By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and rail out 5m from 800m to WP.
|Race 1 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (2200m):|
The traditional start over the staying trip on a firm track that may get some rain shapes ideally for improving five-year-old 4. Man Of Heart peaking fourth-up over a significantly longer journey. Has worked home okay from well back in three runs this prep, and is bursting now for a real distance test, especially with some weight relief and winkers going on for the first time.
Dangers: Home tracker 1. Velvet Lady is up sharply in weight after a fair closing run in the deeper Cessnock Cup, and winkers are also a key addition. Honest mare 3. Sacred Girl is very fit well into the prep, and another one looking for this longer trip; while both 2. Our City behind a last start win in a similar lineup at Dubbo; and 5. Kikapow fourth-up over further; can run into the minor money.
How to play it: Man Of Heart to win
|Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1000m):|
The first of the short course affairs looks the domain of three-year-old 1. Ferro Vero resuming for a second prep with a 2kg claim, and trained on the track. Showed penty hitting the line in three runs to launch his career back in late autumn, and has been tuned up for this with two progressive trials, bolting in the latest at Muswellbrook. The one to beat.
Dangers: Improving 2. Master Miyagi boxed on until the final couple of strides heavily backed when resuming, and again drawn to roll forward and give a big sight. Gap to the rest headed by lightly raced 6. Invasive Dreams back at home second-up; while honest filly 5. Dubai Bound has placed in all four runs this prep, and is better suited back on the bigger track.
How to play it: Ferro Vero to win
|Race 3 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1300m):|
Now for a Heat of the Rising Star, and underrated provincial mare 6. Adelinda represents big value fourth-up off a five week break. Has finished off her last two runs here strongly up to deeper CL3 company, and gets some weight relief after the new rider's claim.
Dangers: Provincial filly and ultra impressive first-up winner from off speed, 7. Bangetta will likely jump a clear cut favourite, but still threatens to be under the odds going up 3kg. Another provincial visitor 2. Angara is right in the hunt second-up from a sound trailing draw. Big gap to the rest
How to play it: Adelinda each way
|Race 4 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Like improving metro four-year-old 4. Lehndorff up in distance at the right time second-up. Worked home nicely when resuming in CL1 provincial company, and into a weak affair here after some main rivals came out.
Dangers: Consistent local 5. Press The Pedal draws to get a cosy run on speed fifth-up; while 9. Always In didn't get the best of runs second-up at Wyong; and also drew to find a handy trail.
How to play it: Lehndorff to win
|Race 5 CLASS 1 HCP (900m):|
The scamper trip here is well made for very capable metro filly 5. Satin And Silk resuming behind two forward metro trials. Drawn ideally to utilise superior tactical speed, and the Snowden stable has shown its hand placing her over this "chute" course.
Dangers: Big watch on ex-Victorian mare 3. Everylittle Breeze who resumes for the new Todd Howlett stable off two progressive trials. The third of the prominent fresh runners is 8. Split Decision resuming for only her fourth start behind two impressive trials for the Matthew Smith stable, and won on debut back in late May when backed from $6.00 into $4.00. Be shocked if one of these three don't win, but watch the betting on locally-trained 9. Harbour Gold who returns home after a poor third start run as a solid favorite.
How to play it: Satin And Silk to win
|Race 6 MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):|
The first-up provincial run of lightly raced metropolitan filly 9. Figment makes her the clear measuring stick in what is now a thin race. Fitter and well placed under the set weight conditions carrying only half kilo over the limit.
Dangers: Plenty of them headed by well bred 5. Bucareli Bay who resumes as a gelding off an easy trial. Good value around 10. Godelba who has charged home late in his last two, and is drawn to find cover back in the field. Include in all exotics 2. Dark Vador who shapes over the odds first-up with a 3kg claim; while 1. Bit Of A Step second-up heads the rest.
How to play it: Figment to win
|Race 7 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):|
Same set weight affair for the maidens over a furlong further, and at the big value, with provincial three-year-old 5. Oakfield Hawk ahead of just his second start. Liked the way he made late ground on debut at Muswellbrook behind a smart winner, and being by Dundeel will relish a bit more ground and the big sweeping run home.
Dangers: Naturally, more fancied stablemate 4. Naahro is a big threat after finishing hard, first-up behind the talented Invincible Spy over this trip 24 days ago. The market will tell a story with Hellbent filly 10. Angel Down on debut for the Waterhouse-Bott stable off two quiet trials. Include 14. Way To Divine down in weight third-up; in all exotic plays.
How to play it: Oakfield Hawk each way
|Race 8 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1100m):|
Toughest and most open race on the program is saved for last. Local four-year-old 1. Aquarter can be hard to catch, but he has ability, and looks ready to hit his straps third-up despite drawing wide. Can settle closer here over a furlong further after two solid enough closing runs back, and looks reasonably well treated at the weights after the young rider takes 3kg off. Over the odds.
Dangers: Must include 2. Midnight Dream who has been around the mark since late August, and finished off well 15 days ago behind the promising Smart And Dapper. Home tracker 6. Shikanic with a senior jockey back on; improving 8. Climate Control second-up with a key gear change; and 9. King Rupert deep into the prep; can all run into the money.
How to play it: Aquarter to win
R2 1. FERRO VERO
R5 5. SATIN AND SILK
R7 5. OAKFIELD HAWK