By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s Wyong meeting. The track is expected to be good and the rail is out 3m.
|Race 1 – 2:00PM OPENSHORE PTY LTD HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
A short priced favourite, first-up for a year, to start the day but it’s hard to tip against him. We’re talking about 1. Montreal, now a gelding. On what he showed in his first prep he has more than enough credentials to mark him clearly the horse to beat. Sat wide and was too good for Improvement on debut then went under as a $2.70 favourite at Rosehill. That was December 3 last year and he obviously had an issue earlier this year as he trialled in May but didn’t reappear until his nice trial win at Randwick a couple of weeks ago. Probably finds the lead, or outside the lead, and goes on top.
Dangers: 4. Full Of Beans shrugged off the maiden status with a strong finishing win at Orange in what’s likely a confidence booster. How that translates to a Wyong meeting remains to be seen but she’s only had the two starts, has race fitness and 5.5kg from the top weight to give her every chance to beat him. Watch for support for her and/or a drift on the favourite. 3. Yeas And Nays seemed to have her chance when resuming in a similar race at Hawkesbury but she has won over this course and will be fitter. 2. He’s Blessed was a Kembla maiden winner last prep and performed fairly first-up at the same track a month ago.
How to play it: Montreal WIN ($1.55 TAB Fixed Odds); Quinella with Full Of Beans.
Montreal easily winning his trial at Randwick – November 28
|Race 2 - 2:35PM GO TRAIN INDUSTRY PLATE (2100 METRES)|
I know there’s a $1.35 favourite here but I’m not keen to rush in at that price, there are certainly better $1.35 shots out there in the world. That said, I can’t tip against 5. Seine Net because she’s been consistent this time in though the punters are currently 2-1 down (she’s been favourite three times this prep for one win). Dominant at Hawkesbury then I thought she had her chance at Gosford behind Regine. Bred to handle the extra trip and probably wins the race but I’m not confident.
Dangers: 6. Merican is improving as the distances increase and while the second horse got the better of him late at Goulburn he boxed on evenly to run third when out to a mile. He’ll lap up the extra trip on what he’s shown to date and could jump out of the ground here. 4. I Am Baymax was safely held by the placegetters at Taree when up to 2000m but he did make ground from well back there and a smaller field might suit. He’s an 11 start maiden so it’s hard to give him much more of a push though. 1. Eyota finished strongly to win at Port Macquarie over 1500m then back 100m he worked home late at Scone. Sharp distance increase but appears to be looking for it though the bigger concern is he’s one from 19.
How to play it: Quinella Seine Net & Merican.
Seine Net’s last start second at Gosford - November 25
|Race 3 - 3:10PM POTTERS FLOORING METRO & PROV MDN (1600 METRES)|
I can’t understand why a race worth $40,000 in this class doesn’t attract more than five runners but five there are. I’m expecting improvement from 5. Royal Patriot how he’s out to a mile. Hit the line well from last on the turn at Canberra then at Kembla he was a bit one paced but stuck to his guns reasonably well just behind the placings. Adam Hyeronimus rides which suggests to me that he’ll be pushing forward looking for control. With that in mind I think he’s a good chance.
Dangers: 2. Teahupo’o made a handy enough debut in the same race as Royal Patriot where he ran fourth after being about the same all the way. Being by High Chaparral out of a Zabeel mare he’s looking for every bit of the 1600m and no surprise to see some improvement with the run under his belt. 3. Enlightened Boy is a little under the odds considering he’s been unplaced in all four starts and really did have his chance in a maiden at Wyong a couple of weeks ago. Could win given not a lot of depth here but others have more upside for mine.
How to play it: Royal Patriot WIN ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Royal Patriot and Teahupo’o in action at Kembla Grange – December 2
|Race 4 - 3:45PM WYONG EQUINE CLINIC PLATE (1350 METRES)|
4. Thrilled has proven costly with his last couple of defeats but he’s had genuine excuses and the form around him is fairly solid for a provincial maiden. Some concern that he had a minor temperature earlier in the week (reported to stewards) but the fact he's starting says he's fine. Three starts back he bumped into Pretty Fast who has won twice since then including a Listed race. Then at Newcastle he was shut out of a run and lost his chance behind Echo Jet who then went to Melbourne and won at midweek level. Last time at Goulburn he did a huge job to come from second last and finish runner-up on a leader dominated day. I think a slight distance increase is a plus.
Dangers: 2. Choice Harvest will be the one to beat Thrilled if that is to occur and he’s a serious threat. He really stuck to the task second-up at Kembla Gramge after racing on the speed and that suggests the extra trip will suit. Last time he tried beyond 1200m he ran fifth to Ace High and Unfortgotten. 7. Temolie is the query runner debuting at the 1350m after a couple of trials over shorter trips. She hasn’t jumped out of the ground in her trials but race day can be very different especially when they kick off over longer distances. If there’s any support she could run well. I can’t come up with much of a case for the others.
How to play it: Thrilled WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds).
Thrilled’s eye-catching second at Goulburn – November 26
|Race 5 - 4:20PM GUARDIAN PARTNERS HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Very interesting maiden and arguably the best race on the program. Bjorn Baker has a very strong hand and I’m leaning towards the debutante 6. Zabeel’s Choice who has won her last three trials, the most recent two in November in quite good style. With a bit of stoutness in the pedigree kicking off at 1200m should be ideal and she looks the type that can settle in the first half without any trouble. Sometimes trial form doesn’t stack up but she does look professional and that will take her a long way.
Dangers: 2. Spencer is now in the Baker yard after being switched from the Anthony and Edward Cummings stable between his October 17 trial and his December 5 hitout. He’s so far tended to trial better than he’s raced but there was merit in the latest one and watch for any support for him closer to start time. 5. Smart Enough has taken a bit of time to make it to the races having trialled for the first time a year ago and then in August before her latest being a nice third in a Rosehill heat on November 24. Another to watch for a bit of a push from the betting. 1. The Patrician was no match for the winner first-up but did continue his consistent form with another placing at Hawkesbury so can show up and a watch on 3. Boca Grande whose latest trial was solid and Kim Waugh did say she likes him from a future viewpoint. Read more about him here.
How to play it: Zabeel’s Choice WIN ($3.60 TAB Fixed Odds); save on Spencer ($2.50).
Zabeel’s Choice wins her latest trial at Rosehill – November 24
|Race 6 - 4:55PM HUDSON HOMES TOWN PLATE (1350 METRES)|
It’s possible this is a bit of a sucker tip but I can’t let 3. Francesco go around without me first-up right back in class after a consistent but frustrating winter prep where he threatened to win a couple of times in high city benchmark races. We’re talking horses like Pelethronius, Invincible Knight, King Darci, Comin’ Through and Special Missile. He’s had two 1200m trials and I thought he found the line very stylishly late in the second of them. If there’s enough tempo for him to settle comfortably in behind them, and he hasn’t forgotten how to win, then have a shot at them late he’s a good chance to finish over the top. Have to go each-way though.
Dangers: 2. Invincible George hasn’t done a lot wrong to date and while he wanted to hang in significantly second-up at Hawkesbury he got the job done. I wonder whether the tighter Wyong will suit him, especially drawn wide, but he’s very hard to fault given he’s pretty much hard fit now whereas his main threats aren’t. 1. Nothing Box went off the boil a little towards the end of last prep but his first six runs were ultra consistent including a dominant all the way first-up win. He won his second trial in very easy fashion and if he does go forward from the outside he can give a good account again. 5. Live To Dream was never in the hunt first-up a couple of weeks ago at this track and you just have to forget about the run in an on pace dominated race. More suitable trip here and she won second-up last time in so don’t be surprised if there’s a big lift from her. There are a couple more chances outside these too.
How to play it: Francesco E/W ($7.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Francesco’s closing third behind Nothing Box in a Warwick Farm trial – December 5
|Race 7 - 5:30PM MDA BUILT/DIVERSE BUILDING HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
Changed my mind a couple of times before settling on 1. Korodon who comes off a complete forgive run over this course a couple of weeks ago. He sat wide and was always chasing a tearaway leader who kept going to win. Prior to that he was quite unlucky not to finish much closer than 2.4 lengths third at Kembla Grange. He’s entitled to another chance coming back in grade.
Punters Intel: Korodon’s wide run saw him cover an extra 21.4m in running sixth at Wyong last start.
Dangers: 2. Cajetan hasn’t raced for a month though he was scratched from the last night meeting at Canterbury. Charged late to win first-up then bumped into a smart one in Unforgotten at Rosehill beating a subsequent city winner. Expect he’ll be up on the pace and is definitely a stumbling block. 4. Maddison Avenue has put a couple of nice efforts on end in midweek city company. She fought on quite well when on the speed running second to Baysa last time out and is sure to be in the mix again. Small query at the mile. 6. Graciousness is a last start maiden winner but her really struck her best form in the past month. Can’t see why she won’t run another honest race here.
How to play it: Korodon E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Korodon’s eye-catching first-up third at Kembla Grange – November 7