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.


Three-year-old first starter SIR SNUGALOT produced one of the better performances at the Belmont 5 December trials and it’s hard not to have him on top. Relished the addition of blinkers on that occasion, jumping straight to the front and striding clear in the straight to win by panels, and clock one of the fastest times of the session. Will encounter a bit more pressure in front on raceday but we’re confident SIR SNUGALOT can handle the heat and record a victory on debut. ARAFURA showed promise during her initial racing preparation last season and we’ve liked what we’ve seen from her in two recent barrier trials. Maps well from the good draw and she looks the main danger to our on-top pick. TWENTY NINE BLACK has burned punters on more than one occasion in the past but this does look a nice option for him first up, jumping from a low draw with Paul Harvey in the saddle, and he wasn’t knocked around in a recent Belmont trial, while BREGENZ was blocked for clear running at a vital stage last start and appears better placed racing back in maiden company.

Tips: 4-8-1-2
Suggested Bet: (4) SIR SNUGALOT each way.

RACE 2 GO POLLY 2018 MAIDEN 1:43 PM (1208M)

Another competitive maiden here and NODUSTONME gets our nod, although the race is truly wide open. This fellow certainly has his share of ability and was far from disgraced against some of the State’s better three-year-olds in the Lee Steere Classic at Ascot last start. Much better placed back in maiden company and, while the outside alley isn’t ideal, he has the class to overcome that hurdle. NODUSTONME each way. HEZA SHORE THING ran into trouble in the straight last start and no doubt should have finished closer. Should enjoy the run of the race from the low draw should strip fitter for this second-up assignment. First starter DUKEAZZA has shown up at the trials, improving on each occasion, and we like the way he carries himself in transit and lets down late. Should be able to land in the box seat from the inside alley and he can run a big race on debut, while FINANCE was impressive when winning a trial here recently, showing a nice turn of foot, which he’ll need from the wide barrier on debut.

Tips: 1-3-6-7
Suggested Bet: (1) NODUSTONME each way.


We have been impressed with the two efforts of A FAIR LADY to date and she put the writing on the wall with a slashing second at Ascot recently. Has drifted well back from wide alleys on both occasions and, while she has another awkward draw to contend with, we’re expecting an even tempo and that should give her an opportunity to work her way into the race. A FAIR LADY looks a solid each-way play. We were bullish about the chances of MUSICAL ART first up last start and we felt he was a little disappointing. There was a decent gap between that hit-out and his lead-up trial, however, so he may have needed the run fresh and we’re willing to give him another chance, especially from the perfect draw. Former eastern stater BRING MORE SPEED ran his heart out first up last start, boxing on after working forward from barrier 12 to race outside the leader. That run was encouraging and he’s drawn a lot more favourably here, while OPERA BILL produced a big effort first up in a similar assignment to this last start and he only has to hold form to be a major player here.

Tips: 16-2-6-4
Suggested Bet: (16) A FAIR LADY each way.


This race looks the perfect option for local staying prospect HAKUNA MATATA to break through for his maiden victory. The former eastern stater displayed ability in his previous racing preparation and his first two runs this campaign have been very encouraging. Should be conditioned to step up to a middle distance now after two runs over a mile, and HAKUNA MATATA looms as one of the better win bets on the program. CORRENTE steps back up in distance after a disappointing performance when dropping down to the mile here last start. Has been a costly mare to follow over the journey, however, this field lacks depth and she possesses some of the better formlines of the race. Must be included in the mix. SCANDIUM has done a reasonable job at his two runs this preparation and he should be ready to turn in a peak performance third up. Gives himself every chance by being able to race on-pace and he’ll be hard to catch if handed an easy lead, while BURGER TIME faces a test over the distance but has caught the eye at his last two starts and may be able to run a cheeky race at healthy each-way odds.

Tips: 1-11-5-8
Suggested Bet: (1) HAKUNA MATATA to win.


Good to see a full field competing in this middle-distance Class 1 and we liked the way VINTRUSIVE got home at Ascot last start, and the Blackfriars three-year-old should relish the rise from 1800 metres. Appears likely to drift back and be ridden patiently from the outside barrier, but we’re expecting a reasonable tempo and VINTRUSIVE should get his chance to run over the top of them late. TOP AGENT is in terrific form and he was rewarded for his consistency with a fighting maiden win over the mile here last start. By a former two-mile Perth Cup winner, so the extra distance of this should be up his alley and we’ve been impressed with the way this fellow has toughed out his races in recent times. EXPLOSIVE QUEEN has the form on the board over the distance and will appreciate this trip after an even effort over 1800 metres at Ascot last start. Drawn to get the run of the race and she’s a major player, while I’M A LOVE MAN is rock-hard fit and has performed well on several occasions over this distance previously.

Tips: 6-2-7-1
Suggested Bet: (6) VINTRUSIVE each way.


This race is wide open and the horse we kept coming back to is the Team Giadresco-prepared SAINT STEPHEN. We’ve been tracking this fellow throughout his preparation and we felt as though his win here two starts back was full of merit. He followed up that victory with a solid effort last Sunday week and the form out of that race has stood up well since through Let’s Twist and Black Lilly. This doesn’t look as hard as last start and SAINT STEPHEN makes each-way appeal. We’ve liked what we’ve seen from NORTHPACE this preparation with a soft trial followed by a competitive first-up effort last start, when narrowly missing a place against handy opposition. Apprentice Randy Tan rides Bunbury well and he should give NORTHPACE every chance jumping from the good draw. The Dan Morton-trained LOLONG has a bit of ability and comes out of a good form reference at Northam last start. Should have finished closer on that occasion also so we’d be surprised if he didn’t finish in the placings, while SUNSET SUPERMAN is stayer who has sprinted well fresh in the past and has been sharpened up for this with two lead-up barrier trials.

Tips: 1-10-5-2
Suggested Bet: (1) SAINT STEPHEN each way.


We’ve closely monitored the progress of SALTY throughout his career and we’re thinking the Ross Price-prepared four-year-old can get the job done here at good each-way odds. Wasn’t knocked around in two barrier trials last month and he simply never got a crack at them when racing first-up here last start, featuring prominently in the Stewards’ Report. Paul Harvey going on is a significant riding change and SALTY is our value play of the day. MISS SONDRIO was super-impressive when putting her rivals to the sword first up here last start and the form out of that race has stood up okay since. Really liked the acceleration she displayed on that occasion and if she can reproduce that effort then she’ll be mighty hard to beat again. The front-running STIRLING ESTATE is a bit of a rogue but he does have his share of sprinting ability. Performed well racing out of his grade at Ascot last start and, while he’ll take some catching, the 1100 metres may just see him out. STORMY PLANET turned in a solid first-up performance last start and he should be afforded the run of the race jumping from the sweet gate here.

Tips: 1-4-2-5
Suggested Bet: (1) SALTY each way.


Former outstanding youngster CUANZO has shown that he could be right back on track with two smart barrier trial performances in recent weeks. The five-year-old, who performed well at his only start for new trainer Lou Luciani in June, has gone to the line under a strong hold at each trial hit-out and looks ready to run a race first up in this. CUANZO has a high level of natural ability and if he brings his A-game then he’ll be winning this. BORDER SCOT was huge in the Regional Championship Final, finishing fourth despite only being a head behind the winner on the line. That result was a continuation of some brilliant form in his four starts this preparation and BORDER SCOT has to rate among the main chances in this. DANEFIN caused a boilover when winning a heat of the Regional Championships at huge odds last month, however, he hasn’t been sighted since and missed out on competing in the $100,000 final. That suggests he may have suffered a setback, but that form still stacks up well and he should be given every chance jumping from the good gate, while tough local mare ANOTHER VISION races first up from a well-earned spell and we wouldn’t be surprised to see her run a cheeky race fresh.

Tips: 5-1-3-4
Suggested Bet: (5) CUANZO 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.