KERRY Parker has had plenty of success with stayers of late and he thinks Red Dubawi is flying under the radar ahead of Sunday’s $80,000 Taree Cup (2000m).
Parker, who trained Dark Dream to win this year’s Group 1 Queensland Derby and won a few races with Red Dream over a trip, is looking forward to getting Red Dubawi out to 2000m.
The formula is perfect for him. He’s peaking now, third-up and has put in two very nice runs over 1550m and 1600m this time in.
“I’m really happy with him and if you look at his last run at Kembla he was looking for the 2000m then. He was a bit dour when they took off midrace,” Parker said.
MATT JONES’S BEST BETS
BEST BET: ART D’AMOUR (Race 8, No. 4)
He’s a very fast horse and has won four from five first-up so, on paper, there’s a lot in his favour and his lovely lead-up barrier trial should only lift the confidence level of those keen on him.
NEXT BEST: TED’S DREAM (Race 2, No. 6)
He’s raced well his whole career without winning in five runs but he ran behind a fairly smart horse last start and, if he holds that form, he’s going to be hard to deny this time.
VALUE BET: STOP THE FIGHT (Race 6, No. 11)
She’s got to beat a lot home but she loves the track and distance and is going better than her form reads on paper.
Race 5: 1, 5, 7
Race 6: 2, 6, 11, 13
Race 7: 1, 2, 9, 13
Race 8: 4, 5, 8
TRAINER TO WATCH
RICHARD FREEDMAN brings three horses up. All of them will be ridden by Andrew Adkins and all have chances in races one, three and seven.
JOCKEY TO WATCH
JAY FORD has a strong book, as you would expect when he heads to the bush, and his leading hopes look to be The Kiss, So Bizarre and Red Dubawi.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MATT’S EXTENDED PREVIEW & TIPS
SHAYNE O’CASS’S BEST BETS
BEST BET: CLIFF (Race 6, No. 9)
Has placed at his last three starts in Highway company, finishing at speed each time. The Joe Cleary-trained gelding won’t know himself with 54kg and Jess Taylor up, he is racing so well this time in and has placed at two of his three visits to Moruya.
NEXT BEST: RAPTURE MISS (Race 5, No. 5)
Hails from the powerful Matthew Dale camp. Resumes here over the ideal distance of 1435m given that she is adept up to 2000m. Will get back but has a mighty finishing burst on her. The one to beat.
VALUE BET: ULTRAVIOLET (Race 2, No. 10)
Norm Gardner-trained mare by Sebring, this black coloured 4YO has placed at two of her eight runs, one of those placings was at Moruya. Got a long way back first-up from her wide draw but was only beaten 2.9-lens over the 1208m — slight increase in distance today is a plus.
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
KAYLA NISBET wins more TAB Jockeys Challenges than most others, particularly on Sunday’s in the State’s south. She has a great book again today and will give her army of fans plenty of joy.
Race 4: 1,3,10
Race 5: 4,5
Race 6: 9
Race 7: 7
“He’s racing really well and he’s an honest, genuine little racehorse. You’d like a stable full of them because he goes to the races and has a go every time you send him around.
“You can always depend on him to race well.”
Parker liked what he saw from the eight-year-old last start after he came from 10th at the 400m to run second to China Gale over 1600m.
He’s affective on all types of tracks and jockey Jay Ford has ridden him 14 times in the past so he’ll know exactly what to do from the inside draw.
“It was always a target and it looks like a nice race for him,” Parker said.
“He’s drawn barrier one and has Jay Ford on him so he ticks a few boxes.”
Red Dubawi does tend to get back in his races but Parker is still happy he’s coming out of barrier one where he’ll relax and get a cushy run in transit.
“I don’t want him ridden too much out of his comfort zone. Jay knows him really well now so I’m sure he’ll ride him that way,” Parker said.
“You want to try and utilize barrier one without pushing him out of his comfort zone. They won’t go as fast now that they’re stepping up to 2000m so if he can be midfield that would be lovely.
“He’s always going to be tough to the end and if he gets a little luck in running he’ll hold his own and he’s a good each-way hope. He just needs to get out at the right time.”
The biggest concern punter will have about Red Dubawi is the fact he hasn’t won since April, 2017, but he’s raced in city grade constantly since and has been hard to place.
Parker feels he’s found the perfect race for him which is rare.
“The reason he hasn’t won for a while is that he’s at the Benchmark where he’s either got to run in town against horse that was really going somewhere or go to the provincials and carry 60kg,” Parker said.
“He’s in a cup race now in the same grade of horses as him but he gets no weight. He’s not a weight-carrying horse. He’s only one a weak race with 58kg once. When he’s 56kg and under he races at his best.
“I’ve always thought that 2000m was his distance but now that he’s older he relaxes and runs further. He’ll relax and 2000m third-up is ideal.”
MATTHEW Dale has plans to venture to the city at some stage with his promising mare Rapture Miss who makes her much anticipated return to racing in today’s Ainsworth Class 2 Handicap (1435m) at Moruya.
The daughter of Smart Missle may only be a Class 1 winner at this early stage of her career but she has placed six times, four of those seconds and all carried out with her trademark barnstorming finish.
Rapture Miss’s lone win was over 2000m at Goulburn towards the end of her most recent campaign but she is more than capable of sprinting well fresh over today’s ideal distance.
“Rapture Miss is first-up off a break and I thought she did a good job last preparation,’’ Dale said. “She’s come back and has had a good balanced prep trained out of Moruya. She will go back from a wide draw and look to be coming home hard down the outside.
“She’s been a quirky mare but has shown us glimpses of good ability and I am looking forward to getting her prep under way and stepping out in trip also.
“She is still learning her craft. She doesn’t know how to put a race away yet but I feel like she has matured on that front this preparation but I just need to see her do it.’’
The trainer’s potentially big day out at Moruya kicks off with the Bernardini three-year-old filly Tredici on debut in the opening event after a lovely trial at Canberra in late April.
“She will go back from the wide gate also and balance up and look to be hitting the line,’’ Dale said. “She is a filly that looks like she will improve when she gets a little racecraft and gets out in trip in a little bit.
“I thought she trialled quite well and has had a good education and is ready to go to the races. She is good enough and forward enough from an education point of view to be closing off nicely.’’
INSIDE MAIL WITH MATT JONES
RACE 1 (12.35pm)
1. Biggles Would Go performed solidly on debut at the provincials and will take plenty out of that and, in a big field, it’s important to draw well and he has in four. 14. Unguarded drops massively in class after running into a Saturday field last start and off a freshen she’ll get a great run from gate one with Andrew Adkins on board. 6. Quick Nick is another who faces an easier task too after running into Gem Song last time but barrier 10 makes it a touch awkward.
BET: Exacta 14, 1.
RACE 2 (12.40pm)
6. Ted’s Dream has to win sooner rather than later but it’s not just his placings at his past four starts that should give punters confidence. He ran second to Sunreel last start by 1½ lengths and it then came out and won by five lengths in higher grade. 1. Acraman has to be the main danger. He hasn’t won yet from 18 starts but has finished second seven times, including last start at Scone, and he’s got the draw to sit off the speed and come home. 12. Herzegovina is building towards a win but has drawn the carpark and obviously needs luck.
BET: TED’S DREAM to win.
RACE 3 (1.20pm)
7. Sacred Edge will find this much easier after running in town at his past two where he was just off the pace but not disgraced so this is winnable. 5. Editors is a nice horse who almost beat Evopex two starts ago and Evopex then came out and blitzed them at his next run so there’s some form around him. 9. Triple Choice is by Choisir and is coming along nicely for this race and is nice and fit and ready to put his best foot forward against New Endeavour who beat him last start but he’s drawn out wide and that might be enough for him to turn the tables.
BET: SACRED EDGE to win
RACE 4 (2pm)
An open race. 9. Dame Kiri may start favourite due to her consistency and she’s probably looking for the 1250m now and it’s her chance to win again. 1. Lady Wahoo made great leaps from start one to two and if she keeps progressing she’ll be in the finish from a good draw which should give her a cushy run with a big weight. 4. The Kiss is going along well but falling short. She has a handy sprint on her though. When the Waterhouse/Bott team bring one to the bush it must be respected and 3. Fearless Girl drops in grade and is looking for a confidence booster.
BET: FEARLESS GIRL to win
RACE 5 (2.40pm)
1. So Bizarre has the wide gate but is fit enough now to go forward from it and tough this out. He comes off a provincial win as an odds-on favourite and should go close again. 7. San Marco won well last start and deserved it after being so consistent without winning. The victory should do wonders for his confidence and he pulled up very well from his win. 5. Painted Wall ran good enough at his past two at Hawkesbury to suggest this race is a good one for him and dropping back 50m in trip only helps. 8. Titus hasn’t been out of a place in his past 11 starts but has only won one of them.
BET: Quinella 1, 7
RACE 6 (3.20pm)
2. Tabrobane finished his last campaign on a winning note and can his fresh form suggests he can do the same to start his latest preparation. 6. Imperial Eagle started slow and was never in the race at Kempsey last time when sent out an odds-on favourite but he loves Taree and the distance suits him much better so put a ling through that last run. 11. Stop The Fight is racing well and loves the track an trip and may start over the odds.
BET: IMPERIAL EAGLE to win
RACE 7 (4pm)
9. Lady Evelyn was very impressive in winning the Taree Cup Prelude last start but this is obviously going to be harder to win. But she’s more than capable of doing it because she’s a genuine off season Saturday standard horse. 13. Red Dubawi maps perfectly for this race and is peaking third-up. 2. Cogliere is going great guns this preparation and despite his main aim being the Port Macquarie Cup later he’s still a winning chance. 1. Olympic Academy hasn’t won in a long time but has been racing in much higher grade.
BET: LADY EVELYN to win
RACE 8 (4.40pm)
4. Art D’amour is a potential Kosciusko horse so if he runs to his best he’ll be there at the finish and is a first-up specialist. 8. Trust Me loves the 1000m and will get the gun run just in behind the leaders and should be coming over the top of them in the straight. 5. Bitburg either wins or misses a place which is what he did last start but he was less than a length off the winner over 800m and this looks perfect for him now. 2. Epic Dan isn’t out of it either because he’ll race better over this trip after fading out over 1200m.
BET: ART D’AMOUR to win