By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Thursday’s Grafton Cup meeting. Selections based on a good to soft track.
|Race 1 – 12:15PM FIDELITY CAPITAL HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
4. Aceplay is on a winning streak and drawn to get the best run in the race so he might be the way to go in this scamper. Down 3kg on his last start win at Toowoomba and in a race with a good amount of speed engaged could have the last say.
Dangers: 10. Laoban Tai Tai has struck a purple patch of form and was strong late when winning at Casino over this trip a bit over a month ago. Freshened up and drawn soft so expect her to be running on gamely again. Each-way. 7. In A Step was back to her best with a fairly comfortable all the way Taree win off a wide gate. She’ll be on the speed somewhere here for a better draw and won only start at this track. Go well. 8. Marokawa could be a real knockout hope on his best form. First run for the new stable and aside from his last start flop at Newcastle he’d been hitting the line well just behind the placings. Has run well here in the past too and is worth throwing in the multiples for some value.
How to play it: Aceplay WIN ($3.90 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Aceplay wins at Toowoomba on June 26
|Race 2 – 12.50PM THE BIDFOOD HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
4. Auntie Monnie has a good each-way chance back on a dry deck. She won well on debut at Tamworth then only narrowly defeated on heavy ground at the same track a few weeks back. Should get a nice run behind the speed and should be competitive.
Dangers: 3. Enterprise Keren won like you’d expect a $1.50 shot to win at Ballina to break through a month ago. Has the challenge of a wide gate to contend with this time around but is progressive and no surprise to see her win again. 2. Stonecold Flex has fared well in two runs back from a spell and wasn’t disgraced in a Highway at Rosehill last time out after leading. Back a notch or two in grade and will be on the speed. Definite chance. 10. Electric Miss jumped quickly in class after her maiden win at Casino to run a solid fourth, with support, in the Guineas Prelude last week. May have to go further back here from the wide gate but she can be in the mix.
How to play it: Auntie Monnie E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Auntie Monnie runs second at Tamworth on June 16
|Race 3 – 1:25PM TAB MOTHER’S GIFT (1400 METRES)|
6. Simply Sacred ran out an impressive winner over this course first-up almost a month ago but was disqualified after the jockey weighed in light. Trialled very strongly since, drawn well and no reason she can’t go very close in a slightly tougher race.
Dangers: 4. But I Know is a lot better than her form reads and not she was quite a firmer in the Wingham Cup last time but didn’t make an impact. Has been mixing distances but if she finds her best she could surprise in this sort of race. 2. Axella was a popular winner in a small field at Murwillumbah third-up though this is a step up. Might be a touch under the odds but concede she’s one of the chances. 9. Bella Boss has a wide gate to overcome but she can tend to get back a little. Beaten by a handy one last time at Casino and is an each-way hope.
How to play it: Simply Sacred WIN ($1.60 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Simply Sacred wins at Grafton on June 11 (later disqualified)
|Race 4 – 2:05PM NBN SPRINGBOARD TO FAME PLATE (1200 METRES)|
4. Full Press is a very interesting debutant who did it well with improvement in winning his only public trial early last week. Has gate one and in very good hands. Like to see some support closer to the race but well worth a look.
Dangers: 5. Murungal looked impressive breaking through at his first run here and that will stand him in good stead for the 1200m. Placed behind Peltzer first-up and drawn to get every chance. 8. Ashra Jahre had promised a bit last time in and returned with a nice win at Nowra after racing wide throughout. Can only be fitter and this is a good target for her. 1. Bay Of Bengal has been around the mark without winning and made it five placings on end behind Murungul last time out. Probably can’t turn the tables but has to be included in the place hopes.
How to play it: Full Press E/W ($11 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Full Press wins at trial at Grafton on June 28
|Race 5 – 2:40PM CORBETT EARTHMOVING PTY LTD BIG MAIDEN HCP (1200 METRES)|
11. Pure Rubick has had excuses at his last couple and was favourite last week at Muswellbrook when wide throughout. Might be able to find a good spot on the speed here and that would give him a very good each-way hope.
Dangers: 1. Yulong Base had the best run you could ask for first-up at Scone, getting the split at the right time but couldn’t reel in the leader and winner. May have been outsprinted at the shorter trip so could have upside and can’t be overlooked. 6. Great Marlow drew wide and got back then hit the line strongly first-up at Casino in a pleasing return. His best run last prep was second-up so fitter here and is worth some thought. 5. Another Arli hasn’t raced since February when placed at Scone as one of the popular elects. Safely held in a heavy track trial at Tamworth behind Burning Crown so not emphasising that and he could surprise here.
How to play it: Pure Rubick E/W ($9.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Pure Rubick runs fourth at Muswellbrook on July 3
|Race 6 – 3:20PM VILLAGE GREEN HOTEL COUNTRY MAGIC ASSOC. PLATE (1200 METRES)|
2. Two Big Fari missed a place for the first time when a gallant fifth in the Country Championships Final in April. He raced wide there and didn’t surrender easily. Trialled well leading into this and while drawn wide he’ll go forward and be the horse to beat. Read trainer Todd Howlett's comments here.
Dangers: 14. Snow Valley hasn’t disgraced herself in three city runs this time in on largely heavy ground so will appreciate a bit better going this time. Her best form is more than good enough to see her give it a shake and she’s the logical danger. 4. Vacate won well here two starts back in open company then on speed but weakened in the John Carlton Cup last time. Drawn well and generally a consistent type. Has a case to be very competitive. 3. Up Trumpz is a get back run on type drawn wide so he’ll likely concede a bit of a start. But he has placed to Dirty Work three back and run well without winning his last couple in town. Each-way.
How to play it: Two Big Fari WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Two Big Fari wins a trial at Newcastle on June 10
|Race 7 – 3:55PM IRON JACK GRAFTON CUP (2350 METRES)|
7. Primitivo is worth a shot each-way in the Cup. He’s had excuses in both runs back on wetter tracks than he really likes and he’s still run well enough against a couple of the favourites to say he’s in good order. Drawn well and ready to peak. Good chance.
Dangers: 6. La Pulga is in good form in Brisbane and was game in defeat in the Premiers Cup at Doomben behind Another Dollar. He wouldn’t have to improve a lot on that to be in the finish. 2. Carzoff is around the mark as usual, he just can’t seem to crack it for a win at the moment. Big run two back then back to 2000m last time so the return to the longer journey might be the key. Definite chance. 1. Sixties Groove is hitting his straps at the right time and finished ahead of Carzoff in a close finish third-up from a break. Has the 61kg to contend with and gives away starts but is the class runner and can’t be taken lightly.
How to play it: Primitivo E/W ($8.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Primitivo’s second-up run at Rosehill on June 27
|Race 8 – 4:35PM SIR JAMES KIRBY HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
4. All Cylinders started to work it all out through last prep and wasn’t disgraced behind Pandemic before a break. Can’t do more than what he did in his latest trial, drawn ideally and should take plenty of catching.
Dangers: 1. Plague Stone is the best horse in the race on his best form but because of that has 62kg and a wide gate. He’s a good trialler so no surprise to see him cruise around in good order and this would have been a target for him. Will be charging. 2. Akasaki is often under rated and he has form around Adelong and was hitting the line behind the placings at Eagle Farm a month ago. This is the sort of race he could win without surprising and he has to be considered. 9. Trust Me is a good roughie first-up since January and worth noting he was placed in town fresh last time in. Niggled a bit in her recent trial and you could go worse than throw him into the mix.
How to play it: All Cylinders WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
All Cylinders wins a trial at Randwick on June 26