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Race 1 – 2:05PM ALBANY GARAGE DOORS HANDICAP (1500 METRES)
Expecting LORD KRONOS to bounce back with regular rider Jason Whiting back on board. Returned to racing with a strong Mt Barker 4/11 victory, before getting too far back in running with a junior rider on board second up and not making much of an impression late. Suited sliding down to 55.5kg and will be able to enjoy a better run in transit in this small field, so if he’s right he should take some beating. CHASING CHAOS hit the front briefly last start and looked set to upset more fancied stablemate Wild Fusion, however, he just peaked on his run under 59kg and settled for a fighting second. Will appreciate coming right back to 54kg and while he hasn’t won for 482 days, he’s still expected to give this a shake. Class stablemate MY GREEK BOY comes back to the Great Southern after struggling in two metro runs this prep and apprentice Shelby Colgate takes 1.5kg off his 64kg topweight. Regardless of the weight, he should still make his presence felt against this lot, while ROWIE could be the blowout after doing some nice work late last start. He should be close to a peak fourth up rising in distance.
Suggested: 2. LORD KRONOS win.
2. LORD KRONOS
3. CHASING CHAOS
1. MY GREEK BOY
Race 2 – 2:35PM XXXX GOLD HANDICAP (1500 METRES)
This looks the right race for ROUND THE POINT to post his first Great Southern win. Has been knocking on the door in three starts since a transfer from Simon A. Miller in Ascot to leading local trainer Steve Wolfe, and the recent form lines through Triggerfish and Ionyx stack up strong against this opposition. 1500 metres is as far as he wants to go and the 60kg will be a test, but he’s race fit, in form and has to rate highly. Stablemate AMBER HIGHWAY is coming off a soft maiden win third up over this track/distance and appears to have plenty of upside. Must be included on the strength of that victory. Natural on-pacer JUPITERS SUN should appreciate coming down to the Great Southern having posted some handy results against reasonable opposition this campaign. Expected to fight out the finish, while no surprise to see MARCHIGIANO compete well at his first start since recently shifting to the Helen Harding yard in Esperance.
Suggested: 1. ROUND THE POINT win.
1. ROUND THE POINT
4. AMBER HIGHWAY
5. JUPITERS SUN
Race 3 – 3:05PM TABTOUCH – BETTER YOUR BET MAIDEN (1600 METRES)
With any luck TRIBUTE TO GLORY really should be posting his maiden victory here. Wasn’t too far away in a decent Bunbury 14/11 maiden first up and then had no luck in a similar assignment to this two weeks ago, when drifting too far back in running and encountering traffic issues behind tiring horses in the straight. Anticipating more positive tactics from jockey Glenn Smith on this occasion and Tribute To Glory is the horse to beat. TEXAN BLITZ is the biggest danger having been a good thing beat two starts back, before the saddle slipped and impacted his performance when a $2.30 favourite last time. Steve Wolfe has made some gear adjustments and opted for the services of Peter Knuckey, and Texan Blitz gives the impression he’ll be suited stepping up to the mile also. First-upper MAXIMISE showed a little bit during his initial racing campaign and has been sharpened up for this in two Lark Hill barrier trials. No surprise to see a forward showing from him in a thin race, while Esperance visitor ALL MAN should be closing in on peak performance rising to the mile at this stage of his prep.
Suggested: 4. TRIBUTE TO GLORY win.
4. TRIBUTE TO GLORY
9. TEXAN BLITZ
*Numbers amended after scratchings
Race 4 – 3:35PM USG BORAL MAIDEN (1234 METRES)
Some promising three-year-olds engaged in this competitive All Aged Maiden and STORMY RULER looks well placed by Bunbury-based trainer Michael Lane. Liked the way he stretched out in a Lark Hill 19/11 trial, accounting for subsequent Northam winner Stairwaytothemoon, and was always in strife after bungling the start as a $4.60 chance at his Bunbury 29/11 debut. That was a decent maiden on that occasion, so the run stacks up down in the Great Southern, and with a clean getaway Stormy Ruler should get a better opportunity to show what he’s capable of. MORGS FREEMAN showed heaps of potential during his two-year-old campaign and was given a searching hit out when winning his lead-up trial here two weeks ago. Like this fellow and expecting him to go close fresh. Fellow first-upper DEANGLES is another to have displayed ability as a two-year-old and wasn’t knocked around behind Morgs Freeman at trials, while stablemate WAR CLASS looks capable of giving this a shake on debut. Taken with his trial efforts so far and with a better draw may have even had him on top. Interesting race.
Suggested: 5. STORMY RULER win.
5. STORMY RULER
3. MORGS FREEMAN
7. WAR CLASS
Race 5 – 4:05PM T-QUIP HANDICAP (1234 METRES)
Pretty keen on MONGOLIAN WARLORD second up. This Albany track specialist charged through the grades in the Great Southern last season and even progressed to town where he held his own in Graduation Handicap company. Thought his fresh effort in the Regional Championship Series Heat last month was much better than it reads and he should be able to enjoy a much more favourable passage in running from the low draw. Shaun McGruddy rides Mongolian Warlord well and he should be winning. Anticipated a better effort from FRIARFIGHTER last start and he competed well enough behind the extra sharp Arrum Boy over this track/distance. Better placed in this company and Jade McNaught’s 2kg claim makes his well weighed. BLIZZARD EXPRESS had no luck when resuming at Ascot 1/12, forced to work three-wide without cover throughout and boxing on quite well considering. Better placed back on his home deck from a low draw, while likely leader ITS NOT TRADING is capable of fighting out the finish on the seven-day back up.
Suggested: 2. MONGOLIAN WARLORD win.
2. MONGOLIAN WARLORD
1. BLIZZARD EXPRESS
8. ITS NOT TRADING
Race 6 – 4:35PM MOSS CONVEYANCING HANDICAP (1600 METRES)
WILD FUSION has been a terrific addition to the Steve Wolfe stable this season and looks well placed to record a third straight win. Got the job done in a competitive Class 2 second up, before fighting off stablemate Chasing Chaos to record a strong victory in a similar assignment to this two weeks ago. From the low draw, Shaun McGruddy can hold up and lead or opt to settle leader’s back, and the way he knuckled down last start suggests he’s really got the taste for winning now. HE SAID SHE SAID looked home and hosed at Esperance last Saturday week before being over-hauled late by the big-finishing Galveston Bay. Expecting positive tactics from the mid draw, and no surprise to see him take up the running and prove very hard to catch. JESTER ROCK is working his way into form and he should be ready to peak fourth up from a break. Travelled three-wide last time, but will enjoy a softer run from the inside draw, while we didn’t mind the way TORU WAIMARIE worked home late second up and he may be able to add some value to your exotic bets.
Suggested: 3. WILD FUSION win.
3. WILD FUSION
1. HE SAID SHE SAID
5. JESTER ROCK
6. TORU WAIMARIE
Race 7 – 5:05PM CAMERON ROY PERRY MEMORIAL HANDICAP (1234 METRES)
One of the more competitive races on the program and if SAMMY THE BOSS can bring his Esperance form to Albany, then he should take some beating. Collared late by the progressive Truth And Lies at his first run for Helen Harding two back, before timing his winning run to perfection in this grade last Saturday week. Has always shown plenty of promise, but appears to happy-and-healthy in his new environment and with even luck from the low draw, he looks capable of running over the top again. COUNT KALA ripped out a career-best performance to win the Regional Series Heat here last month, before running his heart out in the $100,000 final at Ascot 1/12. Has the standout form in the race and he’s going to be hard to counter. Track specialist CANNA LILY is resuming from a lengthy lay off, but has stretched out well in her two lead-up trials. Is an eight-year-old now so her best is likely behind her, but no surprise to see her compete well fresh, while QUEEN TORI raced on-speed and was nailed late in this grade last start and will appreciate rising to this trip, where she does her best racing.
Suggested: 4. SAMMY THE BOSS win.
4. SAMMY THE BOSS
3. COUNT KALA
2. CANNA LILY
7. QUEEN TORI
Race 8 – 5:38PM CRAIG FULLER HEAT AND COOL SOLUTIONS HANDICAP (1234 METRES)
Three-year-old filly MYGIRLFRANKIE is coming straight out of maiden company, but looks to have enough class to measure up in this grade. Enjoyed a sweet run in transit and cruised clear for a soft win two weeks back, after a couple of luckless runs beforehand, and she looks set to enjoy a favourable passage again from barrier one. Slides in with only 54.5kg, after the age allowance, and she looks progressive enough to give this a shake. YOU AM I was sent out a $7 chance second up at Bunbury 5/12, but was unable to slot in and knocked up after racing three-wide without cover throughout. Forget he went around on that occasion and we’re expecting him to bounce back strong from a better draw in the Great Southern. STEP RIGHT UP had excuses in a similar assignment to this two weeks back, when not getting a lot of galloping room in the straight and getting struck over the head by another rider’s whip 50 metres from home. That was a better effort and he looks ready, while BENTLEY’S BROTHER caught the eye in the same race as Step Right up and is expected to drift back and hit the line hard again.
Suggested: 10. MYGIRLFRANKIE win.
5. YOU AM I
3. STEP RIGHT UP
4. BENTLEY’S BROTHER
*Originally published at 9:00am on Wednesday 12 December 2018.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the Albany Racing Club.