Darren Clayton’s Saturday Albion Park Preview

Race 1

BLACKSADANCE (4) has a record when leading of 18: 9-7-2. Three starts back he let Northview Hustler take control at the bell and then held on for 2nd and both runs since have been super. He will need to hustle, but he can look to dictate. DEUS EX (6) fired out from gate 2 last week and was able to step it out in front to record a 1.51.9 mile. He probably didn’t cross Blacksadance previously when they both started form these same gates, with Blacksadance going off-stride when chopped out. Either way the speed looks hot. SPEECH IS SILVER (7) claimed the win on that occasion when Deus Ex led when sitting outside him and taking a 6m victory and has won twice since. CRUNCH TIME (10) is the new addition to the ranks this week and will be much better suited at the mile after his past two have been over eleven furlongs.

Selections: 4-6-7-10

Suggested Bet: BLACKSADANCE (4) to win

Race 2

ROCK BOTTOM (9) has been super consistent and back to this grade can overcome the gate. Taking them all the way here last week, there looks an abundance of tempo up front to suit him going back-to-back. PARAVANI (3) scored a 2m victory in this grade two starts back when able to dictate. Slick out of the machine, he will be taking an early shot for the lamp lighting duties. MOHS EM DOWN (2) tried to repel It Aint The Money last week but had no answer. He can be first to the pegs to put himself in the fight. MAYWYNS COURAGE (10) is much better suited when doing it on the front end, but the expected-up front tempo can see him ready to rattle.

Selections: 9-3-2-10

Suggested Bet: ROCK BOTTOM (9) to win

Race 3

ROCKS OR DIAMONDS (1) has been doing the job from bad gates and will relish the tight alley here. Sectionally strong, he has won 2 of his past 4 and with the fitness edge and the options can bring the glisten. UNCLE SHANK (7) cops no favours first up from the outside paint. No doubting his class, he has battled some gait issues which rose to the fore last start at Menangle in a Chariots qualifier. A slick preparatory trial has him primed. AMILLION PROMISES (8) was off the fence last start when just 4m from the passing lane winner. He maps for the cosy trip this time. FALCONS (3) has been attacking the line in recent starts, finding position from a potentially tricky gate will be key.

Selections: 1-7-8-3

Suggested Bet: ROCKS OR DIAMONDS (1) to win

Race 4

JASPER (1) was never in danger in a small field of mares last time and only had to turn and burn up the stretch. That had followed a 2nd to Talent To Spare and from this gate, she looks too sharp for her opponents. WHICH HUNT (8) has been running some top races of late without winning and maps for the ideal trip this week. Making closing ground last start, a return to mare’s grade will help. THE DARLING (9) is still yet to miss the money in Qld in nine starts after adding another minor to the tally last week. The gate is not ideal, but the streak can continue. PELOSI (10) might need to be put into the contest mid-race but either way, faces a task from this alley.

Selections: 1-8-9-10

Suggested Bet: JASPER / WHICH HUNT 1 / 8 quinella – exacta

Race 5

WATTS UP SUNSHINE (7) will need to overcome a big map discrepancy from the top of the track. In great form since arriving in Qld, he dealt Big Wheels a first over crush three back and has won comfortably in both starts since. ADAM CROCKER (1) is a gazelle off the gate and from gate 1, he will have the target they need to chase down. A big 17m heat winner out in front for this final, the map gives him every chance. KASHED UP (2) returned from a spell when 2nd to Adam Crocker in the heat. Added fitness helps and if it is too willing in the front pair, he can strike. LE TISSIER (8) could well be the knockout with the cosy trip in behind the speed. He will be stalking ready for his opportunity.

Selections: 7-1-2-8

Suggested Bet: WATTS UP SUNSHINE (7) to win

Race 6

AURORA JOY (4) should strip fitter following the prelude where she never looked in danger and reports are she has settled and trained on well since that win after arriving from interstate. All four favourites in these APG Finals look hard to beat. MISS FROUFROU (2) set the tempo last start but could not repel Aurora Joy over the closing stages. Placed in all three career starts, she again looks the test if there were to be one. MULLUM RUBY (3) has shown improvement at her two career starts and an improved gate helps. BLACKJACK BETH (1) will appreciate the pegs after landing gate 7 on debut and can be an improver.

Selections: 4-2-3-1

Suggested Bet: Flexi Trifecta 4 / 2 / 1-3-5

Race 7

CAT KING COLE (7) had trialled well in preparation but was in a mood at her return and after needing red coat assistance in the score up, galloped out of contention before they were released. Still grabbing 4th, she can assert her class with the bounce back. DELIGHTFUL LOU (6) pounced on Cat King Cole’s mistake to lead from gate 6 and cruise home with the prelude win. With a class edge over the rest of the pack, it is hard to see anything else winning. BETTYS GOLD CLASS (2) was first to the poles in the prelude and held on for 2nd and a peg play will be a plus. INDY JEWEL (5) will likely need to be working from back in the pack to grab a minor.

Selections: 7-6-2-5

Suggested Bet: CAT KING COLE / DELIGHTFUL LOU 7 / 6 exacta

Race 8

GIRL FROM OZ (2) tackled much stronger mare’s company last time when holding 3rd in a race handed to Jasper in front who blitzed up the stretch. Finally landing a decent gate here at headquarters, this race looks hers to lose. BETTOR ROMANCE (1) was 2m from the winner last start in this grade when making up some ground over the closing stages from the second line. The improved gate is a big help. BLAZE COOPS (8) maps to be buried here after fading in the last 100m at her past two starts when leading from wide gates on each occasion. A quieter early trip can help. SOMEGIRLSOMEWHERE (9) did not have much luck last start when caught in gridlock but should land a handy spot.

Selections: 2-1-8-9

Suggested Bet: GIRL FROM OZ (2) to win

Race 9

MY ULTIMATE JACKO (1) overcame gate 7 in the prelude after landing in the 1×1 and arriving on the wire to claim his first career victory. Landing the first blow by way of gate 1, he looks mighty hard to stop. HEZA GALVINATOR (8) was a close 3rd on debut when leading and maps for the perfect trip in behind the power after fading in front in the prelude. RISE ABOVE ALL (5) did it the tough way when sitting parked and it took My Ultimate Jacko every inch of the stretch to grab him last start. KERBANG (2) is still learning his ringcraft evidenced by his error last start. A real eye-catcher at the trials since the prelude, he might just be the most progressive.

Selections: 1-8-5-2

Suggested Bet: Flexi trifecta 1 / 2-5-8

Race 10

TIMS A TROOPER (2) sat parked outside Speak The Truth when resuming from a NSW Derby campaign in a tough effort for 2nd. Easily accounting for them in the prelude of this Final, he lobs the alley, and the class factor is pronounced. CLASS TO THE MAX (8) has the second line options as the lone runner out the back. 2nd to Tims A Trooper last start, he looks the challenger if there is to be one. BEACH MAGIC (1) should appreciate an improved gate after a string of wide barriers where his efforts have still been solid. AMAMI (7) cops no favours from this alley and finding position cheaply will be key.

Selections: 2-8-1-7

Suggested Bet: Flexi trifecta 2 / 1- 8 / 1-3-7-8

Race 11

HEMSWORTH (4) looks well placed for the consolation of this series where race 5 sees the finalists compete. Gate 6 at Redcliffe thwarted his chances of progressing to the final which had followed a narrow 2nd to Big Wheels. CANT REFUSE (3) probably needs to be taken on trust back to the big deck after being run down in front at Redcliffe in his first Qld appearance. The winning drought is a concern. SQUARE DEALER (2) has early hustle and can fire some early bullets looking for the pegs which will aid his hopes. BACKINTOWN (1) did not have much in his favour when chasing Watts Up Sunshine in his first Qld start but the pegs will help.

Selections: 4-3-2-1 

Suggested Bet: HEMSWORTH (4) to win

Race 12

WATTS UP MAJESTIC (5) claimed his first win from the tapes here two starts back when huge in victory in the 3157m Trotters Marathon. A rare error ended his chances last time, he should be far too classy if the manners are on point. REGAL APPOINTMENT (1) was not in the hunt from 20m last time which had followed his G3 McNeil victory over this trip with the return to the front tape assisting. MATATOKI (2) has manners and the front tape in his favour to be in a striking position. MAJESTIC SIMON (11) tried to take them all the way from gate 7 under mobile conditions last start when nailed late by Van Sank but cops the big impost.

Selections: 5-1-2-11 

Suggested Bet: WATTS UP MAJESTIC (5) to win

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