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The Warrnambool Carnival concludes on Thursday, highlighted by one of the great races on the Australian calendar, the Grand Annual (5500m). The weather is fine, the track is soft (6) and the rail is out four metres from the 1200m-300m; True for the remainder.

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Race 1. (11:15) Champion Novice Hurdle 3200m

Back Me

Chips in to start the day on 2 Chequered Flag (Bet Now: $2.05) because I thought he would be hard to beat in the Galleywood. You have to go back to 2017 to when he raced over the hurdles, having two starts. Bolting up his maiden here before running second in the J J Houlahan. His first up run behind Steel Prince at Mornington was a beauty and his two trials since have been outstanding. Moral for mine.

Danger

Taking a chance on 4 Refectory (Bet Now: $3.00). Richard Laming trains this bloke, who hasn’t done much on the flat this time in, but his jumps trials have been very good and go back to last year, his maiden hurdle win was stunning, which made him near fav for the Grand National Hurdle where he didn’t handle the bottomless surface. Doesn’t want that here, and if he gets conditions to suit, he’ll take beating.

Long Shot

7 Sweet Lullaby (Bet Now: $8.50) is a Patrick Payne trained mare on the quick back up after racing over 2100m at Swan Hill on Sunday where the market said no to her and she ran accordingly somewhat with a well held third. Clearly has had eyes on this Carnival and her jumps trials have been encouraging, plus is in a gun stable that is in form, so has to be respected.

Race 2. (11:45) TAB Brings Pikey Handicap 1200m

Back Me

Been a lean Carnival to date for Pikey, and a lean couple of months it has to be said, but 11 Kuramae (Bet Now: $2.80) does look hard to beat for Matty Williams. Placed in both runs to date, the latest on Terang Cup when making ground to run second to Sartorial Splendour. Was back in trip that afternoon so back up to 1200m, Winkers on, Pike on…the set up is there to win.

Danger

5 Navarre (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Sebring gelding for the Busuttin/Young stable that had trialled well prior to debuting over 1100m here where he just got the wobbles on the turn and lost his stride for a moment which allowed the leader/winner Substantial to kick on and salute. Hasn’t been sighted since but there was market support that day and stable should be respected with their youngsters.

Long Shot

12 Rubisaki (Bet Now: $13.00) is bred to handle a wet track and Patrick Payne is flying at the moment so going her way. Has had a good grounding for her debut, with an okay jumpout at Kyneton followed by a much better effort in a Cranbourne trial last Tuesday when just behind the speed and not knocked about in fourth. Billy Egan on, sits off a good speed and hopefully will be strong late.

Race 3. (12:15) Scania Australia Handicap (78) 1400m

Back Me

Bit to like about the way 5 Minyinga (Bet Now: $4.20) is doing her racing for Jamie Edwards. Wide no cover last time out at Seymour over 1400m where she was entitled to drop away but found again late and clung on to get the win. Draws to get a good run off the speed, hard fit, in form and I reckon her hard fitness could come to the fore against a few of these, some who are early in a prep.

Danger

3 Kings Brook (Bet Now: $3.80) is a David Briedoake trained filly who comes back to 1400m after racing over the mile at Caulfield where she got back in the run and didn’t really come on at all behind Princess Jenni. Back in trip/depth looks ideal for this filly and the big tick for her is the blinkers going on for the first time. Her two runs prior in town do read well for this.

Long Shot

1 Casa De Lago (Bet Now: $6.00) is a talented mare for Patrick Payne that resumes. This girl had a two run Summer prep at the Valley, seeing her win first up before a close up fourth over the mile behind a good filly in Oceanex. She can sprint well fresh and her Cranbourne trial was good, plus she has a touch of class on her side. Can win, but want to see what the market does.

Race 4. (12:45) The Standard Handicap (78) 1100m

Back Me

I’m hoping Matt Cumani has 3 Satori (Bet Now: $2.50) ready. Talented son of Bel Esprit that resumes after a pretty solid Spring prep, which ended with an unplaced effort at the Valley, where he was at the end of his prep. He’s a really good sprinter when right, he’s 3/3 first up…just can’t find a jumpout. Hoping he’s ready to go. If so, he looks one of the hardest to beat.

Danger

2 Labuan Star (Bet Now: $7.50) could well be a key threat here. Daniel Bowman trains this former Darren Weir runner, who had specking when resuming at Bendigo (Metro) when around midfield in the run and was never really likely but picked up late and was good behind Redcore. Good second up record, likes racing at Warrnambool and this isn’t, overall, a strong 78.

Long Shot

9 Camila Lucinda (Bet Now: $3.80) is a David Briedoake trained mare who looks suited here. Ran over 1200m at Sandown last time when on speed and they just went too slow in front, where she was outsprinted late. Form has been good with Miss Vixen running so well in the VOBIS Sprint on the weekend and this mare can sprint well when she has fresh legs. Sneaky chance.

Race 5. (13:15) Ludeman Real Estate Handicap (64) 2000m

Back Me

10 Dunman (Bet Now: $6.00) is a big dope who does look a stayer so up to this sort of trip should suit this Maher/Eustace three year old, who broke the maiden status in good style last time at Geelong. He wanted to throw it away at various stages but lifted under Johnny Allen when it mattered most and got the win narrowly. Hopefully can improve off that and bring better racing manners because clearly there is a decent engine under the hood. Just doesn’t know his craft 100%.

Danger

Up to 2000m will really suit the Symon Wilde trained 16 Skyway Star (Bet Now: $3.30). Strong maiden winner two back over the mile at Ballarat before stepping up to 1800m at Sandown where I thought Mallyon gave her every chance but just found Prism too good. Only run at the trip, she was four lengths off Aristia in the Wakeful. That does read well for this.

Long Shot

4 Midas Prince (Bet Now: $8.50) is an Aaron Purcell trained stayer who has returned in really good order. Loved the way he found the line to win two back over the mile at Terang before staying at the trip/distance and just finding them a bit sharp when second to Timor Gold. Looking for further, which he gets this time around, and the way he’s going, has to be respected.

Race 6. (13:50) Neville Wilson Series Final (70) 1700m

Back Me

Hard to get away from the Patrick Payne trained 10 Bea Tempted (Bet Now: $2.00). Had good market support when resuming at Pakenham and after sitting back with cover, she was presented clear air and let down hard to get the job done impressively. Tick over trial last week was good and like her second up at 1700m. Hopefully her turn of foot comes to the fore.

Danger

8 Like The Clappers (Bet Now: $9.50) is a veteran for Matty Williams who has had great success at this Carnival in the past and appears to be going well enough to figure again. Resumed on Terang Cup Day where he ran well but just looked in need of the run when fifth to Eagle Ridge. Up to 1700m suits, saves his best for Warrnambool and is a swimmer, so wetter the better.

Long Shot

14 Henpecker (Bet Now: $51.00) isn’t the worst here I think. Matty Williams trains this bloke, who paraded with a gut like mine first up on Terang Cup Day and ran accordingly behind Elite Drake. He is a swimmer, so the give in the track, his home track, will be ideal for him, up to 1700m, does no work from the draw…I reckon $81+ is a pretty silly price for this bloke, who could win without surprising.

Race 7. (14:30) Grand Annual Steeple 5500m

Back Me

I think Patrick Payne will win the race and I think it will be via 6 Slowpoke Rodriguez (Bet Now: $2.90). He ran in this race in 2017 and was going to win when he loomed to the front but fell at the last. His form this time in has been outstanding and he made a mess of them last Friday night at Cranbourne. Dodged the Brierly in preference for this and has to be respected.

Danger

1 Zed Em (Bet Now: $2.30) is a champion of the jumping caper and his class will carry him a long way towards victory. He comes here off the back of doing the Von Doussa/Great Eastern double at Oakbank and each time, he was dominant on speed. Proven big time performer at the Bool, just missed last year…great chance to atone 12 months on and will be hard to beat.

Long Shot

5 Spying On You (Bet Now: $14.00) has run well in this race previously and I reckon he’s going well enough to continue that theme. Has finished runner up to Zed Em in those two races mentioned above. Each time he was relatively well held but tried hard and was far from disgraced. I think $20+ is overs for this galloper…can he win? I’d say no, but a must for multiples.

Race 8. (15:15) Mercedes Benz Handicap 1400m

Back Me

Looks a really good for the Archie Alexander trained 10 So Far Sokool (Bet Now: $2.90). This talented mare was well supported when resuming on Terang Cup Day but just went a fraction keen in front, tiring late when third to Indian Thunder. She is a two time second up winner, loves a track with give in it and for mine, she’ll be much more effective if ridden with cover.

Danger

9 Curragh (Bet Now: $9.50) is a Busuttin/Young trained son of Tavistock resuming. He’s a noted first up performer and loves an affected track, so the set up is there to run well. Thought he trialled well last week at Cranbourne and has had a jumpout prior, so the grounding is there and at his best, certainly up to beating these. When he has run well, he’s been supported, so watch the market.

Long Shot

2 Turnitaround (Bet Now: $8.50) is a Warrnambool Carnival specialist and first up, has to be respected for Matty Williams. Hasn’t raced since the Summer when contesting the Chester Manifold and finishing down the track behind Manolo Blahniq. Yet to win first up, but has placed 7/9, loves his home track and a recent jumpout was more than encouraging to the eye.

Race 9. (15:55) Warrnambool Cup 2350m

Back Me

12 Light The Waves (Bet Now: $10.00) is a great 1×3 play here for mine at $20+. This mare is in a real purple patch of form at the moment, winning three of her last four, the latest win being last start over 2250m on the Parks track when given a 12/10 steer from Vorster and blousing the in form Valac late. This trip will be fine, she’s fresh, Vorster on…plenty to like about her.

Danger

Little bit of a query at the trip, but on form, 1 Furrion (Bet Now: $2.80) is the one to beat. Good run fresh at Flemington before getting too far back in the Golden Mile at Bendigo. He then contested the Easter Cup at Caulfield where he tried hard but found Plein Ciel too good, and that form was franked on Anzac Day via Observational. 1/1 at the track, has upside and timing, and class.

Long Shot

5 Meli Melo (Bet Now: $19.00) is a Barry Brook trained mare who could provide some value. She looked perfectly placed to win last time out on her home track at Oakbank and under a lovely steer from Toeroek, she was much too good. Is 2/2 at this distance range and she is a mare that can sprint when cuddled, so if she gets conditions to suit here, she could be dangerous.

Race 10. (16:30) No Fuss Event Hire Handicap (64) 1300m

Back Me

Going the way of the Andrew Payne trained 6 The Thick Of It (Bet Now: $12.00). He was outstanding when resuming at Bendigo, rounding them up from last off a slow speed to get the job done, and landing some decent bets at odds. He generally gets better as the prep goes deeper, so would like to think he has upside from that and if that’s the case, he’ll do me here.

Danger

1 Pakaya Prince (Bet Now: $5.00) is a son of Reward For Effort resuming for the John McArdle stable. This bloke is a noted fresh performer and loves a track with give in it so he gets the right set up to run well. Trialled pretty nicely at Cranbourne I thought, winning that comfortably, and with the claim for Alana Kelly, can see this bloke running along and proving hard to run down.

Long Shot

Interesting that has been firm in for 4 Havastar (Bet Now: $15.00). I didn’t think much of his first up run at Ballarat when on speed and battling away to finish down the track in the relatively small field won by Sagarra. On his home track and gets gate one for Brad Rawiller, and is a horse who loves to get his toe in, so he gets conditions to suit and is a knockout chance at odds.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race One Number 2 Chequered Flag

NEXT BEST: Race Eight Number 10 So Far Sokool

LONG SHOT: Race Nine Number 12 Light The Waves

 

Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):

Leg One: 1, 6

Leg Two: 2, 8, 9, 10

Leg Three: 1, 6, 12, 14

Leg Four: 1, 4, 6, 7, 11

$50 Investment = 31.25% of the dividend if successful

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