Race 1 – 12:23PM BERNARD COUCH MEMORIAL MAIDEN (1000 METRES)
An abundance of speed engaged in this and if the zippy SCANDALOUS MISS can get across into a suitable on-pace running position from her high draw, then she should take some catching. Has run into a couple of handy types at her first two outings and looks suited coming back to the 1000m, having peaked late over 1100m last time. There’s no vision available of his 30/07 trial, however, first-upper ADMIRAL HUSSON must be respected due to Durrant/Pike combo. ILLMATIC showed plenty last prep and will attract support, while likely leader STRIP THE MOON has a bit of dash about him.
Suggested: 10. SCANDALOUS MISS win.
10. SCANDALOUS MISS
8. ADMIRAL HUSSON
6. STRIP THE MOON
Race 2 – 1:03PM HAPPY BIRTHDAY JACQUIE YOUNG PLATE (1400 METRES)
Flip of the coin between REBEL KNIGHT and KISS THE BREEZE, eventually settling on Rebel Knight due to his likely more prominent running position. Thought he boxed on well first up when breezing outside leader and running into the very well regarded Samizdat. Suited in the soft going and capable of elevating second up. Kiss the Breeze is due for a change of luck, having excuses at each of her four runs this prep. Ridden cold from the draw, she can make things interesting late. HOTHAM VALLEY maps to advantage, while first-upper ONYA HEAD looked above average at trials last prep.
Suggested: 2. REBEL KNIGHT win.
2. REBEL KNIGHT
1. KISS THE BREEZE
3. HOTHAM VALLEY
7. ONYA HEAD
Race 3 – 1:43PM TABTOUCH HANDICAP (2000 METRES)
Very interesting little race this, with the predicted significantly slower-than-average tempo throwing up a few curve balls. Have been strong on STATE PROSECUTOR recently and going to stick, even though he cost himself the Belmont Classic by refusing to settle. If Pike can get him to relax he should be too classy. Stablemate RED ARMY is the obvious danger and will no doubt attract plenty of support. AT THE READY has the ability to upset the two main fancies and thought he was a bit stiff not to finish closer to Red Army last time, while expecting an improved effort from SHINTA MANI.
Suggested: 4. RED ARMY win.
4. RED ARMY
1. AT THE READY
5. SHINTA MANI
6. FIRST AFFAIR
*Numbers amended after scratchings.
Race 4 – 2:23PM IRON JACK HANDICAP (1650 METRES)
Another race in two, with ONE SHORT and BATTLE TORQUE the obvious winning chances. Happy to roll with One Short, who’s coming through stronger races, having won in this grade three back and holding his own against Abdicator last time. Should land in the first four and be afforded every chance. Battle Torque is chasing a fourth straight win and has relished the wet track recently, jumping out of the ground to win at his last two. Stablemate TOUCH OF SILVER disappointed last time, but is worth another chance up to the mile, while don’t be surprised to see LUKE’S GOLD swooping late.
Suggested: 4. ONE SHORT 1 x 3 units.
4. ONE SHORT
6. BATTLE TORQUE
3. TOUCH OF SILVER
8. LUKE’S GOLD
Race 5 – 3:02PM AMELIA PARK HANDICAP (1000 METRES)
Can make a case for most of these, but have an opinion of LADY LE JEAN and simply couldn’t go past her first up. Appeared above average last prep and arguably should’ve won her first four starts. Wasn’t knocked around in her 30/07 trial and looks suited down on the 54kg limit. With even luck she’ll go close. PATAPUS has a bit of class about her and just missed when coming down the slower part of the Pinjarra Straight 1000 first up. Enjoys soft going and is a winner over the Belmont 1000m. Likely leader DIA DE LA RAZA is in form and loves the wet, while MANTIME can improve sharply second up.
Suggested: 12. LADY LE JEAN each way.
12. LADY LE JEAN
6. DIA DE LA RAZA
Race 6 – 3:37PM GRANT THORNTON HANDICAP (1300 METRES)
This is one of the trickier races to assess on the card and decided to play safe with smart on-pacer STREET FURY. Thrust into the role of pacemaker third up and almost pinched it over this track/distance, getting swamped close to the line and handling the Soft-6 going well enough. Her best rates highly and she should be getting close to a peak at this stage of her prep. REYKJAVIK comes through the same race as Street Fury and with a clean getaway may be able to hold leader’s back. BOLD SUCCESS was strong late first up for his new camp, while stablemate NASHVILLE CAT is race fit and in form.
Suggested: 5. STREET FURY each way.
5. STREET FURY
12. BOLD SUCCESS
9. NASHVILLE CAT
Race 7 – 4:15PM MAGIC MILLIONS HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
This looks the right race for MINUS LOOKS to record an overdue win. Has been hampered by awkward barriers recently when racing very well, but from a low draw he maps to land in the sweet spot and should be afforded every opportunity. Loves Belmont and is enjoying the soft going of late, should be no excuses. MIDNIGHT SKY is the likely favourite and obvious horse to beat after attacking the line strongly this Track/Distance last time. Suited down on 55.5kg. REVEILLE goes good and will be charging home late at her first run for Adam Durrant, while likely leader GRECO can take some catching.
Suggested: 7. MINUS LOOKS 1 x 3 units.
7. MINUS LOOKS
9. MIDNIGHT SKY
Race 8 – 4:50PM CROWN TOWERS HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
Exciting type ABDICATOR is the obvious, however, ATLANTA BLUE gets a terrific opportunity to turn the tables. Atlanta Blue is at the peak of his powers and was huge in defeat last time, racing wide without cover throughout and still attacking the line late. Maps to enjoy soft rails run in transit, suited back to 1400m and hasn’t carried 55kg for some time. Abdicator is all class and will give himself every chance by rolling forward from his high draw. OUR FINEST MOMENT has a handy draw and should be close to peaking third up, while FRIARESQUE looks suited back to 1400m with blinkers on.
Suggested: 10. ATLANTA BLUE 1 x 3 units.
10. ATLANTA BLUE
1. OUR FINEST MOMENT
*Originally published at 8:00am on Thursday 9 August 2018