By Neil Evans
Track likely Soft 6/7 with rain increasing and Rail out 1m for Showcase meeting
|Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):|
We start with the maidens on a track that may face a couple of downgrades. Keen on improving three-year-old 3. Flying Scotsman who was heavily backed at good odds before finishing off well in a handy provincial maiden. Hard fit and parks right behind the speed.
Dangers: Local three-year-old 5. Kanalaide finished all too late at his second start, and extra ground is a natural plus for a three-year-old by Adelaide, but drawing the inside around a tighter circuit doesn't do him any favours at the price. Watch the betting on Scone mare 8. Front Row Ticket who drops back significantly in distance seven weeks between runs. Include 4. I'm Savvy fourth-up in wider exotics.
How to play it: Flying Scotsman to win and quinella 3 and 5. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 2 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE 1600m:|
A few here that are well over the odds headed by provincial three-year-old 6. Oakfield Blackhawk who scored a dominant win here over this trip at only his third start. Will roll forward from a middle gate, and drops 1.5kg for a race that's only fractionally harder.
Dangers: Improving three-year-old 8. Switch Play will relish getting out to the mile after doing his best work late second-up in a race with more depth; while four-year-old 4. Scatman has been okay in his last couple after a dominant maiden win three runs back.
How to play it: Oakfield Blackhawk each way. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 BENCHMARK 66 HCP (1600m):|
Open race. Home track four-year-old 7. Manseneta has been given four weeks since failing to finish off in a tougher Highway at Randwick. Has trialled since, and with an important 3kg claim, can hit back hard.
Dangers: Consistent mare 5. Cecilia went close in a provincial BM 64 before holding on okay in Highway grade. Back up in weight for this, but some doubt on her running out a strong mile; while seven-year-old 6. Weather Channel is on the next line.
How to play it: Manseneta to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 4 COUNTRY MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
No loafing here, and progressive filly 10. Minniti can finally break through after four successive placings this prep behind some smart sprinters. Has enough speed to roll across from the wide draw, and right at home on a rain-affected surface.
Dangers: Big watch on Swiss Ace three-year-old 18. Polylithic who looked sharp winning a trial. Expect a forward first-up run from 2. Gilded Crown who has trialled okay and relishes rain-affected ground. Another one from Scone, 3. Lord Bronn is still a maiden after 10 starts, but has been placed seven times. The fourth-up run at home was good enough to figure here down 3kg after the claim.
How to play it: Minniti to win. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 5 MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Another very testing sprint, with only a small field going around now. Like improving Scone mare 8. Kadanga Miss third-up and down in weight. Right at her peak now and bred to get through heavy conditions.
Dangers: Freshened-up filly 7. Love Is In The Air will get a soft run from the inside gate. Has trialled okay, and gets a nice weight drop from her second start in provincial grade. Keep safe local filly 4. Mooki Beauty who is bred to thrive in the wet at her third start.
How to play it: Kadanga Miss to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 OPEN HCP (1200m):|
Smart home track four-year-old 9. Anethole holds all the races here second-up off a six week break. Hit the line powerfully in a Highway at Rosehill, and is terrifically in at the weights dropping 3.5kg after the claim.
Dangers: LocaL mare 7. Cassy's Sister is tough, and won the Jardel Cup here three runs back at good odds.
How to play it: Anethole to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 7 CLASS 3 HCP (1400m):|
Lightly raced local three-year-old 4. Levi's Storm can stamp himself as one of the better sprinter/milers in country NSW. Ran good time in destroying a handy CL1 field here nearly six weeks back, and has been kept ticking over via two open class trials, winning the latest. Carries the minimum weight after a 3kg claim.
Dangers: Progressive three-year-old 5. Oakfield Prince can run the quinella after finishing best to win a CL2 third-up. Include 2. Charvet who will likely get back from the tough draw, but capable of storming home with blinkers back on. Consistent mare 8. Auntie Monnie dropping sharply in weight; and three-year-old 6. One Star Shining shooting for three straight wins up in grade; are best of the rest.
How to play it: Levi's Storm to win and quinella 4 and 5. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1000m):|
A stack of chances in the closing sprint. Loved the way progressive and lightly raced three-year-old 9. Elusive Babbz returned off a lengthy break with a dominant maiden win as a hot favourite at Muswellbrook. Has tactical speed, and bred to plough through rain-affected ground.
Dangers: Include 10. Okudah who resumes for a new stable without publicly trialling, but ran three consecutive thirds last prep in similar company. Local five-year-old 2. Aytobe hasn't won for a long time, but has a near 50 percent place rate from 17 starts. Resumes off a forward trial with winkers off. Stablemate mare 3. Belitsa recovered quickly from an ordinary start to win a CL3 when well supported, but more depth here and drew a very tricky barrier. Keep safe the third of the Cody Morgan-trained runners 7. Trumped Up who steps up in class. Has been ultra consistent scraping home to win his maiden at Scone, holding off a smart one who then bolted in next start.
How to play it: Elusive Babbz each way. Odds and Evens: Split
R4 10. MINNITI
R6 9. ANETHOLE
R8 9. ELUSIVE BABBZ