ALL STAND - I was somewhat disappointed the early favourite Victorem has been scratched from the Tabcorp Malcom Cusick Stakes Class 4 Handicap (1200m) confident the Todd Howlett-trained All Stand had a great chance of beating the favourite. The only thing that has changed is the bookies odds because nothing has changed with the assessment of All Stand. All Stand is a last start Highway Handicap winner at Randwick and tackles 1200m for the first time on Thursday but I've no concerns with that. At his last start All Stand settled second behind a hectic speed then finished his race off in a manner suggesting the step up in distance won’t be an issue. All Stand has superior early speed figures to his rivals and should find the front without spending a penny and I can see the son of I Am Invinciblebeing too quick around Gosford.
MAD FOX - The Gabrielle Englebrecht-trained Mad Fox was a dual acceptor at Nowra with the decision to bypass the 1200m benchmark 59 in favour of the Shoalhaven Superheroes Class 1 Handicap (1100m) likely to reap dividends. A Goulburn 1000m winner on debut in his only first preparation run on a soft (5) racing surface, Mad Fox has finished runner-up at his latest three starts, twice at Newcastle and last time out at Canberra with an analysis of each run suggesting the son of Foxwedge is vulnerable at the end of 1200m at this early stage of his career. The 1100m at Nowra looks perfect for Mad Fox and with the three-year-old wearing blinkers for the first time we are confident he will be returning to the winner’s stall.
RADETZKY - Radetzky has relished soft (7) tracks to record successive wins at Orange at his latest two starts so the heavy track shouldn’t be an issue when the son of Snitzel chases the hat-trick in the Shoalhaven City Council Benchmark 59 Handicap (1200m). Trained at Warwick Farm by Gary Portelli, Radetzky raced on the speed to win his maiden on December 5 over 1000m in a race that has provided three subsequent winners and raced like the step up in distance on Monday won’t be an issue when the three-year-old overcame a wide run in transit to win a class two at Orange last-start doing his best work over the last 100m. Proven in the conditions with Grant Buckley in the saddle, there is nothing to suggest Radetzky won’t be winning again.
O’ SO HAZY will be chasing her fourth win from just seven race starts when the daughter of O’Lonhro lines up in the XXXX Summer Sprint (1200m). Trained on the track by Scott Spackman, O’ So Hazy tackles open company for the first time but whether the field assembled are genuine open company horses is open to debate. Only two of the six runners have won more than four races, Not Too Sure has returned to the winner’s stall seven times but his best form is over a touch further whilst Benno’s Boy has reached the winning post first on 11 occasions however he was defeated at a non-tab meeting last start. O’ So Hazy had the early speed to overcome barrier 10 on the Wagga Riverside circuit last start when she crossed and led comfortably and looks more than capable of doing the same thing on Friday. If that’s the scenario O’ So Hazy will take plenty of running down.
WARRAGUL - We are on the side of the Scott Spackman stable with O’ So Hazy in the earlier race but against him with Takookacod in the R H Blake & Co Class 3 Handicap (1000m). Assessing the correct probability of a horse’s chances is fundamental to punting success and whilst Takookacod is showing plenty of promise winning two of her eight starts to date $1.80 in early betting markets looks well under the odds. The fact that Takookacod’s two career wins have come on soft ground and her only placing on good ground saw her finish over five-lengths from the winner in a race at Corowa when third would be enough to think $1.80 is on the skinny side. Sure, Takookacod ran well in a Highway Handicap on a dry track at Randwick last start finishing just over two-lengths from the winner All Stand but whether that run entitles her to be an odds-on chance I am far from convinced. With the $1.80 quote representing a 55.5 percent probability of winning for Takookacod looking under the odds, the $6.50 available for the Sylvia Thompson-trained Warragul looks real value. Warragul overcame a wide run in transit to win her maiden at Wangaratta last start running quicker time than the benchmark 58 winner over the 1000m journey on the same day. $6.50 represents a 15 percent winning profitability, if Takookacod was a $3 chance and Warragul a $3.50 I would be likely looking at the race differently but at the odds available at the time of writing it is clear which horse represents the best value for punters.