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

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


We have a cracking little three-year-old maiden to start us off with a heap of trial form to sift through, and we ended up playing safe and selecting the race-fit/in-form runner SCANDAL MAKER on top. We were keen on his chances second up here last start and he appeared set to lead all the way before being gunned down in the final strides by Strykethree sneaking through along the cutaway rail. Should be at his peak for this third-up assignment, with race-fitness being his advantage, and coming back to the 1008-metre trip gives us confidence he can run right through the line. SCANDAL MAKER each way. The was a bit of a buzz around about VERMONT LADY during her initial racing preparation, however, she failed to deliver in three starts, although it’s clear we didn’t see the best of her. Gave us a glimpse of what she can do when scoring a very soft trial win here on March 3 and if she can bring that trial form to the races then she is a major player first up. The Simon A. Miller stable have had a good week and they have a couple of live chances in this, including first starter SCALPEL. Unbeaten at the trials this fellow appears to have a bit of class about him and we’re expecting him to attract plenty of admirers on debut, while first upper CAUGHT is an interesting runner who showed a bit when last in work. Recent Pinjarra trial was sound, and we’re expecting her to drift back and be running on well at the finish.

Tips: 1-7-6-9
Suggested Bet: (1) SCANDAL MAKER each way.


Very open mile maiden and we found this event particularly difficult to rate. In the end, we decided to place LEXDEN EXPRESS on top with the five-year-old likely to be ready to produce a peak performance at her third run this preparation. Should have finished closer when resuming at Narrogin first up and her effort was sound at Pinjarra last time, finishing alongside subsequent Ascot winner Nice Go and only two lengths from the second placegetter. Was hard in the market on several occasions when last in work, so she has a reasonable starting price profile, and this just looks the perfect race for her to break through. LEXDEN EXPRESS gets her chance. FLY AWAY PETER caught the eye when running on well at the finish here two starts back before a massive effort in Class 1 company at Pinjarra third up last start, covering plenty of additional ground in running and getting speared off on the turn, before working home remarkably well at the finish. This fellow has sucked us in in the past, so we are a bit wary of his ability to tease, however, that last-start performance has too much merit to ignore against this opposition. We didn’t mind the first-up effort on Durrant-Miller three-year-old OUT OF LINE in a slowly run affair here last start. Drifted back to last and had no chance the way the race was run, but he did manage to carve out the fastest final 600-metre sectional time and this race is nowhere near as competitive as that line up. Don’t be surprised to see OUT OF LINE run a cheeky race second up, while MAYBE ONE MORE is on the quick back-up after looming as the winner in Class 1 company at York last Monday, before appearing to peak on his run late over the 1920 metres. Has shown plenty of promise in the past and he’s finally starting to get some continuity with his racing after an interrupted preparation.

Tips: 9-4-5-1
Suggested Bet: (9) LEXDEN EXPRESS each way.


One of our best of the day comes up here in the form of Team Williams-trained first-upper PROCONI. Has been hard in the market at both starts so far and has pretty much performed up to market expectations on both occasions, competing well against the likes of Ascot winners Slik Sam and Keeper’s Tale at her Belmont debut last June. Looked nice and sharp when winning her Belmont February 27 lead-up trial, in good time, and she looks set to get every chance in running from the low draw. PROCONI stands out for us and should simply be winning. YOU NO WHAT I MEAN was very well backed into favouritism first up at Ascot, but after bungling the start he drifted too far out of his ground in running and was never a chance in a fast race. The run was actually quite good under the circumstances, with the effort likely to bring him forward significantly for this second-up assignment, and we have him a clear second best. WHO’S THE GURU again burned his many supporters when resuming at Ascot two starts back, however, he hit back hard with a vastly-improved result when being ridden more patiently down the Straight 1000 at Pinjarra last time. That was more like it from WHO’S THE GURU and we expect him to be running on well at the finish again, while first-starter DEEP CARBON has really caught the eye at the trials and looks set to get the right run from the right draw. Capable of running a race on debut.

Tips: 10-4-2-9
Suggested Bet: (10) PROCONI to win.


Tricky Class 1 sprint this one and without a huge amount of confidence we’re going to place WOVEN on top. Has pinged out of the gates to lead at each of his two starts this campaign and stuck on quite well under the circumstances on both occasions. May have been beaten six lengths behind exciting sprinter Quilista here last start, but did only finish a 3/4-length away from the second placegtter and alongside promising maiden filly Regal Class. Should be rock-hard now with those two strong hit-outs under his belt and we expect WOVEN to lead and be very hard to run down. GLEN ALBYN comes back in distance after competing well over 1300 metres at Pinjarra last start, racing on-pace and looking a winning chance before running out of steam late. Drawn to get the right run and this looks a nice option for him. PASHMINA didn’t get the best of the starts when well-fancied here last time and it was pretty much race over when she was forced to take a sit. Much better suited to leading or racing outside the leader, and if she can jump cleanly and roll forward then she is going to be right in the finish, while we’re thinking MR BEAR can run a cheeky race second-up from a suitable draw. Wasn’t too bad when resuming here last start and that hit-out will bring him forward nicely.

Tips: 3-4-9-2
Suggested Bet: (3) WOVEN each way.


Competitive line-up here and we’ve decided to give COUNT TOMOZ OFF one more chance to perform third up this preparation. Has been hard in the market at his two runs back, doing a good job when resuming behind the flying Seeker in a super-fast Graduation Handicap at Pinjarra on Magic Millions Day, before going out too hard and popping second-up at Ascot last time. Those two fitness-building runs should really do him the world of good and we expect them to bring him towards his peak for this assignment. Can gallop this fellow and we’re liking COUNT TOMOZ OFF on an each-way basis. DIABLERIE went very close to remaining unbeaten at Pinjarra last start, only getting rolled late after looking the winner. Hasn’t done a thing wrong and he appears to be a pretty promising customer, so we can’t see him not figuring in the finish. Three-year-old GEIGER GEM is the class horse in the race and races for the first time since finishing down the track in the WA Guineas. We weren’t overly impressed with his recent trial performance, however, he does go good and appears to have an edge on most of these in the talent department, while fourth goes to DIAMOND PRINCESS marginally ahead of BOOMNBUST. DIAMOND PRINCESS has been experiencing some feet problems but the cushioning pads are off and if she’s at her best she’s more than capable of winning.

Tips: 1-6-8-4 (*amended after Final Scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (1) DIABLERIE to win (*amended after Final Scratchings).


The desperately unlucky DAGORLAD gets his chance to right some wrongs after being a certainty beaten here last start. Only needed clear galloping room in the straight to race away and win easily, however, after attempting to improve along the cutaway the four-year-old suffered significant interference and lost all momentum thanks to Pigeon Post rolling back towards the rail. Did a big job to pick himself up and only go down a head on the line. This doesn’t appear to be anywhere near as strong as what he’s been competing against and DAGORLAD gets his chance to score a well-deserved win. We’ve thrown NOBLE KING in for second as we feel as though he has some upside compared to some of the others. Form is nothing to write home about but is a Peters Investments three-year-old from Team Williams, with The Wizard on board, so we’re going to keep him safe. BLACK CHANT ran a bottler at his first start for Bruce Watkins last time when leading and finishing only 1-1/4 lengths behind the winner. That race was a strong Class 1 and if he can hold that form stepping up in distance then he is a chance to figure, while TRIPLE EXPRESS is next best. Was big two run two starts back against solid opposition before getting too far back last time.

Tips: 1-3-4-8
Suggested Bet: (1) DAGORLAD to win.


Boom five-year-old MATERIAL MAN gets his chance to show everyone what he’s made of when facing his toughest assignment yet in this $100,000 black-type feature. Massive effort first-up in a super-fast 1400-metre event at Ascot two starts back and followed that up with an even bigger performance last Saturday, racing in the three-wide line without cover in a fast-paced mile and putting his in-form rival Point to the sword late. A winner of seven from 11, MATERIAL MAN looks well placed only a half-kilo off the minimum and we’re convinced that this fellow is the read deal, and a star in the making. MATERIAL MAN to win. FALCON CREST has been building nicely for the autumn Cups features and he has been super in three fast races this preparation. Ran into the white hot Pounamu in a brutally run Detonator Stakes last start and that effort will bring him close to his peak for this assignment. The main danger. Quality stayer ZARANTZ is having his first start for Team Williams and is stepping out for the first time since competing in the Perth Cup. Looked good in a recent trial here and he is a class galloper who shouldn’t be underestimated, especially considering his new surroundings, while TONTO narrowly shades DARK ALERT for fourth. TONTO comes out of the same fast races at FALCON CREST and his combination of race-fitness and top form makes him one of the hardest to beat.

Tips: 4-7-1-2
Suggested Bet: (4) MATERIAL MAN to win.


He doesn’t salute too often but this looks the right race for GEORGE ‘N’ ERNIE to return to winning form at his fifth run in this preparation. Appears to be building nicely through his campaign and we were impressed with his last start when getting well back, copping interference at the top of the straight, and still managing to finish only two lengths from the winner. As his strike rate suggests, GEORGE ‘N’ ERNIE can be a hard horse to catch, but the planets appear to have aligned and we’d be surprised if he doesn’t figure in the finish. MAIN INSTIGATOR has a bit of class about him but hasn’t raced in 45 days and is stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time. This is certainly not the perfect race for him, and his preparation appears to have been interrupted, but he has plenty of ability and can’t be taken lightly. BARRY’S RABBIT did a good job to finish third after covering ground in a fast race at Ascot last start and both Atlanta Blue and Western Temple have gone on to perform well since. 25 days between runs isn’t ideal but that last effort was big, so he may have needed a little extra time to recover, while BERGIO was hard in the market when resuming at Ascot last start and wasn’t too far away. GEORGE ‘N’ ERNIE comes through the same race and while his run was better, we still expect BERGIO to improve with that race-fitness now under his belt.

Tips: 7-2-8-5
Suggested Bet: (7) GEORGE ‘N’ ERNIE each way.

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.