Racepal.com.au previews for the meetings at Warwick Farm and Ipswich and the non-metropolitan meeting at Geelong on Wednesday:
Track: Soft 5 (Monday)
Rail: +5m 1000m to WP, +3m Remainder
Back to Warwick Farm for this Wednesday’s meeting and we’ll be flirting with a return to a Good track on race day. We expect on-pace to be a slight advantage throughout the day, especially with the improving going under foot.
Speed map/race shape: Just the one debutant in the 3yo Maiden in Nowyunomi from the Waterhouse/Bott yard, he’s shown speed in trials and go forward along with Scepter Of Power and Task And Purpose, leaving Souologist to assume a handy trail.
Advantaged runners: From a good position in the run ZOUOLOGIST should get his chance to break his maiden. He was last seen going down at odds on in December after a tough run before being tipped out for a spell. LES AMOREUX beat him home that day and had three more goes at breaking the maiden without luck. His form lines tie in with TASK AND PURPOSE but he’s had a fair few goes now. Respect SCEPTER OF POWER first up and NWOWYUNOMI on debut who will give themselves a hope on the pace.
Speed map/race shape: Not much natural speed here except of course for Erno, a bold all-the-way winner on debut. He should get things his own way in front here.
Advantaged runners: Just one debutant and only two previous winners in the 2yo Handicap. ERNO’s debut victory on his home track in the wet was another big tick for the Rubick progeny. The Warwick Farm layout should suit. But there’s a number with a chance to upset the heavy favourite. CHABROL drops sharply in class after not handling the Heavy at Group 3 level, the extra trip should suit ESCONDIDO third up, debutant SEA OF LIFE has trialled stylishly and both ANTONIO PADRE and PERALTA look well prepared for their return.
Speed map/race shape: Only a small field for the BM70 sprint. The speed comes from the wider runners with Invictus Salute and Let Me Sleep On It looking to go forward from Belladeel and the Ronstar from a lower draw. They might inject a bit of tempo into this one.
Advantaged runners: Despite the small field this is a pretty handy race. INVICTUS SALUTE drops back from Group 3 company to midweek grade with a solid fitness base. She’ll make the running with LET ME SLEEP ON IT who was last seen running second to Lean Mean Machine at the trials to prepare for this first up test. Also resuming is BELLADEEL, previously unseen below 1400m so today’s 1100m is a query. RONSTAR has two preps under his belt and it would be no shock to see him enjoy a cold run and power past them in the straight, he does have a big weight though. The 30-start 4yo STONE COLD is far from hopeless.
Speed map/race shape: The pace in the 2200m event comes from the inside with Plymouth Road and Free Fly Too the likely leaders, from Heartlet and My Psychiatrist in even tempo.
Advantaged runners: There’s a sense of timing about BAJAN GOLD. He’s in his first Australian preparation, fourth up and retains his association with jockey McEvoy. He can settle midfield stepping up to this trip after closing nicely late at 1800m last start, finishing alongside SCREAMARR. Bajan’s stablemate JAKE’S HILL is also third up, he doesn’t win out of turn but did accelerate into the race nicely last start when just failing to run down FREE FLY TOO, who has been up and going for a while now. HEARTLET quickly gets to a staying trip third up and could prove tough to catch if she can sprint well on the turn.
Speed map/race shape: Good speed here set up primarily by Anna’s Joy and Vontaine, who can take it up from a host of runners eager to be handy.
Advantaged runners: An intriguing affair, with a number of first and second up runners dominating the early markets. ECHO JET resumed after nearly 15 months off the scene with a smart on-pace win at this track and trip, with NICCO LAD finishing close up in a blanket go for the minors. Both efforts were full of merit but they may still not be a good enough grounding to hold out REELEM IN RUBY first up, who split Zousain and Shoals in a recent trial. Her last race day effort was a third to Zalatte and Baller and she appears to have come on from that well. VONTAINE was a live chance in the Queensland Guineas before a spell and the stable is flying, it is just a matter of how much work she does in the run. GRIMOIRE has the fitness edge over his rivals and has been handling the wet of late.
Speed map/race shape: With a big long run to the only turn, you wouldn’t expect too much speed on here over 1300m. Art Of Dance looks the leader from Red Chandelier, giving Bid’n’bare and Regine the chance to settle handily.
Advantaged runners: An open and tricky race to sort out with a host of chances. PERFECT PITCH gives away weight to the older mares but presents ideally third up after chasing home Green Aeon and Kylease this prep. She could be hard to hold out if settling midfield or even further forward. The settling position is the only real query on LUCKY HELMET from the low draw, she took plenty of ground off Fasika first up. RED CHANDELIER is the fit mare who kept kicking last time on the Kenso track and will be up there once again. BUCKLE UP BABY drops sharply in class and can improve, while there’s a big watch on former Kiwis AUSTRIA (Waller) and HIGH SHINE (Sargent), both first up here under the same ownership.
Speed map/race shape: A few leaders in this pack, headlined by the Waterhouse/Bott pair Sondelon and Wolfe, while Mustafa and Smiling Manolito will also race forward. Expect this to be a solidly run 1600m.
Advantaged runners: Willing to forgive SONDELON his Muswellbrook Cup ‘failure’. He was a month between runs and got stuck in the worst ground in the straight after trailing a tiring leader. There’s a big jockey change today with Tim Clark (28% ROI this stable last 12 months) on. Take notice of any betting moves on the stablemate WOLFE first up with the blinkers on at the mile. If they overdo it in front then GOLD MAG could swoop on by, his first Sydney start was a success at this track and trip and he’s still only lightly raced. PUMPKIN PIE chased home a good one first up and jumps sharply to the mile here. BRACES has found a new lease on life lately so can’t be left out, nor SEMPER FIDELIS second up.
Speed map/race shape: Mushaireb led at his only Australian start but now switches camps and the blinkers come off, leaving us to assume Somethingvain could come across from wide and take it up over Cuban Royale, Cloak and Restrained.
Advantaged runners: He gives weight away to the older horses and draws the carpark, but RESTRAINED looks like a horse on an upward spiral. The wide run told second up but it gives him an ideal fitness base to resume his winning ways. There’s plenty of reasons to be wary of MUSHAIREB in this field. Stablemate and fellow three-year-old CLOAK is yet to measure up in the city but he looks as ready as ever bouncing off an all-the-way Hawkesbury win. The Richard Freedman stable has a habit of unlocking the potential in horses who appear to have had a few issues. PRIMITIVO was a first up winner last prep before a couple of throws at the stumps didn’t work out in Melbourne, three recent trials should have him prepared for this.
Track: Good 4
Rail: True entire.
No metropolitan meeting in Victoria this Wednesday, with racing coming via a country card at the Geelong track. We’ve identified a few key runners to look at closely in your early form study.
DUNMAM (Race 4, No. 4)
The former Weir-trained Dunmam headed to Benalla last start in an attempt to break his maiden but ran into one better in Buffalo Bill. Regardless, his run was excellent for a first up effort at the mile, closing in on the winner strongly late. He meets a moderate field here over 1700m, John Allen jumps back on and today could be the day.
ILLUMINAIRE (Race 5, No. 2)
The Corstens team must have had an opinion of Illuminaire, campaigning her at Stakes grade at her last couple of preparations. Last start she ran into some handy ones in a Saturday Morphettville event and now she plummets in class searching for a return to winning form. The extra 150m will suit the daughter of All Too Hard here and this looks a bit of a now or never situation. On class she should go very close.
PETRELLE (Race 9, No. 2)
There’s no spoil at the early $1.70 quote but Petrelle is worth taking note of with an eye to future events. She’s won two of four and was last seen jumping at single figures in Group 3 company. She finished 3.5 lengths behind Oakleigh Plate winner Booker in that event. She looks like jumping and running from the wide gate and being awfully hard to catch.
Track: Good 4 (Tuesday)
Rail: False Outside Rail W/Post-1666 Chute; 6m 1550-500; 4m Remainder.
Weather: Possible Tuesday shower 1-5mm, fine Wednesday
We’ll be teetering on the brink of a downgrade to a Soft surface for Wednesday’s meeting at Ipswich, depending on the severity of the Tuesday showers. We’ll assume we’re on no worse than a Soft 5, with a tricky rail position emphasising the important of tactical speed.
Speed map/race shape: The former Sydneysider Elementae possesses some gate speed and he’ll be prominent with Phony Pony and Grace Of Monaco early in proceedings.
Advantaged runners: In a pretty ordinary field two runners stand out on form. ELEMENTAE is an ex-Gerald Ryan gelding making his Queensland debut He was in-and-around the money at three NSW provincial starts last Winter and has trialled soundly. GRACE OF MONACO has placed at three of her last four and will win one sooner or later. She has tactical speed and the 1000m maybe suits her more than Elementae. Everything else is a throw at the stumps.
Speed map/race shape: The 1666m start point will give horses drawn in the lower half like Itsa and Wakata the chance to be prominent early. Masstoo can come across from wider and be handy as well.
Advantaged runners: There’s a full field of 12 + 7 emergencies here so scratchings will have a big impact on the race. TICKETOME gets a few favours from the inside draw and he should be happier on top of the ground, this is a big jump in distance but he has done this before. He beat home MASSTOO a few starts back and that horse has followed a more conventional path to the mile trip, he just needs to find a spot early. ITSA was beaten a long way from hone here last start but may improve on drier, while LOTUS LEAF has shown plenty of ability running on from the back.
Speed map/race shape: Should be good speed on over the 1350m with Shauquin attempting to hold out My Song for the lead. That latter runner can give Tequila Boom and Currumbin Craft an ideal cart across into the stalking positions.
Advantaged runners: This early tempo may set this one up for a closer and CINNAMON MISSILE looks a likely candidate. He didn’t handle the Heavy at Doomben but his prior form suggests he is right up to this class. MAGIC INK is another who may be more at home on top of the ground and his finishing effort in Saturday grade last time out is an excellent reference for this. They’ll be setting out after former Sydneysider MY SONG having his first Queensland start and CURRUMBIN CRAFT, who has been there and thereabouts this prep without winning.
Speed map/race shape: Plenty of speed as you’d expect for a Class 5 over 1000m, with Eight Over, Hirtshals and Killerman’s Run the most prominent. Backslapper and General Nelson won’t want to be far off the pace either.
Advantaged runners: With all this speed on, the natural place to look is for the strongest closer, which is clearly RAIDEN. He’s having his first go for the new trainer/owners today. But getting buried from barrier one isn’t ideal so perhaps we need to find the fittest and strongest speed horse. EIGHT OVER is certainly up there, he won three on the bounce before being out-muscled late in Saturday grade. Problem is, all five wins have come on his home track. So we’ll turn to HIRTSHALS – she’s third up, back from Saturday grade, back in trip and the blinkers go on. A plan perhaps? BACKSLAPPER is the other major contender and he’ll get a cosy trail. Nice little race.
Speed map/race shape: Anticipating a testing 1666m with plenty of go-forward types engaged. Lefkas Island, Mr Dumont and So You Wish are drawn across the track but can go forward, while each of Animal Instinct, Downloading and Mother To Race Her are up in trip and will also be right up there.
Advantaged runners: Looking for fit horses here. MR DUMONT ticks that box and he’s ready to win after consecutive seconds, most recently at this track/trip. It is a similar story for LEFKAS ISLAND and the mare brings decent city class form through Reiby The Red and Belle Roc. If you’re willing to forgive GLAMOROUS MISS her Grafton form then she comes into contention, as does stablemate MOTHER TO RACE HER stepping up in trip.
Speed map/race shape: Hekansplit could enjoy some cosy sectionals in front here with very few challengers. Stablemates Enterprise Grand and Enterprise Prince will be close by.
Advantaged runners: This is a 1200m event restricted to the 3yo Colts and Geldings only. Expecting WE CONCUR to get an ideal run from the good gate. He spanked them first up then got too far back last time. He’ll be setting out after ENTERPRISE PRINCE who has enjoyed a short spell after a productive summer prep. He may have lower end stakes ambitions in the near future. TROOPER KELLY will spot them a start but his form through Rock Beat and Baccarat Baby is hard to ignore, this is a big class drop. They look the main contenders but watch COASTAL PRINCE closely with an eye to future events over further.
Speed map/race shape: a bit more natural pace in the fillies division with Roxy’s A Star and Wanna Blue the leading contenders to take up the running. A host of these will want to settle handily and the pressure should be on.
Advantaged runners: This is arguably the easiest event SUNDARBANS has contested since breaking her maiden. The ex-Hawkes filly maps for a midfield trail and is a genuine contender. So too is ENTERPRISE LOUISE but she’ll need luck from the gate, and will be making her run along with BOOM COUNTY who couldn’t have been more impressive on debut. EPIC GIRL was strong last time out when beating CONQUERMORE easily, but the latter will appreciate the drier ground. TEQUILA BOOM is far from hopeless in this field. Still may not have found the winner – plenty of chances!
Speed map/race shape: The last looks another high tempo affair with Chikorita, Emerald Kingdom, King’s Lady and Weboughtazou all going forward from the inside half. The jockeys on Reef Knot and Vienna Moon risk being caught in awkward spots from wide draws.
Advantaged runners: CHURNING returns here after two trials and this represents a significant drop in class on the company in which she raced last prep. She has drawn wide but typically gets back anyway and should enjoy the tempo. ENTERPRISE MARCH may settle just in front of her. He’s struggling to break through but has gone close twice since dropping back to this grade. KING’S LADY impressed on debut and has been kept fresh for this, while CHIKORITA is first up in five months and both have genuine chances. Tough race outside the top pick who has a clear class edge.