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.


Bunbury Stakes Day and we think we can get punters off to good start with COULEUR BIZARRE looking close to a good thing. Chris Stelmach’s three-year-old easily has the best form with a handy fourth behind the up-and-coming All Gee two back and a gutsy third at Pinjarra last start. Paul Harvey jumps on and if he can come across from a wide gate without too many hassles then COULEUR BIZARRE is the one to beat. RETURN ON CAPITAL rarely runs a bad race and should enjoy the run of the race jumping from barrier one. Shaun McGruddy jumps on and the Andrew De Campo runner can’t be left out of calculations. FLARE PATH made up some good ground here last Sunday and will appreciate stepping up to the mile, while DOOLAN looks the next best.

Tips: 7-8-4-3
Suggested Bet: (7) COULEUR BIZARRE win.


There is a bit of talent here with a couple of handy types resuming and some nice debutantes with strong trial form. The Jason Miller-trained STANTON ABBEY resumes after a four-month lay off and gets in nicely with the claim to Clint Johnston-Porter. We liked what we saw last campaign with form around the likes of Ascot winners Shinta Mani and Planets Align, and watch out for STANTON ABBEY to run a race at healthy each-way odds. KRAKKA VISION also resumes from a short break and hasn’t missed the money in all five starts. Desperately unlucky not to break through last time in and KRAKKA VISION is the likely favourite. SHREWD GAMBLE made a big impression on debut, flashing home to finish fourth, while TYTANIUM comes in off handy trial win at Belmont.

Tips: 1-8-3-7
Suggested Bet: (1) STANTON ABBEY each way.


One of the best races of the day here sees Bunbury’s leading horse of the year DISCORD WITCH aim for two wins in seven days. Team Giadresco’s sharp mare destroyed her rivals here last Sunday and although this looks tougher, and Jason Whiting has jumped off to ride RUBY CAN RUN, we are going to stick fat. RUBY CAN RUN is the obvious danger and is aiming for three straight wins. Whiting must have a big opinion of her and she appears destined for bigger and better things. UNIVERSAL MOON drops in weight thanks to Kate Witten’s claim, while SEBRING LANE has ability and will make his presence felt.

Tips: 1-2-3-4
Suggested Bet: (1) DISCORD WITCH to win.


Another small field but plenty of talent with half of the runners bringing Ascot form to the South West. The Darren Mc Auliffe-trained SHE RULES ALL knocked off the inform Discord Witch in a head-bobbing finish in town on February 13 and the front-running mare looks ideally suited by an inside draw. Clint Johnston-Porter will likely go straight to the front and prove very difficult to catch. QUEEN OF CHOICE flooded home last start to finish second at Ascot on February 24, but can tend to find trouble in her races and as such we locked her in for second. CADENZA has won over $250,000 and has a strong second-up record, while ANOTHER VISION resumes after a let up and should be thereabouts.

Tips: 1-4-3-2
Suggested Bet: (1) SHE RULES ALL each way.


Former eastern stater SKELLIG made a handy debut Daniel Pearce at Ascot on February 24 rattling off a race best 34.84 for his final 600 metres. Was well supported on that occasion and stepping up in distance looks ideal for a horse that won twice and was placed six times from 13 runs in Victoria. Next best is clearly CAPTAIN BONEHEAD, who is looking for three wins in a row. With not a lot of speed in the race apprentice Randy Tan will likely push forward from a middle gate and try to give them something to catch. The Steve Wolfe-trained JESTER ROCK returned in a style with a dominant Mt Barker win on February 25, while MATERIAL MAN notched an impressive debut win at Narrogin on February 26.

Tips: 1-4-7-3
Suggested Bet: (1) SKELLIG each way.


This is a competitive start to the Quaddie with the Stephen Miller-trained FRERE DE FELIX coming out on top after two good efforts down the straight 1000 metres at Pinjarra last month. Was outsprinted by the winner First Affair on February 28, giving us the impression he is looking for the six furlongs now. Inform Miller stable apprentice Randy Tan reduces the Blackfriars four-year-old’s handicap to 57.5kg and FRERE DE FELIX should be able to take up a reasonable position from the draw. Team Giadresco’s ALL SETTLED appears to be the main danger with the wide barrier an obvious hurdle. We didn’t mind his run at Ascot last start when not having a heap of luck in running and the form out of that race reads well. HIGH TEA is a filly we have a bit of time for and she should appreciate the sharp drop in class after taking on some class thoroughbreds second up at Ascot last start, while the Albany-based CHASING CHAOS has more than his share of ability and could easily win this if he brings his A-Game.

Tips: 2-3-8-1
Suggested Bet: (2) FRERE DE FELIX each way.


The first of the feature black-type events looks a match race between quality fillies LET IT SLIP and SHOWY CHLOE, and we are very bullish about the chances of the exciting Daniel Pearce-trained LET IT SLIP. A winning of the Magic Millions 3YO Trophy first up at Pinjarra, the daughter of Not A Single Doubt was then sent out a warm favourite at Ascot on February 20, being brought undone by an inside barrier and a slow tempo. It was a huge run under the circumstances and she simply charged home after finally getting clear running over the final 100 metres. Regular rider Jarrad Noske is back on board and LET IT SLIP has the Breeders’ Classic within her grasp. SHOWY CHLOE was simply massive first up at Ascot on February 17 when going out far too hard in the early and middle stages, and being left a sitting duck for Black Dynamite late in the race. Hard to know what that gut-buster took out of her but SHOWY CHLOE is a big girl with plenty of class and we expect her to take some beating. THE COBBLA is a horse we have a lot of time for and it was disappointing to see him scratched from last Saturday’s Lex Piper Stakes at Ascot due to a stone bruise, where he appeared to be a major player. Hard to tip strong coming off a setback but THE COBBLA goes good and must be respected, while Smart filly GLITTERBELL has done nothing wrong and cannot be underestimated.

Tips: 2-1-8-3
Suggested Bet: (2) LET IT SLIP to win.


You could make genuine winning claims for a half-dozen runners in the 2016 Bunbury Stakes and after sifting through all the form we’re confident RED ORA can get the job done. The Dan Morton-trained four-year-old has gone under as a short-priced favourite at his past two outings but we’re willing to forgive and feel the step up to 1400 metres will bring the best out of him, while bringing some of his opponents undone. It’s fair to say RED ORA was outsprinted by FIRST AMONG EQUALS in the Pinjarra Classic last start, but he didn’t shirk the task and on the line was going as well as anything. The son of Oratorio was simply monstrous under 59kg in Kalgoorlie’s Hannan’s Handicap at his last start over the seven furlongs and if he can hit a similar peak here then he should simply be winning. Uber-talented mare WINK AND A NOD was an eye-catching run first up in the Pinjarra Classic and we expect Justin Warwick to have her spot on for this assignment. One of the best sprinters in the State and WINK AND A NOD is in this up to her eyeballs. Pinjarra Classic winner FIRST AMONG EQUALS goes in for third as we have a slight query about his ability to run out a strong seven furlongs, while don’t be surprised to see BATTLE HERO run a huge race at his first run since November 28. Stretched out nicely at Tuesday’s Lark Hill trials and is loaded with ability.

Tips: 4-1-3-7
Suggested Bet: (4) RED ORA each way.


A tough race to finish the day and we’ve decided to play the percentages and lock in BEVEL on top. Drawn to get the run of the race with Paul Harvey on board, Bob McPherson’s three-year-old performed well in a similar event to this at Pinjarra last Sunday week and did encounter some interference in the straight. We expect The Pontiff to give him every chance in running and BEVEL looks a safe each-way play. We’re expecting sharp improvement from SIXTH LEGION at his second run back. Placed at Belmont second up when last in work and this fellow can race on-pace and take some running down. TOMMI TOOCAN is one of our faves and he is racing so consistently at present. Has to be included, while Bruce Watkins has turned to William Pike to get the best out of MAKATIES KEEPER and we expect her to be charging home late in the race.

Tips: 1-6-5-10
Suggested Bet: (1) BEVEL 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.