BRUNCH - At first glance jumping from barrier 11 for the Ron Quinton-trained Brunch looks an issue in the Illawarra Turf Club Maiden Handicap (1400m) but an analysis of the speed map suggests the concerns are unfounded. There isn’t much genuine early speed drawn inside Brunch with the three-year-old expected to find the fence comfortably and if that high probability scenario eventuates the three-year-old filly will take plenty of running down. Brunch finished on the placegetters heels when fourth at Newcastle on debut in her only first preparation run and has finished in the placings at Hawkesbury and Gosford in both runs this time in. Brunch goes to 1400m for the first time but with the likely soft lead will get every chance to run the journey out.
MR BROWN FOX - The Phil Sweeney-trained Mr Brown Fox rates as the stand out bet on the program chasing back to back wins in the MGA Insurance Brokers Class One Handicap (1000m). It’s another case of a maiden winner going into a class one but that shouldn’t deter punters as we have discussed many times in this column. Mr Brown Fox was an impressive debut winner at Albury on October 28 showing plenty of natural speed to lead clearly in a 900m scamper racing away for a comfortable win. The win looked impressive to the eye and the form has been confirmed with two subsequent winners coming out of the race including the second horse Shrapnel Impact who won a maiden at Albury. It’s a family affair with the trainer sharing in the ownership and daughter Brooke in the saddle and confident they will be celebrating tonight.
ZIGANUI - I will be having something on the Keith Dryden and Scott Collings-trained Ziganui whatever the track condition in the Nexis Accountants & Business Advisors Handicap (1300m), but the confidence will be enhanced if the track remains in the good range. Ziganui has won on heavy ground and did run third in the 2017 Provincial Championship final on a heavy (8) at Randwick but first up on Friday dry ground would be beneficial. Ziganui is becoming somewhat of a track specialist with each of his four career wins coming at Canberra including two victories over the 1300m. Ziganui invariably pulls out a big run fresh with two of the career wins coming first-up in a preparation including a track and distance win in December 2016. Ziganui gets plenty of ticks on Friday and I reckon he will be winning.
ATTAINMENT - In a perfect world the rain would hold off until after race seven because our wet track tip comes up in the final event of the day. The Todd Smart-trained Attainment is the horse in question with the gelding still a maiden on good tracks. Although he has been consistent throughout his career it is hard to ignore the stats showing Attainment’s 16 runs on good tracks haven’t produced a win, although the six-year-old has finished in the placings on nine occasions with his soft and heavy track record reading substantially better at four wins and 10 placings from 21 outings. Attainment is a last start winner on a heavy (8) surface at Gundagai and looks set to go back to back – provided the rain comes.
COWBOYS KARMA - The winning run of the Allan Gibson-trained galloper came to end last start but it would be no surprise to see the gelding bounce straight back into the winner’s stall in the Wild Oats Benchmark 65 Showcase Handicap (1400m). Cowboys Karma is racing in career best form stringing together four wins on the trot in benchmark races before his colours were lowered in the Cotton Cup at Warren last start when he took on open company for the first time. Cowboys Karma must lump 62.5kg back in grade on Friday but he carries weight well shouldering 61.5kg to a comfortable victory at Dubbo on November 4 in benchmark 60 grade. Cowboys Karma doesn’t look badly treated with only a kilo more at Mudgee and gets his chance to return to the winner’s list.