Rail – True
Track – Good 4
Forecast – Max 22 degrees, showers with a possible storm
Race 1 – Tabtouch Westspeed Platinum Maiden – 1200m – 12:18pm
Wednesday didn’t finish too far off the winner at her maiden start, finishing third after coming from near the back. Her trials suggest that she does have some ability plus her weight and barrier are all in her favour here. She steps up to 1100m but given that she may like to run from the back (it’s a bit hard to tell from just one race what her racing pattern is), this may benefit her. She should only improve with one run under her belt. Devil’s Dust has definitely returned better this preparation, recording career best results in two thirds. He absolutely flew home last start with 60.5kg on his back. That was at York though where the ground seems to enable these faster 600m times. He drops to 58kg here with the rise in class and has placed at this distance before (1:0-0-1). He’s third up so should be fit and if he brings that turn of foot, he’s a threat. I Am Groot has been racing well this preparation, though I think it was a smart move by connections to drop back in distance, as he certainly didn’t perform at his best over 1600m. That race was around a month ago, so question mark over whether he’s been struggling with some issues. However, he’s drawn well and goes good fresh. He should run a good race. Redmill was racing well in the country over the longer distances, though did make an appearance at Ascot in February where he finished fourth. I thought this race might be too short for him, but he actually has a pretty good distance record (2:0-1-1). He’s yet to place first up (2:0-0-0) and comes into this race without a trial, so it’s a bit hard to tell where he’s at fitness wise. Connections must have think he’s improved though if they’re giving him a crack in the city.
11 – Wednesday
4 – Devil’s Dust
2 – I Am Groot
1 – Redmill
Race 2 – Amelia Park Plate – 1000m – 12:57pm
Friday Knight flashed home late to finish third behind Brooklyn Pier at his first start. He gets 1.5kg on him here and has drawn a better barrier. His trials suggest he’s a carnival horse in the making. This field is incredibly tough but if he can bring that turn of foot again, he can win this. Dunbar is unbeaten in his two career starts (2:2-0-0). The form surrounding those races probably isn’t the strongest, but every horse has to start somewhere and work their way through the grades. His trial leading into this race wasn’t as snappy as last preparation, but it was behind Red Can Man, who people have a high opinion of in the feature race of the day. Besides the class of this race, there’s absolutely no reason for him to run a bad race. Gemma’s Son tasted defeat for the first time in the Karrakatta where he finished fourth. He comes into this race without a trial, however, his first up record is faultless (1:1-0-0) and he didn’t have a trial before his first race last preparation, so that isn’t much of a concern here. He’s unbeaten at this distance (2:2-0-0) and only has to carry 58.5kg with Kristy’s claim, which certainly puts him back in the race. His lack of a turn of foot is the only reason he’s this far down my list, but he should be leading and giving them something to run down. He can win without surprising at all! Brooklyn Pier proved that his trial form was just as good as it looked, coming out and winning first up. As previously mentioned, he does have to carry 1.5kg more as a result, but 59.5kg isn’t too much of an ask. He’s never placed second up (1:0-0-0) but he’s only second up race was in the Karrakatta, which was a classy field. He’s drawn barrier one again here and looks to be in for a sensational preparation. He rounds out an incredibly competitive field.
6 – Friday Knight
4 – Dunbar
1 – Gemma’s Son
3 – Brooklyn Pier
Race 3 – Glenroy Chaff Plate – 1400m – 1:37pm
Captain Burglar won last start, beating Indigo Blue, who then beat a few of these other horses at his next start. There doesn’t look to be a lot of speed in the race which should suit him. The biggest concerns for me are that he’s yet to place second up (1:0-0-0) and he’s drawn extremely wide, so will either have to sit back (which I don’t think will suit) or use some energy early on to get a forward position. The only question mark is the step up in distance but should run a good race though. Chiclett has been improving with each race which is good to see. She’s been recording career best results this preparation with a second and a win. The form surrounding those races isn’t the strongest, but seeing as she did a few things wrong, they should have enabled her to refine her craft. She’s drawn wide too but can run on to some extent. She’s a threat to my top tip. Off Wego is going into this race having won his previous two starts. Whether things have clicked for him or he just loves running for Clint is a bit of a mystery but I’m sure connections will take it. The distance will suit him (1:1-0-0) plus he’s drawn a good barrier, which could give him an advantage over my top two tips. I particularly like his win over Surveillance last start, with this look like good form after he placed second again on Wednesday. This horse can surprise. Type Won put in a nice run last start, finish second behind Indigo Blue, who finished second behind Captain Burglar in another race. This horse’s trial wasn’t as good as her previous preparation but did put in a better run first up which was good to see. In this run, she beat Dom To Shoot, which is good form in my opinion. She only carries 52.5kg with Chloe’s claim which makes her very competitive. Combined with the good barrier, she should be right in the finish.
3 – Captain Burglar
5 – Chiclett
1 – Off Wego
6 – Type Won
Race 4 – Seacorp Handicap – 2000m – 2:17pm
Leading Girl has some fantastic career statistics, rarely finishing outside the top three (10:4-3-2). She steps up to 2000m for the first time but given that she likes to run from the back, this should only give her more time to catch them. The awkward draw may mean she gets back once again, but she flew home last start, coming from last to win and with an impressive last 600m time. If she can handle the distance she should go well. Double Digit was disappointing last start, getting too far back and perhaps stuck in traffic, though there wasn’t anything in the stewards’ report. Prior to that he had been racing well, consistently placing over these extended distances, so maybe just put a line through that run. He’s placed at this track/distance before (1:0-0-1), has a good barrier and great form surrounding his races. Look for him to bounce back here. Mackenzie Brooke put in a really good performance first up behind Montelena, which is good form in my opinion. That race was even extra impressive as she was racing at 2200m first up. Her second up record is ok (2:1-0-0) and she should have gained some fitness from that first up run. She only has to carry 56kg with Madi’s claim, gets a good barrier and has placed at this distance before (1:0-1-0). There’s a lot going in her favour but may just find my top tip a bit classy. Noir De Rue is just always there but can’t quite get the chocolates. It seems like connections don’t think he’s good enough to make the step up in grade, which does mean he has to carry 60.5kg as there is no claiming apprentice. I think 2000-2200m is definitely his ideal distance, so it’s good to see him stepping up here. He’s drawn wide but that should enable him to get to the front easily, which is where he did his best work two starts ago. The wide barrier and weight may just take its toll though.
5 – Leading Girl
4 – Double Digit
2 – Mackenzie Brooke
1 – Noir De Rue
Race 5 – Vale Keith Watson Handicap – 1600m – 2:53pm
Money Matters was simply beaten by better horses last start. He steps up in distance significantly here which I thought might be a problem, but he actually has won over 1600m before (1:1-0-0). He’s also a fan of Belmont which is good to see (6:3-1-1). Connections make good use of Madi’s claim, meaning that he only has to carry 57kg. The form surrounding this preparation alone is very good and he has a good barrier. I can certainly see why he’s the favourite. Snowchino comes out of a listed race where she finished a respectful third. Due to the drop in class, she does have to carry 3kg more, but 57kg isn’t anything ridiculous. The biggest thing going in her favour is her track/distance record (3:1-2-0) and if the track gets downgraded by now, it will benefit her too. The wide barrier is a concern but she’s good value for a place bet! Mrs Brown’s Boy seems to be carrying on his good performances from last preparation. Half of his career wins have come over this distance (12:4-0-4) so that’s no concern here. He’s drawn wide, but he won from out wide last preparation, so that too shouldn’t cause too many problems. He just may struggle if he gets too far back. Strike Force put in a really good performance behind Leading Girl last start, where he finished second. That was probably his best run all preparation, so I’m hoping this have changed for the better. His track/distance record could be better (4:0-1-0) but the form surrounding his races is particularly strong. From barrier one he’ll hopefully settle in the first few as he doesn’t seem to have a turn of foot. He may just find my top tip too good though.
2 – Money Matters
8 – Snowchino
7 – Mrs Brown’s Boy
11 – Strike Force
Race 6 – Vale Nino Buratovic Handicap – 1600m – 3:29pm
Come Right Back looks to be a good horse in the making. Last start was his first time outside of the top three and I don’t think he liked sitting further back in the field. He’s drawn slightly wider here but that could be an advantage as there won’t be too many horses wanting to cross him, assuming he jumps well. He’s unbeaten at this distance (1:1-0-0) but hasn’t won at this track (3:0-1-1). He’s also yet to win second up (2:0-2-0) but I’m hoping that can change here with ability on his side. Chatter Session has been recording career best result since August, so something must have clicked her. Step up to 1400m and now 1600m may have also contributed to these improved results. She’s shown a good turn of foot when running mid-field, which could be an advantage here, as she looks to settle here in a similar position from that barrier. She had a good track record (8:2-0-3) and track/distance (1:0-0-1). She looks to be a bit of a dark horse. Playing Marika is coming off a great win, where she showed a fantastic turn of foot, coming from near last to win. We saw that turn of foot five starts ago, so it definitely wasn’t a one day only trick. Given her previous starts at 1400m and then last start at 1600m, this distended definitely looks to suit her. Despite being penalised 2kg for that win and that her distance record is ok (5:1-0-1) I think she’ll be right in the finish given her consistency. Arnie’s Boy has definitely improved since connections have decided to ride him mid-field. Since then he’s been placing very consistently. He finished second behind Playing Marika last start and gets 1.5kg on her here, which given the narrow margin, could make all the difference. He has a good track/distance record (7:0-2-3) but may just find one better here once again.
4 – Come Right Back
6 – Chatter Session
3 – Playing Marika
9 – Arnie’s Boy
Race 7 – Iron Jack Handicap – 1200m – 4:08pm
Long Beach is unbeaten this preparation, recording three wins. He’s beaten some great horses in the process, overcome wide barriers and shown a great turn of foot (though not as quick as Eeyore Wayz). His only time outside of the top three has come at this track/distance (3:1-1-0), but that was at his second career start this time last year, so he’s come a long way since then. In what is an incredibly competitive field, I’m hoping ability can see him winning this. Eeyore Wayz was once again just flying home last start. He ran the last 600m in 32.73 seconds, which is even more impressive given it was on a soft track. He steps up to 1200m, which has hit and miss results for him (2:1-0-0). However, his last start over this distance he looked to have been at the back and perhaps used a bit too much energy after racing keenly. His turn of foot will be his weapon here, but I question whether he’s better over 1000m and on a soft track. Ration Aly is a horse on the way up and one to watch this coming carnival. She has great career statistics (5:4-0-0), with three wins for three starts being this preparation. She also has a good turn of foot which we saw first up, plus her weight also makes her competitive. The only concern is that she’s drawn wide and that this field is probably one of the hardest she’s faced. You can make a case for nearly every horse in this field and this looks like a race to follow form wise! Puli is no doubt a horse on the way up. She recorded three wins and a seconds from four starts this preparation. Yes this wins were in weaker company but she’ll certainly bring a lot of confidence from them. Her track/distance record is great (2:1-1-0) and the only thing that would have made me more confident is if the track was a soft going by now. Watch out for her in future races.
3 – Long Beach
6 – Eeyore Wayz
11 – Ration Aly
10 – Puli
Race 8 – Black Heart Bart Stakes – 1200m – 4:45pm
Free Trade has only placed outside the top three one in his career (17:9-4-3). He loves this distance (11:5-4-1) and has a good track/distance record (4:1-2-0). His last start and win were three weeks ago and he looks primed for this race being third up. He should get a lovely run just behind the leaders and while this is one of his toughest races to date, he should be in the finish. Stageman probably has some of the best form in this race (second behind Vital Silver) coming out of group 3 races and the Winterbottom last preparation. He’s had a good amount of time off and looks to be kicking for his carnival here. His track/distance record is good (5:2-2-0) as is his first up record (4:1-1-1), though I would be more confident if he was second up. His trial leading into this race was good and he’ll match it with the best here. Red Can Man is unbeaten going back as far as March, including at trials. He has a fantastic first up record (5:3-1-1) and is unbeaten at this track/distance (2:2-0-0). The wide barrier would be a concern, but he won twice from a wide barrier before two preparations ago. The form surrounding those races is also very good. Despite being down my list, he can win this hands down! Vital Silver put in a good performance first up, finishing third behind Money Matters. He went into that race without a trial, so will only improve off that run fitness wise, plus his second up record is great (5:3-1-1). Considering he’s placed second at Moonee Valley, he really isn’t penalised too much in the weights and he’s got a good barrier. I read that connections need him to do well here if he’s going to go towards the feature races this coming carnival. I can’t see why he would run a bad race.
2 – Free Trade
11 – Stageman
6 – Red Can Man
1 – Vital Silver
Race 9 – Crown Perth Handicap – 1200m – 5:20pm
Expressionist steps up in class and has had two months since his last run. He comes into this race without a trial; however, he did win first up last preparation. He can run on from around mid-field but could get a bit further back from that barrier. He only has to carry 55kg with Madi’s claim and has placed at this track/distance before (1:0-1-0). Last preparation also saw him record career best results, so hopefully that continues here. Lucky Linda Lulu has a lot more experience than my top tip and has been racing just as good this preparation. She has shown a good turn of foot two starts ago and has yet to place outside the top three in at this track/distance (5:1-2-2). I can’t see that statistic changing here, great place bet! Point Taken has been racing very consistently this preparation. She too hasn’t placed outside the top three at this track/distance (3:2-1-0), and her second behind Ration Aly looks like good form. With nothing really to complain about, I’m surprised to see her odds so long. Devoted Star managed to run on really strongly last start, coming from last to finish third. Based off her results this preparation, it definitely looks like she prefers to run from the back. Surprisingly this means the wide barrier actually may suit her, though these performances could also be put down to the soft track, which she might not get here. If she does bring her turn of foot than watch out.
8 – Expressionist
4 – Lucky Linda Lulu
5 – Point Taken
11 – Devoted Star
Race 1 – Wednesday
My confidence level is pretty much shot this week. Races 2 and 7 looks to have some sensation match-ups while race 8 looks to be a graveyard for punters with so many live chances. As I wrote in my notes when picking the horses, avoid this race like the plague. The racing fan in me is super excited though and there is certainly a feeling of spring in the air!
Last Week’s Results
Winners in top 4 – 6/9
Top picks: -, 3rd (no pay), -, -, 1st, 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 1st
Best bet: 3rd