3 minute read
The Tasmanian racing carnival gets underway this Wednesday with an excellent edition of the Newmarket.
There are plenty of angles in this year's Listed Newmarket Handicap (1200m) with an interesting mix of horses at different stages of their preparations, along with form lines from interstate that intertwine with some top local chances.
The topweight is one of those. Oxley Road was a Group 2 winner at Caulfield and Group 1 placed with peaks of 111 on the Timeform scale.
His form tapered off and now with the John Keys stable, he was just fair in his Tasmanian debut, albeit under 61kg, beaten two lengths in sixth. He drops 3kg and can certainly improve with that run under the belt.
The early favourite with Ladbrokes is Rebel Factor at $2.80 with homegrown jockey Craig Newitt making the trip from Melbourne to ride. He's got an outstanding overall record and a peak of 105 when second to The Inevitable over 1400m last time in, but he's finished last at his past two runs, one at Hobart and one at Moonee Valley.
There isn't much between a few of these, namely Turk Warrior, Alpine Wolf and First Accused.
Alpine Wolf won first up over 1009m on the Devonport Synthetic, rating 101 with Timeform but the preparation before he was behind First Accused and The Inevitable in last year's Newmarket.
Alpine Wolf has met First Accused on three occasions and the score line reads 2-1 in favour of First Accused. He's also met Turk Warrior thrice and is down 2-1.
First Accused makes some appeal here. He was disappointing first up in what looks a messy race but does drop 4kg and started $2.70 favourite in this race last year, only beaten by The Inevitable.
Now we're getting $12 with Ladbrokes from an ideal draw and if he's able to find his best, he rates right in the finish. It's worth noting he opened at $15 and has been the best backed runner early.
Galenus is probably the other one out of that race that will improve, seemingly looking the winner in the straight before 50-1 roughie Hellova Night got off his back. I wonder whether 1200m with strong pressure finds him out though, and he probably has to run a career peak to be winning here.
No real knocks on Rebel Factor, Turk Warrior or Alpine Wolf but they all look well enough found compared to First Accused who has matched and bettered them in the past. He was disappointing first up but tipping he can bounce back and give a big sight. Oxley Road is probably worth keeping safe off an inconclusive Tasmanian debut. He's the class of the field and while we haven't seen it for some time, $19 with Ladbrokes is probably fair to find out.