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Neil Evans' Tips For Goulburn (Friday)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4 and rail out 7m.

Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (900m):

The maidens kick us off over the short course on a track drying out all the time. Randwick-based 4. Reluctance resumes as a gelding for only his second start behind two improving trials, and can pounce from a middle gate.

Dangers: Both debutant gelding 5. Zhivago by Russian Revolution who draws the inside; and another first starter from the Ryan-Alexiou yard at Rosehill, Trapeze Artist filly 8. Queen Calanthe behind two trials; can fill the placings.

How to play it: Reluctance to win

Race 2 CLASS 1 HCP (900m):

Staying at the distance, and talented country filly 3. Outback Angel resumes; and looks to have a mortgage on a weak and small field with the early hot favourite coming out.

Dangers: Improving filly 4. You Wish reloads off a debut win at big odds; and can run the quinella; while 9. Litvyak gets a big weight drop stepping up from picnic class.

How to play it: Outback Angel to win

Race 3 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (2145m):

Not much separates the leading contenders here, but home tracker 3. Denarau can break a frustrating and long run of outs, stepping back up to a longer and more suitable trip. Twice ran home well to beat all bar the winner over a mile in similar company, then disappointed after tracking the speed here last start. Drawn to get the right sort of run just behind the speed with cover, and this looks a race of less depth.

Dangers: Rival local 1. El Lago is honest, and draws to get a soft run around midfield. Consistent 2. Heir Jordan finished well to claim a Class 3 three starts back, and will relish the drop in grade here from a fair closing effort in CL3 Highway company at Randwick. Improving 7. Crushen Lass is the clear best of the rest.

How to play it: Denarau to win

Race 4 CLASS 3 HCP (1200m):

In what is a race of average depth for this class, tough and improving four-year-old 2. Nipotino can strike for the local Danielle Seib yard again, dropping down from an eye-catching closing run in a CL3 Highway. That came a fortnight after he ran home okay from the back in a similar Highway line-up, and given he can settle off the speed and do no work from the inside draw, only needs clear air from the 400m to run over them. Another one preferred here to the Kembla meeting on Thursday.

Dangers: Expecting a big first-up run from 4. Just Go Bang who draws low, and is unbeaten when fresh. Trained on the track, 3. Hello Jack improves sharply off a third-up freshening coming back a furlong in trip; while 1. Los Padres can run into the minor money second-up.

How to play it: Nipotino to win

Race 5 MAIDEN HCP (1300m):

Under-rated four-year-old 7. Kenseye Charmer is primed for an overdue win, and is in the right race to upset the early short priced favourite. Was well supported when hitting the line strong in a handy maiden two starts ago before peaking on the effort here 15 days ago. A drop in distance is crucial from a sound trailing draw, and he's fit and well placed carrying 1kg less.

Dangers: Naturally, well-touted 1. Valspar comes with a decent wrap, having his first outing for the new Albury yard since transferring up from the Hawkes base in Victoria. Has only raced once in the last 26 weeks, but looked sharp winning a trial, and winkers have come off. Gap to the rest headed by 5. Bedouin Bear down in weight fifth-up.

How to play it: Kenseye Charmer to win

Race 6 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1000m):

Tough home track four-year-old 3. Masters is drawn to win second-up over a bit more ground. Finished hard here from well off the speed when resuming in a handy Cl1, and in a race that's no harder, he surely settles closer in the run.

Dangers: Big watch on resuming 2. Princess Halo also having her first outing for the Donna Scott stable at Albury since arriving from Victoria. Progressed nicely in her initial prep last winter, winning at the third attempt, and was sound through the line in that same trial won by Valspapar who dominated early betting in the previous race. Include 1. Free State resuming; and 6. Sass 'N' Cheek third-up in wider exotic plays.

How to play it: Masters to win

Race 7 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1400m):

Provincial-based filly 4. Manhattan's is better than this grade, and can pounce fourth-up for a second career win. Was well fancied in betting when hitting the line from near last in a stronger provincial grade two starts ago before ridden too close and failing to run home at Hawkesbury 17 days ago. Likely to be ridden colder this time, finally given a shot in a thinner country race.

Dangers: Progressive frontrunner 1. Sidenay has never raced better, and shoots for a third straight win, although goes up sharply in weight. Keep safe 7. Doola Teela with a change of jockey; while both 6. The Gift and 9. Rhumbadu are capable of running into a place.

How to play it: Manhattan's to win

Race 8 MAIDEN PLATE (1500m):

Progressive metro three-year-old 6. Threatening wasn't far off defying his huge price in a deeper maiden at Hawkesbury thundering home late to beat all but the smart winner. That was only his second career start, and first time in the country under the same weight over 100m further here, adds up to a winning recipe.

Dangers: Despite drawing wide, 7. Aunty Rene is a big threat third-up if she can utilise her natural speed and get across; while 4. Presley and 13. Think Romance both progressing into their second starts; head the rest.

How to play it: Threatening to win

BEST BETS:
R4 2. NIPOTINO
R6 3. MASTERS

BEST VALUE:
R8 6. THREATENING

All the fields, form and replays for Friday's Goulburn meeting

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