Albany hosts an eight-race program on Sunday night and here are my best bets for the program.
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Race 3 (7:30pm local/10:30pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2258m
Jolly Jumper got the job done for us last time at Wagin as he steps up in grade here to tackle Just Barney and All About The Cash.
He’s come up nice each-way odds once again ($11/$3.10) and driver Michael Grantham was one of the highlights of the 2016 calendar year for WA harness racing.
Jolly Jumper can finish strongly here and he will be hoping All About The Cash doesn’t find the lead because that horse will be winning from that position.
Just Barney is another strong contender in the race and Trent Wheeler sticks with him over Jolly Jumper which suggests Wheeler believes he is the better chance (and I do agree) but the price of $4.50 against $11 leads me to Jolly Jumper.
Rated Price: $6.50
Race 4 (7:55pm local/10:55pm AEDT) – MARES MS PACE – 1828m
Stella Alpini will need some luck from her trailing draw behind Clovelly Sprit but she can work home strongly over the short-course if she gets some clear room down the back straight.
Class runner Bethany Aitch is going to take some beating but I struggle to suggest too many $1.50 horses, let alone ones racing at Albany. Last season Sky Art raced against horses he was expected to put away and lost at $1.20.
Three starts back Stella Alpini was third behind Herrick Roosevelt who has plenty of potential. Her last half was 56.4 seconds.
Her last two starts have been okay against better opposition collectively and the $15 and $3.25 represents some value in this race.
Rated Price: $6.50
Race 5 (8:25pm local/11:25pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2258m
The best value of the night appears in this race with American Angel well and truly over the odds. She should be single figures and not $31/$4.33. I actually have her favourite because she has plenty of speed and has been racing well.
This represents a class drop when you see her formline which has horses of the calibre of Mitch Maguire, Nathans Courage, Sprinter and Ideal Tyson.
She can do a bit of work in this company and has some gate speed which helps. The early market doesn’t pay her any respect and let’s hope we can make them pay for that.
William Peter found the right race last start and definitely has claims in this race once again from barrier one. I’ll be backing him along with American Angel.
Our Gamma Lady represents the class but she can’t do too much work and looks well under the odds.
Rated Price: $3
Race 8 (9:45pm local/12:45am AEDT) – DISCRETIONARY HANDICAP SS PACE – 2643m
Bashful Compton is the class runner and that’s why he has a 50m handicap to overcome. While it looks really daunting, he has been coming off the same handicap recently when fourth on both occasions.
This is a weaker field then both of those races and Bashful Compton can win despite the backmark.
Machrie will begin from 30m which makes him the horse to beat but Bashful Compton begins like a rocket and may be able to eat into the 20m deficit quickly.
Five of the 12 runners have had five or less standing-start races under their belts which means Bashful Compton, a stand veteran, will have an advantage over them.
Rated Price: $4
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