Popular race-by-race meeting preview The Leg Up by Thoroheads provides in-depth summaries, tips and suggested bets.
Race 1 – 12:50PM VIRBAC HANDICAP (1925 METRES)
Have a bit of time for sparingly-raced four-year-old GO CRYING and this looks like a nice option for him at his first attempt over a middle distance. Has always appeared above average and moves like he’ll appreciate this longer journey, not to mention being out of a Zabeel mare, and we’re confident he’ll rebound after nothing went right for him at Pinjarra last start. We think he’s city-class and if that’s the case, then he really should be winning this. Nine-year-old warrior CORPORATE LARRIKIN will be no pushover though and he’s expected to attract a wave of support, coming back to a track where he’s won eight time from 22 starts. Big run out in front at Ascot two back and although he was only plain last start he was backed from $21 to 14. Looks well placed back in this company, and very well weighted compared to his opposition, and he’s certainly going to take some catching. GAUGED should’ve finished closer in the Albany Cup, after being held up at a vital stage, and his lead-up form in similar events to this was consistent. Has to be considered, while tough-as-nails mare CANNA LILY tried her heart out in the Narrogin Cup and that form stacks up.
Suggested: 5. GO CRYING win.
5. GO CRYING
1. CORPORATE LARRIKIN
4. CANNA LILY
Race 2 – 1:27PM ZOETIS MAIDEN (1500 METRES)
She may be a 19-start maiden, but with any luck in running OUR GIRL MARLI should be getting the job done here. Has been knocking on the door all campaign, with four inner-provincial placings in succession, and looks perfectly placed by Graeme Ballantyne. Jason Whiting doesn’t need to drift too far back from the low draw and the way that she’s been finishing off against much stronger opposition suggests she’ll be too good for these. ORASKY looks the only possible danger, with the race-fit and consistent filly deserved of a maiden win. Over-raced and was forced to sustain a long forward move at her first attempt over 1850 metres last start, which saw her peak late when unable to get over the top of Like Him A Bit. Suited back over this trip from a low draw and looks a standout second pick. BRIARIC hasn’t done a lot in two starts, but did run a reasonable last 200-metre split at Mt Barker 22/2 and should appreciate stepping up in distance. Maps to get a soft run also, while RUKKUS RAIZER was set a task first up at Pinjarra 24/2 when three wide/no cover throughout and his lead-up Bunbury trial was solid enough to give him a top-four chance in this.
Suggested: 5. OUR GIRL MARLI win.
5. OUR GIRL MARLI
3. RUKKUS RAIZER
Race 3 – 2:10PM ALLFLEX MAIDEN (1230 METRES)
Happy to roll with DYNAMITE BAY on debut. Really caught the eye behind subsequent Narrogin winner Sax On Que on an Albany 10/2 trial and while he was no match for the brilliant Dream Lifter in his Mt Barker 22/2 trial, he did sit outside Calbanesco throughout the 1000-metre heat and comfortably perform better than that galloper late. With a clean getaway, should enjoy a suitable run from the low draw and looks the horse to beat in a thin race. THE VAMPIRE has had plenty of opportunities, however, he did set a strong tempo and box on reasonably well late in a decent form race last start. Roy Rogers’ stable rider Dan Staeck climbs back on board and if left along out in front is capable of showing some cheek. ALFRED’S KITCHEN was a $10 chance at Narrogin 17/2 and the effort wasn’t too bad after racing fairly greenly when the pressure went on late. Has to be one of the major players with Mitch Pateman on board, while SORAMIMI was disappointing second up at Pinjarra, however, his debut effort was strong enough to warrant consideration in this.
Suggested: 5. DYNAMITE BAY win.
5. DYNAMITE BAY
2. THE VAMPIRE
4. ALFRED’S KITCHEN
Race 4 – 2:45PM TRUTEST HANDICAP (1925 METRES)
Found it difficult to look beyond PURE GEM. Split seasoned campaigners Jester Rock and Chasing Chaos first up in Ratings 58+ company, got too far back second up, but elevated stepping up to 1850 metres with senior rider Mitch Pateman last start. Does rise to 60.5kg, however, he should be ridden patiently from the nice draw and if he can roll into the race uninterrupted on the turn, similar to his last-start Mt Barker win, then it’s hard seeing any of these being able to hold him out. CLEO’S AFTERPARTY looks the main danger after closing to within a half-length of Pure Gem on the line at Mt Barker 22/2. Has been putting in reasonable effort deep into his prep and appears to now be performing to a consistent level. Likely leader BIG SUMMER has improved significantly over the last couple of months and it’s hard to fault his lead-up form, while BENTLEY’S BROTHER is a bit of a tease, but should’ve finished closer at Pinjarra last start and his best is good enough to go close.
Suggested: 1. PURE GEM win.
1. PURE GEM
7. CLEO’S AFTERPARTY
4. BIG SUMMER
6. BENTLEY’S BROTHER
Race 5 – 3:15PM KENSO KEN UP DRY HANDICAP (1600 METRES)
Decent Ratings 58+ Handicap this and really should be a good betting race, with a host of winning chances and a good spread of weights. Expecting WILD FUSION to rebound back in the Great Southern, after three competitive performances in town, and this fellow did string three-straight Albany wins together in November/December last year. Didn’t enjoy the smoothest of runs in a funny old race at Ascot 16/2 and the result was a fair bit better it reads on paper, and he was coming off a 35-day freshen on that occasion also, so that last outing will bring him forward. Should settle on top of the speed and control the race from there. Looking for sharp improvement from NOTTA MOCHA after he too was tried in town, but was unable to produce his best, pulling up lame last start. Has a strong record on his home deck and should be ready to fire at his first outing in 33 days. Local warhorse CHASING CHAOS continues to try his heart out and this shouldn’t be any different. Ran into a smart one in Bunker Buster last time and the likely leader will be mighty hard to get past late, while ROWIE has raced without luck recently, but the gaps really should appear with the cutaway rail in play and he can make things interesting.
Suggested: 4. WILD FUSION win.
4. WILD FUSION
3. NOTTA MOCHA
1. CHASING CHAOS
Race 6 – 3:45PM WARATAH HANDICAP (1230 METRES)
This looks the right race for STEP RIGHT UP. Has been a bit of a frustration in his first season with Bec Wallrodt, especially at his last two when racing without a lot of luck and flying home, clocking sharp late sectionals on both occasions. Should be able to hold a midfield running position from the low draw and with clear galloping room, does have the closing speed to run right over the top of them. MALILANGWE looks the likely favourite and hardest to beat, with Roy Rogers giving him a 25-day freshen after getting rolled second up as a $2.80 chance. Previous victory over stablemate Read The Riot Act reads very well and Dan Staeck should give him every opportunity from the low draw. STARORIO impressed with her maiden win first up, but found the leap to 1500 metres beyond her last time, when enjoying a suitable run but not finishing off as anticipated. Been kept on the fresh side since and expecting her to bounce back over the six furlongs, while AFLICA’S GIRL hails from an in-form south west stable and possesses some particularly strong formlines. Was a bit stiff not to win at Narrogin last start also.
Suggested: 7. STEP RIGHT UP each way.
7. STEP RIGHT UP
1. AFLICA’S GIRL
Race 7 – 4:15PM NUFARM SLUG OUT HANDICAP (1230 METRES)
Keen on the chances of COLD AS COLD. Produced big finishes to salute at Albany twice in succession, prior to a massive run in defeat in a blanket finish to the last on Albany Cup Day, ripping out the fastest final 200-metre split of the day. Steve Wolfe stable rider Shaun McGruddy should have this fellow positioned closer to the speed from a handy low draw, after being forced rearwards from barrier 14 last start, and his closing speed is going to be particularly difficult to counter. Fellow big-closer MESSIAH continues to hold peak form and although he finished fifth at Mt Barker 22/2, the result was still full of merit. Should enjoy a reasonable run in transit and is racing too well to ignore. WAR JEUNE is the class runner and was brave in a competitive race at Ascot 23/2, when coming off a mid-prep setback. Coming back to 1230 metres with 61kg isn’t ideal, but this fellow is a genuine Saturday metro horse at his best and must be respected, while likely leader LADY STINGRAY is race-fit, in form and suited down on 54.5kg.
Suggested: 3. COLD AS COLD win.
3. COLD AS COLD
1. WAR JEUNE
8. LADY STINGRAY
Race 8 – 4:45PM LANDMARK FERTILIZERS HANDICAP (1230 METRES)
Quality old ‘Open Sprint’ to end proceedings on Landmark Day and simply have to stick with track specialist CAPTIVATED POINT. Marked him on top at Ascot 2/2 and after enjoying a perfect run in transit, he didn’t let down as anticipated and looked a little flat on the seven-day back up. Has been given a 33-day freshen and with only 56.5kg on his back from a low draw, and considering his outstanding track/distance record, he’s going to take some beating. SENSO has put in a couple of nice runs since being transferred to Alan McNamara (Jnr) and should appreciate rising in distance after finding the 1100 metres too short last time. Maps to advantage and should be going close. SIR SNUGALOT led throughout to salute in this grade two back, but punctured after racing on top of a faster-than-average tempo at Ascot last time. Better suited back in this company, is the likely leader and may have just needed the hard run to tighten him up a bit, while haven’t minded the first two WA runs from eastern-states import REALISE POTENTIAL and no surprise to see him run a race at big odds in this.
Suggested: 10. CAPTIVATED POINT win.
10. CAPTIVATED POINT
6. SIR SNUGALOT
5. REALISE POTENTIAL
*Originally published at 9:00am on Wednesday 6 March 2019.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the Albany Racing Club.