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Punter's Guide to Thoroughbred Tracks
JUSTA LITTLE BIT (5) joins the Turpin stable for his 1st career start, with an eye on the upcoming QBred and Redcliffe features. Educated in Sydney, he was an impressive trial winner at Menangle, defeating SWAYZEE by 17m, with that horse scoring a 14m and 1.54 win on debut. He looks smart.
CHAMONIX (4) didn’t have the smoothest of journeys last time, but was able to stay in his gear and worked home in good order to be mid-field behind UNCLE SHANK. Runner-up on debut behind AYE AYE CAPTAIN, he has shown good progression in both starts and can take another step here.
WHATTA GOOD REASON (1) is a For A Reason gelding on debut for Mark Lichtwark, ranking as a half or full brother to 4 individual winners. He has trialled in good order and from the gate can place.
NICKS PICK (3) made a quick move at the 350m last start and loomed strongly as they approached the home turn. As quickly as he moved up, he faded again. Placed in 2 of 4, he can be sharper.
SELECTIONS: JUSTA LITTLE BIT (5), CHAMONIX (4), WHATTA GOOD REASON (1), NICKS PICK (3)
SUGGESTED BET: JUSTA LITTLE BIT (5) to win
BIG WHEELS (8) has been to the track 4 times, placing in 3 of those appearances. Yet to snag a marble, his 4 outings have been from gate 6 twice and the 2nd line twice. Sent around them early to find the breeze last start, he kept at the task when 3rd to the smart winner MANILA PLAYBOY. Just needs the right trip to challenge.
CAPTAINS PICK (4) is by the current leading sire of 2YO’s in Captaintreacherous, out of the group winning race mare Charming Allie. The 1st foal of his dam, he has trialled twice in readiness for this, his 1st appearance a tidy effort behind subsequent winner MANILA PLAYBOY. He can feature 1st up.
LILLIES (6) is another that has completed her early education and preparation in Sydney prior to being sent north for the QBred features. By Roll With Joe, she joins the Jack Butler barn and stays under notice.
GRIGORA (7) has started at big odds in all 5 career starts, but things have never really gone his way. Landing another gate 7 here after facing bad gates in all 5 starts, albeit 2 of those for poor manners. He can be an improver here.
SELECTIONS: BIG WHEELS (8), CAPTAINS PICK (4), LILLIES (6), GRIGORA (7)
IM THE COMMANDO (5) showed what the benefit of finding and rolling in front does for his effort when scoring victory here last start. Leading throughout from gate 1 under mobile conditions, he held on for the prize. From the front tape, he can press ahead and look for a repeat win.
WEE MAN TROUBLE (9) made a mess of things at the start last week from the mobile, ending his chances as the race fav. Back in winning form the start prior when charging home from back in the pack to grab the win in the closing strides, it followed placings in 3 of his previous 4. He can atone.
GREG THE GREAT (10) backs up from Sat night where he claimed the silver. Settling back in the pack, he found the line in nice order behind the dictating GARLAND GREENE. Look for him swooping.
PATSDELIGHT (2) will take further benefit from her latest start when 2nd up from a break. Runner-up when 1st up and using the passing lane, she can be thereabouts again here.
SELECTIONS: IM THE COMMANDO (5), WEE MAN TROUBLE (9), GREG THE GREAT (10), PATSDELIGHT (2)
VIRGIL (1) was 1st up back in Qld last start following a crack at the Vic and NSW Derbies when landing this gate over this trip. With little trouble in holding the lead, he secured a cheap opening 800m but when dialling it up, was pounced on by MISS RUBY SUNSHINE. Fitter for the outing and with the gate to dictate, he gets his chance to bounce back.
BLACKSADANCE (9) had been building towards an overdue victory with 3 successive placings including a pair of close up efforts. Capitalising with a smart dictating win over the mile he followed that with a similar result. After the hat-trick, the gate doesn’t help, but he can still challenge.
TIZ A SIZZLER (10) will take some benefit from his return to the track last week when 1st up since January in a Rising Stars Final. Taken back from gate 7 at his return, he hit the line strongly and will be charging late in this.
TIMELESS APPEAL (8) didn’t have anything go her way last start when finishing mid-field. A mares qualifying winner 4 starts back from the pocket trail, she can be ready to take a shot when the gap arrives.
SELECTIONS: VIRGIL (1), BLACKSADANCE (9), TIZ A SIZZLER (10), TIMELESS APPEAL (8)
SUGGESTED BET: VIRGIL (1) to win
REDS GOOD TO GO (1) started fav last start from the six-hole over the 2138m when sent forward and forced to grind it out in the breeze. In for the fight he looked to have their measure until THE HUMMER swooped hard to arrive for the prize. 3rd to BLACKJACK BART here 3 starts back, he will need to hustle early, but can protect the pegs to dictate.
FEARLESS FAITH (6) is nearing a win this campaign after finishing runner-up at her past 2 starts. Resuming with a tough effort when not far from the in-form CAUTIVAR, she closed strongly here 2 starts back behind BLACKSADANCE. The gate is a stinger, but limiting the burn she can challenge.
BETTERTHANIDEAL (7) is a lightly-raced 4YO that returns following a lone Aus start back in Oct. Fav in that event, it didn’t go plan when dropping out, however the form that has come from that race has stacked up strongly. With 2 trials to blow out the cobwebs, he stays under watch.
SHEZ ALL STYLE (2) showed early speed from gate 3 last start to take control over the sprint trip, with the 27 flat opener taking its toll, fading late when 7m in arrears of the winner. She is a place hope here.
SELECTIONS: REDS GOOD TO GO (1), FEARLESS FAITH (6), BETTERTHANIDEAL (7), SHEZ ALL STYLE (2)
SUGGESTED BET: REDS GOOD TO GO (1) to win
A rare mid-week FFA of real strength where the returning star HECTORJAYJAY (6) can build off his 1st up 3rd. Eased back from this same gate over the mile, he was following them up, sprinting hard up the stretch to get within 1.5m of the winner GLENFERRIE HOOD. There was plenty to be enthused about in his 1st run in close to two years. With the tempo on, he can arrive for the prize.
GLENFERRIE HOOD (5) speared out from this gate last time and once finding the front secured an easy opening half at this level. Cruising through to the finish he held on to claim victory, his 25th at headquarters. Gunned down his previous 2 by MAJOR CAM after setting the tempo, he will be trying to fight them off.
MAJOR CAM (1) is in the zone with wins at his past 3 in succession. Completing the hat-trick last start, he capitalised on a sapping middle half from the 1200m to the 400m that was carved out in 56.4. Sitting back, he cruised over the top of them in the stretch. He can be coiled and take the snipers shot.
SELECTIONS: HECTORJAYJAY (6), GLENFERRIE HOOD (5), MAJOR CAM (1)
SUGGESTED BET: HECTORJAYJAY (6) to win
OUR BALOU (4) will strip fitter following his last start when returning from a spell. Eased back from the gate, he was back in the pack and with the tempo set for those at the front, he was always facing a task. A strong winner at the 2138m at his last run last prep, he can look to cash-in.
FEELS LIKA WINNER (3) arrives with the Jack Butler barn for the upcoming QBred features following a last start 2nd at Penrith. Pressing forward to find the front in that event, she kept the tempo up when nabbed late, beaten a head. This will be a step-up, but she can make the rise.
CHEESANDKISSES (10) made an error last start that cost her all chance and lands her with the ODM embargo. Closing hard to win here 3 starts back, she was only a half-neck away 2 starts back and can swoop late in this.
WHICH HUNT (5) is getting closer to a win after placing at her past 4 in succession, the latest when gunned down late over the 2138m. The gate stings, but she can be in the money again.
SELECTIONS: OUR BALOU (4), FEELS LIKA WINNER (3), CHEESANDKISSES (10), WHICH HUNT (5)
SUGGESTED BET: Exotics 3-4-5-10
ARTHUR LOWE (9) shoots for the hat-trick after successive wins at the mile, both when charging home along the passing lane to land the loot. Eased back from gate 6 last start to find the spot on the pegs, he stuck to the inside and the short-cuts paid off. With the right early trail, he can swoop again.
RICH VIRGIN (5) might appreciate the slight barrier improvement after landing gate 7 at his past 3 in succession. Snagged back early last start, he was just too far back when trying to launch a claim. That has been the same his past 3 and with the chance to settle closer, he gets his chance to challenge.
FIOKI (3) has been ticking over nicely in similar races, finishing in the money at his past 3 in succession. A Redcliffe winner 2 starts back, he closed nicely last start and won’t be far away again.
INTRANSIT (1) is yet to taste victory in Qld and while he may not be a winning threat in this, from the gate, he can secure the right trip to chime into the exotics. Not far from the in-form FEELINGFORARAINBOW 2 starts back, the gate is the big plus.
SELECTIONS: ARTHUR LOWE (9), RICH VIRGIN (5), FIOKI (3), INTRANSIT (1)
SUGGESTED BET: Exotics 1-3-5-9
GOONLY (1) eased back from gate 4 last start which then saw him trying to work home wide off the track and chasing in vain behind DEMETER. Striking some trouble 2 starts back, his run had merit when mid-field from this gate 3 back. The cosy trip looks available and he can be ready to strike.
COREY WILLIAM (7) was keen in front last start after being stoked up to get across and with the power on in an electric 26 flat opening panel, he did well to still be thereabouts at the finish when 7m in arrears of the winner. He can fire out to slot in to a position here and is in the mix despite the gate.
KAPOW SHANNON (2) made his 1st outing since joining the Nathan Dawson team last start over the 2040m at Redcliffe. Keeping he power on, he held in to claim victory. Fitter after a 6-week gap between starts, he has claims.
MAFUTA VAUTIN (8) will need a slice of luck from this gate as he looks in danger of being buried in the run. Perhaps going a little better than his last 2 numbers suggest, he can be chiming in late.
SELECTIONS: GOONLY (1), COREY WILLIAM (7), KAPOW SHANNON (2), MAFUTA VAUTIN (8)
SUGGESTED BET: GOONLY (1) to win
BLACKJACK BART (9) was forced to do it the tough way last start, sitting outside the leader over the 2138m trip. Grinding it out, he was within 2m of the winner in a tidy effort which had followed a similarly tough run over the mile. Yet to miss a top-3 in the 8 starts that have followed his debut run, he can overcome the tricky gate in a tricky race.
THE HUMMER (6) returned from a spell in fine style, taking his record to 3 wins in 4 outings when taking the rise to the 2138m for the 1st time last week. Eased back from gate 5 to find position, he was charging home to score a nice win. The gate hurts again, but he looks a smart customer.
ZARAS ALL GOOD (8) was taken back from gate 7 last start over the mile, securing a cart home and then arriving to score in good style. She hasn’t landed a decent marble for some time owing to her manners, but with an easy trip can make a closing play here.
CALLMEDEMARO (1) can look to take advantage of the best gate he has seen for some time and with good early speed will avail himself to options if needed. From the gate he is podium player.
SELECTIONS: BLACKJACK BART (9), THE HUMMER (6), ZARAS ALL GOOD (8), CALLMEDEMARO (1)
SUGGESTED BET: BLACKJACK BART (9) to win