LITTLE Shocker should be suited by the step up to 1400m and form analyst Ray Thomas says with the claim the Kris Lees-trained four-year-old mare looks well placed.
Ray has made her his best bet for the Tamworth meeting and elected to go with Eagleworks as his next best after narrowly missing out at his past two.
RAY THOMAS’S BEST BETS
BEST BET: LITTLE SHOCKER (Race 7, No. 1)
Was beaten out of a place as favourite at Quirindi last start but the run was full of merit. Disappointed for a run at the top of the straight and had to ease off heels before running on late for fourth behind Rubymay over 1200m. The step up to 1400m should suit and she gets in well at the weights after the claim. Just needs luck in running to win.
NEXT BEST: EAGLEWORKS (Race 1, No. 8)
Is very close to a win. Edged out narrowly at Muswellbrook over 1000m then again beaten on the post at Taree by Syrah. Beaten only by a bob of the head at his past two. Has the speed to negate awkward barrier and should win.
BEST VALUE: WHISKEY APPLE (Race 3, No. 14)
Produced two very good efforts since joining the Sally Torrens stable. Beat all but Subtle Winner at Gunnedah and form was franked when that mare won a class 1 at Gunnedah. Whiskey Apple then chased All Political all the way for a game second at Gunnedah. Drawn well here and should race up on the speed.
EXOTICS: QUADDIE: 1st leg: 1,3,4,5. 2nd leg: 1,5. 3rd leg: 2,6,9. 4th leg: 1,5,8
TRAINER TO FOLLOW: SUE GRILLS
Always dominant at her home track and she has another powerful entry today. Among her best chances are Shiver Me Timbers (race one), Polskie Prince (five), Assurity (six) and Cool Prince (seven).
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW: ANDREW GIBBONS
Has an excellent book of seven rides including four top chances for trainer Kris Lees — Miss Kyeema (race 3), Jack’s Bar (race 4), Atlantic Edge (race 6) and Not Surprising (race 9).
RAY’S DETAILED RACE-BY-RACE ANALYSIS BELOW
Tamworth kick starts big week for Cav
TRAINER Brett Cavanough, daring to dream of unlikely The Everest starts for his good sprinters The Monstar and The Virginian, is relying on the expertise of top jockey Grant Buckley to get the best out of Late Return and Heidi’s Story at Tamworth.
The in-form Cavanough stable is sending only the two starters to the bumper nine-race Tamworth meeting but it might be enough to leave with a brace of wins.
Late Return should run a competitive race in the Class 2 Handicap (1000m), while Heidi’s Story lines up in the Maiden Plate (1000m).
Cavanough conceded Late Return’s starting position out of barrier 11 is a concern but this is where the trainer will defer to the skills of Buckley to get the job done.
“You always worry when they draw wide but Grant Buckley has a good ‘speedo’ in his head, he judges the pace well,’’ Cavanough said.
“The Tamworth track has been a bit of a licorice all sorts of late, they have been winning from up front and coming from behind.
“I’ll leave it to Grant to work out where to have Late Return in the run.’’
Late Return broke through to win his maiden at Dubbo on the last day of the 2016-17 season then probably got to the front too early in the straight at Narromine when run down late by Flight Risk and Grundalina two weeks ago.
Cavanough had Late Return entered for the Dubbo meeting on Monday but elected to reserve the sprinter for Tamwoth.
“I just think this is the better race for Late Return,’’ he said. “He will run well.’’
Buckley also rides Heidi’s Story, who has only been to the races three times, finishing second at Warren before her last-start eighth in Plaisir’s Class 1 win at Scone.
But Cavanough said Heidi’s Story’s unplaced Scone run should be forgotten because the mare was pulled out of the race when she had to be restrained to avoid the fallen Anticipate nearing the home turn.
Cavanough confirmed The Monstar will contest the Group 3 $150,000 Concorde Stakes (1100m) and The Virginian is entered for the Group 2 $200,000 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Monstar has been in career-best form since winning the Listed June Stakes, recording a hat-track of stakes placings in recent weeks with seconds in the Civic Stakes and Ramornie Handicap before a last-start third in the Missile Stakes.
The Virginian had his first start for Cavanough when he nearly ran down Deploy in a course record-breaking Show County Quality.
“I haven’t mentioned The Everest at all but if both horses continue their good form well you just never know,’’ Cavanough said.
“If it happened to bucket down with rain on Everest Day, I’d love to have The Monstar there.
“And after Deploy ran the track record to beat The Virginian, then you start to think about it.
“But we will get through Saturday first and hope they can run well again.’’
INSIDE MAIL with Ray Thomas
8. Eagleworks has come up very short at $1.75 in TAB Fixed Odds betting but looks close to a good thing. Has gone under by narrow margins at his past two starts and is ready to shed his maiden tag. Eagleworks has the speed to cross from an awkward barrier. 10. Shiver Me Timbers and 1. Bowie’s Boy rate highly with 11. Strategic Park an each-way chance.
BETTING STRATEGY: EAGLEWORKS TO WIN
The bookies have opened 1. Advantage at generous of $3.50 after a very solid debut second to Kabelo over 1100m at Quirindi. He is coming back to 1000m today but has drawn the right barrier (three). 3. Bullion Belle makes her debut but looked very good in a recent Doomben barrier trial win. 6. Lady Segolene was disappointing first-up but can improve.
BETTING STRATEGY: BOXED QUINELLA 1, 3, 6
14. Whiskey Apple has found good form since joining the Sally Torrens stable and is well placed to break through. Drawn well. 9. Lapluck had to make a long run at Tamworth last start and is working up to a win. 3. Heidi’s Story, 1. Captain Hawkes and 10. Miss Kyeema are chances in an open race.
BETTING STRATEGY: WHISKEY APPLE EACH WAY
The trainer-jockey combination of Kris Lees and Andrew Gibbons could be in for a successful afternoon with 1. Jack’s Bar arguably their best chance. He was heavily backed into odds-on favouritism on debut but bumped into a handy type in Final Frontier at Taree. Should be too good for this field. 7. Winner’s Lane has been racing in much stronger grade and impressed in a recent barrier trial win. 4. Magic Ray and 5. Retribution are each-way chances.
Betting strategy: Jack’s Bar to win but have a saver on Winner’s Lane
5. Musical Query is in career-best form with four wins from her past five starts including a brilliant Muswellbrook 1000m effort in a very fast 57.13s. She is rated $2.30 favourite and is the one to catch in the Tamworth Rush. 2. Gendebien can mix his form but will find this race easier than his past two starts. 3. So You Know and 1. Another Whiskey have been battling for form but would be right in this if they produce their best.
BETTING STRATEGY: MUSICAL QUERY TO WIN
4. Atlantic Edge won her maiden and a class 2 in successive starts then measured up to class 3 level when third to handy duo Sensacova and The Getaway at Cessnock. Same grade today but this is an easier race to win. 1. Assurity is trained on the track and has not missed a place in three starts here. 5. Bonnie Sare and 3. Capital Magic will be competitive.
BETTING STRATEGY: BOXED TRIFECTA 1,3,4,5
1. Little Shocker, a daughter of Melbourne Cup winner Shocking, struck trouble in the straight and should nearly have won at Quirindi. She is the best horse in this race and will enjoy getting out to 1400m. 5. Magic Arli ran on well at Taree and is the main danger to Little Shocker. The mares should run 1-2. 6. Maybe Even You and 2. Captain Scott are minor place chances.
BETTING STRATEGY: LITTLE SHOCKER TO WIN AND TAKE HER IN A QUINELLA WITH MAGIC ARLI
6. Ledecky is a very consistent mare back in winning touch after scoring well at Quirindi. Drawn nicely and no reason she can’t win again. 2. Victory Lass is a prolific winner on the bush circuit and she did romp home at Inverell last start. 9. Cherry Lady is fitter and can’t be overlooked while 4. Gilt Spirit also goes to Tamworth as a last-start winner.
BETTING STRATEGY: LEDECKY TO WIN
1. Miss Bunny Hop is very fast out of the gates and will lead from her inside barrier. The 1000m trip is about as far as she wants to go but I expect her to be simply too fast for these. If she is run down, it will be by 8. Not Surprising. 5. Late Return will need luck from an awkward gate but he is an improving type and throw 3. Mac’s Reward into your multiples.
BETTING STRATEGY: BOXED TRIFECTA 1,3,5,8
Source: sports dailytelegraph