Innocent to grasp Grafton win
Today, Innocenttassie not only strikes his preferred firmer footing but will surely appreciate the extra 100m.
According to Timeform's Gary Crispe, well-performed local galloper Innocenttassie can make a return to form in today's Blues Brews & BBQS Handicap (race 5) at Grafton today.
Prepared on the course by leading trainer John Shelton, Innocenttassie should be at his top after three runs from a spell, and from a good draw is set to feature in the finish in this 1100m open handicap.
The gelding is a winner of 11 races, of which nine have been on his home track. In fact from 21 starts here he has missed the placings only four times at home, and the furthest he has been beaten was last start on heavy ground when 2.5 lengths from the winner.
Innocenttassie resumed this campaign over 1010m at Ballina and with 60kg, even after the claim, settled midfield before working home well into third. He then stepped up to 1350m for the Deepwater Cup, where he again had a 3kg apprentice aboard, and finished fourth, beaten 3.3 lengths. Last start, back to 1000m here on heavy ground, he settled fourth in the run and worked to the line steadily to finish fourth, beaten 2.5 lengths behind Suchabimbo.
Today, Innocenttassie not only strikes his preferred firmer footing but will surely appreciate the extra 100m. He has drawn for a good run on the inside in barrier one, and non-claiming apprentice Ben Looker has three wins aboard the gelding. He will be camped off a decent speed and with any luck in the straight will be hitting the line hard.
The Trevor Hardy-trained Save a Buck is ready to show his best after two runs from a spell and looks a big danger.
The gelding, which also has a good record at Grafton, resumed on his home track of Coffs Harbour, and after a slow start worked home okay to finish fifth over 1200m. He then stepped up to city class for a Benchmark 80 at Eagle Farm, and after settling well back from an inside draw warmed up late, finishing eighth but beaten 6.4 lengths behind General Purple.
Save a Buck will find this assignment easier and he drops in weight after the claim to carry just 56kg, 2kg over the limit for a horse with nine wins and 14 placings on the board. He has drawn well and should be hard to hold out.
Little Johnnie, another galloper prepared at Coffs Harbour, looks likely to give a big sight.
The gelding returned to winning form three starts back over 1200m at home with a good on pace win, then won again there next start, again racing on the speed and holding on strongly. Last start, over 1200m there in an open handicap, he shared the speed from the inside gate but faded in the straight to finish a well held fourth.
Little Johnnie has a good record here at Grafton and is unbeaten from two tries at the course and distance. He has the minimum weight, a good gate and will take running down.
Siberian was a last start Murwillumbah winner and although well up in grade today, drops nicely in the weights.
He carried 59.5kg to success last time to win by 2.5 lengths, today drops 5.5kg on his easy win, and has drawn wide, but will give a sight at each-way odds.
GARY'S TOP PICKS FOR RACE 5@GRAFTON
(2) Save a Buck
(3) Little Johnnie