BOWERMANS COMMERCIAL FURNITURE HANDICAP Tips (Race 3)
Warwick Farm Next Best Bet - Race 3 No. 2 Criminal Code
Set to line-up at start three for Chris Waller is this ex-Western Australian galloper who despite being a big drifter first-up at Canterbury ($7.50-$14.00), was a little unlucky not to win over the 1550m and followed that with another solid performance on November 27 when spotting weight to the first two home.
The son of Maschino showed good ability in the west where after running slick time for a debut victory, raced the majority of his second racing preparation in stakes company en-route to a WA Derby in which he finished third behind the smart Tuscan Queen prior to heading east.
In this small field where at least a few of his competitors have little early speed, we want to see a more positive Tommy Berry aboard Criminal Code who with any improvement third-up, should be prominent in what's a very winnable assignment.
HYLAND RACE COLOURS HANDICAP Tips (Race 4)
Warwick Farm Best Bet - Race 4 No. 5 Strawb
Although enigmatic, Strawb has ability well beyond Benchmark 72 level and can be forgiven for a first-up flop as favourite at Newcastle where very little went right that day and after playing up in the barriers, was allowed to start and raced keenly before dropping out of that contest.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock was found to be slow to recover post-race and was sent back to the trials as a result where whilst she was a little tardy away, reeled them in via that 920m trial with ease and had excuses at the back-end of her last campaign when coming to town, following back-to-back wins (encountered a farcical on-speed bias at Kensington in July and was subsequently spelled).
We're looking for a bit that freshness to be knocked off this five-year-old now who did improve with racing as winter wore on and with even luck, can bounce back to the winner's stall and progress much further this preparation.
DRINKWISE MILE Tips (Race 7)
Warwick Farm Value Bet - Race 7 No. 7 Havin' Fun
Whilst the overall strike rate is admittedly quite poor, this four-year-old from the John Sargent stable has been very competitive against stronger company than this and she was quite unlucky when resuming for a third on October 28.
Over the 1100m on the Kensington circuit, Havin' Fun was a little tardy away and although did get the gap late, couldn't match the momentum out wide of a pretty handy one in Dunbrody Power, who has since been very competitive twice at Benchmark 78 level in town.
With prior efforts around Icebath, Chat and Hilo and back to mares' grade following a third-place finish on November 25 when racing in restricted room throughout the run home, she can improve further third-up from a middle draw which should suit.