Race-by-race preview and tips for Albury on Friday | Fitness tips of the day
Selections based on a soft track.
Race 1 – 1:15PM CARLTON DRAUGHT COUNTRY BOOSTED SHOWCASE MAIDEN PLATE (1175 METRES)
7. Too Sharp wasn’t suited to the sit/sprint race shape last start at Moruya, but he ran well into third. Further, he clocked one of the fastest final 200m splits of the meeting, and there was a big gap to fourth to confirm the race quality. The three-year-old receives a more positive race setup here where he can settle closer and the big track suits. Additionally, he has a strong ratings profile relative to his rivals and expect him to be savaging the line.
Dangers: 2. Lennox View is an intriguing runner who had a long-time off after bleeding on debut at Goulburn and started hard in the market that day. He has trialled well in preparation for this assignment where he wasn’t extended but expect him to be fit. 3. Vonk led at a fast pace and battled on well to hold second in a high-rating race at Canberra. She has similar form lines to Too Sharp and will roll forward. 4. Indian Soldier can improve with a more economical map and add Nutbush Ambush, who is a real trier.
How to play it: Too Sharp WIN. Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Race 2 – 1:50PM ADRIAN LEDGER MEMORIAL SHOWCASE – BENCHMARK 66 HANDICAP (2400 METRES)
5. Festivus has improved each run this preparation and was brave in defeat last start at Bendigo. The four-year-old was rising sharply in distance and was 34 days between runs. Further, he led at a fast tempo, fought on gallantly to hold second, and beat the rest easily. That effort will have him at optimal fitness, and he maps to have complete control of the pace in this event. Expect him to take some catching.
Dangers: 1. Never Again had factors against last start at Pakenham and was 41 days between runs in a stronger grade. He must carry a hefty weight but brings string form lines to this assignment and can rate to win. 4. Perfect Illusion, who is rock-hard fit, will benefit from racing at his home track and revels in testing conditions. 8. Foxtrot Bravo is ticking over ok and was honest last start. The six-year-old will be thereabouts again.
How to play it: Festivus WIN. Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Race 3 – 2:25PM JAYCO ALBURY GUINEAS – BENCHMARK 74 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
1. Bundeena has improved this prep and went to a new level last start at Hawkesbury producing a career peak figure. The three-year-old was well fancied late in the trade $2.9-$2.5 and bolted in by 4.5 lengths. Moreover, he ran a slick overall time, clocked one of the fastest final 600m splits of the meeting and went through the line full of energy. His ratings/sectional profile suggests he can step off that performance again, and he brings the best last-start figure. He must contend with a tricky draw but looks well placed here.
Dangers: 4. Tapa Capall lost momentum at a key stage when first-up and Sandown Lakeside, but to his credit, he picked himself up and closed off well. He ran one of the fastest final 200m splits of the meeting, and key indicators suggest he can peak next start off that performance. The gelding has a tactical map advantage over his main rival and receives a senior rider in Beau Mertens. Additionally, he is proven on the rain-affected ground with a strong win on heavy ground last campaign. 7. Diesel returns as a gelding, and although he needs to improve from a ratings perspective, he is a real trier and will be hitting the line. 2. Altrove has a solid record and will roll forward.
How to play it: Bundeena WIN. Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Race 4 – 3:05PM LEXUS OF WODONGA COUNTRY MAGIC CLASS 3 HANDICAP (1500 METRES)
2. Sungblue got too far back first-up at Newcastle over an unsuitable distance but ran on well, and his final few bounds were strong. Further, that race rated highly relative to the day, and the winner has since placed at the metropolitan level. He receives a significant barrier change, allowing him to settle closer up in distance. Additionally, all his peak figures have come on rain-affected ground and expect him to run boldly.
Dangers: 10. Rapid Ruby is a knockout chance who ran hidden closing sectionals last start at Wagga after having too much to do. She will relish the rise in distance and is set to peak third-up. 4. Cliff House resumed 18 days ago at Wagga, and he powered home from the rear of the field. He is up and grade and has a tricky map but undoubtedly can overcome those factors. Forget 7. Sizzling Cat’s last start and add 6. Enjolras to trifectas and first fours.
How to play it: Sungblue WIN. Odds & Evens: EVENS.