2021 Leon Macdonald Stakes Day Preview

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Black-type racing continues this Saturday in South Australia with the running of the Listed Leon Macdonald Stakes on the Parks track at Morphettville.

We’ve cast our eye over the entire nine-race meeting and offer our best bets below!

Race 1 - 12:31pm

Aramis Handicap (Heat 3 Rebel Raider Series) (1000m)

Karacasu is first-up from a spell and looks extremely tough to beat after contesting some much tougher races during the autumn. 

The three-year-old son of Headwater finished a narrow runner-up in both the Group 3 Breeders Stakes and the David Coles at Morphettville, the latter coming against a good horse in Hersey, who has since gone on to place in the Quezette at Caulfield two weeks ago. 

He appears to have a class edge over most of these and I’ll bank on him proving too good late.

2 Units Karacasu

Race 2 - 1:06pm

G.H. Mumm Handicap (Heat 1 Viddora Series) (1400m)

This looks to be a very open affair with a case to be made for a few. 

Mescaminto goes on top for mine following her last start second at Wagga two weeks ago in what was a big step up in class. 

This is easier for her now, and I think she’ll appreciate getting back on top of the ground after striking wet tracks in her last two starts. She’s found the money in four of her last five runs and the booking of Barend Vorster only strengthens her chances.

2 Units Mescaminto

Race 3 - 1:41pm

EMR Marble & Granite Handicap (2250m)

Bear Arms won by a massive nine lengths over 2500m on the course proper two back before going down to Saturday’s rival Muntham Missile over the same track and trip.

Both of those runs came on rain-affected going, so she is a slight query here back on a firmer deck. 

Her recent form is very hard to fault though and she only needs to hold that form to be a serious threat. 

2 Units E/W Bear Arms 

Race 4 - 2:21pm

Fresh Kitchens Handicap (1400m)

Kong is having his third run back after making up some big ground to run two lengths fifth behind Naleigh a fortnight ago over shorter. 

The son of Jungle Ruler has shown plenty in two starts to date and couldn’t have been more impressive winning his maiden at Kilmore earlier in the year. 

He was far from disgraced two runs back in the Listed Lightning Stakes from a wide gate, and although he might be another one that prefers a wet track, I think he’ll be tough to beat with some fitness now on his side. 

1 Unit Kong 

Race 5 - 3:01pm

Spring Racing Carnival at Morphettville - Oct 9 - Nov 6 Handicap (1000m)

Another Award can make a winning return to the races, much she like did earlier in January when she won at Gawler over further. 

The four-year-old by Shamus Award absolutely flies fresh and also went on run well in some much tougher races like the Morphettville Guineas and the Clare Lindop Stakes over the mile. 

She looks to have plenty of upside and is capable of winning a very wide-open race. 

2 Units Another Award 

Race 6 - 3:41pm

Terry Howe Printing Handicap (1250m)

So You Can is a promising gelding out of the Leon MacDonald yard that has shown plenty of promise in seven runs to date. 

Both of his wins have come over this track and trip, while he also held his own in a couple of black-type races last spring. 

The son of So You Think trialled well earlier in the month and this trip looks ideal for him in his return. 

2 Units So You Can 

Race 7 - 4:21pm

Listed Leon MacDonald Stakes (1400m)

Beau Rossa is a dual acceptor, but if he lines up here instead of the Memsie at Caulfield, I think he’s going to be very tough to beat. 

The Will Clarken-trained four-year-old made Memsie favourite Behemoth earn it first-up in the Spring Stakes where he led for the majority before being gunned down on the post. 

This is obviously a much easier contest, so I expect Todd Pannell to settle a little further back this time and produce him late. 

The son of Unencumbered is also a two-from-three second-up from a spell, so with a run under his belt, I can’t find any reason why he won’t win. 

3 Units Beau Rossa

Race 8 - 5:00pm

Grand Syndicates Handicap (1550m)

Lomax won well first-up at Gawler over much shorter and has since gone on to run no worse than fourth in his last three starts.

The Bruce Potter-trained Lomax is untested over the mile, but the way he finished through the line at Murray Bridge over 1400m suggests he’ll handle it in his stride. 

Providing he jumps on time, his recent form looks good enough for this contest and the current double-figure quote might be over the odds. 

2 Units E/W Lomax

Race 9 - 5:35pm

Nigel Latham Memorial Handicap (1000m)

This isn’t an easy way to end the day, so I’m happy to take a stab on Lakhani Rose at a decent price. 

She’s proven a costly customer several times in the past, but I liked her return to the races two weeks ago when third to Winning Weather after overcoming an awkward start. 

How she begins is the key to her chances, but with a firmer track expected, her turn of foot should do the talking if luck goes her way down the straight. 

2 Units Lakhani Rose