Valentine’s Day gift for racing fans

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Beautiful conditions will greet punters for this afternoon’s meeting at the Bunbury Turf Club.
Camera IconBeautiful conditions will greet punters for this afternoon’s meeting at the Bunbury Turf Club. Credit: Justin Fris

Thoroughbred lovers will be in for a treat this Valentine’s Day, with a seven-race program at the Bunbury Turf Club this afternoon.

One runner who could be primed for a solid showing is Friar’s Gift, who has been performing solidly for the Giadresco stable.

The six-year-old enters the Suncorp Handicap (1208m) as a pre-race favourite, with two third-placed finishes from his last four starts – although there are other runners who have solid claims.

Two of these rivals include Lou Luciani’s runners Cuanzo and Geiger Gum, who are both backing up from runs at Ascot.

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Christine Stelmach’s three-year-old Wild Galah will have an opportunity to record his first victory when fronting up in the Chubb Handicap (2019m).

Though unable to open his account in 15 starts, Stelmach’s runner has placed in three of his last four travels and, with Daniel Staeck aboard, there is every chance he could salute with a solid run from barrier 11.

Earlier in the afternoon, Luciani’s in-form gelding Murray The Bulldog looks hard to beat in the Sura Handicap (1208m) – and with Kate Witten in the saddle, he should be able to overcome being drawn on the rails.

Justin Warwick’s likely type Happy Sanday also has an opportunity to chalk up victory in the NTI Maiden (1690m) in a tight field.

The five-year-old may have finished fourth to Friar’s Gift at Bunbury on January 28, but looked capable throughout.

Others to throw into the mix include filly Princess Pierro, who has amassed five second-placed finishes in her 11 career starts and Adam Durrant’s three-year-old Mackenzie Brooke.

Racing romantics who love a feel-good story will keep an eye on the CGU Maiden (1410m), with six runners making their debut.

Of the newcomers, filly Dark Choice should benefit with William Pike aboard, while Witten will guide pre-race longshot Bonneville Black.

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