THE LEG UP

Meeting Preview

Sunday 11 February 2018


Popular race-by-race meeting preview The Leg Up by Thoroheads provides in-depth summaries, tips and suggested bets.

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RACE 1 AQUA ICE MAIDEN 1:05 PM (1230M)

Lacking confidence in the 'short maiden' opener, but if ANNA AMALIA holds form she really should be breaking through at her first start for Roy Rogers. Previously prepared in Perth by Trevor Andrews, this filly has recorded consecutive placings against better opposition than this and finished alongside The Last Waltz last start, who raced well at Ascot on Wednesday. Drawn to lead or rail leader's back and she looks the best play. DONT LET THOMMO GO has always shown glimpses of potential and has often attracted support in betting, including first-up when specked from $21 into $14. This is easiest assignment he has faced so far and we wouldn't be surprised to see him fighting out the finish. DESERT THORN is proving to be a very costly conveyance to follow and we simply can't go again after being gapped by Levonas last start and not appearing entirely comfortable in his action. Still has to be considered given his consistent form though, while SO EDGY is back with original trainer Steve Wolfe and hasn't been too bad in two runs back from a spell.

Tips: 7-3-2-1
Suggested: 7. ANNA AMALIA win (1) & place (3).

7. ANNA AMALIA
3. DONT LET THOMMO GO
2. DESERT THORN
1. SO EDGY

RACE 2 BREMER BAY RESORT MAIDEN 1:50 PM (1500M)

Things don't get any easier in the 'long maiden' either and after weighing everything up if just has to be VITAL BOOM on top. Has had 17 opportunities to break through and more often than not has been well supported in betting, so he certainly has plenty of priors, but most of his opponents do also, and most of them can't match his current form and race fitness. This really looks his to lose and with even luck in running he should be first past the post. South West visitor MISSILE MILLY brings a bit of an unknown quantity to this event and her first-up run was better than it reads after racing three-wide without cover throughout. Expecting her to elevate second up with a more patient ride. Like our on-top selection JUST JUDE has had plenty of chances to crack it already, however, she appears set to enjoy a sweet run in transit and her form before a freshen was reasonable. Has to be included in the mix, while MYARENA maps to enjoy a soft run in the first four/five and has been thereabouts all prep.

Tips: 1-12-9-13
Suggested: 1. VITAL BOOM win (1) & place (3).

1. VITAL BOOM
12. MISSILE MILLY
9. JUST JUDE
13. MYARENA

RACE 3 WHALE WATCH WESTERN AUSTRALIA HANDICAP 2:25 PM (1100M)

A bit of form to work with in this short-course Class 2 Handicap and it's hard to go past topweight HIGH CALYPSO. Has by far the strongest formlines and is coming off a brave fresh win at Ascot when three-wide without cover throughout, after being backed from $6.50 to $4.40. Again has the services of in-form apprentice Brodie Kirby, who booted home a double here on February 1, and HIGH CALYPSO does appear to have a class edge on most of these. LEVONAS couldn't have been more impressive when dominating proceedings on debut and must have made a big impression on top jock Shaun McGruddy, who chose this fellow over the two Steve Wolfe-trained runners. Always a bit wary of last-start maiden winners, however, this four-year-old won too well and he's drawn to enjoy a similar passage in the first four/five. Wolfe stablemates POLDARK'S GIRL and DIRAJA JEWEL round out our top four with both on-speed mares expected to acquit themselves well. POLDARK'S GIRL is holding peak form and has drawn the rail, while the former Simon A. Miller-trained DIRAJA JEWEL showed plenty as a youngster and her best form reads very well.

Tips: 1-2-5-6
Suggested: 1. HIGH CALYPSO win (1) & place (3).

1. HIGH CALYPSO
2. LEVONAS
5. POLDARK'S GIRL
6. DIRAJA JEWEL

RACE 4 PLAYING GOD AT MUNGRUP STUD HANDICAP 3:05 PM (1900M)

Competitive open handicap this one and we're thinking the Mark Wright-trained visitor SAXAPAK can give this a bit of a shake. Is coming off a 41-day break, which isn't ideal, however his latest form in much stronger company stands out and he looks so well in down on the 54kg limit. Likes to roll along on top of the speed, so makes his own luck, and he's a proper stayer, unlike most of his rivals. SAXAPAK may make former French jockey Julien Kokotajlo's first trip to Albany a memorable one. Bunbury-based PRENTICE is right back on top of his game and looks the horse to beat again after back-to-back wins in very similar assignments to this. Team Giadresco are regulars in the Great Southern these days and they have a routine that's really working for them this season. STRIKING STAR covered additional ground in running and still boxed on well last start, and he gets some weight relief sliding back down to 54kg in this grade. Enjoys racing in Albany and must rate among main fancies, while MR PAGO is one of three Steve Wolfe-trained starters and had some excuses at Mt Barker last time out. Should enjoy a sweet rails run in transit too.

Tips: 10-1-11-7
Suggested: 10. SAXAPAK each way.

10. SAXAPAK
1. PRENTICE
11. STRIKING STAR
7. MR PAGO

RACE 5 PELICANS ALBANY GOLDEN BRACELET 3:45 PM (1600M)

Certainly not the deepest Golden Bracelet we've seen and it does really look a race in two with BLACK FREDA and AMALIEMOO standing out, with BLACK FREDA the mare to beat. The lightly-raced six-year-old hails from the in-form Gary Hitchcock stable and has produced two strong efforts since returning from a 14-week spell, including a fast-finishing third behind quality duo Sandalwood and My Grace at Ascot on January 20. Hard not to be impressed with the way she attacked the line on that occasion and, while barrier one is a bit of a risk for a mare that enjoys galloping room, she's simply racing too well not to be placed on top. Great to see Adam Durrant venturing to the Great Southern with AMALIEMOO, a region that has been a happy hunting ground for his stable in the past. This very consistent mare hasn't had a lot of luck in recent starts, but has drawn sweetly and should be able to stay out of trouble in a less than full field. Hard to believe that DAISY EXPRESS is a 59-rater, placing her one point above a last-start maiden winner, however, that's where she finds herself and she has to rate among the best of these. Reckon she looks really well in with only 54.5kg and Jason Whiting will no doubt give her the patient steer she requires, while we were expecting a bit more zip from UPTOWN FUNK last start but it wouldn't surprise to see this multiple city-winning mare run a big race third up for her new stable.

Tips: 2-1-5-3
Suggested: 2. BLACK FREDA win (1) & place (3).

2. BLACK FREDA
1. AMALIEMOO
5. DAISY EXPRESS
3. UPTOWN FUNK

RACE 6 ORATORIO AT MUNGRUP STUD HANDICAP 4:20 PM (1600M)

Found this race particularly difficult to assess and it wouldn't surprise us to see an upset result, with some negatives against most of the main fancies. So with low confidence we decided to stick with topweight LORD KRONOS, who returns to his home track where he has missed a place only once in seven starts, and the day he did finish unplaced was only 1.5 lengths from the winner. Thought he was only fair at Narrogin last start, but his previous Prince Friar, Jester Rock and Mass Effect formlines read too well not to have him on top in this. SAINT STEPHEN worked home into second place as a $4 chance in a similar event to this on February 1 and he has to rate among the main chances again. MONGOLIAN WARLORD has some ability but is being stretched out to the mile for the first time and while his lead-up form is strong, the distance is an obvious query, while VINO BENETEAU is much better than his February 1 performance suggests and it wouldn't surprise to see sharp improvement from him here.

Tips: 1-7-2-5
Suggested: 1. LORD KRONOS win (1) & place (3).

1. LORD KRONOS
7. SAINT STEPHEN
2. MONGOLIAN WARLORD
5. VINO BENETEAU

RACE 7 TABTOUCH FITZPATRICK PLATE 4:52 PM (1230M)

Cracking edition of the TABtouch Fitzpatrick Plate and most of the acceptors capable of winning without surprising. In what promises to be a wide-open betting race, we thought we'd play it safe and lock in CLASSICAL PRINCE on top, considering his very good lead-up form against quality opposition, strong starting price profile and lovely low draw. Has been really competitive in all four starts this prep and has built up a lot of trust now, so we expect him to run up to his rating and give this a mighty shake. Shaun O'Donnell knows him best and CLASSICAL PRINCE ticks the most boxes for us. MAD BRAD hasn't won for 1057 days, but that's not going to stop him attracting a heap of support after two high-quality performances this prep. Had no luck in a roughhouse Straight 1000 event at Pinjarra before charging home to place behind Red Ora and Dream Lifter in the Mungrup Stud Sprint last start. With any luck he'll be fighting this one out. Tough-as-nails local mare BINDAREE LADY is enjoying a fantastic campaign and we reckon she's a live chance down on 54.5kg jumping from a sweet low draw. Finished alongside MAD BRAD in the Mungrup Stud Sprint and meets him 4kg better at the weights, while first-up specialist SECRET MINX faces a mighty task from her high draw, however. she has sizzled in both lead-up trials and has been set for this race.

Tips: 4-3-13-5
Suggested: 4. CLASSICAL PRINCE each way.

4. CLASSICAL PRINCE
3. MAD BRAD
13. BINDAREE LADY
5. SECRET MINX

RACE 8 REMEMBER TO CASH OUT YOUR NEAP WRISTBAND HCP 5:30 PM (1230M)

Tough race to get out for the day and we're going to go a little wide and throw out former Goldfields-based veteran COMANCHE RED on top. Led them up in a strong form race at Mt Barker first-up for new trainer Alan McGuinniss before exceeding market expectations when only 2.5 lengths away in a really competitive Ratings 70+ sprint on February 1. Blinkers go on, drawn to land in the slot and COMANCHE RED should be ready to peak third up dropping in grade. CHENGDU is racing as consistently as ever and his form looks pretty good when you consider he's finished behind the likes of Snow Blossom, Captivated Point and Blizzard Express recently. Has to rate among the top four winning chances. In-and-out mare QUEEN TORI is very hard to catch, but her best is pretty good judging by her dominant February 1 victory. Has to be included on the strength of that victory, while DE ANDES hasn't started in 41 days, but has an inside draw and comes through a high-rating 66+ event at Ascot on New Year's Day. That form has to be respected.

Tips: 5-7-6-8
Suggested: 5. COMANCHE RED each way.

5. COMANCHE RED
7. CHENGDU
6. QUEEN TORI
8. DE ANDES 

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Albany Racing Club.