WALLANGARRA - Keen to see how the UK import Wallangarra goes first-up in the Wyong Farmers Market April 7 Benchmark 70 Handicap (1600m). Trained by Kris Lees and a maiden before coming to Australia, Wallangarra showed plenty of promise winning three races on the trot last preparation commencing with a Port Macquarie class one win over before stepping up to class two provincial company at Newcastle prior to completing the hat-trick at Hawkesbury. Wallangarra looks up to city staying races over the winter months and may well prove too classy for his rivals first-up.
SURJIN - The Paul Perry-trained Surjin will have to overcome impressive debut winner King Hewitt in the Support Our Farmers Class 1 Handicap (1400m) but with $7 widely available in early betting markets he is worth an investment. A son of Stratum out of the Zabeel mare Melbourne Rose, Surjin only saw clear running late resuming at Gosford on March 17 over 1200m. Perry tested the colt in a couple of Stakes races in Melbourne during the Spring with Surjin coming up short, but it’s suggests the stable has an opinion of the three-year-old. The key is the step up in distance for the Aaron Bullock ride and it is worth noting Surjin won his maiden second-up in his first preparation with a comfortable win over the Newcastle 1400m.
WARRUMBUNGLE - There are a couple of factors that suggest the Ken Lantry-trained Warrumbungle can bounce back from a disappointing run at Scone last start when the three-year-old takes his place in the Pryde’s Easifeed Class 1 Showcase Handicap (1400m). A $6 chance at Scone stepping up to 1600m for the first time, Warrumbungle raced fiercely so the blinkers coming off today looking a plus along with a return to 1400m. A Taree winner in his first preparation, Warrumbungle finished second at Tamworth two runs back over 1400m and if he can replicate that run on Sunday he will be the horse to beat.
JOEY’S DESTINY - Clint Lundholm will have Dubbo Cup runner-up Dreadlock, last start maiden winner Sprezzatura, the consistent Tuncoona and the Greg Ryan ride Joey’s Destiny lining up in the WRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) with the latter the stand out of the quartet. After initially looking a horse that might have trouble getting beyond 1200m, a class three win at Orange on November 24 changed that view with Joey’s Destiny carrying 61kg for a comfortable victory over 1300m and was spelled with a Country Championships tilt in mind. Joey’s Destiny has finished on the placegetters heels both runs this time in carrying 63.5kg at Mudgee first-up and 60kg last start when less than two-lengths from the winner at Coonamble finishing his race off in a manner that suggests the four-year-old has been prepared to run out 1400m which hasn’t necessarily been the case in previous preparations. Launching from barrier five on Sunday, Joey’s Destiny is drawn to get all the favours in the run and down to 57.5kg under the set-weight conditions looks a stand out investment.
EXITOZO - We don’t have a trial to guide us but if the Scott Thompson-trained Exitozo is anywhere near his top for his return to racing in the Dubbo RSL Club Resort Open Showcase Handicap (1100m) he will take a power of beating. A winner twice first-up, Exitozo was less than two-lengths from the winner Mana in a benchmark 72 handicap at Canterbury resuming last time in carrying 57kg which looks a solid form reference for an open handicap at Dubbo. Drawn to get the gun run from barrier two and leading country jockey Aaron Bullock in the saddle, Exitozo is worth a punt first-up at the $6 available in early betting markets.