Racing Preview: Tuesday May 2nd, Warrnambool Day One

The amazing three day carnival kicks off on Tuesday at Warrnambool and all eyes will be on Darren Weir who looks set to dominate once again.

Warrnambool Race 1 | Maiden Hurdle | 3200m | 11:20am

Despite being beaten 10 lengths in his lead up, Hale Soriano, is entitled to be race favourite here. His recent and career PB’s benchmark figures on the flat suggest he’s the most talented of any runner. Since his last start ninth behind Boom Time, he won his 2800m hurdle by six lengths. The heavy surface is no issue and I’m expecting him to be sharper than second favourite Refectory who comes here off a win over 4000m in lower company.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (WIN) Hale Soriano

Warrnambool Race 6 | Brierly Steeple | 3450m | 2:20pm

The Von Doussa has been the best lead up race traditionally and usually you need to be in winning form or thereabouts to be in the mix here. The other key to this event is horses down in the weights so any recent penalty for a last start win can be telling.

Zed Em won the Von Doussa impressively finishing well in the worst part of the track in the home straight. Whilst I think he’s the horse to beat I couldn’t take $2.50 in the early marketNow And Zen look the best lay of the two hard in the market. He almost fell last time over the hurdles so I’m not convinced dropping back in distance over steeples is the right recipe for success here.

The best value or big improver looks to be Gold Medals who won the Terang Cup over 2150m. His record around 3200m-3600m over Hurdles puts him close to winning here. Thubiaan was the last horse to win off a flat run in 2015 rising from 2500m.

Western Kingdom is lightly raced and capable of a big spike here. His form is inferior to Gold Medals on the flat but he’s had two solid steeples trials in preparation and Robert Smerdon hasn’t lost his ability to pull off a plunge in a big feature. $17 in early betting looks over the odds and the only negative is how big a start he’ll be spotting his rivals.

Insider Suggests

 LAY (WIN) Now And Zen

Warrnambool Race 9 | City of Warrnambool Handicap | 1700m | 4:00pm

A really tough to assess but one that typically is won by horses hard in the market with only a few weeks between runs.

Darren Weir has four runners in the field with Gallic Chieftain opening the shortest of them. He comes here first up which is against the race profile. Breeding suggests he’ll handle the heavy surface but looking at the depth of this field I’m happy to take him on at $4.50 in early betting with his best distance being 2000m.

The lead up runs of Ormito ($13) and Tick Tick Boom ($14) were enough to suggest they can be in the finish. The fourth Weir runner Black Tomahawk will need further than 1700m to show his best.

Matt Cumani trained War Story has the perfect set up to coming into this race. His first up sixth placing had plenty of hidden merit, he backed that performance up with a tidy win in the Warracknabeal Cup over 1600m. He only needs to handle the heavy surface to be prominent here.

Matthew Williams is shooting for his third straight City Of Warrnambool Handicap having won 2016 & 2015 with Turnitaround. He saddles up Lady Selkirk who hit the line strongly behind Ma Jones at Caulfield after she failed at Group Two company in the Sunline Stakes at Moonee Valley. She loves rain affected ground and can sit in the ‘sweet spot’ midfield with cover. I’ve marked her race favourite ahead of Gallic Chieftain.

Insider Suggests

 BACK (WIN) Lady Selkirk

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