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.

RACE 1 MM PERTH STARTS MONDAY MAIDEN 1:20 PM (1016)

Tricky short-course maiden for the three-year-olds to kick off and we simply had to select Peters Investments filly IMAGINARY on top. Is racing first up (91 days) without a barrier trial, which is unusual for Team Williams, however, she showed enough during her initial spring racing preparation to suggest she should have these covered. So far this summer, pretty much all the cerise and white clad three-year-olds have stepped up a level (or two) on their spring form, and if IMAGINARY improves along similar lines she should simply be a class above. FLIRT’S OFFENCE is a filly that we don’t mind and she was most unlucky when resuming against reasonable opposition at Ascot, getting squeezed out when looking a winning chance 150 metres from home. Barrier means she’s likely to be getting back and running on, but that run should bring her conditioning forward and all the form around her first-up outing stacks up well. First starter ROCK’N ROLL ROSIE hasn’t done a lot wrong at the trials and she wasn’t fully tested at her only hit-out this prep when runner-up in a slowly run 1000-metre heat here last Monday. Would have preferred to see her have a stronger lead-in, as that was little more than a track gallop, but she has obvious ability and rates higher than most, while NATURAL JUSTICE was a big run in a good form race on debut at Belmont last June and he was tested in a recent barrier trial. Jumped well on that occasion, something he wasn’t doing last prep, and we’re expecting him to be doing his best work late.

Tips: 3-5-8-1
Suggested Bet: (3) IMAGINARY to win.

RACE 2 OWNERS ONLY HANDICAP 2:00 PM (2238)

Old-fashioned stayer HAKUNA MATATA finally cracked it for a win last start and did it the tradesman’s way, sustaining a long sweeping run to out-last his rivals late and salute at his 19th attempt. That break-through victory should give this five-year-old a nice confidence boost, after being runner-up on six occasions previously, and we’re thinking he can go right on with the job. HAKUNA MATATA is race-hardened, in-form and thrives over the middle-distance journey, and we’re expecting him to out-stay his opposition again. ROLL ON JOHN didn’t have the best of runs when three-wide/no cover throughout at Ascot last start and did a good job to box on and finish in the top four. That was a solid follow-up staying effort after his maiden win here on Australia Day and ROLL ON JOHN should be able to enjoy a more comfortable passage from barrier one in this. GONZO’S GIRL was dragged back through the field by two tiring horses at Ascot last start and her effort to work her way back into the race, from a standing start, was full of merit. Shouldn’t encounter those traffic issues in this and we expect her to play a part, while MUSICAL ART got out of the ground late to place third in a bunched finish at Ascot last start but we do have a slight query at his strength over the distance. Does have the best sprint in the race, though, so if they walk in the early-and-middle he’s capable of zapping ’em late.

Tips: 1-2-7-4
Suggested Bet: (1) HAKUNA MATATA to win.

RACE 3 GWEN PALMER MAIDEN 2:40 PM (2038)

LATAKIA FRIARS is a three-year-old filly we’ve been tracking since showing up at the trials and we’ve been impressed with her two get-back/run-on efforts so far, doing her best work late when hitting the line hard on each occasion. Unlikely to get as far back with a better barrier draw on this occasion and the daughter of Blackfriars shouldn’t have any trouble stepping up to the 10 furlongs. Some of her opponents are race hardened over the middle-distances and may have an edge in that department, however, we’re thinking her class will shine through. LATAKIA FRIARS on top. IRON MAGGIE is a worth adversary, having hardly put a hoof wrong all campaign and the 24-start maiden has race-fitness on her side. Does still tend to do a few things wrong in running, however, she stretched Hakuna Matata to the max last start and that form reads well for this assignment. MY FAIR BEAUTY comes through exactly the same pathway as IRON MAGGIE and must rate among the best winning chances. Rock-hard-fit and in-form and she’s a lock for your exotic bets, while BOOMA LACKA stays well enough and caught the eye when finishing fourth after being specked at each-way odds first up here last Sunday week.

Tips: 13-8-9-2
Suggested Bet: (13) LATAKIA FRIARS each way.

RACE 4 REGISTER FOR BUNBURY FORUM FASHIONS ON THE FIELD 3:20 PM (1705)

Another open maiden here with a host of winning chances and we’re going to give the race-fit/in-form ZIGGOORIO one more chance. Appeared to have the race shot to bits here last Sunday week but couldn’t quite sustain the effort all the way to the line, getting gunned down late by Absolute Magic, who followed his every move in running. Should enjoy a soft run in transit from the low draw and he’s a real competitor, so there’s no doubt he’ll be giving you an honest run for your money. ZIGGOORIO each way. ONE WORD REVIEW is a three-year-old we quite like and his first-up performance at Ascot recently was massive, coming from last in the 16-horse field to finish only two lengths from the winner. Will be interested to see where he settles in running from a better draw here, but if he gets too far back again he’s going to leave himself with too much work to do late. Has obvious ability, though, and ONE WORD REVIEW is a major player. GRAND CADEAU comes out of the same race as ONE WORD REVIEW and his debut effort was almost as good, covering ground and finishing off well. Has the services of Brad Parnham on this occasion and the sweet draw means he should be well positioned to strike, while NOT A WAY TO GO is racing in great heart and should have finished closer last start, after being shuffled back in running and being forced to finish on the slow lane (inside 3m) of the Pinjarra straight.

Tips: 2-9-10-1
Suggested Bet: (2) ZIGGOORIO each way.

RACE 5 TABTOUCH CHECK IN MAIDEN 3:55 PM (1216)

This is one of the more interesting races on the card with the clash between exciting three-year-olds ROYAL COMMAND and FINANCE set to be a cracker. We are bullish about the first-up chances of ROYAL COMMAND after his dominant trial victory at Belmont, when easily accounting for subsequent Ascot winner Yeah Dardy, and the son of Street Sense should have got significant benefit from the fast-run heat. Hit the track with a big reputation last preparation and although beaten on debut at Northam last October, his effort to run home in 32.58 seconds was big. Appears to be a bigger and better version this campaign, and ROYAL COMMAND should be winning. We’re big fans of FINANCE and his two performances to date have been impressive, getting rolled by Amaliemoo in a two-horse war last start here on New Year’s Day. That galloper has gone on to win another two races since, while Fontainebleau (3rd) and Premium Reward (4th) have both gone on to score since, so all the form around him stacks up well. In-form hoop Jarrad Noske should give FINANCE the gun from gate one and it’s going to take a decent thoroughbred to beat him. CRICKET INDA HOUSE improved nicely second up here last Saturday week and appears set to produce a peak performance third up. Should be well positioned to strike from the sweet barrier draw and we can’t see him missing the top four, while BUSHFIRE BLONDE raced well during her initial campaign last spring and steps out first up with the benefit of a solid trial hit-out at Pinjarra recently.

Tips: 9-6-8-12
Suggested Bet: (9) ROYAL COMMAND to win.

RACE 6 RANGEVIEW STUD YEARLINGS BY GALAH-THEY’LL FLY 4:25 PM (1420)

Really competitive second leg of the Quaddie and we’re leaning towards fresh specialist POLITICS when he steps out for his first assignment in 130 days. The fast-finishing five-year-old can be a little unreliable at times, however, he showed he was in really good order when working home well late to narrowly defeat the very smart Material Man in a fast Pinjarra trial recently. Does like to drift back in his races but he may be able to settle midfield, or a touch worse, from the handy draw and if he’s within striking distance on the turn he’s going to be mighty hard to hold out late. POLITICS looks a great each-way play. Peters Investments filly PERFECT ROSE will no doubt attract her share of admirers at her first run in 91 days. Gave us a glimpse of her talent during a short spring campaign and does have two solid trial hit-outs under her belt leading into this assignment. Taking on older, more seasoned opposition first up and she’ll stamp herself as city class if she happens to win this. HOLD YOUR TONGUE put the writing on the wall with an improved third-up effort, leading at a good clip and only fading over the final 50 metres. Looks poised to peak for this and the booking of Chris Parnham is also a positive, having booted home four winners at Ascot on Wednesday. ANOTHER VISION rounds out our top four and it will pay to simply forget she went around in the Pearl Classic at Pinjarra last Saturday. Has slid a long way down in the Handicapper’s ratings and her effort in the South West Summer Sizzler two starts back suggests she’s actually in really good form.

Tips: 5-12-7-11
Suggested Bet: (5) POLITICS each way.

RACE 7 BUNBURY SUBARU ROYSY`S RIPPER HANDICAP 5:00 PM (1116)

Very keen on the chances of QUILISTA after her impressive fresh victory at Pinjarra, with the second-placed Premium Reward going on to win at Ascot on Wednesday. That was a decent hit-out first up without a trial, leading at a good tempo and digging deep under pressure late in the race, so it’s no surprise to see Justin Warwick has given her additional time (25 days) to recover from that big effort. QUILISTA has impressive Dainty Tess formlines from her two-year-old days and we’re expecting her to jump, run and prove too hard to catch again. REGAL CLASS was heavily commissioned on debut here last Sunday week and did a good job to get within a head of front-runner Wings Of Hope on a day that favoured leaders. Is going to be spotting QUILISTA a reasonable head-start but we still expect her to be charging home at the finish, and if our on-top pick is off her game then REGAL CLASS will be winning. LUCKY LEGACY has been improving with racing this prep and ran up to her best when second behind exciting type Galaxy Star fourth-up at Ascot last start. Should enjoy a nice run from the inside alley and she’s a lock for your exotic bets, while SALTY was better down the straight at Pinjarra last month and was sharpened up for this in a 1000-metre trial here on Monday.

Tips: 3-6-5-1
Suggested Bet: (3) QUILISTA to win.

RACE 8 XXXX GOLD BUNBURY CUP 23 MARCH HANDICAP 5:35 PM (1705)

We have a bit of time for AWESOME AS and felt as though there was a lot of merit in his third-up win here last Sunday week, when racing outside the leader in transit and fending off the challengers late to win by a long neck. That run will bring him forward nicely condition-wise and he should be in better sharp for this fourth-up assignment, with the step up to the mile another positive. We anticipate in-form jock Shaun McGruddy will again be positive early, jumping from a handy draw, and a race-fit/in-form AWESOME AS is going to be very hard to beat again. PIGEON POST is racing in career-best form and did a mighty job to finish third after being unnecessarily challenged for the lead at Ascot last start. Likes to roll along out in front and make it a true test, and providing that last run hasn’t knocked him around too much then PIGEON POST will take some catching. COMPELLING was a beaten favourite at Geraldton last start but the run was better than it reads on paper and this three-year-old filly should get a nice fitness boost from the hit-out. Looks to have a level of class about her and we’re expecting her to be running on late, while CLOAK AND DAGGER was brought unstuck in a ridiculously slowly-run affair at Ascot last start and we’re expecting the youngster to bounce back hard in this.

Tips: 2-4-8-7
Suggested Bet: (2) AWESOME AS 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.