|What||Alice Springs Races|
|Where||Pioneer Park Racecourse – Stuart Hwy, Connellan NT 0870|
|When||Saturday, August 6, 2022|
|First Race||1:47pm ACST|
With the Darwin Cup Carnival done and dusted for another year, NT racing returns to Alice Springs this Saturday. This is HorseBetting’s race-by-race preview of the six-part card at Pioneer Park, including our best bets for each event.
Race 1 (1.47pm) – $20,500 Ladbroke It! 0-76 Handicap (1600m)
Zelring has been a model of consistency ever since he arrived in the Red Centre after just three starts in NSW. The six-year-old gelding has had 18 starts at Pioneer Park for five wins and six minor placings, and has been racing well since the end of the Alice Springs Cup Carnival in May. He benefitted from the claim when he won over 1400m (0-64) on June 19 and 1600m (0-76) on July 3, before a last-start third as favourite over 1400m (0-70) on July 24. We are willing to forgive that run, as Zelring is capable of bouncing back and having Sonja Wiseman in the saddle is a bonus. In July, Radio Room had a win over 1600m (0-64) before finishing ahead of Zelring in second place in that 1400m (0-70) race, and he is a big chance here. Valley Prince is a class act and, at his best, can win – especially with a 4kg claim – but he hasn’t won since March. Envy Me has a 3kg claim and may complete the first four after a last-start second over 1400m (Class 2).
Race 1 – #2 Zelring (5)
6yo Gelding | T: Lisa Whittle | J: Sonja Wiseman (55kg)
Race 2 (2.27pm) – $20,000 Araluen Taxation Services 0-54 Handicap (1200m)
Liberty Blue has had two starts back at Pioneer Park after four starts in South Australia following the Alice Springs Cup Carnival. His only effort of note was a third over 1050m (0-54) at Balaklava. Recent form reveals that the eight-year-old gelding finished second over 1100m (0-54) on July 17 as a $2.15 favourite with online bookmakers, followed by a third over 1000m (0-58) as a $2 favourite. Liberty Blue has had 10 starts in the Alice for six seconds, so considering he is down in grade, his first win in the Red Centre must surely be around the corner. There are plenty of others capable of getting the cash, including Intercontinental, an impressive last start winner over 1100m (0-54); Travanti, who has a 3kg claim; Harbour Express, who is going well; and Rockford Files, who won his first race at the 18th attempt on June 5. Bolek, Kennth, Golden Ripples and Distant Lover can upset.
Race 2 – #6 Liberty Blue (4)
8yo Gelding | T: Lisa Whittle | J: Sonja Wiseman (56.5kg)
Race 3 (3.07pm) – $20,000 Colemans Printing 0-54 Handicap (1200m)
Future Dreams has hardly put a foot wrong for the duration of 2022 and hasn’t finished out of the places in five starts since the end of the Alice Springs Cup Carnival. Those results include two wins over 1200m (0-58) as well as a second over 1400m (0-58) and a third over 1400m (0-54) before a narrow last-start third over 1200m (0-64) on July 24. The drop in grade, a 4kg claim and the inside barrier suggests that the seven-year-old gelding is in this race up to his ears as he goes in search of career win number six. Latest Bentley is heading home to Victoria and brings respectable form from the Darwin Cup Carnival at 0-58 level over 1200m and 1300m. Me Cabo has finished either second or third from 1100-1200m at a 0-58 and 0-64 level in his past four starts and is in the mix. Consider Rhythmical, Brat and King Crab are worth considering for exotics.
Race 3 – #1 Future Dreams (1)
7yo Gelding | T: Leanne Gillett | J: Dakota-Lee Gillett (a4) (56.5kg)
Race 4 (3.47pm) – $22,000 Jockey Celebration Day Handicap (1200m)
Mathematics finally won his first race over 1400m last start when he proved too good for 0-70 opposition on July 24. The six-year-old gelding only has to repeat that effort and he will take some stopping, especially when drops 3kg. Posting his first win in his first race of the year over 1100m in open company in February, Mathematics raced another 11 times at Pioneer Park for three seconds, six thirds and two fourths from 1000-1200m before ending the drought. Supreme Times was arguably the Red Centre’s form horse at the start of 2022 with four straight wins, but his form since has been scratchy. Stablemate That’s Justified has a 97 rating and a 4kg claim, but he has been just as unpredictable. Roughly, a 10-year-gelding, was a last-start winner over 1200m (0-69) when rolling both Mathematics and Supreme Times.
Race 4 – #3 Mathematics (1)
6yo Gelding | T: Lisa Whittle | J: Sonja Wiseman (55kg)
Race 5 (4.22pm) – $17,500 Povey Stirk Lawyers Maiden Plate (1200m)
Speed Wheel just narrowly edges out Tycoons Dior. The four-year-old mare had 12 starts in NSW and Victoria from 1000-1400m against fellow maidens and the best she could produce was three fourth-place finishes. Her last two starts in NSW in March were also her two only two appearances in 2022, finishing sixth over 1000m at Corowa and seventh over 1000m at Albury. Adjusting to her new life in Alice Springs, Speed Wheel finished second on debut at Pioneer Park over 1200m behind Brat, with Tycoons Dior in third. You can never leave Tycoons Dior out of your exotics. In seven starts in the Red Centre, the mare has achieved two wins, four thirds and a fourth from 1000-1400m, and you just know she won’t be far away on Saturday. Bold Topic, Mi Mijo, Hard Work Rewards and Golden Battle are the next best.
Race 5 – #7 Speed Wheel (5)
4yo Mare | T: Will Savage | J: Sonja Wiseman (57kg)
Race 6 (4.55pm) – $18,500 Daryl Braithwaite September 17 0-64 Handicap (1100m)
Like A Heartbeat rarely runs a bad race, and you’re always looking for a horse that produces consistent form. The six-year-old gelding posted three wins from 14 starts in SA at Morphettville, Oakbank and Bordertown before battling to make an impression in two Darwin starts last August. Like A Heartbeat relocated to Alice Springs and in 17 starts boasts a record of four wins, five seconds and a third. He last saluted over 1000m (0-70) on June 5, before a last-start second behind the in-form Sedona over 1200m (0-64) two weeks ago. He is clearly the best horse in the race, but the field features two last-start winners. White Kaps has had a freshen-up after winning over 1000m (0-58) in early June, and Ananagram won against similar opposition a fortnight ago. Frilly Design was racing well before disappointing at her last start.
Race 6 – #1 Like A Heartbeat (7)
6yo Gelding | T: Lisa Whittle | J: Sonja Wiseman (57kg)