Popular race-by-race meeting preview The Leg Up by Thoroheads provides in-depth summaries, tips and suggested bets.
Race 1 – 12:48PM USG BORAL MAIDEN (1600 METRES)
Low key mile maiden to start the card and it does look the right race for THE TOTE CRUSHER. Formerly prepared by Dan Morton, his two runs since joining the Mark Wright stable have been solid and the formlines around him certainly stack up strong. Looks very well placed and all things being equal should be breaking through. Didn’t mind the debut effort of REGAL REBELLE, who was struggling to keep up early but really got going late, rattling off the third fastest last 200-metre split of the day. Is a reasonable leap from 1240 metres to 1600 metres second up, but this is unlikely to be a high pressure affair and it if turns into a sprint home, then she’ll be strong late. DEEL RED was sent out a $3.50 chance at his first outing for new trainer Helen Harding at Kalgoorlie 16/4, but had a genuine excuse for the disappointing result when pulling up lame. Expecting sharp improvement from him, with his best more than capable of winning, while first-upper VICTORIOUSCHINO ran some nice races when last in work and stretched out well enough when winning a Bunbury 22/4 trial.
Suggested: 1. THE TOTE CRUSHER win.
1. THE TOTE CRUSHER
4. REGAL REBELLE
3. DEEL RED
Race 2 – 1:28PM ECLIPSE REFRIGERATION MAIDEN (1230 METRES)
Competitive All Aged Maiden with about seven winning chances and happy enough to roll with BLUE TURNS TO GREY each way. Faced the breeze outside leader in a similar assignment to this last start and looked to have the race won before Soramimi got over the top of him late. With a clean getaway from the low draw, new rider Randy Tan should be able to find a suitable on-pace running position and the way he boxed on last start suggests he’s going to fight out the finish of this. LOKI hasn’t done a lot wrong in his two Albany outings so far, and was a little stiff when pocketed and forced to use the cutaway rail last time, which wasn’t the place to be on that day. Gives himself every chance by racing up on top of the speed and has to be considered a major player. Have really liked the last two trials from first-starter UNIVERSAL VAIN, chasing home the top-shelf Lordhelpmerun, before a strong 1000-metre heat win last Sunday week. Has been a bit tardy out of the gates, so from the draw will settle rearwards, but expecting him to be charging home late, while first-upper WAR CLASS is a youngster with his share of ability, and he’s another who’ll be drifting back and hitting the line hard.
Suggested: 2. BLUE TURNS TO GREY each way.
2. BLUE TURNS TO GREY
6. UNIVERSAL VAIN
4. WAR CLASS
Race 3 – 2:08PM TABTOUCH – BETTER YOUR BET HANDICAP (1600 METRES)
This race is well and truly up for grabs, with any of the 10 original acceptors capable of winning. After a fair bit of head-scratching, decided to side with TOP AGENT after a tough-as-nails effort against the likes of Not Again Ken and Mr Pago over 2100 metres last start. Does a fair bit of racing, so will lack nothing in the fitness department, and with a patient ride from the high draw, he’s capable of running home over the top late. Hard to fault the form of SORAMIMI, who recorded an overdue maiden win last Sunday week. Will find this tougher than what he’s been facing and has been yo-yoing in distance ranges recently, but he’s simply racing too well not to warrant strong consideration. The consistent BENTLEY’S BROTHER had had plenty of chances and has been costly to follow, but simply has to be a major player. Loves the Albany 1600 metres and enjoys low draws also, so if he gets clear galloping room late he’ll be fighting out the finish, while COSTA OESTE met with strong support second up and just peaked on his run after leading. That hit out will bring him forward significantly and expecting him to roll forward and take some catching.
Suggested: 8. TOP AGENT each way.
8. TOP AGENT
2. BENTLEY’S BROTHER
7. COSTA OESTE
Race 4 – 2:47PM XXXX GOLD HANDICAP (1500 METRES)
Good contest this and with Peter Hall back on board, the durable on-pacer CHASING CHAOS should take some beating. Was pocketed at a vital stage this track/distance last Sunday week and was unable to build momentum when he needed to, so the effort to fight on into fourth behind Notta Mocha was full of merit. With a clean getaway, expecting him to be allowed to roll along either in front or outside leader and from there he’s going be be hard to get past. Popular local mare CANNA LILY continues to race her heart out and comes into this assignment on the back of three straight second placings, twice behind the likely Great Southern Horse Of The Year in Notta Mocha. Doesn’t know how to run a bad race and has to be a major player. BOXONLUCY was heavily supported when winning a similar race to this starts back, before getting too far back from barrier eight when very well fancied again last Sunday week. Likely to land in a more suitable running position from this low draw and should get her chance, while DEFIANTLY is in career-best form with back-to-back barnstorming victories in a lower grade than this recently.
Suggested: 2. CHASING CHAOS each way.
2. CHASING CHAOS
1. CANNA LILY
Race 5 – 3:27PM BP ROADHOUSE WILLIAMS HANDICAP (1100 METRES)
Another handicap with a heap of winning possibilities, but CAPTIVATED POINT does look ready to give this a shake. Put in a big effort when wide throughout over this track/distance two back, before a big-finishing third last start behind subsequent Ascot placegetters Copper Fury and Wanna Be Good. Clocked the fastest last 600, 400 and 200-metre splits of the day on that occasion, so he’s clearly feeling well and with even luck from the potentially sticky barrier, he should go close. Nine-year-old TRANQUILLA SUNRISE has rarely raced better, winning three of his last four starts and missing out by only a neck when runner up at the other. May not be able to hold the lead from barrier one, which could see him awkwardly positioned, but this horse is flying and should run well regardless. BLIZZARD EXPRESS put in a poor one as a $4.60 chance last time, but did win a similar event to this here two starts back, knocking off subsequent winners Tranquilla Sunrise and Friar’s Gift. No surprise to see him rebound, while first-upper OUR BUDDY BOY placed behind Tango Ora and Arrum Boy over this track/distance when kicking off his previous campaign, so he’s more than capable of finishing top four in this.
Suggested: 7. CAPTIVATED POINT win.
7. CAPTIVATED POINT
4. TRANQUILLA SUNRISE
5. BLIZZARD EXPRESS
10. OUR BUDDY BOY
Race 6 – 4:05PM AQUA ICE HANDICAP (1230 METRES)
Looking forward to the return of promising three-year-old TRIGGERFISH and he should take a stack of beating in this. Looked the goods when winning his first two outings last prep, before being thrown in the deep end in the listed Placid Ark Stakes at Ascot on Railway Stakes Day last November. Wasn’t knocked around behind star stablemate Lordhelpmerun in this lead-up 1000-metre trial, should be able to enjoy a suitable run in transit from the low draw and stands out as the horse to beat. WILLOW RIVER followed up her strong maiden win with a close-up fourth in this grade last Sunday week, and probably should’ve finished a bit closer after encountering some traffic in the straight. Maps to advantage and looks a major player. MYGIRLFRANKIE is a stablemate of our on-top pick and makes her return after an encouraging spring/summer campaign. Covered the ground well enough in her lead-up trial and Shaun McGruddy should have have well positioned from her handy draw, while MORGS FREEMAN has a stack of ability and although his recent results don’t read well, with even luck from his high draw, he’ll be charging home into the finish.
Suggested: 2. TRIGGERFISH win.
11. WILLOW RIVER
1. MORGS FREEMAN
Race 7 – 4:40PM FURPHY HANDICAP (1230 METRES)
Pretty keen on the chances of READ THE RIOT ACT and if he brings his best he should be winning. Hasn’t been seen since a fighting Pinjarra 24/2 victory when lifted over the line in a slugging finish and pulling up lame in both forelegs afterwards. His previous Albany results were very sharp and although he will miss regular rider Dan Staeck, Andrew Castle has ridden this horse previously and is coming off a winning double here last Sunday week. Looks just about the best of the day. South West visitor DYNABELLE has raced well in Albany in the past and looks nicely placed back in this grade, considering the opposition she’s competed against this time in. With even luck she should be fighting out the finish. Hard to leave out in-form on-pacer MAGIC OPUS after back-to-back wins this track/distance in the last month. Expected to roll forward and make her presence felt again, while ITS NOT TRADING was brave in this grade last Saturday week, but will be jumping from the outside alley in this full field and it’s going to be difficult from out there.
Suggested: 2. READ THE RIOT ACT win.
2. READ THE RIOT ACT
8. MAGIC OPUS
1. ITS NOT TRADING
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the Albany Racing Club.