WHITELY - Betting fluctuations of $18 to $41 for a Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott runner resuming would suggest there is plenty of improvement to come and if that’s the case Whitely will take plenty of beating in the Munmorah United Bowling Club 2YO Maiden Plate (1300m). Punters shied away from Whitely big time first-up at Warwick Farm however the son of Sebring performed well beyond the market expectations going down by the narrowest of margins in the midweek metropolitan maiden. With the anticipated improvement from the first-up run and back to a provincial set-weight maiden against his own age, Whitely will take a power of beating with Tim Clark in the saddle.
KATGULLY RED - It is worth remembering the last start placing for the Jenelle Butler-trained Katgully Red at Scone on May 11 had metropolitan status when assessing the horse for the Entrance Leagues Club Class 1 Handicap (1200m). After defeating a subsequent winner at Scone on debut, Katgully Red finished his race off well when third beaten three-quarters of a length by the Bjorn Baker-trained Connemara, which is unbeaten after two starts. Katgully Red will find plenty of opposition from the short-priced early favourite Oxford Angel however at $8.50 in early betting markets is better value than the favourite.
TOP RAVINE - I tipped him last time here over a similar trip but he took too long to wind up and was narrowly beaten. Justin Stanley replaces Lachlan Dodds and he carries the same weight but gets the benefit of a senior rider. That last run over 1819m was his first middle distance effort since leaving Mick Price’s care over eighteen months ago. His record at these longer journeys in Victoria was good with a win at Sandown over 1800m and a placing in the Group II Autumn Classic. He is taking on some South-east Queenslanders here but none of them have ever placed at black-type level and with the experience of a distance run under his belt he can make amends for his narrow defeat last start.
BACK CHAT - Back Chat was caught wide and put in a strong effort over 1100m at Toowoomba when resuming. The top two in that race Unlikely Story and Bluebrook have subsequently performed well in much better company so I will trust the form for this North Queensland maiden. Rebecca Goldsbury stays on, the 1200m should suit and from gate four Back Chat should get a perfect run throughout. If he produces his last run that will be good enough to win.
RAPDAYS - Rapdays has had three runs this time in and performed creditably at her past two outings at Toowoomba, the most recent in a strong class four over 1625m where she fought on well in a race run in class record time. The Captain Sonador filly gets winkers for the first time and whilst she is the least experienced runner in the field, she was a consistent performer last preparation with two wins over 1300m from five outings and may have more upside than the rest of these. With only 54kg to carry, Adam Sewell can sit off the speed in this Benchmark 65 over 1400m and down the long straight use Rapdays turn of foot to advantage.