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.


It was hard not be impressed with the most recent trial of MY NAUGHTY BLONDE with the David Harrison-trained filly going to the line untouched at Lark Hill on February 22. Has been well-schooled with three education trials under her belt and the Harrison stable is doing a lot right in 2016.We’re expecting MY NAUGHTY BLONDE to be winning on debut. $100,000 yearling purchase RISING SEA comes out of the same last trial as MY NAUGHTY BLONDE and was equally eye-catching when plotting a wide course throughout and working home well in the straight. The danger. MISS PONDEROSA has done well at each of her trial appearances and looks capable of being competitive on debut, while MY LAINA showed good zip and covered the ground nicely when winning her Bunbury February 12 trial.

Tips: 10-5-8-9
Suggested Bet: (10) MY NAUGHTY BLONDE each way.


This doesn’t look the strongest maiden on paper and the small field of eight could prove ideal for likely leader SECRET ASSAULT to finally break into the winners’ circle. The Kevin Buswell-trained four-year-old has placed twice from his last three runs, including a handy third behind the impressive Scotty Beau here on January 26 . The drop back to 1008 metres suits and with the claim to Kate Witten, the son of So Secret should take a stack of running down. The Adam Durrant-trained SPIN DRIFTER resumes after a five month layoff. Was well supported on debut when finishing three lengths behind one of the states top youngsters in Hot Goods and should get a lovely run from the handy draw. SURLEY HURLEY will improve second up after a nice third here on February 17. Look for the George Dupre-trained four-year-old to get a cozy run behind the leader, while the second of Adam Durant’s runners DANISH GEM makes her debut and gets in well after the claim to Clint Johnston-Porter.

Tips: 2-5-6-8
Suggested Bet: (2) SECRET ASSAULT each way.


Things get a lot tougher in the third of the day but we have settled on the unraced AMELIA’S LOVE on top. The Blackfriars filly has looked handy winning her last two trials with minimal effort, including a soft heat win at Lark Hill on February 22 in a quick time of 56.74 seconds. Justin Warwick has taken his time with the filly and she looks to have her fair share of talent. Adam Durrant brings RONBOY to the track for his first start after three nice trials, including a second behind All Gee who has gone on to win twice. The son of Husson Lightning gets in nicely with the claim to Clint Johnson-Porter has drawn reasonably well. The best established form looks to be with TRIFLES, who led and just missed at Narrogin on February 26. Drawn well and should be able to find the front while, WINGS OF HOPE will have to overcome a wide draw to be in the mix, but is in good form and goes in for fourth.

Tips: 8-3-6-5
Suggested Bet: AMELIA’S LOVE to win.


We have a bit of time for the Vern Brockman-trained GATTLING, who looks ideally placed to break maiden status. Forget the lightly raced four-year-old went around at Pinjarra last start when, after over racing early and dealing with saddle issues, finished a fair way down the track. The start prior he produced a huge effort when after being wide throughout finished second behind the handy Puro D’oro, From a handy draw here, the son of Fath should take a stack of beating and you should get a nice price. FEMME DE CLASSE comes through similar form lines as GATTLING. Two starts back she finished a half-length behind our on-top selection after a tough run throughout, before finishing fourth at Pinjarra last time out. We expect to see KENSINGTON ABBEY push forward with veteran hoop Danny Miller on board. The Arthur Mortimer-trained filly has two places from her last four runs and has drawn nicely on the inside, while we’ve thrown the Adam Durrant-trained BAR ROOM BEK in on trust despite not showing much at two trials. William Pike takes the ride and it’s hard to ignore the Durrant-Pike combination.

Tips: 2-12-11-13
Suggested Bet: (2) GATTLING each way.


This looks one of the highlights of the day with Bunbury’s leading horse for the season DISCORD WITCH returning home after just missing out in a head-bobber at Ascot on February 13. The Team Giadresco mare’s form is hard to fault with two wins and three minor places from her last five runs, and this doesn’t look any tougher. The one to beat. Lindsey Smith brings SILVER MAGIC SHIPS to Bunbury for the first time after a nice effort at Ascot on February 24. Got a long way back on that occasion and is beginning to show signs of returning to the form that saw her rated among state’s better three-year-olds last season. JESTPATIM should be close to peak fitness after two runs back when finishing behind the in-form Roger the Roman and Ruby Can Run recently, while DREAM MERGER makes the trip up from Albany and has been racing very consistently in the Great Southern this camapign.

Tips: 2-3-5-1
Suggested Bet: (2) DISCORD WITCH to win.


This is the first leg of a difficult Quaddie and we struggled to narrow down the field to just four selections, however, we settled on the ultra-consistent FESTIVE EXCESS on top. Last start at Ascot the Ted Martinovich-trained four-year-old was sent out a $2.80 favourite but after being slow to begin, never got into the race and finished fifth. He got home well though and with senior rider Peter Knuckey jumping on, we’re confident he can get away well and stake a stack of holding out. We’re taking a punt on former eastern stater LIFE OF CRIME running an improved race second up in WA. William Pike sticks though and they did came from everywhere to back him first up. CARDUP LEGEND resumed in fine style with a nice win here on February 11 and should get a handy run from the inside draw while, DANCE MINDY DANCE has put in two handy runs this prep and can’t be excluded from your Trifectas and First Fours.

Tips: 1-6-3-8
Suggested Bet: (1) FESTIVE EXCESS each way.


The Adam Durrant-prepared BEG TO DIFFER appears to be a horse on the up and was quite unlucky when racing second up at Pinjarra on February 21, when held up for clear running at a vital stage of the race. William Pike going on is a positive and the Blackfriars four-year-old should be ready to produce a peak performance at his third run this campaign. STEEL SPUR comes out of the same race as BEG TO DIFFER, when hitting the line hard for fourth after being last at the 600 metres. Peter Knuckey knows this horse well and his engagement is a positive. BALMAYA is a handy enough mare and wasn’t suited by the slow pace at Ascot last Saturday. Look out for sharp improvement from her third up at the mile, while MILITARY MIGHT has the gate, weight and form to be rated among the major players here.

Tips: 4-1-2-8 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (4) BEG TO DIFFER to win.


Adam Durrant is a master at setting his stayers for WA’s provincial and country Cup races, and he and jockey Peter Hall have dominated these particular races in recent seasons. And we feel the domination will continue with high-quality middle-distance performer TOWER OF LONHRO the one to be in the 2016 Bunbury AHA Cup. The seven-year-old competed in all the major races over the spring/summer carnival and his Cox Stakes and Perth Cup efforts being full of merit. Looked awesome in a Lark Hill February 22 trial over 1450 metres and TOWER OF LONHRO should prove too good. One of the most improved horses in the state BEDAMIJO gets the nod as our second pick and this mare should enjoy a sweet, on-pace run from barrier one. Will strip fitter with the Detonator Stakes run under her belt and she is a live chance down on 54.5kg. Former eastern stater ANGOLA burst into contention for this race with a strong Detonator Stakes win last start. Wide barrier is a major hindrance but there’s none better on get-back horses than ‘The Wizard’ William Pike, while TONTO is capable of running a big race at odds down on the limit weight 54kg.

Tips: 1-4-3-12
Suggested Bet: (1) TOWER OF LONHRO each way.


The last is a tough race to get out of jail in and we’re going to play the percentages and stick with the cerise and white wearing TRULY GOLD as our on top pick. Really decent effort second up in a muddling run affair here on February 17 and we were impressed with the way he hit the line after being shuffled back to near last on the turn. Hard to go past the Bob Peters/Grant Williams/William Pike combo and TRULY GOLD is the way to go in this. BIG SETUP was quite a good performance at Ascot on February 24 when picking himself up to finish third after copping interference on the turn. He looks well placed here. TOMMI TOOCAN is one of our horses and he was most unlucky at Pinjarra last start, while BON SIGNORE has his share of ability and jumped out of the ground to win here on February 17.

Tips: 6-2-5-3
Suggested Bet: (6) TRULY GOLD 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.