Rail – True
Track – Soft 7
Forecast – Max 17 degrees, shower or two
Race 1 – TabTouch Westspeed Platinum Maiden– 1000m – 11:28pm
Universal Pleasure has been racing well, placing at all three of her starts (3:0-2-1). She’s drawn well and even though she’s yet to race on a soft/heavy track, Universal Ruler horses are known to love these conditions. With that in mind and a good barrier, she should go well. Petite La Femme showed a fantastic turn of foot first up, coming from last to finish second. She went into the race without a trial, so should only improve off that run. If she can bring that turn of foot again, she’s a huge threat! Molly Magee has had three trials leading into this race, winning the last two. The horse she beat comfortable at her second trial won at his first start, so if we follow that form, this horse is a good chance. All of her trials have been on a soft track, so we know she’ll handle the conditions. The only negative is that Jason Whiting does jump off in favour of Goodbyefeds. Warbler has had nine months off, so I’m hoping that he’s matured in that time. His trial before this race was good, as is his first up record (3:0-1-1). The biggest positives for me is his second behind Ocean’s Fifteen last preparation, which I consider to be good form, the fact that he’s placed on a soft track before (1:0-1-0) and that Pike’s riding. He may be better suited over 1200m, but 1000m is by no means too short.
5 – Universal Pleasure
6 – Petite La Femme
8 – Molly Magee
2 – Warbler
Race 2 – Free Entry To Belmont Park Handicap – 1000m – 12:07pm
We’ve Got Dreams bounced back nicely last start, coming out and winning. With Chris’s claim, she’ll only have to carry 59kg, which is only 0.5kg more than last start, putting her back in the race. My only concern is the soft track, but she did win a trial on a soft track, beating Material Man in the process. With such a small field too, the back runners will get their chance to run her down. Fingers crossed she sets a good pace! Boomtastic finished third to We’ve Got Dreams last start but doesn’t get much in her favour despite that result. If it was a good track, I think connections would have been a little bit more confident, but her career statistics are hard to ignore (10:3-2-2). No reason she can’t win. She’s Enchanted started off her racing career so strongly but has been disappointing at her last two starts. She looks to have not appreciated getting back from the wide barriers, so she’ll be grateful for the inside one here. Her soft track records are one of the best in this race (2:1-1-0), so she’ll get every chance to bounce back here. Mood Swings finished outside of the top three for the first time last start. He looked to get a touch too far back and may have even got stuck in traffic (without having watched the replay). With such a small field, these won’t be an issue here. He has good form, including beating Bright Diamond two starts ago and has placed on a soft track before (1:0-0-1). He rounds out a very even top four and a race I certainly wouldn’t be betting in.
1 – We’ve Got Dreams
7 – Comfort Me
3 – Boomtastic
6 – She’s Enchanted
Race 3 – Perth Racing Club Membership Handicap – 2000m – 12:47pm
Sentimental Gift simply got too far back last start, which may happen again from the wide barrier, but at least she’s got Pike riding this time. She’s third up, so will be fit going into this race, plus her soft track record is great (3:1-2-0). There are a few tough competitors, but this is definitely a suitable, winning race. Divine Shadow is coming off a very impressive win last start. He’s actually be racing very consistently at his past five starts, where he’s always finished in the top three. He drops 2kg off that win due to a step up in class, though this race doesn’t look to be significantly harder. With a nearly perfect soft track record (6:2-2-1) and a love of these longer distances, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see him win. Noir De Rue is on the one week backup, after finishing second behind Material Man. The drop down in class should benefit and at least he only has to carry 58.5kg with Madi’s claim. He looks to be the leader in this race and will give them something to chase. Burning Pride had two winning trials before her first up run, where she too just got too far back. Pike jumps off in favour of my top pick, but this horse has a good second up record (5:2-0-1) and has drawn nicely. There’s just a slight question mark over the form surrounding her races.
5 – Sentimental Gift
2 – Divine Shadow
1 – Noir De Rue
4 – Burning Pride
Race 4 – Amelia Park Plate – 1400m – 1:27pm
Continuance makes a massive leap in distance, having only previously raced over 1000m. Those runs were very nice and conditions in terms of the track and barrier are to suit. If she can handle the distance, she should run a good race. Surveillance was coming off a good two-year-old summer, but then was disappointing first up. He had a few excuses in the stewards’ report but nothing drastic. Interestingly, his Magic Millions rider in Pat Carbery teams up with him again here. Look for him to improve here, despite having never raced beyond 1200m. Snickerdoobledandy is coming off a win, where she beat Surveillance and Blow Me Out in the process. These horses get 2kg and 1kg on her respectfully and with her wide barrier, they may be able to turn the tables on her. However, with two runs under her belt now, she may just be finding her stride. Blow Me Out was slow out of the barriers, so that made her third that slightly bit more impressive at her first start. She’s drawn wider here, though at least we know she can run on to some extent. I think she’ll appreciate the soft track, given her trial results and she’ll only improve off that one run.
12 – Continuance
2 – Surveillance
3 – Snickerdoobledandy
13 – Blow Me Out
Race 5 – Belmont Classic – 2200m – 2:03pm
Chantrea is basically a superstar in the making. She’s unbeaten in five starts, including winning the Belmont Oaks last start. The positives don’t stop there though, as she’s won on a soft track before, has drawn an insider barrier (so at least she won’t be posted wide during the run) and Pike retains the ride. Stepping up to 2200m doesn’t look to be a problem and bad luck looks to be her only enemy. Cambist would be a multiple winning horse, but this group of three-year old’s is full of champions. Her turn of foot over this distance in early autumn was just amazing, so if she can bring that here, she’ll be giving my top tip a run for her money. Heaven’s Gift finished third behind Chantrea and Cambist in the Belmont Oaks and I expect these three to be finishing in the same positions again (hopefully!). Her two wins have come on a soft track, so no problem with that here. I just question whether she is better suited over 1600m. Petticoat Junction is the most experienced horse in the race, if that counts for anything. She interestingly went to the Swan River race only last week, meaning this is her third race in as many weeks. Her soft track record isn’t the best (4:0-0-2) yet she’s won on a heavy track (1:1-0-0), so go figure with those statistics. She’s no stranger to this distance and does seem to have a turn of foot, as long as she can get out.
6 – Chantrea
5 – Cambist
8 – Heaven’s Gift
7 – Petticoat Junction
Race 6 – Happy Birthday Mick Graves Handicap – 1600m – 2:35pm
Puckapunyal has finished second at all three starts this preparation, though behind some very good horses. Her turn of foot at the start of this preparation was impressive, though lately she’s been running on pace. However, from the wide barrier, she may have to settle slightly further back. She’s yet to race beyond 1400m but has been knocking on the door and will hopefully get a win here. Truly Great was racing well last preparation, but failed to fire first up this time in. The wide barrier is a concern, but he has placed on a soft track before (1:0-1-0). Yes, he can win but it’s a watch and see situation for me. Conquered Zone looks to be a good horse in the making and one to watch going forward, no matter what the result here. Pike does jump off to ride Truly Great, but that may be because of his commitment to Mr Peters. This horse led all the way to win first up, after coming off two winning trials. His second up record is good (5:1-2-0), he’s won on a soft track and he’s drawn nicely. The form surrounding his races isn’t the strongest, but I think he’s a great value each way bet. Throwdown is back to the races after three months off and surprisingly hasn’t had a trial leading into this race. He just loves to run from the back, which always poses the possibility of getting stuck in traffic. However, if he can get out, he should go well.
12 – Puckapunyal
6 – Truly Great
9 – Conquered Zone
3 – Throwdown
Race 7 – Belmont Park Book A Bay Handicap – 1600m – 3:15pm
Not To Be Mist has had the lowest number of starts but looks to be the horse with the most upside. He’s another horse that showed a good turn of foot last start, recording another second place this preparation. It would have been nice if he drew a better barrier but stepping up in distance should benefit and Pike is back in the saddle. Fred Dag steps up in class but deserves a crack after not really running a bad run this preparation. His biggest upside is his soft and heavy track records (2:1-0-1, 1:0-1-0) and that he can run on. He gets a slight weight relief due to the rise in class and has drawn nicely once again. Wrinkly is stuck between a rock and a hard place with his rating. Connections obviously don’t think he’s good enough to go to listed level, but it means he has to carry a lot of weight! He has been handling it relatively well and at least he hasn’t drawn wide. I expect him to be in the finish once again. Mizlecki showed us a glimpse of her former winning self three starts ago in the group 3 Hyperion but hasn’t really shown much since. She gets in nicely with Madi’s claim (55kg) and drops back to 1600m which should benefit too.
5 – Not To Be Mist
6 – Fred Dag
1 – Wrinkly
2 – Mizlecki
Race 8 – Schweppes Handicap – 1200m – 3:45pm
Crystal Spirit has had nearly two years off the scene, which I’m guessing was due to injury. Prior to the break, he had been racing really well. His two trials back look good but there’s always a question mark when they’ve had that long off. Massimo has record four seconds in his past five run. If he’s going to win a race, this looks like the one though. He drops 3kg from last start, due to the rise in class, has a fantastic soft track record (3:1-2-0) and has drawn nicely. He’s a major threat! Jericho Missile races really well in listed races but then fails to perform in classes higher than that. He was considered good enough by connections to tackle the group 1 Kingston Town, but then was probably slightly outclassed and got too far back. He had just the one quiet trial leading into this race and if he brings his turn of foot, he can certainly shake this race up. Mankind is a horse that seems to fly under my radar yet recorded a nice win two starts ago. He’s no doubt a wet track lover, winning four on a soft track (5:4-0-0) and one on a heavy (1:1-0-0). He’s drawn slightly wide for the first time in five starts, so I’ll be interested to see how he handles that. Nothing really to complain about though.
6 – Crystal Spirit
8 – Massimo
7 – Jericho Missile
5 – Mankind
Race 9 – Furphy Handicap – 1300m – 4:20pm
Secret Statue was a shade disappointing after jumping significantly in class last start. He’s on the one-week backup, so I assumed he pulled up alright. I’m hoping he can bounce back here, given that his first win was on a soft track. Wine Night will be winning if my top tip doesn’t bring his best. This horse is just super consistent and really doesn’t know how to run a bad race. She steps up in distance but has placed third at 1200m and 1500m last preparation. She’s never raced on a soft track, but ability should help her overcome that. Zephyr Queen looks to be one of the leaders in the race but has won while leading on a soft track this preparation. She’s arguable in career best form, having not finished outside the top three in her past four starts. She should be in the finish once again. Foo Trouble certainly doesn’t have the strongest form surrounding his races, but he has been racing well. However, he likes a soft track (5:1-0-3) and if they’re winning front the front than watch out for him. He may just be slightly outclassed though.
11 – Secret Statue
5 – Wine Night
2 – Zephyr Queen
9 – Foo Trouble
Race 10 – Crown Perth Handicap – 1000m – 4:55pm
Long Beach is looking to make it two wins in a row. His win last start was good, where we saw that turn of foot again. The wide barrier is my biggest concern, but he did win from out wide last start. Other than that, it looks to be a very suitable race. Double Bubble does get 3.5kg on Long Beach since they met last start, but she’s also drawn wide here. If you looked up the definition of a wet tracker, you’d probably see this horse’s name. Her soft track record is amazing (8:5-0-1) and if the track is a little worse for wear by now that’s ok. She drops back in distance and should go close again. Shinju only had the two starts in February, recording a win and a second. This is his pet distance and he’s trialled over distance twice too, which I like to see. He’s got a good first up record (4:0-2-1) and soft track record (3:1-1-0). Don’t rule him out. Silkinize has drawn the widest of my top four tips, which certainly doesn’t help his case. However, his has good career statistics (8:3-0-3) and a touch of ability. He does like to run in the first few, so might have to use a bit of energy to get there from that barrier. Other than that, he should run a good race.
9 – Long Beach
5 – Double Bubble
6 – Shinju
15 – Silkinize
Race 7 – Not To Be Mist
I feel like I’m in a bit of a rut lately and that’s knocking my confidence a bit. Wet tracks seem to be the most unpredictable too. I’m mostly concerned about races 2, 3 and 8. However I’m going with my gut though and hoping it pays off!
Last Week’s Results
Winners in top 4 – 6/9
Top picks: -, -, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, -, –
Best bet: 1st