By Neil Evans
Track improving to Soft 6 and rail True
|Race 1 2 & 3YO MAIDEN HCP (1000m):|
A big and open field of largely inexperienced youngsters gets us rolling. Winning Rupert two-year-old 7. Oblivion led for a long way on debut here before run down by a well backed promising one. Drawn well again, and with natural improvement looms as the one to beat.
Dangers: Debutant filly 8. Robarge by little-known Group 2-winning sire Highly Recommended won a trial impressively on heavy ground at this track, and is well over the odds. Keep safe Denman three-year-old 5. Belleofthehunter who has trialled okay since an average effort at Coffs six weeks back; while included in exotics at big odds local two-year-old 12. Super Bound who debuts off a quiet trial with blinkers on.
How to play it: Oblivion to win and quinella 7 and 8. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1250m):|
Looking forward to the return of promising provincial filly 11. Ciccina off a six month spell. Did her best work late from way back on debut at Gosford, and fitted for this trip via two strong soft track trials.
Dangers: Per Incanto three-year-old 2. Cool Means resumes for a new provincial stable with blinkers removed. Disappointed as a heavily backed favourite on debut back in January, but has been strong through the line in two recent trials, and primed to show his best. Home four-year-old 1. Are We Good got home well in a handy maiden first-up, but has a tough draw to overcome here. Watch the market on two-year-old filly 14. Our Kiwi Princess who rushed home late on debut here when specked at a big price.
How to play it: Ciccina to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2000m):|
Strong and deep race for this combined grade. Improving provincial three-year-old 5. Imperial Grey is one of several getting out to this distance for the first time, but his recent efforts, and being by Dundeel out of a Japanese mare suggest the timing is spot on. Draws to get a soft run just behind the speed.
Dangers: Provincial four-year-old 2. Finney has far more to offer than his modest record deep into the current prep suggests. Worked home okay in useful CL1 at Tamworth, and was scratched from Scone on Monday to run here. Also preferred here to Scone, tough filly 9. Desmos will have to slot in from a wide barrier, but she's had three mixed runs in and around this trip in five weeks, and is better when ridden with a sit. Keep safe Coffs three-year-old 14. No Pressure who is hard fit and desperate for the longer trip.
How to play it: Imperial Grey each way. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 CLASS 3 HCP (1250m):|
Open race with plenty of chances. Expecting lightly raced metro filly 4. Foxy Xenia to hit a second-up peak here after holding her ground in a stronger BM 72 at Canterbury. Blinkers have been added, and a drying track is a big plus.
Dangers: Tough Coffs five-year-old 1. Dollson has beaten all bar the winner in his last two, and is versatile enough to be ridden on or off the speed. Hawkesbury mare 5. Elenara was flat at the provincials after finding the line well in consecutive thinner country races. Herchances also improve the more the track dries out. Liked the way provincial mare 7. Mosht Up finished off behind a strongwinner in a handy BM 64, and the extra 150m will suit.
How to play it: Foxy Xenia to win and box trifecta 1,4,5,7. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 CLASS 2 HCP (1400m):|
Two runners stand above the rest. Progressive provincial filly 2. Linguee drops in grade fourth-up from two solid efforts, and two wins from five starts have both come on soft ratings, including her maiden at this track.
Dangers: Local three-year-old 5. Four Egos is one of the more improved gallopers in the region, and can go back-to-back up in grade. Covered ground but still easily overhauled a handy one at Grafton third-up, and his best form is clearly in soft going. Tough three-year-old 1. Elusive Babbz dug deep in the heavy at Tamworth to make it two wins from his last three, but taking on some slicker ones here; while good wet track last start winners 4. Lemaire and 7. Paxos Miss go in wider exotics.
How to play it: Linguee to win and quinella 2 and 5. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1000m):|
Tough and very open sprint. Lightly raced ex-Victorian provincial filly 12. Dulcima hit the ground running for the new stable, and can win again staying at the trip and carrying 1kg less for this tougher test.
Dangers: Any number headed by improving provincial three-year-old 3. Hay John who resumes off a 10-week break without publicly trialling, but comes to hand quickly and big-weight off-set by a 3kg allowance. Led all the way at Port last time at big odds. Capable mare 13. Memphis Squaw should have finished closer in a deeper race at Grafton when held up at a vital stage. Fit and well placed, but will have a job over this trip trying to get in from the wide gate. Keep safe improving filly 8. Whatyoulookingat who is over the odds second-up with a 3kg claim; and expect improvement from four-year-old 9. Sound And Vision dropping back from a tougher provincial grade.
How to play it: Dulcima each way and trifecta 3,12,13/3,8,9,12,13/3,8,9,12,13. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1600m):|
We finish with another open affair over the mile. Very forgiving of provincial three-year-old 7. McNair who covered a stack of ground third-up here in a similar race 11 days back, yet still found the line well. Better draw and more ground make him the one to beat.
Dangers: Progressive Coffs three-year-old 5. Mikado has returned with a bang this prep, leading all the way both starts, including a dominant win at Lismore 10 days ago. This is harder but he's still on the rise. Capable provincial mare 13. Endorphins has had a torrid time and very little luck in her last two. Draws wide, but a barrier blanket will be used in a bid to get her to jump better.
How to play it: McNair to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
R2 11. CICCINA
R7 7. McNAIR
R3 5. IMPERIAL GREY