Raceday focus: Best bets for Muswellbrook

IF patience and perseverance counts for anything then La Loi, a late starter to racing, is poised for a winning debut at Muswellbrook.

La Loi is now a five-year-old mare but trainer Stephen Gleeson has kept the faith and she finally makes it to the races in the Maiden Handicap (900m).

Gleeson revealed he purchased La Loi for just $4,000 at the Scone Yearling Sales four years ago as she is closely related to stable star, Don’t Tease Me.

“We have had a lot of luck with La Loi’s family, particularly Don’t Tease Me, which is why we bought her in the first place,’’ Gleeson said.

“She’s a beautifully-bodied mare, a very good type with plenty of ability, but she is thick set and it has been a matter of whether her legs can hold her big frame.

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BEST BETS WITH RAY THOMAS: MUSWELLBROOK

BEST BET: MARATHON (Race 8, No. 1)

Marathon is a tough competitor racing in very good form. He excels around 1400m and is a winner over this course and distance. He’s well drawn and should get the run of the race.

NEXT BEST: TIPPLER (Race 3, No. 12)

Tippler has been placed in each of her three starts and ran well at Newcastle when a close third over 1600m. She is coming back slightly to 1500m today which is no issue. Drawn perfectly and well weighted. This is her chance.

BEST VALUE: IAMACRUMPET (Race 9, No. 3)

Iamacrumpet is a lightly-raced four-year-old mare when resuming as she tore around the Muswellbrook 1000m course to win easily in very fast time. She has drawn right off the track here but that means bookies will take risks with her.

QUADDIE: R6: 3,4,7,10 R7: 1,3,5,14 R8: 1,11 R9: 1,2,3

JOCKEY TO FOLLOW: CHAD LEVER

Has five good rides at the meeting including Palais De Louvre (race 3), Regal Cannon (race 4) and Marathon (race 8).

TRAINER TO FOLLOW: PAUL PERRY

The champion Newcastle trainer has a powerful team entered for Muswellbrook including Macal (race 2), Without Conviction (race 5) and Marathon (race 8).

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“She has been in and out of work a lot but has gone shin sore four or five times.

“I think this is the first time we have been able to keep her together at this stage of her preparation.’’

La Loi showed good natural speed and dominated a recent Muswellbrook barrier trial, convincing Gleeson the mare is ready to go to the races.

“Her time wasn’t flash but she won the trial quite easily,’’ Gleeson said.

“Naturally, I would have preferred she drew a bit better than barrier 13 but I think if she goes like her trial she can overcome the wide gate.

“Looking at the race on paper, I would be surprised if she doesn’t get across.’’

Gleeson also saddles up Pippi’s Pride in the day’s feature race, the Kayuga Cup (1450m).

Pippi’s Pride is lining up for his 61st career start after scoring his eighth win in the Denman Cup on home track of Muswellbrook three weeks ago.

“He led most of the way and was there to be beaten last start,’’ Gleeson said. “He got headed in the straight but fought back hard. He’s in good form.’’

Don’t Tease Me (above) is related to La Loi, who makes her debut at Muswellbrook. Picture: Simon BullardSource:News Corp Australia

Gleeson also revealed Don’t Tease Me is due to resume training after a disappointing winter preparation.

Don’t Tease Me has been a great money-spinner for Gleeson stable, winning eight of his 41 starts and nearly $250,000 prizemoney.

“I don’t think he quite came up last campaign,’’ Gleeson admitted.

“Nothing went right for him last time in and hopefully he can bounce back.

“There is no reason he can’t and he did race very well last summer. He’s had a good break now so we are looking forward to getting him back into training.’’

Don’t Tease Me was in career-best form late last year, winning at Rosehill beating the smart Bon Amis and then finishing a close third to Princefamous at Randwick.

PERRY’S BACKING MACAL AND MARATHON – RAY THOMAS

MARATHON will be suited by the bigger track and Macal is a different filly with blinkers on.

This was champion trainer Paul Perry’s succinct summation of his stable two best chances at the Muswellbrook meeting.

The very consistent Marathon has to shoulder topweight of 59.5kg for the Tab.com.au Kayuga Cup (1450m).

But Perry said Marathon continues to hold his form and should get the right run from his good draw (barrier six).

“Marathon is never far away, he is a very consistent horse,’’ Perry said.

“The bigger track at Muswellbrook suits him as I don’t think he was all that comfortable at Cessnock last start in the Jungle Juice Cup but he still ran well for third.

“He also ran well at Warwick Farm before that (second to Mahalangur). He tries hard and this looks a good race for him.’’

Perry is also bullish about the chances of lightly-raced filly Macal in the Magic Millions Maiden (900m).

Macal has been placed in two of her four starts including a third to Boom Queen at Taree last month.

But Perry experimented with blinkers on the daughter of Mossman in a Gosford trial and she reacted brilliantly, winning the trial by nearly four lengths eased down.

“Macal did trial ‘terrific’ in the blinkers,’’ Perry said.

Trainer Paul Perry. Picture: Jenny EvansSource:News Corp Australia

“She has been improving with racing but the blinkers have made a big difference. She is well suited in the Muswellbrook race.’’

Perry is sending eight runners across six races to Muswellbrook today including last start Port Macquarie winner Without Conviction in the Class 1 and Maiden Plate (1750m) and the emerging Shark Alley in the Class 1 Handicap (1280m).

“Without Conviction did a good job at ‘Port’ and she is there to run well again although the wide draw makes it tougher for her,’’ Perry said.

“Shark Alley is a young horse I like and although he has also drawn wide, he should run well, too.’’

Perry also revealed talented Perast has pulled up well after his closing third in the Moonga Stakes at Caulfield last Saturday.

Perast, a multiple stakeswinner, has been improved by two runs from a spell and Perry believes the four-year-old son of super sire Snitzel will be suited when he gets to Flemington next month.

“We are looking at a race on Melbourne Cup Day, a Group 3 over 1400m,’’ Perry said. “He’s working his way back into form.’’

Perry said Heritage Stakes winner Ragged Rascal will be switched back to sprints after he struggled over the 1600m when down the track in The Autumn Sun’s Caulfield Guineas.

“I’ve put him in a Group 3 over 1200m at Moonee Valley on Saturday,’’ Perry said. “I’m not sure he gets a mile strongly but over the shorter trip, off the faster tempo, he should be able to run home like he did when he won at Randwick.’’

INSIDE MAIL WITH RAY THOMAS: MUSWELLBROOK

RACE 1

La Loi is a five-year-old mare finally making her race debut. She is trained on the track looked the part winning a barrier trial here late last month. Drawn wide but has good natural speed, Miss Eimar ran a good race of the Muswellbrook 900m course back in March and can race well fresh. Starletto is an improving, speedy filly who comes off a good run at Cessnock, and Artistic Queen has been mixing her form but is capable of being in the finish.

BETTING STRATEGY: BOX TRIFECTA 2,8,12,14

RACE 2

Macal improving with racing and followed a competitive third at Taree with a brilliant trial win at Gosford. She is wearing blinkers for the first time in a race but had them on in the trial. The soft track won’t worry her. Kohinoor Road was in cruise mode when a close second in a Newcastle barrier trial which she could have won easily. She is poised to run a competitive race on debut. First starters Royal Swagger and She’s Strong both come off smart trial wins.

BETTING STRATEGY: MACAL EACH WAY

RACE 3

Tippler has been placed in all three starts and gets her chance today. To be fair, she had every chance at Newcastle last start but only went under by a half length. Coming back slightly in trip and drawn to advantage. Oakfield Romance has been placed in six of her eight starts including her Wyong third last outing although she seemed to struggle in the heavy going. The firmer the track the better her chances. Palais De Louvre hasn’t been far away in each of her four career starts and Lights Of Como is an each way chance.

BETTING STRATEGY: TIPPLER TO WIN

RACE 4

Cortesta and Lady Of Kos come out of the same race at Canberra last start. Cortesta never got clear galloping room and Lady Of Kos hit the line hard for second after getting a fair bump from an off balance Jersey Rose at the 300m. Both should be in the finish. Ocean Dash showed good acceleration to win a Warwick Farm barrier trial on a heavy track and can run well on debut. Regal Cannon got shunted back at Coonamble before finishing hard late for third, C’est Davinchi and Magic Ray have claims.

BETTING STRATEGY: CORTESTA EACH WAY, BOX TRIFECTA 4,6,8,10

RACE 5

Cartel is ready to win. He’s been placed in all four starts since resuming including a hat-trick of seconds at Newcastle. Chased home the handy Nicco Lad last Tuesday and should go close today. Front View, a half brother to Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup winner Viewed, and ran an encouraging first-up race over 1500m at Newcastle and will enjoy the extra distance. Hammoon Ballad and Ellie Beach are place chances.

BETTING STRATEGY: CARTEL TO WIN

RACE 6

Magic Beneteau has steadily improved with each run this preparation and broke through for a deserved win at Dubbo when he stormed home from well back on the turn. From the good barrier he won’t have to settle so far back today. Hard to beat again. Yambaah Prince was specked at odds when resuming at Port Macquarie where he finished fast to win narrowly. This race is no harder. Toast and The Wild Wild West should be competitive

BETTING STRATEGY: QUINELLA 3,4

RACE 7

Boom Queen tried hard when third in a class 2 at Newcastle last start. She won at Taree four starts back and has held her form since. In a race with many chances, she looks hard to beat. Damit won well at Moruya and would have been top pick but for the wide barrier. Litt Up won his maiden impressively at Tamworth and Delete is racing well but awkwardly drawn.

BETTING STRATEGY: BOX TRIFECTA 1,3,5,14

RACE 8

Marathon has the right form to win this race. He’s racing very consistently and chased home the very promising Mahalangur at Warwick Farm before his third in the Jungle Juice Cup at Ceesnock. Tough and genuine, he’s the best horse in the race and just needs even luck in running. Aragula had absolutely no luck in a Randwick Highway last start and went to the line full of running. His previous form was very consistent and will test Marathon. Pippi’s Pride led throughout to win the Denman Cup here last start and he should run well again. Miami Dade has drawn the car park but if he gets any luck in running, he can make his presence felt.

BETTING STRATEGY: MARATHON EACH WAY, SAVER ON ARAGULA

RACE 9

Iamacrumpet led throughout and dominated her rivals to win a Muswellbrook 1000m maiden in a very fast 56.84s, with a final 600m sectional in 33.1s. Promising mare with plenty of natural speed which can negate her wide draw. Sister Joy is very honest and she gets in well after the claim. Tully Ho has been improved by two runs from a spell and Rock The World has been impressive winning her last two starts but the wide barrier is a concern.

BETTING STRATEGY: IAMACRUMPET TO WIN, BOX TRIFECTA 1,2,3,7

Originally published as Raceday focus: Best bets for Muswellbrook


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