CCL Stock – Warrnambool preview and tips for Day 2: Wednesday, May 5
A downpour on Monday night means the track is likely to remain genuinely rain-affected (Soft 7/Heavy 8) for Wednesday.
You would imagine jockeys will be using plenty of the track, especially as the day goes on.
Race-by-race preview, tips and best bets below …
Bobsled should be handy from barrier one. Outside of that, the speed map is unclear.
Every man and his dog is tipping Almsgiver (1) in the opener here. His Camperdown jump-out was solid enough to win what looks a pretty shallow maiden on debut. The mud is a query, as it is with most of these, but drawing out is probably advantageous.
Cotton Eye Joe (3) has seen a heavy track on three occasions – all in New Zealand – placing in two of them. He resumes for Symon Wilde here as a gelding, with winkers on for the first time.
Tintinwin (6) ran well for 2nd over this trip last start, finishing 2.25L clear of 3rd. He’s in the right barn (Lindsey Smith) and has jumped out in solid enough fashion since his most recent run.
Bobsled (2) should lead and could take a bit of running down if he relishes the sloppy conditions. He found 2080m well beyond him last start, so the drop back in trip looks suitable.
VERDICT: The debutant Almsgiver (1) doesn’t have to be that good to be winning this, but not launching here.
Sly Corner will probably be ridden to cross from the outside gate. Fiorente Spree and Spirit De Lune can be handy. Volatile Stock will likely settle around midfield.
Volatile Stock (9) has had three goes on heavy ground for a 0.4L 2nd, a 0.4L 4th and a 7th when getting a mile out of his ground. Unlike the majority of these, he’s proven that he can at least get through very wet conditions. He’s also race-fit for this, coming off three runs and a trial.
The Coffey-trained Spirit De Lune (8) has finished 3rd in all three career starts, He gives the impression that the rise to 1700m will suit and although he’s yet to see a wet track, both his sire (Puissance de Lune) and dam (Lucy’s Look) handled it.
Typhoon Moon (11) hasn’t done anything wrong in four runs so far. She was excellent over 1400m here on debut and her last-start 2nd over 1500m was encouraging in terms of handling the extra distance of this event.
Sly Corner (6) finished well clear of Typhoon Moon two-back, so he also has to come into consideration. He placed in his only previous run on heavy ground but was beaten 6L there.
VERDICT: Volatile Stock (9) for the win.
Grabowski, Resolutions and Themagicneverends will probably dispute the early lead. High Ferocity maps to be handy.
County Hall (10) is only having her second race start, which is a query in these tough conditions, but her debut effort was very good. She was slow away over 1600m at Stawell but worked home nicely to finish within a length of the winner in 3rd. She put a space on the rest and the winner French Moon has since run well at Flemington.
High Ferocity (3) has a strong fitness base for this, stepping up gradually in trip at his last three outings. He’s been costly for punters, going under at short odds a number of times, but he maps nicely here for Bates.
Grabowski (2) showed sharp improvement to place at Echuca last start after a few ordinary efforts to start his career. He’ll be competitive here if he can repeat that effort.
Themagicneverends (8) has placed on heavy and was good first-up. Obviously the engagement of Damien Oliver here is a big positive.
VERDICT: County Hall (10) for the win.
Rexmont looks the leader, ahead of Stanley and American In Paris. It’s a steeplechase event, so the map isn’t overly important.
American In Paris (10) is a real mudder, finishing top two in 3 of his 4 heavy track runs. He was a big winner of a highweight over 3300m here on a Heavy 8 three-back and his 2nd to Valac in a maiden hurdle last start was solid (thrashing 3rd). This is his steeple debut but the local stayer will be well-schooled.
Riding High (4) looks the obvious danger with Pateman in the saddle. His recent steeple trial didn’t tell us much but he’s won 2 from 4 over the jumps and beat Flying Agent in a 3200m hurdle at this track.
Rexmont (3) will race in the first couple and his toughness can’t be questioned. He just keeps grinding away, as he did when winning well over the fences at Pakenham last start. The biggest worry with him is his record on heavy – it ain’t flash (6:0-0-1).
Michelin (2) relishes wet ground and looked good winning a recent steeple trial at Cranbourne.
VERDICT: American In Paris (10) for the win.
Izzy Good leads from A Good Yarn. Dinga won’t be too far from the action.
Quite a lot of these boast decent heavy track credentials. The horse who might be over the odds at $7 is Cataracta (3). She’s a two-time winner when first-up and both of those wins have been on heavy tracks by 6L and 2.5L respectively. Her last fresh run on a Soft 7 at this track/distance was also good, working home nicely for 3rd.
Continuance (6) is an unknown on really wet ground. She is a talented sprinter though and the Smith/Oliver combination has to be respected. Her first-up run at The Valley last campaign was a total trainwreck, so disregard the margin there.
McKeever (5) was a dominant winner of his only race start. This is harder but he looked to have a bit in hand at Bendigo, despite covering additional ground.
McKeever’s stablemate Dinga (4) enjoys the wet and is 2 from 2 when second-up.
VERDICT: Cataracta (3) looks a safe each-way play at $7 if we get eight runners.
Saunter Boy and Britannicus should race in the first four. The Midnight Shift and Instigator shouldn’t be too far from the action.
Instigator (1) has had four goes over jumps for two wins and two 2nds. One of those wins was a 16L victory in the Houlahan Hurdle on a Heavy 10 last campaign. Runner-up in that race was Saunter Boy, who is a $2.15 favourite here in early markets. Saunter Boy meets Instigator 3kg better at the weights, but the big gap between their prices seems a little odd.
Saunter Boy (6) has clearly come back in very good order, finishing close-up behind Fanciful Toff and Vividredsky in a 2400m flat race at Bendigo on resumption. He then won a hurdle trial before leading all the way to win over the jumps at Pakenham last start. A really heavy deck would favour Instigator more than him.
Confident the winner comes from the above two, but Britannicus (3) is racing in terrific form, and Robbie’s Star (8) grows another leg on heavy tracks (28:9-2-3).
VERDICT: Instigator (1) to knock off the favourite Saunter Boy (6).
Sirius Deal looks the leader if it gains a start. Reliable Lovin’ won’t be far away, with Dashing Tycoon and Cakewalk Baby next in running.
Lindsey Smith has completely turned around National Guard’s (3) form this preparation. The imported gelding showed very little in NSW but is 2 from 2 since joining the Smith stable, scoring over this two-back before winning in this grade at Terang. He goes up 2kg in weight but will be fitter and he maps well.
Printmaker (10) shapes as a decent roughie at $19. His form dropped off last campaign but he was good early, running a close 2nd to Chortomic in a BM70 at this track/distance. A repeat of that would see him right in the finish here.
Facemask (7) is yet to run a bad race in five starts. He was good in this grade last start and should be close to peak fitness after three runs back from a break.
Cakewalk Baby (15) looms as an improver after doing very little first-up in a handy race. Her runs on rain-affected ground have been good.
VERDICT: National Guard (3) for the win, plus something small on Printmaker (10).
Speed aplenty here with Ancestry likely to lead from Jungle Edge and Great Again pushing across. Morrissy and Epic Grey can also show early pace.
The genuinely wet conditions bring Inn Keeper (15) right into calculations at big odds. From barrier two, he’ll probably end up three-back the fence in a strung out field, with Ancestry and Jungle Edge likely to burn along. Seven of his eight wins have come on soft or heavy and he returned to form last start with a stylish first-up victory at Terang. He pulled up lame when 6th as a $3.80F in this race in 2019, before finishing 3rd behind Order of Command last year.
Reykjavik’s (5) two runs back from a break have been good and he’ll enjoy the hot speed here. The big knock is that he’s yet to win over 1200m from 14 attempts, but he wasn’t beaten far in this race last year when ridden against his usual pattern.
Bumper Blast (10) was the horse that jumped off the page when the track was likely to be rated a Soft 6, but the downgrade to heavy hurts him. Crossing the line with Rubisaki last start reads well for this given Rubisaki’s subsequent 3rd-placing in the G1 Sangster Stakes (1200m).
Great Again (4) boasts an outstanding record on wet tracks and was G3-placed at his last couple before going for a lengthy spell. This is a tough ask first-up but he did score on a Heavy 8 at Flemington when fresh last campaign.
VERDICT: Inn Keeper (15) makes each-way appeal at $21. BEST VALUE
Early speed from Mr Roger, Eagles Forever and Irish Rockstar. Sovereign Gold can be handy from barrier two.
What a nightmare race. I’ll be casting a very wide net from a quaddie perspective but for the sake of a tip, Cranc (1) goes on top. He was clearly headed at Swan Hill last start but kicked back hard and wanted it more. His only loss in four starts was by 0.3L, so he’s hard to knock.
There aren’t many here that you can confidently put a line through.
VERDICT: Zero confidence. Go as wide as you possibly can if playing a quaddie.
Finesse Tess, Corner Pocket and Zende will likely set the pace. Sunday Night Tea won’t be far from the action.
If they are running on, Nikau Spur (5) should take a power of beating based on his first-up performance at Pakenham. The Maher and Eustace gelding came from last at the 400m to win by a widening 3.75L and there’s no reason why he can’t show further improvement second-up (won by a huge space at his second start last campaign). The barrier means he’s likely to be spotting them a start, but it might be an advantage to be swooping wide by this stage of the day.
Kent Street (3) finds it hard to win these days but has the Chow factor and maps well. He’s never missed a place in five starts here.
Corner Pocket (1) was good winning at Ballarat last start but may have been flattered somewhat by the track (on-pacers hugely advantaged). He’s won his last three though and is in the right stable.
Sunday Night Tea (12) could spice up exotics at $81. If Cranc runs well in R9, you’d expect this gelding to shorten.
VERDICT: Nikau Spur (5) hard to beat as long as the inside isn’t dynamite (which it shouldn’t be). BEST BET