Tips from Brad Gray
All your tips, form and analysis for Sunday’s Wellington Country Championships Qualifier.
Winner: 4. Galaxy Warrior ($4) This lightly-raced five-year-old is a real talent. Last preparation he proved himself a genuine city-class horse by winning a mid-weeker at Warwick Farm. He looked really sharp in winning a Rosehill trial, beating blacktype three-year-olds Tango Rain and Attention before kicking off his Country Championships campaign at Canterbury. Be forgiving of his inglorious 10th as he was never in the hunt on the tight track from a wide draw after settling near last. He hasn’t raced since, which is some query, but expect Gayna Williams to have him primed. His best is simply too good for these and has already won around the tricky Wellington track.
What the trainer says (Gayna Williams): “The owners bought him off the internet sight unseen and it’s a long story but they’ve been in racing for quite a few years and naturally he’s the best one they’ve had to date.”
Galaxy Warrior's Warwick Farm win
Quinella: 8. Absolute Ripper ($6.50) This mare is beautifully name as that’s exactly what she is! The daughter of unheralded sire Mosayter, who produced Western Australian Group One-winner Mr Moet, has won three of her past four and the miss was a bob of the heads in a Highway Handicap. There is a lot to like about the form of this mare having won her last two starts at Hawkesbury in strong provincial company. She’ll bounce out and take up a spot on the speed and should get every chance from the soft barrier. Jockey Anthony Cavallo knows her so well too having ridden her in seven of her eight starts.
What the trainer says (Alison Smith): “We have had to be patient with Absolute Ripper because she was so big and strong as a two-year-old that she kept going sore.”
Absolute Ripper's last start Hawkesbury win
Related article Wellington's The Little Club That 'Can'
Trifecta: 1. Distinctive Look ($6.50) There looks to be three standout winning chances in the race and this four-year-old is the last of them. He has won five of his 13 starts and three of his past four with the miss being a lip defeat at Muswellbrook behind Radical Impact. He is a Highway Handicap winner over the mile so expect him to be charging through the line. It’s just a matter of how big of a start he is giving a few of his main dangers from the wide draw. There is a real sense of timing about him though out to 1400m third-up after two very strong showings this campaign.
What the trainer says (David Smith): “He is going to be my best horse and has helped put my name out there.”
Distinctive Look's last start Orange win
Roughie: 2. Great Choice ($9) Don’t let the lengthy break put you off this classy seven-year-old. He hasn’t been seen for over a year but he won off a 48-week layoff last preparation. And he won well. He has been given two trials to tune up for this assignment, the latest at Rosehill where although he finished last, it was in strong company. Drawn barrier 2, he should get the run of the race. Not sure he can beat Galaxy Warrior or Absolute Ripper but he’ll no doubt be thereabouts. Suspect you'll get better than $9 come jump too.
What the trainer says (Brett Thompson): “He has won five races so we couldn’t run him in a race as a sixth win would have made him ineligible for the Championships, so we ran him in two trials and we were quite happy with both.”
Great Choice's first-up win last preparation off a similar break
Related article Brett's 'Blood, Sweat & Years' With Great Choice
*All prices courtesy of TAB and are correct as of 9am Friday on 10 March.
Grafton Perfect Dare $2.10 (1st) Sunny Fame $11 (13th) My Cousin Bossy $13 (7th) Roughie: Foxy Walk $71 (5th)
Goulburn Ruthless Agent $6 (4th) Pumpkin Pie $2.50 (1st) Shutter Bug $8 (6th) Roughie: Steel Frost $17 (2nd)
Dubbo La La Loopsy $2.50 (2nd) Eagles Dare $17 (6th) A Magic Zariz $7 (8th) Roughie: Coming In Hot $11 (10th)
Taree Cogliere $6 (1st) Ever So Natural $4.20 (3rd) Shotgun Roulette $7 (2nd) Roughie: Dubai Sights $11 (6th)
Scone Art D'Amour $6 (10th) All Summer Long $4.60 (3rd) Caerless Choice $6 (1st) Roughie: Sassaby $15 (6th)