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Neil Evans's Selections For Tamworth (Friday)

By Neil Evans

Track is a Good 4 and rail True so should be fairly even early before late trend wider.

Race 1, 12:25pm ALLSOPP SIGNS 3YO MAIDEN HANDICAP (1200m)

We kick off a strong card with a competitive sprint for the three-year-olds. Armidale filly 1. Vinaigrette ($2.70 with TAB) from the Stirling Osland stable might be on her last chance with punters, but she's only missed a place once in her last five. Was strong late here behind a smart one last start coming from an awkward position. Looks well treated under this weight scale, and hard fit can finally break through.

Dangers: Improving Muswellbrook filly 3. Dancing Dollar ($2.30 favourite) was sound to the line resuming at Scone, although will need to slot in from a wide draw. Include Wyong gelding 5. Sapphires Son ($5) who was okay also first-up in that same race at Scone, and wasn't far off some promising sprinters last prep; while Scone filly 8. Confinement ($12) disappointed second-up at Mudgee, but can improve sharply here from a good trailing draw.

How to play it: Vinaigrette to win
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 2, 1:05pm OFF THE TRACK NSW MAIDEN PLATE  (1000m)

Still with the maidens at set weights. Former Victorian mare 10. Peroxide Blonde ($2.50 fav) has been off the scene for a year but has her first run for the Stephen Jones stable at Scone off two nice trials. Was competitive over longer trips last prep, and looks tuned up well for her NSW debut.

Dangers: Liked the way local 3YO 1. Crackerjack Kenny ($4.40) hit the line from well back second-up at Grafton, although his back luck drawing wide gates continues.

How to play it: Peroxide Blonde to win
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 3, 1:40pm TAB.COM.AU MAIDEN HANDICAP (1400m)

Only in his first prep, but Newcastle 3YO 1. Essoess ($2.80 fav) from the Mark Minervini yard is the most talented runner here coming off two fast-finishing efforts. Has to overcome a tough draw first time at this track, but trainer has applied the blinkers, and extra ground suits.

Dangers: Muswellbrook filly 13. Tariff Trump ($8) finds an easier maiden after being outclassed at Scone and previous form reads well; while expect sharp improvement from Armidale 3YO 3. Out To Lunch ($13) at fifth start.

How to play it: Essoess to win
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 4, 2:20pm THE PARSEE CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1200m)

Good quality race and a few strong chances headed by progressive 3YO gelding 2. Two Up ($3.70) from the Newcastle stable of David Atkins who just missed in the heavy at Port Macquarie before charging home from a mile back to win a similar race at Scone as a hot favourite. Has quickly paid the handicapper's price up to 61kg, but is promising and will go on to win bigger races.

Dangers: Smart local filly 1. Cassy's Sister ($3.50) had no luck resuming from a wide draw at Moree when heavily backed, and she can bounce back at home from a better draw. Was scratched from last Saturday's Highway because of the heavy track, and last prep was good enough to take on Listed provincial company at only her fourth start. Newcastle filly 5. Cool Missile ($3.10 fav) stuck on strong after leading at Taree, and while there's more depth here, she's made good progress in her first prep. Be shocked if the winner comes outside those three, but Newcastle mare 6. Ducale ($7) wasn't far off Two Up second-up in that same race, and Wyong 7YO 7. Texas Tycoon ($13) can improve sharply second-up off a long break and down in weight.

How to play it: Two Up to win; quinella 1 and 2; and first four 1,2/1,2,5/1,2,5,6/1,2,5,6,7
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 5, 2:55pm GREAT NORTHERN CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1000m)

Back to the scamper trip, and promising home track 3YO gelding 1. Farmer's Friend ($5) from the Cody Morgan yard only needs an even dose of luck resuming from the wide draw to be the one to beat. Should have won on debut at Scone before quickly making amends in dominant fashion running a record. Has had two quiet trials and the blinkers come off.

Dangers: Newcastle filly 3. Espresinno ($5) was okay first-up in a deeper race at home and will find this easier from a better draw. Fellow Novocastrian, 2YO 6. Areya Tuchuzy ($3.20 fav) landed a big betting move with a tough maiden win here at only his second start. Wyong 2YO filly 8. Rose Sauvage ($11) resumes off a handy trial and won the Boot Prelude at Coonamble in autumn to cap her last prep. Stablemate 3YO to top selection 5. Time For Don ($7.50) resumed with a fighting front-running maiden win here, but this is a decent step up.

How to play it: Farmer's Friend to win and box trifecta 1,3,6,8
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 6, 3:35pm RAPID CLEAN CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1400m)

Same grade, but out in distance for a wide-open affair. Improving Newcastle mare 5. Stratacheva ($7.50) again from the Atkins stable has been doing her best work late all prep without winning and drops down here in grade. Will need to find cover from a wide draw, but a much stronger rider takes over, and she can charge over the top at good odds.

Dangers: Liked the way Scone 3YO 2. Contango ($3.50 fav) controlled the race and careered away to win second-up at Muswellbrook and the extra trip is right up his alley. Rival Scone filly 11. Stellar Blaze ($4) has loomed to win her last two when hard in the market, but just found a couple stronger over the final stages. This is as far as she wants, but hard fit after four runs this prep. Another Scone filly 3. Entreat ($4.20) fought hard for a deserved maiden win here after being challenged down the straight. That came after three straight seconds, and she couldn't be fitter. Newcastle 3YO 7. Reuben James ($12) was a dominant maiden winner three runs back before dropping out a long way at Scone this grade last start. Drawn better, and dropping back from the mile are plusses, but would need to be at his very best.

How to play it: Stratacheva each way and trifecta 2,5,11/2,3,5,7,11/2,3,5,7,11
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 7, 4:10pm SKY ACTIVE BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP (1600m)

Most open race on the card, with a stack of chances. Capable Gosford 4YO gelding 4. Charlie's Law ($7.50) from the Greg McFarlane stable hasn't done a lot in three runs back but has had little luck when it's counted. Jumps sharply in weight, but this is a significant drop in quality, and drawn to get enough cover. Will be very strong late.

Dangers: Newcastle 6YO 3. Achi Baba ($5.50) has more to offer than his modest record suggests and has found the line well enough in deeper races of late. Draws to get a good trail around midfield, and senior rider goes on. Consistent Quirindi 5YO 6. Bulletson ($4.80 equal fav) bolted in a weaker race at home two runs back before powering home to just miss this grade at Moree, but also facing a tough task from the outside barrier; while Scone 3YO 7. Shame Warned ($4.80 eq fav) has a sound record at this track, and back to the mile suits from the inside draw.

How to play it: Charlie's Law each way and trifecta 3,4,6/3,4,6/3,4,6,7
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 8, 4:50pm KOSCIUSZKO TICKETS ON SALE BENCHMARK 66 HANDICAP (1000m)

We close with a good competitive sprint. Talented 4YO Gosford gelding 1. Liberty Sun ($3.30 fav) again from the McFarlane stable only has to relax and use a handy draw to be the one to beat, resuming off two quiet trials. Has superior early speed, especially on firmer footing.

Dangers: Scone 3YO 2. Golden Avenger ($5) felt the pressure late resuming in a similar race at Mudgee, but the drop back to 1000m second-up is a plus. Home track filly and former Victorian 7. The First Of May ($5.50) powered home to miss by a whisker first-up in a BM 58 at Scone despite drifting in betting, although will need to be good taking on some handy ones here from a wide draw.

How to play it: Liberty Sun to win
Odds and Evens: Split

BEST BETS:
R4 2. TWO UP
R8 1. LIBERTY SUN

BEST VALUE:
R7 4. CHARLIE'S LAW

View the final fields with full form & race replays for Tamworth here

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