Popular race-by-race meeting preview The Leg Up by Thoroheads provides in-depth summaries, tips and suggested bets.
Race 1 – 1:45PM A & K CRAMER ELECTRICAL MAIDEN (1000 METRES)
If sparingly-raced seven-year-old MARK MY CARD is going to win one, then this is his race. Has been restricted to only four starts, so has clearly had plenty of issues over the journey, however, he trialled-up nicely at Belmont 10/12 before a solid effort as a $4 chance first up at Narrogin 22/12. Probably should’ve finished a touch closer on that occasion and the form out of that event has stacked up well with Rapisarda and Shesapocket Rocket both winning since. The booking of Mitchell Pateman helps and with a clean getaway, Mark My Card should race on-speed and give this a shake. Hard not to like the second-up effort of ROO on Boxing Day, when running on strong late and clocking a race-fastest final 200-metre split and the fourth fastest on the card. If she can settle a touch closer to the leaders, she looks capable of running over the top late. HERBELL finished alongside Roo on Boxing Day and should improving with that run under her belt. Maps to advantage also, while MIRISISTIBLE ran a cheeky race as an $81 chance at Pinjarra 2/01 and only has to hold that form to make her presence felt in this.
Suggested: 1. MARK MY CARD win.
1. MARK MY CARD
5. TWO COOL
*Numbers amended after scratchings
Race 2 – 2:25PM GRAHAM MANLEY’S AUTO MAIDEN (1230 METRES)
Tipping Mitchell Pateman to get off to a flyer, with BEYOND THE DARK appearing the horse to beat in this. Is an eight-year-old with only one start to his name, so that is rather peculiar, but his debut Northam 28/11 performance was too good to ignore coming down to the Great Southern. Led them up on that occasion and boxed on into third behind Stairwaytothemoon and Atomize, with both those horses having won since. The 44 days between runs is a slight query, but trusting Brett Pope to have him ready to produce his best, and Beyond The Dark should roll to the front and be very hard to get past late. The blinkers have been added to SHEZABUTOO and happy to give her another chance after having a few excuses at Narrogin 22/12. Previous Mt Barker results were strong effort to warrant consideration. Jason Whiting has given punters a lead by opting to ride ROSE THIEF, who wasn’t knocked around when sent back to the Lark Hill 31/12 trials. Is a touch wayward, but if she behaves pre-race she can figure prominently, while RAGING ROCKET shouldn’t find this as tough as what he encountered at Bunbury 23/12 and maps to enjoy a sweet run in transit.
Suggested: 3. BEYOND THE DARK win.
3. BEYOND THE DARK
9. ROSE THIEF
1. POND ZERO
*Numbers amended after scratchings
Race 3 – 3:05PM MONTGOMERY’S HILL WINES HANDICAP (1900 METRES)
This looks like a good option for Narrogin visitor LEXDEN GAMBLER. Was well supported $6.50 to $4.20 over 1600 metres in this grade here on Boxing Day, and did a good job to compete well and place behind the likes of Ionyx and Bentley’s Brother. That form reads well and he has the race-fitness under his belt to run out a strong 1900 metres. LANGLEY looks the obvious danger and will no doubt have his share of admirers with Perth Cup hero Peter Hall in the saddle. Recent results in better races than this are very encouraging and he looks well placed by Mark Bairstow in the Great Southern. LOSING TICKET has been doing a fair bit of racing recently and is actually in pretty good form. Wasn’t far away here on Boxing Day and did a bot of work early at Esperance 4/01, so no surprise to see her figure on the quick back up, while MASSA MAC should find this assignment easier than what he’s been facing Jason Whiting is likely to give him a soft, rails hugging passage in transit.
Suggested: 2. LEXDEN GAMBLER win.
2. LEXDEN GAMBLER
8. LOSING TICKET
1. MASSA MAC
Race 4 – 3:45PM MOTEL LE GRANDE HANDICAP (1230 METRES)
Not a bad contest this and if SWIFT PLATINUM is on song, then he really should take some beating. First two runs with new trainer Gavin Foster were very encouraging, but things didn’t go according to plan third up in Graduation Handicap company at Ascot 22/12. The blinkers are off to help him settle better and he maps to enjoy a more favourable passage in transit from gate one. Pitched in with 55kg after Jade McNaught’s claim and with even luck in running, Swift Platinum should be saluting. COLD AS COLD has always promised a bit for the Steve Wolfe camp and showed he was back on song with an impressive second-up Boxing Day win, ripping out a big final 200-metre burst to swoop late. Outside alley may see him drift back out of his ground, but if he can be within striking distance on straightening, then he’ll be hard to hold out. FRIARFIGHTER looks well placed on the quick back up and shouldn’t find this as tough as what he’s been facing in this grade recently. The in-form Dan Staeck going on is another positive, while ROUND THE POINT gets some weight relief rising in grade and has to be considered on his consistent Great Southern form this season.
Suggested: 3. SWIFT PLATINUM win.
3. SWIFT PLATINUM
5. COLD AS COLD
4. ROUND THE POINT
Race 5 – 4:20PM PELICANS ALBANY HANDICAP (1230 METRES)
With a positive Peter Hall ride from a high draw, promising youngster DEANGLES should get the job done. Looked smart and ran good time when defeating subsequent Narrogin winner Stormy Ruler first up last month, before finding his quality rivals a touch too slick over the 1000 metres in town last time. Felt that run was a bit better than it looked and he’ll obviously appreciate stepping back to to the six furlongs in the Great Southern. Should work forward to lead or race outside leader, and from there Deangles looks set to control proceedings. MESSIAH put the writing on the wall third up at Albany 14/12 when clocking the standout sectionals on the day. That was a major positive, having been out of form for a while now, but his best is more than capable of winning this. CALBANESCO has struggled to recapture a bit of his spark since returning from a lay off, but his Bunbury 23/12 effort was better than it reads on paper. Should get the right run from a low draw and apprentice Shelby Colgate is enjoying some good form in the region this season, while no surprise to see NIAYCHI run a big race at his first Albany appearance. Not a bad effort after breezing three-wide throughout at Pinjarra on Boxing Day and from a sweet low draw, he maps to enjoy a much more suitable passage in transit.
Suggested: 2. DEANGLES win.
4. BURNING MAGIC
*Numbers amended after scratchings
Race 6 – 4:50PM NEWBY’S AUTOMOTIVE ELECTRICIANS HANDICAP (1900 METRES)
Confident WAR KSAR is the horse to beat in this. Has been having some barrier issues for a while now and the slow start proved the different between winning and losing on Boxing Day, when just failing to run down Prix D’Excellence by a neck. Huge effort to sustain a searching forward move on that occasion and that solid workout should bring him forward significantly for this third-up assignment. Peter Hall has been trusted with the task of getting him out of the gates relatively cleanly, and if War Ksar can be within striking distance on the turn, he has the class and closing speed to run over the top at the end of 1900 metres. Consistent stablemate GAUGED should appreciate some weight relief up in this grade, having just been anchored under the 60kg over 2100 metres here on Boxing Day. Hasn’t done a lot wrong all campaign, and if Tash Faithfull can find some cover and get him to settle, then Gauged will be very strong late. BOOMNBUST was well ridden out on front when holding off the closers to win on Boxing Day and should roll straight to the lead again. With only 54.5kg on his back he’s going to take some catching, while READY TO FIRE should be just about ready to run a race at her third run back from a break. Has a solid Albany 1900-metre record too.
Suggested: 4. WAR KSAR win.
4. WAR KSAR
10. READY TO FIRE
Race 7 – 5:20PM AMITY MOTORS HANDICAP (1000 METRES)
Tipping LADY STINGRAY to turn the tables on CAPTIVATED POINT after only a long neck separated them when finishing one-two on TABtouch Ladies Day last Sunday. The Des Attwell-trained mare landed in a reasonable midfield position from barrier 11 on that occasion and closed hard late in what was a particularly strong Ratings 58+ Handicap. No surprise to see Randy Tan send her forward from the mid draw here and if she can get there without burning too much fuel, then she should be strong at the end of this 1000-metre assignment. Captivated Point is the class runner and clearly the horse to beat, but does rise 1.5kg after Sunday’s win and the five-furlong journey may be a touch short, but still has to be respected. SECRET ASSAULT was rolled as a $1.85 favourite last start but that can happen in the mad scamper Narrogin 930-metre events. This does look a nice option for him and his previous form this campaign reads particularly well, while TRANQUILLA SUNRISE will no doubt be ridden for speed by Dan Staeck from his high draw and is certainly capable of running a cheeky race.
Suggested: 8. LADY STINGRAY win.
8. LADY STINGRAY
1. CAPTIVATED POINT
3. SECRET ASSAULT
2. TRANQUILLA SUNRISE
*Originally published at 9:00am on Wednesday 9 January 2019.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the Albany Racing Club.