By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for the Mudgee’s Newhaven Park Country Championships meeting.
|Race 1 - 12:55PM ELITE SAND & SOIL MAIDEN SHOWCASE HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
4. Dulcero looks set to peak now third up. The former Godolphin-trained mare was a well beaten favourite at Newcastle first up before being nailed on the line at Tamworth having made an early move in the run. Has the tactical speed to offset the wide draw.
Dangers: 1. Lake Tai should improve on what he did at Newcastle on debut when starting hard in the market. He’ll need to given he was beaten by eight lengths but he did his best work late so out to 1400m certainly looks to suit.
How to play it: Dulcero WIN ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
|Race 2 - 1:35PM ST. GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS BENCHMARK 66 SHOWCASE HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
2. Velaro hasn’t had much go his way recently. He should have won three back at Gilgandra, a race won by 1. Universal Thief while last start he got taken off the track by a rival. This is not a deep race and he gets the services of Hugh Bowman.
Dangers: That’s not to undersell the chances of Universal Thief who sets up well back to BM66 company after a fifth in the Quirindi Cup. That was five weeks between runs. The seven-year-old had been flying prior to that in various country cups.
How to play it: Velaro WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
|Race 3 - 2:10PM TAB LAWN PARTY BENCHMARK 66 SHOWCASE HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
3. Numbers Game was beaten out of sight at Wyong first up but he raced wide throughout and pulled up 3/5 lame. If that isn’t a case to forgive a horse, I don’t know what is! He did start $2.20 at provincial level. Back to country grade, he could very well bolt in.
Dangers: 1. One Pound has an awful draw to contend with but don’t underestimate her talent. The penny really dropped for this mare last preparation and she has trialled sweetly ahead of her return.
How to play it: Numbers Game WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
|Race 4 - 2:45PM DAD & DAVE'S TURF COUNTRY ONLY SHOWCASE MAIDEN PLATE (1200 METRES)|
5. Zarossa has changed trainers and is first up for 32 weeks but this four-year-old has really attacked the line in his two previous runs. Draws well and resumes over a suitable 1200m. Would love to see late market support to suggest he’s ready to go.
Dangers: Forgive 3. Unrestricted last start when he travelled wide and it’s an easy case to make as he ran second in his two runs prior, both from in front. Blinkers go back on. First starter 6. Expo Twenty Twenty trialled well enough to measure up on debut.
How to play it: Zarossa WIN ($6 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: EVENS
|Race 5 - 3:25PM SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS CLASS 1 & MAIDEN SHOWCASE PLATE (1600 METRES)|
4. Akasawa should have won last start at Muswellbrook, there is little doubt about that with the three-year-old getting into a jam at the 200m mark. Robbie Dolan does the steering second up and he looks well placed out to the mile to make amends.
Dangers: 10. Ladylovestogamble doesn’t have the upside of Akasawa but she’s close to another win. She'll drift back from the wide draw but the big field should generate enough speed for her to get her chance now fourth up.
How to play it: Akasawa WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
|Race 6 - 4:05PM SOUTHERN CROSS TURF CLASS 2 SHOWCASE HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
1. Activation is a talented galloper that Kody Nestor has flying. He is first up over a trip short of his best and is lumped with 61kg so there are few things against the four-year-old but he earns it being the highest rated runner in the race. Was unlucky not to win a Highway last campaign.
Dangers: Bjorn Baker's filly 8. Hybrid Theroy has drawn horribly but she tackles the easiest race she’s contested since bolting in on debut at Bathurst. Ran second to Salateen two back with reads well coming back to country company.
How to play it: Activation WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
|Race 7 - 4:45PM 2021 NEWHAVEN PARK CDRA COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIER (1400 METRES)|
12. Not Negotiating strikes this race in career best form for father-daughter combination Peter and Ashleigh Stanley. The five-year-old gave her rivals a start and a beating in the Championships preview at Bathurst three weeks ago, defying her big price. The market looks to have underestimated her chances again in this. Last preparation she won the Cotton Cup out to the mile so we’ll know she’ll be running right through the line at the end of 1400m. She didn’t have much luck last campaign either, despite winning two from six. The $600 purchase is versatile in its settling position too which could be significant in this as there doesn’t look to be a whole heap of speed.
Dangers: 10. Old Harbour is a line chaser. He is such an honest horse and with the benefit of the inside draw, should park just in behind the speed. He’ll run well because it’s all he knows. Hard fit front runner 3. Coupla becomes dangerous if he’s left alone in front, coming back from a dominant win over the mile. 11. Amy’s Shadow will be at the mercy of the shape of this race as imagine she is jagged back to near last from the draw and she only got warm at the end of 1300m first up. Will an extra 100m be enough? 1. Healing Hands faces the task of 59kg first up. He won the Mudgee qualifier last year but had two runs under his belt and less weight.
How to play it: Not Negotiating EACH WAY ($12 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
|Race 8 - 5:25PM EVERGREEN TURF BENCHMARK 58 SHOWCASE HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
5. Artie’s Aura couldn’t have done much more on debut at Dubbo putting near six lengths on her rivals. She is odds on again so she isn’t hard to find but she looks certain to charge through the grades for Kody Nestor.
Dangers: 2. Black Sunrise is holding his form well this time back and sets up to be in the money again while outsider 14. Pittsburgh can add some spice to the wider exotics if the favourite is a touch too skinny to back outright.
How to play it: Artie’s Aura WIN ($1.75 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT