Our partners at Racepal have once again handed down their comprehensive race-by-race previews for all three Eastern state metropolitan cards this Wednesday 20th March.
Check them out below – and to learn more about Racepal, head to racepal.com.au
Track: Good 4
Back at the tighter Lakeside track for the first time in six weeks. The last rail true meeting was on January 16 and winners came primarily along the inside three-four lanes, but there were a few small fields among that lot.
Speed map/race shape: Just five mares and two fillies for the staying event. Stormy Shore can lead from Argyle Belle and the rest all just slot in, in below average tempo.
Advantaged runners: This may be nominally a BM78 but the highest rated runner is a 67. At least there’s five last-start winners. PELONOMENA has saluted in three of her past six attempts and the tempo last start at Echuca suited her. ARGYLE BELLE got up on the line over 2400m on the Hillside track last time, she was revved up a long way from home. The filly DUNLANI has been given a month off after circling them to win at The Valley, while fellow 3yo HOT BLONDE was first up over 2000m breaking her maiden at Pakenham.
Speed map/race shape: There’s four first starters among the eight three-year-olds looking to break their maiden over 1300m. Hurricane Fighter has shown the most early intent among the raced brigade, while Frivolosiphy and Our Hot Date have trialled on speed.
Advantaged runners: In early betting, six of the eight runners were priced between $4.50 and $7.50 – so the yard and market will tell you plenty on race day. The most consistent exposed form resides with the colt HURRICANE FIGHTER who has placed in three from three in handy company. SKYWAY STAR brings interesting form lines, being beaten less than five lengths by Qafila in the G2 Wakeful last prep and unlucky in this distance range prior. Keep an eye on FRIVOLOSHIPHY running on, she’s bred to have genuine staying potential.
Speed map/race shape: Goodness me, just four of the 12 have had a race day outing! Cielo Stellato has raced handy at both runs over 1000m, she may well lead over 1300m here.
Advantaged runners: Of the debutants, there are two standouts on breeding and CHENIER looks the best of them. He’s a Freedman-trained Godolphin galloper who has trialled nicely and the stable is turning them out very nicely. Similarly SIDE HUSTLE who showed he’s another speedy son of Sebring in a recent jump out win. The form around WALK FREE isn’t too bad for a race like this and he’s narrowly our pick of the raced from CIELO STALLATO. The market and mounting yard are your best guides with this many unknowns!
Speed map/race shape: Just a small field but an intriguing map. The ex-Singapore horse Eastwood should kick up from the inside to hold out High Ratio, with More Than Exceed and The Implicator slotting in behind them. The leader may run them along here too under 3kg claimer Doodt with four of the six rivals first up.
Advantaged runners: Two of the three-year-olds engaged are first up and all come out of better races. MORE THAN EXCEED has more gear changes than a narcotics salesman but did start at single figure odds against Written By early last prep. The markets will tell us if he’s ready to race and if he is, he’s the fastest horse here. He followed the same Spring stakes race path as BIG NIGHT OUT and they often finished close by. HIGH RATIO finished on Villa Sarchi’s heels at Pakenham in a harder race, that form carries merit after the weekend. The mare SEE ME EXCEED must also be included, a year ago she ran third to Booker and has been lightly raced since.
Speed map/race shape: The speed map over the mile fits together like a neat 4×2 jigsaw puzzle. Expect Harry Grace to inject some tempo aboard Explicitly in an attempt to cross Pressure and lead. Blunakka and Spearhead off the inside will settle behind them.
Advantaged runners: A genuinely run mile will be right up the troublesome SAVVY OAK’S alley. He’s had a stop-start return this prep but at his only run he closed off nicely behind reformed winner Jungle Fish. He was unlucky in the Derby back in November where he was clearly a better run than GRINZIGER STAR who will also appreciate tempo. FEATHER has quietly slipped down from Sydney and into this for a third up mission and looks the better chance of the female contingent, as PRESSURE will be under exactly that towards the front.
Speed map/race shape: Shouldn’t be too much pressure on here, with Stocktaka likely to lead the likes of Akamon, Ocean Essence and even Zoumanor (if he backs up) to the turn. Pop Girl has received a kinder draw than she did first up and can settle much closer here.
Advantaged runners: There’s a few runners sitting just off the pace-setters who hold leading chances. POP QUEEN was first up for over nine months when held up at The Valley. She flew when she saw clear running. There’s a sense of timing about TOORAK WARRIOR, who is third up here after placing behind Jumbo Ozaki at Bendigo. Racing in company with them will be JAZZ STAR, who has won two from four and takes on the boys for the first time. They’ll all be chasing STOCKTAKA who hasn’t put a foot wrong and will lead for a long way.
Speed map/race shape: Another race where those on the pace might settle quickly into formation and make it hard for the backmarkers. Expect Won Ball to hold the rail and be joined by Our Sea Goddess in the lead, followed by Lord Tennyson and Heir To The Throne.
Advantaged runners: From a prime striking position, Zahra will see this event as an opportunity to slingshot off the sharp home turn on HEIR TO THE THRONE and hunt down the leading pair. First up last prep she ducked and weaved her way to victory over this trip. She’ll be chasing bold front-running mare OUR SEA GODDESS who was tipped out after a luckless Group 3 effort in the Spring, she won in better grade than this the start prior. From the back, all eyes are on the ex-Weir trained INDIAN THUNDER and also HULME, who once had a bit of a spruik about him and has attracted the services of in-form Damien Oliver.
Speed map/race shape: Ocean Deep got posted when she couldn’t get across from a wide gate at Flemington, but she shouldn’t have any problems crossing to sit outside of, or lead, I Remember You. Charlayne is up in trip and can make things interesting, but may be content to take the leader’s back.
Advantaged runners: The on-pacers are going to be hard to get past. OCEAN DEEP has been given a freshen and drops back in grade and distance after the aforementioned tough run. Two back she ran Naantali to a length. I REMEMBER YOU has found a leg since switching to Tasmania, winning twice before a close second in the G3 Vamos Stakes. Melham will be under instruction to delay pushing the button on CHARLAYNE for as long as possible, with 1400m a genuine query. TEMPLE OF BEL plummets in grade but was well below her best first up and won’t really get conditions to suit.
Track: Heavy 10
Weather: Ongoing threat of rain
A weekend deluge in the Sydney basin is set to be backed up with consistent weekday rain, ensuring Hawkesbury will likely remain in the Heavy range come Wednesday. It is a shame as the rare metro midweek meeting has attracted 90 acceptors, although it is safe to say there will be significant scratchings throughout the card. We anticipate off-fence is the place to be.
Speed map/race shape: Just seven runners in the 1000m Maiden. Newcomer Great Affair showed early speed in a recent trial victory, while Silly Sally led them up at her only race start. Don’t expect any land speed records.
Advantaged runners: Nothing jumps off the page on exposed form so betting moves must be respected. The interest revolves around the two debutants stepping out for city stables. DISCO MO didn’t show much early toe but ran home smartly in his only trial on a Soft 7. GREAT AFFAIR’s last public trial came in December but if that’s any indication he will put himself in the race from the middle draw. SILLY SALLY is a five-year-old with one start and SOUND OFF drops back from 1600m so has fitness on his side.
Speed map/race shape: Dream Fields can bounce to the lead rising in trip while Tormund has shown a recent penchant for leading. Estroverto and Rexx won’t be far away either. Don’t be surprised to see an early three-wide line form if the outside is the better ground.
Advantaged runners: Not much wet track form to call on but the Waller pair stand out on profile. REXX is fifth up and ready to win. He likely wants further now but 1600m on a bottomless track is more like 1800m+ anyway. He chased home the smart Amangiri last start, as did COSTAS who was perhaps slightly flat second up and can improve sharply here. DREAM FIELDS was just nabbed on the line at this track two back, while the Thompson pair COMPLETED and COSTA ZOU come through the respectable Superbowl Sunday race.
Speed map/race shape: Full field of 14 babies + two emergencies here, with up to seven on debut. Of the raced, Dresden Green, Killin and Asiago have shown the most early pace. The locally trailed Bluakiss looks to have the most gate speed of the newcomers.
Advantaged runners: The intriguing runner is the ex-Kiwi KILLIN, who arrives here under the care of Kris Lees. He’s placed twice on Soft tracks in NZ, including at Group 2 level and most recently six weeks ago. He and DRESDEN GREEN could race alongside each other throughout – the latter is fit, third up and ready to win after consecutive seconds. The main challenger they’ll need to hold out is KRAMERIC, who already has a trio of stakes placings to his name, but fitness is a query.
Speed map/race shape: It could be on early here. Around half of these will look to go forward and with 1000m being a one-turn configuration, don’t be surprised to see wide runners press on without cover. The freshened I Am A Cool Kid and Shadow Bridge can probably find the front from middle draws. Difficult To Get and Omar will kick up from the inside, while Consider It Done and Royal Hootenanny will go fast from out wide.
Advantaged runners: With so much pressure on a Heavy surface we’re reluctant to side with the first up runners. If CONSIDER IT DONE can reproduce her first up effort and handle the wet she’ll go very close. She’ll be in the right part of the track too, which is exactly what counts against DIFFICULT TO GET who has the apprentice on from barrier one. I AM A COOL KID has had a trial since being pipped on the line in the city five weeks back and the wet is the query. There’s many chances here though.
Speed map/race shape: If they hold Royal Hootenanny back to this fillies and mares event instead of Race 4, she’ll lead on her ear from the inside. Miss Blossom and Invictus Salute may choose to join her, and they’ll set a reasonably tempo.
Advantaged runners: This may be the easiest race MULTAJA has contested in 12 months but the Godolphin gelding is a complete unknown in the slop. She is also penalised for her superiority at the weights. JEN RULES beat home Mizzy (4th G1 Coolmore Classic Saturday) when both debuted in the Heavy last June – two subsequent wet runs last prep were also strong. They’ll both be chasing from the second half and need to run past INVICTUS SALUTE, who was unlucky first up behind Baller.
Speed map/race shape: Laszlo didn’t have enough speed to cross from wide in the Classique Legend race but he can kick up here and lead with the likes of Redemption Road and Grimoire handy. The major chances will all be in stalking positions.
Advantaged runners: This race sets up pretty well for THE AUGUST who is third up after switching to the Waller camp. He appreciates the sting out and after enduring an awkward run last start (still finishing second mind you) draws for the perfect trail here. LEVEL EIGHT chased Classique Legend first up and has placed in 10 of 13 Soft/Heavy runs. HANDFAST rates well and always puts in a good effort but hasn’t won since 2016, while AL MAH HAHA is here for a tune up after qualifying for the Country Championship race. Big watch OBELOS first up from France for Waller.
Speed map/race shape: There’s potentially a muddling tempo here with Carluca and Amangiri likely to take it up from barriers one and three respectively. China Gale and Greenspan will also be close by.
Advantaged runners: Five last-start winners and a further four placegetters in the field of 12, but most of it is provincial form. There’s plenty to like about Oaks-bound filly AMANGIRI who stylishly broke her maiden at Kensington. She takes on the older horses here but clearly has the most scope for progression. There’s a couple to keep an eye on here for the upset. They include INVICTA, who ran second to White Boots (2nd Randwick Saturday) last start; SEA SPIRIT, who has had more trainers than wins but was the big closer vs Classique Legend; and BE MINDFUL, who has won two on the bounce in driving finishes at Provincial level.
Speed map/race shape: They might end up coming in like browns cows in the staying event to round out the card. Foreign Territory can lead or take a sit if Clipperton desires – he could get them chasing early if he controls the race. Shaman will race handily while Makdaknife and Shuffle Up can be handy enough.
Advantaged runners: On the basis of the expected race shape FOREIGN TERRITORY clearly holds the aces in this one. He ran straight past Chocolatier last start, who was then untouchable in the Bathurst Cup. The two three-year-olds are the main challengers. If Reith can position the progressive SHUFFLE UP in a forward position, he can strike in the straight. The second to Costello reads well for this. Similarly SHAMAN will be around the mark and his dominant Maiden win came on a Heavy track.
Track: Heavy 9 (Tuesday morning)
Rail: +8m entire
Weather: Mostly fine
Eighty-eight acceptors is a pretty good turnout for a Doomben Wednesday. Expect the track to improve to Soft, but a fair few scratchings on race morning regardless. The rail is out eight metres but they may look to come wide in the straight, especially later in the meeting.
Speed map/race shape: We begin with a Maiden over 2050m. Undaunted will want the lead but Hafu or Serlina may pressure him, they’ve both recently led. Tavisfaction, Garifulina and Scilago from the outside will all position themselves handily in the run.
Advantaged runners: Many of these have had a fair few goes now, but at least TAVISFACTION tried something new recently when settling just off the pace and finally finishing a race strongly. Expect a similar approach here. SCILAGO and HAFU finished in close proximity over a recent 1800m grind on a Soft track and must be considered. UNDAUNTED has the SP profile of a gun, problem is he’s 0/11 and likely to be unders again.
Speed map/race shape: The speed comes from the outside half with Currumbin Craft (if the jockey is assertive) and Six Sigma likely to lead Prince Of Flinders and Mysterium. It’s only a field of eight here.
Advantaged runners: Looking for the best wet track credentials here, which leads us to CURRUMBIN CRAFT who is third up and just missed over this track/distance last start. SIX SIGMA is a lightly-raced ex-Weir runner who has adapted to life in Brisbane well and has placed on Heavy before, they may fight it out on speed. The genuine mudlark is MYSTERIUM who gets in with 51.5kgs after the claim but just may not be all that fast any more. Fellow veteran THE EQUALIZER scored his first ever Soft track win last time out.
Speed map/race shape: Home Scene and Toucan Sam can find the front relatively comfortably here. That should provide an ideal cart across for Loves A Lottery and Ticketome to slot in behind from wide alleys.
Advantaged runners: Waller has sent HOME SCENE north and given him a couple of weeks to settle in on the Gold Coast. He’s sent a few to Brisbane, dropped them back and furlong and produced immediate results. TICKETOME has been consistent in his short career and the wide draw may put him in the right part of the track. From a lower draw ROCK’N’SOL is bursting to win but the wet is an unknown. HIGH CHIEF and OUR RED JET have shown themselves to be fond of the wet.
Speed map/race shape: Nine of the 14 are on debut which makes a speed map tricky. Embattled has raced outside the leader at both career starts and Got No Doubt did the same at her first outing, so let’s use that as a guide.
Advantaged runners: I’ll be shocked if all 14 babies line up here, but in these conditions the race experience and/or fitness is valuable. SPIRIT RICH is up and going, she ran on well from midfield on debut. SAY HIYA tackled stakes grade horses last time and ran respectably, but the draw makes it tough here. EMBATTLED showed promise in his first prep and won a recent trial. The blinkers go on VIRGINIA DREAM for her debut and she trialled well behind Embattled. Market, yard etc.
Speed map/race shape: Zilitor is the clear leader here from Sogni, Lady Bing and Jessina. The leader has been known to over-race at times though which created opportunities for the backmarkers, of which there’s a substantial group.
Advantaged runners: This is a relatively even bunch. SOGNI has lit up Toowoomba at each of her last three starts and does everything right, apprentice Nothdurft will need to be clever from barrier one though. LADY BING has proven consistent in recent times and won by five lengths on a Soft 7 two back. From further back, the Waller pair SEPOY ACHEEVA and VERANES create interest. Slight advantage to the latter who presents third up, but is still somewhat unknown in these track conditions.
Speed map/race shape: Pork And Beans has led at every career start and don’t expect that to change here. He can drag Comic Story across from wide but may need to work a little if American Genius, Dream Kisses or even Red Devil kick up underneath them.
Advantaged runners: There looks to be a few keen swimmers in this, most notably RED DEVIL. He can settle forward stepping up from 1000m in search of his fourth straight win. MYMMING is the definition of a mudlark and has trialled soundly, she does typically take a run to get back in the swing of things though. DREAM KISSES has had her first up blow out and is another who loves the sting out, this suits and she draws to advantage. PORK AND BEANS has a hope, he draws to advantage but the wet is a complete unknown. COMIC STORY and ELUSIVE MELDOY aren’t the roughest hopes either.
Speed map/race shape: Lots of early speed among this three-year-old brigade. Lickety Lachie and Kitty Kins could be the two to show up but they’ll have to hold off Masstoo, Starbuster, Thunderous Strike and The Last Sequalo.
Advantaged runners: Fitness is key here. STARBUSTER has been up for a while but is tough and finally broke his maiden last start, he also handled a Soft 5 okay three back. Fillies TOO HOT TO HOLD and THE LAST SEQUALO are both well into their preps and ran the quinella on a Soft 5 at the Sunshine Coast recently. The exception to our fitness rule here is MASSTOO who debuted attractively in a good race here a fortnight ago. He’s out of So You Think so will appreciate the extra trip, we’ll find out how he goes on a testing surface.
Speed map/race shape: Trommelschlagen has shown a penchant for leading in recent times but may be content by this stage of the day to stay off the rails and let Omnia Marka Tayada kick up. Shauquin and Constant Flight can be handy, as can Bargannon up in trip. Don’t expect anything too intense here though.
Advantaged runners: Some may say we’re saving the best until last, but the track conditions may scupper that. The leading division catches the eye. OMNIA MARKA TAYADA has an excellent wet track record and was impressive first up in this distance range. Similarly TROMMELSCHLAGEN can bounce back from a disappointing effort last time. SHAQUIN chased a dominant one over a shorter trip, first up, while LE MATTAN has also shown ability in the wet. The query is CONSTANT FLIGHT, perhaps the best horse here and a winner of four from seven, but out of Written Tycoon who isn’t renowned for producing swimmers.