By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Thursday’s Grafton Cup meeting. Selections based on a soft track.
|Race 1 – 12:20PM FIDELITY CAPITAL HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
4. Nosey hasn’t won for a little while but finds the right sort of race to go close. Ridden close on a hot speed at Gosford and boxed on well but was stronger ridden off the speed at Taree prior. Fresh for this and shouldn’t be far away.
Dangers: 7. Typhoon Bonny is a super consistent mare who will need a bit of luck from the wide gate but if she gets it she’s hard to keep out of the finish. Kept coming at Taree last start, led all the way in her last win three back so she probably has to go forward here. 9. The Eulo Queen is another mare who doesn’t run a bad race and she’s returning since a win at Ballina in April. First-up record isn’t great, that’s the only knock, and she certainly wasn’t knocked around in her recent trial. Must include. 11. All About Charlie wasn’t far off Typhoon Bonny two starts ago and again finished close up at Coffs Harbour when out in distance. Back to the 1000m here and sure to be running on again.
How to play it: Nosey E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Nosey runs third at Gosford on May 30
|Race 2 - 12:55PM THE BIDFOOD HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
6. Hellenism ran right up to a super debut with a dominant maiden win at Coffs Harbour a few weeks back. Shown versatility and looks a very promising filly. Up a notch in class but impossible to go past.
Dangers: 1. Exclusive has a nice second to San Marco (Highway winner last weekend) two starts back to recommend him. Ran on without threatening last start at this track and while drawn wide he’ll go back anyway and hit the line. Keep in mind. 4. True Quality seemed to have her chance first-up a month ago at Murwillumbah but has been back to the trials since for a win. Entitled to another chance. 3. Scarlet Missile is racing well without winning. Drifter in betting last time at Tamworth but still ran on into second at this trip. Each-way claims again.
How to play it: Hellenism WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds).
Hellenism wins easily at Coffs Harbour on June 21
|Race 3 – 1.35PM TAB MOTHER’S GIFT (1400 METRES)|
4. Shapchat Girl has come back in excellent form and while beaten second-up at the Gold Coast she was far from disgraced and did hit the line well. In well at the weights and at peak. Hard to beat.
Dangers: 6. Bedtime Stories had some specking at odds when winning at Gosford then outclassed at Canterbury behind a smart filly. Much better off here and drawn to be right on the speed without much effort. Go well. 8. They Call Me Rose will drift back you’d think from a wide gate. She charged at them late when narrowly beaten at Coffs last time and has a great record here. Must be considered. 5. Sornja has to go in as well, she beat Snapchat Girl last time though hasn’t drawn quite so well. Each-way hopes.
How to play it: Snapchat Girl WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Snapchat Girl runs second at Gold Coast on June 15
|Race 4 – 2.10PM NBN SPRINGBOARD TO FAME PLATE (1200 METRES)|
4. Eiger appeared to have a bit in hand winning on debut at Dubbo when a well supported favourite. Drawn perfectly here and can only be improved with the experience. Take holding out.
Dangers: 3. Cinco Star has been gelded since a pretty easy debut win at Lismore back in February. Improved nicely into his second trial this time in and is worth keeping safe. 9. Hiroko impressed on debut then cut down on the line at Coffs Harbour at her second start. Back against her own age here and well worth including in the main chances. 8. Centrefire led all the way at Doomben for a breakthrough win first-up. Performed okay in tougher races earlier in the season and could go on with it.
How to play it: Eiger WIN ($3.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Eiger wins at Dubbo on June 14
|Race 5 – 2.50PM NORTHERN RIVERS CONCRETE PUMPING HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
4. Designated had excuses last start at Kembla on a very heavy track but prior to that signalled he’s not far off a win with an eye-catching fourth in a very good form race. Nicely drawn, soft track suits and he’s hard to beat.
Dangers: 11. Global Choice led and was run down as favourite second-up then again punctured at Eagle Farm both in maidens. She’s had a few chances but back to country level she’s worth one more. 3. Yarrinup Flyer is a big watch at his first run for Jim Jarvis. Ex-Anthony Freedman and as placed in three of six starts in Victoria. Quiet trial so can’t take a lot out of that but keep an eye on betting. 9. Another Sheila gave a sight at Tamworth from the front a couple of weeks back and has the blinkers on first time. That says she’ll take advantage of barrier one and be on the pace. Could take catching.
How to play it: Designated E/W ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Designated’s eye-catching fourth at Kembla on June 15
|Race 6 – 3.25PM VILLAGE GREEN HOTEL ASSOCIATION PLATE (1200 METRES)|
6. Rafha’s Choice is very well placed having given up a run in the Ramornie to tackle this race. Forget last start when wide on the speed, he won well at Canterbury prior to that and trialled nicely since his last run. Sure to be in the finish.
Dangers: 5. Dream Master hasn’t raced since January but fitter for two recent trials. Led the latest one and was run down by Handsome Thief so that’s not a bad pointer. Looks a good chance. 10. Zioptimus improved sharply second-up for a strong win here just over a month ago. Stays down in the weights with the claim and if he can hold that form he’s an each-way hope at odds. 3. Tawfiq Boy tends to run well fresh and he’s fitter for two trials since contesting the Tamworth Cup. Raced well at this level in Brisbane last prep so can’t be overlooked.
How to play it: Rafha’s Choice WIN ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Rafha’s Choice wins a trial at Moruya on June 28
|Race 7 - 4:05PM G MCMULLAN CONTRACTING GRAFTON CUP (2350 METRES)|
Kept coming back to 1. Igraine despite the hefty weight rise on her easy Caloundra Cup win. She’s been racing well in the top staying races during the winter carnival and a soft draw and sting out of the track help offset the weight. Hard to beat. Read jockey Robbie Fradd's comments here.
Dangers: 9. Sacred Day took on some handy stayers in NZ last prep and his form since crossing the Tasman has been sound. Took off early and proved a bit too strong at Doomben last start. Up in class but down 5kg and no surprise to see him feature. 3. Sopressa is 2.5kg better off for her second to Igraine last start after leading but the margin was a comfortable one. Needs a win and will have every chance again. 4. He Ekscels outstayed a handy type at Rosehill on a heavy track last start and shapes as though the extra trip won’t worry him. On pacer and while a wetter track would be preferred he can give a sight.
How to play it: Igraine WIN ($3.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Igraine wins the Caloundra Cup on June 29
|Race 8 - 4:40PM SIR JAMES KIRBY HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
6. Boom Chicka Boom will be favourite in the last and she had 60.5kg when run down late at Eagle farm last time. Should be able to lead them here with the light weight and handy draw and will be the one to run down.
Dangers: 8. Princess Lottie attacked the line very hard late to place at Dubbo when resuming and has a nice second-up record. Would like to see her at 1100m or so and from gate one she could be buried but she’ll be strong late. 12. Another Sin has been unsuited in Highways on heavy tracks of late so no surprise to see him improve sharply here. Just where he gets to in the run is the query but include him in the chances. 2. Impregnable is capable of a cheeky run first-up. Unbeaten at this track and distance and fitter for two trials. Drawn to have every chance.
How to play it: Boom Chicka Boom WIN ($1.95 TAB Fixed Odds).
Boom Chicka Boom runs second at Eagle Farm on June 22