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Evans Not Doubtful Of Strong Showing At Tuncurry

Trainer Terry Evans believes likely heavy conditions and the ‘home track advantage’ will boost the hopes of his runners at Tuncurry in Sunday, especially the nine-year-old Not Doubtful and the ex-Kiwi galloper Maestro Tom. Evans will saddle up Not Doubtful in the Benchmark 55 Hcp (1200m) and Maestro Tom in the Benchmark 70 Hcp (2100m). He has also accepted in two races with The Free World – the Benchmark 55 Hcp (1200m) and the Class 1 Hcp (1000m) – and has Svavarsson lining up alongside Maestro Tom in the Benchmark 70. The Tuncurry track was rated a heavy 9 on Friday and Evans, the only trainer based at the track, isn’t expecting an upgrade by Sunday. Evans believes Not Doubtful, chasing the 15th win of his 109-start career on Sunday, is racing as well as ever and will love the wet conditions and the return to his home track. Not Doubtful has won four races at Tuncurry, including three over the 1200m. “He still got a zest for racing and is going as well as he ever has – he was hitting the line as well as anything at Port Macquarie last time out,” said Evans. “He handles all track conditions, loves it here at Tuncurry and I expect him to be very hard to beat on Sunday.” Not Doubtful narrowly missed out at his most recent Tuncurry outing three starts back on September 8 when he just failed to hold off He’sprettycool in a 1200m Benchmark 53 Hcp. He has since run well in two starts at Port Macquarie, including his latest third to Harvard Graduate and General Sepoy in a Benchmark 55 Hcp (1210m) on October 7. Evans also believes Sunday’s wet ground and the rise in distance will benefit Maestro Tom in the Benchmark 70 Hcp (2100m). The former New Zealand galloper has had nine starts for Evans since joining his stable late last year. He won at Tuncurry at his third run for Evans back on January 14 then at his next start on January 28 was just beaten at huge odds by Madame de Ban in a TAB Highway at Rosehill. Maestro Tom hasn’t placed in four starts this preparation but Evans is looking forward to stepping him up to the 2100m on heavy ground on Sunday. “His past couple of runs were better than they look on paper,” he said. “Getting up to the 2100m on the heavy track on Sunday will suit him down to the ground. This race at Tuncurry looks ideal for him.” Maestro Tom hasn’t seen a heavy track since he’s been in Australia, but he was a winner in those conditions earlier in his career back in New Zealand. Apprentice Chelsea Ings, who claims 2kg, takes the ride on Maestro Tom on Sunday. Evans is leaning to starting The Free World in the Benchmark 55 over 1200m if he gains a run. The Free World caught the eye first-up at Port Macquarie on September 24 when he stormed home late to finish third in Class 1 Hcp (1206m). Leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees landed a treble at the previous Tuncurry meeting on September 8 and will have a number of key runners again at Sunday’s eight-race program. Lees accepted with Chalmers (3YO Maiden), Ivory Jane (Maiden Plate), General Sepoy (Benchmark 55), Face Like Thunder (Benchmark 70), Mr Tindall (Class 1 Hcp) and Bochy (Benchmark 60). Face Like Thunder, unbeaten in two starts at Tuncurry and two runs of soft ground, is coming off a last-start win at Port Macquarie on October 7. Lees’ apprentice Louise Day, who has built a good association with the mare, partners her again on Sunday. View the fields and form (including race replays) for Sunday's Tuncurry meeting here.

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