One of the more iconic carnivals is the Warrnambool Carnival and the big three day event kicks off on Tuesday with Brierly Day. The weather is fine, the track is heavy (8) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race One (11:20) : George Taylor Memorial Maiden Hurdle 3200m:
Back Me: 5 Hale Soriano (Bet Now: $2.50) picks himself here now with the scratching of Refectory. Former import who has done bugger all on the flat since arriving in Australia, but he was one of the star triallers here last week, going about his business cleanly and impressively. If he brings that effort here, he wins.
Big Danger: 1 All Well (Bet Now: $6.00) has the Smerdon/Mott factor so he has to be respected here. Ran in a 2200m maiden at Ballarat last week where he chased hard from off the pace and stuck on strongly but the winner was just far too good. Been really taken by his jumps trials and the stable love to target the carnival.
Long Shot: 9 Trouble Bound (Bet Now: $12.00)has been touted as a jumper for some time and he had his first taste for it last time out at Pakenham where he looked to do things nicely near the speed and for a few moments looked the winner but was just no match for the impressive Henry Dwyer runner The Dominator. With the run under the belt, he should be better off here and is the value.
Race Two (11:55) : Tab.com.au Maiden Hurdle 3200m:
Back Me: Bit surprised about the $3 opening price for 1 Ancient King (Bet Now: $2.30). I had him marked down nearly odds on here. Very capable flat horse making his jumps debut here and he looks a standout in terms of the three jumps races on the card. Comes through the Terang Cup where that track was an absolute bog and he toughed it out okay. Trialled here last Wednesday and went sensationally. Only bad luck beats him.
Big Danger: 4 He’s A Genius (Bet Now: $3.80) looks the key threat to Ancient King. Ran well in a maiden hurdle here two back getting a mile out of his ground over 2700m at Stawell and working home well late behind Valhalla Princess. Trial here last week was very good and his flat speed will make sure he’s around the mark.
Long Shot: 10 Unabashed (Bet Now: $11.00) is the wildcard here. Steve Patemen trains/rides this galloper and he is the big watch here. Really caught the eye first up at Ballarat, then did nothing on that very testing track at Terang. The jumps trials prior were just average, but Pateman knows what’s required to win here. Big watch.
Race Three (12:35) : Fishtales Cafe Maiden Plate 1200m:
Back Me: 10 Deecember (Bet Now: $3.80) does look the safe way to go here in the first flat race of the Carnival. Jarrod McLean trained galloper that resumed on a bottomless Hamilton surface but did appear to travel quite well in front. Just felt the stitch late. Should come right on from that and Oliver is booked.
Big Danger: 9 Conwoman (Bet Now: $9.00) is the big watch here. Aaron Purcell trained filly that is first up since the Spring where she ran in a couple of maidens and was very good on each occasion, the debut especially behind the subsequent Stakes performed Gratwick. Looks as if she has been targeted to win here fresh, so watch the market here.
Long Shot: 2 Downs Road (Bet Now: $17.00) debuts here for the Symon Wilde camp and you always have to respect the stable when they saddle up first starters during their local carnival. On breeding, he should handle the wet track okay, and Yendall booked could well be a lead. $17 or thereabouts appears value.
Race Four (13:15) : Cally Hotel Handicap (78) 2350m:
Back Me: 1 Our Lucky Omens (Bet Now: $4.00)looks one of the better bets in terms of the flat races. Former Hong Kong stayer that has thrived since joining Kelvin Bourke. Loomed to win over 2400m last time out at Bendigo but had to settle for a narrow second to Unfurl. His lone wet track run since coming back from HK came in the Launceston Cup where he ran a beauty behind Big Duke.
Big Danger: 2 Lord Fandango (Bet Now: $4.00) is a former UK galloper that has had a couple of runs down under for the Archie Alexander camp and OTI and he has been quite good both starts. Stuck on well fresh behind Polar Vortex before stepping up to 2000m where he was there to be beaten, but he kept finding under riding and was strong to the line. Looking for further which he gets, he will be strong late and has upside.
Long Shot: 3 Just Junior (Bet Now: $13.00) could be the improver here at odds. He had nearly three years away from the racing game until resuming at Ballarat where he looked in need of the run behind Elite Tiger before going to Sandown where he worked home with purpose late. Give in the ground looks perfect, he has upside and stable should always be respected at the Bool.
Race Five (13:45) : Callaghan Motors VOBIS Gold Strike 1000m:
Back Me: 1 Je Suis Tycoon (Bet Now: $3.20) at around $4 looks outstanding to my eye. Finished off in style on debut in the Gokd Rush at Bendigo behind Speed Street before going to the VOBIS Sires where nothing went right for her behind Pure Scot in a luckless performance. Lot of unknowns here, but for mine, if she brings her debut effort here, I think she just wins.
Big Danger: 3 Wired (Bet Now: $10.00) is a nicely bred filly for Robbie Laing who is first up here and looks to be a target race. Debuted at Pakenham in November where she sat last in the four horse field before angling clear and finishing off with purpose to win. Trials and jump outs have been encouraging, she has ticked the wet track box, draws well…looks a leading contender.
Long Shot: The Ellerton/Zahra team had a couple accepted but go with the sole runner in 11 Do It For Dottie (Bet Now: $23.00). Written Tycoon filly on debut and she has looked pretty good at the Flemington jump outs, despite showing signs that she will improve with time. Breeding suggests she’ll handle the going, she draws the paint…a must for exotics.
Race Six (14:20) : 3YB Scotty Stewart Brierly Steeplechase 3450m:
Back Me: $13 for 9 Western Kingdom (Bet Now: $13.00) seems crazy overs. Very capable jumper for Rober Smerdon making his Steeple debut but I am confident he can handle it. Two flat runs this time in have been encouraging, obviously over trips that are not to his liking. 21 days since the last run and he has had two trials to prepare, the latest coming here last Wednesday and gee he looked impressive. If he jumps cleanly, he’ll go awfully close.
Big Danger: 1 Zed Em (Bet Now: $2.50) is the jumper with the runs on the board so he has to be respected big time. Comes through the Von Doussa where he did a power of work on speed to lead them up, then fight them off to win. Later found to have had a puncture wound, so that just adds so much merit to his win. Trial since was good and he will be out of trouble on speed.
Long Shot: 7 Mannertone (Bet Now: $34.00) is a gutsy local for Anne McGrath who could add some value in exotics. He comes through the Von Doussa behind Zed Em where he did a really good job in defeat I thought. Never really looked a winning chance but battled away and was far from disgraced. Ran second to Western Kingdom in the trial here last week and he went pretty good also.
Race Seven (15:00) : Choices Flooring By Swintons Handicap (64) 1100m:
Back Me: Didn’t think 9 Ruby Eyes (Bet Now: $2.00) would be running given she ran and won impressively on Sunday at Geelong but she is so I’ll be in her corner. There was alot to like about the Geelong win. She normally is a horse who can get shy when it comes to the winning post, but she attacked the line with purpose on Sunday and was very sharp. I think she can repeat the dose here.
Big Danger: 1 King Of The Ark (Bet Now: $5.00)is the unknown here. Talented galloper that resumes for the Malady stable after a pretty good opening prep to kick off the career, highlighted by a couple of sharp wins near the speed. Yet to see a wet track, but on breeding, I think he will be okay, and the claim is a big tick.
Long Shot: 4 Hot Hansel (Bet Now: $26.00) resumes for the Paul Rocke yard and I think he represents really good value. Had three runs last time in, winning second up at Kilmore before running well in town behind the above average Leodoro. Looks to go well fresh, he handles wet ground and his jump outs have been encouraging.
Race Eight (15:30) : Carlton Draught Handicap (64) 1100m:
Back Me: 6 Mandjar (Bet Now: $12.00) for me here in a very tough race. He was excellent in three runs during his first prep, placing each time. Tipped out and resumed at Bendigo where he sat on speed and looked in a bit of trouble but lifted hard late to win. Runner up ran okay though safely held at Ballarat last week, so the form is a bit suspect, but his first prep form reads very well.
Big Danger: 9 Save Me Ned (Bet Now: $9.00) is sscond up here for the Michael O’Leary camp and you always have to respect O’Leary when he brings horses over the border. Resumed at Oakbank on Easter Monday and tried hard but just felt the pinch late when fifth to the progressive galloper Mulder. Looks ready to go second up and Meech is booked.
Long Shot: 8 Classic Port (Bet Now: $13.00) had support at odds when resuming at Hamilton on an absolute bog and the good bets at double figures was landed as he came with a brilliant finishing burst to nab Deecember near the line. That horse goes around earlier and looks hard to beat so you’ll know by racetime here how strong the form is.
Race Nine (16:00) : City Of Warrnambool Handicap 1700m:
Back Me: Looks a good race for the local mare 11 Lady Selkirk (Bet Now: $4.60). She was 22 days between runs when racing against the mares at the Caulfield mile where where she sat back in a slowly run race and was outsprinted on the turn but picked up late and was good through the line behind Ma Jones. Got a really good record on her home track, fitter and is on the limit. Keen.
Big Danger: 8 War Story (Bet Now: $7.50) was off a four week break when racing in the Warracknabeal Cup last time out where he was taking on a $1.50 fav but that didn’t matter to the horse and Craig Robertson as he dashed right away in the straight for a dominant win. He should only improve off that. Just doesn’t want the track too wet.
Long Shot: 7 By The Grace (Bet Now: $41.00) could be the big improver here at huge odds. He hasn’t raced since the Golden Mile at Bendigo where he was wide throughout and near the back and couldn’t really come on behind Observational. The key to this horse is getting his toe, which is what will happen here. Big chance for mine at a silly price.
Race Ten (16:30) : Rock To Race @ Warrnambool Greyhounds Handicap (70) 1200m:
Back Me: 2 Recalculate (Bet Now: $10.00) for me in the get out. He ran okay in the 1700m race on this day last year but I think we now know that he is a 1200m-1400m horse. Resumed over 1200m at Sandown on Easter Monday where he got back in the run and though never a winning threat, I thought he stuck to the task well. Really good stats both second up and on wet ground plus Oliver is on.
Big Danger: 7 Boss Coni (Bet Now: $3.50) is a horse that is absolutely low flying at the moment for the O’Sullivan team and he has to be rated highly here. Ran on the bog at Hamilton last start where he glided over the surface and gave his rivals a spanking. Different gravy here, but strike while the iron is hot.
Long Shot: 3 Sohool (Bet Now: $31.00) is the big watch here. Former Hayes/Dabernig runner that is resuming for Darren Weir, and we know the record Weir has with first up runners during the Bool Carnival. This galloper only had one run last prep, which resulted in a closing effort at Bendigo behind subsequent Group l winner Inference. That reads very well for this, so the $31 opening price seems silly.
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BEST BET: Race Nine Number 11 Lady Selkirk
NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 1 Ancient King
VALUE: Race Six Number 9 Western Kingdom
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 1, 4, 7, 9
Leg Two: 3, 6, 7, 8, 9
Leg Three: 6, 7, 8, 9, 11
Leg Four: 2, 3, 5, 7, 15
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