By Neil Evans
Track improving to Good 4 and rail True
|Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):|
We kick off a strong program with the maidens. Newcastle filly 8. Dismissal has been costly for short price punters despite working home from well back in her last couple on heavy tracks. This is her first time on a firm surface, though, since last spring, and she gets in with a light weight after the new rider's 2kg claim. Ideally suited to the long sweeping run home.
Dangers: Improving 4. Sir Bawn finished well at Muswellbrook in what looms as a solid form race, and this is a nice progressive trip from a soft draw. Watch the betting on 5. Sir Diamond who comes out of that same Muswellbrook maiden behind Annyidea.
How to play it: Dismissal to win. Odds and Evens: Evens
Dismissal runs third at Coffs Harbour on April 1
|Race 2 BENCHMARK 66 HCP (1600m):|
Competitive stoush over the mile. Local mare 5. Holy Empress has never missed a place on her home track, and is drawn to get plenty of cover back in the field. Returns home off two fair provincial efforts, and is over the odds.
Dangers: No doubt progressive mare and last-start Canberra winner 4. Vivid Art will be hard to run down if she controls the race in front. Provincial six-year-old 2. Dashing 'N' Daring is a tough and consistent finisher around this trip, but likely needs it wetter; while 1. The Bald Eagle reaches his pet trip third-up, and big weight off-set with a 4kg claim.
How to play it: Holy Empress each way and quinella 4 and 5. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (900m):|
Back to the short course, and keen on Outreach three-year-old 2. Wedged having his first start for a strong local stable. Scored a dominant trial win where he sat well off the fence and coasted down the outside to win easy.
Dangers: Speedy provincial filly 3. Excelness has led and been run down late in two runs to start her career, and back to this distance looks a natural plus. Expect sharp improvement second-up on firmer ground from 8. Vibrant who was heavily backed resuming.
How to play it: Wedged to win and quinella 2 and 3. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1100m):|
Tough sprint with plenty of chances. Had to like the way well bred debutant filly 8. Orbital Express recovered from a poor start to hit the line in a trial here five weeks ago, and the winner then scored impressively on debut at Dubbo. She's by Zoustar out of the multiple Group-winning race mare Avoid Lightning.
Dangers: Improving colt 2. Magnitudo was only collared in the last few strides at Gosford, and will roll forward again. Tough four-year-old 1. Our Cousin Al hasn't missed a place in three runs this prep, and leading jockey sticks. Keep safe another local three-year-old 5. Croesus who comes off an even debut when hard in the market; while provincial filly 11. Yesmeena resumes off two trials, and was scratched from Coffs on Monday to run here.
How to play it: Orbital Express to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Big field again, but under-rated three-year-old 7. Casino Kid has been banging on the door all prep, and can break through fifth-up. Did his best work late here two runs back in a deeper race before chasing hard at Mudgee when well backed. Jockey change is significant from the wider draw.
Dangers: Randwick four-year-old 1. Battenburg was very good resuming off an 18-month break at Goulburn, driving home to win despite sitting wide with no cover. Was Group 1 placed in the spring of 2019, and step up to the mile is a natural progression. Improving four-year-old 3. Circus Bound is over the odds after a dominant provincial maiden win in heavy ground. Include in exotics 10. Liberty Fields who is hard fit; and local filly 11. Keen Contributer who drops in weight second-up.
How to play it: Casino Kid to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 6 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1400m):|
Strong race for this grade. Smart Newcastle filly 6. False Step returns to where she won convincingly on debut last spring over 1300m. Has been fitted with two trials, and regular rider sticks like glue.
Dangers: Tough four-year-old 5. Dr Copper has been in the placings in four of his last five, generally working home from off the speed. Not overly well treated at the weights, but is screaming to win a second race. Keep safe improving mare 1. Chapelis who is weighted to her best, but swept home to win a BM 66 two runs back. Honest six-year-old 3. The Outcast is a pure firm tracker, and over the odds from a soft draw.
How to play it: False Step to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 CLASS 2 HCP (1100m):|
Like home track four-year-old 2. Primal Scream second-up. Charged late to miss by a whisker resuming in a handy CL3, and hasn't missed a place from three second-up runs.
Dangers: Talented filly 7. Deepstar has bounced to the front and given nothing else a chance in two country runs this prep. Drawn to lead again, but meeting some better ones here, and she may hear the footsteps late. Local 3. Banju steps up in grade third-up after winning his maiden, and then close-up at Dubbo; while keeping safe 5. Last Chance Dance after fighting on well from the front behind a very promising one.
How to play it: Primal Scream to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Primal Scream runs second at Mudgee on April 4