The iconic Warrnambool Carnival kicks off on Tuesday with a bumper ten race card, highlighted 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.
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Race One (11:20) : Carlton Mid Maiden Hurdle 3200m:
Back Me: 2 Fastnet Isle (Best Odds: $2.20) makes his jumps debut after stringing together two wins on the flag, the latest one in a 2400m highweight at Mornington. Recent jumps trial was good and he has the Weir polish.
Big Danger: 5 Judge Jeuney (Best Odds: $6.50) is trained on the track and is making his debut over the sticks off the back of a handy trial recently. Aaron Purcell doesn’t leave a meeting on his home track without a winner and this horse looks capable.
Roughie: 6 Monte Carlo (Best Odds: $41.00) is the one that has genuine jumps form already after competing in a couple of races at Oakbank. He is another who has looked capable over the sticks in trials and could be one to chuck in exotics.
Race Two (12:00) : Tab.com.au Maiden Hurdle 3200m:
Back Me: You’d have to think if 3 Extra Zero (Best Odds: $1.70) turns up fit and healthy, he will spank this field. Best years are being him, but he has shown to be competitive at Group l level…surely that’s good enough for this.
Big Danger: 5 Jileks Spur (Best Odds: $4.80) just went too hard last time out over 4000m at Caulfield and rightfully finished near last. He is a talented horse over the jumps and should take some beating provided he relaxes.
Roughie: 10 Western Kingdom (Best Odds: $5.00) is a horse on the up for Smerdon that comes off a last start win on the Pakenham Synthetic. Has trialled well over the jumps leading in and the form out of that race has held up through Barwon.
Race Three (13:15) : George Tayler Memorial Hurdle 3200m:
Back Me: 4 Evangelist (Best Odds: $6.50) creates some interest here. Handy flat horse for Tony McEvoy making his jumps debut off the back of a couple of handy trials. If he brings his best flat form, he wins, but he hasn’t produced that in a little while.
Big Danger: 9 Livery (Best Odds: $4.20) ran on this day last year over 2350m and bled behind Zanteca. Has only had the two runs since but looked sharp in a trial win on Wednesday and he is well respected in the market.
Roughie: 11 Transfixed (Best Odds: $9.00) is on the back up after bolting in on Thursday night on the Pakenham Synthetic, aided by a gem from Newitt. He is hard fit and is another that has trialled well over the sticks.
Race Four (13:15) : Fishtales Cafe Maiden Plate 1200m:
Back Me: 11 Isabelli (Best Odds: $4.00) had some support on debut at Mornington and for a few strides looked home but was nabbed late. Draws a lovely gate, better off for the experience and Oliver rides. Ticks the boxes.
Big Danger: 5 Mr Simples (Best Odds: $4.00) debuts here for the Ciaron Maher stable and it’s no surprise he is near the top of the betting off the back of an impressive Caulfield jump out a couple of weeks back. Has the speed to overcome the draw and Zahra rides.
Roughie: 16 Tea Tales (Best Odds: $13.00) resumed at Colac and just got too far back behind Kingston Comet and Colac is a track where leaders are advantaged, so her effort to finish as close as she did was very good and she will be strong late here.
Race Five (13:45) : Callaghan Motors VOBIS Gold Strike 1000m:
Back Me: 3 Gimlet (Best Odds: $3.80) resumes for the Ellerton/Zahra stable after formerly being with Peter Moody. She was well talked up on debut at Flemington back in the Summer and ran really when third to Want To Rock. On that form, she has to be a leading chance.
Big Danger: 8 Brugal Reward (Best Odds: $8.00) is a filly on debut for Darren Weir and Dean Yendall rides. No trial form, so we are only going on breeding and the market and both of those factors, more so the latter, are positive.
Roughie: 13 Stella Effort (Best Odds: $14.00) debuts for the Purcell yard. Only going on breeding, and that is well, plus she draws alright and should get every chance on her home track.
Race Six (14:20) : 3YB Scotty Stewart Brierly Steeple 3450m:
Back Me: 2 Lord Of The Song (Best Odds: $15.00) is getting on in years but he is still racing quite well. This ten year old ran in the Great Eastern at Oakbank behind Thubiaan and was simply no match, running a 45L third. Trial since has been good and stable is flying with their jumpers at the moment.
Big Danger: 1 Thubiaan (Best Odds: $3.80) does look the horse to beat. He absolutely spanked them in that race at Oakabnk and would have won by further had the distance been longer. Class animal and will take some beating.
Roughie: 3 Nishiazabu (Best Odds: $18.00) won the Von Doussa during the Oakbank Carnival, beating home Thubiaan. He has run a few times since and has been a touch disappointing. He has run well here previously and he will be suited at this trip unlike the two mentioned above.
Race Seven (14:55) : City Of Warrnambool Handicap 1700m:
Back Me: 4 Turnitaround (Best Odds: $3.00) was well specked at odds on Anzac Day at Flemington and that market push was spot on when he showed a nice turn of foot near the inside to win, his first second up win in five attempts. Can only see upside and trained on the track.
Big Danger: 10 Recalculate (Best Odds: $4.00) ran in the Gold Mile at Caulfield and worked home well from the back behind the in form Red Bomber. Little query for mine at 1700m, but he is hard fit, draws well and gets the services of Michelle Payne, who rides the track very well.
Roughie: 6 Try Four (Best Odds: $6.00) was an impressive winner first up at Geelong before going to the Parks track where he pulled up with a slow recovery rate. Has since trialled over the jumps and looked sharp there, so he can definitely bounce back.
Race Eight (15:30) : Cally Hotel Handicap (78) 2350m:
Back Me: I was expecting 8 Slivovitz (Best Odds: $21.00) to be in a maiden hurdle race after all the trials he has had, but he runs here and for mine looks the wrong odds at $26 his efforts this time in for Jarrod McLean have been full of merit, including last start where he closed off behind a potential star in Raw Impulse. Gate one, Zahra aboard and he will eat up the trip.
Big Danger: 5 Loncava (Best Odds: $14.00) just didn’t quite run the 2500m last time out at Morphettville behind High Church in a real slog to the line. Nick Hall jumps on and his patient hands are probably what’s required for this horse, and on his best form, he is a definite winning chance.
Roughie: 13 Ultimate Doom (Best Odds: $41.00) can be a hit and miss galloper but is a handy on speed stayer when right. Gauci remains on, he’ll lead, run along and give them something to think about, and he does look a good each-way bet at $51.
Race Nine (16:00) : The Greyhound Adoption Program Handicap (70) 1200m:
Back Me: 2 Walk This Way (Best Odds: $4.60) has been given a 26 day freshen up since running a game third under the lights at Pakemham behind Its One in a race where the form hasn’t been too bad here. Draws a soft barrier here and the claim for gun apprentice Ben Allen is a big tick.
Big Danger: There was a lot to like about the win of 11 Invincible Me (Best Odds: $5.00) last time out at Colac, sitting off speed before peeling out and showing a lovely turn of foot when asked. He is starting to really put it all together now and should take some beating here.
Roughie: 12 Matagami (Best Odds: $15.00) has been given a 30 day freshen up since running fourth to Lord Barrington at Ballarat. That horse has since run well in town, so the form stacks up alright and the little break could spark this horse back to life.
Race Ten (16:30) : Choices Flooring By Swintons Handicap (64) 1100m:
Back Me: 13 Gemmaleah (Best Odds: $4.40) absolutely bolted in on debut at Cranbourne before racing there again and running quite well behind Ability, who was enormous in defeat last start at Caulfield, so the form reads well and she was scratched from an easier race for this, so there could be stable confidence.
Big Danger: 10 Labuan Star (Best Odds: $5.50) hasn’t raced for 50 days since racing at the Valley where he pulled hard in the run and just couldn’t finish it off behind a subsequent stakes winner in Thames Court. Good horse on his day, and only has to relax to be a threat.
Roughie: 18 God Forbid (Best Odds: $16.00) had three runs during the early part of the Summer, resulting in a maiden win here before being luckless behind Golden Spin at the Valley and then wide no cover here before being tipped out. Trained on the track and should do no work from the gate.
BEST BET: Race Ten Number 13 Gemmaleah
NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 3 Extra Zero
VALUE: Race Eight Number 8 Slivovitz
Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):
Leg One: 4, 6, 10
Leg Two: 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13
Leg Three: 2, 3, 8, 11, 12
Leg Four: 10, 13, 15, 18, 19
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