Friday, April 25, 2008

Your WHAB Doncaster Preview!!!

Well we have a feature race at Randwick. How can you find Randwick? Well, it is the only racing venue in Sydney that doesn't smell like White Ox tobacco, desperation and shame. Thankfully they are still going to be able to hold the Doncaster there this year. Even though the Race course is being used for some sort of World Youth Day shenanigans. Randwick is soon to be home to this guy:

So Catholic clergy and kids... Randwick will soon be home to more inappropriate man/boy love than an annual scouting jamboree and the Phil Gould home for wayward boys combined. Scary.

But, I digress. It's Doncaster time. The Doncaster looks to be an historically weak field this year. John O'Shea and Russ Macdonald cited "Sand in our Vagina's" and elected to let superstars Weekend Hussler and Racing to Win have the day off. Mentality Sniper's Bullet and Casino Prince will be at the top of your weight board.

We at WHAB will give you detailed descriptions of the chances of all of your Doncaster hopefuls in the following preview. Hopeful is a pretty apt description of most of these guys, as you are about to find out.

A word to the punter out there, an honour roll of Doncaster winners over the last 10 years is a pretty impressive bunch. So don't get too hung up on weights - the winner is usually either a) A superstar in the making (Racing to Win, Private Steer, Grand Armee) or b) one of your top weights that have done something (Haradasun). Sometimes Patezza types surprise you though...

2007 - Haradasun 2006 - Racing To Win 2005 - Patezza 2004 - Private Steer 2003 - Grand Armee 2002 - Sunline
2001 - Assertive Lad 2000 - Over 1999 - Sunline 1998 - Catalan Opening 1997 - Secret Savings 1996 - Sprint By

Interesting Questions: How much would Weekend Hussler have Turkey Slapped this field? Or Racing to Win? How the hell did Bobadah miss a start in this shite field? Will I go to Randwick specifically to award Glen Boss his plaque, kick in the scrotum and years supply of Spam as the inaugural inductee into the WHAB Schrutebag Hall of Fame.

[Professors Note: As of Thursday morning, it is still raining... keep in mind that the track will be no better than slow]

1 MENTALITY Darren Beadman 14 (57.5)

Current Price: $14

Captain Carnage: The only male two time Group 1 winner in the field has been weighted accordingly. Fellow male Group 1 winners Sniper's Bullet, Casino Prince and Valedictum all come in with considerably less weight but Mentality has shown great consistency at Group 1 level and it's hard to argue with the 57.5kg. However, the prospect of a wet track looks likely to dash his winning hopes as even Peter Snowden has admitted he needs it dry.

Professor Chaos: Well, here is your perfect example of why you can't just look at a horses statistics in the wet and say "this guy loves the wet." Looking with a bit of detail into this guy's wet form shows that his last three starts on slow/heavy ground are a 3 Length loss to !!Falaise!! a 5 length loss to Racing to Win and his pantsing on that ground on Saturday. If the track dries out, the $14 is a wonderful price. On Slow/Heavy ground not a chance. The Weight is not a big concern in this field. Mentality by rights should always give 5 kg plus to most of these and still win. To Sum up: On good/dead ground, here is your top pick. On Slow/Heavy ground I wouldn't take this guy at $50:1.

JB: A no go on the slow - simple enough

2 SNIPER'S BULLET Hugh Bowman 16 (55.5)

Current Price: $14

Professor Chaos: May have a decent chance in this field. Some pretty good runs this time in, 55.5 is a bit of relief for a horse that is used to lugging quite a bit more around. Was favourite last start at Canterbury, and didn't appear to love the track. Wet form is great - Stradbroke win over GOLD EDITION came on a slow track. A lot to like.

Captain Carnage: Not sure how a Stradbroke Hcp victory with 50.5kg's costs you 1 kg more than a Chipping Norton win at weight for age (see Casino Prince). Anyhow, this fellow has to be a big chance with the likelihood of a wet track. He has three wins and two placings on ground rated dead or worse and looks to have the natural ability to be a possible winner here. The Stradbroke win was against super mare Gold Edition and I can't leave him out of my Doncaster multiples. His form in his lead-up races looks a bit patchy albeit solid and in good company but I have the feeling Tracey Bartley has left a fair bit of improvement in him. "Fresh legs on the scene" was how he put it on Tuesday. I remember some guy I'd barely heard of telling me a long-winded tale about what Sniper's Bullet was going to do in the Stradbroke and I didn't listen to a word. I won't underestimate that guy who is now a Group 1-winning trainer again. The Bullet will be trained right up for this and is great value at $14. Drawn wide but gets back anyway. Big chance.

JB: Alot to like about this horse, plenty of class. Unable to get the run against Casino Prince in the Norton, but no Tuesday Joy in this one. Has some form on what we can expect this track to be.

Professor Chaos: I had a little piece of the bullet that day... and is Tracey a boys name now???

3 CASINO PRINCE Damien Oliver 5 (54.5)

Current Price: $8

Professor Chaos: His last crack at the Randwick mile in the Chipping Norton was a meritorious run. He beat Tuesday Joy which will jump out at a lot of people, though it must be remembered that the mile doesn't really suit Tuesday Joy. Not a mudlark by any stretch. Think that the $8 is tight.

Captain Carnage: In career best form. A nice warm up for this last week, beaten only by Weekend Hussler and Racing To Win on heavy going. That was after winning his first Group 1 at 1600m on a dead track. Will run out the mile stronger than most in the field and is drawn to perfection. You'll probably note that by comparison with other starters he is the most nicely weighted horse in the field. One of the main threats.

JB: Has been dueling it out with some of the top horses in Australia. That sort of prep will see this horse meaner and with 'blood on his teeth' come Saturday. Get on and get on early.

4 GERMAN CHOCOLATE Zac Purton 12 (54.5)

Current Price: $41

Professor Chaos: Has it really done nearly enough to deserve the fourth highest weight in this field??? It is really a hard one to have, with a defeat on the dry at the hands of Falaise in Newcastle and then losing its pants to All Silent last start.

Captain Carnage: I'm not a handicapper but I can't follow how a horse who has a career best Group 2 victory over 1200m comes in with the same weight as a Group 1 winner over a mile (again, see Casino Prince) in a Doncaster. Forget he ran last time. Drew wide and was trapped wide. Paul Cave has said he didn't really want to run the horse that day with that gate but didn't want to run him the week before the Doncaster. My query with him is his ability to run a strong mile. He is yet to win beyond 1200m although he did hit the line nicely in the 1400m Newcastle Newmarket. It takes a tough horse to win a race of this stature and I'm not convinced it's German Chocolate but he is definitely not the worst. Wet form okay and reuniting with Zac Purton a plus. A maybe for multiples.

JB: Leave it for your girlfriend to pick - you know she will

5 MEGATIC Jay Ford 10 (54)

Current Price: $26

Professor Chaos: Probably wants a track no worse than dead. He is unlikely to see that, but if the weather improves over the next few days, I will revisit this one as it could be a real knockout chance.

Captain Carnage: Megatic, Group 1 winner in Perth - 54kg. Casino Prince, Group 1 Chipping Norton winner - 54.5kg. That sounds fair doesn't it? The best horse Megatic has beaten is El Presidente. Casino Prince rolled Tuesday Joy. Not really in the same league at this point in time I would have thought. Megatic is thus very poorly weighted, has no wet form and was comprehensively beaten by Serious Speed in the Hobartville. Can't have him.

JB: On first glance, you have a horse that may not like the track, may not like the prevailing conditions and may not like being in a field with some of these horses. Too much of a long bow, before I see this as too much of a threat.

6 ESKIMO QUEEN Mark Zahra 6 (52.5) + 1

Current Price: $8

Professor Chaos: Maybe this girl will be entered into a hurdles race next. Or maybe throw a chariot on its back. Seriously versatile horse that is probably a group 2+ horse anywhere from 1400 - 3200 meters. Will always be competitive but will often find one better. Charmed run in the Coolmore on the weekend. And was in this bloggers opinion the THIRD best run in that race. So if you don't like the Coolmore form to begin with, you should be looking elsewhere. PARTICULARLY AT $8.

Captain Carnage: A moody mare, her race record reflects that. No doubt a quality horse on her day as she showed in the Coolmore but the worry has to be that her days are few and far between. Was sent out second favourite in the Caulfield Cup last year but had a hissy fit in the barriers and was scratched. Along with Mentality, she is the only other runner to have won two Group 1 races. One was last week. The other was the Queensland Oaks in 2006 and I don't recall her winning another race in that period of nearly two years. Obviously seemed to revel in the conditions last week but the $8 seems a bit too skinny for a horse who is "like a box of chocolates" according to leading form analyst F. Gump.

JB: Drawn well, good enough on the day to win this. Track conditions won't bother, will be lookinig to back it.

7 MARCHING Corey Brown 9 (53.5)

Current Price: $26

Professor Chaos: Followed up two sensational runs with a real head turner in its last start. Maybe it is not wanting more than a mile this time in. Maybe, as the captain suggested it wants the paddock. At $26, I would be quite inclined take the first explanation and throw a few $$$ each way on this guy.

Captain Carnage: One would suggest that he has had enough for now and would love nothing more than to see those green rolling pastures. Comes in only 1kg less than Chipping Norton winner Casino Prince and there are quite a few others with good lead-up form below him in the weights. Has talent but I think he'll be making the most of his ability a year or two from now. And as a general rule I cannot back a horse with such a dreadful run prior . Pass.

JB: Marching is a horse you are either willing to take a bet on at $26 or question the quality of the race if it gets up. In my opinion, don't expect it to do more than make up the numbers.

8 VALEDICTUM Steven King 13 (53.5)

Current Price: $41

Professor Chaos: Steady improver this prep. Hadn't won for a long time until last start and if the weather stays ugly, this one has a punchers chance at least.

Captain Carnage: Old stager who maybe a year or two ago would have been a real live chance to win a Doncaster. I seriously doubt our winner on Saturday will have come out of the Royal Parma. He'll enjoy the conditions and despite a moderate looking record at the mile will be running on. I'm sure there were plenty of fourths and fifths in those unplaced runs at this distance. Something to beef up your first four maybe but doubt he'll look the winner at any stage.

JB: Plenty to suggest this horse can place, if your wearing your wellingtons to the track then get something about Valedictum. Would prefer Beadman on board who is willing to thrash the horse within inches of its life to plunge at the line.

9 ALL SILENT Peter Robl 15 (53)

Current Price: $17

Captain Carnage: This one could be a knockout chance. Just it's sixth start but looks to be on the up; comparable somewhat to Sniper's Bullet before he won the Stradbroke. Inexperienced and first time at at what will be a tough mile given the conditions. Barrier 15 not ideal for him in my opinion. He might find a bit of trouble in such a big field which is never good for a lightly raced horse. Seems to enjoy the wet conditions and off an impressive last start win after a tardy start. I just think he might peak on his run here and a repeat effort at the gates will see he finish in no man's land but looks like something at reasonable odds to throw into your multiples. For breeding enthusiasts, he's a half brother to 2004 Doncaster winner Private Steer. It was all G.Boss that day wasn't it Professor?!

Professor Chaos: Going for the Randwick mile at just his 6th start and has been weighted quite harshly based on that fact. Will give Friday Creek a 3 kilogram weight swing on that Ajax win which is a worry. He could well be a horse on the up though. Seems to appreciate some give in the ground and could well be a knockout chance here. The gate doesn't help and the handicapper hasn't done him any favours either.

JB: Has been nicely preped for this race, but question whether it has enough pace about it to win this one. Not for me at $17

10 FALAISE Josh Parr (a) 11 (53)

Current Price: $51

Professor Chaos: Part Horse, Part Duck, part potential Cash-cow. It's a Horduckow! If it doesn't dry out over the week, Catch a ride on the Falaise cash cow express all the way to lap dance station. Has been in real eye-catching form this prep as well, up until that run in the Ajax. Catch a ride people!!! [Professor's note. I just caught a ride $5/$5 @$71's. ALL ABOARD!!]

Chairman Kaga:

If memory serves, the animal-husbandry loving folks in Charleville breed Hordockuw for their annual fair. A friend of mine from the village, JB says: 'the meat is not particularly good, quite dry, however there is a component of it that we prize above all others.' To summarize, when cooking Horduckow, eat only the cock.

Captain Carnage: With the exception of his last run, his form is very good. Likes the wet but ironically that may count against him as there must surely be a query on him at the trip. Strangely, he can't find his footing on a dead track but appears to enjoy genuine wet tracks. Has the look of a 1400m horse. The last run would bother me if he was on the first few lines of betting as a possible reason for his Ajax failure could have been the hardness of the track when he won at Newcastle. At the odds, certainly worth raiding your piggy bank.

JB: Listening to the Professor, you would by now have a little something on all but about two horses. Forget about any other rubbish place bet he's told you and save your shrapnel betting for a place bet on this one.

11 FRIDAY CREEK Glyn Schofield 4 (53)

Current Price: $23

Captain Carnage: Seems a nice type but not a Group 1 winning type. Has always been thereabouts in Group 2's and 3's and meets All Silent 3kg better than in the Ajax. A query to run out the mile and also in the going but has some chance to be in the first few. Not one I was looking to back and now that he has become the latest horse to be bought out by David Hayes on the eve of a Group 1 after another trainer has done all the groundwork I am definitely not interested. Does Hayes have a soul? How can he possibly get any satisfaction if this horse wins?

Professor Chaos: The handicapper forgot about this one in the Professor's learned opinion. It has never been presented on worse than dead ground which is the only query.

JB: Had a better run in the Ajax then Falaise and has drawn a much sweeter barrier. That explains the difference in pricing but question its ability and the risk/return relationship on this one.

12 JUST MAMBO Tye Angland (a) 8 (53)

Current Price: $21

Professor Chaos: Yet another horse that got towelled right up by All Silent in the Ajax. Last run in the slop was ridiculously full of merit - a fighting 1.4 L behind Sydney's superstar horse, Racing to Win. Last two starts throw out some big alarm bells though. A tough one to measure up.

Captain Carnage: Will appreciate the wet but his last run was far from good and he doesn't look a strong miler. The fourth to Racing To Win was a game run but I think he caught them napping at the top of the straight. He was also was beaten in that race by Falaise making the differences in their prices hard to fathom. The $21 must have been posted by a Brisbane bookmaker. Stick to the tote on this one if he's your cup of tea.

JB: Won't hurt this horse to have the sting taken out of the ground. Will be worth a second look when doing your multiples.

13 MOLOTOV Craig Williams 22 (53)

Current Price: $151

Professor Chaos: I love a horse at big odds a lot more than most, but there aren't a lot of selling points here.. PASS. If you want the TOV, you can have the TOV. Just don't say it was my idea.

Captain Carnage: One look at the above honour roll has me confident that we won't be seeing Molotov added to it. Some of his Melbourne runs are very good but I think that's where he's at his best; in Melbourne. Not raced on anything worse than dead. Another one whose last run was awful. Has also been bought out by Hayes. The guy will do anything to make sure he has at least a quarter of every Group 1 field. Spare me.

JB: Pass

14 FORENSICS Danny Nikolic 17 (52.5)

Current Price: $6

Professor Chaos: I thought as a three year old filly, Forensics would be entitled to some ridiculous 49/50kg. At 52.5, She has the same weight on her back as Superstar in the making Pinnacles. Has had a great Autumn, and looks to be the class here. Barrier 17 is a knock. And surprisingly enough, I think that the weight could be as well.

Captain Carnage: If the track was dead or better, I would have her as my number one pick. I've been on her for her three wins this time in; each a barnstorming finish which leaves me relatively unconcerned with her barrier. There must be the slightest of doubts however of her prospects at 1600m on a bog track. Untried on slow and heavy and perhaps in such arduous conditions at the trip her sprint finish may not be as explosive. You get the feeling watching her race though that she's bombproof and it would be a brave man to leave her out of the reckoning. Hope she runs well because she's a pleasure to watch.

JB:Enough to make you think this horse can do it, enough to second guess your investment on this horse. Will be leaving behind come time to put my money where my mouth is.

15 GALLANT TESS Jeff Lloyd 2 (52.5)

Current Price: $26

Professor Chaos: Your BEST run in the Coolmore on the weekend. Three wide the trip, didn't seem to LOVE the ground, and punched on pretty well. Great draw this time, will make its own luck. Question is whether you like the Coolmore form. If you do, snap up the $26. If you don't, then probably snap up a little less of the $26.

Captain Carnage: Your best performance in the Coolmore but unfortunately a three wide trip in the mud one week before a Doncaster is not the ideal preparation. If she has recovered sufficiently she could be right in this. The form is good; nice win first up and carried 2.5kg more than Forensics while jumping from 1200m to 1550m second up for a 3.7L defeat. With the run last week I'd need a little more than $26. If she blows out in the betting I'll be having a nibble.

JB: Inside barriers are never too good on a deteriorating track. You can't bet on everything and will leave out, doesn't mean you should.

16 HOT DANISH Tim Clark 1 (52.5)

Current Price: $6.50

Professor Chaos: Your real burning question here is, "how much do you rate the Coolmore form??" Gets a lot of weight back on the other entrants from that race, particularly Eskimo Queen. Was ridden up front which probably was a poor choice. Fair price at $6.50 but you have to ask what this girl has beaten at this stage. Wouldn't shock to see it salute, but not willing to snap up $6.50.

Captain Carnage: This is a nice horse who was a sitting duck in the Coolmore. She's beaten some solid performers, no world beaters but you have to consider that she's been topweight for all of those races. Mile and track condition look to pose no problems. I prefer the runs of Forensics over those of the Danish but that is just personal opinion. You can only take one horse at that price and I will be taking Forensics over her if I lean towards the favourites but that's not knocking her at all. She's a great chance.

JB: At $6.50 you won't see me giving you the green light to put your money on it.

17 PINNACLES 21 (52.5)

Current Price: $71

Professor Chaos: Not going nearly as badly as I thought when I saw it in this field. The only knock that I can find is that it will probably not go the 1600.

Captain Carnage: An unusual preparation for a Doncaster and one that I can't see being decisive on Saturday. Looks to enjoy the slop but barrier 21, 1600m and his first time the Sydney way look to be big question marks. Again I cast my eye over that honour roll...

JB: On a track you can expect to have seen better days, starting from barrier 21, and untried at this distance, you will see $71 blow out. Don't expect this melbourne horse to do much on the day.

18 THESEO Blake Shinn 18 (52.5)

Current Price: $41

Professor Chaos: Handy horse that could pop up in the first four. Been going consistently but may not quite have the class. But, then again, you could say that about all bar four or five of these.

Captain Carnage: Sound lead up form and can finish off his races. Doesn't look to be at completely at home in the wet however. Not sold on Royal Parma form at all so will probably leave this one out but wouldn't surprise with a bold showing.

JB: Would like to have seen a better barrier draw, still, worth a place bet at $41.

19 SERIOUS SPEED Craig Newitt 19 (52)

Current Price: $13

Professor Chaos: Drew barrier 19, which is a big worry. Will be starting out the front of the actual Doncaster hotel. Run by amateurs that place. Sponsor a rugby club and then pull out after one week because of a bunch of unavoidable glass throwing incidents. "They're a BUNCH OF FUCKING AMATEURS!". I digress, but they're amateurs... back to Serious Speed. Well weighted, classy galloper in form at the right time. Was well keen until the barrier draw, now will look elsewhere. Untried on worse than Dead.

Captain Carnage: I really like this horse. The barrier is a big problem for her so she'll obviously need a bit of luck but she has a blistering finish. I'm prepared to risk her with the barrier and the heavy track because I think she has a big future and can definitely win this race. She's come back in terrific order after an Oaks preparation last Spring and the distance is of no concern. Hopefully Craig Newitt, who likes to whack away , remembers the words of in-form trainer Leon MacDonald "SHE DOES NOT LIKE TO BE WHIPPED!"

JB: Not going to be this horses race. Leave it alone.

20 TRIPLE HONOUR Glen Boss (a) 7 (51)

Current Price: $12

Professor Chaos: Oh Bossy. How I love you Bossy. You found Makybe Diva outside the glue factory sometime in September 2003 and you said to Lee Freedman, "I think I can make a racehorse out of this girl." The rest is history, as they say. Three Melbourne cups where you took a rubbish horse and made her 'Something special.' Could you do the same here Bossy??? Australia hopes so. Bruce McAveny hopes so. We here at WHAB hope so. I hadn't heard much about this horse before now, but that $12 seems a juicy price for a horse ridden by the peoples champion. By the way (a) above, stands not for the typical apprentice, but (a)ssclown. Anyway, Triple Honour. Goes well on the mud, Almost beat the Hussler. Don't want to bet on it but I just might.

Captain Carnage: Yes, a nice run behind the Hussler and also not as bad a run in the Hobartville considering he meets Serious Speed 2.5kg better. A good lightweight chance but my concern is that he has won three races first up and one second up and this will be his fifth run this campaign. My thinking is that perhaps he is not seasoned enough to win this race with those runs under his belt. A good chance but I prefer Serious Speed to this guy.

JB: Nice ride behind Weekend Hussler, look to the market for more guidance.

21 GOD'S HAND (1st Emerg) 20 (52.5)

Current Price: $151

Professor Chaos: Coming from that 'All Silent' formline that is nigh on impossible to line up with the higher quality formlines. If it gets a start, I don't really know what to make of it. Cummings trained, so you know that one of the fucking amateurs in the Courier Mail/Daily Telegraph will be all over it.

Captain Carnage: It's taken a whole day to do this so hopefully this one doesn't get a start!

JB: Will leave alone at this stage

22 FIGHTING FUND (2nd Emerg) Kathy O'Hara 3 (52.5)

Current Price: $101

Professor Chaos: This is a top roughy if it gets into the field. Form around Bobadah a nice run behind Racing to Win... Doubt it will run, which is a shame. It is better than at least 5/6 of the ones that will.

Captain Carnage: It's taken a whole day to do this so hopefully this one doesn't get a start!

JB: Unlikely starter

23 MR UBIQUITOUS (3rd Emerg) 23 (52.5)

Current Price: $101

Professor Chaos: You know what is actually Ubiquitous? This horse stealing a run from a far better chance in a big race. Bobadah was a chance to turkey slap this bunch. You sir, are not.

Captain Carnage: It's taken a whole day to do this so hopefully this one doesn't get a start!

JB: Unlikely starter

This Is Your Captain Speaking:

1. Sniper's Bullet

2.Serious Speed

3. Forensics

4. Casino Prince

Best Roughie: Falaise

This is ground control to major punter:

Casino Prince

Eskimo Queen

Value bets on Theseo and Falaise

Professor says:

Tough, tough race. I won't bother with my run-on or on-pace stuff today. It's just too open. All I will suggest is that I think the races value is in the form of:

Snipers Bullet

Gallant Tess


Triple Honour


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