead-up trials have been rock solid. Suited from the inside alley also, while TRIPELETTO competed well fresh at Narrogin 23/11 and has a good record at his home track.
Suggested: 5. STORMY ORA win.
5. STORMY ORA
Race 7 – 5:00PM THE DRIVE HOME WITH CLIFF HANDICAP (1216 METRES)
Local filly EUPHONIOUS scored a well-deserved maiden win at Narrogin 23/11 and the way she hit the line on that occasion suggests she’s going to take some beating again. Has the gate speed to utilise the low draw to her advantage with only 54.5kg on her back, and Kyra Yuill should be able to give her every opportunity with the cutaway rail in play. UNIBRO saluted well on debut here on Melbourne Cup Day and followed up with a solid Ascot 21/11 midweek effort last start, running into the more than capable Colourful Chloe. Those formlines stack up and he’s looks to be a three-year-old with a bright future. First-upper UNIVERSAL WARRIOR trialled without blinkers at Lark Hill 19/11 and was only plain, but no surprise to see him fire up fresh with the shades on. Has some ability and hails from the right camp, while MISS MEIKA doesn’t win too often but has a terrific record at Bunbury and is a must for your exotics.
Suggested: 7. EUPHONIOUS win.
1. UNIVERSAL WARRIOR
4. MISS MEIKA
Race 8 – 5:30PM THE SOUTHWEST TRIPLE M HANDICAP (1705 METRES)
SON OF BACCHUS and ROYAL STRATA looks set to dominate the market, however, we wouldn’t be surprised to see THE REAL ZEEL knock them off. This fellow hasn’t quite lived up to expectations as yet, but didn’t mind his fresh effort behind Moet De Vega, and he was brave in defeat in this grade midweek at Ascot 21/11 when racing three-wide without cover throughout and being beaten less than length on the line. The form out of that race has stacked up since and he should enjoy a more favourable passage from the low draw on this occasion. Natural on-pacer SON OF BACCHUS has his tail up after back-to-back wins and he’s a real competitor, so expecting him to prove very hard to beat from out in front. ROYAL STRATA has jumped out of the ground since a transfer to Justin Warwick and looks suited back at this trip after being stretched to 2019 metres last time. Maps to advantage with the cutaway in play also, while TIPS AND SCANDALS is racing very well and is another jumping from a low draw that will appreciate the cutaway.
Suggested: 3. THE REAL ZEEL each way.
3. THE REAL ZEEL
2. SON OF BACCHUS
1. ROYAL STRATA
4. TIPS AND SCANDALS
*Originally published at 9:00am on Tuesday 4 December 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.