RACE 1 ALBANY HONDA MAIDEN 1:58 PM (1620M)
Fresh from a treble here nine days ago it appears as though jockey Kyra Yuill can continue her winning form aboard (2) REVIEWING in the opening event of the day, with the Darryn Pateman-trained four-year-old bringing some solid inner-provincial form to the Great Southern. (2) REVIEWING recorded second placings behind subsequent Ascot winners Paddy and Abbeydell Lane earlier this campaign and came from last to finish third at Bunbury 1/03 last start. Step up to 1620m suits and he looks the one to beat in this. (1) SLOANNES PONY was sent back to trials after hanging badly at Mt Barker 18/01 and he appeared to be in good order when given the green light to return to racing after placing at the Albany 26/02 trials. Barrier hinders his winning chances but still rates well. (12) SILVER SERENA has had to get well back from wide barriers at each of his four inner-provincial runs this campaign and her best form stacks up well in the Great Southern, and (13) TOPPED UP GIRL doesn’t know how to run a bad race and shouldn’t be left out of your First Fours, especially after drawing barrier one.
Suggested Bet: (2) REVIEWING each way.
RACE 2 SOUTHWAY DISTRIBUTORS MAIDEN 2:35 PM (1232M)
We are well and truly locked in aboard the Kyra Yuill bandwagon and we believe she can post an early double aboard the Mark Nelson-trained (5) TEN GRAND WALKING here. The Danansinga three-year-old produced a top run on debut at Albany 8/02 to finish third after leading, with The Express formlines reading well, and Nelson’s stable appears to have hit its straps after a slow start to the season. 27 days between runs probably isn’t ideal but this fellow still comes out on top for us. Flashy chestnut visitor (6) ON ALL FOURS has shown good pace at each of his three outings to date and looked an improved conveyance in his recent Bunbury trials. Trainer and jockey are coming off a big Esperance Cup day last Saturday and we’re expecting (6) ON ALL FOURS to go fast and show some cheek first-up from a spell. (3) TERIREM has performed well at his three runs since arriving in the Great Southern, but the wide alley places a question mark against his name, and (13) LADY OF SUBSTANCE is having her first run in 71 days but showed enough in this region late last year to warrant inclusion among the main fancies here.
Suggested Bet: (5) TEN GRAND WALKING each way.
RACE 3 BREMER BAY RESORT HANDICAP 3:13 PM (1132M)
This is an interesting race and we struggled to separate (2) GARCIA and (3) WILD RUBY, but in the end decided to stick with talented mare (3) WILD RUBY, who is returning to the races after a 71-day break. Probably needed a rest after producing gut-busting effort to run Bindaree Lady to a long neck at Albany on Boxing Day, and she had made two trips to Ascot prior to that outing. Has only been beaten once in four starts at this track and she has a bit of class about her. (3) WILD RUBY on top. We were quite taken with the Albany 26/02 trial win of former eastern-stater (2) GARCIA, when coming from last on the turn to defeat smart stablemate Shilling by a 1/2-length. Hit the line well and we expect him to figure prominently first-up here. (4) BLIZZARD EXPRESS got rolled at the Kojonup picnics but bounced back to record an upset win at Mt Barker 18/02 last start. Toughed it out nicely on that occasion and has race fitness on his side, and we’re expecting (1) SEATTLE BEAU to produce an improved showing with only 56kg on his back.
Suggested Bet: (3) WILD RUBY to win.
RACE 4 SIMPLOT AUSTRALIA SEAFOOD TRADING HANDICAP 3:50 PM (1857M)
Recent sparring partners (2) INSURGENCY and (3) SOLDIER’S SALUTE renew acquaintances after battling it out over 1632m here nine days ago, but we think the result can be reversed with the slightly longer journey increasing the winning chances of amazing 10-year-old (2) INSURGENCY. Has been ridden a little bit more patiently by apprentice Kate Fitzgerald at his past two starts and we liked the way he found the line along the cutaway rail last start, which probably wasn’t the best place to be at that rain-affected meeting. So (2) INSURGENCY to outstay (3) SOLDIER’S SALUTE, who is at the peak of his powers with two wins and a second from his past three outings. Stable has attempted to gain an edge by utilising the 3kg claim of apprentice Clint Johnston-Porter but we think the 1857 may just about see (3) SOLDIER’S SALUTE out. (4) KING POINT returns home after an assault on the Esperance Cup and may find this assignment more to his liking. Getting down in the ratings now and he should be just about ready to find some of his best form, and (10) SEA OF CHOICE is racing out of his grade being a 61-rater but is racing well and the Field Of Vision formline from Bunbury 12/02 reads well.
Suggested Bet: (2) INSURGENCY each way.
Suggested Quaddie: 2-3-4/3-5-6/1-2-4-9-10/2-3-4-5-6-11-12-14 for $50 (13.88%).
RACE 5 ALBANY CITY MOTORS HANDICAP 4:25 PM (1232M)
As is always the case, this rating 70-plus sprint is a tough, tough nut to crack, and it has been made even trickier with some additional layers of form through (1) BALAVAN, (2) METALLURGICAL and (7) RUN FOR RUM. After much toing and froing we have made (3) CORPORATE LARRIKIN our on-top selection, following a return to his blistering best at Mt Barker 18/02 last start, when leading and proving too slick for one of the smartest up-and-comers in the region in Zipabout. (3) CORPORATE LARRIKIN has won five races at this track, including last year’s Fitzpatrick Plate, and looks to be in with a winnable weight of 57kg (thanks to Mandy Richmond’s claim). We expect him to lead all the way with (6) CATZILLA in pursuit. Like her stablemates Canna Lilly and Big Both Ways, the Neil Lee-trained mare has struck a purple patch of form in recent times and Natasha Faithfull piloted her to victory three starts back. Will be suited if they run along out in front. (5) TALK OF ANGELS returned to her best form with an all-the-way win here nine days ago and Paul Hunter looks to have her back on track. She is always a major contender in these events, and (1) BALAVAN has been burning up the track at recent Albany trials but will have to carry 61kg against race-fit opposition first-up from a spell.
Suggested Bet: (3) CORPORATE LARRIKIN each way.
RACE 6 LINLEY VALLEY PORK HANDICAP 5:05 PM (1232M)
This is an intriguing affair with a few different stories to tell, but what is even more interesting is that we are going to go outside our usual parameters and select (1) SHILLING on top at his first run back from a spell. This horse was quickly tipped out after a poor first-up display at Albany 2/11/14, with that run following an indifferent trial performance beforehand. However, it looks as though Garry Delane has (1) SHILLING back in business after he jumped well, plotted a wide course and went to the line unextended in a 1000m trial here nine days ago. We tend to tread wearily with horses racing first-up but at his best (1) SHILLING has these covered. (2) THE EXPRESS is the obvious on-top selection following back-to-back wins at Albany 8/02 and Mt Barker 18/02. Showed some really good qualities to overcome some challenges and find a way to win last start and he will no doubt have plenty of admirers here. Jockey Natasha Faithfull has given punters a guide by electing to ride (10) RUBY’S IMAGE ahead of (4) BIG BOTH WAYS, who she has ridden to victory at her past two starts. And we’re going to back Faithfull’s judgement by placing (10) RUBY’S IMAGE third ahead of the in-form (4) BIG BOTH WAYS, whose chances have been hindered by the wide barrier draw. A horse to keep an eye on will be (9) PICCOLO JOE, who is having his first start for the Peter Western yard after previously being prepared by Steve Wolfe. The four-year-old has his share of ability and Western does a very good job with his horses.
Suggested Bet: (1) SHILLING each way.
RACE 7 GREAT SOUTHERN WEEKENDER-GOLDEN BRACELET 5:45 PM (1620M)
Ladies’ Day winds up with a good quality edition of the Golden Bracelet, where pinpointing the winner is no easy task. (3) CANNA LILY ticks a lot of boxes for us being in-form, race-hardened, jumping from a sweet barrier and hailing from the form stable in the region (Neil Lee). Chased home subsequent 70-plus winner Soldier’s Salute in this grade two starts back before producing a huge run in defeat here nine days ago, when getting posted four-wide for a majority of the race. Would be a deserved Golden Bracelet winner. (2) THE DANEHILL ROSE comes out of the same race as (3) CANNA LILY at Albany 26/02 and was an equally big performance, racing wide and getting going a fair way from home. The barrier draw makes things a little tricky, but Paul Hunter has done wonders with this mare and his daughter Casey rides her well. Ascot trainer Shane Quilty produced a smart customer (Blitzem Someday) when venturing to Albany for the first time this season nine days ago, and he has three-year-old filly (11) DO YOU DO aimed at another hit-and-run mission here. Has tremendous form through recent Ascot listed-race winner Battle Hero and she gets a good weight pull on her rivals being down on the 54kg minimum. Honest mare (4) TEE PEE CAT rounds out our selections and comes out of a good form race at Albany 8/02 last start. Hasn’t had a textbook preparation for this race but is a competitor and loves racing at this track.
Suggested Bet: (3) CANNA LILY each way.