PACAFI (2 January 2021)

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AUSTRALIS 5.10 Wolverhampton at 6/5

 Betway Handicap (Class 3) (3yo+ 0-105) 2m120y


 78,000gns Y; 9th foal; half-brother to six winners inc Quiet Meadow (US 8.5f turf stakes; RPR 108) and Metatrons Cube (1m2f; 83); dam US stakes-placed 1m dirt 2yo winner, is granddaughter of 5f/6f 2yo Group 2 winner Bitty Girl

The Racing Horse Composite

Trainer Form: 2-7 for 28%          (10)
National average: 19%              (10)
Course Strike Rate: 26%            (10)
OR & RPR: 94 & 108                 (10)
Optimum Ground: Standard           (10)         
Optimum Distance: 2m               (10)
Jockey: Jack Mitchell              (10)
National Average: 15%              (10)
Course Strike Rate: 18%            (10)
Trainer & Jockey Combo: 20%        (10)  
Total:                            (100)

Main danger: Nate The Great

Can claim compensation with optimum conditions

Australis is a big horse and not raced as a 2yo because he was a late-maturing type, so not one we normally associate around the tight bends of Wolverhampton but he is a nice horse and a course winner that clearly enjoys/acts on the surface. He has won three times from 1m 5f to 2m on the AW (2 PO) and has gone close the last twice now and this looks easier than his latest task in a conditions race at Newcastle behind the higher rated Island Brave. The Pacafi finished second in the Northumberland Plate last summer and having twice finished on the synthetics he certainly wouldn't be scoring out of turn. He only lost out to a rival rated 3lb higher last time (raced off level weights) and can claim compensation with all boxes ticked and optimum conditions.

Has tactical speed

After his course win at this track last June Roger Varian told us: "He bagged his first victory last season in a Class 4 Handicap at Chelmsford where he was ridden from the front in blinkers. Fast forward 9 months and he looks more the finished article this season having matured into his significant frame. He showed tactical speed through the middle part of the race and that all important acceleration at the business end to record a convincing win under jockey Jack Mitchell. Things didn't go completely his way as he was caught in a pocket inside the final half mile and had to fend off a strong challenge from the favourite Caravan Of Hope, which made his victory all the more pleasing. Australis is a gentle giant with a great mind and he should be capable of staying further in time."

Trainer and jockey form

This is obviously a quiet time for the better Flat trainers but Roger Varian seems to be ticking over nicely with 2 of his last 7 winning as well as a couple of second places and a couple of third places. At Wolverhampton he has excellent figures of 71-276 for 26% so 7% above his national average and records a level stake profit of +23.70. The combination with jockey Jack Mitchell strikes at 20% with 134 winners from 670 rides.

This jockey has become one of the best jockeys around Wolverhampton and it is clearly his favourite racecourse from a winning perspective where he has notched 101 winners from 547 rides for a big 18% strike rate and a level stake profit of +59.54.


Rochester House missed out on a hat-trick when only fourth at Newcastle and an apprentice’s allowance helps his cause today while Nate The Great will be sharper for a recent comeback and today’s trip will suit - he looks the main danger. Charlie D and To Be Wild have struggled lately and Chipiron debuts for new connections having won seven times in France including twice on the all-weather.


 AUSTRALIS is still getting better and should be able to dominate this from the front, so he's an obvious selection ahead of Rochester House, who is still well treated on his turf form. Nate The Great isn't on a bad mark and should strip fitter for his reappearance, so he also makes plenty of appeal.

 The 6/5 secured looks north of value, we had the Pacafi as an odds on shot, if our rationale is correct he should start closer to 5/6 than 6/5.

Australis traded at a low of 6.00 and BSP of 7.80 when losing last time, a race in which it led.

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