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 OWNERS ONLY MAIDEN 1:25 PM (1008M)

This looks a nice option for three-year-old filly BOUNCE DOWN who’s likely to strip fitter after her first-up outing here on January 19 (17 days) and she should enjoy a soft run in transit from the low draw. The Lindsey Smith-trained youngster ran into a smart one in Salorsci last start, but finished well ahead of the third placegetter, and she did have form against some quality gallopers when last in work. BOUNCE DOWN ticks plenty of boxes and should be winning. STELLAR IGNITION raced outside the leader when returning from a let up here last start and battled away well in the straight, despite racing greenly and never really appearing balanced. Likely to give himself every chance again by racing on-pace and with additional race experience up his sleeve he has to be considered. A PATCH ON KNEE is a real competitor and he made the favourite earn the victory here last start, fighting hard despite being a touch outclassed. Likely to roll forward again and he’s race-fit and in-form, and will prove difficult to get past, while SISTER BENNIE has a good fresh record racing at this venue and could run a cheeky race first up at odds.

Tips: 11-8-3-9
Suggested Bet: (11) BOUNCE DOWN to win.

RACE 2 SUMMER BRIGHT LAGER HANDICAP 2:00 PM (1008M)

Three sets of the Piper Family colours in this eight-horse field and we’re tipping an orange and red quinella, with stablemates SEEKER and CUANZO set to fight out the finish. We were really impressed with the run of SEEKER two starts back when clocking sizzling sectionals in a high-pressure race at Ascot two starts back, and he followed up that effort with a dominant win down the Straight 1000 at Pinjarra last time. Apprentice Kate Witten is riding in career-best form at present and SEEKER is right in the zone, and looks capable of going back-to-back. At time of print there was no rider named on CUANZO, which can suggest the horse is an unlikely starter, however, if he does start he’s going to be mighty hard to beat. Defeated last week’s South West Summer Sizzler winner Just Act Natural at Ascot two runs back before being caught out in a walk-and-sprint affair at that venue last start. In good form for new trainer Lou Luciani and must be respected. SECRET ASSAULT has competed well all prep and looks well placed in this grade on his home deck. Comes out of a high-rating race at Ascot last start and Tayla Stone’s 3kg claim is a bonus, while eastern-states import AMERICAN STAR competed well during his initial WA campaign and showed good form in a recent Belmont trial.

Tips: 1-4-6-5 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (1) SECRET ASSAULT to win (*amended after final scratchings).

RACE 3 APH CONTRACTORS MAIDEN 2:35 PM (2219M)

We asked ourselves if we were game enough to tip HAKUNA MATATA again and we’ve decided to give him one more opportunity … surely this is the day for the 18-start maiden. Runner-up twice at Pinjarra before getting back and finishing off quite well in Graduation 62+ company at Ascot last start. HAKUNA MATATA comes into this race hard-fit and in-form, and he has performed well for Chris Parnham previously. HAKUNA MATATA finally. FLAMING PRO is stepping up to this middle-distance at only his third start and if there is any stable capable of pulling this off it is the Durrant/Miller set-up, who are dead-set geniuses with stayers. We didn’t mind this fellow’s effort over a mile at Pinjarra last start and Peter Hall should be able to save on fuel by tucking in nicely from the good draw. The Steve Wallace stable has struck a purple patch of form and, while not racking up the winners, their horses are all consistently competing well including our third pick MY FAIR BEAUTY. Covered additional ground in running and went down a short head in a similar assignment to this here last start and she should enjoy a softer run from a better barrier in this, while senior rider Shaun McGruddy is back on the at-times wayward mare IRON MAGGIE and we expect her to be steaming home late into the top-four.

Tips: 1-4-9-7
Suggested Bet: (1) HAKUNA MATATA each way.

RACE 4 RANGEVIEW STUD MAIDEN 3:10 PM (1690M)

We have tracked STRATOSPHILLY closely throughout her career and while she has promised a lot, she hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. Does have issues with clean getaways, which makes her a risky betting proposition, but we’re convinced this is the right race for her to break through stepping up to the mile at her fourth run in. If she’s going to win one this is her race and we’re locking in STRATOSPHILLY. ZIGGOORIO has been performing consistently all campaign and ran into a promising type in Cloak And Dagger at Pinjarra last start. Is race-fit and in-form, and is the logical second pick. Long-time maiden NOT A WAY TO GO has found career-best form into his seven-year-old season and he will appreciate stepping up to the mile journey. Is going to get the right run in transit for the good draw and will give you a run for your money, while MISS RUMOUR MILL has found the 10 furlongs a bit beyond her at her past two outings and she looks better suited dropping back to the mile here.

Tips: 2-1-10-5 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (2) ZIGGOORIO each way (*amended after final scratchings).

RACE 5 MGIB MAIDEN 3:45 PM (1108M)

This is a really tough first leg of the Quaddie and we felt the smartest move was to stick with the exposed city form via CHIN STRAP. Chased home outstanding filly Sweet Ora at Ascot four runs back and, while his form since has been a bit mixed, he should have finished much closer in town last start when unable to get the galloping room he required in the straight. Blinkers and regular rider Jake Casey go on, and CHIN STRAP looks well placed back in a maiden. First starter AMONGSTGOODCOMPANY showed up big time at the Lark Hill trials recently and we probably would have put her on top with a better barrier draw. Got back and was never out of first gear when working home nicely on that occasion and she does hail from a quality Peters Investments-bred family. Big watch on debut. VITAL ASSET sizzled at the trials prior to finding life difficult in good company on debut at Ascot last start. Forget he went around that day as it probably wasn’t the right race for him and he looks much better suited back in this grade, while debutante SUNLOVER is unbeaten at the trials and should enjoy a cozy run in transit from barrier one.

Tips: 1-10-5-14
Suggested Bet: (1) CHIN STRAP each way.

RACE 6 PRINCE OF WALES HOTEL HANDICAP 4:15 PM (1108M)

The Bruce Watkins stable has enjoyed a terrific 2016/17, racking up the winners without huge starter numbers, and DIABLERIE is poised to continue the Capel-based camp’s brilliant run of form. Unbeaten at the trials the four-year-old made the perfect start to his career with a hard-fought debut win here on January 19 (17 days), getting the job done despite doing plenty wrong in running. Will derive significant benefit from the race experience and DIABLERIE looks a solid each-way play. TOMOHAWK is the big danger coming off a 60-day break. Saluted first-up at Ascot on Melbourne Cup Day and won like a fair horse on that occasion, but he did lose his way following that slick victory. Looks well placed in this by trainer Sean Casey and we’re expecting him to run a big race fresh. UNDETERRED hasn’t done a lot wrong all campaign and must rate among the main contenders. Appears likely to land in an awkward position from the outside gate but he is still capable of playing a part in the finish, while we’re anticipating an improved effort from eastern-states import ROYAL ARCHIE dropping back in distance, jumping from a good gate with blinkers on.

Tips: 1-4-5-8
Suggested Bet: (1) DIABLERIE each way.

RACE 7 TABTOUCH SUPER PICK HANDICAP 4:50 PM (1108M)

Peters Investments has been churning out the winners in recent weeks and we simply can’t go against the powerhouse operation with first starter REGAL CLASS our on-top selection. The Cerise And White have trotted out three-year-old winners Royal Star, Glimmer Girl, My Grace, Regal Moon and Bold Success since January 18 and REGAL CLASS showed she could be added to the list with a fast-finishing second in a recent Belmont trial. Should be able to stalk likely leader (and hardest to beat) QUILISTA from the inside draw and we’re expecting the daughter of Al Maher to be too strong on the line. QUILISTA was super first up at Pinjarra last start when going out hard and sustaining the big effort to break maiden status, Looks a nice filly in the making and she’s going to take some catching again. STORMY PLANET improved at Mt Barker last start, placing fifth in a bunched finish, and he should enjoy the gun run from a low draw, while PUTERI JEWEL is better than what she has produced at her first two runs this campaign and we’re expecting an improved effort with the blinkers going on.

Tips: 5-6-4-7 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (5) REGAL CLASS to win.

RACE 8 XXXX GOLD BUNBURY CUP 23 MARCH HANDICAP 5:25 PM (1410M)

Good to see the best race finishing the day and we’re big fans of hulking four-year-old DUTCH SPY, who overcame an interrupted preparation and some obstacles in running to eek out a game win at his first start in eight weeks here on January 19 (17 days). DUTCH SPY shouldn’t have to drift as far back in running jumping from a better barrier in this assignment and, while the seven furlongs may be a query for some, we’re confident he can still be able to unleash late. The Paul Roberts stable is in good form and DUTCH SPY appears to be a decent horse in the making. NASHVILLE CAT is a three-year-old filly with a heap of talent and she looks set to run a big race first up after two eye-catching trial efforts recently. Hails from the powerful Durrant/Miller yard and we expect her to play a major part in the finish, despite the wide gate. We found it difficult to separate the Peters Investments three-year-olds SKY ATLAS and WESTERN TEMPLE, and settled on SKY ATLAS as our third pick as we felt he may be a little sharper first up over the seven furlongs. Liked the way he worked home in a recent Belmont trial and he will no doubt have his share of admirers, as will WESTERN TEMPLE who also showed up in a lead-up barrier trial and shouldn’t have to spend too much fuel in running jumping from the sweet low draw.

Tips: 10-4-2-8 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (10) NASHVILLE CAT each way (*amended after final scratchings).


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.