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.


Talk about a tough way to start Australia Day. We studied this maiden for quite a while and we are still scratching our heads on the right way to go. Not only is there five horses making their debuts, but they come from the state’s leading trainers in Grant Williams, Trevor Andrews, Adam Durrant and David Harrison. They all have strong trial form, but we will go with a bit of experience and put the unlucky TIME STREAM on top. Hasn’t seen daylight at her last two Ascot outings when starting in single figure odds and this looks a bit easier. SPECIAL JEWEL has the cerise and white factor in her favour and trainer Grant Williams has almost a 50% strike rate at Bunbury. She wasn’t asked for much at a recent trial and has drawn nicely. PACK OF STARS will jump from barrier one for Patrick Carbery and ran a quick 56 flat to win his most recent trial at Lark Hill, while HELLO PARIS looks to have a fair bit of ability. The best guide may be the market here so tread warily.

Selections: 8-11-6-10
Suggested Bet: (8) TIME STREAM deserves a change of luck. Follow each way.


A 2000-metre maiden here with most of these starting over the middle-distance trip for the first time. CALL NINE ONE ONE has been crying out for the longer journey after three runs this prep for three fast-finishing thirds. The Chris Gangemi runner should get some cover from an middle draw and be able to finish off strong. Former Victorian galloper HAKUNA MATATA may have finished second last on debut here on January 14, but that was over 1420 metres, a distance that was never going to suit. He sat last and ran on well, and his previous form in Victoria was good over this journey. Look for him to improve sharply second up. IMPOSING DREAM gets in with just 53kgs after running home well at Pinjarra on January 10, while Jason Whiting’s decision to ride COUNT DANE over ECHOES IN TIME leads us to put the former in for fourth.

Selections: 3-2-11-5
Suggested Bet: Follow (3) CALL NINE ONE ONE to win, however, if the price is too skinny invest or (2) HAKUNA MATATA each way.


Trainer Simon A. Miller looks to have a nice type making her debut here in MISS ICONIC. Has trialled twice for two wins and her last success was an effortless 1.3-length win at Belmont on January 18. She has drawn nicely and, with the Miller stable in top form, she should go to the front and take a stack of beating. SALTY has been on the watch list since trials and up until his last run had been rather disappointing. However, the way he attacked the line last start at Pinjarra on January 13 gives us renewed hope. He raced greenly and was buffeted about in the straight, but flashed home in one of the best runs of the day. Is currently first emergency so needs a scratching to gain a start. WANNABE A MAK comes out of the same race where he was forced to make a mid-race move and finish third. Has drawn nicely here and gets in well with the claim to Aaron Mitchell, while SCOTTY BEAU has shown a bit in the trials and will also jump from a handy gate.

Selections: 10-1-6-2 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: We’re anticipating short odds about (10) MISS ICONIC but anything above $2.50 the win is worth having a crack at.


There is a bit of talent in this race with last-start winners CONGONIZE and ARCADIA DELIGHT set to fight out the pre-race betting, as well as the finish. We were super impressed with both of their wins here on January 14, but we are leaning towards the Grant Williams-trained ARCADIA DELIGHT as our on-top pick. She took a long time to get going on that occasion, but when she did she really hit the line hard and was doing her best work late. She gets in well second up with a 2kg claim to apprentice Clint Johnson-Porter and has drawn nicely. The Simon A. Miller-prepared CONGONIZE was sent out a $1.90 favourite when she tasted success. Peter Knuckey rode the Patronize four-year-old like the best horse in the race and we expect to see CONGONIZE go forward again and be very hard to get past. MISS WALPOLE drops back a fair bit in grade and gets in okay at the weights after Kate Witten’s claim. If you forgive her last effort here on January 14 she’s right in this, as is WAR IN PARIS who drops back from an open three-year-old event in town. She jumped a $4.20 second favourite on that occasion but wilted to finish second last after suffering heat exhaustion.

Selections: 6-7-10-1
Suggested Bet: (6) ARCADIA DELIGHT to win.


Race 5: 1-2-3-5-7-11
Race 6: 1-3
Race 7: 1-3-6-8-10
Race 8: 2-3-6-7-8-15
Outlay: $360 for 100% (6 x 2 x 5 x 6) or $50 for 13.88%


We are looking for a bit of value here, and we’ll go with BACHELORS PROSPECT on top, despite the fact he is racing beyond the mile for the first time. On paper the Bob McPherson-prepared gelding finished five lengths from the winner but the effort was a fair bit better than that. He missed the kick by two lengths and ran into plenty of trouble in the straight. Add to that the company he was racing in and this looks a lot easier. SAXAPAK has been racing in solid form for trainer Mark Wright, who is proving to be more than handy with his small team. Drops 2kgs on a last start third at Pinjarra and should get a handy run from the draw. SONNEN comes out of the same race where she held on for a narrow win and should be more than competitive again, despite the rise in class and similar weight. while the second of Mark Wright’s runners THE LADIES CHOICE ran in the Tattersall’s Cup and ATA Stakes at the end of last year. This is obviously a fair bit easier.

Selections: 7-1-2-3 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: With (8) BACHELORS PROSPECT scratched, follow (7) SAXAPAK each way (*amended after final scratchings).


The feature race of the day and what a line up we have for the South West Summer Sizzle. This could easily be a nice race on a Saturday at Ascot with plenty of proven city-class performers. MALIBU STYLE makes the trip down south with form around some of the state’s best sprinters in Sheidel and Silverstream. He is an impressive individual and last start finished a close-up third behind the in-form Vengabus at Ascot. Trainer Neville Parnham has freshened him up for this and has from the good barrier will get a lovely run just behind the speed, which should be strong. That quick early and middle-stage tempo will suit the Ben Pearce’s talented MAD BRAD, who resumes from a five-month lay off. Raced well in the feature winter sprints finishing behind Rebel King and Rock Magic, and we think the race tempo will allow him to overcome his wide draw. An excellent first up record also gives us a fair bit of confidence. DETECTION has drawn nicely on the inside and senior jockey Peter Hall takes over from apprentice Jake Casey. while CALABRIA JOE is up in class but it’s hard to ignore his second-up record.

Selections: 3-1-2-5
Suggested Bet: Pretty keen on class galloper (3) MALIBU STYLE getting it done. Follow to win.


This looks pretty tough on paper with most of the strongest chances all drawing out wide. For that reason we have settle on last-start winner YES YOU CAN who brained her maiden opposition last start and will jump from barrier one. The four-year-old ate up the ground late to break her maiden status and will relish the step up in journey. SHE’S GLORIOUS has won her past two starts at Albany showing a huge amount of grit and strength. She was four wide, without cover last start before coming from the rear of the field to win, and we expect her to go back here from her wide gate and be running on strong. BIG TIME FLIRT has drawn wide and is likely to come across and try to lead. With just 56kgs on her back she could take some catching if she can find the front, while DOLLAR DOWN comes through the strong Dendee form lines when beaten just over a length at Pinjarra on January 13.

Selections: 6-3-1-8
Suggested Bet: Happy to follow (6) YES YOU CAN each way with confidence.


A raffle to finish the day off and there would be nothing wrong with taking the field here in the Quaddie. We have settled on WINZA MOMENT on top, who has drawn nicely in barrier one and gets in well with the claim to Kate Fitzgerald. The David Harrison-trained four year old should improve second up after a nice second at Pinjarra on January 10 and does possess some solid three-year-old form, finishing behind class horses like Cosmic Storm. MYAKE MAK has a nice inner draw also and will appreciate the claim of Aaron Mitchell. Has some solid form this prep and last start ran into a bit of trouble down the straight, finishing fourth behind recent Ascot winner It’s It. CELEBRITY DANCER has been getting back against some nice horses and if the Brett Pope-trained runner can settle a bit closer he should run a strong race, while COSTA DE COSTA and RULE THE UNIVERSE have a bit of class, but both have drawn the car park and will need a fair amount of luck.

Selections: 2-6-3-7
Suggested Bet: (2) WINZA MOMENT each way from the draw.

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.