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Wangoom Handicap preview

The Warrnambool Carnival is underway and one thing's for certain, there's no drought in south-west Victoria. It has bucketed down in recent days but the track is still raceable, albeit on the wettest rating there is in Australia, the Heavy 10. The feature race on day two of the carnival is the Wangoom Handicap, a Listed race over 1200m. Make sure you do the wet form - look for the runners whose Mother was a Mudder, with thanks to Cosmo Kramer.

Taking the reins for this race is Mitch Fenton, @weekndkngracing.

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Wangoom Handicap

1.BLACKIE

Class galloper resuming here now under the tutelage of the all-conquering Darren Weir.
Has only once won fresh up from a spell in six goes, which was all the way back in 2011 at Kyneton, but don’t be put off by raw statistics when assessing his first up form....

All of his efforts have been highly respectable in much tougher grade than this, including a slashing 6th to start last campaign behind Speediness in the Gr3 Bobbie Lewis (1200M - Flemington) - where he ran the second fastest last 600m of the race (33.59) and CLEARLY the fastest final furlong (11.6).

He’s always shown great potential and last preparation he finally fulfilled it; thrashing the Gr1 placed Sertorius by 3.5L (MV - 1600M) - running third in the Gr1 Toorak Hcap (Caul - 1600M) - and finishing close up in two of the Spring’s best mile races the Crystal Mile & the Emirates Stakes.

The wet ground won’t be much of a hindrance, in fact his biggest career win came as a 3yo in the Gr2 Phar Lap Stakes at Rosehill on wet ground.

He does have to lug the 60kg impost - but for good reason, he’s far and away the classiest runner.

Weir has been setting him for this race ever since he joined the stable and he has the riding services of B.Rawiller who landed Saturday’s Gr1 Australasian Oaks in SA for Weir.

Expect him to be charging home late & represents a definite each way chance.

2.LORD OF BRAZIL

The second of DK Weir’s runners, he too is resuming from a spell.

Boasts a terrific fresh record with a win and two minors from four attempts. The one miss, which came last prep, was probably however his best first up performance. He was 3.5L off Moonee Valley wiz Le Bonsir over 1200m in the Listed Drummond Golf Stakes - clocking the third fastest final 600m (34.81) in a high quality field.

He ran very well in Group company during his Spring prep without ever threatening but drops a lot in grade here.

Absolutely loves the wet - only missing the placings once in seven attempts (when badly hampered) and recording three wins.

Drawn perfectly for the in-form Michelle Payne to tuck in for cover, while being wide enough to avoid the inside ground which after yesterday’s racing looms as a “no-go-zone”.

Some hope

3.LE BONSIR

Gr1 placed in the spring behind Buffering in the Manikato Stakes at his favourite stomping yard Moonee Valley, the Mick Price trained runner comes here having his third run back from a spell.

Was terrific first up, beaten a nose in a 1200m Listed event by flying machine It Is Written, nailed right on the peg, after doing ALL chasing down of tear away Elite Elle with the top weight of 59kg.

Backed it up with another cracking effort second up over 1200m at Caulfield. On paper fifth beaten 2.2L doesn’t impress but he endured a horrid run in transit. Was made to work hard from an outside to cross, which he finally did 400m after the start, but as soon as he did work to the top he was pestered and the pair went break neck in front -- running the first 600m of the race 4L faster than the class benchmark. He was entitled to drop out but really fought on doggedly in the finish and the swappers came.

That Caulfield run was the horse's first exposure to wet ground, and purely based on that effort I’d say he got through it - but whether he can get through a Warrnambool bog is a big question mark.

Has never won on any surface worse than Good rated - and while it’s not definitive by any stretch he doesn’t handle the wet, I’m very happy to risk him. Especially so, given he’s drawn in AND will most likely lead meaning he’ll be exposed to the very worst ground.

4.CALLANISH

Former star galloper with the Mick Price stable, returning from a 52 week injury enforced lay-off, after sadly at his last start badly tearing a tendon and also severely injuring his hind pastern.

Full credit to his new trainer Kane Harris who has nursed the horse back to the track in spite of many doubters.

Began his career with an impressive eight start winning streak, before he stepped up to Gr1 & Gr2 company, where while beaten, still ran enormously well.

Absolutely loves soft tracks -- the wetter the better so he’ll definitely have that in his favour. But after such a serious injury layoff I’m happy to leave him out of my equations and just hope he makes a safe comeback.

Interesting to note though he’s been very well supported in pre-post markets, $26 was bet and now you can only get $11. But my suspicion would be that market move has more to do with the fact it’s a bog track than the horse being a genuine chance. But would love to be proven wrong he’s a real ripper.

5.ANLON

Third of the DK Weir runners and the race favourite.

Resumes first up here after a 95 day break -- and he really does fly fresh. Having won three of five first up. However I’m not getting carried away with the raw data because those 3 first up victories have come in an Echuca maiden, a Seymour restricted BM62 & a Kyneton BM84. This is FAR and away the toughest assignment he’s been posed with when resuming.

His form over the Summer though was absolutely terrific. He was 4th in a BM90 at Flemington, which is no great deal, until you look at the sectionals he rattled off in that race -- last 600m 32.98, 400m 22.14, 200m 11.38. Only good horses can run those sectionals! He then proceeded to win his next two including the listed Chester Manifold Stakes.

Handles the wet no worries - a win and a second from his only two tries.

Does have the talent & yes, he can certainly win, but I just can’t warm to him at the current odds they are quoting. I’ll lay him on Betfair.

6.ANOTHER PRELATE

He’s a golden oldie at nine years old, but is only lightly raced - having just his 47th race start here.

Comes into the race first up off an 137 day break.

Complete forget run his only effort across the summer, where he raced in bar plates (always a big worry for me) and proceeded to lose one of those bar plates in the run.

Simply doesn’t know how to run a bad race and always gives 100% on race day.

Has a win and three placings from five heavy track starts, so he’ll plough through the mud here. And is a winner at the track.

Typically takes a run or two to find his best form but he can pull out a big run fresh on his day. But I’m willing to take the old boy on tomorrow first up on the bog track & wait for something later in the Winter to back him in.

7.STRATCOMBE

Has a very similar story to Callanish. Was once a very talented galloper in the Mick Price stable before being struck down by major injury. Now with Brett Scott.

This boy however has already had two runs back from his enforced layoff - both have been lacklustre efforts - but in fairness to the horse he did spend 12 months out of racing so he will only continue to get fitter with more racing.

That said I don’t think he’ll ever get remotely close again to the form he once showed pre-injury and if he is to win another race it will have to be in far, far easier class than this.

8.ALPHA PROXIMA

Made a lovely comeback from a spell, at Caulfield over 1100m, where he was fifth beaten 2.9L behind Pago Rock. Never really saw total daylight in the straight until very late in the piece but when he did he found the line nicely.

Steps up to 1200m here which based on evidence from his first up run suits perfectly now. He has a distinct fitness edge over almost all the other runners in the race after having two solid trials leading into the first up performance.

The eight year old grey doesn’t quiet have the consistency he once did - back in the days when he was mixing it with the likes of Kulgrinda, Broken, Catapulted, Johannapine etc. - but can still on his day produce something like he very best as was evidenced last campaign when he thrashed Luckyimbarefoot and Spacecraft in a $100,000 race at Moonee Valley.

Champion hoop D.Oliver climbs back aboard, and it’s interesting to note that Oliver steered him in both trials....Possibly to get a feel of him in preparation for this race???

Loves the wet ground - having placed in seven of his nine rain affected runs, including three wins.

Barrier won’t matter, I think by the time this race comes around (so long as Oli can get cover until the corner) out deep on the track will be the prime spot, judging by the way the track played Day 1.

Terrific hope at great value.

9.UNDENIABLY

I can assure you one thing - if the Undeniably of old who;
• was beaten a nostril in the Gr2 Australia Stakes
• was 2L off Eagle Falls in an Oakleigh Plate
• was less than 2L off Mrs Onasis in another Oakleigh Plate
• was 4L off Shamsexpress in a Newmarket
Turned up here -- he would simply bash their brains in!!! But that form now is only a distant memory.

Can’t see him turning his form around in this type of grade.

10.DON’T GET EXCITED

Was absolutely enormous at his last outing when 2nd to Knoydart in the Hareeba at Mornington.

He blew the start from a bad alley, was trapped 3/4/5 wide the entirety, took off early and still ran a clear second...3L in front of the third horse. And it just so happens the horse who whistled past him, after enjoying a cosy run back in the field, Knoydart - subsequently ran 3rd in the Oakleigh Plate beaten a length and a half behind world champion Lankan Rupee & backed that up with another 3rd in the Newmarket, again behind Australia’s champion sprinter. There is no better sprinting form in the world, let alone Australian than that!

He is unbeaten in two starts on very heavy ground - winning both those with ease!

Drawn absolutely perfectly in 8. He can roll forward and park outside the speed, or just off it if he chooses.

Gets in on the minimum weight of 54kg.

Put plainly and simply - looks the winner!

12.KNEELING

Peter Moody trained mare who is ultra consistent but very rarely wins a race (three from 25). But in fairness to her she has raced consistently at a very high level her whole career.

Was terrific last time out at Caulfield over 1100m. After blowing the kick she was well back and jockey Guymner had to urge the mare to get going early to improve her position and put herself in the race. She did just that and the most pleasing aspect of the run was that despite the work she did, the last 200m of her race was still the best. Which looks a very good sign stepping up to 1200m here.

She loves the wet - unbeaten in only heavy track starts (albeit in a Sunshine Coast H’Cap) will undoubtedly run well again. She always does! Will she find one or two just that bit good? I think so. But a definite for trifectas.

13.MAGNUS REIGN

Looks totally outclassed.
Hasn’t won over 1200m in 11 previous attempts. Has no wet form.
Was well beaten last start in restricted grade at Bendigo.....
Hard to find any positives at all!

No.

SCR;
11.JOLIE BLONDE;
14.GRAND EMPEROR;
15.THE BOWLER;

OVERVIEW
There’s just no way I can go past 10.DON’T GET EXCITED.
If he runs within 2 or 3L of his Mornington performance - he just wins. And there seems no obvious reason why he won’t do that!
I think Blackie, Alpha Proxima & Kneeling are the trifecta horses.
BACK: 10.DON’T GET EXCITED (win)
LAY: 5.ANLON


TRIFECTA: 10 // 1,6,12 // 1,5,6,8,12

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