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.


Tricky start to the day with this short-course three-year-old maiden containing lots of trial form from first starters and first uppers, and we’re expecting the in-form Simon A. Miller team to get off to a fast start with debutante MANTIME. We’ve liked both his trials to date and he competed stride-for-stride with the smart Chin Strap when running good time at his most recent hit-out on October 10. Miller’s Aquanita Racing operation saddled up a double at the opening of Ascot meeting on Saturday and there’s few better when it comes to winning first up. MANTIME will give you a good run for your money. The masterminds behind the mighty Black Heart Bart have teamed up again in the form of first-starter PHAROAH’S TRIUMPH, who dominated a recent Lark Hill trial and looks set to make her presence felt on debut. Connections have been very patient with this five-year-old and she rates among the main chances. MARY ABACUS is a mare we have a bit of time for and her recent Belmont trial result suggests she is ready to fire first up, while 3kg apprentice Mollie Clark is likely to send KARMA DAYS straight to the front and the Justin Warwick-prepared mare will take some running down first up from a spell.

Tips: 8-9-4-6
Suggested Bet: (8) MANTIME each way.


Probably the most intriguing race on the card, this three-year-old maiden in chock full of promising types and our initial ratings had us trying to squeeze eight into our first four selections. It was a toss up between CAPE LADY and RAGAZZO D’ORO for our on-top pick, and in the end we went for the horse with the superior barrier position in CAPE LADY. Another Simon A. Miller-prepared youngster, the daughter of Charge Forward impressed when dropping gears in the straight and cruising to a five-length trial win on October 10, and she appears likely to land in a prominent position from a handy barrier here. CAPE LADY to take some catching. RAGAZZO D’ORO sizzled in his recent Lark Hill trial and David Harrison has him primed for a first-up tilt, however, the wide barrier no doubt hinders his winning chances. Will probably end up worse than midfield from that draw, but look out for him charging home late. And we also found it hard to separate the two Peters Investments debutantes — TRULY RARE and MADRID CENTRO — but we backed in the judgement of The Wizard (William Pike), who has opted to pilot Nicconi filly TRULY RARE ahead of $420,000 yearling purchase MADRID CENTRO. Both cerise and white-clad youngsters have shown up at the trials and are expected to figure prominently.

Tips: 13-3-15-1
Suggested Bet: (13) CAPE LADY each way.


We have a small but competitive Class 3 line-up here and we leaning towards local filly DIAMOND PRINCESS, who will carry only 52kg after the claim of improving apprentice Mollie Clark. Hasn’t raced for 33 days, however, her two starts at Belmont last month were against some of the best three-year-olds in training and she acquitted herself well on both occasions. DIAMOND PRINCESS has some class and if she brings her A-game she’ll be winning. Consistent five-year-old SIXPENCE SPENT is next best after carrying 60kg to victory in Class 1 company at Northam last start. Doesn’t know how to run a bad race and is a lock for your novelty bets. The Don Wall-trained PUBLIC SPIRIT produced a Pakistan Star-like performance to come from a long last and win first up at Northam on October 5, running 32.91 seconds for his final 600 metres. Huge win on that occasion and we’re expecting that form to stack up stepping into Class 3, while CAPTIVATED POINT is a horse with a bit of ability and he looks well suited second up jumping from a good barrier with the cutaway rail in play.

Tips: 8-1-4-6
Suggested Bet: (8) DIAMOND PRINCESS to win.


A full field to face the starter in this seven-furlong All Aged Maiden and we’re very keen on the chances of beautifully bred debutante MISSISSIPPI DELTA, who caught the eye when winning a recent Lark Hill trial. A half-sister to 2014 Railway Stakes winning star Elite Belle, the three-year-old daughter of High Chaparral has a wide barrier to contend with, however, her trial win suggests she’s a get back/run on type (similar to Elite Belle) with the ability to deal with wide alleys. MISSISSIPPI DELTA to swoop and salute. DANEHILLS DAUGHTER was big on debut at Northam last start, coming from last for a fast-finishing second, and she shouldn’t have to get that far back in running jumping from a better barrier here. We have her rated slightly ahead of ZEFIRO, who should enjoy the run of the race from the sweet barrier draw. The Lou Luciani-trained four-year-old cost himself when laying inwards in the straight last start and will take some beating should he go straight, while BRIDGY BARDOT improved nicely from a low draw second up last start and should figure prominently again from another good barrier.

Tips: 16-9-2-14
Suggested Bet: (16) MISSISSIPPI DELTA each way.


The distance race on the card lacks a little in quality and as such we’re quite bullish about the class runner GRINDABELLA, who drops back from special conditions grade to Class 3 company here. Liked the way she stuck to her guns after racing on pace last start and 1.5kg claiming apprentice Randy Tan rides this mare well. GRINDABELLA one of the best of the day. POWER PACKED scored the second win of his 48-start career at Northam last time and the Paul Tapper squad has been bobbing up a fair bit lately. Fiona Bell’s 3kg claim helps his clams and POWER PACKED appears the likely danger. CLASSY CAT has won all three of her races over 1200 metres, however, she been asked to stretch out to a mile at her past two starts and has performed well. Being given an opportunity over the 11 furlongs here and if she can run the trip she can figure, while SPECIAL WORDS stays well enough and will be grinding away at the finish.

Tips: 1-4-6-5
Suggested Bet: (1) GRINDABELLA to win.


While it isn’t usually advisable to be selecting October three-year-olds against the older horses under handicap conditions, we’re going to do it for the second time on the card (Diamond Princess in Race 3) with the David Harrison-trained filly MICA LIL. Produced one of the best runs of the day at Northam on October 5 when coming from last to place third, clocking 33.76 seconds for her final 600 metres, and her result at Belmont two starts back reads well through the deeds of the exciting Smart Missile. Jockey Brad Parnham has been in good form recently and MICA LIL appears to have a class edge on these. BORN BLUE will be fitter after two runs back from a spell and should enjoy the run of the race jumping from barrier one. Suited stepping up to the mile and he’s a lock for your novelty bets. MAJOR MAMBO is a horse with his share of ability and we didn’t mind his first-up run at Belmont last start. That appears to be a reasonable form race and this fellow should improve stepping up to a mile with a low draw, while GENEROUS ALBERT is racing well and has to be included in the mix.

Tips: 9-4-2-5
Suggested Bet: (9) MICA LIL each way.


While the 24 days between runs isn’t ideal, it’s hard to go past former WA Sires’ Produce Stakes winner PRENTICE on an each-way basis in a race that lacks depth. Hasn’t done a lot wrong in his five starts this campaign, with three recent top-three finishes in this grade to his name, and we’d be surprised if PRENTICE miss a place against this line up. PHANTOM CHOICE has been well fancied over this trip at his past two starts at Kalgoorlie and Geraldton, but he hasn’t quite been able to get the job done and was desperately unlucky when held up in the straight last time. Shouldn’t encounter similar problems with the cutaway rail in play here and PHANTOM CHOICE is bound to have plenty of admirers. Goldfields galloper BONAVENTURE is making his first appearance for the Dion Luciani camp and his form over the recent Kalgoorlie Round was good, while OUR MATE AL has some ability and can run a race with only 52kg on his back.

Tips: 4-5-3-8
Suggested Bet: (4) PRENTICE each way.


The lucky last appears to be a race in two with last-start maiden winning three-year-olds GEIGER GEM and SKY ATLAS the major players, and we’re pretty keen on the Lou Luciani-trained GEIGER GEM. Worked his way forward to lead over 1300 metres at Northam on October 9 before shrugging off the challengers and striding clear to post an impressive 3-1/4 length victory. Liked the way he shifted through the gears on that occasion, hitting the line hard, and GEIGER GEM is a horse on the way up. SKY ATLAS won the second division of the same race at Northam on October 9, but in our opinion wasn’t as impressive as GEIGER GEM, with his winning time being around 3-1/4 lengths slower than our on-top pick. Still has obvious talent and will get the last crack at them jumping from barrier one with the cutaway rail in play. ALL SETTLED comes out of a good form race last start and didn’t have a huge amount of luck in running. Doesn’t know how to run a bad race and Tayla Stone’s 3kg claim helps his cause, while LORD LUDLOW performed poorly when well fancied last start but he has ability and we’re prepared to mark it down as a bad day at the office. We’re expecting improvement from him here.

Tips: 5-1-6-2 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (5) SKY ATLAS to win (*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.