By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Saturday’s Newhaven Park Country Championships meeting at Wagga. Selections based on a good track.
|Race 1 – 1:20PM NAUGHTIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
2. Northernero is building a very strong record and finished too well to score over this trip at Albury two weeks ago. Drawn similar gate here and should land in a forward spot again. Assuming he holds form that makes him hard to hold out.
Dangers: 6. Corazon De Oro won impressively over this course two starts ago before up to 1200m and 61kg, was softened up in the lead then swamped in the last 100m or so. Big run there, down 6.5kg and can give a sight. 1. Biscara is a big watch first-up with no public trial. Mixed her form last time in and most was on wet tracks. She does generally perform well fresh so watch the market for a pointer to her readiness. 3. Stand To Attention also hasn’t trialled officially but is trained in Victoria so may have had a jump out. Finds the leading jockey and commands some respect on that alone but also keep an eye on the betting.
How to play it: Northernero WIN ($3.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Northernero wins at Albury on February 4
|Race 2 – 1.55PM RIVERINA VOLKSWAGON PLATE (1000 METRES)|
6. Tap ‘N’ Run was a solid favourite on debut at Albury and had no luck at all with a wide run up near the speed. Kept coming to just go down in a very smart performance. Drawn a lot kinder this time so he doesn’t need to improve a lot to go one better in a competitive race.
Dangers: 1. Angry Liam showed improvement at his second start when specked in betting and he tried hard for a close third over this course. Had a wide run with cover there, drawn soft and gets Blaike McDougall so has strong claims. 2. Duck Egg is an interesting first starter who looked to do it without any effort running a close third in a trial here just over a week ago. Shade awkwardly drawn but on home track and well worth keeping safe. 3. Grand Lusitano has been costly at his last couple and while he was on the slower section at Sapphire Coast first-up he was still disappointing. Blinkers on, drops 2kg and drawn well onto a good track. No excuses.
How to play it: Tap ‘N’ Run WIN ($3.40 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Tap ‘N’ Run finishes second at Albury on February 4
|Race 3 – 2:30PM IRON JACK HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
3. Viking Power resumes without a trial but there was enough to like about his solid debut effort at Port Macquarie back in October to be very wary of him first-up. That was 1200m so kicking off over further looks ideal and any support should be noted.
Dangers: 2. Port Douglas might have been a beaten favourite at Canberra last time but he led and they came right to the outside so was at some disadvantage/ Drawn out but looks close to a win and has to be respected. 7. Tsarina started $41 at her debut on a heavy Sapphire Coast over the carnival and didn’t do a bad job despite beaten five lengths by Danzadel, who has won again since. Interesting to see how she goes on a good track. Could surprise. 9. Legal Zou ran well two starts ago at Yarra Valley then a big drifter and performed accordingly at Sale. Gate one and Blaike McDougall to ride keeps him under notice but will need to be at his best.
How to play it: Viking Power E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Viking Power runs fifth at Port Macquarie on October 9
|Race 4 – 3:05PM MAGIC MILLIONS MARCH YEARLING SALE MAR 15-16 PLATE (1200 METRES)|
2. Jandaw Spar looked quite unlucky on debut but regardless it was a big effort after blowing the start to miss by less than half a length. Liked how he continued to finish the race off suggesting 1200m will be right up his alley. If he steps away with them he will take beating.
Dangers: 10. Dantain’s Magic was a big price at hers debut and fair to say she didn’t get a clear crack at them up on the fence so the 1.2 length margin says it was a handy effort. Fitter for that and stays under notice. 11. Fourmadec made her run down the outside fence as she won her Canberra trial a couple of weeks ago in pretty nice style. From top stable and drawn favourably so pay to keep safe. 9. The Deepest Secret ran a good race three starts back here to Stand My Ground, fair at Canberra then game in defeat back to this track just over a week ago. Each-way claims.
How to play it: Jandaw Spar WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Jandaw Spar runs second at Wagga on January 26
|Race 5 – 3:40PM JRC ELECTRICAL SERVICES TOM PATTON CUP (1800 METRES)|
9. Defy is usually not far away and struck his best form with a dominant showing over the same course a month back. Has an excellent record at this track, drawn well and if he can repeat the effort he will be in the finish of this.
Dangers: 6. Huntly Castle was well ridden to score over 2000m here three starts back then in BM70 company in Melbourne at his past two he’s put in one good and one ordinary effort. Well placed back to this class and has to be respected. 7. Dip Me Lid didn’t fire a shot at Kensington last start so best to overlook that. Won at Canberra and Moruya around the 2000m prior and placed over this course before that. Well worth another chance. 8. Our Bambino resumed with a promising effort at Kembla over 1400m then thrown in the deep end at Randwick and wasn’t up to it. Right back in class and this trip suits. Wouldn’t be leaving him out of the chances.
How to play it: Defy E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Defy wins at Wagga on January 19
|Race 6 – 4:20PM NAVIGATE ADVISORS HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
7. Stand Your Ground has a big finish and showed it winning here last month before heading to a Highway at Randwick and again charging at the line but gave away far too much start. Will get back but 1400m will suit and if they overdo it can swoop on them.
Dangers: 8. Fever Tree probably didn’t love the heavy track at Sapphire Coast, he’s failed in it three times now, so go on a couple of solid efforts last prep when placing in a Highway and at Moruya. Can give a sight. 1. Landmine can’t be left out if he takes his place coming back from open company here last week where he started $6.50 and was beaten less than two lengths. Won easily in this grade with 61.5kg prior and while drawn out is the best horse in the race. 12. Salute To The Sun was quite impressive winning a maiden at Goulburn and is a horse on the up. Settled well back when drawing wide two runs ago, so may give away a decent start here but worth including.
How to play it: Stand Your Ground E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Stand Your Ground's last run at Randwick on February 6
|Race 7 – 5:00PM MAGIC MILLIONS ADELAIDE YEARLING SALE MAR 9-10 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
20. Special Privilege is lightly raced and was in the market first-up at Sapphire Coast but just battled a bit in the heavy ground. Showed some talent in his first preparation and a firmer track should suit. Good each-way chance in a wide open contest.
Dangers: 13. Romeo Vella has a horror draw to overcome but he was far from disgraced running on into second on a heavy track at Sapphire Coast. All his best form is on good ground so with any luck he can be in the finish. 5. Jodhpur has been hard to catch and is regularly a beaten favourite but he has to go in because if things go right for him he’s capable of putting himself in contention. Just fair when resuming but fitter and could surprise. 14. Temoin Chaud could sprint well fresh, she resumed in a Highway last prep and was in the market then improved up in distance. One to keep an eye on.
How to play it: Special Privilege E/W ($12 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Special Privilege’s first-up run at Sapphire Coast on January 31
|Race 8 – 5:40PM NEWHAVEN PARK SDRA COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIER (1400 METRES)|
5. Blitzar has had the perfect build up for the Qualifier with two runs back from a spell and both have been eye-catching for different reasons. Closed late over 1000m fresh then found some backs before getting out late and running on here last time. If he can find a spot with blinkers on he’s going to be strong late.
Dangers: 4. Another One looked brilliant winning a Highway at Randwick back in December then had the blinkers on and didn’t look the same horse at the same track a couple of weeks ago. Blinkers back off and on his home track. Well worth another chance and should be hard to beat. Read trainer Gary Colvin's comments here. 6. Mnementh resumed with a sound effort at Canberra then far from disgraced after racing wide in a Highway at Randwick on February 6, finishing ahead of Another One. Proven at the distance and has to be an each-way chance. Read trainer Mitch Beer's comments here. 2. Oamanikka has only failed once and that was on a heavy track. Blinkers go on after just missing at Moonee Valley at his first run for two months. Will need a bit of luck but top jockey rides and is hard to leave out. Read trainer Donna Scott's comments here. 3. Halo Warrior and 13. Lady Brook have strong cases to make too.
How to play it: Blitzar E/W ($8.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Blitzar runs second at Wagga on February 11