By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Sunday’s Country Championships meeting at Dubbo. The track is rated a Good 4 and the rail is in the 1m position.
|Race 1 – 12:20PM OSM TRANSPORTABLES MAIDEN SHOWCASE HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
Tipping off trials can be hit and miss but I did like what I saw in 1. Traumatised who was absolutely strangled in his lone public trial at Newcastle on March 14. He ran second, narrowly beaten, and you’d love to know what was under the hood if he was let go. He’s trained by Kristen Buchanan at Wyong and this race must have been selected as a nice kick off point. If he runs up to his trial he will be hard to beat.
Danger: 14. Zanjan is an 11 start maiden but a very consistent performer when last in work with a string of placings. She’ll race somewhere on the speed, if not lead them, and is sure to give a very good account. 9. Beechal is a lightly raced local filly with a couple of handy enough efforts at Parkes and Gilgandra earlier this year. Freshened up a bit and I think she’s way under the odds but respecting the stable and the booking of Noel Callow. 4. Pamplemousse is one I’d very much like to keep a close eye on. Unraced gelding from a very good stable and he certainly wasn’t asked for any effort at all running last in a trial at Scone last week. Check betting for a pointer and it wouldn’t surprise to see some support because he has to have a lot more than he was allowed to show in the trial.
How to play it: Traumatised WIN ($3.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Traumatised was held hard in his close second in a Newcastle trial on March 14
|Race 2 - 12:55PM DUBBO CITY TOYOTA 2YO HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
Ditto what I said about trials in race one. 3. Blazing Issue has had two trials, both at Scone, and he showed plenty of ability winning the second of those. He sat second in the run and engaged in a two horse war down the straight, found a length or so when niggled at then allowed to cruise late. .
Dangers: 2. Jamaican Dream races in blinkers for the first time and it’ll be interesting to see what effect they have as he’s led in both starts to date for a narrow win and a close up second. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t lead again in the shades and he could take catching. 1. Cyclonite has had one start away from city company and he produced a very tidy win at Newcastle over the 900m. He loomed up to them on the turn and kept the run going, pulling away late. Wonder where he gets to from the wide alley here but given he’s back to a country two-year-old event he has to be respected. 10. Are You Dreaming was beaten a fair way in her only trial but looking at it she wasn't extended at all. In good hands and drawn well so wouldn't shock to see her show up somewhere.
How to play it: Blazing Issue E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Blazing Issue winning his trial at Scone on March 8
|Race 3 – 1:35PM FURNEY’S HORSELAND DUBBO HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
A massive class drop should see 5. Tiara Star return to form and while it is hard to spruik a horse that was beaten 14 lengths running last at their latest start it’s safe to say this Class 3 is much easiler than the BM74 she contested at Rosehill last start. Go back three starts and she ran a nice fourth to Charlayne at Rosehill and was beaten less than four lengths in the Listed Gosford Guineas first-up. She’s probably as short as you’d want but if she puts her best foot forward she’s the one to beat.
Dangers: 2. Kenny Succeed was a bit too quick at the 1000m on this track then went to Scone and dropped to 900m and battled on fairly well holding third after being thereabouts all the way. Will go forward and be up in the first few and is a good chance. 1. Mosrai contested the same race at Scone as Kenny Succeed and finished last in what was a very uncharacteristic performance. He dropped out the back and didn’t improve at all. Much better than that and has every chance to improve here. 3. Red Braids is probably better placed at 1200m or so fresh but if they overdo it up front she can come into her own. Put three wins together last time in around the 1400m-1500m trip and while she’ll improve on whatever she does here it’d be worth keeping an eye on her.
How to play it: Tiara Star WIN ($3.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Tiara Star finishes a handy fourth to Charlayne at Rosehill on February 3
|Race 4 – 2.10PM ADORS PARTY HIRE HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
2. Risk And Reward is a sprinter on the way up and the wide gate poses no issues for him as he’s never drawn anything else. He crossed them at Scone fairly easily last time and was never seriously threatened. Broke his maiden at Parkes at 1200m putting five lengths on Sprezzatura who has won since and is a chance in the Country Championships Qualifier later on. It’s a long way home at Dubbo but he will take plenty of running down.
Dangers: 4. Caprera is the big market watch for me here first-up for over a year and at his first run for Cameron Crockett. Last seen winning easily at Orange some 56 weeks ago under Bjorn Baker’s care. More recently he’s trialled very well behind Crockett’s handy Ori On Fire and he wasn’t let go at any stage. Keep safe. 6. Elle’s Nel has some appealing Highway form at her last two well spaced runs behind Victorem and Try A Lil Harder. Hit the line when it was all over last time at Rosehill and I’d expect she will run well here. 5. Fraternater was never a threat at Canberra second-up after getting way too far out of her ground. Made up a bit of headway late. Capable enough on her day and with the two runs back she’s entitled to another chance each-way.
How to play it: Rick And Reward WIN ($2.90 TAB Fixed Odds).
Risk And Reward proves too quick leading all the way at Scone on March 8.
|Race 5 - 2:45PM MILESTONE HOTEL MAIDEN PLATE (1300 METRES)|
Carrying only small amounts of confidence about this race. It’s quite open, many runners have had several chances to break through. Certainly on an each-way basis 10. Sass’N’Twinkle could run a good race fresh. Started to hit her straps in the spring with three placings on end and she found the line with plenty of purpose before a break at Orange. Distance suits fresh and interesting Greg Ryan has the ride. Go well.
Dangers: 1. Destiny Is Written is a 26 start maiden with nine placings to his name including four consecutive thirds. Bumped into a couple of city trained horses when third at Orange a couple of weeks ago and did run well behind Sprezzatura at Mudgee. Has claims again. 11. Summer Surf has had 29 attempts but she also comes through that Mudgee event where she poked through to run second. Could get into a place. 12. Winterconi has had a few chance of late like many of these. Battled on okay at Bathurst last time and in a wide open race she's an each-way hope.
How to play it: Sass’N’Twinkle E/W ($12 TAB Fixed Odds).
Sass’N’Twinkle runs second at Orange before a spell in December
|Race 6 - 3:20PM PRYDE’S EASIFEED CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
1. Forseeable looks the best bet of the day for mine. Overcame a wide gate and giving away a start to win on debut then just left it a touch late over this course on February 15, almost defying a massive betting drift. Kept on the fresh side, drawn well and if he’s not looking for a mile he should take plenty of holding off.
Dangers: 2. Mango Liston was a picnic performer until recently and he found the line once he decided to wind up at Warren last week over this trip. Nice weight drop after the claim and aside from the top weight this looks a wide open race to me. 3. Warrumbungle disappointed at Scone last month but his effort prior to that at Tamworth over 1400m was sound. If he can be forgiven for that last effort he’s right in the mix in this field. 4. Recital gave a sight on the speed behind Sprezzatura at Mudgee then finally got the job done scoring at Coonamble. Beaten two lengths over this course three starts back and is one of the each-way chances.
How to play it: Forseeable WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds).
Forseeable makes a late dive to run second at Dubbo on February 15
|Race 7 - 3:55PM WAYNE MALLISON PAINTER & DECORATOR HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
You could make a case for plenty of these and I’ve left the early favourite right out of the numbers. 8. Winner’s Lane is a lightly raced three-year-old who was always prominent and surged away late win score a decisive win at Muswellbrook three weeks ago. Close up at Scone over a mile prior to that and there’s not really a lot more depth in this race than those. Sure to run well.
Dangers: 6. Valknut was largely unwanted in the betting over the 1400m here a month ago but won like a 6/4 shot, pouncing about 200m out and breaking right away. Looks like the type that will relish a mile and there didn’t look to be any fluke about last time so he has to be strongly considered. 4. Kingsbridge is no doubt good enough to win this if things pan out in his favour from the wide gate. Probably should have won over this course two back then again left it very late when third at Mudgee. Can’t be left out. 2. Cervinia will be up on the speed and ran well at Wyong two starts back so is worth another chance.
How to play it: Winner’s Lane E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Winner’s Lane scores impressively at Muswellbrook on March 2
|Race 8 - 4:35PM WRA COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIER (1400 METRES)|
A pretty even field for the second last Qualifier. I’d be surprised if there isn’t some support for 14. Sea Lady who impressed winning at Quirindi two starts ago the probably should have won at Orange on March 5. She drifted way too far back there and was shoved out of the way on the home turn when starting a run so her effort to be beaten 1.3 lengths was outstanding. The long Dubbo straight will suit her and there looks to be enough speed for every horse to get their chance. Each-way special.
Dangers: 6. Sprezzatura has a lot of promise and he finally delivered on it with a dominant performance coming from last on the turn at Mudgee a month ago. He was giving away a lot of weight there and while he’s only a Class 1 horse he probably should have won two or three by now and is well worth including in your chances. 1. Joey’s Destiny is entitled to produce his best now after two runs back under big weights. I thought the Coonamble run second-up was a pass, especially considering his place as favourite in the market, but there should be no excuses here. 4. Dreadlock hasn’t had an ideal preparation with just the one run back, and was beaten six lengths by Sea Lady too. But he was runner-up in the Dubbo Cup before a spell after leading and if he produces his best then he’s right in the finish especially from a handy draw.
How to play it: Sea Lady E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds); Box Trifecta 1,4,6,14.
Sea Lady’s eye-catching third at Orange on March 5
|Race 9 - 5:20PM DUBBO RSL CLUB RESORT HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
He’s been well found in the betting but it’s hard to go past 7. Cockles. Cantered in three starts back at Muswellbrook then led for some reason at Hawkesbury. Last time out he was held up until it was all over in a BM80 at Newcastle, flashing into third over the 900m. He ran his last 200m in 11.19 and a last 600m of 32.63 (Punters Intel). Won his only attempt at this track and distance and looks well placed to keep that record intact.
Dangers: 12. Art ‘N’ Ollie produced her best form when she resumed with an all the way win at Mudgee a month ago and there’s no reason she can’t figure in the finish again. Second-up record is solid and she’s drawn to lead again. Go well. 13. Repentant looks way over the odds for a horse that has won three of its last four starts including downing a subsequent Scone winner and Sea Lady in third at Orange last start. Won three races at 1100m so has to be a good each-way hope. 10. Kanguru hit the line well into third behind Raiden first-up at Warwick Farm then never in the picture there on March 7. Inclined to overlook that and this is easier so he could easily improve on what we saw there last time.
How to play it: Cockles WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds); save Art ‘N’ Ollie E/W ($8.50).
Cockles finishes off strongly late when third at Newcastle on March 9