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Australian Jumps Season 2023


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I am back for my 4th attempt at looking at the Australian Jumps racing season. It all started because of Covid and 2020 was very successful. 2021 was a bit tougher, but last year was superb with the final totals for the season stakes 112.5, returns 155.28 for a total profit of 42.78. I was more than pleased with that and hopefully I can have another profitable season which starts on Gold Cup Day at Terang and will carry on until August.

Race 1

We start with a BM120 Hurdle and as the betting suggests the race is quite trappy, but it looks full of horses who struggle to actually get their head in front and therefore I think Mighty Oasis can win the opening race of the season. He won twice last season at Warrnambool and Casterton before struggling in his final couple of runs of the prep. I suspect he had more than enough for the season and he had 2 2nds on the flat which were decent. He did disappoint at Yarra Valley last time, but he's trialed well since over fences and whilst this might be a prep for going over fences I think he can take this first.

Mighty Oasis 1pt @ 11/4 with Betfred and William Hill

Race 2

Looks a pretty weak maiden hurdle and Laybuy is favourite on the back of a promising trail, but I prefer the claims of Cotton Eye Joe. Most of these are making their debuts over hurdles, but he ran in a maiden on the final meeting of the season at Ballarat. He made the running, but in the end got tired and ended up finishing 5th. On better ground here I think he has a chance of making all and to put that hurdling experience to good use. He trailed really well earlier in the month so that is promising as well for his claims here.

Cotton Eye Joe 1pt @ 3/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred

Race 3

Not a huge fan of this race so will pass it over betting wise. Goondiwindi would be the most likely winner as didn't get much luck on hurdles debut at Ballarat and can improve on that.

Race 4

The first steeplechase of the new season and its not a very strong affair. Count Zero and Flying Pierro are the market leaders here, but I am happy enough to try and take them on. Count Zero didn't impress me with his jumping in his trial and whilst Flying Pierro was much better, I didn't think a great deal of his two runs over fences last season. He didn't jump well when 3rd behind Historic at Hamilton and then a week later looked quite one paced in 4th albeit he was hampered by a fall at 3 out which didn't help. Speaking of Historic I think there is value in backing him. Although he has won on a Heavy 10 he has also won on a Soft 5 so these conditions shouldn't bother him. This is the sort of race he can win and he has won 5 times over jumps from 21 starts and he has had two solid trials going into this. I am also going to cover So Belafonte who won the trail Count Zero was in and jumped very well. He's only had one start over fences back in 2020 when he fell when beaten, but he looks set to do better this time around. He only had 3 hurdle starts last year and never really got going, but he's had 5 flat runs plus the trial to get his fitness up and he's been running solidly on the level. He looks a big price here.

Historic 1pt @ 5/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred

So Belafonte 1pt @ 9/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair and Betfred

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Out of luck last week with a couple of frustrating 2nd. Thursday we are off to Warrnambool for the first time this season with 3 jumps races on the card
Race 1
Nelson might be familiar name as he was trained by Aidan O'Brien and was last seen for him in the 2018 Arc when finishing 8th behind Enable. He was then missing for a year and then ran 8th in a G3 at Caulfield. He then changed yards and didn't run until February 2021 when he finished 5th and 6th in a couple of Listed Races. Since then he has had another change of yards and another massive spell. He has had a jump out and two hurdle trials before running in the Stony Creek Cup last week. He was 6th in that and it was a solid enough run which he clearly is going to benefit from. What I think is more important though is his hurdle trials. His 2nd was here and I really liked the way he attacked his hurdles. He is the best of these on the Flat.
Toyetic is a stablemate of Nelson and has won 5 times on the Flat. He's been well beaten in both Flat starts this year, but did win both his hurdle trials. He jumped well enough, but I wouldn't say as well as Nelson and his trial at Warrnambool was way slower than Nelson's. I'd say the fact Pateman is on Nelson is proof that he is the stable's first string.
Rudimental was useful enough when he first came over from France and had a couple of decent showings last April including a 3rd in the Terang Cup. He has really lost his form since then though and has struggled to even beat a horse home. Dropped all the way into BM58 company at Ararat last time and was only 5th. He did win his hurdle trial last time which was certainly a step in the right direction and that he might find some form over hurdles.
Zoffany Rocket and Buffalo Bill were both 3rd last week at Terang. The former was well beaten in much the quicker division whereas the latter stayed on to be beaten a length in the slower division. Both are long term maidens though and I think they will struggle here. Armansky has been well beaten in weak flat races this year and might struggle here.
Nelson is long odds on here which is no surprise and he should win. Whilst I suspect a Maher 1-2 is the most likely result I am happy enough to leave the race alone from a betting perspective.
Race 2
This looks a pretty weak handicap hurdle and last week's Terang winner San Remo must have an excellent chance of following up. He did have the perfect run that day just sitting off the pace and then being sent on as they left the back straight. It was a good ride, but this race doesn't look any harder and I think he can beat the Musgrove 3. Youl Dash For Cash hasn't been seen over hurdles since he won at Morphettville in 2019. He was off until January 2021 had 3 Flat starts and then only had a couple of jump outs last year. This year he had 2 jump outs before a couple of Flat runs were he only beat 1 horse home each time. He's had two hurdle trials which were OK and then was a well beaten last at Stony Creek last week. He's 11 now and whilst he might improve for going back over hurdles I would rather see how he gets on first. Onset finally managed to win over hurdles last season when winning at Casterton and went on to win two more times at Sale and again at Casterton. He's had some trials and a couple of Flat runs and is a fairly solid horse, but I suspect he might need another run or 2 to get up to fitness. Good old Cheners was 3rd in this race last year and the fact he has only won twice in 31 jumps starts tells you how hard he finds it to win. Outside of the Musgrove horses there is just Epizeel who won the 2nd division of the maiden at Terang last week. I think that is weak form though and San Remo's winning time was over 2 seconds quicker.
There is little between the two Terang winners at the head of the market, but I would have San Remo further ahead myself so happy to back him to follow up that win.
San Remo 1pt @ 7/5 with Paddy Power
Race 3
Police Camp ran a hell of a race to finish 2nd in the Grand Annual over 5500m here last May, but that just highlights he needs a stamina test and I suspect connections are working him towards peaking him in May rather than March. I thought Historic had a chance last week at Terang, but he was already finding himself outpaced when he was severely checked avoiding a faller at the 4th. Given how far back he was I find it hard to back him here and looks a bit short in the market. Mighty Oasis dropped away very tamely last week in the BM120 Hurdle after making the running. He trailed well enough over the fences here prior to that so might improve here, but he looks very short in the betting at 10/11. The Beehive did show a little promise in 4 hurdle stats to date and was solid enough on the Flat at Pakenham last time. He trailed here prior to that and it was an interesting run as he started off out the back and then made up plenty of ground to end up joining the front two who were well clear. He certainly seemed to take well to the larger obstacles. 
With Rexmont a non-runner it might mean Mighty Oasis gets a fairly easy lead and that might be key, but he dropped away very tamely last week and I just can't make him an odds on shot to win this. Historic does have the ability to win this, but I didn't like the way he was so far back at Terang before being forced out of the race. With Police Squad needing a stronger test of stamina that leaves us with The Beehive. Based on his trial here he might just turn out to be a better chaser than hurdler so I will take a chance on him being able to win this on his chasing debut.
The Beehive 1pt @ 7/2 with William Hill and Betfred
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