Popular race-by-race meeting preview The Leg Up by Thoroheads provides in-depth summaries, tips and suggested bets.
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Race 1 – 2:00PM TREVOR’S CARPETS MAIDEN (1100 METRES)
Confident MORGS FREEMAN is the best horse in this and if owner/trainer Alan Smith has him right, then he should be getting the job done. Disappointed as an odds-on favourite first up and then looked the winner when aggressively ridden on Boxing Day, before running out of steam late. Should have a spring in his step coming of a 25-day break and he goes in on top. Was keen on MARK MY CARD last Friday and he was probably a good thing beat, when shuffled back out of position in the early stages. Did a good job to work his way into the race and expecting Mitchell Pateman to have him positioned much closer to the speed from barrier one on this occasion. HORAAN has put in two good efforts this prep, splitting promising types Read The Riot Act and War Class here last Sunday week. Roy Rogers and Dan Staeck are a formidable combination at present and Horaan will have admirers, while stablemate and likely leader HIGHWAY GLORY is next best.
Suggested: 4. MORGS FREEMAN win.
4. MORGS FREEMAN
2. MARK MY CARD
3. HIGHWAY GLORY
Race 2 – 2:40PM CRAIG FULLER’S HEAT & COOL SOLUTIONS MAIDEN (1230 METRES)
JUS TALKEN has been a frustrating horse to follow over the journey, but he looks perfectly placed by Team Giadresco and this looks his race to lose. Coming off a 52-day break, this four-year-old produced three solid Bunbury effort back in November with all the form around him standing up particularly well since. Was sharpened up for this in a Lark Hill 14/01 trial and while he does still have a few tricks, he really should be getting the job done. RAGING ROCKET should appreciate coming back to the Great Southern after running into a competitive line up at Bunbury 23/12. Has the services of in-form apprentice Jade McNaught and capable of notching up a top-four finish. Natural on-pacer BIG SUMMER has been competing well in 1500-metre events recently and no surprise to see him roll forward, lead and give them something to catch, while HAILSTRUM should be able to settle closer from an inside alley and is improving every time he goes to the races.
Suggested: 1. JUS TALKEN win.
1. JUS TALKEN
6. RAGING ROCKET
3. BIG SUMMER
Race 3 – 3:10PM USG BORAL HANDICAP (1230 METRES)
Toss of the coin between POLDARK’S GIRL and MESSIAH, and we’d be surprised if one of these isn’t first past the post. Ended up siding with the Steve Wolfe-trained Poldark’s Girl after her eye-catching Golden Bracelet effort two weeks back, when drifting well back from barrier 11 and attacking the line strong late. Previous run behind in-form stablemate Cold As Cold two back was good also and she looks well placed dropping back into this company. Messiah has always promised plenty but trainer Roy Rogers appears to have him back on track, with two fast-finishing efforts in succession. Does appreciate being ridden patiently early, but if Dan Staeck can have him close enough on the turn, then he has the closing speed to run over the top late. HIGHFRIAR was coming off a month between runs two weeks back and his closing sectionals stacked up reasonably well against a stronger line up than this. Maps to enjoy a suitable run in transit also, while no surprised to see LONG KNIFE BROTHER improve sharply. He’s better than what he’s shown recently and is suited back to six furlongs.
Suggested: 1. POLDARK’S GIRL win.
1. POLDARK’S GIRL
3. LONG KNIFE BROTHER
Race 4 – 3:40PM TABTOUCH – BETTER YOUR BET HANDICAP (1230 METRES)
This looks the right race for TRANQUILLA SUNRISE. Was massive in defeat last Friday when racing four-wide throughout and still having the strength to chase home the very sharp Captivated Point. From a low draw over the 1230-metres, he should land in a suitable on-pace running position and will be hard to beat from there. Bunbury visitor FAIR NAKITA looks set to attract plenty of support first up and maps to enjoy a suitable rails run in transit. Hasn’t been far away in two lead-up Lark Hill trials and looks poised to give this a shake. BABBLE tried hard over 1500 metres in this grade last Sunday week and finished only a half-length from the second placed Mongolian Warlord. Previous run over this track/distance was solid and he has to rate among the main contenders, while first-upper BOXONLUCY impressed with a dominant trial win two weeks back and is suited down on 54kg from a low draw. Her best form puts her right in the finish.
Suggested: 2. TRANQUILLA SUNRISE win.
2. TRANQUILLA SUNRISE
5. FAIR NAKITA
Race 5 – 4:15PM TYREPOWER ALBANY HANDICAP (1100 METRES)
Found it hard to separate the Roy Rogers-trained pair MALILANGWE and READ THE RIOT ACT, eventually following stable rider Dan Staeck’s lead by locking in MALILANGWE on top. The sparingly-raced five-year-old, a newcomer to the Rogers yard, impressed when leading and stretching top-shelf local sprinter Dream Lifter in a 1000-metre barrier trial here two weeks back, and there was a further 2.8 length margin back to the third placed Three Secrets. If he can bring that trial form to raceday, he should be very hard to beat. READ THE RIOT ACT did a few things wrong at his first Great Southern appearance, but was still able to knuckle down when needed to get the job done. Only a three-year-old with a bit to learn, but that was a solid maiden win and he should enjoy the run of the race from a low draw. WAYCHINICUP should be ready to peak at this stage of his campaign and looks suited coming back to this grade after a competitive Ratings 58+ effort last start. Races well over the track/distance also, while stablemate BROWSING has been freshened since disappointing on Boxing Day, but is better than that and is expected to figure prominently back in this 1100-metre assignment.
Suggested: 6. MALILANGWE win.
3. READ THE RIOT ACT
Race 6 – 4:50PM AQUA ICE HANDICAP (1925 METRES)
Almost all of these runners could win without surprising and with low confidence opted to side with ASHALILY each way. Ran some nice races in a spring/summer campaign with Jason Pateman, before returning to the Great Southern with original trainer Paul Hunter last start and giving a reasonable account of herself in the feature Golden Bracelet. Expected to relish the rise to 1925 metres for this assignment, having won her only previous outing over this track/distance, and looks really well suited beginning from barrier one with only 54kg on her back. ASHALILY should get her chance. Likely leader BOOMNBUST hasn’t done a lot wrong in recent times and boxed on well behind Gauged over this track/distance here last Friday. Collie-based Chris Gilbert has this fellow holding career-best form and if allowed to dictate out in front, he’s going to be hard to get past late. SASSO’S CIRCUS is the class runner of the race and it was hard not to like the way he finished off last start. Slowly working his way back into form and has to be considered, while anticipating sharp improvement from MASS EFFECT at this stage of his campaign. Drawn to enjoy a more suitable run in transit and his Albany track record (10: 5-1-0) has to be respected.
Suggested: 7. ASHALILY each way.
3. SASSO’S CIRCUS
5. MASS EFFECT
Race 7 – 5:25PM SMARTLINE PERSONAL MORTGAGE ADVISERS HANDICAP (1925 METRES)
This looks the day for BENTLEY’S BROTHER. Has been performing consistently in four runs back from a break and simply got too far out of his ground after jumping from barrier eight two weeks back, clocking standout closing sectionals but leaving his run too late. Beginning from a low draw on this occasion, Peter Knuckey should have him positioned much closer to the leader and he does appear likely to appreciate the rise in distance at this stage of his prep. With even luck in running, BENTLEY’S BROTHER should be saluting. LEXDEN GAMBLER raced outside leader and boxed on well in a similar assignment to this last Friday, and did finish alongside Bentley’s Brother over a miler here on Boxing Day. Race fit and in reasonable form, this fellow looks the main danger. CLASSIC JACK brings some good formlines to this assignment, but there has to be a distance query considering all his form is over sprint journeys. Inside alley helps though, as he should be able to conserve plenty of fuel in running, and he’s simply racing too well to be discounted, while CLEO’S AFTERPARTY returned to form with more positive riding tactics last time, and expecting him to roll forward and box on well again.
Suggested: 1. BENTLEY’S BROTHER win.
1. BENTLEY’S BROTHER
3. LEXDEN GAMBLER
2. CLASSIC JACK
6. CLEO’S AFTERPARTY
*Originally published at 9:00am on Friday 18 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.