Rail – True
Track – Good 4
Forecast – Max 24 degrees, shower or two, easing during the afternoon
Race 1 – Anzac Day Maiden – 1600m – 1:13pm
Blackwater Bay is improving with each run and should appreciate the step up in distance. He does seem to possess some turn of foot if he doesn’t get stuck in too much traffic. I Hope You Dance is yet to win in thirteen starts (13:0-5-2). She gets every chance here with a good barrier and with Mitchell riding, who is on fire at the moment. Rhythm Star is consistently placing this preparation and has placed from a wide barrier before, so that isn’t a concern. The increase in distance could see her breaking that maiden status, look for her to improve in this run. Forgotten War doesn’t seem to have a tonne of ability, but with that name, the luck of the ANZAC’s could be on his side today. He may get too far back in the run which is a slight concern, but he did recorded a career best result last start, finishing second.
6 – Blackwater Bay
7 – I Hope You Dance
11 – Rhythm Star
5 – Forgotten War
Race 2 – TabTouch Better Your Bet Handicap – 1200m – 1:48pm
Float Our Boat sees Mitchell taking the ride for the first time (replacing Ryan Hill). This horse finished fourth in his first career start before going for a spell. The trial leading into this race wasn’t anything outstanding, but that was on a soft track. With race experience now and a gun jockey on board, he should go well. Hip Wiggle seems to be better suited over 1200m, so it’s good to see her racing at that distance here. Connections obviously think she has ability, racing her in the Burgess Queen last preparation. She came last there but seems to have bounced back this preparation, finishing second first up. Her second up record is ok (2:0-1-0) but she does get Pike riding for the first time. She’s a serious threat to my top pick. Igarashi has come back nicely, winning a trial over 950m. She was finishing off strongly last preparation, placing third. She’s yet to win in her career (5:0-0-1) or first up (2:0-0-0) but she could be one to follow going forward. Anna’s Sister has only had the two trials over 1000m, finishing fifth and second. She’s facing horses who have had more race day experience than her, plus she might get lost from that wide barrier. However, she seems to be fit going into this race and should only improve off this run.
3 – Float Our Boat
6 – Hip Wiggle
7 – Igarash
9 – Anna’s Sister
Race 3 – RSLWA Trophy – 1200m – 2:23pm
Charleton Eddie has won his previous two races and placed third before that (3:2-0-1). He looks to be the obvious leader in this race, though it is hard to tell with a few maiden horses. From that barrier, he should be able to get to the front easily if he jumps well. Only concerns are the step up to 1200m (especially as he’ll be leading) and carrying 59kg for the first time. Starfield Impact won a group 3 two starts ago, beating Watch Me Dance in the process, which is very good form to follow. She also won a listed race before that one. Last start she finished fifth in the Karrakatta, though they probably got further back than they would have liked from that barrier. Connections make good use of Chris’ claim and she can definitely bounce back here. Kissonallforcheeks raced wide and greenly throughout when finishing sixth to Starfield Impact in the Crystal Slipper back in November. After a spell, she looks to have matured, coming out and winning a trial over 1000m. She also gets Pike in the saddle, so definitely not without a chance. I think Apple Schnapps could be a cheeky chance in this race and one if you like a bit of value. This is his first time at the races, but he’s won one trial over 1000m and placed second in two trials over 400m. Jade takes the ride, so he only has to carry 55.5kg. The barrier could be better, but Lindsey Smith is a trainer in fine form.
2 – Charleton Eddie
1 – Starfield Impact
6 – Kissonallforcheeks
4 – Apple Schnapps
Race 4 – Louise Newman 50th Birthday Handicap – 1000m – 3:00pm
River Beau won last start at this track and distance. The form surrounding his races is also good, finishing second to Cliffs of Comfort two starts ago. He’s drawn low and drops 1kg from last start, though this looks to be a very competitive race. Cuballing is undefeated in two starts, so he clearly has ability. He’s drawn better here but does have to carry 2kg more than those two starts. He probably deserves to be on top, but I’m just not convinced about the form surrounding his races. Every horse must make their way through the grades though. Lording finished second to River Beau last start and gets 1.5kg on him here. He’s been racing very well this preparation and can turn the tables this time around. Captain Kink won last start at this track and distance as well. Jade takes over from Mitchell, though it does mean he just has to carry 54.5kg. There’s no reason why he can’t win.
2 – River Beau
3 – Cuballing
4 – Lording
5 – Captain Kink
Race 5 – Sheila Gwynne Classic – 1400m – 3:29pm
Angelic Ruler was slow getting out of the barrier last start where she finished second, so fingers crossed she jumps better here. She actually gives Flower of War 1kg, who beat her last start due, to Chloe’s claim, but she has drawn better. She finished second over this distance in two group 2s in Melbourne, so class can definitely see her winning here. Flower of War beat Angelic Ruler last start and it will be great to see them battle it out again here. She absolutely can win, but I think she has a bit more going against her this start and may be better suited over the 1200m. Festival Miss finished fourth behind Flower of War and also gives her 1kg here. She proved better when settling further forward in the race and that should be possible again here from that barrier. She is another horse that will appreciate the step up to 1400m. La Vina makes a huge jump in class, after just winning at her second start last run. It was a nice win, but she’s facing more experienced and classy horses here.
3 – Angelic Ruler
2 – Flower of War
4 – Festival Miss
7 – La Vina
Race 6 – Gallipoli Handicap – 1400m – 3:56pm
Cryptic Love showed a massive turn of foot last start and was simply beaten by a better horse. This looks to be an easier race on paper. She’s also drawn better, so shouldn’t get as far back in the race. She might be better over 1200m but the 1400m shouldn’t be a problem in this lower class level. Luke’s Gold also proved he has a turn of foot, finishing second after being last at the corner. He also finished fourth to Cryptic Love two starts ago and gets 2kg on him here. With that inside draw, he should go well. Kitgum was racing so consistently, before being a touch disappointing last start. He’s had a month off racing since then and won’t know himself with just 55.5kg on his back. Sliced Bread has overcome a wide barrier to finish second two starts ago, so that shouldn’t be a problem here. Ice Trade beat him in that race and then won again on Thursday, so this looks to be good form. Pike takes the ride and will need to keep him out of trouble if he has any chance of beating my top pick.
3 – Cryptic Love
12 – Luke’s Gold
10 – Kitgum
6 – Sliced Bread
Race 7 – Lest We Forget Handicap – 2200m – 4:26pm
Volkswagon Frank looks to have spent too much energy trying to settle into a forward position last start. He’s drawn the same barrier again, but Lucy takes the ride, after placing second and third with him previously. He’s a great value pick! Cambist is not as experienced as some of these other horses but she did finish fourth behind Tuscan Queen in both the listed Natasha and WATC Derby. For this reason, the distance shouldn’t be an issue, but she may fall victim to the extremely wide barrier. Paddy’s Shadow finished second last start and does like these longer distances. However, I’m worried that the 61.5kg may take its toll over 2200m. Picture Perfect is a bit of a hit and miss horse. This preparation he’s won one race and finished sixth in two. However, in those races, he’s gotten too far back. If he jumps well from that barrier he should settle in a nice position. With Chris’ claim he also only has to carry 56.5kg.
5 – Volkswagon Frank
14 – Cambist
1 – Paddy’s Shadow
3 – Picture Perfect
Race 8 – Diggers Cups – 1800m – 4:53pm
Utgard Loki steps up to the 1800m but has been racing consistently over 1600m. Given his sit and run on style the extra distance looks to suit. His turn of foot may prove to be the secret weapon, as is carry 55kg for the first time in a while. However, do note that he’s on the one-week backup. Mystery Miss proved me wrong last start, coming out and winning from the back. I may be underestimating her again here and it feels weird to have a Pike/Peters/Williams horse this far down my list. However, she’s drawn wide and there are horses who can run on with her. King Blitz won last start, beating Tollman (a horse in form) in the process. He also rises in class and distance, but it also doesn’t look to be a problem for him. Dropping 7kg on last start’s run, he’ll be given every chance here. Harry Thomas is ever so consistent. Dropping back in class should benefit, but he does have to carry 60.5kg. It wouldn’t be a top four without him though.
12 – Utgard Loki
7 – Mystery Miss
11 – King Blitz
3 – Harry Thomas
Race 9 – Last Post Handicap – 1100m – 5:20pm
Laverrod is yet to finish out of the top three in his career (8:2-4-2). He faces a wide barrier for the first time and I hope he doesn’t have to use too much energy to settle in a forward position. This race does look to be a touch easier than previous runs though. Son Of Bacchus has been placing every consistently, finishing second or third in his previous five starts last preparation. His first up record is ok (4:0-2-1) and he comes into this race without a trial. The distance may also be a touch short but he should go well. Mankind did win two starts ago at Albany, beating Free Trade who is a great horse. He also showed he does have a turn of foot, which may be needed from that barrier. His first up record is good (3:2-0-0-) despite not trialling leading into this race. Pike has to be a positive too. Dig Deep comes out of the Kingston Town, where he finished near the tail of the field. However, prior to that, he did finish third in two listed races. He’s won a trial leading into this race, though the 60kg will be a challenge. He’ll need to be at his best to overcome that.
2 – Laverrod
13 – Son Of Bacchus
3 – Mankind
1 – Dig Deep
Race 6 – Cryptic Love
It’s certainly not one of my most confident days, but I don’t feel too bad though. My biggest concerns are that the track might get downgraded during the day with the rain forecasted. I’ve also tipped a horse at long odds in the Diggers Cup which also makes me question whether I’ve made the right choice. I’m going with my gut and hoping it pays off.