Popular race-by-race meeting preview The Leg Up (by Thoroheads) provides in-depth summaries, tips, suggested bets and suggested quaddies.

Popular race-by-race meeting preview The Leg Up (by Thoroheads) provides in-depth summaries, tips, suggested bets and suggested quaddies.

RACE 1 SURA MAIDEN 1:32 PM (1410M)

We really liked the run of PACK OF STARS first up at Bunbury on Australia Day but he hasn’t drawn as favourably here, so we are going to put HEART STARTER on top for the always dangerous Grant Williams/William Pike combination. The three-year-old was unlucky not to break his maiden status first up here on January 14, when a fast-finishing second behind Fourty Four Red. He’ll strip fitter second up and, with a fair bit of speed in the race, we think he will be too strong late. PACK OF STARS is going to need a bit of luck to comfortably find the front after drawing the outside gate. If the David Harrison runner can come across and lead he could be right in the finish. HINCHINBEEL has been thereabouts at all four career runs and will also be pressing forward. The drop back in distance should suit and we have a fair amount of time for the Ross Price-trained runner, while RAMMASUN is first up for Simon A. Miller and must be thrown into the novelties.

Tips: 1-2-3-4
Suggested Bet: (1) HEART STARTER to win.


After a fair bit of study the only thing we can say with confidence is this race is an absolute raffle. We’ll take HIGH SUCCESS on trust though, mainly because of the Grant Williams/William Pike factor, and the cerise and white colours of WA’s biggest owners Bob and Sandra Peters. The three-year-old comes in off a a pretty lacklustre trial effort at Lark Hill, but showed some talent back in November when flashing late to run second behind Diva Rose at York. A repeat of that effort and a bit of luck from his wide gate should see the half-brother to Group 1 performer Disposition right in the finish. COULEUR BIZARRE trialled nicely for trainer Chris Stelmach and is resuming after a five-month lay off. Only lightly raced with two race starts, but finished three lengths behind potential superstar Perfect Reflection on debut last September. The Bernie Miller-trained four-year-old BORN BLUE has displayed potential in the past and stretched out fairly well in a Belmont trial last month. Should get a lovely run from an inner draw, while ASIAN PEARL gets in with just 53kg after the claim of Sarah Bonner and should be thereabouts.

Tips: 5-6-1-8
Suggested Bet: Not a huge amount of confidence, so the safe play is (5) HIGH SUCCESS each way.

RACE 3 NTI MAIDEN 2:37 PM (1208M)

Another tricky maiden but this one with a fraction more form to bet around. PURO D’ORO has put in three nice runs this prep with her last effort being fairly impressive, when wide throughout before hitting the line strong behind Fermentation at Ascot. Has drawn a lot better here and Ryan Hill should be able to sit a lot closer. There doesn’t appear to be a heap of speed in the race which should play into the hands of ON THE TERRACE. The Dennis Barker runner should be able to lead from his middle draw and if Clint Johnston-Porter can stack them up, should go well. GATTLING has drawn wide but we think the form lines around Scotty Beau will hold up well. If ‘Ike’ can cross and find a handy spot, look for him to be flashing late, while TINTILLY resumes for Neville Parker off a nice trial win and has drawn nicely.

Tips: 14-1-3-8
Suggested Bet: You should get an each way price about (14) PURO D’ORO.


When the pre-race markets open the first horse you should be backing is SNITZBLITZ. We really like the chances of the Ben Pearce-trained galloper here and with a couple of other handy types in the race, we think the price could be too good to refuse. Her last two runs have been real eye-catchers. From wide gates she has been forced to go back and cover a lot of ground to finish in the minor places and from a nice draw here, Peter Hall should be able to sit a lot closer and be right in the finish. BOOM BOOM BANG is likely to start favourite after an encouraging first-up effort at Narrogin on Australia Day. Has to overcome a wide draw but William Pike goes on and if anyone can do it ‘The Wizard’ can. KAZACHKA improved nicely second up at Pinjarra recently and should be ready to produce a peak performances, while we’re expecting an improved showing from RELUCTANT HERO after having little luck in the straight when a beaten favourite at Geraldton last start.

Tips: 10-2-9-3
Suggested Bet: Very happy to be all over (10) SNITZBLITZ each way.


CALABRIA JOE is not just the best horse in the race but looks to be the best horse going around for entire day. So it should be a lock for the best bet of the day right? Well if he hadn’t drawn barrier 10 in a 10 horse field with 59.5kgs on his back we would be happy to declare it. Even still we have the Justin Warwick-runner as our on top selection. He put in a really strong effort behind Distant Memory after racing wide throughout, in the Summer Sizzle and his prior run was just as impressive behind the in-form Volkoff at Ascot. DISCORD WITCH continues to race well this prep and is the ladder leader in the race for the Bunbury Turf Club’s Horse of the Year award. From seven runs this campaign she has won twice and been placed three times, including a last start second behind Spin Da Wheels. With a nice draw and handy weight we expected her to look the winner at some stage. ON THE ROPES is the most interesting runner of the field. Formerly with Fred Kersley, the son of Fath resumes for Grant Williams off a nice trial effort, but may find the 1200 metres too short, while NICCATRICE has been racing well and has drawn sweetly in barrier one.

Tips: 1-6-3-2
Suggested Bet: $2.50 or more we are happy to be on (1) CALABRIA JOE to win.


Grant Williams has two nice three-year-olds resuming here and we’re going to put Nicconi gelding TRULY GOLD on top. Showed plenty of talent last campaign with a win and a second from three starts, and resumes after a nice trial behind some talented types including Placid Ark Stakes winner Let it Slip. Another talented youngster from the Bob Peters breeding factory, TRULY GOLD is well weighted with 56kg after the claim to Clint Johnson-Porter and should be able to sit just behind the speed. MAJOR DETAIL is the second of the Williams’ brigade and is also resuming after a short let up, but we weren’t as taken with his trial effort and has drawn out wide. The Beneteau gelding has strong form lines though, with a win over Congonize back in October, before finishing two lengths behind the highly-talented London Line in town. CAPTAIN BONEHEAD is looking to make it two wins in a row after breaking his maiden status with a nice win at Pinjarra on January 24. Will carry 57kg after Randy Tan’s claim and has a handy inner draw, while watch for MAKATIES KEEPER to be flashing late.

Tips: 6-5-2-12
Suggested Bet: Recent trial, good gate and CJP’s claim makes (6) TRULY GOLD look a great each-way play.

RACE 7 MGIB PLATE 4:55 PM (1690M)

We always like a horse dropping back in grade, who is well weighted, and FO’ SHIZZLE ticks both those boxes. The Darren McAuliffe-trained four-year-old has had two runs back this prep and both have been in town against some talented opposition. Finished a length behind Reflectance two starts back, before facing the breeze to finish two lengths behind Baraki Beats. The rise in distance should suit and looks well in with 57.5kg. SOCIALLY UNIQUE has been racing well in stronger races than this as well, but meets FO’SHIZZLE 2.5kg worse than when they last clashed. William Pike rides and we expect to see the Alana Williams runner sit midfield from the draw, and put in a bold effort. It’s hard to ignore the form of IT’S IT. The Sharon Miller-runner is looking to make it three wins in a row and expect to see Randy Tan try and go the the front, while THE FLIRT was disappointing last start, but with an ounce of luck from a wide draw he could play a part. We also don’t mind the Daniel Pearce-trained STORMY GRACE at a price, considering she drops 4kgs after a slashing third at Ascot.

Tips: 1-4-3-2
Suggested Bet: (1) FO’SHIZZLE should give each-way punters a good run for their money.


The lucky last and we think READY TO FIRE is ready to win. The Justin Warwick-trained galloper comes to Bunbury following a strong second behind Excellently at Pinjarra on January 21 and after three runs over the mile, looks ready to hit her peak at the 2019-metre journey. She has drawn well on the inside and Lucy Warwick should be able to sit just behind the speed, which should be strong. SOLAR RULE was disappointing first up at Mt Barker, however, we will give the Darren McAuliffe-trained four-year-old another chance here. The in-form Ben Kennedy goes on and the step up in trip should suit. The Simon A. Miller-trained PARISIENNE LADY might still be a maiden but we think she has a bit of talent. She has looked pretty green and raw since resuming and, despite being her first time over more than 1500 metres, we think she can run a big race, while watch for GRAPHIC DETAIL to get back and fly home late.

Tips: 6-2-10-4
Suggested Bet: (8) READY TO FIRE looks a nice each-way play to round out the day.

The Leg Up is provided by Thoroheads — Digital content producers servicing the Western Australian Thoroughbred Horse Racing Industry.

​Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of the Bunbury Turf Club.