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.


Looking forward to the debut of recent multiple trial winning speedster DANCING IN VEGAS and we think she’s the horse to catch in this. Has displayed dazzling gate speed to lead and comfortably win both 1000-metre heats she has competed in this preparation, and we expect her to cross and lead in this. DANCING IN VEGAS hasn’t been fully tested at the trials, so she appears to have another gear up her sleeve, and we anticipate she will simply be too fast for her rivals. EXCELLENT JERRY wasn’t too far away when racing well out of her grade third up at Ascot last start and her previous two runs this campaign were both full of merit. Was shorter in the market than MADAM WINKS at Ascot three back and beat her home, and that is a good line to take in assessing EXCELLENT JERRY here. MADAM WINKS followed up her good Ascot first-up placing with another competitive effort in Class One company here last time. Is going to get the right run from her low draw and we can’t see her missing a place, while speedy Great Southerner AQUARIAN GIRL was hard in the market ($3.80 favourite) at Mt Barker last start but was found to be in season post-race. Put a line through that performance and if she brings her best she’s capable of making her presence felt.

Tips: 9-4-5-3 (*amended after Final Scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (9) DANCING IN VEGAS to win.

RACE 2 MGIB MAIDEN 1:18 PM (2000M)

This looks the perfect race for GOLGOTHA to break maiden status and the Lindsey Smith-trained three-year-old is likely to be short in the market. Ran on well from back in the field second up over a mile here two back before being heavily supported ($4.20 to $2.65) at Pinjarra last time and just peaking on his run late after looming as the winner. That was his first attempt over 10 furlongs and the effort will bring him forward significantly for this assignment, and with even luck in running, we’re confident GOLGOTHA has these covered. One of our best of the day. The field certainly opens up after our on-top pick and we liked the improved third-up performance of NOBLE KING in Class One company here last Sunday. The blinkers have come off as he wanted to over-race on that occasion, but he still kept plugging away in the straight and gives the impression he’s an old-fashioned ‘dyed in the wool’ stayer. We anticipate further improvement on the quick back-up here. Super-consistent mare MY FAIR BEAUTY has to be included in the mix and she comes out of the same race as GOLGOTHA last start. Likely to work forward into the race from the wide gate, and she is race fit, in-form and is a lock for your exotic bets, while we have a bit of time for REEF KEEPER and expect him to improve second up. Was well in the market ($7) in the same race as GOLGOTHA last start, but didn’t really have the preparation to figure first up over 2000 metres and performed accordingly. Has talent though and shouldn’t be underestimated.

Tips: 6-8-10-5
Suggested Bet: (6) GOLGOTHA to win.


She may have been a beaten favourite at each of her three starts to date but we’re going to saddle up again and strongly suggest punters follow their money again with Peters Investments filly REGAL CLASS. Outclassed when running into one of the Rangeview Stud Classic fancies Quilista two back before being out-muscled late by Bushfire Blonde in a similar assignment to this here last time. We have a bit of time for Bushfire Blonge so we respect those formlines and REGAL CLASS appears likely to get the right run for from the good draw with William ‘The Wizard’ Pike aboard. This is the race for REGAL CLASS. BURNING MAGIC ran into Fraternize second up at Pinjarra two back, with that galloper went to Ascot last Saturday and finished third in a high-rating race, before getting worked over chasing a super-fast tempo over 1800 metres at Ascot last time. Looks much better placed here and we feel that latest gut-buster can bring her forward towards a peak performance in this. Front-running three-year-old KEEPER’S SON was heavily supported ($4 to $2.70) at York last start and looked home after establishing a big lead, before being gunned down in the final strides. Likely to go forward and set the tempo and he’s going to prove difficult to get past, while CAYMAN BOUND edges out YOU WANT ANSWERS for fourth. CAYMAN BOUND hasn’t done a lot wrong all prep and, with world-class hoop Damian Lane on board, must be respected.

Tips: 14-13-6-1
Suggested Bet: (14) REGAL CLASS to win.


Excited to see well-regarded four-year-old AMELIA’S LOVE back at the track and this appears to be a terrific first-up option for the Justin Warwick-trained mare. jumped straight to the front in her recent trial here and we liked the way she lengthened stride under her own steam in the straight, easily accounting for Dukeazza, who raced well in black-type company at Ascot last Saturday. AMELIA’S LOVE is an emerging talent and we expect her to be too good for her rivals, and enhance her already impressive record. We’re expecting sharp improvement from CARD KNIGHT after being taken right out of his comfort zone in a super-fast paced 1400-metre event at Ascot last Saturday week. That third-up hit-out will have hardened him for this assignment and he was placed behind boom mare Galaxy Star in a Graduation Handicap at Ascot two back. SIGIL is a four-year-old we have plenty of time for and we expect him to be steaming home at his first outing in 99 days. The Sharon Miller stable is in a bit of form and SIGIL does appear to have a class edge on most of these, while DIAMOND PRINCESS has endured an interrupted preparation but was back on track when placing here last Sunday. On the quick back-up and has the class to finish top four.

Tips: 2-3-1-6
Suggested Bet: (2) AMELIA’S LOVE to win.


This appears likely to be a helter-skelter speed battle and we’re keen on the chances of slick three-year-old KRAMDEN, who was scratched from Ascot on Friday and saved for this assignment. Looked the goods when defeating Dutch Spy (a horse we have a lot of time for) on debut here on Melbourne Cup Day, following up a very impressive seven-length trial win beforehand. Races first-up (138 days) without a trial, which does create some doubt, however, we respect the Brett Pope stable and this fellow must be flying at home to step him out without an official hit-out beforehand. KRAMDEN too fast. Fellow three-year-old SPEEDING COMET is the main danger and he comes out of a series of high-rating races. Will be suited to racing on the eight-day back up over 1000 metres and this is certainly not as strong as what he’s been competing against of late. STIRLING ESTATE did a good job when resuming down the Straight 1000 at Pinjarra last start and we expect that run to bring him forward for this assignment. The Universal Moon form reads well and we anticipate STIRLING ESTATE will have his share of admirers, while we’ve locked in INCREDIBLE HULK for fourth. Specked at odds last start and had no luck in the straight, and he should be ready to peak at his third run back from a long absence.

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


Competitive first leg of the Quaddie and we’ve zeroed in on three runners coming out of the same race, with SONNEN our on-top selection, ahead of AWESOME AS and BARZINHO. The 1800-metre Graduation Handicap they competed in last start was brutally run and it was the $4.60 second favourite SONNEN who helped establish the suicidal tempo, before understandably running out of gas late in the race. Unlikely to encounter the same early pressure as he did last start and that hard hit-out should see him produce a peak performance at his fourth run this prep. SONNEN each way. AWESOME AS sat just behind the hot tempo but was still dragged well out of his comfort zone, so there was no surprise to see him faltering late. This looks a nice option for him to get back on track and he did record successive wins at this venue last month. BARZINHO settled near the rear at Ascot last start but as he didn’t over-exert early was still able to finish off evenly, running into second behind Hakuna Matata. Has been tending to drift back in his races of late, so he may be spotting his main rivals a reasonable head start, but we still expect him to run on into a top-four finish, while BOOM BOOM BANG is going to get the right run from the inside draw and will enjoy racing back at his home track.

Tips: 4-1-2-3
Suggested Bet: (4) SONNEN each way.


Some quality three-year-olds to face the starter in this $100,000 listed feature and we’re very keen on the chances of rising star QUILISTA. Simply blew her rivals away second up over 1116 metres here two back before being deliberately ridden patiently over 1200 metres at Ascot last start and hitting the line hard to record a hat-trick of victories. It was good to see her settle well enough last time, which gives us confidence in her ability to conserve enough energy to run out a strong 1400 metres, and it’s hard making a case for anything to beat her. Race fit, in-form and with William Pike in the saddle we can’t go past QUILISTA. Reigning WA Guineas winner VARIATION makes his autumn return and was sharpened up for this first-up assignment when running on nicely against good opposition in a recent trial here. Has performed well first-up in his previous preparations, looks set to get the right run from the low draw and there’s no doubt he’s the class horse of the race. Respect. ELEGANT BLAST, stablemate of QUILISTA, is a filly we have a bit of time for and she competed against the best three-year-olds in training during her spring campaign. Looked in good order when scoring a soft trial win here recently and she appears ready to run a big race first up, while we snuck in up-and-coming Great Southerner GRADUAL INCLINE narrowly ahead of WRINKLY for fourth. GRADUAL INCLINE appears to have a lot of upside and we were impressed with the way he hit the line when winning at Pinjarra last start.

Tips: 8-1-7-5
Suggested Bet: (8) QUILISTA to win.


Quality edition of the Bunbury Stakes and we narrowed it down to another battle between Guineas winning four-year-olds GREAT SHOT and MAN BOOKER. And we’re confident Belmont Guineas winner GREAT SHOT can turn the tables on WA Guineas winner MAN BOOKER, after the pair ran the quinella in the recent Pinjarra Classic last start. GREAT SHOT was softened up out in front on that occasion and was left a sitting duck in the straight after burning too much fuel early. We don’t expect the Cyril Flower Stakes winner to encounter similar pressure in this and we anticipate he has another level to go to third up over the more suitable 1400 metres. GREAT SHOT should dominate the race from out in front and be very hard to get past in the straight. MAN BOOKER has returned to racing with a bang, recording high-rating victories at both Pinjarra outings to date. Those peak performances have been outstanding, and he does look set to get the right run in transit, but can he continue to hold that peak for this third-up assignment? Still, can’t put a ceiling on this fellow and he’s going to be mighty hard to beat. COMING BACK appears to have been set for this race and we expect him to be a lot closer in running than he was in the Pinjarra Classic last start. Possesses a big finish and if he’s within striking distance on the turn then he’ll take some holding out, while DREAM LIFTER finished second last year and is a genuine chance of going one better in 2017. Going to be afforded every chance in running from the draw and we can’t see him missing a top-four finish. Good race.

Tips: 2-3-8-1
Suggested Bet: (2) GREAT SHOT each way.


Good finish to Stakes Day and we’re bullish about the chances of ATLANTA BLUE. Raced on top of a very fast tempo last start and just faltered late in the race, which was understandable, and with that fast mile effort under his belt he’s going be very hard to beat. Tough-as-nails local NOT AGAIN KEN has been racing so consistently and beat home subsequent Ascot winner Politics here last start. Loves racing over the Bunbury 1400 metres and must rate among the main fancies. THE GOSPEL SIN is a horse we have a high opinion of but are a little concerned about where he will position in running from his barrier draw. Still expect him to be charging home into the finish, while SIRIUS PROSPECT was strong when winning at Ascot last start and narrowly edges out BARRY’S RABBIT as our fourth pick.

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