After a couple of weeks of provincial race meetings, the always-popular Highway Handicap is back at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
It will be a challenging 1100m Class Two Handicap, predicted to be run and won on a rain-affected track, and Thunderbet’s Johnny Patton has had his say on the field.
This week’s field comprises half who have raced in a Highway before and the other half who haven’t.
The promising point in the future of the Highway is that most of these horses haven’t had many race starts and are all up-and-coming types.
There looks to be plenty of pace in the race, the rail in a true position, they will be racing on a soft track, and overall, there are plenty of chances and value in the race.
My first pick is The Lion’s Gate ($6.50), which is trained by Matthew ‘Mr. Highway’ Dunn.
I won’t make the mistake of leaving his horse out of the tips as I have sometimes done with his horses in the last month.
This horse has been racing in Queensland and comes back to a distance that I think is better suited.
Nash Rawiller, who’s shared a great connection with Dunn’s horses lately, goes on board.
The Murwillumbah galloper is well drawn in gate seven, and the only problem I see is that it’s stepping up from a Class One to a Class Two, but its race times have been better than most of this field.
The soft track won’t be an issue, as he has been placed on a heavy track. He should be hard to beat.
My second pick is Tanglewood ($4.80). This up-and-coming 4YO gelding is first-up for this assignment and has a first-up record of two starts for a win and third.
It’s lightly raced, and Aaron Bullock stays on board with 61kg, but he has run in the city before in mid-weeks and was unlucky in both starts, including one start on a soft track.
It goes into this with two recent trials under its belt and will be fit enough and won’t be far away.
My third pick this week is Allaboutroy ($13).
The 4YO gelding’s runs have been super. He loves to take the lead or be up on the pace, and at his last start at Gundagai, he was ridden back and flashed home to run second during the Snake Gully Cup carnival. The start before that, he was attacked all the way in the Highway at Randwick.
Molly Bourke goes on board this week, and the horse drops five ½kg.
He loves either a soft or heavy track, and the 1100m is also down his alley. He’s over the odds and will be right in the finish.
This week’s each-way play is Life’s A Party ($15).
Trained by Mark Jones, the Mudgee galloper is only lightly raced, winning two from five, and she is coming off a decisive win at Wellington last month.
Regan Bayliss takes the ride. The 5YO gets in on the minimum, and she has won on the soft before, and if she gets any luck from gate 1, she’ll be right in the finish.
1. The Lion’s Gate ($6.50)
2. Tanglewood ($4.80)
3. Allaboutroy ($13)
Each way play: Life’s A Party ($15)