Form analyst Trent Orwin previews his best selections for Albany Cup Night.
Race 2 (7:03pm local/10:03pm AEDT) – FILLIES AND MARES MS PACE – 2258m
There could be a bit of speed early with Sweet Notes, Simondou Su, Machulbeatchu and Im Zuleika all capable of running the gate here.
Simondou Su may be able to cross the two horses inside her and that will be pivotal to her chances. If she could lead and take a sit behind Im Zuleika then she could run a strong race.
One big positive is the services of Chris Lewis and her run two starts back at Pinjarra was pretty good when fifth behind Melimac.
Im Zuleika looks fairly hard to beat and is the class runner but they could make her do some work and that is not something she will enjoy.
Machulbeatchu and Four Legged Fury have each-way prospects in the race.
Race 4 (8:00pm local/11:00pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2258m
The Redeemer will show plenty of gate speed early and Trust My Judgement will no doubt press forward to have a look at him after a few hundred metres.
In this company, The Redeemer may take the trail on Trust My Judgement which would allow class runner Chuck Norris to follow him through to race in the breeze position.
There are three key chances with Trust My Judgement, Chuck Norris and Muscle Torque. Smaller hopes go to The Redeemer and Crimson Floyd who is racing very well.
Trust My Judgement led six starts ago and was narrowly beaten by Gotta Go Chocolate. He should get his chance again and I think he will run a strong race if he finds the lead.
Race 5 (8:30pm local/11:30pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 1828m
Cerato has plenty of gate speed and will tackle King Crocker early. Over the short-course, King Crocker may attempt to lead throughout which could leave Cerato in the breeze.
Having his first run back, Cerato finished sixth at Gloucester Park over 2130m; he faced the breeze and weakened to be beaten 15.6m.
Racing in the breeze isn’t his go so finding the lead would be priority number one for Mitchell Miller and the five-year-old gelding could give stablemate Mighty Mr Sharkey something to catch if he finds the front.
Hez The Jazz Man looks the third pick and has decent prospects from barrier four. If he had drawn inside Cerato I would have been really keen on his chances.
King Crocker, Our Jeremes Gem, October Brown and Pass The Magic have smaller claims.
Race 6 (9:00pm local/12:00am AEDT) – ALBANY CUP – 2683m
The Albany Cup has attracted Greg and Skye Bond’s stable star Our Jimmy Johnstone who has had an excellent season, winning the Group 2 RWWA Cup and Governors Cup in the past month, while running second in the Group 2 Pinjarra Pacing Cup last time out.
While he is the proven open-class horse in the field, he meets the up-and-coming Talktomeurmattjesty and I believe Barry Howlett’s five-year-old gelding is capable of defeating Our Jimmy Johnstone.
Celestial Ruler or Good Times Ahead will lead early but should hand the lead to Talktomeurmattjesty or Our Jimmy Johnstone. Talktomeurmattjesty showed enough gate speed last time to suggest he can hold up and Chris Lewis won’t be relinquishing to his main danger.
I was most impressed by Talktomeurmattjesty winning a C5-C9 event at his most recent start. That doesn’t sound great leading into an encounter with Fremantle Cup placegetter Our Jimmy Johnstone, but you have to dig deeper to see he scored in 1:56.4 over the 2536m at Gloucester Park.
Look a little further and you see he defeated Kiwi Legend by 1.3m. This pacer needs no introduction having beaten Beaudiene Boaz in the past and a winner of the 4YO & 5YO Championship at Gloucester Park last night – Kiwi Legend won by 9.6m and beat a very strong field, including Im Full Of Excuses who had beaten Our Jimmy Johnstone in the Pinjarra Pacing Cup.
It’s going to be a great contest and Talktomeurmattjesty or Our Jimmy Johnstone should win the race.
Courage Tells is the best knockout chance if the two favourites declare war on each other because he will have plenty to offer late under that scenario while iron-horse Shardons Rocket is a marvel and will run to the best of his ability. I think he is risky here and cannot fathom him winning unless he finds the lead which looks unlikely – place best.