O’SO TEMPTING - On face value coming back in distance doesn’t look ideal for the Burleigh-trained O’So Tempting who will be striving to record his third win from three starts in the Hibernian Class 2 Handicap (1050m) but that’s the reason the Corporate Bookmakers are letting us on. A four-year-old son of O’lonhro, O’So Tempting has exhibited a touch of class in his two wins to date giving the leaders six-lengths start at the 200m before overwhelming his rivals late in a 1010m maiden at Moruya on debut before once again asserting his superiority over the latter stages winning a class one at Goulburn over 1200m on February 12. Back to 1050m could work in O’So Tempting’s favour as he did over-race stepping up to 1200m and whilst it is too early in his career to be definitive about his future he is starting to look a horse that will perform best charging home late over the short courses. A quick look at the stats tells me horses that win their maiden and class one in succession have a 33 percent winning strike rate when they step up to a class two at Goulburn which makes the $4.60 available in early betting look terrific value for O’So Tempting.
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.
LOCUS - With each of his three career wins coming on soft or heavy tracks, the Toby Edmonds-trained Locus has conditions made to order in the Sally Taylor Racing Benchmark 69 Handicap (1515m). A four-year-old son of Beneteau, Locus won successive races at Ipswich earlier in the preparation on tracks designated heavy (9) and soft (5) before three unplaced runs at Doomben on good surfaces. Heavy ground at the Sunshine Coast two runs back saw Locus back in the winner’s stall prior to finishing third in similar track conditions at the same track last start. With a career record of three wins and two placings from seven starts on soft and heavy tracks compared to zero wins and placings from four runs on top of the ground, it is clear Locus has a penchant for a wet track. With a soft (6) track declared for Coffs Harbour on Tuesday, he has the conditions in his favour and rates as the best bet of the day.
GO JOYCE GO - The luxury of barrier two should see the Gregory McFarlane-trained Go Joyce Go remain unbeaten in the Dennis Edwards Class 2 Handicap (810m). With his key rivals all launching from wide barriers over the 800m scamper, Go Joyce Go has the early speed to take advantage of the perfect barrier draw and race right on the speed without doing much work in the run. The likes of Western Alliance, Odds Or Evens and Cunningar Lass are likely to be working in transit from their awkward gates. A Queanbeyan 900m winner on debut in his only first preparation run, Go Joyce Go returned a winner at Taree last start when the three-year-old son of Benfica led all the way to win a Class One over 1000m at Taree on heavy ground. With Ben Looker in the saddle, everything points to Go Joyce Go being three from three late Tuesday afternoon.
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.