The Warrnambool Carnival wraps up on Thursday with the two feature events being the Warrnambool Cup (2350m) and one of the most famous jump races in the world, the Grand Annual (5500m). The weather is fine, the track is heavy (8) and the rail is out four metres from the 1300m-300m; True for the remainder.
Race One (11:15) : Hammonds Paint Champion Novice Hurdle 3200m:
Back Me: 4 The Dominator (Bet Now: $2.80) is a talented jumper for the Henry Dwyer camp who looks the clear horse to beat here. Very sharp effort last time out over the sticks at Pakenham where he did everything right and his flat speed proved too good. Should only improve off that and rates as the one to beat.
Big Danger: 1 Try Four (Bet Now: $4.00) is the very interesting runner here. Back over the jumps for Darren Weir after a couple of okay flat efforts this time in. Maiden win over the jumps came back last year where he was very impressive on a wet track. Trials leading in have been quite encouraging and his flat speed will come to the fore.
Long Shot: 6 Barge And Charge (Bet Now: $21.00) lacks the class of some of these, but he is tough and stable should always be respected when bring horses to Warrnambool. Eventually ran in a two horse race at Murray Bridge last start where he did the work leading up the other runner and that horse eventually drew clear, but Barge And Charge didn’t give it up. He should be up near the speed again and fighting hard.
Race Two (11:55) : No Fuss Event Hire Handicap 1200m:
Back Me: 2 Bold Missile (Bet Now: $3.10) is a son of Smart Missile on debut for the Henry Dwyer stable and I think he is the pick of the first starters. Been very impressive at the Caulfield jump outs, going about his business quite nicely without really being fully extended. Regan Bayliss booked is a good lead and I’m happy to be in his corner.
Big Danger: 8 Captain Harry (Bet Now: $12.00) resumed over 1000m at Bendigo and despite not really being wanted in betting, i thought he ran well late after getting held up in the first half of the straight. Should only improve off that here and he is bred to handle give in the track, plus has race experience.
Long Shot: 3 Hecta (Bet Now: $4.20) is a Canford Cliffs colt having his first start for the Symon Wilde stable. Yet to be seen in public but he draws a good gate and is bred to handle give in the track, plus the other good lead is that Craig Williams is booked to ride. I think a market watch should be advised for this galloper.
Race Three (12:25) : Mercdes Benz Handicap 1400m:
Back Me: 2 Plein Ciel (Bet Now: $2.40) is the most interesting runner for the meeting. High class animal that resumes for Darren Weir and looks a Group l winner in waiting to my eye. Unbeaten in four Australian runs during the Summer and each time he got better and better. Lot to like about this galloper and though 1400m is short of his best, I think class will get him home.
Big Danger: 3 Moss ‘N’ Dale (Bet Now: $2.70) was sent to Sydney by the Gelagotis boys last time out to contest a 1400m race at Randwick and was given a lovely ride by Jack Martin, giving the horse every chance on speed and clinging on for a dead heat win alongside Roaring To Win. He was 28 days between runs there, so he has room for improvement and maps well here.
Long Shot: 5 Floral Fever (Bet Now: $15.00) is a beauty for the Symon Wilde camp. Rarely runs a bad race and just knows where the winning post is. Resumed over 1100m at Stawell where he was given a peach by Mallyon and fought hard to get the win. He is a second up winner and loves give in the track.
Race Four (12:55) : Schweppes Handicap (78) 1400m:
Back Me: 1 Stylish Miss (Bet Now: $3.00) has been really good in two runs back from a break for the Weir camp. Resumed at Mornington and closed off well late behind Sullivan Bay before going to Sandown where she again got a mile back in the run and finished off nicely behind Maternal. Third up now, so she should be ready fitness wise, and her stats on wet track, the Bool, the trip…yep, she ticks all the boxes.
Big Danger: 3 I’ll Fly Away (Bet Now: $4.00) is a talented mare that resumes for Darren Weir. Ran some really good races during the Spring/Summer, winning a couple of races and being highly competitive in town. Trial in early April was nothing flash but she goes well fresh and is unbeaten in two wet track runs.
Long Shot: 5 Powerossa (Bet Now: $11.00) was a real eye catcher first up over 1100m at Bendigo where she got a mile back in the run and worked home with real purpose late despite not being in clear air. That looks a super pointer for this, and her stats second up, home track and on wet ground…all those boxes are ticked.
Race Five (13:25) : Ludeman Real Estate Handicap (64) 2000m:
Back Me: 13 Vanilla Gold (Bet Now: $5.50) is a talented mare for Mitchell Freedman that looks well placed here second up. resumed on the bog at Hamilton over an unsuitable trip yet finished off very nicely late in the piece to run second to We’re So Lucky. Will love the step up to the 1700m here and last prep she was competitive in town, so we know the quality is there.
Big Danger: 3 Craven Image (Bet Now: $5.00) is probably the best horse in the race but he has a mind of his own and rarely puts it all together. Forgive him for his last start failure at Warracknabeal given he was three and four wide no cover for the trip and couldn’t really come on at all. He is better than that and the senior rider goes on now.
Long Shot: 8 Gold Spur (Bet Now: $13.00) was first up since July when resuming over the Stawell mile where he got a mile back in the run but finished off quite powerfully late in the piece to run third to Unrealistic. The query is that he may have the second up syndrome, but off that fresh effort, I can’t ignore him.
Race Six (13:55) : The Standard Handicap (78) 1100m:
Back Me: 4 Another Diamond (Bet Now: $3.70) looks a near standout here on the program. Talented and nippy mare for the Bill Cerchi yard who was one of the finds of the Spring. All started off with a spank job here over a subsequent city winner before repeating the dose under the lights at the Valley. Tongue Tie first time is an interesting gear change, but the big lead is that Craig Williams rides.
Big Danger: 10 Reigning Meteor (Bet Now: $8.00) is the interesting runner here. First up for Matty Williams after a 250+ day spell. Hasn’t raced since August at Sandown when finishing down the track. He does go well fresh, loves his home track and he loves give in the ground. Don’t be surprised to see a strong market push.
Long Shot: 8 Jarrah Twist (Bet Now: $34.00) is a horse who would have been on top had this race been 1200m. That being the case, he only sits here but don’t underestimate him. Ran over 1100m at Stawell last time out and battled away strongly behind Floral Fever, but was really good through the line. He’ll be charging late.
Race Seven (14:35) : Waterfront By Lyndoch Living Grand Annual Steeplechase 5500m:
Back Me: 3 I’ll’ava’alf (Bet Now: $4.60) looks a standout to my eye here. He has been given a good grounding on the flat with a couple of jumps efforts at Oakbank following, the latest in the Von Doussa where he didn’t appear to handle the turns that well. Returns to a bigger track here and looked very sharp in a trial win here last week.
Big Danger: 1 Lord Of The Song (Bet Now: $8.50) is a proven performer at the Bool and has the McLean polish so he has to be respected big time here. Was hard in the market as the fav in the Great Eastern at Oakbank after an impressive Von Doussa effort but perhaps he didn’t handle the quick back up. Looks spot on for this.
Long Shot: 4 Lucky Tonight (Bet Now: $11.00)is a proven Kiwi jumper who shouldn’t be underestimated here. Two flat runs back home were okay before racing over the steeples at Pakenham where he looked in complete control of the race and won impressively. Ran some ripping races in Australia last Winter, so don’t rule him out.
Race Eight (15:15) : Sungold Milk Warrnambool Cup 2350m:
Back Me: Might be some value here in the shape of 9 Survived (Bet Now: $10.00). Hasn’t won for a little while but he has run some really good races in recent times for the Archie Alexander yard. The latest came over 2400m at Randwick where he attempted to lead all the way and tried hard but had to settle for fourth to Richard Of Yorke. Looks as if he will lead for fun and stable are low flying.
Big Danger: 3 High Church (Bet Now: $3.20) put in an absolute howler two back as a hot pot in the Yarra Valley Cup before going to the Easter Cup at Caulfield where he was much better, closing off hard late in the piece behind Observational. Rise in trip looks perfect, as does give in the ground and stable has dominated this race in recent years.
Long Shot: 2 Grey Lion (Bet Now: $6.50) was heavily backed to win the Easter Cup and gee he let the punters down badly. He was a beaten horse on the turn and really struggled in the straight. I think the key to this horse is getting his toe, which is what he will get here. Williams booked is a good lead, and on his best form, he’s the clear horse to beat.
Race Nine (15:55) : Simons Waterfront Neville Wilson Series Final (70) 1700m:
Back Me: 1 Like The Clappers (Bet Now: $6.50) goes clearly on top for me here. Seven year old gelding for Matty Williams that resumed over 1400m at Bendigo and closed off his race hard despite being an outsider behind Bee Jay Zed. Has an outstanding second up record, loves a heavy track and saves his best for his home track.
Big Danger: 12 My Obsession (Bet Now: $7.00) is finding it very hard to win a race, but she gets a great chance here given the lack of depth/quality engaged here. She ran over the Sandown mile last time out where she got back in the run and worked home strongly late in the piece behind dominant winner Lopartega. Hard to trust, but this does look a race she can win.
Long Shot: 13 Baja Moon (Bet Now: $8.50) resumed over 1400m at Hamilton where she surprisingly started favourite and despite the fact she let her backers down, she finished off her race quite nicely to run fifth, beaten three lengths. Fantastic second up record, on her home track, plus gets weight relief and C Williams steering.
Race Ten (16:30) : Scania Australia Handicap (64) 1300m:
Back Me: 3 Pakaya Prince (Bet Now: $6.00) on top for me in the final race of the Carnival. Trialled up brilliantly at Cranbourne prior to resuming at Sale where he had confident market support late and looked to travel well on speed but just died on the run late when third to Singleraine. Goes really well second up and Mott takes over now.
Big Danger: 14 Zamboanga (Bet Now: $6.00) has had two runs back from a spell now for the Thornton stable and he has been quite impressive each outing. Stuck on well first up at Geelong before going to the Pakenham Synthetic where she had a soft run outside the speed and dashed away for a sharp win. Handles all conditions and with the maiden win out of the way, he can go right on with it.
Long Shot: 7 Holbein Prince (Bet Now: $21.00) doesn’t have the greatest of records, but his two efforts this time in have been quite eye catching. Ran over 1200m at Ballarat last time out and didn’t really get a clear run until halfway down the straight when finishing off okay. He is a horse who loves to get his toe in, and this will be race 30, so he will well and truly get that chance.
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