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Neil Evans' Tips For Grafton (Tuesday)

By Neil Evans

Track Soft 6 and Rail out 3m so should be fairly on-pace early before trending towards the outside, with likely showers

Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1710m):

Always a testing battle of tempo and timing over this journey, with most having already gone around plenty of times. Port Macquarie 3YO 6. Zubrowka has slowly improved as the distances have risen, and wasn't beaten far over shorter last start. Should be peaking fourth-up over suitable trip.

Dangers: Another 3YO 5. Ramrod is also improving in his first prep for leading stable; while local 4YO 4. There's Always One is still searching for a win at 23rd start, but has been close up around this trip in his last three, and hard fit for this.

How to play it: Zubrowka to win and box exacta 4-5-6.

Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1106m):

Good race. Expecting Coffs Harbour filly 12. Texas Target to bounce back here after a disappointing second run for her new north coast base when she didn't finish off. Previous run was good, and draws well for astute stable.

Dangers: Local mare 6. Sfilza has been banging down the door to win her maiden all prep, and this looks a shade easier. Lightly-raced Murwillumbah mare 3. Ser Ser Schon has continued to improve this prep and hit the line nicely last start in heavy ground. In terrific at the weights after rookie hoop's 4kg claim and draws the fence. Local 6YO mare 8. Valley Crossing is another honest sprinter who has gone close in her last couple, and if she runs up to her second behind Raay Of Time last start, will be in the finish. Keep a watch on resuming filly 10. I'm Fluent who didn't do much in the spring but trialled nicely for leading trainer/rider combination.

How to play it: Texas Target to win and trifecta 6-12/3-6-8-12.

Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1206m):

Open affair in a race that doesn't look to have a lot of speed. Port Macquarie gelding 2. Line Up Girls hit the line hard this trip at third-up run, and is close to breaking through. Draws to get a lovely trail midfield.

Dangers: Local gelding 5. Wotsizname was heavily backed last start in his first run for 11 months, and finished on just behind the place-getters. This looks no tougher so can improve, but has drawn the outside barrier. Expect Ballina filly 8. Allbutblack to improve after a solid fresh effort in her first run for eight months; while Murwillumbah gelding 1. Bosendi is better suited on firmer footing at second career run.

How to play it: Line Up Girls to win.

Race 4 OPEN HCP (1206m):

Local gelding 3. Dangta was heavily backed last start before controlling and winning a BM 78, and draws to do similar here. Still lightly raced for an 8YO and performs in all ground.

Dangers: Lismore gelding 1. Almas has chased hard from midfield in last two at BM 78 level, and despite weighted to his best, is better drawn here third-up to get plenty of cover before launching late. Gold Coast gelding 4. Diamonds Are took on some good metro company last year, and resumed off two smart trials. Form is sharp first-up, but has drawn an awkward barrier. Stablemate to Almas, 7YO gelding 11. Water Boy jumped significantly in grade last start, but hit the line nicely behind Dangta. Goes up 2kg. Include Coffs Harbour gelding 12. Youwaitandsee in exotics at big odds. Comes out of that same Dangta race when working to the line from well back, and can finish off again with a decent tempo set up front.

How to play it: Dangta to win.

Race 5 F & M BM 58 HCP (1106m):

2. Lobban Hood has been a consistent performer over the five furlongs, and bolted in at home this grade last start. Draws inside and rider crucially claims 4kg.

Dangers: Local mare 5. Ilia hasn't won for a long time, but is suited getting back in trip and on better footing. Draws out, but has natural early speed. Liked the last-start effort of Coffs Harbour mare 10. Mazurka who got home nicely in a similar race after being well backed at a big price.

How to play it: Lobban Hood to win.

Race 6 C, G & E BM 58 HCP (1106m):

Keen here on locally-trained gelding 2. Longtga second-up. Flew home late resuming over shorter trip at Coffs Harbour, and only career win was this track.

Dangers: Ballina gelding 1. Rothbury was outclassed third-up stepping to a CL6 at Eagle Farm, and is much better suited back to this grade despite the big weight. Coffs Harbour gelding 4. Social Conquest was consistently around the placings last year before a long break, but resumed with an even effort at CL2 level when hard enough in the market.

How to play it: Longtga to win.


Longtga runs fourth at Coffs Harbour on March 4

Race 7 CL1 HCP (1410m):

Good depth in this, and a few that should win better races. One of those clearly is improving 3YO colt 1. Hayburner who won his maiden as odds-on fancy two back at Ballina before a solid effort just behind the place-getters at the Gold Coast, and this looks a shade easier.

Dangers: The record of local 4YO gelding 2. Tesarc doesn't look flash, but he's continually found the line around this grade, and is hard fit after four runs. Include Casino gelding 4. Delius who finished hard under a bigger weight to win his maiden in heavy ground last start, and looks ready to take the next step.

How to play it: Hayburner to win and quinella 1 and 2.


Hayburner runs fourth at the Gold Coast on March 9

Race 8 CL2 HCP (1710m):

Open contest to finish. Like the placement of Coffs Harbour 4YO 4. Exorbitance getting out in trip third-up from the good draw. Form was good enough late last winter to take on a Randwick Highway where he wasn't beaten far.

Dangers: Well bred Murwillumbah mare and last start winner this trip 5. Glamorous Miss is on the rise, and looks a clear threat off her last couple of runs. Murwillumbah gelding 3. Westrock hasn't been far away last couple in BM 58 grade, and thrown in after rider's 4kg claim, but also has an awkward barrier.

How to play it: Exorbitance each way.

All the fields, form and replays for Tuesday's meeting at Grafton

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