By Neil Evans
Track expected Good 3 and rail True
|Race 1 FILLIES & MARES MAIDEN HCP (1300m):|
We start with the girls on what will be a firm surface. Keen on Scone filly 3. Lapseki first-up off a smart trial win over 1200m, with the blinkers added.
Dangers: Improving provincial filly 5. Loburn Lass didn't get much room or luck from the inside draw resuming at Port. Drawn further out, she can roll across and take charge of this and prove hard to run down. Expecting local three-year-old 4. Desmos to bounce back on the firming track after battling on rain-affected ground; while 11. Ourasianprincess is still chasing that first win ahead of her 34th start, but carries her lightest weight in a long time from the inside draw.
How to play it: Lapseki to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
Lapseki wins a trial at Scone on March 31
|Race 2 COLTS, GELDINGS & ENTIRES MAIDEN HCP (1300m):|
Now the boys' edition, and it's a trickier affair. Expect they'll take a sit in behind with four-year-old 14. Warphil this time after he was taken to the front here a fortnight back. Drops sharply in weight and if he reproduces anything like a strong closing effort in a deeper maiden two runs back, he'll be hard to hold out. Prefers it dry too.
Dangers: Scone three-year-old 2. Iciafox has had four mixed and fairly plain runs this prep, but the form around is okay for a race like this. Draws the inside, with blinkers off, and the "Raging Bull" booked to ride is a big plus. Honest four-year-old 4. Flying Euros has been threatening to break through for as long as 'Adam' was a boy, and his best form is on softer tracks, so will need to find plenty from a wider gate; while improving 3. Scatman is on the next line dropping in weight.
How to play it: Warphil to win and box exacta 2,4,14. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 3 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1900m):|
Keen on emerging Tamworth filly 10. Strelitzia who is well placed getting out to this trip fourth-up from a soft draw. Ran home to just miss at Gunnedah, and the winner has since won his next two at BM 58 level.
Dangers: This also sets up well for improving four-year-old 1. Battle Guardian who is hard fit, and ready to win back on firmer ground. Closed from well back here in a similar race last start, and under-rated Inverell stable has tinkered with the gear. Progressive four-year-old 2. China Grove landed the prize in his first run for a new local stable after switching from Victoria. Sat behind the speed that day, and will employ similar tactics coming over from a wide draw over more ground.
How to play it: Strelitzia each way and box exacta 1,2,10. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):|
Plenty of chances in this one at set weights. Like Coffs three-year-old 3. Latin Dayz who has been right on the winner's heels in his last two, draws to find a nice trail, and was scratched from Grafton on Tuesday to run here.
Dangers: Lightly raced Scone three-year-old 4. Quan didn't fire a shot resuming in a stronger maiden, but better placed here on firmer ground. Home track filly 12. Pump It Up resumes without officially trialling, but expected to produce fresh and draws the inside barrier. Include in exotics 13. Velvet Star on debut for a leading country stable; and 1. Aussie Mythology who has just been edged out in two weaker maidens.
How to play it: Latin Dayz to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 CLASS 1 HCP (1100m):|
One of the toughest and more open battles on the program. Lightly raced Scone mare 7. A Room Somewhere hasn't started since the last day of winter, but looks ready to return off a strong trial in which she sat wide off the speed and cruised through the line under a tight hold. This is only her second prep for the Brett Cavanough yard after switching from the Joe Pride stable.
Dangers: Progressive Tamworth three-year-old 4. Tools Down is the likely leader and a big threat. Was a dominant fresh winner here two runs back before only collared late in a similar race nine weeks between runs. Under-rated four-year-old 1. Lancer can figure second-up down in class despite drawing off the track. Improving 5. Flying Banjo is over the odds second-up coming out of that same race as Tools Down when making some late ground; while watching the betting on resuming four-year-old 3. Pocket Pistol off a quiet trial with the blinkers back on.
How to play it: A Room Somewhere to win and quinella 4 and 7. Odds and Evens: Split
A Room Somewhere runs second in a trial at Scone on March 31
|Race 6 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1100m):|
Strong race for this grade. If progressive Tamworth mare 4. Bethpage can slot in from a wide barrier, she can make it three wins from her last four. Bolted in her maiden three runs back before close-up in handy CL1 for a new stable, and then swept home to beat Tools Down who goes around as a big fancy in the previous race.
Dangers: Tough mare 8. Lagarde has only missed a place once in six fresh runs, and looks well placed from a low draw and with a 2kg claim. Provincial five-year-old 1. In Fiore drops back from a solid closing effort in superior class at Mudgee, although has to carry 60kg on a tighter track. Coffs four-year-old 5. Moonhawk is as honest as they come, and only missed narrowly resuming at home in heavy going. Draws to get a nice trail just behind the speed but whether he has a knockout punch against some of these is debatable. Scone five-year-old 3. Military Bay has a 25 percent winning strike rate from 29 starts, and improved sharply second-up, although significantly more depth here.
How to play it: Bethpage to win and trifecta 1,4,8/1,4,8/1,3,4,5,8. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 CLASS 2 HCP (1400m):|
Plenty of chances here headed by Scone four-year-old 3. Photogenic who has hit the line well in his last two, and draws to get plenty of cover off the speed.
Dangers: Include Coffs three-year-old 6. Full Press who charged home to land his maiden here, and drops 3kg for this tougher test; while local filly and dominant last-start maiden winner 7. Kingstar Bullet is down in weight at her fourth start.
How to play it: Photogenic to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1300m):|
Wide open contest to finish. Keen at the value on Scone four-year-old 1. The Snooperstar back in distance and getting back on firmer footing. Chased hard in similar grade at Dubbo two runs back before caught in the worst part of the track in a stronger race at Muswellbrook. Big weight but draws to get a lovely run right behind the speed.
Dangers: Progressive three-year-old 2. Alpha Go bolted in at the Gold Coast before missing narrowly in stronger grade at Ipswich, and there was a big gap back to third. Has speed and will likely lead around this circuit. Tough four-year-old 3. I'm On Break is a good weight carrier, and also has enough early speed to sit right on the leader's hammer; while included in exotics 9. Lord Magnussen who has hit the line hard in his last couple, and suited back out to this trip; and improving mare 7. Righthere Rightnow who won here second-up beating both 3 and 9.
How to play it: The Snooperstar each way and trifecta 1,2,3/1,2,3,7,9/1,2,3,7,9. Odds and Evens: Odds