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.


This is nice little maiden to start off the day. ARCADIA DELIGHT is resuming and is likely to jump an odds on favourite for the powerful Bob Peters and Grant Williams combination. When last in work the Domesday-four year old showed plenty her fair share of ability with four placings from seven runs- finishing behind handy types Tonto and Tiger Red. Jockey Glenn Smith should give her a lovely run from a nice draw and she is our on top selection. SHARREADA has been close in all four of her runs this campaign and came from a long way back here on December 28 to just miss breaking his maiden status. The Giadresco-trained four year old has drawn nicely in barrier one and if can find some clear galloping room will be right in the finish. He goes in for second just in front of a pair of first starters. SCOTTY BEAU has shown a bit at the trials and with addition of blinkers we’ll put the Bruce Watkins-trained four-year-old in for third just in front of trial winner DRIVE ON ICE for trainer Joe Miller.

Tips: 9-10-1-11 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (9) ARCADIA DELIGHT to win.


We see the handy Simon Miller trained CONGONIZE resume here and we think she is one of the better value bets on the day in what is a pretty weak maiden field. The four year old has shown plenty of talent at her two career starts and last time in had excuses when finishing fourth behind the talented Transgressor here on October 18. That form line looks really strong with the smart Discord Witch coming out of the same race and with the edition of blinkers, she sits on top from KAZACHKA who is resuming from a four month spell. In her last campaign the Stephen Miller-trained four year old had eight runs for five places and she warmed up for this with a nice trial at Lark Hill. First starter EIGHT DOUBLE EIGHT hasn’t been asked for much at the trials and should run a nice race first up for Chris Gangemi. We’ve seen enough to put him in for third just in front of SKY TWISTER who’s been improving each run this campaign. If he can she can rediscover last years form when running behind Black Heart Bart and Antique Dream, he could be the blow-out.

Tips: 7-5-2-6
Suggested Bet: (7) CONGONIZE to win.


Time to get the dart board out for this race with strong trial and race form making this one of the toughest races to line up for the day. We have settled on three year old PIC’S PRIDE though who resumes for Stephen Miller after a nice trial win at Lark Hill on December 29. At his only race start the Blackfriars filly finished three-lengths off Bombs Away at Belmont and with the 2kgs claim of Randy Tan should be right in the finish here, at a handy each way price. JUST ACT NATURAL will likely start a short favourite and is our second pick. The Paul Roberts-trained three year old has had two career starts for two seconds and last time in finished behind Rhi’s Rocket, who has gone to Ascot since and tasted success plus finish third behind boom horse Vega Magic. We may end looking stupid if he brains them but more than a month between runs concerns us as does the likely price. BREGENZ has finished second at his two previous runs and we’ll put the Gavin Slater trained three year old in for third while FOXY ROYALE comes out of the same trial as our on top selection and she goes in for fourth.

Tips: 3-2-10-1 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: With the scratching of (9) PIC’S PRIDE, (3) JUST ACT NATURAL looks a standout each-way play (*amended after final scratchings).


Another tricky race here but we were taken with the way FOURTY FOUR RED resumed at Bunbury on News Year Day and we’ll put three year old on top. After being wide before the turn, the Chris Gangemi-runner was off the bit a long way out and hit the line strong to finish second behind War In Paris. He’ll strip fitter here second up and Jarrad Noske should be able to get a nice trail from an inside draw. SIR VATICAN goes in for second with the claim of Fiona Bell. The Ross Price trained three year old made up a stack of ground at Pinjarra on Boxing Day after drawing wide and will appreciate an inside draw here. The Grant Williams trained HEART STARTER goes in for third after a handy trial win at Lark Hill on December 29. He wasn’t asked for much on that occasion and you always need to be wary of the cerise and white while BERGIO goes in for fourth after a solid debut here on December 28.

Tips: 3-8-6-4
Suggested Bet: (3) FOURTY FOUR RED to win if you can get $3, if not we are happy to take (8) SIR VATICAN each way.


He’ll be short but every man and his dog will be tipping WHO’S THE GURU here and rightly so. Adam Durrant resumes the highly talented Key Business-three year old after a soft trial win and looks to have this race at his mercy. At his last race start on August 20, he finished third behind one of the most talented juveniles in the state See Me Sizzle and if he reproduces that form, look out. If there was a danger, it’s likely to come from the lightly raced SNITZBLITZ but the Ben Pearce-trained four year old will need a fair bit of luck from her wide draw. She couldn’t have been more impressive last time in though when coming from last to run third behind Laurensen here on December 28.The step up in distance will suit and look for her to be flying late. ALLIGEN was handy first up and gets the services of senior jockey Paul Harvey here. From an inside draw the Brett Pope trained four year old will be handy throughout while forget the run of SECRET ENSIGN last time in. If jockey Shaun Mcgruddy can find the front from a middle gate he should be able to run a decent race.

Tips: 9-10-2-1
Suggested Bet: (9) Take the shorts about WHO’S THE GURU or play the Exacta with (10) SNITZBLITZ.


Race 6: 2-4-5-8-10
Race 7: 3-4-5
Race 8: 1-5-9
Race 9: 6-14 (*amended after final scratchings)
Outlay: $90 for 100% (5 x 3 x 3 x 2) or $50 for 111.11%


A raffle to start the quaddie with the plenty of value thanks to the barrier draws. PARISIENNE LADY started a $3.40 favourite on resuming at Pinjarra on January three and if you looked at the race book you may think she was disappointing in sixth. But on closer inspection the Simon Miller-trained four year old should have finished a lot closer and perhaps even won. Jockey Lucy Warwick ran into more trouble up the straight then the early settlers and was never able to see daylight. From a wide draw apprentice Clint Johnson-Porter should have no problems finding clear galloping room here and we are expecting a much improved effort. BITTERSWEET BILLY was crunched in betting first up here on December 28 when finishing fifth. The Robin Elliot trained four year old will strip fitter second up and just needs to overcome a wide draw to be in the finish. OMERTA comes out of the same race as our on top selection and has a nice draw here for jockey Troy Turner. He boxed on well to the line and should be handy throughout, It’s hard to know what to expect from former Victorian HAKUNA MATATA who hasn’t been seen at trials. On form this race looks too short but we are happy to back trainer Ross Price and jockey Paul Harvey in for a good performance.

Tips: 10-4-5-2
Suggested Bet: (10) PARISIENNE LADY each way.


This is by far the best race of the day but also one of the hardest to find a winner. HOPETOUN comes back to Bunbury after racing at Ascot in 60-72 company on December 23 and should be extremely hard to hold out. The winner of that race was Reflectance who the Mandurah Cup at his next start and then was narrowly beaten by Secret Nova in town. Those form lines are by far the strongest here and from a nice barrier we have the Robert and Todd Harvey-trained runner on top. DISCORD WITCH sits second on the Bunbury premiership and is trying to make it three wins this campaign. She was super impressive holding off Scottish Trader and Fire Born on Decemeber 20 and will get a nice run just behind the speed. ESPRIT HERO was unlucky not to make it three wins from four runs when finishing fourth here on January 2. With a handy draw the Michael Lane-trained four year old should be up to ears in this while we expect there to be plenty of pace in the race with PALACE CAT and SECRET BRIDGE both likely to push for the front.

Tips: 5-4-3-8
Suggested Bet: (5) HOPETOUN at the each way price.


You know there is plenty of quality in a race when you are tipping against a horse which won by three and a half lengths last start but that’s exactly the way we are going here with the talented MR MOTOWN on top. The Lindsay Smith trained four year old comes to Bunbury after racing in strong 66+ company at Ascot at his two previous runs including a two and three quarter length fourth behind Express Dancer. He gets in well with the 2kg claim of apprentice Randy Tan and from an inside draw should have no excuses. Having her first start for trainer Robin Elliot BUSTER’S SECRET blitzed his rivals last time in when leading throughout and drops 2kg’s on that effort but the concern here is the rise in grade and the wide gate. She looks likely to be forced to sit outside likely leader SNACK PACK which will make it a lot tougher however if she can cross to the front could prove hard to catch. MISS WALPOLE is of the regions most consistent horses and broke through for a well deserved win here on New Years day when coming from last to knock off Roger the Roman. Up in grade but drops 2.5kgs on that run and has a perfect draw to sit a lot closer. EXCUSE ME MAK resumes should get a lovely run from the inside draw.

Tips: 1-9-5-11 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (1) MR MOTOWN to win.


The only thing that looks likely to stop SIXPENCE SPENT here is the wide barrier. If you’ve followed us here at Thoroheads you would know we have been huge fans of this lightly raced four year old since his debut trial win back on November 24. Since then, the Giadresco-trained son of Vital Equine has raced twice for an ultra impressive win first up and a tough second last time in behind the Grant Williams-trained Paris Dream. On paper this looks a fair bit weaker than that and if Jason Whiting can get him to jump well he will take a stack of a lot of holding out. The danger will again come from the Williams yard with the lightly raced PARIS ROMANCE looking to make it two wins from two starts. Williams has an imposing strike rate at Bunbury and jockey Brad Parnham should give the lightly raced youngster a perfect run from the inside draw. BOURBON DYNASTY has been racing in strong form with two seconds from her past two runs and has drawn perfectly in barrier two for Paul Harvey while IT’S IT drops back in class after running fifth at Belmont on September 19. The Sharon Miller trained four year old hasn’t drawn the best but gets in well with 57kgs after the claim to Randy Tan.

Tips: 14-6-5-1 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: With the scratching of (3) SIXPENCE SPENT, we settled on (14) PARIS ROMANCE. Should be winning (*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.