Racing Orange hosts its second meeting of the 2018-19 summer on Friday afternoon so as usual, Matt Findlay has had a look through the field to produce his tips for the eight-race program.
But, we’ve mixed it up a bit this time.
Max Stainkamph is the first to admit he’s no racing guru, in fact whenever he goes to the gallops or even watches them he just hopes the runners he takes don't do what Krusty the Clown’s last bet did.
But he’s having a crack ahead of the Poet’s Day meeting this week although, while Findlay’s based his tips on form and probably more so gut instinct, Max has completely made his selections on the horses’ names.
There’s almost no doubt he’ll be wrong in every race, Findlay probably will too considering they’ve actually tipped the same runners in a couple, but it makes for good reading.
Always gamble responsibly if you are having a punt, and take these tips at your own risk. Gates open at noon at Towac Park, with the first jumping at 1.30pm. Adult tickets are $10, while kids and concession are $5.
RACE 1: Inland Digital CG&E Maiden Plate (1000 metres)
FINDLAY: Lock And Launch (Trainer: Mack Griffith, jockey: Grant Buckley)
He wasn’t disgraced running fifth at Coonabarabran on debut on a soft track last month, which he’ll probably be faced with on Friday too, and had good trial form leading in. Paris In May looks like a front-runner as well, but with the lightest weight and a good draw I’d expect Mack Griffith’s three-year-old to be far better for that run.
STAINKAMPH: Jane’s Dream (Danny Parsons, Jake Pracey-Holmes)
Some might consider Paris in May a front-runner, but they would be ignoring two crucial points. We're not in Paris, and it's November. November's about as far from May as you can get. Steer clear. I don't know who Jane is or what dreams she has, but I like the cut of her jib. She has a certain... how do you say... chutzpah. Dream big, Jane.
RACE 2: On Trac Ag F&M Maiden Plate (1000 metres)
FINDLAY: Supreme Gem (Alison Smith, Kacie Adams)
She’s first-up after being spelled following a debut third at Dubbo and a trial second at the same track before that, and she ran well from the back to finish in the minors in that first start.
There is a bit of unknown about her because she hasn’t had a run since May, but she’s trained here in Orange and to me looks the best bet to challenge Dean Mirfin’s Worldly Pleasure, you’d do worse than backing her too.
STAINKAMPH: Supreme Gem (Alison Smith, Kacie Adams)
Stars Galawe looks good but I can't for the life of my justify backing a horse that refuses to spell its own name properly. GALORE. Same goes for Simderella. It’s a toss up between two Orange horses in My Cat Saved Me and Supreme Gem, but I don't like cats so Gem it is.
RACE 3: The Oriana Orange Maiden Handicap (1300 metres)
FINDLAY: Narrow Neck Nelson (Peter Stanley, Ashleigh Stanley)
Faded to third over 1400 last start at Bathurst but dropping back slightly to 1300 looks ideal, ran back-to-back seconds around that distance in his two runs prior. Has looked good in his eight-start career but hasn’t quite broken through yet. I think this will be his day, with Gary Portelli’s Cortesta his biggest competition for mine.
STAINKAMPH: Narrow Neck Nelson (Peter Stanley, Ashleigh Stanley)
Narrow Neck Nelson is a cracker. With a name like that, how could you finish outside the top three? I'm cautious of Got The Tickets because it sounds like something your girlfriend would ask of you knowing full well you don't have the tickets and you've got to turn around, go home and get them.
RACE 4: Spanline Class 3 Handicap (1400 metres)
FINDLAY: Mucker (Aaron Clarke, Grant Buckley)
He’s ready to win.
Has put together a string of placings since after starting this prep back in late September, mainly at Canberra and Queanbeyan and was only narrowly beaten at the latter track last start. Weight looks good and he has figured on soft tracks before, although I think Sugar Dance will have benefited hugely from being beaten by Tony’s Reward last start at Bathurst too.
STAINKAMPH: Sugar Dance (Gayna Williams, TBC)
Racing is apparently the Sport of Kings, and if that's so I like the look of The Scotsman, who would be the last horse standing if this was the Russell Mulcahy-directed Highlander film. However, the only thing that trumps a 1980s movie reference is a 1990s Simpsons reference, and for that I'm turning to Sugar Dance – “first you get the sugar, then you get the power and then you get the women”.
RACE 5: Broadley & Haydon Benchmark 58 Handicap (2100 metres)
FINDLAY: Cat Walk Queen (Lee Van Den Bos, Greg Ryan)
I so, so, so desperately want Ophaeo Rose to win this race, she’s a battler we love on this desk and I’m so pleased to finally see her run in the flesh. But she won’t win, maybe a place chance.
Cat Walk Queen is still a maiden and there’s some stiff competition here in the likes of Perpetual Motion and Go One More, but she hit the line well over 1600 at Dubbo last start to finish sixth and for me looked like he wanted more distance. Greg Ryan having the ride is a plus too.
STAINKAMPH: Perpetual Motion (Kody Nestor, Grant Buckley)
Perpetual Motion might be have unlocked the secrets of perpetual motion, but can it run fast? I don't know, but it's the only horse that’s name implies movement. The rest might not have legs for all we know, so lock it in, Eddie!
RACE 6: CWT Happy 50th Jen Benchmark 66 Handicap (1300 metres)
FINDLAY: Charlie Chap (Mike Van Gestel, Jamie Gibbons)
This one’s actually pretty open for me, I had a few in mind before settling with this third-up three-year-old. He’ll be fitter for his first two runs this prep, where he finished second at Nowra and then ran home well to fifth at Newcastle. An extra 100 metres here on both those runs looks helpful.
STAINKAMPH: Throw a dart at the field
No idea who's going to win this one, but I know who isn't - Coasting. I'm no racing expert, but you ain't winning no races by coasting. Otherwise just throw a dart at this list of names and you'll have better luck than following any of my punts.
RACE 7: John Davis Motors Class 1 Handicap (1280 metres)
FINDLAY: We Could Be Heroes (Tara, Phillipe Vigouroux, Winona Costin)
Last-start winner at Nowra, where he went straight to the front and was never threatened before winning by six lengths. This field’s not as strong as that one, I’m pretty confident he’ll go on with it and post a second consecutive win. Likes a soft track too, so if he gets that again on Friday I’d say something would have to go dangerously wrong for him to miss out.
STAINKAMPH: Fairy Fragments (Brett Thompson, TBC)
We Could Be Heroes piques my interest, but the subjectivity of "could" worries me. If she was called We Will Be Heroes I'd be all over it like a rash, but Fairy Fragments has a nice name.
RACE 8: Buckley’s Carpet Court Benchmark 58 Handicap (1000 metres)
FINDLAY: Showgals (Gary Portelli, Greg Ryan)
Raced beautifully to win at Orange two starts ago, on October 15, and is undefeated on Portelli’s former home track too. Ran last at Kensington last start but was caught wide and had no luck after a bad draw. Ryan having the ride helps, and I’d expect her to continue her winning ways at Towac Park.
STAINKAMPH: Jetgirl (Dean Mirfin, Jamie Gibbons)
If ever there's a name that inspires confidence in a thing that goes really, really fast, it's Jetgirl. You know how fast jets go? Really fast. Like so unbelievably fast. Blink and you miss it fast. Put literally everything you own on Jetgirl, and then take out a loan and put more on her. Actually, don’t, I don’t want to be responsible for that. Just know I like her name.
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