The Leg Up – Belmont Preview

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NOTE: A late start to this week’s edition of The Leg Up allowed us to catch the significant movable rail shift from out nine metres back to the true position, where we’ll be racing on the inside pad for the first time since July 22. The track was rated a Soft 5 on that occasion and the results suggested rails in run was the place to be, with seven of the eight winners utilising lanes three to six in the straight.

RACE 1 GET THE TABTOUCH MAIDEN 12:28 PM (1200M)

Harvey Racing and the owners of SAVERIO are certainly a patient bunch, but their persistence appears set to pay off with the seven-year-old ready to win. An injury-plagued career has seen him restricted to only eight starts to date, however, his barrier trial on July 24 and eye-catching first-up performance last Saturday week suggests the stable has him happy and healthy. SAVERIO was always going to be up against it from barrier 13 when racing for the first time since November 2015 last start, but he lengthened stride impressively late to run on and clock the fastest closing 600 sectional behind subsequent Northam winner Great Again. SAVERIO is capable of setting closer with a more positive outlook early and, if he can be within striking distance swinging for home, it’s hard seeing anything being able to hold him out. Not a lot of value at $4 on TABtouch, but SAVERIO appears to have an edge on his rivals and with even luck in running he should be winning. LIGHTHOUSE ROCK is the obvious danger and from his inside barrier looks set to enjoy the right run parked behind the leaders. Drifted back further than planned in the same race as SAVERIO last Saturday week and encountered significant interference passing the 800 metres, before working home well enough late. On paper, LIGHTHOUSE ROCK should get the perfect run in transit and is a clear second pick. TRIPLE EVENT comes through the same race as our top-two selections and enjoyed a sweet passage in running, before gaining a split in the straight and pushing Great Again all the way to the line. This is obviously a different equation jumping from his high draw, however, he’s produced two decent ratings back-to-back and has built up some trust, while we were keen on CRICKET INDA HOUSE second up last Saturday week but he performed a little below expectations. We feel he has more to give and must rate among the hopes, while JUST LIKE THAT is a horse we have time for and would have been in our top four with a better barrier.

Tips: 3-5-1-4
Suggested Bet: (3) SAVERIO to win.

3. SAVERIO
5. LIGHTHOUSE ROCK
1. TRIPLE EVENT
4. CRICKET INDA HOUSE

RACE 2 GARRY MCGOWAN PLATE 1:04 PM (1300M)

While not exactly sure what to expect first up from a 127-day break without a trial, we’re still excited by the return of crack colt DEBELLATIO, who we rated as the most talented two-year-old in Perth during 2016/17. This strapping son of Smart Missile, who went within a long neck of winning our two biggest juvenile races in the autumn, makes an unexpected and low-key start to his three-year-old season, with most of his contemporaries unlikely to be seen for another two months. Trainer Fred Kersley will no doubt be aiming DEBELLATIO  towards the $500,000 WA Guineas on November 25, but has decided to give him a short burst during the winter and he appears to have a significant class edge on his opposition here. Surely this factor counts for plenty and we can see Daniel Staeck having DEBELLATIO positioned in the first four in running, and from there his big engine should kick in and allow him to put his rivals away with a minimum of fuss. MIRACLE MAN is the interesting runner after getting all the favours and saluting on debut in midweek company on August 2. Adam Durrant has expressed a big opinion of this fellow, rating him a potential WA Derby contender in 2018, and while his debut victory wasn’t anything extraordinary, there is obviously plenty of talent under the hood. MIRACLE MAN looks capable of stepping up to the mark and brings a bit of X-factor to this event. DANES MAREE was put through the ringer third up last Saturday week when caught three-wide without cover, racing on top of a genuine tempo. Showed tremendous depth to guts it out and finish only two lengths from the winner, and she’s unlikely encounter those difficulties in running here as she should be able to find the front early without significant pressure. DANES MAREE has race fitness and a light weight on her side, and she certainly shouldn’t be underestimated, while we’re going to slot in OKINA KURI for fourth narrowly ahead of LOB CITYOKINA KURI has had no luck from wide draw in two starts this prep and we have her mapped to land outside DANES MAREE in running. From there, she’s capable of showing cheek.

Tips: 1-3-7-5
Suggested Bet: (1) DEBELLATIO to win.

1. DEBELLATIO
3. MIRACLE MAN
7. DANES MAREE
5. OKINA KURI

RACE 3 THE GATE BAR & BISTRO LEADING RIDER 2017/18 HCP 1:44 PM (2100M)

Very tricky middle-distance affair and with seven of the original nine acceptors capable of winning without surprising, we’re tackling this race with a low-level of confidence. With a slow-tempo likely, this should be a battle of tactics and when it comes to strategy the in-form Chris Parnham is the man we want on our side. As such, we settled on the at-times frustrating CARALABEK to end a significant drought (514 days) and salute the judge. This sparingly-raced six-year-old ran right through the line in the feeder race to this last Saturday week, lengthening stride late to finish only a head behind JETOOMYCARALABEK has the miles in his legs with four 2000-metre plus runs under his belt this prep, and we’re thinking he can settle ahead of JETOOMY in the run on this occasion. In form and race fit, CARALABEK should be within striking distance and it appears to be his turn. JETOOMY appeared to get bogged down under 59kg when a beaten $2.30 favourite two back and as such trainer Justin Warwick has opted to utilise Fiona Bell’s 3kg claim. This could prove to be a master stroke as JETOOMY will now carry 0.5kg less than his winning weight last Saturday week. Likely to slide back towards the tail from his draw, but the small field and lack of tempo means JETOOMY will still be in the sweet spot, and will no doubt be running on to fight out the finish. Stablemate CHARLESTOWN is stepping up in trip after two mile outings in 72+ company this campaign and he showed he was in for a good prep with an eye-catching fourth behind Astronomite last Saturday week. Didn’t really run right through the line that day, so he may be one run short of his peak, but this looms as a low-pressure contest and is unlikely to be a true test of 2100 metres. CHARLESTOWN is building nicely and he must be respected, while we’ve been tracking COUGAR NIGHTS closely this time in work and he’s regularly raced without luck. Deserves to catch a break and COUGAR NIGHTS is capable of running a cheeky race at a price.

Tips: 3-1-2-4
Suggested Bet: (3) CARALABEK to win.

3. CARALABEK
1. JETOOMY
2. CHARLESTOWN
4. COUGAR NIGHTS

RACE 4 JAMES BOAG’S PREMIUM RAILWAY STAKES – 25 NOV HCP 2:24 PM (1000M)

We originally rated MISS SONDRIO on top but were forced into a reshuffle after her Friday afternoon scratching and settled on emerging four-year-old INVINCIBLE WARRIOR. We’ve regularly commented about the improved performances from the Jim Taylor stable in recent editions of The Leg Up, and this fellow is one who has lifted significantly after a couple of poor performances to kick off his campaign. INVINCIBLE WARRIOR showed he was back on track when chasing home the red-hot Gunnago two back, before enjoying the perfect run and giving his rivals a touch up in 60+ midweek company on August 2. The form out of his last start has stacked up well also with Zeinite (2nd), Bangalore (3rd) and Diablerie (4th) stamping the race as a strong reference point. With a clean getaway, INVINCIBLE WARRIOR appears set to land in a commanding position behind the leaders, almost identical to last start, and this progressive customer simply ticks the most boxes. Likely leader JUST A FLUKE should strip fitter after an encouraging front-running display first up last Saturday week. Still has very little idea what he’s doing, illustrated by how he towed jockey Brad Parnham mid-race and the way he changed stride in the straight, but there’s plenty of raw ability there and if he puts it all together then he’s going to be very hard to run down. DUTCH SPY is one of ours, however, we were expecting more from him second up over 1300 metres last Saturday week and the performance was certainly below par. While there were no obvious excuses last start, we’re not giving up on him and we’re expecting him to bounce back like the smart galloper he is, while MASSACHUSETTS gets the nod for fourth marginally ahead of CHIN STRAP. MASSACHUSETTS is a get back/run on type and with clear galloping room has the weapons to challenge, while CHIN STRAP has enjoyed all the favours when winning recently but faces a different challenge from his high draw.

Tips: 7-9-4-6
Suggested Bet: (7) INVINCIBLE WARRIOR to win.

7. INVINCIBLE WARRIOR
9. JUST A FLUKE
4. DUTCH SPY
6. MASSACHUSETTS

RACE 5 MAGIC MILLIONS KINGSTON TOWN CLASSIC – 9 DEC HCP 3:04 PM (1400M)

The fillies and mares kick off the late Quaddie in an interesting affair. While there appears to be many hopes on paper, we decided to go with the most talented runner and locked in PATAPUS on top. Added another string to her bow when saluting third-up over the 1000 metres two back and she followed up with an equally good performance last Saturday week, coming from last in the eight-horse field to finish only two lengths behind Faerie Whisper and comfortably clock the fastest closing 600 sectional. PATAPUS did bungle the start badly when taken to Lark Hill for a mid-prep trial on Monday, which is far from ideal, but after quickly catching up the field she stretched out well enough under a strong hold from Shaun McGruddy, in what was effectively a final grass gallop prior to this assignment. With a clean getaway, PATAPUS has the ability to roll forward and lead this field, and she ran some cracking races on-pace last campaign, including a close-up third in the $80,000 Pearl Classic (1300m) at Pinjarra in February. PATAPUS looks a terrific price on TABtouch (approx. $7) and she’s our best each-way play of the day. ANOTHER VISION has returned to racing in very good order this winter, posting two impressive fast-finishing placings. Her performance was virtually as good as Cash On Call last Saturday week, which reads particularly well as that galloper will be starting a short-priced favourite in Race 6 on the card. ANOTHER VISION gets in with only 53kg after Fiona Bell’s 3kg claim and if she can reproduce her recent results, then she’s going to be mighty hard to gold out. BIG CAROLINE is right back in form again and she followed up an eye-catching first-up run behind the smart Royal Command by rating out of her skin last Saturday, splitting exciting four-year-olds Double Digit and Gunnago after enjoying a sweet run in transit. Goes up to 59kg and is unlikely to enjoy a similar soft passage, so this will certainly be a challenge, but she cannot be underestimated and deserves to rate among the top-three winning chances. IN THIS LIFE is a hard horse to catch but she looms as the wildcard at her first run in 75 days. Her best is certainly good enough to win and we’re keeping her safe by slotting her in for fourth ahead of HELLO PARIS, who we expect to improve with a more patient ride and the addition of a pulling bit.

Tips: 3-2-1-7
Suggested Bet: (3) PATAPUS each way.

3. PATAPUS
2. ANOTHER VISION
1. BIG CAROLINE
7. IN THIS LIFE

RACE 6 CROWN PERTH WINTERBOTTOM STAKES – 2 DEC HCP 3:40 PM (1400M)

We were very strong in our views of CASH ON CALL in the August 5 edition of The Leg Up when labeling him the best of the day, but he couldn’t quite get the job done after drifting further back than anticipated and narrowly missing out behind Sharpbob, who capitalised on a perfect run in transit. The result certainly wasn’t what we’d hoped for, however it was still full of merit considering the way the race shaped and the pattern of the day, and he was racing only 10 days after a dominant first-up heavy-track victory in midweek company beforehand. We expect CASH ON CALL to go to a new level third up off a 14-day break and the low gate didn’t really do him any favours last start, so the mid draw here should provide him with the galloping room he requires. While there’s not a hue amount of value in the $2.45 on TABtouch, CASH ON CALL is a real up-and-comer and with normal luck in running he come out on top. Unbeaten stablemate YOUNG GINA is the obvious danger and clear second pick after a smart lead-up trial performance at Lark Hill on July 31. Did accept to resume racing last Saturday, but was scratched and saved for this assignment, and while there’s no doubting this fellow’s got talent, he will need to produce something special to knock off CASH ON CALL first up over 1400 metres. If he does get the cash, it could be a sign that YOUNG GINA is destined for big things. The fast-finishing FIRE DETONATOR appears very well placed coming back in trip and jumping from a better alley, after a series of mid to high draws. FIRE DETONATOR certainly possesses come weapons and should be able to be within striking distance without burning too much fuel early-and-middle. Look out for him charging late, while we’re thinking the ever-consistent CHASING CHAOS is capable of leading and running a big race at odds. Steve Wolfe stable apprentice Shelby Colgate takes 3kg off his back and he could take some catching if allowed to run along out in front, while ATLANTA BLUE is very stiff to miss out on a top-four berth, however, he’s suffered a series of setbacks recently and with 35 days between runs hasn’t had the ideal lead-up to this assignment.

Tips: 4-7-5-3
Suggested Bet: (4) CASH ON CALL to win.

4. CASH ON CALL
7. YOUNG GINA
5. FIRE DETONATOR
3. CHASING CHAOS

RACE 7 WA BOOKMAKERS ASSOC. LEADING APPRENTICE 2017/18 4:15 PM (1650M)

While a little light on for numbers, this is a quality 78+ contest and for a few of these this event will act as a final lead-up for the $100,000 Coolgardie Cup (1760m) at Kalgoorlie on Sunday September 3. And after racing without luck in two starts back from a spell, we’re predicting a change of fortune for talented customer PROPERANTES, who looks a solid each-way play at $7.50 on TABtouch. We liked the Colin Webster-trained six-year-old’s winter return on July 15 and he never saw daylight behind FALCON CREST in the feeder race to this last Saturday week, going to the line relatively untested. While it’s important to be wary of the ‘unlucky runner’, PROPERANTES has performed at a high level in the past, competing in the 2016 Perth Cup, and he was beaten only 1-3/4 lengths in the black-type Tatt’s Cup at Ascot last November. The son of Danehill Express shouldn’t spend a dime in running from his low draw and with regular rider Troy Turner back on board, we expect to witness a peak performance from PROPERANTES. FALCON CREST couldn’t have been more impressive when coming from last to salute first up last Saturday week, on a day that didn’t particularly suit back-markers circling the field. He certainly deserves to be favourite, but the $2.40 on TABtouch appears to be rock-bottom odds, and he will have to follow up what was effectively a peak performance last start. FALCON CREST certainly can’t be underestimated, as he doesn’t know how to run a bad race, and we’d be very surprised if he misses a place. ASTRONOMITE has been a revelation since joining the Martin Allan stable for only $16,000 via a Peters Investments dispersal sale, banking $72,000 after successive 72+ victories on July 22 and August 5. Admittedly, ASTRONOMITE enjoyed perfect runs on both occasions thanks to good gates and flawless Jarrad Noske rides, but there’s no denying how strong he’s been on the line and he’s certainly risen to another level in his new environment. He’s in the zone and must be included, while we’re prepared to give UNIVERSAL LAW another chance after a flat first-up run as a $4.40 second favourite last Saturday week. He’s better than that and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him step up significantly at his second start for Adam Durrant.

Tips: 6-3-4-8
Suggested Bet: (6) PROPERANTES each way.

6. PROPERANTES
3. FALCON CREST
4. ASTRONOMITE
8. UNIVERSAL LAW

RACE 8 INGLIS BLOODSTOCK LEADING TRAINER 2017/18 HCP 4:50 PM (1300M)

Wide open race to finish the card and we’re happy to stick with MY GREEK BOY on an each-way basis after locking him in on top in the August 5 edition of The Leg Up. Worked forward to lead from barrier 10 when racing first-up on that occasion, and was left a sitting duck on a day that didn’t really advantage leaders, with the smart Just Act Natural coming off his heels to whiz past him in the straight. MY GREEK BOY will no doubt derive significant benefit from that fresh hit out, and we liked the way he boxed on under pressure and fought out the finish. The Steve Wolfe-prepared five-year-old will have to work across from a similar draw to lead, or perhaps race outside BARAKI BEATS, but we’re thinking conditions may be favourable for front runners with the rail back in the true position. We appreciate the way MY GREEK BOY begins well and gives himself every chance racing on speed, and he’s going to give his supporters a terrific run for their money. PINZU is the interesting runner and we were very close to locking him in on top at his first start in 168 days. We felt as though his lead-up Lark Hill trial performance was a little bit better than Falcon Crest, who came out of that heat and won first-up last Saturday week, and PINZU was a good thing beat when kicking off his previous campaign at Bunbury last October. Flies fresh and with clear galloping room, PINZU is a major player. MAD BRAD worked home impressively at his first run in 28 days last Saturday week, running through the line to edge out MY GREEK BOY for second. Seemed to appreciate the galloping room afforded to him by a high draw on that occasion, so we’re a little concerned the low draw may be a negative. Still, it’s hard to knock him as he hasn’t done a lot wrong all prep, and if we’re rating MY GREEK BOY on top then we simply have to make room for MAD BRAD, while BARAKI BEATS arguably produced the best performance of his career when runner-up behind Falcon Crest in 78+ company last Saturday week. As always, his chances will depend on his barrier manners and if BARAKI BEATS is on his best behaviour then we expect to see him fighting out the finish. We’re expecting an improved showing from HELMS GATE who was fifth best on our ratings, especially considering the strength of his second placing behind subsequent Bolton Sprint winner Profit Street two back.

Tips: 6-7-3-5
Suggested Bet: (6) MY GREEK BOY each way.

6. MY GREEK BOY
7. PINZU
3. MAD BRAD
5. BARAKI BEATS

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