Race 1 (5:20pm local/8:20pm AEDT) – 3YO MS PACE – 2130m
A great crop of three-year-olds will do battle in the opening event and I’m happy to be on Allmightyjoelouis on an each-way basis at $12 and $2.40.
Im Rockaria looks the leader with Rock Diamonds or El Barcelona racing in the breeze and the other on that horse’s back. The race will be dominated by those on-speed which makes it tough for Major Pocket and Bob Wheel who have drawn wide.
Gary Hall Jnr had the choice of three drives and has gone with Im Rockaria due to the barrier advantage. That makes him the top pick in the race and he should prove really hard to run down.
Allmightyjoelouis races well sit-sprint and should be right in the finish along with Rock Diamonds and El Barcelona. It’s hard to see the winner coming outside of that quartet.
Rated Price: $7
Race 2 (5:50pm local/8:50pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2130m
Bettor Be Supreme looks the winner of this event with the big mare rolling to the lead and proving too strong for her opposition.
Jungleface Jake looks to have strong place claims in the race and will appreciate racing on the pegs.
If he tries to go with the mare and decides to hold up I believe it will be the end of his chances and she will run him into the ground; the end result likely to be an unplaced effort.
Zach Maguire could have beaten Bettor Be Supreme with the barrier advantage but his task looks really tough now. He can still win but his chances don’t look to be great, although he is a strong place contender.
Race 5 (7:15pm local/10:15pm AEDT) – IM THEMIGHTYQUINN QUALIFYING HEAT 2 – 2130m
The market suggests Shirlz Sensation will run straight to the lead and win. I have a different opinion with Unsinkable Boxer holding the lead and running a big race.
The Brad Lynn camp don’t often hand up when they get a chance to lead and Unsinkable Boxer has performed well leading. He set the pace and scored in an M1 back in September when defeating Nicnak Paddy Wak and The Arsonist by 6.2m in 1:57.0.
His recent form looks good to me and he’s sure to run a better race out in front. Even if he takes a trail, he will still have some chance of winning although he gives his advantage away to Shirlz Sensation.
That horse is very quick and doesn’t need to lead in order to win while Ohoka Squire gets a lovely run throughout and has each-way claims. James Galleon can also be in the finish.
Rated Price: $3.50
Race 8 (8:40pm local/11:40pm AEDT) – MARES MS PACE – 2130m
Mary Catherine finally gets the draw she has been crying out for and looks the best bet on the program. At her best she would be an odds-on favourite, even against Chevrons Champion.
She will lead and Chris Lewis can dictate the affair as he keeps Stunin Eyes Only in the pocket. He will have to cut the ribbons at some stage but she should be really hard to run down from her favourite position.
The last time she led was at Pinjarra when narrowly run down by Superimposed. The deafeners failed to release which puts her at a disadvantage and that horse was flying at the time.
Before that, she led throughout to win by 6.2m against easier company.
Rated Price: $2
Race 10 (9:40pm local/12:40am AEDT) – WESTBRED MS PACE – 2130m
Natural Disaster finds himself in a very suitable race and he looks really hard to beat even from barrier eight.
He ran third in the Group 1 McInerney Ford 4YO Classic (2536m) and fourth in the Group 1 Golden Nugget Championship (2536m).
This is a C1-C4 event that shouldn’t offer too much resistance in my opinion. Fanci A Dance and Soho Wall Street should be competitive but I expect Natural Disaster to show his class and win a third consecutive C-class race.
Rated Price: $1.50
Race 4 (7:15pm local/10:15pm AEDT) – WESTBRED MS PACE – 2130m
A terrific race that could be run a number of different ways depending upon what happens at the start. Mon Lamour has gate speed an so does Bellerkerrin who was driven really aggressively last start. Vultan Tin may even chance the arm while New World Order will press forward.
There could be a quick lead time in this event and that would suit a few horses; one of them being likely favourite Bettor Reward and Machrihanish who gets a soft pegs run.
I’m going to side with Machrihanish who will trail Mon Lamour and could be three back on the pegs. Mon Lamour does race well in front but I suspect there are a few too many good ones that they will opt for the trail.
Machrihanish is a horse that can charge home when he doesn’t do any work and that’s the scenario here.
His run at Bunbury last time was excellent when checked, breaking stride and then finishing strongly. Looks over the odds at $23 and $4.60 on an each-way basis.
Rated Price: $9
Race 5 (7:43pm local/10:43pm AEDT) – IM THEMIGHTYQUINN QUALIFYING HEAT 1 – 2130m
Named after one of the best, this race looks suitable for Three Bears who has come up a short-priced favourite and looks the likely leader.
I’m interested in backing one of the roughies in the event that goes by the name of James Galleon.
It’s hard to imagine how he will get into the race with Three Bears leading, Borntobeanartist trailing, Mister Daytona in the breeze and Livura 1 out 1 back.
Sometimes it’s best not to worry about the map as much and rely on the ability of the horse in question – James Galleon is a talented horse that has won eight from 13.
He recently trialled behind Run Oneover and Phoenix Warrior which is open-class form and he has won from the breeze in the past, although will likely have to come three-wide late.
There are worse $21 and $3.40 shots that you could back and this horse would have been favourite or second favourite from a much better draw.
Rated Price: $8
Race 8 (9:10pm local/12:10am AEDT) – MARES MS PACE – 2130m
October Brown will be hardest to beat if she leads but she doesn’t have great gate speed and could be tested early by Gota Good Lookadda or Chevrons Champion.
Sheez Edgy will trail October Brown at the start and the mare should get a pretty good run throughout no matter what scenario and she is a nice each-way price at $7.50 and $2.50.
I’m prepared to look past last start which I thought was fairly inconclusive. Prior to that she had won four of her past six starts, albeit in easier grade, but looks right at home against these mares.
She has a combination of speed and toughness for this grade and should acquit herself well.
Rated Price: $4.40
Race 9 (9:40pm local/12:40am AEDT) – MS PACE – 2536m
Soho Wall Street has been working towards a win with a score of minor placings (five from his past seven) and he gets his chance on Friday night from barrier four.
Expect Gary Hall Jnr to drive him aggressively over the 2536m as he looks to tackle Russian General in the early stages and take up the running.
The Trilogy has been racing well and poses a big threat from the breeze position but Soho Wall Street is a very good frontrunner that won the 3YO Colts & Geldings Sales Classic (2130m) in February by 15.3m.
His run two starts ago put the writing on the wall that he was regaining form and he didn’t have much last start and rates as the horse to beat in this event.
Rated Price: $2.20
Race 2 (5:50pm local/8:50pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2536m
Mister Daytona drops significantly in class from racing against the best four-year-olds in the state to competing in this M0 only contest.
The staying journey of 2536m should play into Mister Daytona’s favour as he can work to the breeze and control the race outside of Calais who looks the leader.
Two starts back he was fourth in a Group 2 event behind Mr Mojito and can be forgiven after breaking stride in the Group 1 Golden Nugget (2536m). He looked like he wouldn’t finish too far away from them and has won numerous times from the breeze in the past.
Another positive aspect is that Calais led six and seven starts ago when folding in the final 100m. He isn’t the strongest horse and Mister Daytona could prove too classy for him.
I wouldn’t take too short a quote but anything above $1.60 looks backable in this grade.
Rated Price: $1.50
Race 3 (6:20pm local/9:20pm AEDT) – MARES MS PACE – 2130m
Mon Lillies has plenty of gate speed and I think he can burn across them at the start to lead with either Straittothehilton or Sheez Edgy on her back. The market appears to be accounting for Sheez Edgy in front but I don’t have the same confidence and happy to oppose at $2.70.
The past three starts read well for Mon Lillies who was ninth in a Listed Classic (M0-M2) from back in the field, a second in C5+ company at Bunbury and a fifth at Bunbury in M2-M4 grade which was too steep for her.
Four starts back she scorched out to lead and then took a sit when third behind Ideal Alice and Quite A Delight. The lead time and first half was quick and Mon Lillies fought on well.
Five starts back she was only 1.5m off Dodolicious which is good form and if she brings her best form, she can capture this event.
Sheez Edgy is the horse to beat if she leads while she has strong each-way claims from a trailing position. There is some depth in this race and I can’t rule too many out with the right run.
Rated Price: $5.50
Race 4 (6:50pm local/9:50pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2130m
As Happy As Larry is the horse to beat as he will easily hold up and take plenty of catching. Char Do Neigh or Atlastalone will be the likely breeze horse while Mighty Major drops straight behind As Happy As Larry.
Forget he even lined up earlier in the week when blowing the start from the stand and taking no part in the event.
His fifth-placing in a Group 2 event was pretty good when clocking 56.3 seconds for his final half three-wide and from the breeze.
He doesn’t look a tough horse but has heaps of speed as shown by his 55.1 last half when beating Foxy Dame and Livura.
If he gets a cheap quarter he should prove too slick.
Atlastalone and Char Do Neigh have each-way claims while Ohoka Squire and Mighty Major look place chances at best.
Rated Price: $1.55
Race 5 (7:20pm local/10:20pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2536m
Major Reality steps up to take on the boys after running second in the Group 1 Mares Classic (2536m) won by The Parade.
She looks the leader with Delightful Offer racing on her back. Run Oneover will most likely get to the breeze with David Hercules the other potential breeze horse.
In the past top WA mares have been able to overcome the boys with the likes of Sensational Gabby, Leda McNally, Libertybelle Midfrew and Tricky Styx prevailing.
Given the barrier draw advantage, Major Reality looks a strong contender in this race which has heaps of depth.
She does her best in front and has been racing in excellent form. As long as Run Oneover doesn’t hammer her from the breeze position, she should have something to offer at the end as she looks to hold off all challengers.
Rated Price: $4.20
Race 6 (7:45pm local/10:45pm AEDT) – XMAS HANDICAP SS PACE – 2503m
This Time Dylan is the class runner of the field and the 30m handicap doesn’t look too big for him considering his recent form is excellent.
He won off a 30m handicap seven starts ago when making a three-wide move with 1000m left to travel and defeating Bartowski and Waltzing With Cullen.
There will be a 10m advantage to Waltzing With Cullen here which has been the norm between these two pacers so that isn’t a concern as both look to have similar winning claims in this race.
I really liked the run from This Time Dylan in the York Cup (2970m) when coming off a 40m handicap. He was beaten 10.3m by Im Full Of Excuses who only had 10m to overcome.
Ultimate Major is my top pick ahead of This Time Dylan and Waltzing With Cullen but the value looks to be with Dylan.
Rated Price: $5
Race 8 (8:40pm local/11:40pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2130m
We Tellthetruth and Straight Thru Blue may fight this race out with the former looking the leader in the race. Straight Thru Blue may drop to his back otherwise Borntobeanartist will be keen to grab that spot.
They look the leading three as this race doesn’t look to have any mid-race pressure and I’m happy to be on We Tellthetruth who has been getting better with each run.
Numerical form suggests he is getting worse but the times are clearly in favour of getting better and his last run at Pinjarra suggests he should be better in front.
Chris Lewis should know one of his main dangers will be on his back and can drive to keep them in the pocket until too late.
Rated Price: $2.50