RACE 1 TABTOUCH MAIDEN 12:51 PM (1400M)
Metro Maidens are back post-carnival and this is a competitive one, with over half the field genuine winning chances. Former Victorian REBOW led and gave a kick at his WA debut, and should be able to lead these also. Predicting natural improvement second up and Rebow will take some running down. FRIAR AWAY was a good thing beat last Saturday week and the Erkelens stable are on fire. Ran right through the line last time and he’s a major player. FREO has endured an interrupted first prep, but his latest effort behind The Rake reads well, while SPIN ON COMMAND has ability and will have admirers.
Suggested: 6. FRIAR AWAY win (1) & place (3).
6. FRIAR AWAY
9. SPIN ON COMMAND
3. CRIMSON’S ROCKET
*Numbers amended after final scratchings.
RACE 2 SEACORP PLATE 1:31 PM (1000M)
Cracking contest and it was very challenging lining them all up. Eventually settled on KELLY’S CALLISTO after a very soft Lark Hill trial win, coming from last to glide down the outside and score untouched. Needs to be good to overcome high draw over the 1000m, but he does appear well above average and should be charging home over the top. VENA SCHNITZEL has raced experience and looks a quality filly. Liked what she’s produced so far. WILLOW RIVER is unbeaten in trials and is very fast. Can lead from her high draw on debut, while CAROLINA REAPER goes good and can elevate off last run.
Suggested: 5. KELLY’S CALLISTO 1 x 3 units.
5. KELLY’S CALLISTO
13. VENA SCHNITZEL
14. WILLOW RIVER
1. CAROLINA REAPER
RACE 3 IRON JACK PLATE 2:15 PM (1200M)
Kept coming back to smart filly STREET FURY, who ran into strife at a crucial stage last start and was probably a good thing beat. Expect to see her begin well and park up right behind the leaders, and with clear galloping room should be too strong on the line. FLASH OF THUNDER was a $3.40 chance prior to getting loose in his prelim and being scratched on January 1. Hard to ignore that starting price profile. Back in-form COGNAC is a tough bugger, so good luck getting past him, while GO CRYING comes to town after a dominant Albany maiden win. Big watch on $230k first starter SUPREME FORCE.
Suggested: 5. STREET FURY win.
5. STREET FURY
2. FLASH OF THUNDER
3. GO CRYING
RACE 4 MISS ANDRETTI STAKES 2:50 PM (1100M)
Disappointing from a numbers perspective, but this in an intriguing edition of the Miss Andretti Stakes, and it really looks set up for class mare CAIPIRINHA. Backed into $3.50 (fave) in the Summer Scorcher, but she was forced to take a sit and just failed to catch Battle Hero. Set to find the rail and dictate from the front, and if she runs home her usual splits they simply won’t be able to catch her. Cult hero DAINTY TESS is the obvious danger. She’ll park one-one and be strong late. VOLKOFF will get back and run on as always, while METEOROID can run a cheeky race coming off a 49-day break.
Suggested: 6. CAIPIRINHA win.
2. DAINTY TESS
RACE 5 ASCEND SALES TROPHIES HANDICAP 3:30 PM (1400M)
Unbeaten 3YO ACTION is exciting and takes on the older horses first up. From the powerhouse Peters Investments operation, this WA Derby prospect wasn’t knocked around in his lead-up trial and while he’ll no doubt get back from the high draw, he has the class to overcome that challenge fresh. OLIVER’S TRAVELS copped a bad beat last start, when having zero luck, and he’ll be backed to beat likely short-priced fave Action. Have a bit of time for NELSON’S FLIGHT and he’s trialled well since his last-start brain fade, while likely leader FORSEEN can run a race for in-form apprentice Brodie Kirby.
Suggested: 7. ACTION win.
2. OLIVER’S TRAVELS
6. NELSON’S FLIGHT
RACE 6 AMELIA PARK HANDICAP 4:10 PM (1000M)
This looks the right race for MANTIME and he’s one of the best of the day. Has thrived since the stable have adopted more aggressive riding tactics at his past three starts and he maps to park up outside the leader, on top of a faster-than-average tempo. Set to control the race from there and run his rivals into the ground. First-upper BELTER has a bit of class about him and got busy late to win his lead-up trial. Goes good fresh and is the obvious danger. SECRET ASSAULT usually flies under the radar but he can lead these and show some cheek late, while HOSTWIN PEGASUS was massive last start.
Suggested: 5. MANTIME win (1) & place (3).
4. SECRET ASSAULT
3. HOSTWIN PEGASUS
RACE 7 CROWN TOWERS HANDICAP 4:50 PM (1200M)
HELMS GATE is the sort of horse that could get up over the odds in this wide open affair. Goes good and would’ve been right in the finish had he seen daylight last time, and didn’t have get any favours when trapped wide at his previous start also. Ascot form is much better than it reads on paper and he can give this a shake. Likely leader KEY TO FAME is set to roll along out in front and take some catching with the 3kg claimer on board. Likely fave TOP OF THE CLASS was massive last time, but high draws means she’ll be getting back and running on, while if the real MAJINIKA shows up look out.
Suggested: 8. HELMS GATE each way.
8. HELMS GATE
3. KEY TO FAME
10. TOP OF THE CLASS
RACE 8 SCHWEPPES HANDICAP 5:30 PM (1800M)
Terrific way to end the card with this super-competitive line up. Had GUNNAGO on top at his past three outings and more than happy to go again after he just failed to catch WOODSVILLE over a mile last start. Really attacked the line on that occasion and he’s giving the impression he’s ready to get tested over the 1800m. Looks the one to beat. FRIARESQUE will have a stronger platform with the 1800m run now under his belt and he looks set to give this a shake. TOUCH OF SILVER is a major talent and is too good to leave out of calculations, while RAGAZZO D’ORO is flying and maps perfectly again.
Suggested: 3. GUNNAGO win (1) & place (3).
1. TOUCH OF SILVER
7. RAGAZZO D’ORO