Rail – 2m
Track – Soft 5
Forecast – Max 20 degrees, cloud clearing
Race 1 – TabTouch Westspeed Platinum Maiden – 1400m – 12:19pm
Billy Jack only has country form but has placed inside the top three at his two starts (2:0-1-1). I really like how these two starts have been on a soft track too and that he can run on. Interstate has been racing consistently this preparation, recording career best results. There’s no reason why he can’t win, especially given his versatility on where he can sit in the race. His race experience may also prove valuable. I Hope You Dance could be the new Tom Melbourne in Perth, running second in six of her runs (14:0-6-2). From that barrier and a lack of speed in the race, we could see her leading, which won’t necessarily be a bad thing. She’s placed on a soft track before (5:0-3-0) and gets Pike in the saddle, so she gets every chance here. Ocean Candy ran second to Jaguar Grey last start which looks like good form to follow. She’s also been improving with each run this preparation which is good to see. She may be looking for a touch further and may get lost from the wide barrier but will only have to carry 54kg with Chris’ claim.
3 – Billy Jack
2 – Interstate
9 – I Hope You Dance
10 – Ocean Candy
Race 2 – Gourmet Takeaway Plate – 1200m – 12:59pm
Charleton Eddie is looking to make it four wins in a row and really it looks like weight is the only thing standing in his way. He has great form surrounding his races and has experience over these maiden horses. No horse is unbeatable, but it’s going to take a great horse to beat him. Ghobella has placed second in her two starts (2:0-2-0). She was beaten by two very good horses in those races and she went pretty close. With Pike in the saddle, she should go well despite the wide barrier. Miss Ivy League comes out of the same races as Ghobella, finishing third last start. They carry the same weight and have both drawn wide so it’s hard to see her turning the tables. However, it is a positive that she has been improving with each run. Powerful has had two good trials leading into this race, including one over 1000m. He faces more experienced horses here and will benefit from the race day experience.
1 – Charleton Eddie
7 – Ghobella
8 – Miss Ivy League
4 – Powerful
Race 3 – Amelia Park Handicap – 1200m – 1:39pm
Resortman looks to be a horse to follow, winning at his only career start. He’s won two trials leading into this race on soft tracks and looks to have come back just as good. This looks to be a very competitive field and there are horses with more experience, but he’ll give them a run for their money. Lording has good form behind River Beau and is another horse in career best form. He looking to be the obvious leader in this race. however, that does bring a few concerns with it given his wide barrier, the 60kg and stepping up to the 1200m. Given that his one win (4:1-2-0) was over 1100m, I think stepping up in distance may benefit. Captain Kirk also comes out of the River Beau race, but gives Lording 1kg here, despite finishing behind him. However, he’s drawn better here and gets Mitchell back on board who is on fire at the moment. He’s placed fourth at his last start over 1200m and definitely gets every chance here. Dew West steps up to the 1200m for the first time. However, Pike has ridden her to career best results and should bring out the best in her once again.
8 – Resortman
3 – Lording
6 – Captain Kirk
7 – Dew West
Race 4 – Byron Bay Premium Lager Handicap – 1100m – 2:19pm
Eristic was brave in defeat last start, finishing third while carry 60kg and being last on the turn. He’s drawn wide again, so I’m worried he might have to settle near the back again. However, he drops back to 1100m and only has to carry 57.5kg with Jade’s claim. Blankenberge has fantastic country form and she backed that up with a third at Ascot. This looks to be a very suitable race, despite the wide barrier. Tycoon Legend is on the one-week backup but ran an incredible last 600m time in that race. He has form behind some very smart horses and can run on. Given that barrier, he should be able to settle mid-field at worst while stepping up to 1100m should also benefit. Demin Pack finished second at his last two starts over 1200m. There’s nothing really to complain about with his races and he can surprise.
3 – Eristic
7 – Blankenberge
10 – Tycoon Legend
6 – Demin Pack
Race 5 – Crown Perth Handicap – 1400m – 2:55pm
Ice Trade won last start, so brings confidence into this race. Her soft track record is also good (3:1-1-0). She won last start with 60kg, so the 59.5kg isn’t a concern here and she’s won from a wide barrier, so that’s also something to not worry about here. The only concern would be stepping up to 1400m. Fire Maker possesses a fantastic turn of foot, which could definitely well be needed here. He carried 60.5kg to finish third last start, but the wide barrier is a concern. Mitchell will need to do everything to keep him out of trouble. Hot Style has been racing very well at Geraldton, so deserves a crack at this. He won’t know himself with just 57.5kg and he’s also drawn well. He may just be slightly outclassed here. Unbreakable isn’t normally a horse I’d put in my top four, but I was just drawn towards him. The form surrounding his races isn’t the best, but he did show a good turn of foot two starts ago (first up). However, I really like his soft track form (2:1-1-0) and he should be fit third up.
5 – Ice Trade
2 – Fire Maker
8 – Hot Style
6 – Unbreakable
Race 6 – Kirin Megumi Handicap – 1600m – 3:25pm
Megazone has been slightly disappointing this preparation. He has had excuses in those runs, so I’d be looking for him to bounce back here. He’s third up, so should be fit, steps up in distance and has won on a soft track before (2:1-0-0). Pinsson is another horse that comes down from Geraldton. He hasn’t placed outside the top three in his past five starts. However, there’s a big question mark over the significant increase in distance. Juicing Carrots drops down in distance, which given his racing pattern and previous performance over 1800m, is a positive. I worry that he might have to use too much energy to get to the front from that barrier, but he should go well. Star Value has some good statistics going his way, including a good second up record (2:1-0-0) and good soft track record (1:1-0-0). Given that he went into last start without a trial, he should only improve off that run.
5 – Megazone
6 – Pinsson
4 – Juicing Carrots
8 – Star Value
Race 7 – Schweppes Handicap – 1200m – 3:55pm
Black Ducati won first up last start, beating a good horse in the process. She does raise 2.5kg off that run and has drawn wider, but it’s hard to knock her career form (7:4-2-0). Massimo looks to be a hard horse to beat. He won a listed race last preparation (and placed second in another), has a great soft track record (2:1-1-0) and good second up record (1:0-1-0). However, his weakness here is that he has to carry 61kg, 6kg more than last start where he finished fourth. He does prefer this distance and I’ll be looking for him to bounce back to his old self. Cryptic Love has a fantastic turn of foot, so that wide barrier isn’t too much of a concern. The biggest problem is that she might get stuck in traffic. She also rises in weight but can definitely win this. Double Bubble is a good each way bet. Her trials have been good leading into this race. She also has a good first up record (3:2-0-0) and great soft track record (5:4-0-0).
9 – Black Ducati
1 – Massimo
3 – Cryptic Love
11 – Double Bubble
Race 8 – Eurythmic Stakes – 2100m – 4:25pm
Utgard Loki steps up to the 2100m for the first time and given that he won over 1400m this preparation, this distance is a slight concern. However, given how he’s been performing and his versatility on where he can settle in the run, I think he should go well. Mystery Miss also races at this distance for the first time. I probably would have had her on top given her soft track record (6:2-1-2) but she’s just a bit too hit and miss for me. She’s had excuses, mostly getting too far back in her runs, which shouldn’t happen here though. Freez’emoff won at this distance last start in the Geraldton Cup. She has also shown a great turn of foot which could be deadly here. She definitely deserves a crack at this. Paddy’s Shadow appreciates these further distances, win and placing second at her previous two starts at 2100m. Her other races have been good, and she will benefit from the weight decrease.
7 – Utgard Loki
5 – Mystery Miss
8 – Freez’emoff
10 – Paddy’s Shadow
Race 9 – Seppelt Handicap – 1800m – 5:00pm
This is an absolutely cracking race to end the day with and one which any of my top four can win. Tollman has only placed outside the top three once in his career (10:3-4-2). With Mitchell in the saddle, who is riding very well at the moment, they look to be a winning pair. He also gets 1kg on Divine Shadow from last start and has placed on a soft track (1:0-1-0). However, the extremely wide barrier does make me very nervous given the high quality of this race, as is stepping up to 1800m for the first time. Volkswagon Frank burnt me last start after I switched him out of my top pick. He’s on the one-week backup here and rises 1kg off that win. I probably would have had him on top but think dropping back to 1800m from 2200m might not benefit him. Dark Choice finished third behind Volkswagon Frank last start and gets 2kg on him here. The decrease in distance will be in her favour though. She also gets 0.5kg on Divine Shadow, who she beat two starts ago. It wouldn’t be a surprise if she won. Divine Shadow beat Tollman last start, but as I previously said, he has to give him weight because of that. However, he has drawn significantly better here compared to Tollman, which may prove to be the winning difference. One thing to note is that Pike for some reason doesn’t take the ride this time.
3 – Tollman
4 – Volkswagon Frank
1 – Dark Choice
2 – Divine Shadow
Race 4 – Eristic
It’s not too bad today. I’ve stuck with my gut and I’m hoping that pays off, especially as I don’t have many favourites on top. Charleton Eddie did look like an obvious best bet, but he’s just a bit too short for my liking. I do worry that the track might get upgraded during the day but given the rain we’ve had, I don’t think it will make it to a good 4.