Popular race-by-race meeting preview The Leg Up by Thoroheads provides in-depth summaries, tips and suggested bets.
Race 1 – 1:50PM USG BORAL MAIDEN (1500 METRES)
We were keen on TRIBUTE TO GLORY first up at Bunbury 14/11 and happy to go again in what appears to be a fairly thin All Aged Maiden. This fellow showed a bit during his initial racing campaign and stretched out nicely to win in a Bunbury 2/11 trial, before having excuses last start as a $7.50 chance. Should’ve finished much closer to the winner on that occasion, with the form out of that race stacking up well since, and with natural improvement and a rise in distance, Tribute To Glory looks placed to win. AMBER HIGHWAY missed out on a maiden win by the barest of margins last time, when lunging late after racing in the box seat. Did want to over-race noticeably early, so the blinkers have been removed, but there was still significant improvement from his debut performance and he looks capable of elevating even further. TURPIN’S DAUGHTER caught the eye when working home well from back in the field in the same race as Amber Highway. Should be close to peaking third up, while HIGHWAY GLORY endured a hard run three-wide without cover last start, but should enjoy a more favourable passage on this occasion.
Suggested: 4. TRIBUTE TO GLORY win.
4. TRIBUTE TO GLORY
7. AMBER HIGHWAY
6. TURPIN’S DAUGHTER
8. HIGHWAY GLORY
Race 2 – 2:30PM GREAT SOUTHERN SUPPLIES HANDICAP (1230 METRES)
Predicting a big day for Capel visitor Paul Roberts, with IT COMES NATURAL set to notch up an early double. The natural on-pacer carried 59kg first up over 1000 metres at Bunbury 14/11 and looked the winner half-way up the straight, before just peaking on his run and getting swamped on the line. The form through Stormy Ora, Ice Maker and Indigo Wild all reads well, and that solid fresh workout should bring It Comes Natural forward for this second-up assignment. Top jock Glenn Smith should park up on top of the speed and get the job done. LONG KNIFE BROTHER impressed with a big-finishing first-up win at Mt Barker and was a touch unlucky last start when held up at a vital stage in the straight. With clear running would’ve made things interesting on that occasion and he’s simply racing too well to ignore. Zippy stablemate LADY STINGRAY is the likely leader and will be out to maintain an unbeaten first-up record. Moved well in a lead-up 18/11 trial and she’ll have them stretching their necks, while STEP RIGHT UP hasn’t fired in two Great Southern outings, but should be racing himself towards peak fitness and does better placed back in this grade. Was very well supported in Ratings 58+ company last start.
Suggested: 1. IT COMES NATURAL win.
1. IT COMES NATURAL
3. LONG KNIFE BROTHER
7. LADY STINGRAY
4. STEP RIGHT UP
Race 3 – 3:04PM TABTOUCH BETTER YOUR BET MAIDEN (1230 METRES)
Pretty confident the winner will come from one of the two Steve Wolfe runners and leaning towards MYGIRLFRANKIE. Settled rearwards and three-wide first up at Mt Barker, before jumping out of the ground late, and she again didn’t enjoy the best of runs last time, this time being bottled up on the rail in a bunching field, and getting clear when the race was all over. Gives this impression she’s looking for the 1230 metres and from a sweet low draw, Peter Knuckey really should afford her every opportunity. Stablemate TEXAN BLITZ was perhaps a good thing beaten in the same race as Mygirlfrankie, getting pocketed when the field compacted on the turn and charging to the line late, clocking the fastest last 200-metre split of the day. Hard not to be impressed with that closing speed and he should also appreciate stepping up in distance. ORASKY comes through the same race as our top-two selections and her effort was also full of merit. Will no doubt appreciate the services of quality senior jockey Daniel Staeck and her best two-year-old form puts her right in contention, while FINAL EDITION made up a stack of late ground at York last week and is expected to be getting back and running on well again.
Suggested: 10. MYGIRLFRANKIE win.
4. TEXAN BLITZ
1. FINAL EDITION
Race 4 – 3:35PM GRAHAM MANLEY’S AUTO REPAIRS HANDICAP (1230 METRES)
With no Tango Ora engaged, this does look the right race for ARRUM BOY to get back in the winner’s circle. The multiple city-winning four-year-old chased hard over the 1000 metres first up at Mt Barker and very nearly upset the long odds-on Tango Ora second up, missing out by the smallest of margins in a deceptive photo finish. The Steve Wolfe-prepared sprinter appears to have returned to racing in terrific order and his best results do come over the six furlongs, so he’s expected to elevate further over his preferred distance and really should be peaking at this stage of his campaign. Thought OUR BUDDY BOY would run a race first up and that he did, working to line strongly in this company. Will derive plenty of benefit from that hit out and the step up in distance is right up his alley. Expecting TRANQUILLA SUNRISE to be ridden for speed with 4kg-claimer Beaux Banovic-Edwards on board and his run was much better than it looked when trapped off the course in the Regional Championship Heat. Previous effort in this company at Mt Barker was solid and he’s in the mix with only 50kg, while no surprise to see sharp improvement third up from FRIARFIGHTER down in weight with an inside alley.
Suggested: 4. ARRUM BOY win.
4. ARRUM BOY
5. OUR BUDDY BOY
8. TRANQUILLA SUNRISE
Race 5 – 4:07PM T-QUIP HANDICAP (1600 METRES)
WILD FUSION looks like taking a power of beating again. A newcomer to the Steve Wolfe stable in 2018/19, this fellow caught the eye first up at Mt Barker, before making the most of a perfect run in transit to salute over 1450 metres here two weeks back. Does look capable of elevating further third up rising to the mile and maps to enjoy a similar sweet run in transit. Slides to 56kg up in this company and he ticks the most boxes. PRINCE FRIAR has returned from a spell in peak form, with a booming finish at Mt Barker followed up by a strong victory in this grade second up, holding on well after working outside leader in transit. Likely to push forward again from the draw and will take some getting past in the straight. Despite missing a start when scratched on raceday two weeks back, CHASING CHAOS should be ready to run a race against this line up. The blinkers go on and it’s hard seeing miss a top-four finish, while stablemate JESTER ROCK should also be ready to produce a peak performance third up, having slid down to a rating of 63. Has won twice over the Albany mile previously also.
Suggested: 7. WILD FUSION win.
7. WILD FUSION
3. PRINCE FRIAR
1. CHASING CHAOS
4. JESTER ROCK
Race 6 – 4:40PM FURPHY HANDICAP (1450 METRES)
This looks a terrific option for capable three-year-old IONYX. Was blown out of the water in a high-pressure Belgravia Stakes at Ascot first up, taking on a red-hot line up, but as expected he was able to produce a much more competitive performance back in the Great Southern two weeks ago. Led them up over this distance on that occasion and boxed on well when under siege late, and we’re anticipating positive tactics again from a nice low draw. Should be at peak fitness for this third-up assignment and he stands out as the winner. ROUND THE POINT hasn’t done a lot wrong in his two runs since being transferred to the Steve Wolfe stable. Is being stretched out beyond six furlongs for the first time, so there is a slight distance query, but he does appear to have a class edge over most of these and that should take him a long way. Stablemate CLEO’S AFTERPARTY hasn’t been too far away in his past two appearances and his efforts have both been a touch better than they look on paper. Looks suited in a thin race, while CALBANESCO should strip fitter after looming and popping late first up over 1230 metres. Not sure how he’ll go over this trip, but has some ability and can still be competitive.
Suggested: 5. IONYX win.
1. ROUND THE POINT
3. CLEO’S AFTERPARTY
Race 7 – 5:10PM TERRY WAYNE SHARP MEMORIAL HANDICAP (1100 METRES)
Expecting natural on-pacer ANNA AMALIA to take some catching in this. Looked home first up at Mt Barker when nailed right on the line, and her Regional Championship Heat performance wasn’t too bad considering the running position she landed in from barrier 13. Looks well placed against this line up coming back to 1100 metres, and with a clean getaway she really should lead/race outside leader and control proceedings from there. If JENABEL is anywhere near her best she can this a shake first up. Came of age during the winter with three straight wins and even managed to place behind the well-regarded Spillinova in Graduation Handicap company. Not many trainers travel better than Lancelin-based Ashley Maley and from an inside draw Jenabel goes close. Victorian import SAFARIANN is an interesting runner and she should be ready to run a race fresh after two lead-up barrier trials. Expecting her to work forward and race on-speed also, and her best east-coast form stacks up very well in this grade, while QUEEN TORI is the wildcard and her Regional Championship Heat effort was better than it reads. No surprise to see her run a cheeky race third up.
Suggested: 6. ANNA AMALIA win.
6. ANNA AMALIA
5. QUEEN TORI
*Originally published at 9:00am on Wednesday 28 November 2018.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the Albany Racing Club.