KARAS - Trained by Michael Costa this three-year-old by Casino Prince showed improvement to place here last start on a soft track at his first try over a mile. He was supported at long odds on that occasion and will have benefited from the experience. Karas is having only his fourth start and may have more up side than most of these. The trainer had him entered for a 2100m race at Lismore but sensibly has opted for this shorter 1800m as a more logical step up from the 1600m. Clearly, he thinks he can stay, Scott Galloway takes over from Michael Cahill and with a reasonable run in transit he can break through.
CURRUMBIN CRAFT - I tipped Currumbin Craft last start and he wasn’t beaten far despite being held up and racing greenly over the final stages. Trained by Rob Heathcote, three of his four runs this preparation have been good the only poor effort an inexplicable failure here when put over 1400m and ridden by Damian Browne. Currumbin Craft steps up to that trip again but is learning with experience and if given a patient ride by Jimmy Orman can be too strong for these.
JOEY’S DESTINY - With three of his four career wins coming when wearing blinkers, the decision to put the shades back on looks a winning move for Joey’s Destiny in the Narromine USMC Diggers Cup (1300m). Trained at Dubbo by Clint Lundholm, Joey’s Destiny is a consistent gelding with four wins and eight placings from his 18 career starts and has only finished worse than fourth on two occasions throughout his career. Although his best form is over the short courses, Joey’s Destiny’s current preparation was aimed at the Country Championships with the four-year-old ultimately finishing fourth in the Dubbo Qualifier last start. The 1400m of the Country Championships was always going to be a test for Joey’s Destiny and it is reasonable to assume that is the reason the blinkers haven’t been worn in three runs this time in. Joey’s Destiny was an Orange winner last preparation over 1300m carrying 61kg and looks well treated on Sunday with 54.5kg after the claim for in form apprentice Chris Williams. With the light weight and the blinkers back on, Joey’s Destiny is expected to jump and run and will take plenty of running down.
INKULU - Former Victorian Inkulu will benefit from the services of Greg Ryan when the son of Denman has his second NSW start in the Narromine USMC Light Horseman Class 3 Handicap (1100m). Now trained at Narromine by Justin W Stanley, Inkulu did enough in his first start for the new stable to suggest there are a few wins in store on the NSW country circuit. After being slow away, Inkulu hit the line strongly when fourth at Dubbo over 1000m resuming from a 76-day break between races last start finishing1-3/4 lengths from the winner Squared who will be one of Inkulu’s main rivals on Sunday as will the third horse Kenny Succeed. At first glance with his last six runs before heading to NSW over distances of 1600m or longer it would be reasonable to assume Inkulu’s future would lie in staying races however after analysing his entire career I am not so sure. Three wins and four placings from 22 starts at distances of 1300m or less compared to 18 starts at distances greater than 1300m and the decision to stay over a short course on Sunday would suggest connections may well be training the gelding for the shorter races. I know it’s only an assumption but at $8.50 in early markets it is worth a punt to see if we are on the right track.
MIGHTY SUNNY - The feature of the night is at Menangle and features the square-gaiters. Mighty Sunny has not won since coming over the Tasman, and this is a little harder than what he has been racing, but there was a lot to like about his last start performance. He gets away from the tapes well and I expect that driver Chris Geary may be across the field first ready to hand-up to one of the more fancied runners. The trotters races can sometimes turn onto pegs affairs around here, with the soft run at a big price he can run into a place.