RACE 1 TAB TOUCH.COM.AU HANDICAP 1:03 PM (1867M)
Talk about a tough start to the day. This 1867-metre ratings 70-plus handicap was difficult to assess given hardly any recent winning form can be found and the majority of the field rated below the minimum rating. And despite flopping on a soft-6 Albany 16/04 circuit last start we simply could not go past (2) BROCKY’S DEAL, who only three starts ago was one of the main fancies in the Esperance Cup and drops 6.5kg from his last start. Obviously has a disliking for rain-affected going but if this track is rated good (2) BROCKY’S DEAL really should be too good for these. (4) ENDLESS SACRIFICE is the obvious on-top selection with sound recent form in ratings 58-plus company at York and Narrogin, but she has not won for 676 days and we think she will start under the odds. (6) JETSON EXPRESS was black-booked after his encouraging fourth at Albany 16/04 and he drops 3.5kg on that run, while (1) GALILETTO is easily the class horse of the race but doesn’t have the form profile to confidently suggest he can win over 1867 metres here.
Suggested Bet: (2) BROCKY’S DEAL each way.
RACE 2 TAB TOUCH BETTING MADE EASY MAIDEN 1:43 PM (1242M)
The Steve Wolfe stable is coming off a treble and a double at the past two Albany meetings and the camp looks set to get on the board early here with former exciting juvenile (1) KING CLOSET making his long-awaited return from injury. (1) KING CLOSET raced three times at Belmont as a two-year-old and finished second on each occasion, finishing a long neck behind subsequent listed-race winner Spin Da Wheels at his last start on 20/07/13. Looked in good order when effortlessly winning an Albany 16/04 barrier trial and while the 1242 metres is a stretch first-up, he appears to have a significant class edge on these. Stablemate (6) KOSTYAZILCH is making his race debut and appears to be the main danger, with the Musket three-year-old trialling well at Belmont 13/04 and stable rider Shaun McGruddy on board. The well-travelled (2) HELL OF A FELLA should be ready to produce a peak performance at his third run back from a spell, while (5) KING RED PIN will no doubt have admirers, but he has so far proven to be a barrier trial bully but is yet to successfully transition that form to raceday.
Suggested Bet: (1) KING CLOSET to win.
RACE 3 WA TAB – SUPPORTING ALBANY COMMUNITY HOSPICE MDN 2:23 PM (1632M)
An early Steve Wolfe double appears on the cards with (2) ACQUITTED looking ready to break maiden status after back-to-back second placings at Albany this preparation. Is stepping up significantly in distance for this third-up assignment, but his run behind stablemate Cows With Guns at Albany 16/04 last start was full of merit and he appears to be the horse with the most upside in this event. (9) EMMA NOVEMBER has raced with great heart throughout the Great Southern season but just can’t seem to break through, and the awkward barrier draw here does appear to hinder her chances. (1) JOLLY CHAP, recently purchased at the Magic Millions Perth Autumn Racehorse Sale, brings some encouraging form to the region and must rate among the better chances at his first start for Paul Parsons, while (10) TOPPED UP GIRL should get a charmed run from the inner barrier draw and is a must for your First Fours.
Suggested Bet: (2) ACQUITTED to win.
RACE 4 TAB TOUCH – WE’VE UPPED THE GAME HANDICAP 3:03 PM (1532M)
This is a very tricky start to the quaddie and our on-top selection may raise some eyebrows, but we believe 2011 Perth Cup winner (1) GUEST WING is ready to produce after two eye-catching performances (over unsuitable distances) in ratings 70-plus grade this campaign. Jumps up sharply in the weights with the drop into 58-plus company here, but he should relish the 1532 metres and Alan McNamara (Jnr) appears to have (1) GUEST WING happy, healthy and ready to win. Honest mare (3) TEE PEE CAT looks well placed here, dropping 3kg after her minor placing in this grade at Albany 5/04 and this isn’t as strong as the assignments she has competed in recently. Iron filly (2) BINDAREE LADY is having her 11th start this campaign and trainer Dixie Solly has opted to stretch her out to the 1532 metres for the first time. She looked a little flat at Albany 16/04 last start but can never be underestimated, and a win here would see her take the outright lead in the race for the Great Southern Horse of the Year title. On-pace runner (4) REGAL HONOUR rounds out our top four and could prove hard to catch with race-fitness on his side.
Suggested Bet: (1) GUEST WING each way.
Suggested Quaddie: 1-2-3-4-5-8/1-2-3-5-7/1-2-5-6/2-8 for $50 (20.83%)
RACE 5 QUICKER AND EASIER TAB TOUCH WITH CASH HANDICAP 3:40 PM (1132M)
The second leg of the quaddie doesn’t get any easier with this open event, but we think it could be the day for (5) SECURE THE SKY to post a much-deserved win. The Dennis McAuliffe-trained mare has consistently competed well against the likes of Bindaree Lady, Quality Fair and Run Liam Run this Great Southern season, and wasn’t far away behind Divine Bay in a strong ratings 52-64 event on Albany Cup Day. (5) SECURE THE SKY really gets her chance in this. (2) CHENGDU improved sharply in this class second-up at Narrogin 19/04 and should be able to land in an on-pace position early, without exerting too much energy from an inner barrier draw. (1) HANDYMAN was one of three runners from the Paul Hunter stable scratched from the Albany 16/04 meeting and appeared to be in a winnable race. May be coming off a setback so we will tread wearily with him, while (3) SECRET ENDEMIC ran a cheeky race out in front over 1235 metres at Albany 16/04 and appears suited dropping back slightly in distance here.
Suggested Bet: (5) SECURE THE SKY each way.
RACE 6 NO ACCOUNT NO WORRIES – TAB TOUCH WITH CASH HANDICAP 4:15 PM (1242M)
Three wins from 51 starts and is not the kind of form profile to fill form students with confidence but it seems to be a day for unconventional thinking, and because of this we are placing (2) STORM MAID on top. The Dixie Solly-trained mare has the best form in the race having placed behind Canna Lily, Quality Fair and I See Luck at her past three starts, and shouldn’t have to spend a penny in running from the inside barrier. Is dropping back from ratings 70-plus company and thoroughly deserves to break a long drought here. (5) TOTAL REJECT in on the quick back-up after a good return to racing at Albany 16/04 and he drops 3kg stepping up into ratings 58-plus company here. He has ability and has to rate highly, as does (6) HUSSTOBEGOLD who was ridden particularly aggressively at her return from a spell at Albany 16/04 and was entitled to fade over the final stages. Look out for an improved showing here, while (1) SONNY BISCAY is dropping back in grade and can never be taken lightly.
Suggested Bet: (2) STORM MAID each way.
RACE 7 SEASON FINALE THURSDAY 7TH MAY – FREE ENTRY HANDICAP 4:50 PM (1452M)
Barrier 13 proved to be the difference between winning and losing for (8) ELSA’S GIRL at Albany 16/04 last start, but the Paige Kenney-trained mare gets her chance to break a long losing sequence jumping from the inside alley here. Will have benefited from getting that first-up run under her belt and she looks really well placed down on 55.5kg. (2) COWS WITH GUNS could not have been more impressive when touching up his maiden rivals first-up at Albany 16/04, but we were concerned with the amount of petrol he may have to burn early to get across from his widish barrier. Stablemate (6) BETTSIE appeared a little disappointing on paper when well-fancied at Albany 16/04, but she was ridden against her usual pattern and is capable of figuring prominently ridden with a smother here, while don’t be surprised to see sharp improvement from (1) AMERICAN CAESAR, who has raced without luck since winning at Albany three starts ago and does bob up when you least expect.
Suggested Bet: (8) ELSA’S GIRL each way.