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Punter's Guide to Thoroughbred Tracks
ZAHVEN BANNER (5) found the front last start and with his usual power running pattern, kept the tempo on throughout in pacing a sub 1.52 mile. Only beaten a head the start prior behind DACNE FOR GLORY from this same gate, he can build the pressure to take control and look to fight them off.
MY MASTERCRAFTSMAN (8) is in great touch and last start was again close up in grabbing a minor. That was a smart effort to get within a head of ROCK WITH SAM which had followed a 3rd in the G2 Qld Cup behind COLT THIRTY ONE. Sighting space in time will be key to his hopes here and he looms as a danger.
TIN ROOF RAIDER (4) might just be the main beneficiary if the speed is too slick and tucking in behind them can swoop with venom. 3rd last start when shooting for a hat-trick, he is right in the fight.
CASINO TOMMY (2) was buried in the run from inside the 2nd line last start and when the gap opened was closing hard for the bronze behind BIG BANG LEONARD. He can chime in again here.
SELECTIONS: ZAHVEN BANNER (5), MY MASTERCRAFTSMAN (8), TIN ROOF RAIDER (4), CASINO TOMMY (2)
SUGGESTED BET: UTAB F4 Jackpot 2-4-5-8
HARD TO HEAR (4) is flying and just needs an ounce of luck in the run to go his way and he can be winning this. Last start from gate 11 he was wide out when working into the contest and found the line strongly when 3rd behind DAPPER. His runs have been super from bad gates and the improved alley helps his cause.
CARDLESFROMHEAVEN (11) will strip fitter following his return to the track last start when landing gate 10 over the mile. His closing spits were sharp as he powered home to be 5m from the winner BIG BANG LEONARD. A smart winner at his last run before the break, he can overcome the tough gate.
FEEL THE REIGN (9) went to the front last start from gate 2 and kept the tempo ticking over in setting a sub 1.54 mile and only beaten a neck. Grabbed late the start prior, he won’t be far away.
YKIKAFIL (2) took the pocket trail from gate 1 last start and chased hard when not far from the winner, DAPPER. Tough in the breeze the start prior, he can fire the 1st shot here and has podium claims.
SELECTIONS: HARD TO HEAR (4), CARDLESFROMHEAVEN (11), FEEL THE REIGN (9), YKIKAFIL (2)
SUGGESTED BET: HARD TO HEAR (4) to win
Put a line through the 1st up run of SOME EXCUSESOMEWHERE (5) when he struck trouble and finished down the line behind ZAHVEN BANNER. He will take some fitness benefit from the run after being 1st up in 12 months and with great speed off the arm, can look for the lamp lighting duties and dictate here.
LEXUS ON THE BEACH (2) will relish an improved gate after facing a strong of wide and 2nd line draws. Last start from gate 11 he was fighting hard when only 3m from TULHURST SANTANNA and the start prior was game in the breeze. He might need to race tough again, but is in the fight.
BIG BANG LEONARD (8) is flying and added to his picket fence last start when arriving from a long way back to take the win. He will need a rub of the green here, but if the gaps arrive in time, he can take this.
THE BUS (3) will strip fitter after his return to the track last start. He just looked to drop the bit when working into the race and once he got going again was when only 6m in arrears from the winner BALLERINA COURU. He is in the mix.
SELECTIONS: SOME EXCUSESOMEWHERE (5), LEXUS ON THE BEACH (2), BIG BANG LEONARD (8), THE BUS (3)
SUGGESTED BET: SOME EXCUSESOMEWHERE (5) to win
SPEECHCRAFT (8) was too strong in the breeze at Marburg 4 starts back and followed that when wide off the track at Redcliffe behind the in-form COLOMBIAN GOLD. Making the most of the ace last start over this trip, he released and then had too much power up the passing lane. From this gate he will be coiled and ready to strike.
COREY WILLIAM (1) lands a much-improved gate after facing a strong of wide alleys in recent outings. That didn’t stop him from scoring a smart win from gate 7 over this trip when sent forward to light the lamps 4 runs back. He can take control here and if pinching a panel will be hard to stop.
MUCH BETTOR (4) started from the 2nd line last start over this trip and was sent to the breeze as the fav when fighting hard to be mid-field. His run in The Bill Dixon was smart the start prior and he is in the mix.
CELTIC CRUZA (6) was sent to the breeze from gate 4 over this trip last start and was fighting hard to the wire when holding on for the silver. He might need to roll the sleeves again, but always gives.
SELECTIONS: SPEECHCRAFT (8), COREY WILLIAM (1), MUCH BETTOR (4), CELTIC CRUZA (6)
SUGGESTED BET: SPEECHCRAFT / COREY WILLIAM (1/8) quinella
URBAN GIRL (1) laned gate 6 last start and after restraining early to find position, was closing strongly to grab the silver when 5m in arrears of the winner. Her run the start prior was full of merit behind TULHURST SANTANNA and with the improved get looks to get every chance here.
CHINOOK WINDS (8) has been going well without any reward for her efforts. Angled to the pegs last start to find the short-cuts, she would have been closer if the gaps arrived sooner. Charging home from back in the pack at Tamworth the start prior, she can get the perfect trip here to snipe in the stretch.
MISS KEESHA (9) went to the pegs from gate 11 last start and couldn’t get into the contest. Luckless the start prior when 5m from BETTOR BECAUSE, the pegs look a smart play here to optimise her hopes.
TRUNKEY DIGGER (5) was buried away on the pegs over the Redcliffe sprint trip last start from inside the 2nd line. Struggling to land a marble of late, her efforts have been solid and she is in the mix here.
SELECTIONS: URBAN GIRL (1), CHINOOK WINDS (8), MISS KEESHA (9), TRUNKEY DIGGER (5)
SUGGESTED BET: URBAN GIRL (1) to win
MAJOR LUCKY (3) backs-up from Wed where he bounced back to some winning form with a nice win from the 2nd line. The start prior from the 2nd line he looked to have something to offer when hampered by a flat tyre and only 9m away. From the good gate he can capitalise here.
ONLY IN ROME (8) settled in the running line last start from a 2nd line gate when chasing home soundly to be mid-field. His run the start prior had merit from gate 11 and with a rub of the green in transit, can be closing strongly here if the gaps arrive in time.
BUCKHORN EXCHANGE (4) was doing his best work in the latter stages last start at Redcliffe when 4m from the winner JACKS AT THE BEACH. Only 2m away the start prior, he is in the mix here.
MISTER DECORUM (5) also backs up from Wed and will be having his 5th start for January. With some wide gates in his past couple affecting his chances, he can roll the sleeves here and has claims.
SELECTIONS: MAJOR LUCKY (3), ONLY IN ROME (8), BUCKHORN EXCHANGE (4), MISTER DECORUM (5)
SUGGESTED BET: MAJOR LUCKY (3) to win
SECRETAGENT TYCOON (8) was game in defeat last start when only 2m from the winner SEEUINNASHVILLE, but a subsequent report saw him have suffered a veterinary issue. Too strong when sent to the front from the 2nd line the start prior, he can secure the perfect trip and take the closing shot.
THATSWHATISAID (2) returns from a spell following a last start 2nd over the mile back in Aug where he was fighting hard to the wire from gate 7 and within 2m of the winner. He took them all the way the start prior for a smart win and with a tidy pipe opener at the trials, can challenge here fresh.
OUR MAJOR DAY (1) can be a risk early, but he also possesses great speed off the arm and if he can get it right here, can give some cheek in front. Tough in the breeze last start, he can feature.
RUN BOY RUN (9) didn’t have the cleanest passage last start when 8m from the in-form TULHURST SANTANNA. With the right trail through in the early stages, he can be chiming in late here.
SELECTIONS: SECRETAGENT TYCOON (8), THATSWHATISAID (2), OUR MAJOR DAY (1), RUN BOY RUN (9)
SUGGESTED BET: Exotics 1-2-8-9
The capacity field of square-gaiters will do battle here where luck and position in the run will be vital. MAYBETOTHEMAX (13) started from this same mark last start when sent forward to find the front. Looking to see it out he was grabbed in the closing stages to be under 3m from the winner. A strong winner over this trip 4 starts back, he can overcome the 20m impost.
QUIETLY SPOKEN (10) sat back on the pegs last start and waited for the gaps to arrive and when they did, utilised her closing speed to sprint late to victory. That followed a 2nd over the 2647m behind FOURSHARESMOREBEERS and with the right cart into the contest will be swooping late.
NORTHERN MUSCLE (14) made an error in the DJA Final 2 starts when looking to loom into the contest wide out. 7m from the winner last start over the longer trip, traffic looks his major obstacle.
LAVROS TEXAS (2) returns from a let-up after missing the DJA Final. His heat runs in that series had merit when lining up for the Dixon barn after a stable switch. From the front tape he is in the fight.
SELECTIONS: MAYBETOTHEMAX (13), QUIETLY SPOKEN (10), NORTHERN MUSCLE (14), LAVROS TEXAS (2)
SUGGESTED BET: MAYBETOTHEMAX (13) to win
INNOCENT CROCKER (8) didn’t have any luck last start and was hitting dead-ends when only 2m from BALLERINA COURU. Keen in front the start prior over the 2138m, she couldn’t last with subsequent winner ROCK WITH SAM taking the prize. She will need some luck, but can swoop home.
CHERRYS THE BEST (2) has been tough to follow of late and has made some errors that have proved costly. Last start was a better effort when wide off the track and finding the line in good order to grab the silver. If she can put it together, the gate helps and despite stepping up, can challenge.
BALLERINA COURU (6) made the most of the lamp lighting duties here last week and was able to stave off all challengers to score a smart win. The wider gate hurts, yet she can’t be dismissed.
TWITTER BROMAC (1) wasn’t suited last time from gate 7 when forced to snag back for position and then was too far back to feature. With good early speed she will have the options here and back to mares only is a plus.
SELECTIONS: INNOCENT CROCKER (8), CHERRYS THE BEST (2), BALLERINA COURU (6), TWITTER BROMAC (1)
SUGGESTED BET: INNOCENT CROCKER (8) to win
OUR BONDI BEACH (1) might not have the greatest numbers next to his name, yet he is going better than they suggest. Last start he was back in the pack when chasing in a race taken by the flying BIG BANG LEONARD and the start prior wasn’t far from TIN ROOF RAIDER. With the peg-line benefits he can cash-in.
WITH AUTHORITY (2) went to the pegs last start to look for a shorter way home when finishing 6m in arrears of TIN ROOF RAIDER. Not suited when working early from gate 6 over the 2138m here 2 starts back, he can fire the 1st shot here and will be gripping on in the stretch.
PSYCHEDELIC (4) was sharper here on Tues when grabbing the bronze after racing in the pocket trail from gate 1. Taking benefit from that run, he can improve further and be swooping late here.
JUMPING JOLT (7) doesn’t have any favours from the wide gate, but he still looms as a player against this field. Only 5m from the winner last time, if he can find position cheaply, he can chime in here.
SELECTIONS: OUR BONDI BEACH (1), WITH AUTHORITY (2), PSYCHEDELIC (4), JUMPING JOLT (7)
SUGGESTED BET: OUR BONDI BEACH (1) to win