Race 1 (5:53pm local/8:53pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2130m
Im Lisart looks the leader and should prove hard to beat with Questionable Gesture racing outside of him. One of the two are the likely winner but a few others have smaller hopes – Bad Round, El Sunami, Foxy Dame, Im Simply Red and Northern Emperor.
Bad Round maps really well from barrier three and I can see him racing 1 out 1 back behind Questionable Gesture. Foxy Dame looks the other horse that may go forward but she isn’t a breeze horse and would be looking for Questionable Gesture to give cover if she does press forward.
Two starts back Foxy Dame beat Bad Round and Questionable Gesture by a head and half-neck respectively in a close three-way finish.
Bad Round’s previous form includes a close second behind Northern Emperor at Northam and a third-placing behind Allthewaytothebank at the same venue. Looks a great each-way price at $16 and $4.
Race 3 (6:54pm local/9:54pm AEDT) – THE CLARKE QUALIFYING HEAT 2 – 2130m
Tanaka Eagle looks likely to take a trail behind Gaz Wannabet at the start of the race and this is the draw which will see Gaz Wannabet really competitive.
Hailing from the Greg and Skye Bond stable, Gaz Wannabet won back-to-back races in February before a couple of placings led to a last-start sixth.
There shouldn’t be too much pressure in the race and Nathan Turvey will try to pinch the race from stablemate Galactic Star who is the superior horse and may still overcome barrier 12.
Other chances to Twoandahalf Tigers, Letztorqueaboutyou, Sky Art, Straight Thru Blue and Tanaka Eagle.
Race 4 (7:25pm local/10:25pm AEDT) – MS PACE – 2130m
Classy mare Sheer Rocknroll returned in excellent fashion with a 7.9m victory in an M0-M1 event. She sat 1 out 2 back in the run before quickly descending upon them and racing away to an effortless win.
She has come up with barrier eight here but her form reads well for a race of this nature and she should be put into the race at some stage.
The Storm Chief will be keen to lead and could be challenged by Auctioneers Elsu who looks a big chance of crossing if they really run the gate with her.
Sheer Rocknroll is looking to take the next step to becoming an open-class mare and she continues to add strength to her arsenal which is important for that transition.
Race 7 (9:05pm local/12:05am AEDT) – 4YO & 5YO CHAMPIONSHIP – 2130m
A small but select field of seven runners faces the starter in the Group 3 feature and six of them have winning claims. Mister Versace can’t win from barrier six against this opposition.
Kiwi Legend has been flying and looks a big chance of crossing Ideal Tyson at the start. That gives Kiwi Legend the advantage over Pinjarra Pacing Cup winner Im Full Of Excuses who doesn’t look suited over the 2130m from barrier seven – plenty of respect for his ability but strong preference to Kiwi legend here.
Facing the breeze in 1:56.4 over the 2536m last time, Kiwi Legend was narrowly beaten by Talktomeurmattjesty who looks a strong chance of claiming the Albany Cup on Saturday night.
Race 8 (9:35pm local/12:35am AEDT) – MS PACE – 2130m
Walkabout Creek had plenty of gate speed in New South Wales and he finally gets a draw to use it as he looks to hold All The Torque out at the start.
The six-year-old gelding has been racing well from poor draws in similar grade, including four runner-up performances from his past seven starts.
He comes off a last-start fourth behind Debt Free Charlie when beginning from barrier eight over the 1730m. He finished strongly to be beaten 5.5m and the deafeners failed to release which potentially enhances the performance.
Race 10 (10:30pm local/1:30am AEDT) – MS PACE – 2536m
A difficult race to assess with Sarah Suvaljko stablemates Racey American and Its My Lucknow drawn in barriers one and two respectively. I’m not sure whether Racey American will hand up to Its My Lucknow or whether something wider could cross (such as Deflector).
Regardless of speed map, the Ross Olivieri-trained seven-year-old gelding Nothing In Between ($15/$4) looks a big improver after a number of luckless runs recently.
I’m not sure where he will get to in the run but I don’t see him being held up on the pegs this time around and Chris Lewis is a master in the sulky.