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The iconic Warrnambool Carnival gets underway this Tuesday with a bumper ten race card, headlined by the Brierly Steeple (3450m). The weather is fine, the track is soft (6) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

Race 1. (11:20) George Taylor Memorial Maiden Hurdle 3200m

Back Me

3 Cougar Express (Bet Now: $2.80) for me in the opener. Jarrod McLean trains this bloke who has had a few cracks at the jumps from last year where he ran okay without winning. Been given a proper prep now aimed at the jumps season and he looked outstanding in a trial here last week. Firmer footing is the key and if he gets soft or better, he’s the one to beat.


10 Toffatin (Bet Now: $4.00) had his first crack over the jumps for Beetroot at Hamilton last time out where he looked to do everything right jumping wise and you would have thought his flat speed would have come to the fore but he couldn’t reel in Strike The Stars. Good record on his home track and should improve.

Long Shot

On current jumps form, 4 Epsom Hill (Bet Now: $8.00) is the clear horse to beat. Looked to be going easily last time out at Pakenham but bumped into a potential star of the jumps caper in Self Sense. Running second to him is nothing to sneeze at I wouldn’t have thought so he has to be included for sure against this lot.

Race 2. (12:00) TAB Maiden Hurdle 3200m

Back Me

5 It’s A Silvertail (Bet Now: $4.00) on top, but only just. Darren Weir trains this bloke, and his days as a decent flat horse are probably behind him so jumping looks to be his future. That certainly appears the case off what I’ve seen from him when he has had jumps trials, jumping near perfectly throughout and his flat speed being a big tick. Might be enough to get him home.


1 Beyond Thankful (Bet Now: $4.80) is an interesting one. He is certainly capable of winning this if he brought his best form but he is just so hot and cold at the moment. Game placing two back at Oakbank before going to Pakenham where he was a beaten horse before the turn and didn’t jump the last. Off that, you’d put a line through him, but not when E Musgrove is the trainer.

Long Shot

2 Doom ‘N’ Boom (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Team Corstens trained gelding making his jumps debut and he looks ready to go. Trialled very nicely over the jumps at Cranbourne prior to racing over 2400m at Bendigo last time out where he stuck on quite well in defeat behind Divine Sanction. First jumps ride for Tom Sadler too so no doubt the horse will be wound up to win.

Race 3. (12:40) Choices Flooring By Swinton Maiden Hurdle 3200m

Back Me

3 Danesai (Bet Now: $5.50) for me in what looks the weakest of the three maiden hurdles. Darren Weir trains this bloke, who last raced over 2500m at Cranbourne when not far off the grand campaigner Crafty Cruiser, who ran well on Friday night to frank the form. His trials over the jumps have been quite encouraging and is in the right stable.


9 Police Camp (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Simon Ryan trained gelding who has showed promise right throughout his career and is knocking on the door to win a maiden. Ran in a Highweight at Hamilton last time out and tried hard from the back but had to settle for second to Bold Bandit. Trialled behind that horse here last week and lost the rider, so it could well be heart in your mouth stuff.

Long Shot

4 Flying Casino (Bet Now: $11.00) is the most fascinating runner of the three maiden hurdles. His flat form would see him bolt up, but he has a couple of versions on race day, and the difference between his good and bad is huge. Formerly with John Hickmott, now with Eric Musgrove, and his two trials leading in have been solid enough. I could make a case for him.

Race 4. (13:15) Simons Waterfront Maiden Plate 1200m

Back Me

5 Night Falls (Bet Now: $1.90) should be winning this. Darren Weir trains this well bred colt, who raced over 1300m at Sandown last time out where Zahra gave the horse every chance I thought but just lacked the finale to win when third to Vitani. Gets a tongue tie and blinkers on first time, plus Lane takes over, and the field isn’t as strong. Keen.


11 Forbid Me Not (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Symon Wilde trained galloper who will be on speed, likely in front, and giving his all. That was the case last start at Geelong when attempting to lead all the way. Just couldn’t quite see it out behind an above average type in Miss Toorak Flyer. I think that form reads well for this.

Long Shot

1 Careering Away (Bet Now: $13.00) is a Hard Spun gelding that resumes for the John McArdle team. This bloke had a pretty good prep in the Summer, placing on a number of occasions before being tipped out. 1200m is short of his best but has trialled well in readiness for this and won’t mind a track with give in it.

Race 5. (13:45) VOBIS Gold Strike 1000m

Back Me

8 Limeshow (Bet Now: $4.80) for me purely on suspicion. Darren Weir trains this girl and as the name would suggest, she’s related to his very good filly Limestone, and she was a filly who came to hand early in her career. Bred to handle give in the track, and though there are no recent jump outs for her, I suspect, purely on breeding, she has talent.


3 Celestial Shower (Bet Now: $5.50) is a Street Boss filly for Greg Eurell who was hard in the market when debuting in a maiden on Terang Cup Day over 1000m but for mine she just didn’t let down on the bottomless surface behind Esthetic. Firmer footing here should help her cause and she has the hard run under the belt.

Long Shot

11 Stravain (Bet Now: $7.00) is a Stratum filly on debut for Robbie Griffiths and the stable do love to target these VOBIS races, especially this one. This girl has had a couple of jump outs along with an official trial at Cranbourne, where she won that quite well in relatively okay time for the morning. Jye McNeil riding in fab form at the moment also so I’ll include her.

Race 6. (14:20) Brierly Steeplechase 3450m

Back Me

I think if 2 Dormello Mo (Bet Now: $5.50) turns up with his best form, he’ll just about be winning. Some of his wins last season over the steeples were unbelievable, most notably at Casterton when carrying the grandstand. Form this time in has been pretty good too and I was really taken by his trial win here last week. He’s ready to rock and roll.


1 Zed Em (Bet Now: $3.20) is the proven big time performer and scored a memorable win in this race last year. He appears to be in ripping form after scoring a dominant win in the Great Eastern at Oakbank. Has had a couple of okay-ish trials since that win but he is a race day horse and a proven performer here.

Long Shot

4 I’ll’ava’half (Bet Now: $9.50) is the x factor. He was awful two back in the Great Eastern behind Zed Em before going to the Terang Cup on the bog where I thought he ran an absolute beauty behind Swacadelic in trying conditions against some talented flat performers. Trialled up well here last Tuesday and saves his best for the track.

Race 7. (14:55) Cally Hotel Handicap (78) 2350m

Back Me

10 Big Hammer (Bet Now: $3.50) is bursting to win a race and I think he gets a great chance. Three runs back from a break have been great, the latest coming at Sandown when back in a slowly run affair when fifth to Naval Warfare. Jumps trial win here last Tuesday was great and that should sharpen him up for this.


9 Romanesque (Bet Now: $4.40) looks well placed here by Jarrod McLean. He ran over 2100m last start at the Sandown midweeks where I thought Daniel Moor gave the import every chance to win, and for a few strides he was in front, but Naval Warfare proved to be the better stayer on the day. Home track, good draw, Lane on..ticks plenty of boxes.

Long Shot

Expecting a much better run from 2 Super Haze (Bet Now: $15.00). He had trialled well prior to the resumption in Adelaide where he was disappointing and then was much the same start after. Been freshened up with a stack of gear changes and stable finds John Allen to steer. If he brings his best form, he wins.

Race 8. (15:30) I Am Warrnambool Handicap 1700m

Back Me

6 Lady Selkirk (Bet Now: $4.20) looks perfectly prepared to run well. Beetroot Williams trains this mare, who has been excellent in two runs back from a break, the latest in the Distaff at Caulfield when a closing third to French Emotion, who is Group l performed. That reads very well for this and third up at 1700m, she can only run well.


2 Tradesman (Bet Now: $1.75) looks the key threat. Former WA galloper who has had a couple of runs for Darren Weir. Last raced over the mile at Morphettville a tick over two weeks back where he was wide throughout yet stuck on really well in defeat I thought behind the low flying Tatoosh. Drop of rain certainly won’t hurt.

Long Shot

3 Mongolian Wolf (Bet Now: $8.00) is a Darren Weir trained four year old who hasn’t quiet gone on with it since showing great promise as a three year old but he’s certainly capable of figuring here. Market said he had three legs when resuming in the Warracknabeal Cup and ran accordingly, finishing well off Kapaulenko. Does have a very good second up record and we know the quality is there. Just depends if he wants tos how it.

Race 9. (16:00) Carlton Draught Handicap (64) 1000m

Back Me

11 Sallybrook (Bet Now: $10.00) on top for me. Team Corstens trains this above average mare, who is first up after a solid Spring/Summer prep. Brilliance wise, she has these covered, and her two Flemington jump outs have been very good. Just want to see a market push before diving in because at this trip, she’s the best horse.


2 Raiza Flame (Bet Now: $3.90) is a Shea Eden trained gelding who has been quite good in two runs back from a break. ran over 1200m at Cranbourne last timeout and bumped into a potential blacktype horse when fourth You’ve Been Had. That does read very well for this, the claim helps and handles a track with give in it.

Long Shot

6 Fabulonh (Bet Now: $19.00) is a Lonhro gelding that resumes for Colin Scott. This horse has a really good record at the Bool and can sprint well fresh so I’ll be watching him closely. Jump outs have been quite good to the eye and on his day he is certainly capable. Sticky gate to overcome but I’ll leave that with Luke Nolen.

Race 10. (16:30) iDetect Handicap (70) 1200m

Back Me

16 Duecourse…(Bet Now: $3.70) give him strength. Normal luck and he’ll be winning. Was seven weeks between runs when racing at this track/distance where Julius has the horse in the right spot, wide away from the rail, because the inside was quicksand, but that gave the main threat The Mood I’m In the perfect drag up and he outgunned. Hoping Williams can stalk, wide with cover, and launch.


10 Jaws Of Steel (Bet Now: $2.50) is a very talented horse for Darren Weir who had his first run for the stable on Terang Cup Day over 1200m on the bog where he was up near the speed throughout and tried hard in the straight but just ran out of condition. Hopefully that hasn’t busted him. If not, he’s a live chance.

Long Shot

Darren Weir produced some great numbers last year at this carnival with runners first up so I’m wary of 12 Accreditation (Bet Now: $17.00). This bloke hasn’t raced since October 20 when bolting up over 1700m here under John Allen. The stats say he’ll have no chance of winning, but the record of the stable at this carnival suggests he’s a definite chance.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Ten Number 16 Duecourse

NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 5 Night Falls

VALUE: Race Nine Number 11 Sallybrook


Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):

Leg One: 2, 9, 10, 11

Leg Two: 2, 3, 6, 8

Leg Three: 2, 6, 7, 11, 13

Leg Four: 16

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