HOTEL AMOUR - With five winners from seven starts for the current racing season at Goulburn, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott certainly know what horses to take to the track which suggests the stable’s first starter in the Radio Goulburn CG&E Maiden Handicap (1400m) should be respected. A three-year-old son of Americain, Hotel Amour has trialled on four occasions finishing on the placegetters heels in the two latest trials at Randwick and raced like he will relish 1400m first-up when doing his best work late over the 1050m of his latest trial with race day rider Rachel King in the saddle. Hotel Amour raced on the speed in the first trial over 735m but settled nicely one out and one back in the 1050m trial, so King holds all the aces launching from barrier four on Thursday. I am happy to have a throw at the stumps on the Waterhouse and Bott debut runner at the $3.80 available in early betting markets.
DIAMOND DELUXE - Corporate bookmakers have labelled the Cessnock Leagues Club Maiden Handicap (1530m) a race in two between the Kris Lees-trained Septango and Diamond Deluxe from the Jason Deamer stable. However the barrier draws give the latter a clear edge. Septango must overcame an awkward barrier nine whilst Diamond Deluxe won’t spend a penny in the run launching from barrier three. To be ridden by Noel Callow, Diamond Deluxe looked just a run short for 1250m having her first race start when runner-up at Taree on February 26 after hitting the front straightening before being run down over the latter stages by Bold Dapper. With the benefit of race experience Diamond Deluxe gets the chance to go one better.
FROGMARCH - Barrier 10 was the initial concern for Frogmarch which is striving for three wins on the trot in the East Cessnock Bowling Club Benchmark 55 Handicap (1150m). After seven starts without winning, Frogmarch hit his straps winning successive races at Gunnedah and Cessnock at his last two outings and on form is the horse to beat. A look at the Racenet Speed Map available here suggests any concerns as to what sort of a run Frogmarch gets in transit are unfounded with the gelding likely to end up with the run of the race. With the Racenet Speed Map supporting the form analysis and Aaron Bullock in saddle, I am happy to have something on Frogmarch.
YAMBAAH PRINCE - It’s over 500km from Gosford to Coonamble but the six-hour float trip should be worthwhile as Angela Davies has found the right race for Yambaah Prince who will be chasing a fourth career win in the Agri-Storage Benchmark 55 Handicap (1400m). Yambaah Prince resumed over an unsuitable 1200m on a soft track at Tamworth last start doing his best work late after settling well back in the run but will be a more formidable challenge for his rivals stepping up to 1600m with the first-up run under his belt on a drier surface. It is worth noting Yambaah Prince went to Quirindi second-up last preparation for an easy win and the five-year-old gelding looks a great chance for a repeat with $7 in early betting markets looking exceptional value, considering the trainer’s ability to find the right races for her horses.
TUNCOONA - The Clint Lundholm-trained Tuncoona is another ready to win second-up from a break in the Annapro WRA Championship Preview Class 4 Handicap (1300m). A winner of three of her six runs last time in including a Dubbo victory second-up, Tuncoona did a good job resuming at Mudgee on February 25 finishing 1-1/2 lengths from the winner in second spot after sitting wide in the run without cover. Tuncoona will be all the better for the first-up run and gets the chance to go one better with a 3kg weight drop on her latest outing.