Challenging should lead from barrier one with Just Bet On Black landing the breeze first. He may hand up to Estocada or Questionable Gesture to get an ideal trail.
Questionable Gesture looked a sit-sprinter early days but may be a better enforcer after winning from the breeze last start. He sat outside Star Armbro and proved too strong in 1:58.4 with a final half of 56.8 seconds.
Challenging may be a touch better than Star Armbro but they look fairly similar and Questionable Gesture should have options in the run.
Just Bet On Black, The Storm Chief and Estocada are the other players in the race with Borntobeanartist the knockout chance if they went crazy.
Race 2 (6:40pm local/9:40pm AEDT) – WESTBRED MS PACE – 2130m
Tanaka Eagle should lead with Soho Wall Street on his back. New World Order is the probable breeze horse but I don’t particularly like him in that position, especially not at an odds-on quote; best horse yes, but not classes above them and can be beaten.
Machrihanish looks the main danger in the race as this horse can run a very good final 800m. His recent form stacks up in this company and he shouldn’t be too far away from them.
Tempo will dictate his chances though as he will be giving them a bit of a headstart.
Soho Wall Street should appreciate being saved for one run and can be dangerous from behind Tanaka Eagle while that horse won well during the week and should run a big race in front.
Race 3 (7:10pm local/10:10pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2536m
I can’t believe the price about Red Hot Major! That is what I would be saying if the horse was fully wound-up. Based on talent alone, he is the best horse in the race by a fair way, excluding for Sky Art, and he may still prove too strong despite looking to run out of puff at his first run back.
That was on January 24 and he should be a fair bit fitter now. Despite running sixth, Red Hot Major still got home in 55.2 seconds and he still rates as the horse to beat.
If you look at his four-year-old season, he was 2.3m off Run Oneover and 12.1m off Beaudiene Boaz in a Group 1 contest.
Sky Art looks the main danger while Bettor Not Knowing is racing well and the distance is in his favour.
Shes Turbo Charged and Shes Artful should also run well from good draws.
Race 4 (7:40pm local/10:40pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2130m
Argyle Red leads and will run a big race. Bounty Eyre races on his back, Gaz Wannabet makes a move for the breeze and El Hombre races handy to the speed.
There is no doubting he is racing well but Argyle Red looks poison odds against this company. If he were $1.25 to place I would be happy laying him because he has been known to give it away.
Gaz Wannabet looks a strong contender in the event after back-to-back wins. Both victories have come racing outside of the leader and he should give Argyle Red something to think about.
Bounty Eyre will appreciate the soft draw and if he gets clear running then watch out.
El Hombre shouldn’t be double-figure odds from the good draw and I expect a much better showing from barrier two as he may settle 1 out 1 back or 1 out 2 back. I will be backing him at double figures also.
Race 6 (8:40pm local/11:40pm AEDT) – RWWA CUP – 2536m
This is a very average RWWA Cup and you wouldn’t believe it is a Group 2 contest!
Our Jimmy Johnstone and Im Full Of Excuses are true free-for-all horses while Shardons Rocket, Lisharry, Courage Tells and Bronze Seeker are second-string free-for-all horses when you compare them to the likes of WA’s top pacers such as Chicago Bull, Soho Tribeca, Beaudiene Boaz, Bettors Fire and co.
Our Jimmy Johnstone gets the barrier draw advantage over Im Full Of Excuses and that looks crucial here as he will be in front of Im Full Of Excuses. Most of the runners are hand-up horses and even Shardons Rocket may consider that tactic if Our Jimmy Johnstone approaches with some venom.
The alternative option is to control the race from the breeze position and if Our Jimmy Johnstone replicates his third-placing in the Group 2 Village Kid (2130m) won by Beaudiene Boaz on December 30, then he will be victorious.
Im Full Of Excuses and Bronze Seeker are the main dangers in the race.
Race 8 (9:40pm local/12:40am AEDT) – MS PACE – 2130m
Greg and Skye Bond dominate the race with Our Regal Ideal, Vanquished, Bungalow Bill and Condrieu making up the nine-horse field.
Twoandahalf Tigers looks the only threat to the Bond stable who should produce the winner and could land the Quinella and Trifecta.
Our Regal Ideal should lead and I’m hoping they hold that position with him and not hand up during the run to stablemate Vanquished or Bungalow Bill because this horse can run a very strong race.
He ran through the line strongly for second behind American Boy and that’s a good formline for this race. Prior to that he was placed at Pinjarra behind Lisharry who is flying and Three Bears who is a talented type.
Say It Now has place claims at odds in this field as he drops to the pegs and can follow speed.
Race 9 (10:15pm local/1:15am AEDT) – MS PACE – 1730m
Bebrave should cross Brilliant Sunshine at the start which makes that horse risky as he may not find a run late in the race. Khun Ratha and Scoobys Delight should be handy to the pace.
I think Scoobys Delight can land the breeze and over the short-course he should be very competitive as he is one of the better horses in the race.
Bebrave should run an improved race leading and Khun Ratha will appreciate this company.
Brilliant Sunshine will need some luck but isn’t out of it either and Letztorqueaboutyou was an eye-catcher at his return effort.