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 HVG MAIDEN 1:17 PM (1016M)

We found it difficult to pinpoint the winner in the opener and ended up locking in MANU’S BANJO on an each-way basis. Has done a good job in his three starts so far, gives himself every chance by being able to race on-pace and is drawn to enjoy a sweet run behind the leaders. The blinkers have been added with the drop back in distance and MANU’S BANJO looks a safe way to start the day. THE ANAESTHETIST was kept safe in betting on debut back in August but failed to fire and was promptly spelled. He looked in good nick when dead-heating in a recent Belmont trial and we expect a fast pace to be on so the oustide barrier shouldn’t be a huge disadvantage. Lookout for him storming home at the finish. First starter LIGHTHOUSE ROCK worked to the line nicely at his recent Belmont trial and hails from the astute Brett Pope yard, while AQUARIAN GIRL showed blistering gate speed in a recent Albany trial, and we expect her to jump, run and take some catching first up for her new stable.

Tips: 10-4-3-8
Suggested Bet: (10) MANU’S BANJO each way.


PERSISTENCE TIME is a three-year-old we have a bit of time for and we’re very interested to see how he performs stepping up beyond 1400m for the first time. Ran out of his skin first up in the listed Lee-Steere Classic at Ascot, before an even effort behind the in-form General Husson at Headquarters last start. He’s by Blackfriars so he is bred to appreciate a middle-distance and this fellow should really enjoy a super-soft run in transit from the good draw. We feel as though PERSISTENCE TIME has a class edge on these and if he brings his best he’ll be winning. Front-running grey SCANDIUM has performed admirably at each of his three runs this campaign and he stuck on well after setting a strong tempo in a similar assignment to this here last start. Senior rider Troy Turner goes on and the race-fit/in-form SCANDIUM will take some catching. ARMOURER has finished on the winner’s heels at each of his last three starts and is being tested over a middle-distance for the first time. He’s a major player if he can run the trip, while ROLL ON JOHN is an on-pacer who is capable of hanging around for a fair while in the straight.

Tips: 5-3-6-1
Suggested Bet: (5) PERSISTENCE TIME each way.


Beautifully bred filly ROYAL STAR was scratched from Thursday’s Bunbury meeting and saved for this event, with the Redoute’s Choice youngster likely to attract strong support on debut. Has been very well schooled, with five trials under her belt, and her best performance was her most recent when holding out FRIARANDICE to win at Lark Hill. Glenn Smith should be able to land within striking distance from the reasonable draw and we’re expecting ROYAL STAR to be too strong for her rivals. FRIARANDICE emerged from that Lark Hill trial to run Patapus to a half-head in a similar assignment to this last start, racing outside the leader and showing plenty of fight in the straight. Should be able to take up a similar position in running from the sweet draw and she is the obvious danger. RAMRUEY showed up at the trials before producing an eye-catching effort at his recent Ascot debut. Got back and finished off on that occasion, and he’s likely to drift back from a wide barrier again, while STAGE FLIGHT put in a big effort on debut here recently but he’s another who’s going to have to drift back and run on from a wide gate.

Tips: 13-9-2-10 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (13) ROYAL STAR to win.


There’s a host of winning chances in this competitive Class 3 dash and we ended up landing on HIGH TEA as our on-top selection. The four-year-old was most unlucky down the straight 1000m first up at Pinjarra recently and there’s no doubt with a clear passage she would have won. HIGH TEA gets her chance to make amends jumping from a perfect barrier draw and the cutaway rail will ensure she gets every opportunity late. MY LAINA has already won twice here over this journey this season and she followed up her latest Bunbury victory with a competitive third at Pinjarra, coming out of the same race as HIGH TEA. May be a filly that prefers a bend and her form this preparation can’t be faulted. PEGGIE’S MAREE hails from the in-form Bruce Watkins yard and produced a slick performance to score first up at Narrogin recently. Has her share of ability and must rate among the main fancies, while MAIN INSTIGATOR is a horse we have a bit of time for and we are expecting him to run a race first up jumping from a nice barrier.

Tips: 8-10-1-3
Suggested Bet: (8) HIGH TEA each way.


In-form mare MAKATIES KEEPER recorded back-to-back dominant Bunbury victories before coming unstuck in a super slowly run affair at Ascot last start, doing a good job to run on and finish only 1-1/4 lengths from the winner. This looks a sweet option for MAKATIES KEEPER, who should land in the right spot from the good gate, and her career-best form looks set to continue with another win. Sparingly-raced former NSW six-year-old DR SYKES makes his WA debut and has been sharpened up with two recent barrier trials. We really liked the way he hit the line in a slick heat at Belmont recently and wouldn’t be surprised to see him show up first up for his new stable. THE DANSKTER was fairly heavily commissioned at Ascot last start, firming in betting before finishing fourth. Should have finished closer as he did have excuses, and if this fellow is back on song then look out because his best is certainly capable of winning, while JETOOMY appeared above average as a three-year-old and we’re anticipating sharp improvement from him second up this preparation.

Tips: 4-8-3-9 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (4) MAKATIES KEEPER to win.


Local staying five-year-old CRAFTY RED looks set to return to the winners’ circle here, appearing well placed after a good second at Pinjarra last start. The Ross Price-trained grey does go up in the weights with his return to Class 3 company, but he didn’t have any trouble with the 58kg last start and the only negative is the outside gate, which may see him land a couple of spots further back than he prefers. Regardless, CRAFTY RED looks to have a class edge on his rivals and is one of the better bets on the card. SECONDMENT finished fourth in the same event as CRAFTY RED at Pinjarra two starts back before going to town and competing well at midweek level last time. Is nice and fit, with four runs under her belt this campaign, and she looms as the likely danger. Lightly-raced seven-year-old CAMBO is enjoying some good results this preparation and is displaying some staying promise. Looked the winner before getting rolled in the last stride here last start and he should be afforded every opportunity in running from the low draw in this, while TOMMI TOOCAN returned to winning form with a last-to-first performance here last start and we’re expecting him to be running on well at the finish again.

Tips: 1-4-3-7
Suggested Bet: (1) CRAFTY RED to win.


DANEFIN came of age during the North West season and the six-year-old has continued that good form with two quality performances this preparation. Won the Regional Championship Series Heat at huge odds first up before competing well against some sharp opposition here last start, when racing for the first time in a month. DANEFIN appears to have some of the better formlines in the race and we feel as though he will be even better stepping up to the six furlongs in this. DANEFIN the one to beat. FIZZA MA WIZZA certainly has her share of ability and she returns as a 61-rater after peaking at 66 during her last racing campaign. Drawn to get the run of the race and she has shown up first up in the past, so don’t be surprised to see her run a race fresh. HOLD YOUR TONGUE trialled well here before enduring a tough first-up run at Ascot recently. Shouldn’t face the same issues jumping from the low draw here and we’re expecting sharp improvement from him second up, while JUST DOUGIE has had no luck at his past two outings and is capable of running a race at healthy each-way odds.

Tips: 2-8-3-4
Suggested Bet: (2) DANEFIN each way.


We are big fans of hulking local four-year-old DUTCH SPY and felt he could run a cheeky race in the $100,000 Regional Championships Final, with the Paul Roberts-trained rig producing a massive effort to finish sixth, beaten only a 3/4-length on the line and finishing alongside recent Bunbury winner Border Scot. Regular rider Glenn Smith has been reunited with the son of So Secret and we’re expecting him to take care of business dropping back sharply in grade to this Class 1 Handicap. DUTCH SPY for the win. MCFRIARS is the only possible danger, with the four-year-old racing first up after a quiet trial at Belmont recently. Did win on debut here around the time last year and we’re expecting MCFRIARS to be running on strongly at the finish of this. DU PLESSIS trialled brilliantly at Belmont before a game first-up effort at Ascot when finishing a short-neck second behind the progressive Ace’s Wish. Looks the likely pace maker and will take some catching, while FAIR NAKITA ran into a pretty smart one in Miss Sondrio here last start and, if she can land outside the leader again without burning too much fuel, then she’s capable of figuring prominently at the finish.

Tips: 5-9-12-6 (*amended after final scratchings)
Suggested Bet: (5) MCFRIARS each way (*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.