Raceday focus: Best bets, tips for Goulburn and Muswellbrook races
Trainer David Pfieffer has stable veteran Pelethronius perfectly poised to record his first win since Hugh Bowman booted him home at Royal Randwick last winter.
It will be Takeover Target’s jockey Jay Ford in the saddle on Sunday when Pelethronius leads them out in the Nowra Showcase Cup (1600m).
The meeting was scheduled to be at Nowra, naturally, but was transferred to Goulburn owing to heavy rain on the south coast on Friday. Even so, the Goulburn track is still likely to provide Pelenthronius with some cushion.
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Pelethronius has a great record on wet tracks. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
The son of Artie Schiller has raced 10 times on heavy tracks, winning five, compared to just two wins from 20 starts on firmer surfaces.
“The horse is in great form, he doesn’t know he is a seven-year-old,” Pfieffer said. “He is ticking over nicely — the key thing with this horse is he’s just got to get a little bit of room.
“His form speaks for itself, he loves those wet tracks. He is going to get it on Sunday and I am confident that Jay Ford will be able to understand this horse and he’ll just give him that bit of room and it he gets it.’’
Pelethronius comes off a first-up fifth at Warwick Farm before a last-start appearance at Rosehill on Anzac Day, where he finished with two behind him but with 60kg on board and a ‘mere’ five lengths from the winner, Grand Piano.
“The winner got his own way in front and dictated at Warwick Farm then the other day, it was pretty much just a fitness run, so hopefully the mile third-up, he is fit enough for it,’’ Pfieffer said.
SHAYNE O’CASS’S TOP PICKS
PELETHRONIUS (Race 7, No.1)
David Pfieffer-trained veteran who has won nine times in 40 starts, five of them in the city. Good jockey, third-up — peaking now.
BENFICA MAID (Race 6, No.8)
Been well placed throughout by Jason Coyle which is reflected in her record of one win and six placings from her dozen starts. Too good this grade perhaps?
SO SAY YOU (Race 8, No.12)
Progressive So You Think filly who ran a pretty good race in town last start. She will relish 1400m and a mile later on.
LATEST BETTING: TAB FIXED ODDS
Race 5: 4, 5, 6, 7
Race 6: 8, 9
Race 7: 1, 10
Race 8: 3, 12
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
BRODIE LOY would have to go close to winning the TAB Jockeys Challenge.
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Brodie Loy has a good book of rides at Goulburn on Sunday. Picture: Jenny EvansSource:News Corp Australia
ADAM SHEERYS TOP PICKS
HIGHBURY (Race 1, No.1)
Unlucky to clash with a very smart horse in Significance when second at Wyong first-up but beat the rest of the field comfortably. Battled on well after racing on speed last start. Nicely drawn and will be tough to beat.
MELIK (Race 7, No.2)
Showed good ability winning on debut at Scone back in September before a handy second to Magic Charlee at Newcastle a few weeks later. Resuming from a lengthy spell but has won both trials with something in hand.
CHARLIE FLYER (Race 2, No.10)
Was a little green on debut but when fifth at Dubbo in October and was subsequently spelled. Turned in a nice effort in her Muswellbrook barrier trial on May 6 when a close second. Will give a bold sight from barrier 1.
LATEST BETTING: TAB FIXED ODDS
TRAINER TO FOLLOW
PAUL MESSARA has three runners engaged for the meeting and all are genuine chances in their respective races. Melik looks his best chance for the day in the final event while Emanuala will be a big improver.
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
CHRISTIAN REITH can kick off the day with a win on the Gerald Ryan-trained Highbury and has a number of other strong chances including Brigid Of Kildare for Stephen Jones.
Race 4: 2, 7, 10, 12
Race 5: 1, 7, 8, 9
Race 6: 4, 7, 12
Race 7: 2, 6, 14
Pelethronius has won nine times in 40 starts, which has certainly helped the bank balance, but it also means he gets his share of weight.
“When they get to his age and they’ve won the races he has, it always gets hard,’’ Pfieffer said. “But he’s been a grand old horse and is a lovely horse to have around the stable and not many horses win as many as he has in town, I think he’s won five in town.’’
Pelethronius is a gelding so won’t be able to pass on his genes to any potential offspring but he is very well-related nonetheless. His dam, Enrich, was Group 3 placed at the Curragh and is herself a granddaughter of Hopespringseternal — mother of the influential stallion Miswaki.
The breeding barn is the next port of call for Pfieffer’s recently departed I Am Excited, who barnstormed her way to a priceless Group 1 win The Galaxy during the autumn carnival.
The daughter of Snitzel and close relation to Atlantic Jewel will visit Pierro in the spring.
Meantime, trainer Terry Robinson has a potential star in well-bred filly So Say You who will likely end her second campaign after completing her mission at Goulburn.
So You Say is well equipped to make the grade as her career develops being a daughter of dual Cox Plate winner So You Think.
Trainer David Pfieffer is happy with Pelethronius heading into the Nowra Cup. Picture: Jenny EvansSource:News Corp Australia
On top of that, her grand-dam Zapeace, is a Group 3 winning daughter of Zabeel.
So You Say has raced three times only finishing eighth on debut before returning in 2020 with back-to-back sevenths, the last one in town when closing fast to get within five lengths of the winner. On Sunday, the filly, who is bred to run two miles, gets to 1400m in far easier grade.
“Her run the other day in town was a big improvement so, hopefully with the drop in class, and it doesn’t look an overly strong field on paper, you’d think she would be competitive on her last run,’’ Robinson said. “She will probably want further next time in. She might make a handy miler, so I think the mile will be her go.
“It is more than likely that she will go straight to the paddock after Sunday. She is an immature filly and I think she’ll certainly be better next time.’’
So Say You is a half-sister to her stablemate Zardoro, who has contested an incredible 17 TAB Highways, winning two and placing in six others. Robinson, who at times sat in the gig behind pacing greats Gammalite and Koala King, has three other good chances at Goulburn, namely Thorn Brook as well as siblings Rosierro and Our Rosemaree.
Thorn Brook has only won once in 15 starts but has recorded half a dozen placings, including at his most recent outing at Goulburn.
“He handles the wet, which is a positive, and his two runs back have been good,’’ Robinson said. “He just knocked up a bit at Goulburn when he looked like he was gong to get into the money so, hopefully, he will be a bit stronger third-up.’’
SHAYNE O’CASS’S INSIDE MAIL
Our Bellagio Miss is trained by Greg Hickman, who also trained two of the siblings, Centro Superior and Panedai, who were good money-spinners in their day. This cleverly-named Casino Prince filly ran fourth to Archana in town two runs back. Out To Lunch, a brilliantly titled son of Salade and Coustellet, ran in a very, very fast maiden on debut behind a very, very fast Spaceboy. Corbin is a Bob Lapointe/Gary Moore debutante that warrants respect.
BET: OUR BELLAGIO MISS win, quinella 2,3, box trifecta 2,3,4,8.
River Charge has been a model of consistency for connections with a win and five placings (three of the seconds). The Theresa Bateup-trained gelding ran a great race at Scone on Cup day, finishing fourth to Secretly Awesome. Reoffender is liable to peak here third-up. He talent beyond country racing. Wichita Warrior is trained by Keith Dryden who bagged three at Canberra on Friday.
BET: RIVER CHARGE win, box trifecta 1,2,4.
Trainer Keith Dryden will be chasing another winner with Wichita Warrior at Goulburn. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Lunar Tramp attracted some specking at the odds, $21 into $17, and got the chocs winning first-up at Hawkesbury in a 1100m Class 2 on May 5 at her first run for Jason Coyle (Kathy O’Hara riding). Not surprisingly, he’s found another perfect race for her here. Two Seas is a first-up winner in the past; in fact, he won the ‘Big Maiden’ on Grafton Cup day in July last year. For Love is a bit hot and cold but this is the right race for her.
BET: LUNAR TRAMP win.
Polhampton could just as easily be saved for Newcastle on Tuesday but she’s the one to beat if she runs here. She is racing very well and should go close again. Katie Did It won three in a row for Joe Cleary and Gerry Harvery last prep. She’s very handy when right. Peace Of Mind has mixed and matched it with superior horses. Market watch advised. Islands ran second in an unusually strong Class 1 at Bathurst on Anzac Day.
BET: POLHAMPTON win.
Terry Robinson-trained Thorn Brook has one just once in 15 starts but he has placed six times and it looks plain that he is ready to peak here. The son of Hinchinbrook arrives here third-up off two sound runs, one of them was a fourth to Tejori. Tash Burleigh’s mare Luxurial has the Tchaikovsky form going into this from the last four runs ‘1812’. Nostro Re has heaps more ability and talent that his record shows.
BET: THORN BROOK win.
The winners of the last five races that Benfica Maid contested are as follows; Electric Girl, Earth Song, Seagrill, Loveseat and Stockman. On top of that, Benfica Maid was placed behind three of those and fourth/fifth respectively. Point is, she might be too good here. Robert and Luke Price filly Noble Bell is good enough to make her presence felt. I Arize will appreciate a drop in grade here.
BET: BENFICA MAID win, Daily Double 1st leg (8), 2nd Leg (3 & 12).
Pelethronius (left) can bounce back to winning form at Goulburn. Picture: Simon BullardSource:News Corp Australia
Pelethronius wins at a strike-rate of close to one in 10 which, when you get up to 40 starts, is a very creditable CV. Sure, he hasn’t won for a little while but his two runs this campaign have been a hundred times better than they appear. He’s got 61kg but, for what it’s worth, I reckon he’s pretty well ‘in’. Gerald Ryan’s Donandkim is going to have admirers off a barnstorming fourth to Petronius at Warwick Farm. Lankan Rupee’s brother Regal Stage will be in it for a long, long way.
BET: PELENTRONIUS win.
So Say You is a lightly-raced filly by So You Think. Her grand-dam is a Group 3-winning daughter of Zabeel. There is no doubt that she will be better next prep and the one after that and also when she gets to a mile and more but she’s quite talented and the run in town last start was actually very good. Clem Fandango is an impressive horse who turned in an encouraging debut. Belleistic Lad and Sefton are in the mix.
BET: SO SAY YOU win.
Emanuela can be quite a temperamental mare, according to trainer Paul Messara, but he feels she is now starting to turn her form around and is expecting a big run from her on Sunday.
The four-year-old steps up to 2300m in the Stayers Cup which he sees an important factor to her chances.
“She has been a difficult mare this preparation getting her in the right frame of mind,” Messara said. “She has been like that in the past where she had a few dips then she hit her form last preparation.
“I think we have worked through all that now and I expect her to run really well.
“She is crying out for distance this time in. Her last couple of runs show she is warming up into a bit of form so I’m quite confident she will run a really good race.”
The daughter of Animal Kingdom wasn’t suited over the short distances at her first two runs back from a spell and after working through a few issues, Messara was able to step her up to 1600m and 1875m at her past two starts and her efforts have been better.
She was trapped wide throughout at Gosford two starts ago when beaten just over four lengths then worked home well from well back at Newcastle beaten three and three-quarter lengths.
Trainer Paul Messara is expecting a big run from Emanuela at Muswellbrook. Picture: George SalpigtidisSource:News Corp Australia
“I was happy with the last part of her race at Newcastle two weeks ago,” he said. “She’s carrying the grandstand but I expect her to be strong late.”
Four-year-old Melik resumes from a spell to contest just his third race start, with Messara using it as springboard to better things. The son of Redoute’s Choice tackles the Class 1 over 1000m and while it might be a little short of his preferred distance, he is ready to run.
“He’s in good shape but has also got a little bit of weight to carry,” he said. “The 1000 metres might be a bit short for him but I thought it was a nice race to kick off in.
“There is a Highway for him in two weeks’ time at Randwick. “We were happy enough with his trials and now is the time to get him going.”
The gelding has shown he does have his fair share of ability with a debut win at Scone in September followed by a luckless second at Newcastle nearly three weeks late. “In is one racing prep he had a win and a second and it was a good effort when he was narrowly beaten at Newcastle,” he said. “He has ability and I think he will be a nice Highway horse.”
Messara’s other runner for the day is two-year-old Outburst who takes on older horses in the Maiden over 1280m. “This bloke is a nice horse and I think he will make a lovely three-year-old,” he said. “He is against the older horses this afternoon which makes it a bit tough. He is drawn well and looks an each-way chance.”
Originally published asGoulburn, Muswellbrook tips: Wet won’t worry veteran
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