ROOI ROE - Rooi Roe was fractious at Toowoomba and never likely; she clearly wasn’t herself and Les Tilley was kind to her in the run to the line. The Bel Esprit mare has been given a six-week break and bar plates coming off indicate whatever hoof issues she had are resolved. Rooi Roe has a great record at Rockhampton with four wins from six starts and whilst Scott Sheargold rides her for the first time she will be hard to hold off over the 1050m.
MURDARESS - Formerly with Dwayne Smith in Northern NSW, Murdaress won a maiden at Kempsey early in her career but has found winning hard since despite placing four times in her past eight starts. Since resuming she has placed at both outings, her most recent effort being third at Lismore in a Benchmark 59 where she disappointed as favourite over 1400m. Murdaress has now been moved on to Zoe Horn and backs up for her third run in a month since resuming, a pattern similar to that followed last preparation during which she was able to run a good horse in Sawtell close. Murdaress’ first-up effort behind Wooditton and Exellas was good enough for this company, the blinkers go back on and with Ryan Wiggins to ride she should get a good run throughout.
BARRICADE - Race fitness looks the decisive form factor in the Reeve Wheeler Memorial Open Handicap (1310m). Early betting has the Cameron Crockett-trained Artistic Beauty early favourite ahead of last-start Narromine winner Barricades from the Peter Bloomfield stable at Scone. Artistic Beauty is arguably the best horse in the race but will be first-up on Monday and although she does have a fresh win on her resume the mare has been beaten on six occasions including a close second at Mudgee resuming last time in when she carried 54 kg. In my opinion, the $3.20 best price available at the time of writing looks unders, considering Artistic Beauty will have to lump 59kg on Monday. Conversely, Barricades is race fit after winning the Narromine Diggers Cup last start. Greg Ryan sticks and four of Barricades five career wins have been at 1300m. It’s a simple equation, I would prefer to be taking $3.60 about Barricades than $3.20 Artistic Beauty.
CALL ME BRAD - It was only April 9 the form guide showed the John Ramsey-trained Tiara Star and Call Me Brad from the Lesley Jeffries yard at Tamworth clashing in a race at Scone. Call Me Brad led early before being run down in the straight finishing third whilst Tiara Store was mentioned in the stewards report on a couple of occasions however only battled in the straight before finishing sixth. Both horses have been defeated in their subsequent runs with Call Me Brad going to Hawkesbury and Tamworth with Tiara Star racing at Scone. Sure, Tiara Star contested the Denise's Joy Stakes last start and did endure a wide run in transit, however it his still hard to justify the huge price differential between the pair. Call Me Brad with Greg Ryan taking over looks exceptional value at $9.50 in the Aqua West Class 3 Handicap (1010m) compared to the $1.70 for Tiara Star.
UNBIASED - The former Godolphin gelding Unbiased is a better horse than his two wins from 19 starts would suggest and although still eligible for a class two race is the horse to beat taking on open company in the Hope Fuel Gunnedah Showcase Cup (1600m). Now with Tamworth trainer Cody Morgan, Unbiased hasn’t been able to win in six starts for the new stable however the son of Medaglia d’Oro latest two outings would suggest the five-year-old will be in the thick of things on Sunday. After finishing a 1-1/4 length third in the H&NWRA Association Country Championships qualifier at Scone on March 8 hitting the line strongly over the 1400m before returning to racing on the back of a 54-day break, Unbiased again worked home solidly finishing second to After All That in the Country Cup at Scone on May 11. Earlier in his career when racing in the Godolphin blue, Unbiased finished less than a length from the winner in a 1900m race at Canterbury and his last couple of runs indicate connections have been preparing the horse for longer races. The step up to the mile on Sunday looks perfect for Unbiased and I reckon he will be winning.