Darren Clayton’s Albion Park Preview

Race 1

HEMSWORTH (4) was all class here last week when charging home over the top to defeat The Raconteur in a sizzling turn of hoof. Effective off the speed, the tempo looks strong and finding a spot cheaply can see him repeat his closing power. ARTILLERY (7) claimed a PB at Menangle two runs ago and backed that up when down the line behind the star on the rise Beyond Delight. The gate is a stinger, but he has the firepower to throw it down. PELOSI (9) is going super and has peeled off some sizzling sectionals in finishing 2nd at her past two in succession. JUDDY DOUGLAS (2) loves to roll and from this alley will be on the bunny and setting the speed where he has been at his past two.

Selections: 4-7-9-2

Suggested Bet: HEMSWORTH (4) to win

Race 2

SAM IS PERFECTION (2) has bumped into some classy customers at his past 4 starts, chasing Crunch Time twice, Captain Crusader and Jilliby Kung Fu. From this gate back to this grade looks a nice reprieve. OUR MAJOR DAY (6) has only faced this grade once previously and that returned a PB rate. 3rd to Adam Crocker two back was followed with a tough trip when parked and back to the ‘old-timers’ puts him right in the frame. MAFUTA VAUTIN (4) can press on here and despite being without a win at this venue since September 2020, has some claims. SO BOBS YOUR UNCLE (8) enjoys working home off the speed and from this gate can be tucked away and ready to make a closing play.

Selections: 2-6-4-8

Suggested Bet: SAM IS PERFECTION (2) to win

Race 3

MANILA PLAYBOY (7) cops a stinker as he searches for the hat-trick, but his two return runs have been super when working home off the speed. Breaking 55 seconds on the way home in both return starts, he can chase the threepeat. CAPTAIN CRUSADER (8) faces a tricky barrier and will likely need to get off the fence early. Never out of 2nd gear in a slick 2138m win here last start, he is all class and only needs open road to throw it down. SCARLET BABE (6) joins the Shane Graham stable at her return to Qld. With some sizzling wins when last in the Sunshine State, she looked sharp in a recent trial. ROCK BOTTOM (10) has no favours out the back but has been super consistent with a top-3 at his past 7 on the bounce.

Selections: 7-8-6-10

Suggested Bet: MANILA PLAYBOY (7) to win

Race 4

GLENEAGLE WARRIOR (9) grabbed 3rd behind Just Rokin last time owhen third up from a spell. This is up for grabs and if the leader cops some heat, he can be pressing through to stake a claim. MAJORDOIT (8) grabbed 2nd last start at Marburg after a tough run which followed a strong close out from gate 6 on this deck. He will be tucked in ready to make a play. REGULUS (1) should find this level of contest more favourable after his past two have been in tougher company, the latest behind Three In Heaven and the gate is an added bonus. JUST ROKIN (7) cops the tough gate but is I nice touch including a defeat of Talent To Spare last time.

Selections: 9-8-1-7

Suggested Bet: GLENEAGLE WARRIOR (9) to win

Race 5

WITH THE BAND (7) must have offended the barrier gods and cops gate 7 for the third time at her past four starts. Beaten a lip behind Adam Crocker two starts back, the tempo put it out of reach behind Uncle Shank last time. A return to her own sex helps. BAKER CREEK (4) scored in a mare’s qualifier here last week when working home over the top to a 4m margin. That made it successive victories, with a threepeat achievable. RAANI (1) overcame gate 7 here last start when firing out to take them all the way. This is a step up, but early speed puts her in a striking position. BONNIES A ROCKIN (2) was just a head from the winner last week after securing the cosy trip behind the speed and again has a favourable alley.

Selections: 7-4-1-2

Suggested Bet: WITH THE BAND (7) to win

Race 6

Arguably the strongest ever renewal of the Flashing Red, TURN IT UP (14) can look to further enhance his outstanding record from behind the tapes. Missing last week’s lead up event, he shoots for a hat-trick of wins and can defy the 20m tape with his record of 7 from 8 at the stand. MACH SHARD (15) has claimed two track records in his past five starts, one at the mobile 1740 and the other here last week at the standing 2647. Powering home in the stretch to arrive, he gets to start from the same tape. L L COOL J (9) was tracking into the race strongly here last week when a half-neck behind Mach Shard. Nathan Dawson reunites with the 6YO and has a record of 5 from 7 aboard the gelding. MISTERFREEZE (3) was looking for gaps and had a chequered passage last week when losing momentum. He might just be first to the poles which gives him a huge place chance at big odds.

Selections: 14-15-9-3

Suggested Bet: TURN IT UP (14) to win, MISTERFREEZE (3) to place

Race 7

NICKS PICK (1) is knocking on the door, finishing the same margin in arrears at his past three- just a half-neck. With the chance to stalk the speed, he can land the snipers shot. CLASS TO THE MAX (2) has the speed to lead them up and a return to the mile is in his favour after working hard over the 2138m in the 3YO Breeders Classic last start. SCOTCH EN ICE (9) returns from a two start NSW campaign where he won his heat before finishing down the line in the Newcastle Regional Championship but receives no favours off the second line. LITTLE BOLT (8) set a new career PB working home off the speed last start when first up in 12 months. The inside trip is a plus.

Selections: 1-2-9-8

Suggested Bet: NICKS PICK (1) to win

Race 8

SOHO RHAPSODY (4) ran some impressive closing sections last week despite finishing at the tail of the field behind some classy ‘boys’ in the race claimed by Dangerzone. Despite tackling the older mare’s, she has the class to capitalise. SPORTY DANCER (10) had the cosy trip in behind the speed here last start but couldn’t match the swooping power of Manila Playboy. Back to mare’s company can see her overcome the gate challenge. GIRL FROM OZ (8) is a last start feature winner when claiming the APG 4YO Final. The gate makes it tricky this time. JENDEN STRIKE (7) had to work hard from gate 2 and could not finish it off first up when starting as the $1.30 fav. The gate doesn’t make it any easier second up.

Selections: 4-10-8-7

Suggested Bet: SOHO RHAPSODY (4) to win

Race 9

THE RACONTEUR (4) started favourite last week when unable to repel the closing speed of Hemsworth. He looks the leader once again and appears to have every chance to go one better. AIR TIME (3) shared the win with Hemsworth two starts back but was flat here last week. An improved gate can see him in the firing line. ROCKSLIDE (1) is probably not up to winning this contest at this point of his prep, but the gate advantage and economical trip put him in the mix to land some minor money. OBI ONE (10) is 0 from 17 here at headquarters, however, has placed in 9 of those and from the second line can chime in.

Selections: 4-3-1-10

Suggested Bet: Flexi Trifecta 4 / 1-3-8-10 / 1-3-8-10

Race 10

STRESS FACTOR (1) was a winner at this trip from the front tape four starts back where he led throughout. The inside lane gives him the early options for this battle. GEE UP NEDDY (2) has been to the trials since his last race and returned a sharp hit out. A great beginner, he can give plenty of cheek. JUSTABITNOISY (4) grabbed 3rd under the mobile conditions last week. Super consistent, the small field is a big help. GARLAND GREENE (7) has the 40m to negotiate and made a mess it of it from there two starts back, huge in defeat thereafter. He will be chasing.

Selections: 1-2-4-7

Suggested Bet: STRESS FACTOR (1) to win

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