It’s Grand National Day at Morphettville this Saturday with both the Hurdle and Steeple the features. The weather is fine, the track is soft (6) and the rail is out three metres for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:36) Grant National Steeplechase 3500m
Shocking race with little to no depth. I think the obvious has to be 1 Zataglio (Bet Now: $2.70). Eric Musgrove has had a fab season with his jumpers and this bloke has been great, most notably last start at Casterton when lumping 74kg and scoring a superb win, beating home the above average Surging Wave. His last four runs have been rippers and is a proven weight carrier.
4 Felix Bay (Bet Now: $3.90) looks to be going along okay for Amy McDonald. He ran third in a Pakenham hurdle last time out and though beaten 14 lengths, he was beaten by a star of the hurdle caper, Kothu Rotti. Thought he jumped the steeples quite well in a Cranbourne trial last Tuesday. Doubt he wins, but should be around the mark.
2 Abebe (Bet Now: $5.50) can win this with his best form. He was hard in the market on Sunday in the Thackery at Warnnambool but came down and dumped the rider behind Gold A Plenty. The win two prior at Murray Bridge was quite good and he’s normally a very reliable jumper. Give him another chance.
Race 2. (13:11) Darley Handicap 1050m
2 Thorondor (Bet Now: $2.20) should be winning this. Won like a very good horse on debut on the Parks track before racing on the course proper four weeks back where I thought Bowditch rode the colt too cute and allowed Assertive Play to dash up and out gun him late. That filly has since won again, so the form reads well. Hopefully no cute rides here and just gets the job done.
7 Vietti (Bet Now: $4.40) is a daughter of I Am Invincible for Tony McEvoy who was off the map when debuting over 1100m here a fortnight back and I thought she was very ordinary behind Assertive Play after seemingly having every chance in the run. The trials were too good to dismiss off the back of one run, so giving her another look.
6 Racy Rosie (Bet Now: $35.00) is a Rebel Raider filly on debut for the Macdonald/Gluyas team. This girl has only had the one public trial, which came in late January when down the track behind Last Vein. Hasn’t been sighted since, but it’s worth noting that morning she played up in the gates. Hasn’t been sighted since, so interesting to see what she does.
Race 3. (13:46) Grand National Hurdle 3500m
3 Cougar Express (Bet Now: $1.50) looks the one to beat. Jarrod McLean has this bloke going super over the jumps at the moment and appears the pick of the bunch. Tough jumps win three weeks back when outgunning Sir Lopez in a driving go to the line. Field looks weaker this time around and he’ll be even better on a firmer track.
7 Tunes (Bet Now: $6.00) jumped terribly when down the track behind Cougar Express before going to Murray Bridge where he jumped much better under Martin Kelly and proved too good. His getting better when it comes to jumping, and we know his flat speed does keep him in the mix. Just needs to jump like he did last time.
8 Searaven (Bet Now: $15.00) is a very consistent type for the Barry Brook team who is bursting to win a jumps race. Placed behind Cougar Express and Sir Lopez before going to Murray Bridge where he tried hard to reel in Tunes but jumped the last couple terribly, losing all chance. He is a must for exotics…doubt he wins though.
Race 4. (14:21) Fleurieu Milk Company Handicap (82) 2014m
3 Top Prospect (Bet Now: $2.40) on top. Darren Weir trains this former kiwi, who has had a couple of runs now in Australia and has been pretty good each time he has stepped out. He ran over this track/distance a fortnight back where he lacked the zip of Silvera but the last 150m he was surging and just missed. Confident he just about wins.
It was D-Day for 1 Silvera (Bet Now: $3.20) two weeks ago at this track/distance and the punters agreed, stepping into him once again and aided by a peach from Jamie Kah, the four year old got the job done, albeit narrowly. I think 2000m sees him right out, so that’s the query here, but to offset that, he has more brilliance.
6 Rock On Ivy (Bet Now: $20.00) is a handy mare making her SA debut for Grant Young and we know the record the stable has with these tried horses. Did most of her racing in Queensland though did have a couple of runs in Sydney with Tim Martin. Fascinating she is first up at 2000m but has been prepared with a couple of solid 1200m trials.
Race 5. (15:01) AAMI Handicap (70) 1050m
1 Air Guitar (Bet Now: $4.50) for me. Was really keen on him when racing here four weeks ago but he looked in awful trouble early on in the straight, but he picked up under Harry Coffey to burst through and score an unbelievable win. Looks an exciting prospect and I think he’ll be even better with the run under the belt.
2 White Kaps (Bet Now: $7.00) was hard in the market when racing over 1000m on the Parks track three weeks ago against the older horses but just did a bit too much work on speed and tired late to run fourth to Invincible Al. Was down to run at 1200m last week but was pulled out, which was the right thing because 1200m is too far for a speedy horse like this one.
4 Wallace Street (Bet Now: $7.50) is four weeks between runs for Richard Jolly since racing over 1100m here where he didn’t seem entirely happy on the wet track but stuck on quite well in defeat behind Zarace. I think he’ll be much better on top of the ground and third up from a spell, no excuses now for mine.
Race 6. (15:41) Hulalai At Ducatoon Park Handicap (82) 1050m
Can see them going mad in front here, so 10 Destiny’s Reward (Bet Now: $23.00) is one to watch for late. Resumed over 1000m at Sandown where he got back to near last in the run and despite never being a winning threat, he worked home quite well late in the piece behind Queen Annabel, who won on Wednesday at Sandown. The Gentle/Parish combo should always be respected and he will be strong late.
8 Removal (Bet Now: $4.60) can be a bit of a money muncher, but he does look well placed here by Nick Ryan. Hasn’t raced for three weeks since racing over the 1000m at Randwick where he was okay without being great behind She Knows. Fast run race just off the speed for this horse, he will look the winner at some stage.
9 Streetcar Illusion (Bet Now: $8.50) is a son of Straum for David Jolly who ran over this track/distance a fortnight back where he settled off the speed and tried hard but Aadelad had it too good in front and this horse couldn’t produce the necessary splits. Been a while since he has won but if they go hard here, he’ll get his chance.
Race 7. (16:21) Evright.com Handicap (70) 1600m
8 Rat With Goldtooth (Bet Now: $2.80) probably wins this, even though he has the awful draw. He sat wide no cover at this track/distance two weeks ago in a similar race yet still proved far too good for his rivals, winning comfortably and holding his rivals safely. Will have to do work from the draw this time around again, but he showed last start he can overcome it.
10 Cry If I Want To (Bet Now: $26.00) is a very interesting runner. Former Mick Price mare that is now with David Jolly. Her best form will come at 2000m+, so interesting she resumes at the mile, but her two trials leading in have been quite good and her form from the Autumn reads very well.
14 Romelo (Bet Now: $27.00) is a big watch. Former WA stayer making his Victorian debut for the Eric Musgrove. He was an absolute bludger when racing in Perth because the talent was there, but he wasn’t there mentally. Now with Musgrove and his two jumps trials have been more than encouraging so fitness won’t be an issue.
Race 8. (17:00) See The Magic Of Matt Tarrant Handicap (70) 1200m
Like 16 Magnarock (Bet Now: $21.00) here. Brian Gentle has this horse going well. Cory Parish hit the button a fraction early last start at Albury over the 1175m and despite getting the wobbles late, he proved too good for them. 1200m is no issue for him and with a cold ride off a hot speed, he’s certainly good enough to go close.
8 Disgraceful (Bet Now: $5.00) is the big improver. Has had two runs for Will Clarken where he was okay here first up behind Bord De Gain before racing during the Swan Hill Carnival where he didn’t let down on the bog behind Don’t Get Excited. Break between runs and back on firmer footing, he can certainly win without surprising.
12 Valliano is a former Hayes/Dabernig runner having his first start for the Bill Papazaharoudakis team. When trained by Lindsay Park, this horse had some really good form next to his name when racing in Victoria, including a placing behind the above average three year old Lord Sundowner. No trials of note, but the market support early suggests he’s ready.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Five Number 1 Air Guitar
NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 2 Thorndor
LONG SHOT: Race Six Number 10 Destiny’s Reward
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 1
Leg Two: 2, 8, 9, 10
Leg Three: 2, 8, 10, 14, 18
Leg Four: 7, 8, 12, 16
$50 Investment= 62.50% of the dividend if successful
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