By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Sunday’s Country Championships meeting at Coonamble. Selections based on a good track.
|Race 1 – 12:55PM NUTRIEN AG SOLUTIONS BOOT PRELUDE (1100 METRES)|
7. Mischief Managed did more than enough in her trial at Muswellbrook, where she couldn’t have been held back any more, in running third. In top stable, well drawn and a winning debut looks very possible.
Dangers: 4. Lucky Banner is the logical danger on form, she was a beaten favourite at Arimdale last start but did keep coming. That followed a similar effort at Scone. Expect she will be competitive once again. 5. Rose Sauvage was outclassed in Sydney first-up but appreciated the drop in grade to place at Bathurst. Fair to say she had every chance on that occasion but is one of the main players here. 3. Judicial Authority is a huge query at his first run for the new stable, formerly with Mick Price. Safely held at only start at Bendigo six weeks ago and no public trials since the state switch. Check betting.
How to play it: Mischief Managed WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Mischief Managed runs third in a Muswellbrook trial on March 3
|Race 2 – 1.35PM SWANNY’S FROZEN FOODS HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
13. Zapluck is a very interesting runner because he’s trained at Port Macquarie and it’s a long way to Coonamble. He couldn’t have been more impressive winning at home last start despite a betting drift and on that has to be a good chance.
Dangers: 5. Jailbreak had his first run for Kody Nestor when placed at Bathurst a couple of weeks ago. He hit the lead there and was a bit weak late but no doubt will be improved. Entitled to another chance. 1. Point Of Interest is ex-Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott and has taken on some good company since her debut win at Newcastle. Must say her latest trial a month ago was plain, hence the stable change you’d suggest, so that’s some concern but rather include than dismiss. 14. Chastise is an each-way chance off a breakthrough maiden win at Mudgee, with Hugh Bowman on board again.
How to play it: Zapluck E/W ($16 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Zapluck wins at Port Macquarie on March 5
|Race 3 – 2:10PM SOUTHERN CROSS TURF PLATE (1100 METRES)|
9. Confinement was arguably a good thing beaten at Mudgee two weeks ago and has a good chance to atone here. Badly inconvenienced at a vital stage in the straight and did a big job to be beaten less than a length. Clearly on top.
Dangers: 11. Inferno Miss looks an improver and she wasn't beaten far by Confinement in a Scone maiden before a narrow defeat at Tuncurry. Drawn nicely and she's not to be overlooked. 12. Trelise drew wide and went back at Tamworth last start and found the line okay without threatening. Blinkers going on and an inside gate are positives for her so no surprise if she improves sharply. 14. Ultimate Magic did a fair amount of work first-up for over two months at Cowra and didn't have a lot left late so no surprise to see him weaken. With an easier run he could find himself in the placings.
How to play it: Confinement WIN ($1.95 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Confinement runs fourth at Mudgee on March 1
|Race 4 – 2.45PM ELITE SAND & SOIL & BURNS EQUIPMENT GROUP PLATE (1400 METRES)|
6. Royal Monarch is only lightly raced and looks to be close to a win. Good first-up then too far back but last time out he closed well despite being green. Blinkers on, Bowman on and drawn well. Has a good chance.
Dangers: 1. Arkam Asylum will press forward and could lead as he did when run down late at Dubbo in what was a stronger than usual maiden. Expect him to give a good sight again. 13. Now Or Never ran well first-up but disappointed when safely held at Tamworth last week after appearing to have a reasonable run. Might be better ridden cold and no surprise to see him lift, though he is running out of chances. 12. Mudgegonga was a drifter in betting at Dubbo in the same race as Arkam Asylum and battled on finishing midfield. Drawn well and firmer track suits so not to be overlooked.
How to play it: Royal Monarch E/W ($3.90 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Royal Monarch runs fifth at Dubbo on March 6
|Race 5 – 3.25PM SYDNEY CRICKET GROUND TRUST PLATE (1600 METRES)|
11. Hibern suggested she was looking for more ground when she hit the line well late into third at Dubbo at her first run for the stable. She jumps quickly to a mile but back to a good track and if she can get the breaks in running expect her to be in the finish.
Dangers:2. Scottish Soldier had good support and ran right up to it when winning at Mudgee two weeks ago and has Hugh Bowman again to ride. Drawn nicely, mile no issues and no surprise if he wins again. 14. Brother Bassy was scratched at the barriers at Mudgee two weeks ago so went back to the trials a couple of days later. Not raced for six weeks now which is an issue but likely to get a soft run and is in the mix. 12. Olympic Flame has been around the mark since she won a maiden at Walcha and worked home strongly along the fence into third at Mudgee over this trip. Similar task here, blinkers off, and is an each-way chance again.
How to play it: Hibern E/W ($7.50 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Hibern runs third at Dubbo on March 6
|Race 6 - 4:05PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
1. A Martin Placepick was formerly trained at this track and he won’t know himself in BM66 company. Huge run in the Quirindi Cup at Scone, sitting four wide throughout, to finish third and while he has 61kg he’s very hard to beat..
Dangers: 2. Balmaceda hasn’t raced since November when he bled in a race at Hawkesbury as a $5 chance. Overlook that and on his first-up record and favourable draw it’d be a surprise if he doesn’t run a forward race fresh. 8. Quick Spin doesn’t win out of turn, three from 41, but he does find himself in the finish quite regularly. Sound effort at Tamworth a few weeks ago and his previous form was all in Highway company. Each-way. 6. Ave ran an even race in the Mudgee Qualifier two weeks ago and is a winner at the mile. Each-way chance.
How to play it: A Martin Placepick E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: ODDS.
A Martin Placepick runs third in the Quirindi Cup at Scone
|Race 7 - 4:45PM WRA COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIER (1400 METRES)|
6. Sir Winkle is the real wild card here bringing stronger Hunter form into the Western area. While it’s not ideal going in first-up he looked good winning a recent trial and his only unplaced effort was on a heavy at Wyong. Gate one, Bowman on, hard to beat.
Dangers: 3. Fast Talking had a perfect return both in result and his position in running at Mudgee and 1400m certainly suits him better. Unlikely to land in the gun spot here from a tricky gate but drops 3kg and the way he finished off fresh suggests he’s flying. Logical threat. 2. Sneak Preview went awful, there’s no denying it, first-up in the same race when always well back and beaten seven lengths. Now he’s a lot better when ridden forward, which might happen here, and if he does roll forward he can turn it around. He drops 5.5kg and is fitter, and certainly good enough on his form last prep. 11. Zamali probably should have won last start at Mudgee, albeit in a BM58, and if they happen to clap the speed on here he’ll be the one finishing hard. Each-way. 5. Festival Of Light was excellent winning first-up at Dubbo then not disgraced behind Fast Talking at Mudgee when running without threatening. Blinkers on, could surprise.
How to play it: Sir Winkle WIN ($3.60 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
READ comments from the trainer of every runner in the Qualifier here.
Sir Winkle wins a trial at Mudgee on March 1
|Race 8 - 5:25PM GREEN OPTIONS & LIVING TURF HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
2. Rubble sat handy in a similar race at Tamworth last week and was run down by the favourite Meyer. Drawn to get a nice run again and will be hard to reel in on that effort.
Dangers: 4. Blue Collar Boy hasn’t raced since October when placed in a couple of BM66 races including one at this track. Drawn nicely, won three from five first-up, has to be considered. 9. Divine Jewel finished just ahead of Smart Moove at Mudgee and on her win at Tamworth two starts back at this trip she’s a contender. Gets back so each-way claims probably best. 8. Thiswilldous has Hugh Bowman to ride and scratchings have helped him out from the wide gate. Easier here than last couple so has to be considered.
How to play it: Rubble WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Rubble runs second at Tamworth on March 8