Jump to content
Announcements
** July Naps Competition Result: 1st Gary66, 2nd BBBC, 3rd kenisbusy, 4th Johnrobertson. KO Cup Winner tonythepaint. Most Winners Budgie65: **

Australian Jumps season 2022


Darran
 Share

Recommended Posts

Great to have the jumps action back in Australia and I am looking forward to following it all the way through to the end of August once again. Annoyingly though it starts on Gold Cup day at Terang and that means I just don't have the time to go through the form for all the races. The maiden hurdle which starts the card sees most of them making their hurdles debuts and I need to watch all the various trials which I just don't have the time to do. The horse with the best flat form is favourite and that is Into Rio. I did watch his trial and he was a bit novicey at some of the flights, but he potted around at the back so I'm not sure we learnt a great deal. He might well win, but without watching any of the others in trials I don't want to commit to anything.

In Race 2 the BM 120 Hurdle it should go the way of Heberite who won on his hurdles debut at Ballarat in August. He comes from the right yard and they have booked Pateman for the ride. He might well progress into a good jumper this season although he's odds on here so again it is no bet.

Race 3 is the steeplechase on the card and I will be having a bet here. My Kings Counsel and Lucques were 1st and 2nd in this race last year and I did put up Lucques a couple of times later in the season as he ran some promising races, but he flattered to deceive so I'm leaving him alone. This year's running looks stronger as well. Britannicus is favourite on his 2nd start over fences and I can see why. He has some useful hurdles form and in his one steeplechase run to date he was lame at the end of the race so it would explain his disappointing effort. I watched his recent trail and he jumped pretty well with the main danger when slipping up on one of the turns. He ran well on the flat prior to that trial as well. I am however going to go with Rexmont. He was 3rd in the previous race on this card last year and he soon went over fences and did really well in the early part of the season including winning at Pakenham on his first start over them. He beat Lucques in a recent trial and the fact the ground has dried out to a Soft 5 will be a big help to his chances. I think at 100/30 he offers some value against the favourite.

Rexmont 1pt @ 100/30 with Skybet, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 2nd jumps meeting of the season comes from Warrnambool and as per last week we have a maiden hurdle, an open hurdle and an open steeplechase.

Race 1

It is no real surprise that Hush Write is the short price favourite as he has some very good flat form. His last flat run saw him finish 4th in a Listed Race at Randwick and certainly nothing else in this race which could get anywhere near that. There is only video available of one of his hurdle trials and he didn't jump all that well although he wasn't exactly asked for an effort at any stage. This is a very weak contest though and if he didn't win this it would be very disappointing. Once Were Lost is solid enough and might be capable of placing, whilst Johnny Buccaneer looks like being the biggest danger to the favourite.

Race 2

I'm keen on Annunciate here. I don't fancy any of those who ran last week so I'm happy to pass those over. So Belafonte was only seen once over hurdles last year and was only 4th at Terang. He showed some fair form in 2020 over hurdles and has been running well enough on the flat this year so a good showing wouldn't surprise. St Arnicca is 1/1 over hurdles having won over course and distance last July. That race wasn't a strong maiden though and his flat form this year has not been good. His hurdle trial was better and he could be the main danger. I thought Annunciate's jumping in his first trial last season was superb and I fancied him to win on his debut, but he bumped into Wil John who ended up being the best hurdler we saw last year. He duly won on his next hurdle start, but did disappoint on his first start in a handicap. I think he's better than that and he's been running well on the flat building up to a return to hurdles. He maps to get an easy lead so hopefully he can dictate from the front and put his superb jumping to good effect.

Annunciate 2pts @ 7/5 with Bet365

Race 3

San Remo and American In Paris certainly have claims here on their first chase starts of the season, but I think the 1st and 2nd from last week's chase could be the two to focus on and I think Britannicus can reverse form with Rexmont. Rexmont was given a cracking ride from the front to see off Britannicus, but this weeks race is over another 250m and if it had been that far last week then I think Britannicus would have won. Rexmont also has gone up the handicap slightly so Britannicus gets more weight again this week as well which will also aide his cause. Price wise I wouldn't want to go too much shorter, but I do think he's the most likely winner.

Britannicus 1pt @ 7/5 with Bet365, Betfair and Paddy Power

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
The 3rd jumps fixture comes from Hamilton on Sunday and as usual we have a maiden hurdle, a handicap hurdle and a handicap steeplechase.
 
Race 1
Ex Adian O'Brien trained runner Blenheim Palace makes his hurdling debut here having failed to win in any of his 10 starts on the flat. He is the best flat horse in the race and he won his last hurdles trial, but some of his jumping in that was pretty poor. He did jump better as the trial went on which would give more hope that he will be better with more experience. He might win this on ability alone, but I wouldn't want to take odds on based on what I saw in the trial. Dr Dependable and Crafty Lion have finished 2nd in the two maiden hurdles we have seen so far and although neither race was overly strong this race isn't either so both would have place claims again although Crafty Lion is fairly exposed now. The one I think is over priced is Joshua Reynolds. He ran in a couple of maiden hurdles last year and finished 2nd in both of them and although he hasn't shown a great deal in a couple of flat runs this prep they clearly have been runs to get him fit for this. If he can run to the level he did over hurdles last year then I think he's got a solid chance of hitting the frame at least.
 
James Reynolds 0.5pts e/w @ 10/1 will William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral
 
Race 2
This looks like a race between Annunciate, Serenade The Stars and Wazuzu. Serenade The Stars won the opening maiden hurdle of the season at Terang and although he did comfortably enough it was a very weak contest as the exposed Crafty Lion was in 2nd. I'm happy enough to pass him over. Wazuzu bolted up by 13L in a maiden at Warrnambool last June and he ran OK in the JJ Hurdle at Ballarat in August when close up in 5th. He's run on the flat at the previous two meetings to have jumps racing this season although he's not shown a great deal. Clearly though he has been building into going back over hurdles. Ultimately though I have to be with Annunciate again. He just didn't quite have enough left to see off the late challenge of St Arnicca last week at Warrnambool, but he should be even fitter this time around and hopefully slightly less keen. Having Pateman on top isn't going to do any harm either.
 
Race 3
Vanguard has come over from New Zealand where he had 2 hurdle starts winning 1 and then a chase start which he also won. In that race Pierian Spring failed to finish. Since coming to Australia he has had a couple of flat starts here and at Warrnambool finishing close 2nds on both occasions. He also had American In Paris and My King's Counsel both  well behind that day. I know this is a different sphere, but clearly he is in very good heart and I think he's the one to beat especially as the jumping form of his rivals doesn't set an overly high bar for him to beat. American In Paris does look the most likely danger as he was 2nd last week to Britannicus at Warrnambool. The other concern is he has finished 2nd on 6 out of his 10 starts over jumps winning just once.
 
Both Annunciate and Vanguard are odds on so I will take them in a double.
 
Annunciate/Vanguard 1pt double @ 2.3/1 with Coral and Ladbrokes
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

The one downside to betting on Australian racing is we don't get BOG and also I'm asleep when the races happen. James Reynolds drifted to over 20/1 which was made, but at least he hit the frame. What was even more annoying though was I really fancied Vanguard and he drifted so much he didn't even go off favourite for the race! Still these things can't be helped.

Easter Monday sees an all jumps card at Pakenham and we have some really good action to look forward to with two feature races over hurdles and fences as horses are looking to build up fitness for the Warrnambool Festival at the start of May.

Race 1
Zedstar seems the obvious place to start as he managed to finish 2nd on his first 4 hurdle starts last season and then 3rd on his following 2. He got really close to breaking his duck in a couple of those 2nds and it would be surprising if he doesn't find a race sooner rather than later. He ran well on the flat last month which is a good sign. Pueblo is the other main contender to come from last year's hurdle races and although he was well beaten in all 3 starts he did finish 3rd once and 2nd twice and he was beaten by good horses so although the margins were big enough in the context of this race I think they are strong runs. He won on the flat last month and was beaten less than 3L despite finishing last earlier this month. I think he's a good chance here. Johnny Buccaneer and Dr Dependable were 4th and 2nd at Warrnambool and there wasn't much between them that day. Dr Dependable was then 4th at Hamilton last time behind Blenheim Palace which was another decent effort.
 
However he was 3L behind Joshua Reynolds and I think the form will be upheld here. I put Joshua Reynolds up e/w at Hamilton and I can't believe he drifted to such a big price as it was way too big based on his 2019 hurdles form where he had finished a close 2nd twice. As I mentioned last time he missed 2020 and only had the 1 flat start in February 21. I thought it was cracking run as he'd only had 3 flat starts and a couple of trials to get him ready. He will surely strip fitter here and he's got a big chance.
 
I'm really surprised by the betting here and I can't understand why Joshua Reynolds is as big as he is and why Dr Dependable is favourite so he is the main bet. I am also covering Zedstar as I thought he was likely to be the market leader so he's over priced as well. Before seeing the prices I thought Pueblo might be the one who was over priced, but as it stands I think he's about right at 3/1.
 
Joshua Reynolds 1pt @ 11/2 with Paddy Power, Betfair, Coral, Ladbrokes and Betfred
Zedstar 0.5pts @ 6/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair, Betfred, Coral and Ladbrokes
 
Race 2
I don't think this is a strong race on paper. Annoyingly neither hurdle trial of Blandford Lad is available to view, but he is the best flat horse of these and won a decent handicap at Flemington last month. Nothing in this could get anywhere near that level on the flat. Some of these showed useful enough form over hurdles last season. Not Usual Dream didn't have a great start over hurdles last year, but then finished 2nd twice and 3rd twice. Has had flat runs and 2 hurdles trials for fitness and he can go well. Once Were Lost showed ability over hurdles last year, but I thought his 2 steeplechase runs were better. He's had 3 trials and a flat run for fitness. Onset has run over hurdles 9 times for 2 2nds and 3 3rds. I thought her best effort was over course and distance so that bodes well. Should be fit enough after 4 flat runs and 3 trials.
 
Of the other hurdle newcomers Zouy's Comet and Runaway Train look the most likely contenders. Again no video footage of either's hurdle trials but the former did win his latest one. What was interesting was that after his flat run last week the trainer reported to the stewards that he'd trailed well over hurdles which bodes well. He was essentially pulled up in that run, but his jockey thought there was something amiss although he was fine after the race. His previous start saw him finish a close 2nd. Runaway Trian has been running pretty well at a low level on the flat of late and has had a couple of hurdle trials leading into this.
 
If Blandford Lad transfers his flat class to hurdles then he ought to be winning this and understandably he's pretty short so for me it is a race just to watch.
 
Race 3
I think this winner of 1 Hurdle race could be a very hot form race and I think it looks tricky. We have Hush Writer and Blenheim Palace who have both looked good in winning maiden hurdles this season and are classy horses coming from the flat. We then have horses who have won maiden hurdles last season. Brungle Bertie wouldn't have the other two's flat class, but he did it well when winning his only hurdle start to date. Rolland Garros was poor on his hurdling debut, but he looked good on his next start and then went to Ballarat at the end of the season and was a very good 2nd. He's good enough to win this, but it was interesting that his jockey's reported he needs a heavy track after his two defeats so the ground is unlikely to be soft enough for him. My guess is that this run is being used to get his eye in ahead of Warrnambool. Sir Edwin Landseer looks the other one to have a chance of winning. He's really lost his way badly on the flat, but showed he liked hurdling last year with his first two runs over hurdles the peak of his efforts. He's trialled well over hurdles ahead of this and he should run well. I've really fancied Annunciate on both starts this season, but I can't have him winning a race like this on the back of those 2 efforts.
 
I think there is some value in backing Blenheim Palace whose 2nd in the betting behind Hush Writer. I thought both did it well enough on debut and I wouldn't have as much between them as the betting does. It is no surprise that the opening 6/1 about him was taken. I'm also going to cover Sir Edwin Landseer as he's a huge price based on his hurdling form. I can only think they have him priced up on his flat form.
 
Blenheim Palace 1pt @ 16/5 with Bet365
Sir Edwin Landseer 0.5pts e/w @ 25/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral
 
Race 4
Gobstopper - Very good hurdler in 2020 winning 4 times including the Australian Hurdle at Sandown. Missed last year and has had 7 starts on the flat and had some trials this year. Not been showing a great deal on the flat and I'd rather watch for now.
 
Saunter Boy - Won the winner of 1 hurdle on this card last year and then bolted up in the Australian Hurdle. He then continued in good for with another win over hurdles and two very good runs on the flat before disappointing in the Grand National Hurdle. He bounced back though to take the JJ Hurdle at Ballarat at the end of the season. He's had a couple starts on the flat ahead of this and has run OK in both as he looks to be building his fitness. Going to be a big player here.
 
Eckhart - Won a couple of times last year over hurdles, but not at the same level of some of these. Been building up his fitness on the flat this year, but would need to have improved to win this.
 
Runaway - Was well beaten in this last year and would have to step up again to do better this time around. Ran OK on the flat last month which was his first start since July.
 
Out And Dreaming - Was 2nd in the maiden on this card last year and then went and won 3 on the bounce. He was then 20L behind Saunter Boy at Warrnambool, but the ground was very testing that day and the fact he wasn't seen again suggests there may have been an issue. Not as good as some of these on the flat, but he won a couple of races back in February. He's won a couple of hurdle trials that will have got his eye in and he has a good chance here.
 
Tamarack - Won his first two starts over hurdles within 7 days of each other at Sale and Sandown last year, but then only beat 1 home in the JJ Hurdle. Not shown much on the flat this year, but clearly going to apricate going back over hurdles. Could be a possible improver this season.
 
St Arnicca - This is certainly stronger than the race he won Warrnambool last month, but he did it nicely and at least has a recent run over hurdles in his favour.
 
A good race for the feature hurdle on the card, but I do think Saunter Boy is the most likely winner so he is the main bet. I'm also going to cover Out And Dreaming who on this better ground can at least get closer to Saunter Boy.
 
Saunter Boy 1.5pts @ 8/5 with Bet365
Out And Dreaming 0.5pts @ 4/1 with Betfred
 
Race 5
Cracking race this and I think it will be won by one of the 3 chasing newcomers. Heberite is 2/2 over hurdles having won the last maiden hurdle of last year at Ballarat and then winning on the opening card of this season at Terang where he beat a weak field with ease. There is only video footage of his first chase trial and he jumped OK when finishing 3rd of 3. He won his last one though so his jumping could well have improved in that trial.
 
Valac won his first two hurdles and then seemed to not stay 3900m at Sandown in the Australian Hurdle. He was spelled after that and then ran on the flat 4 times in the Autumn. He's had two steeple trails and again there is only footage of the first one, but he jumped really well in it when finishing 2nd. He won the 2nd one in a 3 second quicker time than Heberite and although its been a while since he ran in a race proper he looks like he will be fit enough for this.
 
Budd Fox just had the two starts over hurdles last year and he won the maiden hurdle on this card in the first of them before disappointing a little when 4th at Sandown the following month. He then went back to the flat for the rest of the year running well on the whole. He's had three flat starts this year and he won a BM78 at Sandown last month and then on April 6th was 2nd in similar contest. He's clearly flying and in between those two efforts he had a steeple trial where I was really impressed with his jumping.
 
I'm really keen on Budd Fox here as he comes here in great form and I loved his jumping in his trial. I will also have a cover bet on Valac who I would have as 2nd favourite over Heberite. It would be surprising if one of those 3 doesn't win.
 
Budd Fox 2.5pts @ 11/8 with William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes
Valac 0.5pts @ 14/5 with Bet365
 
Race 6
The feature steeplechase on the card features one of the best chasers in Zed Em. He was 2nd in the Grand Annual last year having run in the two big chases at Oakbank (sadly no more) finishing 2nd both times. He's had 3 flat starts in New Zealand and one in Australia prior to a couple of steeple trials. He clearly has a chance of taking this on his way to the Grand Annual, but I think he might find this a sharp enough test and clearly he is being trained to peak next month.
 
Riding High landed last year's Australian Chase at Sandown so he is certainly capable enough of winning a race like this. This is a very different test though and although he's been running OK on the flat this year I do think he might be better in a couple of starts time.
 
Getting Leggie was 2nd in this 2 years ago and then went on to win the Brierly at Warrnambool although he disappointed on his other two starts that year. Last year his only run was in the Von Doussa at Oakbank and he must have picked up an injury as he only beat one home and then wasn't seen again. He's had a steeple trial and a hurdle this year but not shown a great deal and as much as he does have the ability to win this my thinking is he will need it fitness wise.
 
This is a step up from the two races Britannicus has run in so far this season, but I thought he was pretty impressive at Warrnambool and I think this further step up in trip will suit him as well. We know he's fit and I just wonder if connections will have eyed up this race as a suitable early season target for him, because to me the others either shouldn't be good enough or are likely to have targets in the future like Zed Em for example. So for me Britannicus is a pretty confident selection.
 
Britannicus 2.5pts @ 13/10 with Bet365
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Really looking forward to the next 3 days as it is the Warrnambool Carnival which sees some cracking jumping action and probably the biggest race in the jumps calendar, the Grand Annual on Thursday. Day 1 sees the maiden hurdle divided 3 times and the Brierly Steeplechase which will see some of the horses run in it and then back up in the Grand Annual on Thursday.

Race 1
Those that have been over hurdles already don't set that tough a standard for the newcomers to overcome. Zouy's Comet ran well from the front at Pakenham last month on debut and kept trying although they finished in a bit of a heap so not sure about the strength on the form. I liked the way Lord Pierro trialled over hurdles last week as he jumped well on the whole so he could go well, but I do think the favourite Portland Jimmy will be hard to beat. He is the best on the flat out of these and landed the Donald Cup last year. I like the fact he's had plenty of hurdle practice having had 5 trials and he looked an experienced jumper in his trial here last week. This race has no doubt been the target and he's the one for me here.
 
Portland Jimmy 1pt @ 11/10 with Bet365
 
Race 2
Count Zero is the favourite here which is down to the fact he's been in good form on the flat having won a couple of starts ago. I watched his last hurdles trial and although I wouldn't read much into the fact he was well beaten I wasn't overly impressed with it. Gravistas is an ex Mark Johnson who won at Newmarket on his last start over here which is his only win. I think he has a chance here as he seems to jump well and it could be that hurdles bring out some improvement from what he's been doing on the level of late. There was very little between Zedstar and Joshua Reynolds at Pakenham last month, but I was a bit disappointed with the latter who didn't seem to progress from his first up 2nd. Zedstar meanwhile is frustrating, but surely a maiden is going to come his way at some point and with Pateman on top here it could well be this one. Mighty Oasis was 2nd in a maiden hurdle last year and he's been doing OK on the flat of late so might also run well.
 
Zedstar 1pt e/w @ 8/1 with Bet365
Gravistas 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1 with Bet365
 
Race 3
The former Irish trained Killourney is the favourite here on his hurdling debut and he does look the most likely winner. He's been running well in good races on the flat and his recent hurdle trail was decent. Rider In The Snow has also been running well on the flat, but I wasn't so impressed with his hurdle trial last time. This is probably the weakest of the 3 hurdles, but I just can't understand the price of Lady Fiorente. She didn't show a great deal on hurdles debut at Hamilton at huge odds and not surprisingly was a big price at Pakenham last time, but she ran really well to finish 2nd and was well clear of Zedstar and Joshua Reynolds. Maybe she wont repeat that effort, but if she does she has cracking place claims at the very least here and quite simply she shouldn't be the price she is.
 
Killourney 3pts @ 5/6 with Betfred, Paddy Power and Betfair
Lady Fiorente 0.5pts e/w @ 50/1 with Betfred and Ladbrokes
 
Race 6
The feature race on Day 1 and as much I wouldn't rule out last year's 2nd Bit Of A Lad completely I do think the winner will come from either Vanguard or Valac. Both horses were impressive last time with Vanguard winning at Hamilton and Valac at Pakenham on his first start over fences and Valac is the one I am going to go with. I thought it was just about as good a jumps debut as you would wish to see at Pakenham and there was more depth to that race in my view. The winning margin was 0.2L, but his jockey eased up on him late on and he was value for much more than the winning margin. Britannicus did win here two starts back, but he was disappointing at Pakenham last time especially as he looked the winner at one stage.
 
Valac 2pts @ 2/1 with Bet365

  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No luck on day 1 sadly but we have 2 races on the 2nd day including the feature Hurdle of the week.

Race 5
The betting sees Runaway and Under The Bridge miles clear of anything else, but I'm not sure about either of them. Runaway makes the running, but I'm not sure he will see the trip out. Simon Wilde had a fantastic day 1 with his horses and Under The Bridge did win on the flat 11 days ago so he is in good form. He was only average in maiden hurdles though and failed to finish in his one start in a maiden steeplechase last July. To be fair he might have had a problem that day and he trialled well enough last week over the larger obstacles. Even so I still think he looks on the short side. Instead I am going to tip up his stablemate Elvison. It seemed he had issues last year as he only ran twice over fences and disappointed both times and the last of which was last May at Casterton. He was better in 2020 though and he stays well as he showed when winning over 3800m at Casterton. He stayed on well enough over 1600m on the flat 17 days ago and I thought he looked good in his steeple trial last week so he looks the value in the race for me.
 
Elvison 1pt e/w @ 12/1 with everyone
 
Race 6
The big hurdle race of the week is the Galleywood and I think Saunter Boy can follow up his Pakenham success. He was made to work hard for it by Out And Dreaming who reopposes here, but he is worse at the weights and I don't see him being able to reverse the form. Out of those racing so far this year I do think Saunter Boy is the best hurdler we have seen and no doubt he has been aimed at peaking for this contest. It will be interesting to see how his stablemate Big Blue gets on and the last time he ran over hurdles was in the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. Last year he went over fences and won 1st up, but then disappointed in two subsequent starts. I suspect this is being used as a prep run before going back over fences, but he does have the ability to play a part.
 
Saunter Boy 3pts @ 6/5 with Bet365 and William Hill
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saunter Boy really toughed it out well to win yesterday and Elvison so nearly made all in the race before, but we did get the e/w money at least. Tomorrow sees the Champion Novice Hurdle and the big race of the week the Grand Annual.

Race 1
No surprise that Brungle Bertie is favourite for the Champion Novice Hurdle after his dominant win at Pakenham last time where he had Roland Garros, Devon Miss, Hush Writer, El Diez and Cenan all in behind by 11L and more. He was really impressive, but the concern has to be the Heavy 10 track which will make things very different from that Pakenham race. The worse ground he's raced on so far was in a flat race at Ballarat last year and to be fair he was a good 3rd, but that was only a Heavy 8 whereas it is likely to be a Heavy 10 tomorrow. When I previewed that Pakenham race I mentioned that Roland Garros was likely to be using that race as a prep for this contest as it has been reported he wants a heavy track which of course he is going to get here. Because of that I think he has a chance of reversing form and I make him the selection here. Pueblo and Blandford Lad won the maiden hurdles on the card although both were in slower times than Brungle Bertie's race. I don't think the form is overly strong from either contest although the flat class that Blandford Lad has does mean I would favour him out of the two plus he has Pateman on top.
 
Roland Garros 1.5pts @ 3/1 with William Hill, Betfred, Coral and Ladbrokes
 
Race 7 - Grand Annual
Bit Of A Lad - Was well beaten in the Brierly on Tuesday and hasn't shown much in 3 previous runs in this contest.
 
Police Camp - Likely to be outclassed in this.
 
Getting Leggie - A really interesting runner who was having his first start in just over a year at Pakenham last time after suffering a tendon injury. I thought he would probably need it, but he exceeded my expectations in finishing a very good 3rd behind Riding High. He won the Brierly 2 years ago so he certainly has the class to win a race like this and he will no doubt come on plenty for his first run in a year. He's had a good trial since then as well. I think it is interesting connections have skipped Tuesday's race to just run him here although the Heavy track would be a small concern.
 
Master Poet - A solid horse who should enjoy getting out to this trip given he was 2nd over 4000m over hurdles in 2019 and on the flat he's been 2nd over 3800m and 4th in the Jericho Cup which is over 4600m both in November last year. He's had two solid placings over fences at Warrnambool and Pakenham and he wouldn't be out of this.
 
Vanguard - What a winner of the Brierly he was on Tuesday as he really toughed it out to beat his stablemate Britannicus. His trainer spoke beforehand that he would be better suited to the Grand Annual trip and he certainly ran like a dour stayer on Tuesday. In September he did win two races with just 4 days between them one a maiden hurdle and the other a maiden steeplechase over 4100m in heavy ground. That suggests he is tough enough to do the 2 day back up here. This will be tougher though, but clearly deserves to be favourite.
 
Heberite - Bolted up in a BM120 Hurdle at Terang to start the season off and then made his chasing debut at Pakenham last time when he was 3rd behind Valac and Budd Fox. He was 3rd in last year's Jericho Cup and won over 3800m prior to that so you would imagine he will enjoy stepping up to this distance. He has a good heavy track record as well which will help him. This has no doubt been his target although I always worry about chasing experience for a race like this.
 
Budd Fox - Was 2nd on the flat at this meeting last year after winning on hurdling debut at Pakenham. He was 4th on his only other hurdling start last year, but he has some very good flat form including finishing 2nd in the Jericho Cup. I thought he jumped very well on his steeple trial in March and then he stayed on strongly to nearly pip Valac at Pakenham on his steeplechase debut. Valac's rider did ease up so the margin should have been bigger, but the way he stayed on suggests he needs this sort of test. Again lack of experience is a concern, but he certainly has the class to win this.
 
American In Paris - Was well beaten by Vanguard at Hamilton in April and it is hard to see him being able to reverse that form here unless Vanguard underperforms on the back up.
 
San Remo - Pretty consistent over jumps, but at a lesser level than this and not sure he will be good enough.
 
My Kings Counsel - Will be outclassed here.
 
Eyes Are Blue - Another who shouldn't be good enough.
 
Verdict - This should be a tremendous race and Vanguard could easily win this on the 2 day back up, but I think he is tight enough in the betting. I think Budd Fox will thrive for the trip and I really liked his performance at Pakenham last time as a prep for this. Obvious slight concern about jumping experience, but he jumped well round here in his trial. I am also backing Getting Leggie who I think will have been trained with this in mind and ran really well at Pakenham given the time off.
 
Budd Fox 1.5ps @ 9/4 with William Hill
Getting Leggie 1pt e/w @ 16/1 with William Hill
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The jumping action is back on Sunday with four races at Casterton.

Race 1
This looks a very weak race and there is every chance Tolemac only has to repeat his front running 2nd at Warrnambool to land this. That was a better race than this and he looks the most likely winner. Hey Happy was short in the betting for both his hurdle runs last season and didn't really show a great deal. He has been running well on the flat this prep though so he does have the ability to get involved. I'm amazed Joshua Reynolds has gone backwards from his good 2nd at Hamilton. He was only 4th at Pakenham the next time and then only beat one home at Warrnambool. He's got a right chance on the Hamilton run though and if he bounces back he's overpriced. I'm concerned enough about Hey Happy to not want to get involved in Tolemac at the odds so will have a small e/w bet on Joshua Reynolds in the hope he can run up to his Hamilton effort.
 
Joshua Reynolds 0.5pts e/w @ 14/1 with everyone apart from Bet365
 
Race 2
Capellani is the odds on favourite here. He had 3 starts over hurdles in New Zealand and showed a little, but he has been in very good form on the flat of late having finished 3rd 1st up and then he's won his last two. He had a hurdle trial as well and that was solid enough. Dr Dependable made a good start to his jumps career, but has gone the wrong way since the 2nd at Warrnambool. It was only a weak race Dubawi Prince won on the flat last time, but it was still a good performance in the context of this race. He had a trial over hurdles last week and he jumped well without really being asked for an effort. Jeune Elvis went too quick at Warrnambool and faded, but if he can settle better he wouldn't be out of this. Hakana Matata ran well on the flat last time and wouldn't be out of it. I think this is more open than the betting suggests and I will take a chance each-way on Onset. She's had a few chances to lose her maiden tag now but she looks in good form this prep. She wasn't beaten far at Pakenham when 5th and was then 3rd at Warrnambool just behind Tolemac. Two days later she ran in the Champion Novice Hurdle and ran a hell of a race to just be beaten in 5th. She stuck to the inside where the going was slower as the first 4 all took wide passages into the straight. If she can repeat those efforts then she is a big player here.
 
Onset 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes
 
Race 3
An open handicap hurdle and we have two of the maiden hurdle runners from Warrnambool line-up in Lord Pierro and Count Zero. I'm not sure either contest was overly strong although both have claims here and I would favour Count Zero of the pair as the front two had a gap to the 3rd and he is the better horse on the flat. By Design is a big price and he's shown little in a couple of flat runs, but he was 3rd here on his hurdle debut last year and then won at Hamilton. I don't think he's out of this. Serenade The Stars landed the first maiden of the season, but that wasn't a strong race at all and he was then 2nd to Chenners at Hamilton which I would be surprised if that was form good enough to win this. Hush Writer hated the ground at Warrnambool in the Champion Novice and he is better than that, but the horse I like was the horse I fancied for that race before he was taken out, Rolland Garros. He finished a fair way in front of Hush Writer when they were 2nd and 4th at Pakenham and it looked the perfect prep run for Warrnambool. Annoyingly he was taken out, but hopefully they get the rain that is forecast because the softer the better for him. The softer the ground the more confident I would be about his chances, but I think he's the best horse in the race so hopefully can go and prove it.
 
Roland Garos 2pts @ 9/4 with Betfred, Coral and Ladbrokes
 
Race 4
I'd be a little surprised if Elvison or Historic didn't win this as they look to have the edge on the rest of the field. I put Elvison up at Warrnambool at a double figure price and he ran a huge race from the front only just getting passed late on. They were miles clear of the rest. He had a flat start prior to that, but it is easy to think he is going to come on again for his first jumps start of the prep and he's a course and distance winner so we know that wont be an issue for him. Historic was last in a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool, but he's much better over fences so it was a run just for fitness. He can be very good as he showed when winning 3 times (here, Sale and Coleraine) last year, but he also can throw in some right stinkers and fail to finish as he did in this race last year. For me that tips the balance in favour of Elvison and he can go one better than last time.
 
Elvision 2.5pts @ 6/4 with everyone apart from Paddy Power and Betfair
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A very good Sunday last week with Onset and Elvision both winning for a decent profit and both run tomorrow morning at Sandown where we have the Australian Steeplechase and Australian Hurdle. We also have the hurdling debut of Constantinople. 
 
Race 1
We start with the Australian Steeplechase and the Wilde pair of Brittanicus and Elvison head the betting. Elvison obviously did us a great turn last week at Casterton and what a jumping performance he put in over the hedges. He never looked in any danger of getting beaten and given the small field I'm not really surprised connections have decided to run him again on the 7 day back up. His stablemate ran a hell of a race in the Brieley to just be beaten by another one from the yard in Vanguard. I have concerns about both of them though. This is a much better race than the one Elvision won last week and although he's clearly improving he was beaten by Once Were Lost at Warrnambool. I also wonder if the two of them might end up cutting each others throats up front. I guess they will try not to do that, but Elvison clearly likes front running and Brittanicus can be keen and although he hasn't always front run he did at Warrnambool. I'm also not sure Brittanicus will stay the trip so as much as either winning wouldn't surprise I do think there could be value in looking elsewhere.
 
Bit Of Lad won this 2 years ago, but he didn't run great in the Brierly even allowing for the fact that he blew the start. Pateman told the stewards he needs a softer surface which he wont get here. Once Were Lost got the better of Elvison at Warrnambool and maybe this extra trip will help, but he carried 66kg compared to the 2nd carrying 71kg and here Elvison only has to give him 1kg so really the form ought to be reversed. Quite why Coleridge is as short as he is I don't know because he was miles behind Elvison last week.
 
I put up Getting Leggie in the Grand Annual and I am going to put him up again here because he just shouldn't be the outsider. I thought he ran a cracking race at Warrnambool as he wasn't beaten far in 4th and I think the trip in the very testing ground 2nd up was just a bit too much for him. 1st up he was 1 place in front of Britannicus at Pakenham when they were 3rd and 4th and I think this trip will suit Getting Leggie better than Britannicus. He has never won on a heavy track so this better ground should be ideal and he's got a really solid chance for me. He's been nibbled in the betting which doesn't surprise me.
 
Getting Leggie 1pt @ 9/1 with everyone
 
Race 4
Constantinople doesn't need too many introductions I am sure given his high profile form for Aiden O'Brien. He went off favourite for a Caulfield Cup and was well fancied for a Melbourne Cup. That was back in 2019 where you also have to go back to for his last win which came in a Group 3 at the Curragh in May that year. His only other win was a Thurles maiden win the year before. He's been running in good races and has run some good races especially of late where he has been 2nd in the Terang Cup last month and then 3rd in the Warrnambool Cup where he overraced. I've watched his two hurdle trials and he isn't a great jumper it has to be said. He has also looked keen in them. He could well outclass his rivals here and the fact he's likely to make mistakes might not stop him, but on the other side I do wonder if he is keen again that he might not stay the trip. Runaway was behind him in 3rd in the trial last time, he's likely to make the running and they might take each other on.
 
So can anything beat Constantinople? I thought Blandford Lad did very well in the Champion Novice at Warrnambool to finish 2nd and although he came wide the better ground was certainly on the outside so it helped the first 4 home that day. He's certainly a chance here though as he won his maiden well at Pakenham as well. I thought Hey Happy did it well at Casterton last week as he beat the other market leader and they pulled well clear of everything else. This is tougher, but he should go well. Pueblo was disappointing in the Champion Novice, but if he returns to the Pakenham maiden win form then he has claims. Onset won at a double figure price for us last week and she bolted up. As I mentioned ahead of that she was on the wrong part of the track in the Champion Novice and ran a hell of a race to finish so close. She has clearly improved, but is it enough to beat Constantinople only getting 0.5kg from him?
 
All the other leading fancies have to give Constantinople weight as he has 66.5kg to carry whereas Runaway has 71kg, Blandford Lad 69, Hey Happy 68.5 and Pueblo 68. So as much as his jumping doesn't impress me and there are stamina doubts, I actually think he will get away with it against this field at these weights as he just has a class edge on the rest of them so I actually do think he offers a bit of value. Onset might be the one to chase him home.
 
Constantinople 1pt @ 11/5 with Bet365
 
Race 5
No horse has won back-to-back Australian Hurdles' since The Shu in 95 and 96 and only 3 others have done it in the history of the race which was first run in 1892. Saunter Boy carried 66.5kg last year to win this and has to carry 71kg this time around, but I think he can do it. He's already picked up 2 decent pots this season at Pakenham and Warrnambool and although Out And Dreaming has a chance of reversing form at the weights I don't think he will although he does look the main danger to me. Saunter Boy is just so tough and really has that will to win. Saunter Boy's high rating means the whole field aren't carrying the true weights that they should which helps his chances. El Diez won the Champion Novice and had Brungle Bertie and Devon Miss in behind and I think Brungle Bertie can do the best of that trio, but Saunter Boy can make history and land back-to-back victories in this historic race.
 
Saunter Boy 2pts @ 13/10 @ Bet365
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

With the maiden hurdle dividing 3 times we have 6 jumps races at Hamilton on Tuesday morning. Here are my thoughts on those races.

Race 1
I Arize is favourite on his hurdles debut which is based on the fact he is the best flat horse of these. He might prove good enough, but he's not even trialled since April 8th and his last two jumps trials were both over fences. I'm happy enough to take him on. Olmeto jumped well on his last hurdles trial and he ran well on the flat last week when 3rd at Mornington so he might prove to be the best of the hurdling newcomers. I'm going to go with one of those who has already been over hurdles in the shape of Hakuna Matata. I thought she ran very well at Casterton and she made a terrible blunder at 2 out which didn't help her cause. Onset came into the race with the best form so she was beaten by the right horse and the drop down in trip will help her as well. I think she can go one place better here.
 
Hakuna Matata 1pt @ 16/5 with Paddy Power and Betfair
 
Race 2
This looks a bit of a match to me between Mighty Oasis and Tolemac. I thought Mighty Oasis ran really well at Warrnambool as he was a close 2nd to Count Zero who has won since. They pulled well clear of the rest so the form looks strong. Tolemac was also 2nd at Warrnambool to Rider In The Snow and then was just denied by Hey Happy at Casterton last time. Again the front two pulled well clear. I think the drop down in trip will help him. I'm just going to side with Mighty Oasis. For a start he's a bigger price, but his Warrnambool race was won in a quicker time and had a faster last 600m sectional. Given the winner has gone in since I think he has the stronger form.
 
Mighty Oasis 1pt @ 11/4 with Coral and Ladbrokes
 
Race 3
I thought Killourney was disappointing at Warrnambool especially as he was backed into 1/2 to win and he could only finish a 10L 4th. His flat form is bar far the best in this and he could go and win, but he's odds on again and I can't say that appeals. I thought there was a bit of promise in Dubawi Prince's 3rd on hurdles debut at Casterton a couple of weeks ago which was behind Onset and Hakuna Matata so the form could get a boost in the first race. I think he's a fair price to possibly overturn the favourite. Hopefully Joshua Reynolds wont win having backed him all 4 starts this prep, but he just seems to have gone backwards from the course and distance 2nd in April.
 
Dubawi Prince 1pt @ 4/1 with William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair, Ladbrokes and Coral
 
Race 4
There is plenty of rain in the forecast and because of that I am going to side with Roland Garros. I thought Casterton was going to ride softer a couple of weeks ago, but it didn't and he was a big disappointment. It also didn't help that he didn't plenty of work in the early stages so he had little left late on. If we get a heavy track then I think he wins and at this stage that looks likely so I will put him up again.
 
Hey Happy is favourite and he ran OK on the 7 day back up last week, but it is only 9 days since that Sandown 4th. He has a chance but looks short enough. Big Blue ran no short of race on his come back at Warrnambool and I want to see more from him before thinking of backing him, but he certainly has the back class to win this. El Diez and Onset wouldn't be without claims either.
 
Roland Garros 1pt @ 3/1 with Bet365, Betfred, Coral and Ladbrokes
 
Race 5
This isn't a race I like very much unless the emergancy gets a run. Zedstar is favourite and he does deserve to get his head in front considering only once in 9 hurdle starts has he finished out of the frame, but he has yet to win one. He was 3rd in the Australian Hurdle last time which was a top effort and there is every chance he could finally win in his first steeplechase start. I just don't want to take a short price about him though and he will be even shorter if the emergency doesn't get a run. A few of the others have bits and pieces of form which would give them some sort of chance, but nothing that makes me want to back them. Yulong Prince has run well enough in his last two hurdles and trialled well over fences recently so if he won it wouldn't surprise.
 
I will be backing Under The Bridge though if he gets a run. He was running very well in the BM120 Chase at Warrnambool until falling at the 2nd last. A repeat of the effort, until the fall, might well be good enough to win this. He ran well enough back on the flat 12 days ago as well. So hopefully he gets a run otherwise it will be a no bet race.
 
Under The Bridge 1pt @ 7/4 with Betfred, Coral and Ladbrokes
 
Race 6
Like the other steeplechase race on the card this looks trappy as well. This is a class drop for Magnanimous Man, but he was still poor in the Brierley. He could still be good enough on his New Zealand form though. Hierarchal, Coleridge and Flying Pierro don't make much appeal. I'm going to back both Historic and Cheners as I think one of the two will win. Historic tried to keep with Elvison at Casterton, but not surprisingly couldn't late on. He won 3 times last season and he looks like getting an easy lead if he wants it. Cheners won here over hurdles last month and it was a good 1st chase start in the BM120 at Warrnambool. He finished 3rd and was closer to Elvison that day than Historic was at Casterton although it was a shorter trip. I'd probably just favour Historic, but will be backing both.
 
Historic 1pt @ 5/2 with William Hill
Cheners 1pt @ 17/5 with Bet365
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 jumps race at Sale tomorrow morning and here are my thoughts on them.
 
Race 1
Don't think this is a very strong contest. Twin Spinner is favourite at the time of writing and he has had two hurdle runs in New Zealand the 2nd of which he finished 2nd. He's had 3 flat runs here and a couple of trials and he hasn't shown a great deal it has to be said. Like I say its not a strong race and he might be good enough, but I am happy enough to look elsewhere. 5 of these ran in the maiden hurdle contests at Hamilton last week and I imagine one of those will get their head in front. I Arize was favourite last week when I wrote my preview, but was a huge drifter and he went off $11. He ran no sort of race though and I couldn't back him here. Heroic Fighter was well beaten in 5th and I didn't see too much promise in that run. Dr Dependable has had 6 goes over hurdles now and has only placed once although the two 4ths at Casterton and Hamilton were decent enough efforts. The issue is Gravistas (ex Mark Johnson) was 3L and a place in front of him last week and I think he will uphold that form. It was just his 2nd run over hurdles after finishing 5th at Warrnambool which was a fair enough debut. I thought he travelled well into the race last week and just couldn't live with the first 2 late on. I don't think there is anything as good as either of those two in this so he has a good chance here. I also have to have a saver on Chairman's List who looks overpriced. He had two flat runs before the 4th at Hamilton and I think he will be fitter again here. He was a bit keen and just faded late on into 4th place. If he builds on that here then he has a better chance of winning than his odds suggest.
 
Gravistas 1pt @ 16/5 with Betfair and Paddy Power
Chairman's List 0.5pts @ 7/1 with Bet365, Betfair, Paddy Power and William Hill
 
Race 2
Hey Happy is favourite for this at the time of writing which is a bit surprising as he was pulled up last week at Hamilton. His jockey reported to the stewards that he was under pressure from some way out and that he may have not backed up his recent jump starts at Casterton and Sandown. He also had a slower than normal recovery. Because of that I'm surprised that they are going again with him so soon and I am happy to take him on. Onset and Cernan were 3rd and 4th in that contest, which was won easily by Big Blue. They carried the same weight that day, but here Onset gets 1kg from Cernan and he was 4.5L in front of him at Hamilton. Onset had the better form for me going into that race and she should uphold that form. That could mean she wins the race, but the unknown runner is Yulong Rising who is easily the best of these on the flat and makes his hurdles debut. He's had a couple of trials and jumps well enough and he had a run on the flat last week at Sandown which was his first race since October. No doubt that was a prep for this and the fact they have decided to go the handicap route rather than the maiden route suggests they think he can win this. I'm happy to back both him and Onset as they look the two most likely winners to me and Hey Happy is helping make the market.
 
Yulong Rising 1pt @ 9/4 with everyone apart from Bet365
Onset 1pt @ 16/5 with Paddy Power and Betfair
 
Race 3
Some of these ran at Hamilton last week. Flying Pierro and Cheners were 3rd and 4th in the open steeplechase behind Historic. Flying Pierro didn't jump well so if he improved on that he wouldn't be out of this, whilst Cheners was a little disappointing. Looking Around was 3rd in the 0-114 chase which was a weak affair and he was beaten 28L. Joshua Reynolds failed to finish in one of the maiden hurdles and he has certainly becoming disappointing over hurdles having started off this year with a very promising 2nd at Hamilton in April. He trialled over fences 4 days after the run last week and I was impressed with his jumping so maybe the larger obstacles will spark him back to life. Ultimately though I want to see how he gets on in a race first so I suspect the race will be between Runaway and Valac. Runaway made his steeple debut at Warrnambool last month and he was running well enough until he got hampered at the last by a faller and he ended up basically pulling up. It's hard to know where he would have finished, but probably 3rd in front of Cheners. He then ran in a BM120 Hurdle at Sandown when 3rd behind Blandford Lad and Constantinople which was a fair effort. 
 
Runaway just seems to have become a bit frustrating though and I think Valac can win this. He's never actually run on a heavy track before so that is an unknown, but if connections are happy to run him on it then I am happy to back him. This race is much weaker than the two chases he has run in. First of all he won a BM125 on his chasing debut at Pakenham and then he was running a huge race in the Brierly at Warrnambool when falling at 2 out. Again hard to know where he would have finished but he was travelling every bit as well as the winner. He had a trial last week where he finished last but it was clearly being used as a school round for him. He jumped well apart from one mistake. This looks a good race to get him back on track and I must admit I think he only has to jump round safely to collect.
 
Valac 2.5pts @ 7/4 with William Hill
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Race 1
2 years ago this Constantinople was finishing 2nd to South Pacific (also gone to Australia and has done well) in the King George V Stakes and he now finds himself running in a maiden hurdle at Warrnambool. I put him up on his hurdles debut as I thought his class would be good enough and it nearly was. His jumping wasn't perfect and no doubt it will improve, but the main problem is he over raced a bit and ended up pulling himself clear of the rest of the field as they went out on their final circuit. Jumping the last he looked the winner, but he was caught within yards of the line. His had a run at Flemington when again he pulled hard but ran well to finish 3rd. He is going to have to settle better here I think because the ground is going to be testing, but he clearly is the best horse in the race. Killourney was much better on his 2nd hurdles start at Hamilton when only just being beaten by Dubawi Prince that came on a Heavy 10 so the ground wont be an issue. He's run OK on the flat since and should go well. Yulong Rising ran well enough on hurdles debut in a handicap when finishing 2nd to Onset and he can go well if building on that. The only other one to mention is Mont Agel who handles testing ground and did well in his hurdles trial. There is a slight concern about him seeing it out in this ground, but Constantinople does handle this ground and I think he can finally win another race.
 
Constantinople 1pt @ 5/4 with Coral and Ladbrokes
 
Race 2
Capallani was OK on debut at Casterton a month ago and built on that when a 3L 3rd at Hamilton a couple of weeks later. He had won 2 on the flat prior to those and if progressing again has a leading chance. Hunua Hank is an interesting hurdling debutant. He has had 3 hurdle trials and I liked his jumping in the last of them. He was a good 4th on the flat 18 days ago and likes a heavy track. Thurmanator was 12L 2nd to Twin Spinner at Sale a couple of weeks ago and he was in front of Dr Dependable. I suspect the winner is above average and there is certainly nothing of his quality here. Mighty Oasis looks the one to beat though having now finished 2nd on his last 3 hurdles starts. His two hurdle starts this prep have seen him beaten 0.2L both times and this does look a good opportunity for him to get his head in front. It was a Heavy 10 at Hamilton last time so the ground isn't going to be an issue and the previous 2nd was over course and distance.
 
Mighty Oasis 1pt @ 2/1 with William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes
 
Race 3
This looks a decent little race. Two of the maiden winners from Hamilton clash here in the shape of Dubawi Prince and Fort Charles. The latter was 4 seconds quicker and clocked a faster last 600m sectional as well which is interesting. Now the ground was downgraded from a Heavy 8 to a Heavy 10, but I suspect it was pretty testing for Fort Charles' race anyway. Fort Charles was visually more impressive as well although I think Dubawi Prince beat the better horse. El Diez also ran at Hamilton and was a good 2nd to Big Blue who was simply too good for them. Onset was 3rd and she has won since so the form is good. He took the Champion Novice over course and distance on a Heavy 10 last month. He was 6th in the Australian Hurdle in between and was in front of Out And Dreaming who was very disappointing in last. He had run very well behind Saunter Boy at Pakenham and here on his two previous starts and if he is in that form he's got a big chance. The other one to consider is Count Zero who is 2/2 over hurdles having won here and at Casterton last month. This is tougher, but he's hard to knock.
 
Any of those could win this and it wouldn't surprise, but El Diez is the biggest priced of them and that surprises me so I will make him the bet as he looks the value.
 
El Diez 1pt @ 9/1 with Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral
 
Race 4
I suspect this is probably between the top 2 on the racecard. Under The Bridge was running well until falling here in May, but I suspect Once Were Lost would have beaten him and he went onto win the race. I'm rather surprised to see that he is favourite. That was a good effort from Once Were Lost and he was a solid 3rd in the Australian Chase last time. Yulong Prince hadn't looked anything special over hurdles, but he clearly loved the change to fences as he bolted up by 25L (beating Laylite) at Hamilton on his chasing debut last month. That came on a Heavy 10 and if he backs it up he's surely going to be quite hard to beat. I think at the prices both can be backed with preference for Yulong Prince.
 
Yulong Prince 2pts @ 19/10 with Bet365
Once Were Lost 1pt @ 100/30 with Ladbrokes and Coral
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of winners last week including the Nap. We have action most Sunday's now between now and the end of August and there are 3 more races at Casterton in the early hours of the morning. Probably my favourite jumps track in Oz because I love the hedge fences they have their and well worth checking out the steeplechase race if you don't usually watch the tips and just look at the result.

Race 1

As usual we start with the maiden hurdle and I do like the look of Hakuna Matata. She was 2nd here on the first hurdles start this prep and the winner Onset has boosted the form since as has the 3rd Dubawi Prince. A couple of weeks after that she went to Hamilton and tried to make all, but wasn't able to see it out and was beaten by Fort Charles who ran well last week. They look two really solid 2nd places in the context of this race and I think she can get a deserved hurdles success. Cappellani has certainly improved for his first hurdles start in Australia when he was behind Hakuna Matata in 5th place over course and distance. He was then 3rd at Hamilton behind Dubawi Prince and then 3rd last week behind Mighty Oasis when he was doing his best work late and was only beaten a couple of lengths. That suggests stepping back up to this trip should suit and he is certainly a danger. Gravistas ran OK at Sale and has place claims on his 3rd at Hamilton the start before. The other one to mention is good old Zedstar who has had 10 starts over jumps now for 4 2nds and 4 3rds. He was disappointing on his debut over fences at Hamilton and wasn't great on the flat at Geelong last week. He will surely win a maiden hurdle at some point, but he's clearly a frustrating horse. I think the price on Hakuna Matata is too big and she makes plenty of appeal.

Hakuna Matata 2pts @ 3/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair, Coral and Ladbrokes

Race 2

Tamarack was 2nd in the Australian Hurdle last time, but I'm not sure the strength of that race is that good behind the very good winner Saunter Boy. He ran over course and distance before that and was beaten 7L into 3rd place. I certainly think he's a possible winner, but I am going to look elsewhere. Cheners was 2nd over fences last time and was just beaten by Runaway. He does tend to run his race, but he has won just twice in 27 jumps starts so as much as he has place claims in a race like this I'm not sure he is going to win. Onset has done us well this season having won twice when we have been on including last time at Sale. The other win was when she beat Hakuna Matata over course and distance. I was impressed with her win last time and although she wasn't quite as good in the two runs in between those two wins she can win a race like this. She beat Yulong Rising last time, but I can't see the form being reversed although it was that one's first jumps run so he could build on it. The most likely winner for me though is Tolemac who has done very well over hurdles this prep. He was just in front of Onset at Warrnambool when 2nd and he was 2nd over course and distance when just getting caught late on. Mighty Oasis was 2nd to him at Hamilton and obviously he franked the form last week. He goes into handicaps for the first time, but he has a good chance of making it a winning one. So Tolemac is the main bet, but I will have a saver on Onset as well.

Tolemac 2pts @ 7/5 with Bet365

Onset 0.5pts @ 4/1 with everyone

Race 3

Elvison was so impressive when bolting up over course and distance last month that I have to be with him here. Historic was 25L back in 2nd and he reposes here having followed that run up with a win, but I can't see him reversing form if Elvison is in top form. Elvison ran on the 7 day back up in the Australian Chase, but his trainer said before the race that he was only running him there because it was a small field that wasn't very strong. He ran well enough to finish 2nd to his stablemate Britannicus and the month off will have done him good no doubt. He jumped so well over the hedge fences and that course form could well prove crucial here. Police Camp has come out which is a shame as it means Elvison is odds on now. Police Camp won a trial at Warrnambool on Tuesday and in that trial he beat Te Kahu who is going to be making his Australian debut here. In New Zealand he won 3 times over fences including over 6200m on his last start in October. Now he has won over 3500m, but when watching that trial he seemed to lack a bit of toe and even though this is 3800m I just wonder if he is going to come into his own when seeing a real test of stamina. He is with the right training team with Maher & Eustace so I certainly respect him, but I think Elvison can add to his course and distance win last month and even though he's odds on I think he still offers value at 8/11.

Elvison 3pts @ 8/11 with William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Onto Warrnambool we go with 5 jumps races on Sunday including a couple of features over hurdles and fences.

Race 1
Probably one of the better maiden hurdles we have seen of late here and Chains Of Honour is the fairly short price favourite. It's easy to see why based on his flat form and he won a BM70 at Moonee Valley in November. His only flat run this prep was last month when a good 2nd from the front at Swan Hill. Prior to that he had 3 hurdle trials and I watched the last of those at Traralgon. His jockey tried to get him to settle in behind horses, but he didn't jump great and in the end he just let him stride on and he jumped much better. My concern about him for me is the Heavy 10 ground which is basically an unknown as he's only seen a heavy track once and that was in the ATC Derby at Randwick. I also just wonder if he might end up burning himself out as we saw with Constantinople here last month so whilst he's more than good enough to win there could be value in taking him on. Dr Dependable was 2nd last week to Gravistas, but I think this race is stronger. Flying Pierro was 2nd over course and distance in that Constantinople race, but I'm not sure that form is trust worth myself. I actually think Killourney will reverse the form as if he is ridden with a bit more restraint then he will see it out better. Also they are adding headgear which the jockey said he needed after that 3rd. Yulong Rising has finished 2nd and 3rd to Onset in a couple of handicaps, but this first try in maiden company might actually end up being a tougher ask. God knows what happened to Hakuna Matata last week at Casterton. She was a huge disappointment and I'm a bit surprised they are running her on the 7 day back up. I will be really annoyed if she does win and if it had been a longer gap between races I might have chanced her, but this is a stronger race than her other 3 jumps runs this prep. There is another interesting newcomer as well in the shape of Hostar. I thought he did really well in his hurdle trial a couple of weeks ago and he's been running well on the flat in a couple of BM64's. Crucially we know he likes heavy ground and he is an interesting contender.

So Chains Of Honour might be good enough, but there are enough concerns for me to take him on at short odds. Killourney is certainly good enough to win a race like this and I think he paid for chasing Constantinople last time so hopefully his rider will ride him a bit more conservatively here. So he's one bet and I will also back Hostar as well because he's in good form on the flat and seemed to love jumping hurdles in his trial.

Killourney 1pt @ 11/2 with Betfair and Paddy Power
Hostar 1pt @ 17/2 with Betfair and Paddy Power


Race 2
A fascinating contender in this is the top one Stern Idol who is an ex-French hurdler. He won at Auteuil last May and finished 6th in a Listed Race that September on his last start in France. He's had 3 hurdle trials in Oz and I like the way he jumps this style of hurdle. He had a flat run 3 weeks ago at Swan Hill and ran a perfectly respectable 8th. The one slight worry is the Heavy 10 conditions although I suspect it will be fairly similar to what he has raced on before in France. It seems sensible to claim off him as he has top weight and his jockey has ridden him in his trials. 

The favourite is Twin Spinner who was very impressive at Sale a month ago on his first jumps start in Australia having come over from New Zealand. He's set his own pace at in front and when he quickened it up he put the race to bed in style. He certainly faces stiffer competition here though.

Sky Hero won over course and distance last time, but I feel that Constantinople set the race up for a closer and Flying Pierro was 2nd which also puts a dampener on the form for me. Mighty Oasis had to work hard to win the other division of the maiden hurdle that day in a time that was 6 seconds slower although his closing 600m was 6 seconds quicker. It was a deserved win as he had 3 2nds to his name prior to that.

I'm going to take a chance with Stern Idol. He's with the right connections and there is a strong chance he has shown stronger form in France than the others have shown in Australia and New Zealand. He jumps Australian hurdles well based on his trials and he looks an exciting horse going forward.

Stern Idol 1pt @ 14/5 with Bet365

Race 3
The feature hurdle on the card and it looks a strong contest. Big Blue is the favourite and it was good to see him bounce back to form at Hamilton last time when he was an impressive winner. He had finished last over course and distance prior to that. I think this is tougher, but we know he has the back class to win this. What also helps him here is that because of Bee Tee Junior having such a high rating he only has to carry 66kg so he has an obvious chance. Speaking of Bee Tee Junior it is great to see the Grand National Chase winner in 2020 back over obstacles after missing all of last year. He's had 3 flat runs and 3 trials, but I'm happy to see how he gets on here against some hard fit rivals especially as his last flat run was 45 days ago. Onset has done us proud this season and was gutsy again last week. She was 3rd behind Big Blue at Hamilton and I just can't see her reversing that form so I will not be backing her here. Blandford Lad picked up Constantinople at Sandown and was 2nd in the Champion Novice here in May. He's got a chance. Count Zero has done well since going over hurdles and was a decent 2nd here last time after winning his first two. Tolemac and Fort Charles aren't completely out of it either, but the one I am putting up is St Arnicca. He started off his season with a win here in March before disappointing a little when 4th at Pakenham. That was behind Saunter Boy and he was much close to him in the Galleywood when only being beaten by 0.4L. Saunter Boy is the best hurdler we have seen this season so to push him so close was a good effort and he has since been a good 3rd on the flat at Swan Hill. It's a trappy race, but he looks the value play at the prices.

St Arnicca 1pt @ 11/2 with William Hill and Bet365

Race 4
We have Cheners and Dewrinkler coming out of the same race at Sale a month ago where they were 2nd and 3rd just behind Runaway. I don't think that form is overly strong though as Runaway set a pretty fast pace and they still couldn't get past him. I also think Valac would have won had he not unseated. It could be said that Dewrinkler will strip fitter for the run as it was his first of the prep, but he was ridden to stay the trip and he now goes over even further on more testing ground so that has to be a worry with him. I've put up Getting Leggie every start this prep and whilst the first two were promising, I thought he was poor in the Australian Chase last time. He's not been seen since so maybe something was up and to be fair he was given a strange ride, but he was well beaten in the end. He has the class to win this, but I am passing him over this time. Laylite has had to chase Yulong Place the last twice and hasn't got close either time. This should be easier, but I think Under The Bridge can reverse form with him and I make him the selection. He does have a problem with the 2nd last here though as he fell at it in May and then last time he made a bad blunder and he went from travelling well to coming under pressure. He finished 3rd in the end, but if he can jump the 2nd last better this time then I think he's the one to beat.

Under The Bridge 1pt @ 9/5 with Betfair and Paddy Power

Race 5
Flying Agent was turned over in this last year when a long odds on fav and he could only finish 4th. he had won the Brierly last year, but after that his jumps form really didn't hit the heights that it had done in the past. If he is back to his best then he can easily win this. He's had a couple of decent enough flat runs this prep and has won a couple of chase trials including beating Yulong Place by a length (no video footage). A couple of weeks ago he bolted up in a trial here so the signs are promising, but he will face a stiffer test here. Britannicus is the fav and he comes here on the back of winning the Australian Chase in May beating his stablemate Elvison. He has had the one trial since then on the same day as Flying Agent and won his in a time 11 seconds slower. My big concern though is the testing ground as he's not even hit the place in 4 starts on a heavy track. Yulong Place is very much the up and comer. He was pretty average over hurdles, but has been devastating in 2 chase starts. First off he won by 25L and although Laylite got close over course and distance last time it was still a dominate victory. He clearly loves a Heavy 10 track and although this is another step up he gets 5kgs from the other two leading contenders. I think he can win this and make it 3/3 over fences although I will cover Flying Agent as if he returns to his best he is easily the main danger as I can't have Britannicus on the ground.

Yulong Prince 2pts @ 2/1 with everyone
Flying Agent 1pt @ 5/2 with William Hill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
The profits continued a couple of weeks ago at Warrnambool and Stern Idol was especially impressive. He goes again at Pakenham on Sunday morning where we have an all jumps card made up of 6 races. Also of interest is ex UK jockey Fergus Gregory (guessing it's him and not another jockey with the same name) has rides on 2 favourites on the card so might get his first win in Australia.
 
Race 1
The opener is a Maiden Hurdle over 3200m and it has the potential to throw up a few winners as we have a few fair sorts coming from the flat in the shape of Bedford, Double You Tee, Heir To The Throne and Teofilo Star. The latter of those is ridden by Fergus Gregory and unless there is another Fergus Gregory then I am guessing it is the British jockey. He had a ride at Casterton last month, but he could well ride his first winner Down Under on Sunday as Teofilo Star has a good chance and he has a better chance in the 2nd race. Out of those with hurdles experience I thought Hostar ran really well at Warrnambool, but in the end Chains Of Honour had too much class for him and whilst he should find a maiden at some stage I can't help thinking at least one of the other 4 will prove too strong for him. As for who might win I don't have a strong view and I am happy to sit and watch for future races.
 
Race 2
This Maiden Hurdle is over 3500m and unlike the first race it looks a pretty weak contest. Those with hurdles form already don't exactly set a tough standard. Dr Dependable has finished 2nd, 4th, 5th, 4th. 4th, 3rd, 4th, 2nd and 3rd in his completions (he fell once) over hurdles this season so he's fairly consistant, but the 2nd wasn't strong form in my view and he has tended to be well beaten despite finishing in the places. He has been behind Thurmanator and it is 1 each in the head to head with Capellani. Thurmanator was 2nd when Dr Dependable was 3rd at Sale last month and that was behind a very impressive winner in Twin Spinner. He fell at Warrnambool last time and he was still in contention for a place where Capellani was 3rd and Dr Dependable was 4th. I guess one of those could win at last, but I am happy to look elsewhere. Murrumbidgee Bridge is making his hurdles debut for top connections, but he hasn't exactly been in good form on the flat and I've not thought a great deal of his hurdle trials either. Slipintothis is the favourite and whilst I wouldn't want to get carried away with him I do think he's the most likely winner and worth a small bet. He had lost his way a bit on the flat this year, but his last flat run 3 weeks ago in a BM70 at Sandown was solid. He's had 3 hurdle trials and although there is no footage of the one this week, I thought he jumped well in his other two where he was given a very quiet school round. He was only beaten a length in that trial at Warrnambool on Wednesday so clearly he is nearing his peak and I think he could have the beating of these. British jockey Fergus Gregory takes the ride and is Teofilo Star hasn't won in the first then this could be his first winner in Australia.
 
Slipintothis 1pt @ 6/5 with most bookies
 
Race 3
Stern Idol was so impressive on his Aussie hurdling debut a couple of weeks ago at Warrnambool that I can't see him getting beaten here. It's a slightly stronger race, but I don't think he has too much to worry about if he repeats that performance. Big Blue is a good horse and he was eased after getting hampered at the last a couple of weeks ago, but I doubt he would have won and he might not have even been in the frame as he was looking very one paced at the time. Stern Idol does have to give a fair bit of weight away to the others, but they haven't shown the sort of form that would be able to have beaten Stern Idol the last time and so I just can't see it here either. I think he will go off a fair bit shorter than he is at the moment and I think even at odds on he is value.
 
Stern Idol 5pts @ 3/4 with Bet365
 
Race 4
The feature hurdle on the card and 5 of the 6 ran at Warrnambool a couple of weeks ago and Onset ran best of those when finishing 2nd although Tamarack and El Diez were very close to her in 3rd and 4th. Count Zero got tired after a poor jump at the last and was 7th whilst the returning Bee Tee Junior was one place in front of him in 6th. I'm sure Bee Tee Junior will improve for that run and stepping up to 3500m should see some more improvement as well so he could end finishing best of those. He is sure to be building towards one of the big races at Sandown on August 7th. They all come up against Saunter Boy who is the best hurdler in Australia at the moment. He hasn't been seen over hurdles since winning the Australian Hurdle in May, but whilst the others ran at Warrnambool he ran at Flemington the same weekend and ran a very creditable 5th of 10. That should put him spot on for this and he should make it 4/4 over hurdles this season. I was tempted to put Saunter Boy in a double with Stern Idol, but I think Stern Idol is a good enough bet by himself, so instead I will have a small forecast on Saunter Boy to beat Bee Tee Junior.
 
Saunter Boy to beat Bee Tee Junior 0.5pts f/c
 
Race 5
A Maiden Steeplechase over 3500m and the two at the head of the market are Bow Thruster and Brungle Bertie. The former hadn't shown too much in his first two hurdles starts, but was much better at Warrnambool last month when making the running and just got caught late on by Mighty Oasis. That's decent enough form in the context of this race and he did beat Valac in a steeple trial at Traralgon a couple of weeks ago, but annoyingly there is no footage of it. There is footage of Brungle Bertie's trial and it was OK, but no more than that. He was very impressive over hurdles here in April so clearly Pakenham suits him well and his next two runs over hurdles were solid efforts. He was 4th in the Australian Hurdle and I think he didn't really see out the 3900m trip so dropping back 400m over a flat track should be a plus. He ran on the flat a couple of weeks ago, but it was clearly no more than a trial for him as he was well beaten. Zedstar will surely win over obstacles at some point, but he was well beaten on a Heavy 10 on his chase debut. I also don't think he was at his best back over hurdles at Casterton last time so I am happy to leave him alone. One I do think is overpriced is Mustang Harry who I didn't think was given a great ride behind Under The Bridge at Warrnambool a couple of weeks ago. He was flying down the straight and I'm actually surprised the stewards didn't query the riders tactics because for me he waited way too long to ask the horse for an effort. He had shown glimmers of promise over hurdles last term and I actually think a repeat of the run last time would be good enough to win this. I think he looks a solid enough e/w bet at the prices with Bow Thruster the main danger.
 
Mustang Harry 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes
 
Race 6
The feature steeplechase race on the card and it backs up my thinking that this sphere is not strong at the moment. Runaway won at Sale last time beating Cheners and Dewrinkler, but I think Valac looked the winner until he fell. Now that was his 2nd fall on the bounce, but if he gets round safely I think he is the most likely winner of the race. He's had a couple of steeple trails since then and hopefully that has helped get his confidence back up. Te Kahu should improve for his first run in Oz, but he needs to and based on his New Zealand form I think he needs a longer trip than this. Under The Bridge got it done for us a couple of weeks ago and had Blood And Sand and Cheners in behind. That was a good effort and gives him a real chance in this although I think if Valac gets round then he can get the better of him. Valac is the main bet, but I will also cover Chief Sequoyah. He has been sent over from New Zealand and unlike Te Kahu this does look his sort of trip. The fact he's coming from New Zealand suggests that they think he can win races in Oz and given the lack of depth in this division then I am happy to have a bit on him as he could well prove good enough.
 
Valac 1.5pts @ 5/2 with William Hill
Chief Sequoyah 0.5pts @ 6/1 with Bet365
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A cracking week last Sunday with Stern Idol winning with ease again and getting a 10/1 winner as well. This week we are back to Casterton for the final time this season with 3 races over the jumps on the card.

Race 1

As much as last week was very good it was annoying to see Hostar win the opener given I like the horse but wondered if he might find at least one of the newcomers too good. In the end he won by the narrowest of margins and the horse who was 2nd is the odds-on favourite to win this on the seven day back up. Heir To The Throne put in a cracking performance on his hurdles debut and he deserves to be favourite here. I'm not sure he offers any great value though as much as he is the most likely winner. Laughing Grizzley was 3rd one place behind Heir To The Throne in a flat race at Cranbourne last time so has an obvious chance on his hurdles debut, but I wasn't that impressed in his hurdles trial. The only other one in single figures is American In Paris and he is going to be the selection. He was a solid 2nd over fences to Britannicus back in March and although he has been a bit disappointing since they have been in better races than this. In the Grand Annual he had an excuse as he was found to have a throat condition and finished lame. He was last on the flat at the beginning of the month, but has trialled well over hurdles since. Although he's been running over fences of late, he has got some good hurdles form including a 2nd to Valac on his last hurdles start. If he can run to that level then he has a winning chance. We have the usual maiden hurdle runners like Dr Dependable and Thurmanator and they have place claims especially the latter.
 
American In Paris 1pt @ 11/2 with Paddy Power, Betfair, Coral, Betfred and Ladbrokes
 
Race 2
I have to be with Onset in this who yet again as been looked over in the betting which makes little sense to me. She has won for us twice at decent odds this season at Sale and over course and distance when just beating Tolemac. Since then she has finished 2nd to an impressive Blandford Lad at Warrnambool and then was a good 3rd to Saunter Boy at Pakenham last week. This will be her 4th run in a month and the possibility is it will eventually catch up with her, but otherwise I think she should be just about favourite for this. Big Blue and Tolemac head the market. Big Blue did easily beat Onset at Hamilton in May, but I think Onset has improved since then and I think she would have been in front of him at Warrnambool 3 weeks ago. Big Blue was hampered at the last that day and ended up pulling up, but Onset was already just about in front of him and was going the better. Tolemac was also in that race and was back in 5th so that is twice Onset has beaten him and I think she can do so again. Mighty Oasis is the other one with a chance and was just behind Tolemac in a maiden hurdle at Hamilton in May and he then went and won his maiden at Warrnambool. He went back there 3 weeks ago, but bumped into Stern Idol, but did manage best of the rest. For me Big Blue is the biggest danger, but Onset is over priced yet again and is the bet for me.
 
Onset 1pt @ 5/1 with everyone
 
Race 3
Elvision is 2/2 this season over course and distance and even though he's up in the weights again I just don't see him getting beat. He loves the hedge fences here and I just think he has a class edge on his rivals. Strictly speaking Mapping does have a chance of reversing the form from last time as he was 1.75L behind him in 2nd and he has run OK since in the Thackeray at Warrnambool when 3rd to Flying Agent. I don't think the form will be reversed though and I'd be surprised if Elvision didn't land the hat-trick.
 

Elvison 4pts @ 4/5 with Paddy Power, Betfair, Coral and Ladbrokes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Just 2 more jump meetings in Oz before the season ends and we go to Sandown tomorrow for 3 races including the Crisp Steeplechase and the Grand National Hurdle.
 
Race 1
Really looking forward to the Crisp Steeplechase named after the great horse. I have felt the chasing sphere hasn't been overly strong this season, but we have 3 of the horses who have stared over the larger obstacles in the shape of Valac, Flying Agent and Elvison. All 3 have made us cash as well so which one of the 3 is going to come out on top here? I've been a long time fan of Valac and it was great to see him win at Pakenham in good style last time after a couple of falls. Steve Pateman has spoken about how much class this horse has and he should know given he's sat on some good ones. The one small doubt I have about him is if he needs this trip, but he wasn't stopping over 3500m at Pakenham. Flying Agent was average in this race last season, but he seemed to go off the boil over fences after winning the Brierley at the Warrnambool Carnival so I wouldn't read too much into that. I thought he was fantastic in his only jumps start this prep in the Thackeray at Warrnambool last month. He easily beat Yulong Place (reopposes here) that day and that horse had looked very good in his two wins over fences so the form looks rock solid. I did think Yulong Place didn't like being taken on for the lead and they went quick enough, but there is every chance that could happen here as well so I don't think the form will be reversed. Flying Agent had a very good run on the flat a couple of weeks ago here to keep him ticking over. He should be capable of much better than he showed in this race last season. Elvision has been like a cashpoint for us in 3 very easy wins over the hedge fences at Casterton. He was 2nd in the Australian Chase here in May and the ground would have been quick enough for him so these softer conditions should help. I'm just not sure he's quite got the class of the other two though. 
 
Mustang Harry did us a great turn when winning the maiden steeplechase at Pakenham last month and I can't understand why the horse he beat Brungle Bertie is shorter than him in the betting. If anything given his running style he should improve for the step up in trip. He does get plenty of weight from the others which will help, but at the same time I would be a little surprised if he was good enough.
 
One horse who I do think has been overlooked in the betting is Bee Tee Junior. I put him up as the forecast play last time at Pakenham and he ran well enough to finish 4th to Saunter Boy. 2 years ago he was 2nd in the Grand National Hurdle on this card and he then went on to win the Grand National Chase at Ballarat. He then missed the whole of last year and after a few flat runs and trials he has run in a couple of hurdle races. He has clearly been gearing up for this race and no doubt the Ballarat contest and I have seen enough in his two hurdle runs to think he still has plenty of his old ability. On his 2020 form he would be one of the favourites for this and he has to be backed e/w at his huge price.
 
It does hurt a little to not back Valac or Elvision here as I like both horses, but I think Flying Agent is the one they have to beat as for me that Pakenham performance was the best chase performance I have seen this season and if he runs up to that form here then I think he will be too good for them.
 
Flying Agent 1.5pts @ 5/2 with William Hill
Bee Tee Junior 1pt e/w @ 18/1 with William Hill
 
Race 4
This looks a bit of a match to me impressive maiden hurdle winners Chains Of Honour and Slipintothis at the head of the market. I tried to take on Chains Of Honour on his hurdling debut with Hostar who had really impressed me in his trail, but Hostar had no answers to the winner who really impressed me. Hostar then went and won himself beating Heir To The Throne at Pakenham a couple of weeks later. The 3rd home Dr Dependable also beat Heir To The Throne at Casterton so the form looks rock solid. As much as I like Hostar I don't really see any reason why the form should be reversed as he was well on top at the line. Chains Of Honour has had a run on the flat since to keep him ticking over nicely. Slipintothis was also impressive on debut as he bolted up by 8l, but that was a very weak race and I don't think the form is anywhere near as strong as Chains Of Honour. Of course that doesn't mean he won't beat him here, but I have to side with Chains Of Honour. Outside of those two and Hostar it is hard to really see anything else being good enough to win.
 
Chains Of Honour 2pts @ 6/4 with Bet365
 
Race 5
The feature race on the card is the Grand National Hurdle and it really does look like a match between the best hurdler in Australia Saunter Boy and the best hurdler in New Zealand The Cossack. I know on weights that St Arnicca has the beating of Saunter Boy based on the Galleywood Hurdle run back in May, but I don't think he will reverse form as I think Saunter Boy has improved since. He has looked so good this winning 4/4 over hurdles. He failed to finish in this race last year, but he suffered lacerations and I think that was the cause for his poor effort as he went and won at Ballarat 2 weeks later. He's probably a better horse this season as well. I tried to find some videos of The Cossack in action, but all I could find was the closing stages for his win 3 starts back. He's won 10/15 starts over jumps and he clearly has to be respected, but I think Saunter Boy will have his measure and he can make it 5/5 for the year.
 
Saunter Boy 2pts @ Evs with everyone
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Darran said:

Another good morning with Flying Agent and Saunter Boy landing the two big races. Both returning bigger prices than I put them up at.

well done pal/   you got any  sort of P/L  figures running on aussie postings

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, black rabbit said:

well done pal/   you got any  sort of P/L  figures running on aussie postings

Updated totals are total stakes 98.5 total returns 136.78 for a profit of 38.28. Just two more meetings now at Coleraine next week and then the big finale at Ballarat on the 28th. Equates to 10 races unless we get any divisions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We head to Coleraine on Sunday morning for 3 hurdles and a chase. It's a tricky card, but hopefully we can get another profit.

Race 1
Only one of the 10 runners has run in a hurdle race so far and Buffalo Bill shouldn't be good enough to win this. That makes this contest very tricky especially as all these horses are low grade ones on the flat so there isn't a classy flat horse in the field either. Having watched the hurdle trials and based on the flat runs it does look like Castrofrancaru is the one to beat. He looked good in his trial and beat and a couple of these in it. He has also won his last two on the flat so comes here in good form. El Campeon has shown little on the flat of late, but I did like his trial win last week. He looked really perked up for jumping hurdles and he should be able to make a better hurdler than flat horse. The one small concern is that maybe he might be too keen to see out the trip. Ultimately though this isn't really a race I want to get involved with from a betting point of view given Double You Tee is 2nd in the betting yet is unlikely to get a run as he's 3rd emergancy. 
 
Race 2
If Heir To The Throne can handle the 7-day back-up then he looks the one to beat here. I thought he was very good at Sandown last week in what wasn't a bad race for the grade because I think a decent horse in Chains Of Honour was back in 3rd. He sat just off the decent pace which was set by Slipintothis who reoppeses here despite tiring badly into 5th place last week. His jockey told the stewards he needs a wetter track and the fact he won his maiden hurdle in a Heavy 10 backs that up. It looks like we will get similar ground to last week so I can't see the form being reversed. Mighty Oasis looks the biggest danger as if it wasn't for the superb Stern Idol he would be coming here looking for a 4-timer. As it is he won his maiden after some good place efforts, then bumped into Stern Idol before winning at Casterton 3 weeks of weeks ago. Tolemac was 1.5L behind in 2nd, but I think the form will be upheld. Mighty Oasis made a bit of an error at the last, but he picked up well again and was well on top at the line. The concern for me about his chances though is that he and Slipintothis might take each other on up front and set it up for the closer in Heir To The Throne. That is why I am siding with the Sandown winner.
 
Heir To The Throne 1pt @ 6/5 with Coral, Betfred and Ladbrokes
 
Race 3
A tricky low-grade hurdle and you could put a few into the mix. Fort Charles hasn't really gone on from his Hamilton maiden win and he has 8.25L in front of Sky Hero who was 3rd that day. Sky Hero followed up at Warrnambool the following month and although he was only 4th back their last month it was behind Stern Idol so I don't think it was as bad a run as it looks on paper. He's not run since, but I think he can reverse the form with Fort Charles and maybe win this. Dr Dependable seemed to turn up in every maiden hurdle going, but he finally won one at Casterton last month. That was a good effort as he had Heir To The Throne in 2nd and American In Paris in 4th. Not surprisingly he was outclassed last week in the Grand National Hurdle. This is more his level. Bedford was 3rd behind Hostar and Heir To The Throne on his hurdles debut at Pakenham last month and its interesting they have chosen this contest over the maiden hurdle which he would have a very good chance in. Murrumbidgee River was very disappointing on hurdles debut, but he was found to be lame so that can be looked over. He's hardly one of his stables leading lights, but he would be a surprise winner. Finally, Rosie Rose was a solid 3rd on her hurdle debut at Pakenham and she has place claims at least.
 
I was going to back Bedford, but he's 11/10 and that is plenty short enough in a race like this. Instead, I will back Dr Dependable e/w as he will appreciate this class drop and he's a good a chance as any of landing this.
 
Dr Dependable 1pt e/w @ 15/2 with Coral and Ladbrokes
 
Race 4
This is a clear class drop for the top weight Bee Tee Junior and if he was able to find his best then I think he can win this. The problem is as much as he travelled quite well into the race last week in the Crisp, I just thought it was disappointing he didn't really finish off the race all that well. I backed him last week, but even with the class drop I find it hard to fancy him here. Pateman is focusing on training on Sunday and he was 4 runners in this who all ran at Casterton last time. Historic was behind Laylite and Power Of Words when 4th to Elvision, but it was hist first run for a month after he wasn't able to go with Elvision over the same course and distance. Pateman has said that he eased off him after that tough race and he was under-cooked going into the race last time. The fact he was able to finish as close as he did given that was very creditable. He is 2/2 here having won this race in 2020 and then winning here last August at a meeting I think was moved from Casterton if I remember rightly. The biggest danger looks to be Under The Bridge. After making bad mistakes at the 18th fence twice at Warrnambool he finally got safely over that fence and won their last month. He beat Mustang Harry who franked the form by winning at Pakenham the next start. He was 3rd at the same meeting behind Valac who is better than any of these, so it was a good run as well. This looks a good race for him.
 
Roland Garros has been one I have put up before this season, but he just seems to have become disappointing and I don't think the ground will be soft enough. Another I have put up a few times is Onset although to much more success. She makes he chase debut here and I thought she did well enough in her one trial to date. She has run 12 times over hurdles since April and in March she also had 3 flat runs so for her to still be running as well as she is of great credit to her and her trainer. She ran perfectly well when 4th in the Grand National Hurdle last week and you couldn't rule her out here. San Remo was a close 3rd in this last year and he had a nice prep on the level last time to get him ready for this.
 
I was surprised to see Roland Garros as favourite and he is well worth taking on for me. Historic looks a big price and he is the main bet e/w, but I will also cover Under The Bridge as he looks the biggest danger.
 
Historic 1pt e/w @ 10/1 with William Hill
Under The Bridge 1pt @ 100/30 with Betfair and Paddy Power
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...