Race 3 Maiden Hurdle 3200m
Honey Steel’s Gold ran well in town after being specked at long odds. This is a huge drop in class and although it’s his first run over the jumps he gets the master jockey on board. Has trialled on multiple occasions over hurdles and loves the heavy track. Evangelist seems to be in a bit of a form slump on the flat. His recent hurdle trial behind Now and Zen suggests he is more than up to jumps racing and if he can bring that form to race day he looks a nice bet at $7.50. Ancient King has a third at Warrnambool to his name over this distance. Never looked like winning on that occasion but he thrives over the long trip and looks the main danger. Livery is another who ran well in a recent jumps trial. Finished well over 2500 last start in an okay race and isn’t without claims. Prakticality from the Musgrave camp may be the best of the roughies at 17$.
Verdict: Happy to have a small bet on both of the top picks.
Evangelist W@7.50 0.5U
Honey Steel’s Gold W@5.50 0.5U
Race 6 Brierly Steeplechase 3450m
The Brierly Steeple is the headline race for day 1 of the Warrnambool carnival. Most of these will be targeting the Grand Annual and will see this as a ‘warm up’. Despite that, I think that Thubiaan will be very hard to beat here. His Oakbank win was fantastic and it looked like he was ready to go around for a few more laps after the 5000m trip. Think he’ll be the next star of jumps racing. Lord of the Song can be forgiven for his effort last start as he was lucky not to fall over another horse midway through the race. Nishiazabu was average last start but did beat the top pick last time they met over this distance. Valediction will appreciate the drop in weight after narrowly tasting defeat last time. Danzadoozie bolted in at Hamilton last start, this is tougher. Arwoc isn’t hopeless at huge odds.
Verdict: Thubiaan to be too good in his warmup race.
Thubiaan W@4.00 1U
Race 7 Open Handicap 1700m
Going for Recalculate here. Ran well at set weights behind Red Bomber and he finished ahead of a subsequent winner Hard Call who won well yesterday. Drops 4kg on that effort and has drawn well here; should appreciate the step up in distance. Loves the wet track and appeals at $4.50. Turnitaround was well backed and won very impressively against some superior opposition second up. His trainer Matt Williams thought he might need the run second up so he should be at peak fitness now and prove very hard to beat here. Heavy track form the query if we get to a heavy. Extra Noble was no match for the tip pick last start but was finishing well and will be another who is fitter third up. Gets a 1.5kg weight swing but i can’t see that being enough to turn the tables. Try Four is one to watch. Always runs well at Warrnambool and although he was disappointing last start he’s been sharpened up over a hurdles trial and always runs well third up.
Verdict: Taking the odds on Recalculate. Turnitaround very hard to beat.
Recalculate W@4.50 1U