Darren Clayton’s Albion Park Preview

Race 1

ROCKS OR DIAMONDS (2) should take a great deal of benefit from his last start victory where he was lining up with six-weeks between starts. Owning the closing speed to defeat General Montana last start, it followed a defeat of Uncle Shank. First to the pegs opens all the options. MAJOR JELLIS (5) was first up in Qld in his heat of this series when sent forward, taking control and putting them away. He will need to be working at some stage again from the alley. KASHED UP (4) was under pressure before the turn last week out in front but was up to the challenge to fight back and claim his first win this season. The map is a query. SO BOBS YOUR UNCLE (1) is an opportunist and lands the gate to be searching for the gaps to make his closing raid.

Selections: 2-5-4-1

Suggested Bet: ROCKS OR DIAMONDS (2) to win

Race 2

OBI ONE (2) is surprisingly, still an Albion Park maiden, despite finishing in the minors on ten occasions. Tempo and a wide gate ended his chances last start and with the opportunity to take control, might have found his opportunity for the breakthrough. NICKS PICK (1) chased behind Kashed Up last week but could not finish in the money, ending a streak where he had been withing a neck of the winner his previous four in succession. He maps for the easy trip once again. THREE RIVERS (12) throws up plenty of questions that the answers to, may not be available. He tackles some seasoned campaigners after just 7 career starts and resumes from a spell. His local trial was a smart hit out. FALCONS (8) does his best work off the speed and will be securing the economical trip here. Can he find space in time to issue a challenge is the query.

Selections: 2-1-12-8

Suggested Bet: OBI ONE (2) to win

Race 3

SQUIRE (1) secures the perfect gate here to turn around his fortunes. He was chasing behind Feelingforarainbow last start and in his heat, had no luck when buried. The improved gate can be the catalyst for a return to winning form. JUST ROKIN (2) was gifted the front last start and once controlling the speed held on to claim a 4m victory. Forced to work hard the start prior, she may need to do it the tough way again here. HARPS (5) faded after working hard in his heat of this series. Yet to cash-in this season, he can be somewhere near the action. EL AGUILA (4) will strip fitter after two runs back from a spell and a return to the front line is in his favour.

Selections: 1-2-5-4

Suggested Bet: SQUIRE (1) to win

Race 4

JILLIBY KUNG FU (4) found the perfect first up assignment after more than two years off the scene and rolled forward from gate 6. Taking control and blowing out the cobwebs with a 53.5 mile victory, he has been back to the trials with another sharp hit out and looks set to rinse and repeat. SCARLET BABE (1) has been to the track twice since returning to Qld and has had no favours in either appearance. With an improved alley and the right trip behind the speed, she will be there probing. FIRE FOX (7) cops the horrid gate but brings 3 wins in his past 4 starts for the NSW visitor Jason Grimson. Despite the gate he can be in the firing line to feature. INFATUATION (5) sprinted home in a mind blowing 25.8 here last week to finish in 2nd placing. The mid-line alley is not ideal, but he is airborne.

Selections: 4-1-7-5

Suggested Bet: JILLIBY KUNG FU (4) to win

Race 5

BIG WHEELS (2) returns from a let up after just four starts in his last campaign which netted a pair of wins and a pair of 2nds. Defeating Hemsworth over 2138m last start, his record when leading at the mile is impeccable at 8 from 9. It can be 9 from 10 with #LeaderPeter doing his thing. COURAGEOUS SAINT (1) does his best work wider of the passing lane, so will be hopeful that the space presents to put the right-hand indicator on. Placed in 3 of his past 4, he will secure the stalking trip. WATTS UP SUNSHINE (8) tried to fight them off in front here last week at the 2138m but could not repel the challengers. He will be buried in the run here and probing. LOVE YOUR WORK (10) will likely be working to get into the battle but has enough talent to be making an impact in this line up.

Selections: 2-1-8-10

Suggested Bet: Flexi trifecta 2 / 1-8 / 1-3-8-9-10

Race 6

SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS (2) has been to the trials twice in readiness for his return and had a pair of nice hit outs. It has been an amazing 12 months since he claimed a lowly ranked qualifier here on June 19, 2021, to now be arguably the best horse in the country. The gate adds further appeal. MAJESTIC CRUISER (9) resumes fresh without a trial after a successful NZ campaign that culminated in a Messenger victory over Self Assured. This will be his first Qld appearance and he should settle in a perfect spot in transit. BLACKSADANCE (7) has been sectionally superb in both standing start events in recent weeks and will relish a return to the start car. Don’t be surprised if he has an early dip. COLT THIRTY ONE (1) closed out soundly behind Mach Shard two starts back and chased that same winner in the Flashing Red. His best alley under mobile conditions in some time will help.

Selections: 2-9-7-1

Suggested Bet: SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS (2) to win

Race 7

I NEED YOU NOW (2) will need to take the next step but will take benefit from her first Qld appearance in mid-week company when firing out from gate 7 and dictating. The improved gate is an added bonus. DELIGHTFUL DUDE (6) tackled some of the big 3YO events here last year and returns as a 4YO with a tidy effort at the trials. His Menangle form is sound, but he cops a tough gate first up. KING TRITON (1) landed a passing lane win in midweek company last start and looks set to enjoy the economical trip once again. BOMBADIER JUJON (3) has not had much go his way in three starts since winning up the passing lane. With even luck he is a place player.

Selections: 2-6-1-3

Suggested Bet: I NEED YOU NOW (2) to win

Race 8

SOHO ALMASI (9) was sent out as the raging favourite first up from a break here last week. Finding the front, she got weary in the stretch and was turned over by Valkyrie up the passing lane. The added fitness can see her atone. BALLERINI (6) joins the Bernie Hewitt Winter assault and arrives as the runner-up three runs back in a G1 Western Region Championship in NSW. The gate is a stinger first up. LADY AVANA (8) will strip fitter following her eye-catching first up effort. Settled at the rear, she attacked the line strongly in nice closing panels wide off the track and will get the cosy trip this time. GIRLS ARE BEST (4) was game in defeat behind Valkyrie last week after sliding up three wide and working hard.

Selections: 9-6-8-4

Suggested Bet: SOHO ALMASI (9) to win

Race 9

ROCKNROLL ICON (7) has been without a win since January and is stung by the outside paint for this assignment, but he might just have the edge. He worked hard here last week as Feelingforarainbow stormed over the top and two back hung tough behind Infatuation. MOHS EM DOWN (3) steps up in grade for this contest but brings a solid win here last week when taking them all the way over the mile. From the gate, he will be in the firing line once again. BETTERTHANDIAMONDS (1) has good speed off the arm but did not use it last start when 5m from the airborne Infatuation. The gate helps but seeing out a strong 2138m is questionable. SAM IS PERFECTION (2) will appreciate the improved gate after starting from outside the front-line last time. Two runs back he started favourite and was only 3m from the passing lane winner.

Selections: 7-3-1-2

Suggested Bet: ROCKNROLL ICON (7) to win

Race 10

SUGAR APPLE (5) has been a revelation for Jason Grimson since joining his stable. His only defeats in 9 starts have been over the longer Menangle trips and he comes into this fresh off a hat-trick of victories. At the mile and speed off the arm give him top billing. TIMS A TROOPER (4) could not get near the leader and winner Dangerzone last time out. He scored in the G2 APG Bullion two starts back and will be suited by the smaller field. AMORE VITA (6) is an ultra-classy filly on an Oaks mission but cops the tough gate against the boys. Chris Alford flying in from Victoria for just this drive cannot be understated. WE ALWAYS HAVE FAITH (2) is best served by the gate but will need to step up another level in this field.

Selections: 5-4-6-2

Suggested Bet: SUGAR APPLE (5) to win

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