Horse Betting: Second Effort first rate
Second Effort is unbeaten at Warrnambool, both at this trip, and despite a wide gate today he will be hard to hold out in his ideal conditions.
Timeform's Gary Crispe focuses his daily preview on talented galloper Second Effort in today's Midfield Group Wangoom Handicap at Warrnambool.
It's day two of the three days carnival and with a testing track faces today's entrants - rated a slow 6 - only the strongest will be claiming races.
The Clinton McDonald-trained Second Effort looks extremely well placed to add a feature win to his record in today's Listed handicap over 1200m.
The lightly-raced gelding has contested this carnival for the last two years, winning his maiden here with ease in 2010 before winning a restricted race at last year's carnival. This year he takes on the feature sprint of the three day meeting but looks up to it on his strong record and his love of soft ground.
Last year the gelding recorded a string of wins leading into the winter, three of which were in town, before a disappointing run in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes so was sent for a spell. Last campaign, over the summer, he had just three runs - all at Listed level - finishing fifth in the Christmas Stakes at Caulfield, the fourth in the Doveton Stakes there before finishing third in the Chester Manifold Stakes at Flemington.
All three runs were on firmer footing.
After another good spell he resumed this campaign with an impressive fast-finishing win over 1000m at Caulfield, charging home to grab Galbraith by a head. What was most pleasing about the win was it being his first on dry ground.
On soft tracks, he goes even better which augers well for today. From six runs on slow to heavy ground he has won all six starts. He is unbeaten at Warrnambool, both at this trip, and despite a wide gate today he will be hard to hold out in his ideal conditions.
The Jason Warren-trained Freereturn has a similar looking record at Second Effort with seven wins and six minors from just 15 starts.
After winning six races last campaign including a few in town he resumed this time in over 1200m at Moonee Valley and made light work of his 59kg, leading throughout to win with ease. He then raced in the Listed Anniversary Vase at Caulfield over 1440m and after racing on the speed boxed on well to finish third behind Utah Saints.
Today he drops back to 1200m which suits and although drawn out a little has the minimum weight to carry. He loves the trip and although yet to win, or run, in slow ground, he hasn't had any trouble scoring on heavy tracks. From the gate he will slide across to be handy today and should be hard to get past again.
One which can run a big race at odds is the Mick Kent-trained Philda.
The gelding is a winner up to a mile but is yet to miss a place from six fresh up runs including two wins. He placed here at his only try, loves soft ground and will give a big sight at odds today.
The big query in the race and perhaps the most difficult decision facing punters is what to do with the smart mare Wealth Princess
The talented mare was a narrow second in the Group 1 Winter Stakes behind Melito in 2010 and hasn't raced since. In this grade, with 55.5kg, she rates very highly and with her big finish would be a top chance on her best.
But she hasn't trailed and hasn't raced for almost two years. It would be a remarkable training performance by her new trainer Darren Weir but being based at the course she could well be wound up for this as she makes her debut for the new yard.
GARY'S TOP TIPS for RACE 7@WARRNAMBOOL
(1) Second Effort