RACE 1 AMELIA PARK MAIDEN 1:24 PM (1200M)
After having no luck at all at Ascot last start, we’re thinking this is the right race for HILLBERT to get some runs on the board. He was pretty good behind the likes of Distant Trilogy and Finance in the $30,000 Showcase Maiden at the Bunbury stand-alone season opener two back, before being held up badly and never seeing daylight as a $4.60 second favourite in a race won by up-and-comer In Love With Paris last time. HILLBERT appears set to enjoy the right run in transit from his handy draw and the Pearce Bros have gone back to stable number one Jarrad Noske to help get this fellow over the line. HILLBERT on top. Three-year-old GINGERELLA is the main danger and steps out against the older horses after running into a smart one in Arctic Stream on debut. Caught our eye at the trials prior to that performance and this filly has drawn to land on pace without burning fuel early. GINGERELLA was a little wayward on debut, so the lugging bit has been added to straighten her up, and we expect to see her fighting out the finish. QUEEN BOUDICA hasn’t done a lot wrong in her past two outings, placing behind the promising Finance in a similar assignment to this last time, and she’s drawn to enjoy a soft run on the leader’s back, while RAMRUEY comes through the same race as QUEEN BOUDICA and we liked the way she ran through the line first up for new trainer Anne King.
Tips: 1-9-10-2 Suggested Bet: (1) HILLBERT win & Place (1 x 3 units).
RACE 2 ASP SECURITY MAIDEN 1:59 PM (1400M)
The bookies won’t be betting any fancy prices but from a tipping point of view we simply can’t go past RED ARMY. Looked smart at the trials and produced a super debut effort, drifting back to near last from barrier 10 and clocking standout sectionals to close within 1-1/2 lengths of the promising Finance. The Team Williams-trained four-year-old will naturally benefit from the raceday experience and should be able to hold a position closer to the speed from his lower barrier draw here. We’re expecting RED ARMY to start odds-on and this race really is the perfect opportunity for him to break through. Just wins. OUQBA JACK showed a bit of promise as a two-year-old and we’re expecting to see an improved performance jumping from an inside draw at his third run this campaign. Got back from barrier 12 and plotted a fairly wide path in running from barrier 12 at Ascot last start, but we felt as though he worked to the line well enough and OUQBA JACK should be ready to produce his best at this stage of his prep. TIME STANDS STILL is a filly we’ve been tracking since trials and she’s caught the eye at both starts, getting back from high draws and running on late. Has been dealt another wide gate here, however, stepping up to the 1400 metres should suit and we expect to see her compete well at odds, while HAYAN LAD worked hard facing the breeze in the three-wide line at Ascot last start and showed some ticker to box on and fill the minor placing.
Tips: 3-7-13-2 Suggested Bet: (3) RED ARMY to win.
RACE 3 AQUAVIVA CATERING HANDICAP 2:37 PM (1400M)
We were bullish about the chances of ARCTIC STREAM at her November 2 debut and he didn’t let us down, utilising his turn-of-foot to get himself out of a sticky situation in the straight to get the job done in impressive fashion. It was hard not to be taken with the way this beautifully-bred son of High Chaparral covered the ground and you imagine the rise to 1400 metres is going to be perfect for him. This is a fairly thin race and ARCTIC STREAM is certain to start an odds-on favourite, and all things being equal we simply can’t see any of his opposition being able to match motors with him. ARCTIC STREAM a class above. SPECIAL IMAGE had admirers ($4.20) when returning over 1100 metres last start, but after drifting back towards the tail she passed a few in the run home without threatening. Should really relish the step up in distance here, however, and we expect to see her settle much closer to the speed on this occasion. SPECIAL IMAGE has upside and we anticipate sharp improvement second up. Former Gai Waterhouse colt MISTY LAD makes his WA debut and while he hasn’t done punters any favours this campaign, his efforts stack up well enough against this company. Should’ve finished closer at Cranbourne last start when cramped for room in the straight and taking a line through his eastern-states form, he has to rate among the top three, while UNDER THE SOMBRERO didn’t have a lot of luck at her Ascot debut and this lovely bred filly is capable of running a race at odds here.
Tips: 1-8-3-9 Suggested Bet: (1) ARCTIC STREAM to win.
RACE 4 PRINCE OF WALES HOTEL BUNBURY HANDICAP 3:15 PM (2000M)
Not a huge amount on confidence in this middle-distance handicap, but we eventually settled on Peters Investments mare PERFECT DREAM to salute at her second start for new trainer Adam Durrant. Was brave in defeat when resuming at Geraldton last month and Durrant opted to send her back to trials on November 6, where she matched strides and probably shaded former Kalgoorlie Cup winning 72-rater Woodsville. The leap from 1300 to 2000 metres second up isn’t ideal, but most of the main chances do have some negatives, and PERFECT DREAM does have the right trainer and level of class (Jackpot Prince formlines) to overcome an unconventional lead-up. DUDEMANBROhas to be considered a winning chance after covering additional ground fourth up at Ascot last start, whacking away under pressure to be beaten only two lengths on the line. Pretty decent effort under the circumstances on that occasion, following up an equally competitive Northam performance, and DUDEMANBRO ticks a few boxes. PLAIN VITAL has a poor winning record, however, she should enjoy coming back to this company after finishing less than two lengths from Slick Talker in Graduation 62+ grade at Ascot last start. Will no doubt appreciate the rise to 2000 metres also and she’s a must for your exotic bets, while REGAL ROGUE has been mixing up her form recently but if she turns up she’s a definite top four chance.
Tips: 5-4-9-2 Suggested Bet: (5) PERFECT DREAM win & Place (1 x 3 units).
RACE 5 BUNBURY PLUMBING SERVICES HANDICAP 3:50 PM (1675M)
Plenty to include in an open first leg of the late Quaddie, but we settled on Peters Investments mare NEW AGE after a strong Geraldton maiden victory last start. The Adam Durrant-trained four-year-old got into a fair bit of strife when attempting a tight rails run on that occasion, but managed to dust herself off and let down fairly impressively to score. Had she not encountered the interference NEW AGE would’ve won by panels, and we expect to see an enhanced version of her stretching out to the mile for the first time. MASSA MAC is a horse we’ve followed closely over the journey and it as no surprise to see him upset the well-fancied American Joy over this route last start. Went to the line with a bit in reserve too and MASSA MAC will derive a lot from that confidence-boosting victory. DUCK FEET caught the eye second up on Melbourne Cup Day when looming up to win and just peaking on his run over the final stages. Should be ready to produce a peak on the quick back up and we expect to see him running on into the finish, while ROJO CALOR lacked acceleration but wasn’t beaten too far in a blanket finish at Ascot last start. Drawn to get the right run and is a must for your exotic bets.
Tips: 7-3-1-6 Suggested Bet: (7) NEW AGE to win.
RACE 6 SPENCER SIGNS HANDICAP 4:25 PM (1200M)
SCUFFY has been pretty good to us in recent times and she looks perfectly placed by trainer Paul Jordan here. Competed very well in a series of $30,000 Showcase Maiden events, finishing second to the well-regarded Kia Ora Star before leading all the way to break through at Belmont on September 16. Stepped out for the first time since at Northam recently and did a good job behind Snitz ‘n’ Giggles, and that blow out should bring her forward nicely for this assignment. SCUFFY gives herself every chance by beginning well and racing on speed, and she’s going to give her supporters a good run for their money. SPLASH comes through the same race as SCUFFY, finishing alongside our on-top selection and rattling off some impressive closing sectionals in the process. Likely to appreciate stepping up in distance and should also get the right run in transit from her sweet low draw. SPLASH looms as the main danger. RED BANANAS has competed well at her past three outings and her current form has her positioned among the main fancies. Shouldn’t burn any fuel on the leader’s back in running and it’s hard seeing her missing a top-four finish, while METAL RAIN toughed it out in a fast race first up at Ascot and that searching hit out provides him with a good platform leading into this second-up assignment.
Tips: 5-10-4-3 Suggested Bet: (5) SCUFFY win & place (1 x 3 units).
RACE 7 TABTOUCH-REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP:THE ROAD TO ASCOT 5:00 PM (1200M)
The feature race of the day is also by far-and-away the best, with plenty of horses capable of winning if they bring their best to the table. This qualifying heat to the $100,000 series final at Ascot on December 2 looks a terrific starting point for talented mare DETANGO to kick off her spring campaign and we’re happy to have her on top. A winner at five of 11 starts, the Brett Pope-trained five-year-old flies fresh and wasn’t fully tested behind Scales Of Justice in a fast Lark Hill trial recently. DETANGO appears likely to find the right spot from her handy draw and jockey Dan Staeck really should be unbeaten in three rides on the daughter of Demerit. DETANGO is pretty sharp and is the safe play here. FINANCE scored a well-deserved maiden victory second up, going to the line with a bit in reserve after an aggressive ride from Jarrad Noske. Taking on some much tougher opposition stepping up in grade, but we feel as though FINANCE has some decent weapons and we expect to see him running on into the finish. Sparingly-raced four-year-old AMBIENTE got off the canvas to win with 59.5kg first up and we thought that was a pretty good effort under the circumstances. Gets some weight relief up in this grade and a low draw should see him afforded every opportunity at his first start beyond five furlongs, while William Pike has jumped aboard SIXPENCE SPENT, who was huge when resuming in a competitive Graduation 62+ at Ascot and has a strong record over the Bunbury 1200 metres.
Tips: 2-11-6-4 Suggested Bet: (2) DETANGO win & place (1 x 3 units).
RACE 8 PRINTSYNC TRAVIS DURNIN HANDICAP 5:40 PM (1400M)
Not a bad contest to finish up and we simply can’t look past emerging talent VITAL SILVER, who’s chasing a third straight victory. Was heavily supported two back and showed why when really strong through the line, and followed up with an equally dominant display last start, impressively pulling away from The Shoe, who finished fourth in Graduation 62+ company at Ascot on Saturday. VITAL SILVER is another weapon in the Pearce Bros exciting string, and appears to be destined for bigger and better things. Wins again. MIDNIGHT SKY hit the line hard when resuming here last start and we were taken with the way she stretched out late. That run will naturally bring her forward for this assignment and she looms as the main danger to VITAL SILVER. RAGAZZO D’ORO is a four-year-old with more than his share of ability and we’re expecting sharp improvement from him after missing a place in a fast 1200-metre event first up at Ascot. Was doing some nice work late on that occasion and did place third behind Variation in last year’s WA Guineas, while SALTY had no luck and should’ve finished much closer second up at Ascot last start. Don’t be surprised to see him running on into a top-four finish.
Tips: 3-7-2-6 Suggested Bet: (3) VITAL SILVER to win.