Rail – True
Track – Good 4
Forecast – Max 18 degrees, partly cloudy
Race 1 – Go Racing For Free Before The Footy Maiden – 1000m – 12:37pm
Nurhaci finished last preparation on a positive note and looks to have come back just as good this time around. He’s yet to win second up (1:0-0-0) but he’s drawn a good barrier here and I particularly like his form surrounding Tiff Has Spoken and Excellent Dream. He should run well but will only improve when he steps out to 1200m. Petite La Femme comes out of the same race as Nurhaci, finishing fifth to his third. She gets a way better barrier this time in and has more fitness on her side than him but does meet him at the same weights. Her turn of foot first up was very good, so if she can bring that here she’s a threat. La Chiave raced quite well first up, finishing third after going into that race without a trial. She’s had nearly a month since her last start, so will be fresh going into this race which should benefit. Question mark on whether that was a deliberate period of time off or whether she has battled with some sort of issue. Her last 600m times on a good track are the best in the race, which could be her deadly weapon and should see her placing. Devil’s Dust certainly didn’t race the best at his first two starts, with the stewards’ report say that he races greenly the first time and keenly the second. After having six months off he looks to have come back better and perhaps even more mature. Out of his two trials leading into this race, he finished third and then won the latest one. If he brings that type of performance here and has in fact matured, he could surprise.
1 – Nurhaci
5 – Petite La Femme
6 – La Chiave
3 – Devil’s Dust
Race 2 – TabTouch Westspeed Platinum Maiden – 1600m – 1:17pm
1 – Trade Fair Express looked to be the winner last start but then just got gunned down late by Fire Goddess. He steps up to 1600m for only the second time in his career. It certainly wasn’t his best performance last time, but there were a few excuses in the stewards’ report so I’m hoping that won’t be the case here. He’s drawn wide so many have to use a bit of energy early on to take up a forward position. Other than that, he’s been racing consistently and will hopefully go one better and get his maiden win (12:0-4-4). I Am Groot looks to have his fair share of ability. He’s been improving with each run and should be peaking right about now, with this being his third run this preparation. The thing I like most about his two runs this preparation is that he’s showed us he can either sit back and run on or take a forward position, which could be very valuable here. He jumps from 1300m to 1600m, but his races suggest he should handle the distance. One to watch going forward. Tick Along has been racing well in the country but is yet to get a place on the board yet (4:0-0-0). He has previously raced at this distance so at least we know he’ll handle that. He gets a senior jockey on board for the first time this preparation and with the addition of the blinkers, we could see him settle nicely. He won a trial leading into this preparation, so this is that motor somewhere under the hood. Fingers crossed for connections that he shows that here. Pumphrey’s Bridge did a few things wrong first up but still finished fifth, so should certainly only improve off that run. He had three good trials before that race (finishing third in all of them) so while he’s only technically second up he’ll have fitness on his side. He’s drawn slightly wide, but better than last start. I’m curious to see how he’ll go.
1 – Trade Fair Express
3 – I Am Groot
6 – Tick Along
9 – Pumphrey’s Bridge
Race 3 – Peninsula Dining Room Plate – 1400m – 1:57pm
Chili Is Hot just blew the competition away first up. She flew home with that fantastic turn of foot, all while overcoming that wide barrier. Her trial leading into that races suggests that her first up performance wasn’t all luck, so I’m hoping she can repeat that again here. There’s only a slight question mark about the step up to 1400m and that she will be racing on a good track which she hasn’t faced before. This is a much more competitive race, but ability should see her winning. Chix Chatter looked to be a real contender for the two-year-old Magic Millions but then failed to fire, perhaps because he just got too far back. He looks to have returned to his old self here though, recording a second and a third behind Queen Brown, who looks to be a smart horse in the making. He’s got a good barrier and placed third over this distance last start. He only has to carry 55kg with Chris’ claim, which certainly makes him very competitive. If my top tip doesn’t bring her best performance this horse will be winning. Kerman Rock does seem to like to run on from the back, which always poses the question that he could get stuck in traffic. He comes out of the same race at Chix Chatter two starts ago, finishing seventh behind Chix Chatter’s second. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get any weight relief despite that result, so that does make it a little bit more difficult to turn the tables. However, he did improve a lot off that run, coming out and winning next start. He’s drawn wide but stepping up to 1400m should only benefit him. Surveillance was disappointing last start, finishing last, when we know he’s much better than that. The stewards’ report suggests that they’re going to try and ride him with a bit more cover this time, which should be possible with that inside barrier and horses looking to get across. Two starts ago he raced over this distance at this track where he finished second. Connections would have been hoping for a bit of rain so the track would be soft but hopefully he can just bounce back here.
6 – Chili Is Hot
1 – Chix Chatter
3 – Kerman Rock
2 – Surveillance
Race 4 – Cool Ridge Handicap – 2200m – 2:33pm
Gunnago put in a really nice run behind Montelena last start. This does mean he’s on the one-week backup, but despite having never raced beyond 2000m, that performance suggests that the 2200m shouldn’t be a problem. I particularly like his race three starts ago, where he showed a great turn of foot, coming from second last to win over 1600m. He carried 60kg at that start, so while this race is 600m more, 59.5kg shouldn’t be too much for him. From that barrier he shouldn’t get too far back so he should run a good race. Throwdown is a bit of an expert at this distance (4:1-2-0) plus he’s also shown a great turn of foot over these distances. These two factors make him a serious threat to my top tip, especially as the only thing to complain about was that he missed the jump two starts ago over 1600m. If that happens here though, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem as he’s got an extra 600m to catch them. Great value at $6. Bonneville Black only has to carry an ultra-competitive 51.5kg with Madi’s claim, which is 1kg lighter than last starts win and 0.5kg on Throwdown despite him finishing second to him. The barriers have been reserved slightly and I’m hoping that’s enough to make a difference. He may have to use a bit of energy early on to take up a forward position from the outside barrier but if he does get back worse than mid-field, it shouldn’t be too bad as he can run on to some extent. If he gets some luck and repeats last start’s run, he can win this. Double Digit doesn’t really have anything to complain about and is only further down my list because he doesn’t have a turn of foot and the 60kg looks to be a big ask, considering that it’s 5kg more than last start where he finished third. His last two starts have definitely been his best this preparation, though he did get a bit too far back in some of his previous runs. He may be slightly outclassed here but will still put in a good run.
2 – Gunnago
3 – Throwdown
6 – Bonneville Black
1 – Double Digit
Race 5 – Kirin Megumi Handicap – 1000m – 3:15pm
This’ll Testya is a mare with ability and after that trial it’s exciting to see her back. With Pike in Melbourne, Mitchell picks up the ride here, but she ran well for him in the trial, so they look to make a good combination. She beat Dance Music in that trial, who is a very good chance in the Idyllic Prince Stake, plus this mare is unbeaten first up (1:1-0-0). Her career statistics are great (4:2-1-0), all of which have been on a good track. She’s got a good barrier, with the only concern being that she has to carry 58kg for the first time. It’s a competitive race but she’s the favourite for a reason. Excellent Dream is a horse that is flying and will certainly give my top tip a run for her money. This horse should be able to get cover from a few horses who are looking to go forward and may even track This’ll Testya into the race. He’s only placed outside the top three once in his career (8:3-2-2), which was at his first ever start. The only reason he’s not on top is that I think the form surrounding his races isn’t as strong as This’ll Testya and his last 600m aren’t always as quick. Weaponson finished second behind Excellent Dream two starts ago and gets 3.5kg on him here, mostly thanks to Kristy’s claim. As an owner, this preparation has been frustrating as he always seems to find one better, which certainly looks to be the case again here. We honestly thought we’d won last start and then boom, Eeyore Wayz comes out of nowhere! It would be nice if we could draw a decent barrier, but at least he loves this distance (4:1-3-0). He’ll try his best and that’s all we can ask, but this is a very competitive field. Lacevinsky is first up here after one terrible trial and then one winning trial, so perhaps he was just a bit underdone fitness wise at the first trial. He’s first up here with an ok first up record (2:0-1-0) and has never won at the track (2:0-0-0). However, prior to his spell starting in January, he was racing very well and behind some very good horses. Once we get back to Ascot and he gets a bit more fitness on his side than he’ll be very competitive.
5 – This’ll Testya
1 – Excellent Dream
6 – Weaponson
4 – Lacevinsky
Race 6 – Idyllic Prince Stakes – 1300m – 3:55pm
Free Trade was disappointing first up which is of slight concern as the trainer mentioned in the stewards report that it may have been because of his weight (he carries 59kg here as well) and the fast tempo, which could very well happen again here. That was his first time outside of the top three, so we do know he’s better than that. He’s unbeaten second up (2:2-0-0) and has a good distance record (2:1-0-1), while returning to a good track should also benefit. I’m hoping he can bounce back here. Dance Music will absolutely be winning if Free Trade doesn’t bring his best. They actually met earlier this year in the Pinjarra Classic, where she finished third behind his win. She gets 5.5kg on him here, which may just be enough to help her turn the tables. Her first up record is good (3:2-0-0) and her trial leading into this race was good, finishing second behind This’ll Testya, which I have a good opinion of in the race before this. Her form all through the Ascot carnival was very good and she’ll only get better next start, especially if the rain comes. No reason why she can’t win here though. Multiverse looks to be a bit of a dark horse in this race, but he’s been consistently placing this preparation, including finishing third in the listed Newmarket. He raises 5kg off last start which will bring with it some challenges, but he carried 60.5kg and finished fourth Windstorm, who is racing in Melbourne now, so the form surrounding his races is very good. His track/distance record could be better (2:0-0-1) but he’s great value if that’s what you’re after. Great Shot is a group one winning horse but has been off the scenes for nearly a year. Prior to that he had been racing well, placing behind Man Booker and The Velvet King. He looks to be unchallenged for the lead, especially if he can cross them easily from the wide barrier, so at least he’ll get to run the race at his pace. His first up record is great (9:3-2-2) as is his distance record (2:1-1-0). He can win but I just worry about his fitness after all that time off.
7 – Free Trade
9 – Dance Music
8 – Multiverse
1 – Great Shot
Race 7 – Amelia Park Handicap – 1400m – 4:35pm
Ration Aly just won in a really nice fashion first up, coming from third last to win. That was her first start back in seven months (since trials, a year since her last race), so the time off certainly seems to have done her some good. She steps up to 1400m but won over that distance second up last preparation so that doesn’t look to be a problem here. She’s drawn a good barrier and drops in weight due to the rise in class. While she does rise in class, I wouldn’t say that this is a particularly strong field. Great winning chance. Super Teroitoa has been racing consistently well at Pinjarra and deserves a crack at a city race. Connections would have been hoping for a bit of rain (which looks unlikely) but if the track is a little worse for wear by now that won’t be too much of a concern. This distance is his pet distance (6:1-3-1), which looks to be the biggest thing in his favour. He also only has to carry 55.5kg with Laqdar’s claim, making this race just that touch easier. Abby Lane certainly didn’t race at his best last start and may have got stuck in traffic last start while being too far back (without having watched the replay). However, his start before that where he finished third behind Inspirational Girl was particularly good. He’s yet to win on a good track (10:0-0-4), but does like this track/distance (4:2-0-1), so will definitely appreciate the step up in distance. Big Shot Paddy was racing incredibly well in Geraldton in December and nearly made it five wins in a row across two preparations. He hasn’t had a trial leading into this race and we haven’t seen him since December, so it does make it hard to know where he’s at fitness wise. His form isn’t as strong as some of these other horses, but if you just think back to Freezem’off and how she raced really well in the city after coming from Geraldton. Must respect.
8 – Ration Aly
4 – Super Teroitoa
6 – Abby Lane
2 – Big Shot Paddy
Race 8 – Crown Towers Handicap – 1000m – 5:15pm
We’ve Got Dreams faces a very competitive field, but proved she was good when she beat Money Matters last start. It’s a shame that Kyra couldn’t ride her, but I suspect that connections chose Chloe to ride just so they could get the little bit of weight relief. This horse definitely goes better on a good track and just loves this track/distance (5:3-0-1). I’ve always been a fan of this horse so I’m willing to take the risk. Cliffs Of Comfort is rarely a horse you’d tip against, especially with his statistics. He’s never placed outside of the top three in his career (5:4-0-1), is unbeaten on a good track (3:3-0-0) and while third up (1:1-0-0), though has only placed over this distance (1:0-0-1). The only reason he’s not on top is that I don’t think he’ll necessarily be able to get a forward position without working hard from that barrier. He also might not handle the hot tempo that I expect We’ve Got Dreams to set. You’d be absolutely silly not to include him in whatever type of bet you’re doing. He can win without anyone blinking an eye. Nerodio is racing in career best form at the moment. He has fantastic form around two cerise and white horses in Long Beach and Leading Girl. He also loves this track (7:5-1-0) and is unbeaten at this distance (1:1-0-0). He can run good last 600m times, which may prove valuable here, while he also showed us first up that he can handle a fast tempo. Don’t rule out. Silknize finished fifth behind Cliffs Of Comfort last start and gets 2kg on him. I wouldn’t worry too much about that fifth as he did have a few excuses, having raced wide throughout the race. Three starts ago he finished second behind Long Beach, with his form lines looking like a good one to follow (as he beat Nerodio in a different race). In that race this horse also showed a great turn of foot. He gets in well with the weights and should settle in a nice position from the inside barrier. He loves this track/distance (3:1-1-1) and rounds out a field that wouldn’t be out of place in a listed race!
1 – We’ve Got Dreams
4 – Cliffs Of Comfort
3 – Nerodio
9 – Silknize
Race 3 – Chili Is Hot
My confidence rating certainly isn’t the best this week, though the preview just seemed to flow. when I was typing it up. Races 6 and 8 are definitely two races I’d avoid betting in, while races 3 and 5 look to be a battle between my top two/three tips. This week’s best bet was also a tough decision, but I’m looking for some value. Hoping to back up last week’s good performance with a profit this week (fingers crossed)!
Last Week’s Results
Winners in top 4 – 7/9
Top picks: 2nd, 1st, 1st, -, 2nd, -, 1st, 1st, 3rd
Best bet: 2nd