Doomben Race 8 | WJ Healy Stakes | 1200m Open G3 Hcp | 4:32pm

The Track

The track is currently a Soft 5 with the rail out +3.5m. Fine and sunny weather with a top of 23-24c is forecast for the remainder of Friday and Saturday, which should see the track improve to at least a Good 4.

The track should race relatively well, although if there is a pattern we expect that just off the fence (3 to 6 horses) is likely to prove the best ground. Leaders will need to shift off around the turn rather than staying hard on the fence and those settling off speed and able to naturally peel out on the turn to find that preferred going in the early part of the straight will be particularly well suited.

Speed and Tactics

This looks likely to be run at an above average early speed. Upstart Pride (6) should be intent on leading / controlling, but will need to run along, which may in fact suit him as he’ll have company in the first 200m courtesy of Prompt Return (7), Deploy (8) and All Over Bosanova (15).

Dothraki (14) is drawn very awkwardly as he likes to race reasonably handy but doesn’t have the early speed to contend well with wide barriers. The last 4 times he’s drawn wide he has been caught wide in the run.

Early Pace Rating: Above average to solid

Late Pace Rating: Moderate to below average

Best Suited: Lead to 4L off lead

WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

The lead up form and overall profile of key contenders in this race suggests that a rating of at least 97 at the weights will be required to win.

Race Assessment

2. Deploy: Forecast 96.5-98.5. Assessed $4.60

He’s remarkably consistent and tough, which we saw last start when he fought back to win the Moreton Cup over this track and distance. His last start rating was a new career peak and is good enough to win this, but it was a “max” effort so there’s some chance he may regress slightly towards his more consistent level of form which is around 1L off that performance. Either way he’s right in the mix to win this and will be hard to beat, it’s just hard to see what the market is underestimating to make him genuine value?

6. Burning Passion: Forecast 96-99. Assessed $8.00

His record suggests he’s a wet tracker but five of his last seven ratings are good enough to win or be right in the finish of this race and one of those did come on a Good 4 track at Rosehill. The biggest problem I see for him is Barrier 1 and the prospect of being buried back on the inside, especially if just off the fence is the better going. Had he drawn a middle gate I would have been keen to bet, but from the inside I’m cautious.

4. Flippant: Forecast 96.5-98.5. Assessed $8.50

She’s first up here for (Snowden stable), certainly has the talent to win and has been wound up by two recent trials, winning the latest. If there is a query it’s that her last three first up runs have been below par, but at least with some excuses.

3. Upstart Pride: Forecast 95.5-98. Assessed $9.00

He appeals as a great long shot in this race. He’s a fast front runner with numerous ratings in his past that can win this race, with two of his three peaks (including his best) coming over this track and distance. The key for this horse is being able to lead. The last eight times he’s led, he has won five times and finish second (beaten less than a length) twice. He can sustain a high cruising speed in front and keep going to run good overall time. More recently, he’s been unable to lead in any of his last three starts – last start he was back to 1050 and settle well back in the field before running on strongly. The two prior starts he drew very wide and did plenty of work early in very fast run races but couldn’t get control and weakened. This map looks to give him the perfect opportunity to lead and therefore the potential to bounce back to his form in Feb / March where he put together two impressive wins that would put him right in the finish of this race. It’s somewhat of a stretch going back 4-5 runs to find a form reference to like him, but that’s the nature of longshots. You are typically finding reason to overlook recent runs and taking a calculated gamble on the potential of the horse to suddenly improve. Upstart Pride certainly fits into that category. I can’t mark him any longer than $9 and could have him shorter. At the prices on offer he looks a great gamble in this race.

1. Dothraki: Forecast 94.5- 99. Assessed $12.00

He looks a risk in this race. He headed Deploy in the Moreton Cup and looked the winner, but couldn’t finish off and ended up running second. That’s developing into somewhat of a trait for this horse. The bigger concern though is the one mentioned earlier about his wide drawn and inability in the past to overcome them. His ratings when drawn wide are clearly inferior to his better form and if he’s struggled to win when confronted with the perfect / conditions and run, I can’t be at all positive about his prospects to win give the way he sets up in this race.

5. Too Good To Refuse: Forecast 94-98. Assessed $16.00

He was an eye catcher from a mile back last start, but this race is clearly stronger and he’ll be a long way back in the run again.

10. Londehero: Forecast 93-96. Assessed $18.00

Needs a new career peak to win, but has a number of performances, including two starts ago at the Gold Coast which can see him thereabouts.

13. Irish Constabulary: Forecast 92-97. Assessed $26.00

He’s been mixing his form a little, but at least has a couple of performances in his history that suggests he can be in the finish if he happened to put it all together on the day.

14. All Over Bosonova: Forecast 92.5-97.5. Assessed $26.00

Has the talent to be thereabouts, but faces a challenge from the barrier.

9. Prompt Return: Forecast 92-96. Assessed $31.00

He’s racing in good form, but his peaks are over 900-1000 so running up to the standard needed over 1200m is a big query.

15. Mogador: Forecast 92-95. Assessed $31

Two runs this prep have just been fair and he’s likely to be back near last in the big field.

7. Pallazzo Pubblico: Forecast 92-95. Assessed $34.00

Only has one rating that could put her in the finish of this, the rest of her form is safely below the winning standard required.

11. Sir Statham: Forecast 92.5-94. Assessed $41.00

He’ll be much better suited up to 1200m here, but it’s impossible to be confident he can make the 4L+ rating improvement needed, especially with the prospect of settling well back in the field.

12. Sony Legend: Forecast 92-95. Assessed $51

His best is a level below this and the wide draw only increases the challenge.

8. Steel Zip: Forecast 92-94. Assessed $61

First up here and it has been almost two years since he’s run up to the level that could see him in the finish.

Betting Strategy

This is a very open race with a number of winning chances, but betting around the two that appeal as the best value on current market prices.

 BACK (WIN) Upstart Pride at >$9.00 – Stake 0.5% of your total bank.

 BACK (PLACE) Upstart Pride at >$3.00 – Stake 1% of your total bank.

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