Raceday focus: Best bets at Taree, Bathurst
WYONG trainer Jeff Englebrecht will have his eye on both ends of the field on Friday in the Hopkins Livermore Cup (1400m) at Taree.
Profiler will be up on the speed making his own luck while The Iron Maiden will be at the rear hoping the breaks fall her way as she looks to surge past her rivals.
Both horses are coming into the race with nice metropolitan form behind them and Profiler was less than three lengths off the winner at his past two Warwick Farm runs.
"He ran a good race over 1400m at Warwick Farm so I thought we'd send him to this race where he'll be up on the pace and he's very fit, and 57kg isn't too much for him," Englebrecht said.
"It's not any harder than what he met in Sydney the other day and it's probably even a drop in class for him."
It's the eight-year-old's first run at Taree and he'll be able to run at his best on top of the ground.
"The Taree track won't worry him. He's been around a fair bit and the one thing I do know is he doesn't want a wet track and there's no wet tracks at the moment so it will suit him but not The Iron Maiden," Englebrecht said.
The Iron Maiden may love a wet track but she's still won five times on firm surfaces and if she won two races this preparation at Gosford before running well behind Live To Dream two starts back at Warwick Farm.
A repeat of that run puts her right in this race.
"If they run along at a good clip she'll get home pretty well," Englebrecht said.
"Her run two starts back was good and it didn't pan out for her last start in a pretty good field. It just didn't suit her style. She's dropping back in grade now and she'll be cheeky."
She just needs a hot pace up front to be a major player and she's performed well at the track in the past.
"Everything with her depends on the speed of the race and usually at Taree they go out hammer and tongs so she's going to get home with just 54kg on her back which she'll appreciate," Englebrecht said. "I'd probably go with Profiler as my top pick because he's going to be up on the speed and around Taree it's a lot better if you're up near the front."
Villarrica is Englebrecht's other runner and she races in a Benchmark 58 Handicap (2000m) and her last start seventh in a forgive run and she did win last time she raced at Taree on July 1.
"Her few runs for me have been good until she played up in the gates last start and when they let them go she went up in the air and the buggered her up because she's an on-pace runner," Englebrecht said. "Other than that her form has been good and I think shell appreciate the 2000m."
Two starts back she ran two-and-a-half lengths behind White Boots at Cessnock and he has since come out and won at Hawkesbury and at Canterbury on Wednesday.
"The form out of that race is pretty good and she'll be better at Taree because the going will be a bit softer than it was at Cessnock," Englebrecht said.
Snitzagirl ready to sizzle
RICK Worthington and owner Ross Smyth-Kirk have teamed up to produce Snitzagirl and she'll be an improved horse at start two on Friday at Bathurst.
Smyth-Kirk bred her from a stallion called Marechal who was from the first lot of Danzero yearlings sold.
"Marechal was a Stakes winner but only Group-placed because he had cartilage issues in his knees so he never fulfilled his full potential," Worthington said. "This filly is by him and out of one of the first crops of Snitzel, Snitzabelle, who unfortunately did a tendon and I thought she would be a black-type horse and I had a massive opinion of her.
"Unfortunately, she didn't get to the races but Snitzagirl is the first of her progeny and I've been very patient with this filly because the Marechal's all need time."
After much waiting, Worthington sent her to the races for the first time at Goulburn on August 3 when she ran into the smart Don't Doubt Arthur and hot favourite The Haitian Poet for Team Hawkes.
"I told Ross this is a filly we could win a race first-up in the bush with but the field she ran into had metropolitan form around it," Worthington said. "She was ready though, so I said: 'let's go' and I thought she was a good each-way chance and she did a great job."
Snitzagirl finished second behind Don't Doubt Arthur that day but took plenty of confidence out of the run. She's again got to beat a Team Hawkes runner today, the highly fancied Feather - who comes into the Maiden Handicap (1280m) off eye-catching trial form.
MATT JONES'S BEST BETS
BEST BET: BILL 'N' TED (Race 5, No. 11)
He's a well-bred colt who has done nothing but impress in his two runs and he looks like he could go through the grades quickly. He just needs an ounce of luck from the gate and he can win again.
NEXT BEST: ALOT LIKE HOME (Race 7, No. 2)
This horse is a real winner and he was so impressive after coming from behind to score last time. He has also run well against the likes of Suncraze in the past.
Race 5: 2, 6, 11
Race 6: 2, 4, 5, 6
Race 7: 2, 4
Race 8: 1, 6, 8, 9
JOCKEY TO WATCH
DARRYL MCLELLAN has some nice winning chances in Helsun, High Rush and Serious Dancer.
BEST BET: GOOD VERDICT (Race 8, No. 4)
He has to win one soon and if he can get a touch of luck from a wide gate he has the fitness on his side to peak.
TRAINER TO WATCH
JASON COYLE only has two horses heading west from town but both, Red Brocade and Your Witness, are top winning chances.
RACE 5 (2.55pm)
2. Typhoon Bunny will probably be starting favourite and comes into this off no public trial but does have fresh form and should be able to get a nice run from the gate and with the claim. 6. Akamin probably races better with the sting out of the ground but he loves his home track and has put more good runs in than average ones of late. 11. Bill 'n' Ted is well bred and did a good job in breaking his maiden last start and his debut run was a good one too but he does have to deal with a wide gate.
BETTING STRATEGY: BILL 'N' TED to win.
RACE 6 (3.35pm)
4. Foxy's Foxinator won well enough last start but will need to improve to win this and it won't be a walk in the park despite him being a promising horse. 5. The Eulo Queen won last start in good fashion and lost to Foxy's Foxinator two starts back but should have gone close to winning after getting held up at a vital stage in the straight. 6. Impulsive Maneuver drops well back in class for this and has fresh form good enough to do something here. 2. Allez Rev is one to look for at odds.
BETTING STRATEGY: THE EULO QUEEN to win.
RACE 7 (4.10pm)
6. Profiler and 11. The Iron Maiden will be at opposite ends of the field for trainer Jeff Englebrecht, who favours Profiler because The Iron Maiden will need luck. 4. Carluca is a horse that can't take a break but if he gets some well-deserved luck, he'll be a huge force in this. 2. Alot Like Home has top form around him Suncraze and Reach For Heaven and won well last start, so he's the leading hope. 1. Powerline hasn't won for a while but this is also the easiest race he's competed in for a long time.
BETTING STRATEGY: Boxed trifecta 1, 2, 4.
RACE 8 (4.45pm)
6. African Guy drops in grade after a good run at the provincials last time and a repeat of that naturally means he's going to be hard to hold out, but he has an awkward gate. 1. Dizzy Success must be considered due to his consistency but he finishes second way too often and has a wide gate, but Robert Thompson rides him. If 8. Caper gets into a good spot from the wide gate he'll finish off well, while 9. Saint Denis is another frustrating non-winner, but he's drawn better than most of his dangers and loves Taree.
BETTING STRATEGY: SAINT DENIS to win.
RACE 5 (3.15pm)
3. Art Of Defence is back in country grade after a nice last-start effort at the provincials and there's no reason why he won't be strong to the line in this. 5. Jagger got beaten by a city-class horse at Goulburn last start but that run would have tightened him up for this. He's had a habit of running into town horses at the provincials so this is his chance to break through for another win. 6. Keeper Girl steps up in grade but drops in weight, while 7. Red Brocade is the one to watch after good runs in better grade.
BETTING STRATEGY: Quinella 5, 7.
RACE 6 (3.50pm)
1. Deal Master would have won in another stride last start and going up in trip only helps. He looks to have acclimatised well to his new stable and is racing with zest. 3. Panuara's recent form can't be ignored. Since having the blinkers on, he's improved but is untested at the trip. 4. Taking Liberties has a poor winning strike rate but her form of late will suck punters in, and for good reasons. Greg Ryan also rides. 9. Tilly's Waltz is flying at the moment, too.
BETTING STRATEGY: DEAL MASTER to win.
RACE 7 (4.25pm)
1. Prince Planet will have an easier run in transit this time after working hard and fading late last time. He'll be fitter, too, and has won second-up in the past. 5. Tony's Reward has form behind Newsfan and that's attractive as is his fresh record and he trialled well at Rosehill. 3. Lass Vagas just got caught a three-deep last start which cost her on the line and she should get cover this time.
BETTING STRATEGY: PRINCE PLANET to win.
RACE 8 (5.05pm)
4. Good Verdict is really knocking on the door and could easily be shooting for three-straight wins. It's only a matter of time before he snares one. 5. Your Witness is a big threat after dropping in grade for this. He hasn't been far off the winner at the provincials of late and Jason Coyle has sent him out here to get some confidence back. 7. Fiscal Policy was very unlucky not to win last start and he should be nearly leading and will be trying to hold on. 6. Attainment might be one to consider at odds.
BETTING STRATEGY: GOOD VERDICT to win.