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.


This looks a nice option for the Ross Price-prepared GAME ON DUDE to open his winning account after producing eye-catching efforts at each of his two outings to date. Couldn’t quite get the opening when he needed it in a similar assignment to this last start, but still hit the line hard to finish only a length from the winner at his first run this campaign. Appears to be a nice horse in the making and GAME ON DUDE should be getting the cash. SHIBUYA CROSSING is the main danger with the Durrant/Miller three-year-old likely to enjoy the run of the race from a low draw. Will get his chance with the cutaway rail in place and his recent formlines through Floyd and Miss Sondrio stack up well. Six-year-old mare PERSONA made a late start to her career here earlier this month and almost pulled off the win, leading and only being collared in the last couple of strides. Will have to burn a bit of fuel early to work across from her wide draw but she still rates among the main contenders, while WATIJADOO doesn’t have a great first-up record but did trial well recently and should enjoy a nice run in transit from a good draw.

Tips: 4-6-10-1
Suggested Bet: (4) GAME ON DUDE each way.


Really interesting three-year-old maiden here with over half the field being flagged as winning chances and we eventually settled on nicely bred first starter TESTA DE LAGO. This former $110,000 yearling produced an eye-catching trial effort at Belmont recently, with the winner of that heat Ramruey performing well at Ascot recently. We really liked the way he handled himself in that trial and the son of Testa Rossa should enjoy a sweet run in transit from the inside alley. TESTA DE LAGO to salute on debut, at reasonable odds too. We marked the two Ben Pearce-prepared runners fairly evenly before deciding to slot DELLAVEDOVA in narrowly ahead of BELLA’S IDOL, after gun jockey Jarrad Noske opted to partner the former after riding both in recent barrier trials. DELLAVEDOVA showed plenty of promise in two starts during his previous racing preparation and displayed a sharp turn of foot at the Lark Hill trials, while BELLA’S IDOL comes out of the same trial as our on-top pick TESTA DE LAGO and does have the benefit of a perfect barrier draw. Beautifully-bred debutante ROYAL STAR round out of top four and we expect the Peters Investments filly to vie for favouritism after a smart recent Lark Hill trial win.

Tips: 7-3-2-1 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (7) TESTA DE LAGO each way.


Blackfriars filly THE ESCAPE PLAN couldn’t slot in with any cover jumping from barrier 13 on debut at Pinjarra last start, but after racing in the three-wide line throughout she still boxed on well in the straight to finish only a length away from the second-placed FEISTY FELIX. We’re anticipating the Dan Morton-trained three-year-old will enjoy a softer run from a better barrier and she is bred to appreciate stepping up to the mile second up. THE ESCAPE PLAN each way. NUN TOO SAVVY is a get back/run on type who has caught the eye at both runs this preparation, charging home from a long way back to finish fourth on both occasions. Hard to ignore those efforts, but her pattern of racing does make her a bit of a risky betting proposition. PAGAN DANCER worked toward the line nicely first up here last month and he was placed second up over a mile at Ascot during his previous racing campaign. He’s also drawn to get a nice run in transit, while FEISTY FELIX ran out of her skin first up at Pinjarra and our only concern was where she was going to land in running jumping from an awkward draw.

Tips: 14-12-3-11
Suggested Bet: (14) THE ESCAPE PLAN each way.


Punters dived right into the Neville Parnham-trained RADIANT GIRL when she raced first up at Ascot recently, backing her into odds-on favouritism, but she could only manage a competitive third after sharing the lead throughout. The run was still full of merit though and it is interesting to note that she didn’t trial prior to that assignment, which is a little unusual for the Parnham stable. We’re expecting that hit-out to bring her forward considerably and she should be afforded every opportunity jumping from the inside alley. Follow your money with RADIANT GIRL. The in-form VALDERI VALDERA is the obvious danger and will no doubt jostle with our on-top pick for favouritism. Tasted defeat for the first time this preparation when running the smart Key To Fame to a neck at Ascot last start, with her two previous victories being very sharp performances. Likely to work forward and race outside the leader from the awkward draw and that early burn may leave her a little vulnerable late. FANCY FOX burst on the scene with two impressive Northam victories to kick off her previous racing campaign and the sparingly-raced mare looked good when winning a recent Lark Hill trial. We’re expecting her to run a big race first up, while FORMULA WON comes out of the same race as VALDERI VALDERA and should have finished closer after bombing the start and being held up a little in the straight. Hails from the in-form Bruce Watkins yard, which is another positive.

Tips: 7-2-3-6
Suggested Bet: (7) RADIANT GIRL to win.


One of our better bets of the day comes up here in the form of promising mare IN THIS LIFE. The Lindsey Smith-trained four-year-old appears very well placed jumping from the perfect gate against this opposition, and she should be ready to produce a peak performance at her third run this preparation. Could have won with a bit more luck in running at Ascot last start and she has won two of her three starts at this track. Regular rider Paul Harvey is back on board and IN THIS LIFE looks a special. Tough front-runner TYCOON TARGET has been competing well in similar assignments to this of late and the form out of his last two outings reads well. Gives himself every chance in running by racing on-pace and TYCOON TARGET is a lock for your exotic bets. Lightly-raced seven-year-old BERKSHIRE has been building nicely in three starts this campaign and the Vaughn Sigley stable has his a bit of form over the past month. He is expected to figure prominently at the finish, while Dayana Plate winner JUICING CARROTS is making his four-year-old return for new trainer Shannon Roughan and did stretch out nicely to win a recent Bunbury trial.

Tips: 2-5-4-1
Suggested Bet: (2) IN THIS LIFE to win.


A competitive Class 1 Handicap with a host of chances and we’ve settled on smart three-year-old filly DELANEY. Brett Pope’s youngster is stepping up to six furlongs for the first time and also taking on the older horses, but she has looked well above average in trials and on raceday so far. Started favourite against quality opposition at Ascot last start but was never out of trouble in running and did a good job to finish only 2-1/2 lengths from the winner. A clean getaway here will see her be able to race on-speed, or just behind the leaders, and the classy DELANEY should be hard to beat from there. HE’S PACKING is a horse with considerable potential, however, he hasn’t been able to get the right draw this preparation. Will have to contend with another awkward alley in this, but he showed last start that he can cover ground and still fight out the finish. SHADABLAZE has been thereabouts in two runs this time in and comes out of a competitive event at Ascot last start. Doesn’t know how to run a bad race and she can’t be left out of your exotic bets, while the ultra-consistent PUCK SHAPESHIFTER edged out impressive maiden winner GOMER WIPPLE for fourth.

Tips: 9-3-7-4
Suggested Bet: (9) DELANEY to win.


Tough race to end the day and it looks as though the back in form Durrant/Miller yard hold the aces with AT THE READY and JUAN SHOT, and we’re locked in the three-year-old AT THE READY on top. Bungled the start in a slowly-run affair at Ascot last start, but was doing some good work over the final 600 metres to finish only four lengths behind the well-regarded Ragazzo D’oro. Did well to win on debut here two starts back and we’re expecting AT THE READY to be hard to hold out at the finish of this wide-open Class 1 Handicap. Former Victorian mare JUAN SHOT has improved nicely during her three starts in the West and she hit the line well to record her maiden victory at Pinjarra last start. More than capable of stretching her stablemate’s neck and the step up in distance should be up her alley. Consistent local four-year-old SCORELINE has already raced six times since October 20, with the durable competitor finishing within 1-1/2 lengths of the winner at each of his last three outings. Wide alley hinders but you know he’ll be fit and he has to be included in the mix, while DAGORLAD is better than his last run suggests and we’re expecting him to be finishing off well from back in the field.

Tips: 3-5-6-1
Suggested Bet: (3) AT THE READY 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.