By Neil Evans
Track Heavy 10 and rail true so big watch on the pattern, although likely to get wider as the day progresses
|Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (1000m):|
Tricky opener, but not often the Corstens stable at Flemington bring a good-sized team to the border, so watch the market on well-bred 3YO gelding 2. Rip City who returns off a break for only third career start, with crucially blinkers on for the first time.
Dangers: Wagga 3YO gelding and first starter 1. Backwater Trader hasn't trialled for more than four months, but draws a good gate and reportedly working well; while debutant 2YO filly 10. Thuwaany (Hinchinbrook x Taqaseem by Medaglia d'Oro) hasn't officially trialled for five months, but prepared by leading Wagga stable.
How to play it: Rip City to win and box exacta 1,2,10. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split.
|Race 2 OPEN HCP (1400m):|
Plenty of chances here, with most having solid wet track form. Local 7YO mare 7. Lost Command is starting to run out of chances, but has the ability. Disappointing in his last few when heavily in the market, but does handle wet tracks, and looks well treated on 55kgs, with pivotal jockey change.
Dangers: Wodonga 5YO gelding 1. Toorak Cowboy resumed with a terrific win from well off the speed at Wagga before closing off late again in similar company. Has obvious wet track ability, but weighted to his best with 61kg. Big step up in grade for progressive 4YO Gundagai gelding 8. Monkery, but he's won his last three powering home from well off the pace, and loves wet tracks. Canberra mare 2. Mahalo took advantage of a light weight to finish over the top in that Open grade at Wagga holding off Toorak Cowboy, but up sharply in weight and drawn wide, although is a real wet-tracker. Versatile 3YO Wangaratta gelding 3. Parliament moved through the grades nicely last prep winning three straight, but first run in nine weeks with this weight and back in trip is a query. No horse around the Riverina loves wet tracks more than 6YO Wagga gelding 4. Gentleman Max, although he's been up for a while, and probably needs a bog to win.
How to play it: Lost Command each way and first four 1,7,8/1,2,3,4,7,8. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1175m):|
Another open contest, although well-bred 2YO Flemington filly 14. Durability who resumes for strong stable looks very well placed.
Dangers: Jerilderie 3YO filly 10. Trish's Diamonds has plenty more to give, with a 3kg claim for under-rated stable, and should be suited in the ground; while 3YO Romsey filly 6. It's A Rah looks best of the rest.
How To Play It: Durability to win. Odds and Evens: Evens.
|Race 4 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Exotic players will have some fun in this big and modest field, with plenty of chances. Victorian 3YO gelding 6. Major Day won his maiden two runs back just over the border, and was again strong late over the mile on a Heavy 8 at Tatura. Drops 3kg from that run, and drawn to get plenty of cover, so looks hard to stop.
Dangers: Must include local 7YO gelding 3. Dezzy who led all the way for an easy maiden win on a Heavy 8 at Wagga; while another local, 3YO filly 13. Pips 'N' Crowns has only won one and placed once from eight starts, but shown an ability to handle wet tracks, and found the line okay in a decent Class 1 last start when easy in betting.
How To Play It: Major Day to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 5 BM 58 HCP (2000m):|
Another open contest for the stayers, or middle distance gallopers stepping up. If 4YO Canberra mare 12. Seplulchre handles the ground, she's the one to beat at good odds. Hit the line nicely in good Class 1 company in her last two, and extra trip is ideal. Drawn out, and never raced on anything worse than a Soft 6, but is by Dane Shadow out of a Zabeel mare, so should get through it.
Dangers: Another visitor from the Corstens yard at Flemington, 3YO filly 6. Tantivy finished off nicely to win this grade at Echuca, but goes up sharply in trip. Cranbourne 7YO gelding 5. Romelo is a real wet-tracker coming back from a solid closing run in a Highweight at Warrnambool. Looks suited in this grade, but will need good speed on up front, and the wetter the better. Wangaratta gelding and last start upset Goulburn winner 7. The Weald, and improving local gelding 11. Ad Finem, are best of the rest.
How to play it: Sepulchre to win; Tantivy each way and trifecta 6,12/5,6,7,11,12. Odds and Evens: Even/.
Sepulchre runs third at Moruya on July 15
|Race 6 BM 58 HCP (1000m):|
Very open and tough race in same grade, but back to the sprint trip. Prepared to give lightly raced Wodonga gelding 10. Ajay another chance at big odds after failing badly at Narrandera when virtually eased out of the race from the 250m. Rider reported he wasn't happy with the horse's action on the Good 3, and he had previously bolted in his maiden at Corowa in Soft 7 ground, so return to more favourable conditions here looms as a big plus.
Dangers: Local 5YO gelding 6. Booradley didn't get much luck last start on the Heavy 10, but from an outside barrier can be ridden more aggressively, and form rider's 3kg claim gets him well into the race. Seymour mare 4. Carwelkin is best on wet tracks, and landed the prize in this grade at Tatura two runs back. Wangaratta gelding 5. Yeldarb hasn't started for eight months, but normally comes to hand quickly, although inside draw late in the day may be a real disadvantage.
How to play it: Ajay and Booradley both each way and trifecta 4,6,10/4,5,6,10. Odds and Evens: Evens.
|Race 7 CL3 HCP (1175m):|
Wangaratta wet track mare 11. Liberty's Gift looks suited down in weight after rattling home to just miss this grade last start.
Dangers: Swan Hill 4YO mare 5. Time For Tea keeps improving, and shooting for three straight after back-to-back wins in easier grade coming from well off the speed. Drawn out, but that shouldn't be a concern late in the day. Watch for big improvement second-up from sparingly raced 4YO Cranbourne stallion 1. Devil's Rain who has already won two from four on the fresh side, and can charge late down the middle with leading district rider going on; while include local 4YO gelding 7. Funky Farm who also has a leaning towards rain affected going.
How to play it: Liberty's Gift each way. Odds and Evens: Odds.