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.

RACE 1 MGIB INSURANCE MAIDEN 12:46 PM (1016)

Competitive maiden for the babies to kick things off and there are three standouts in LITTLE HERCULES, GALVESTON BAY and DISRUPTIVE. Any of these could win, however, we opted for the race-experienced LITTLE HERCULES on top due to the strong Achernar Star formlines and his quality trial effort behind Seannie at the Pinjarra trials recently. Maps well from the draw and LITTLE HERCULES looks the horse to beat. $140,000 yearling GALVESTON BAY has shown plenty at the trials and looked in good order when dashing up 400m in a recent Belmont hit-out. Drawn to land leader’s back on debut and with the cutaway in play should get his chance in the straight. Another first starter DISRUPTIVE, a former $80,000 yearling, also hasn’t done a thing wrong at the trials and has form around the likes of Riasc and You Am I. Has natural gate speed, so capable of rolling forward from the mid-draw, and his trial results suggest he’s got real talent. Debutante filly BRIAR WOOD appears the best of the rest, having performed well at the trials, but she appears likely to drift back and be running on late.

Tips: 1-4-9-2 (*amended after Final Scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (1) LITTLE HERCULES to win.

RACE 2 SURA MAIDEN 1:17 PM (1116)

Plenty of form to consider in this three-year-old maiden and we’re pretty keen on the chances of SCANDAL MAKER coming out of a very fast race first up at Ascot. This fellow started favourite on debut at Belmont last July competing against a fairly handy filly called Sweet Ora, so he has obvious talent and that first-up hit-out will bring him forward significantly for this event, where the pressure will be nowhere near as intense early. Has the speed to go forward and lead, or race outside the leader, and SCANDAL MAKER stands out on top. Consistent filly SENORITA BONITA has raced on-pace and filled the minor placing at each of her three starts this campaign, and she looks set to figure prominently again jumping from the inside barrier. Suited by the slight distance drop and with even luck in running we can’t see her missing a place. First starter MIGHTY CHANCE has caught our eye at the trials and he was not fully tested in his 1000m Bunbury hit-out recently. Should land in the right spot from the good draw and we expect him to compete well on debut, while another first starter STRYKETHREE is an interesting runner worth including after her soft trial win at Pinjarra recently. Improving rapidly every time she steps out in public and the betting fluctuations will provide insight into her winning chances.

Tips: 1-5-4-11
Suggested Bet: (1) SCANDAL MAKER to win.

RACE 3 ZURICH MAIDEN 1:52 PM (1420)

Good contest here and we found it difficult to separate four genuine winning chances in BUSHFIRE BLONDE, ELITE ARTIST, REGAL CLASS and AMONGSTGOODCOMPANY. We decided to select BUSHFIRE BLONDE on top after her quality first-up effort behind the very smart Royal Command, when racing up on-top of a solid tempo and still managing to finish ahead of Finance, who is a three-year-old we have a lot of time for. That run will bring BUSHFIRE BLONDE forward significantly in the race-fitness department, and we like the fact that she races on-pace and gives herself every chance. She’s going to be hard to catch. ELITE ARTIST just shades stablemate REGAL CLASS, with her effort in a muddling-run affair at Geraldton a lot better than it reads on paper. Should be suited up to the seven furlongs and Glenn Smith is arguably riding in career-best form at present. REGAL CLASS was simply blown away by the explosive Quilista over 1116m last start but the workout she gained on that occasion will bring her forward nicely for this assignment, while AMONGSTGOODCOMPANY was super in a decent race on debut and shouldn’t get as far back in running jumping from the low draw. 24 days between runs is a slight query but we have a bit of time for this filly and expect her to make her presence felt.

Tips: 8-10-9-11
Suggested Bet: (8) BUSHFIRE BLONDE each way.

RACE 4 NTI MAIDEN 2:32 PM (1705)

This looks likely to be a spirited betting duel between the two main winning chances MYCROFT and MIDDLE EARTH, and we’re rather bullish about the Duane Kitchingman-prepared MYCROFT. Has competed in two high-rating races at Ascot since returning from a spell and his effort to finish less than four lengths from Precious Memories in a very fast Challenge Stakes last Saturday week was big. Should enjoy the change of pace back in maiden company and he really looks sweetly placed in this event. MYCROFT to win. MIDDLE EARTH has performed well at each of his three outings so far and went down a half-head after racing in the three-wide line here last start. Not sure whether barrier one will be a help or a hindrance for this fellow, but he is race-fit, in-form and if he gets the galloping room he needs will be in the finish. ONAPARA has shown plenty of promise over the journey but is yet to really put it all together on raceday. Starting for the first time in 35 days is a query, but he has to be in the mix in a race that lacks depth, while EMMA’S CHILD is the best of the rest and, jumping from a better draw, shouldn’t be as far back in running as she was on debut at Ascot recently.

Tips: 5-3-8-12
Suggested Bet: (5) MYCROFT to win.

RACE 5 MGIB/AUB LIFE ONLINE HANDICAP 3:10 PM (1016)

We narrowed this race down to four winning chances and, without a heap of confidence, locked in ROCK’N ROLL ROSIE on top. Made the most of a fairly soft lead to win on debut recently, but she showed a very sharp turn-of-foot and her closing sectionals were very similar to the super-impressive Quilista on the same day. Knocked off a promising type in Imaginary on that occasion and she actually looks quite well placed taking on the older horses in a race that lacks depth. ROCK’N ROLL ROSIE to roll forward and win again. After a brilliant trial win at Pinjarra recently, we were very close to tipping INCREDIBLE HULK on top but we simply couldn’t do it racing for the first time in 467 days. That was a winning trial and if he brings that form to raceday he’s going to be mighty hard to hold out. Consistent filly PASHMINA scored a well-deserved maiden win at Narrogin when producing sustained speed over the 930m dash. Is going to give herself every chance of winning again and we wouldn’t be surprised to see her go back-to-back, while MADAM WINKS has a lot to learn but has some ability and should be able to be land in the right position on-pace jumping from a low draw.

Tips: 4-1-8-3
Suggested Bet: (4) ROCK’N ROLL ROSIE each way.

RACE 6 SUNCORP HANDICAP 3:45 PM (1705)

This looks a really nice second-up option for promising Peters Investments three-year-old PERFECT ROSE after her quality first-up effort against some tough, seasoned opposition here last Sunday week. That was a top run in Class 5 company and the blow out should bring her forward considerably dropping back into this Class 1 assignment. Improved sharply to blow her rivals away second up last prep and PERFECT ROSE is one of our best of the day. DEFIANCY brings some strong formlines to this and he hasn’t been far away at all at his past two outings. Maps well from the low draw and we can’t see him missing a place considering how well he’s racing. MASTER MAGICIAN was returning from a 10-week let up at Ascot last start and that race has since produced the exciting winners Gangbuster and Just Like Fire. That hit-out in a hot form race will have done him the world of good and should give him a tremendous platform for the rest of his preparation, while COMPELLING has some starting issues to overcome but his effort to finish within 2-1/2 lengths of Awesome As last start was big and he has to be included in the mix.

Tips: 10-1-3-4
Suggested Bet: (10) PERFECT ROSE to win.

RACE 7 CGU HANDICAP 4:20 PM (1705)

Looking forward to this clash between promising three-year-olds FRIARESQUE and AWAKEN, and we’re going to lock in Perth’s best maiden FRIARESQUE on top. Hasn’t done a thing wrong in his four starts this prep and his effort to place in a fast race against the older horses at Ascot last start was tremendous. FRIARESQUE is rock-hard-fit, drawn perfectly and the drop back from Graduation company to Class 1 means he has to be the horse to beat. AWAKEN was rolled as a long odds-on favourite first up at Ascot last start, but the effort was solid and the winner Touch Of Silver has plenty of ability. That hit-out will bring AWAKEN forward significantly and the blinkers have been removed after she raced a bit fiercely last start. No surprise to see AWAKEN win. MOUQUET knocked off subsequent dual-winner Watijadoo when winning a $30,000 Metro Maiden two back, before having no luck stepping up to 1800m at Ascot last start. Form out of that race has stood up well and MOUQUET must rate among the main winning chances, while MELTING POINT is a promising type who squeezed in a mid-prep trial at Pinjarra recently, and is capable of racing on-pace and fighting out the finish.

Tips: 3-2-1-8 (*amended after Final Scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (3) FRIARESQUE to win.

RACE 8 MGIB PLATE 4:55 PM (1216)

After a couple of near misses this appears to be the right race for THREESUN to return to winning form. Nosed out in a fast race at Pinjarra two back before getting bloused in the last stride by Celebrity Dream in the feature Pearl Classic at Pinjarra on Magic Millions Day last start. This mare is rock-hard-fit and right at the top of her game, and she only has to hold her current form to be winning. THREESUN each way. PUSHIN’ SHAPES races for the first time in 179 days and we liked the way he worked home from back in the field in his recent Bunbury trial. Finished third behind Chocolate Holic and Pounamu at his last start before a spell, and if he can bring that sort of form to the table first up then he is going to take some beating. CROWN LAWYER has certainly lost in way in recent preps after appearing to be a star in the making at one stage, however, we are expecting sharp improvement from him after never standing a chance first up at Ascot recently. If he jumps cleanly and can hold a position then we expect him to be fighting out the finish, while FRIAR’S GIFT was better at Narrogin last start and that hit-out will bring him forward nicely for this assignment.

Tips: 9-3-2-7
Suggested Bet: (9) THREESUN each way.

RACE 9 MGIB TRAVEL HANDICAP 5:30 PM (2038)

Tricky assignment to finish the day and without a huge amount of confidence we’ve locked in DAGORLAD on top. Drawn to get the right run in a race that promises to have a genuine tempo, thanks to natural leaders TRAP FOR FOOLS and PIGEON POST, and he does come out of a particularly fast 2200m race at Ascot last start. Hasn’t done much wrong all prep, comes into this event race-fit and in-form, and he looks a safe each-way play. MEDOM flashed late to score in midweek company two back before being unable to get clear at a vital stage in a fast 1600m event at Ascot last Saturday week. Is a solid miler but we have a slight query on him in a true 10-furlong event, however, he’s in good form and has a class edge on most of these. IN THE LOOP has been performing well in the Great Southern and you could make a case that he should be unbeaten in his past four starts. Jumps slowly and likes to get back, but he possesses a strong finish and he is a real contender stepping into this distance range for the first time. MY FAIR BEAUTY is racing very well over similar trips in maiden company of late and simply must be included among the main chances.

Tips: 6-2-10-1 (*amended after Final Scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (6) DAGORLAD 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.