Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park features the running of the Group 2 Cowden Limited – The Insurance Brokers Norms Daughter Classic (2130m).
The $50,000 Classic has brought together a classy field of mares, with last year’s winner, Wainui Creek, faring best at the barrier draw.
The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft and that newspaper’s Ernie Manning believe Wainui Creek can make it back-to-back wins. They have even labelled her their best bet on the stellar 10-event card.
“Wainui Creek led and won twice in September, but her form has tapered-off when drawing wide recently,” Havercroft said. “We know she is up to the class, having won this race last year from the breeze and she looks likely to make it back-to-back Norms Daughter Classics.”
And Manning agrees with his colleague.
“Barrier one has boosted quality mare Wainui Creek’s prospects of winning her second straight Norms Daughter Classic,” Manning said. “The Greg and Skye Bond-trained mare is back to top form, with five wins from her past eight starts. Waiunui Creek has shown class from the early stages of her career and won a Group 1 event at Christchurch before arriving in Perth 14 months ago. She faced the breeze when narrowly beaten last start.”
TABradio’s Matt Young is keen on the chances of Harley Zest in race eight.
“Harley Zest has come back well this prep and has the perfect draw here,” Young said. “Battled on really well from the breeze last start and in this suitable race and draw, he looks the winner.”
Longshot guru Pat Harding has made Major Stare his star bet.
“Looks like this Friday could be a night for favourites at GP,” Harding said. “However, my best bet comes up in race seven with No. 3 Major Stare. This Barry Howlett-trained horse has been about the place and is due for a win, and with Chris Voak aboard stands a great chance in this race.”
But that’s not how Media Guild president Wayne Currall sees the race panning out.
“I think Walsh can record an all-the-way win in race seven,” Currall said. “Emily Suvaljko is driving in great form and from the pole she can send Walsh straight to the top and control the tempo. He’s been about the place of late from wide draws and will relish the pegs.”
TABradio’s Hayden King believes punters should keep their powder dry until the last.
“Free Wheeling steps up again here but could not have been more impressive last start,” King said. “She sat in the death on a robust speed and still fought on strongest to score. She’ll lob a handy spot and take beating.”
Award-winning journalist Ken Casellas is in the camp of Hampton Banner.
“Four-year-old Hampton Banner made a wonderful return to racing after a winter spell when he led and won narrowly from the brilliant youngster Jumpingjackmac a fortnight ago,” Casellas said. “He is set for stardom and, from the favourable No. 2 barrier in race four on Friday night, he gets my nod as the best bet on the program.”
RYAN: Bettor Be Lively follows out Walsh, which should present a good opportunity to fill a placing at an each-way quote.
ERNIE: Henrik Larson has won only once in his past 11 starts, but the Luke Edwards-trained four-year-old should not be underrated. He ran fourth last week in a Pinjarra feature event, giving glimpses of ability which enabled him to win at his first four appearances.
MATT: Queen Shenandoah is racing really well and will get a glorious run in the mares feature. She will be at mammoth odds and is worth a throw at the stumps.
PAT: My double comes up in race six with the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Be My Rock from barrier four. He has good form on the board and should be well suited over the 2536 metre distance,
WAYNE: I can’t believe the early odds on offer about Mirragon in the first race. With Roman Art and Back In Twenty providing plenty of early speed, Chris Lewis will be “smoking the pipe” and waiting to have the last crack – he’s each-way all day.
HAYDEN: Pontevivo ran a terrific last 1200m on Monday when victorious in a strong race. Although drawn poorly, rule him out at your peril over the long trip.
KEN: For value, I suggest horse nine from barrier nine in race nine. He is Tyler Brett, who has a losing sequence of 17 and has been unplaced at his past six starts. He will appreciate a drop in class; he musters great early speed and is capable of upsetting the likely favourite and frontrunner The Kraken, who has a losing sequence of 18.
Click here to view all of the Media Guild tips for this week