By Neil Evans
Track Heavy 9 and Rail out 6m so tricky read, but mainly on or near the speed
|Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (1175m):|
Tough race to open. Topweight 4YO entire and former Victorian 1. Dream Brother resumes off a six month break, with eight placings from 12 starts, and nearly always around the money last prep. Has shown solid soft track and fresh form, draws the fence, and gets leading district rider on for first run this track.
Dangers: Local well-bred 4YO 5. Lord Cedrick failed at his only run back in January, but showed good early speed winning a recent Corowa trial on Soft 7; while US-bred debutant Wodonga filly 6. Sharlie (Artie Schiller x Enshraah by Fusaichi Pegasus) chased home Lord Cedrick in that trial, and should be working into the finish.
How to play it: Dream Brother to win; Odds & Evens (First 2): Odds.
|Race 2 CL1 HCP (1175m):|
Race of little depth. Corowa-trained 5YO gelding 7. Doctor Force looks superior in this ground, and suited up in trip. Hit the line strongly in the heavy at Wagga last start, and last effort this track also got through the conditions okay.
Dangers: Seymour-trained 4YO 2. Too Hard To Handle has had a two month break off an even run on the synthetic at Pakenham. Suited over more ground, but draws to park right behind the speed with cover, and has performed okay on wet tracks. Cranbourne 5YO 5. Golden Esprit looks best of the rest.
How to play it: Doctor Force each way; Odds & Evens: Split.
|Race 3 CL3 HCP (900m):|
Back to the short course for the better performed sprinters. Local 5YO and former Victorian 3. Booradley has more ability than his two wins from 22 suggests, but has been placed a further 10 times. Has been freshened after a fair effort against stronger in a metro Highway, and should get through the ground.
Dangers: The form of 6YO Jerilderie mare 6. Enconti has improved sharply getting on to rain-affected tracks in her last two, and can drive into the finish from a good trailing gate with a 3kg claim.
How to play it: Booradley to win and quinella 3 and 6; Odds & Evens: Split.
Booradley runs second at Albury in May
|Race 4 OPEN HCP (1175m):|
Competitive sprint, with several chances. The 3kg claim for well-performed Wodonga gelding 1. Cash Crisis gets him back on top. Charged home to win a stronger sprint at Wagga second-up, and half his six career wins have come on Soft ground.
Dangers: Local 6YO gelding 3. Pacific Tycoon is a genuine threat in these conditions dropping sharply in weight. Flew home late to win a weaker BM 58 two runs back before not finishing off last start. Wet track form is rock solid, and form rider goes on. Goulburn 5YO gelding 6. Treasure Boss is another with impressive wet track credentials. Won a BM 66 this track two runs back before doing his best work late in BM 80 grade at Moruya. Will drift back, but watch for him finishing on late.
How to play it: Cash Crisis to win; Odds & Evens: Odds.
Cash Crisis wins at Wagga on May 23
|Race 5 CL1 HCP (1400m):|
Another open slog, but the race hinges on whether promising 4YO Canberra mare 3. Successful Day handles not just her first run in heavy ground, but on turf as well. Bolted in her maiden as a hot favourite two runs back before closing late in a CL1, both on home track synthetic. Suited by the extra trip, and just needs to get through the conditions.
Dangers: Rival Canberra mare 4. Serious Doubts has had plenty more race experience on rain-affected ground, but record isn't flash. Held on okay when run down late this trip last start, and will be in it for a long way. Local 4YO gelding 1. Master Of Norway should be peaking after two improving runs back from a spell, and while untested in this ground, is bred to handle it. Wodonga 3YO 2. Straover was a dominant maiden winner two runs back before an even effort in a BM 64 on the synthetic at Ballarat, but some query in this ground. Be surprised if anything else wins the race.
How to play it: Successful Day to win and trifecta 3-4/1-2-3-4; Odds & Evens: Split.
|Race 6 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Open battle over the mile at set weights, with most untried in ground anywhere near this. Bass-trained 3YO gelding 3. Darlamax has improved steadily over three runs this prep on both sides of the border, and extra trip and senior jockey switch look ideal. Drawn the widest barrier, but that could be okay late in the day, and is bred to handle these conditions.
Dangers: Didn't mind the second-up run from Victorian filly 8. French Heiress who finished off okay in Soft 7 ground at Corowa, and should appreciate the longer journey. Local 3YO filly 9. Frites has the benefit of a good closing effort on heavy ground this track two runs back, and is also better suited over this trip; while Jerilderie mare 12. Periartie has also found the line strongly from well off the speed in two runs this prep on rain-affected ground, and can peak over the mile.
How to play it: Darlamax to win; Odds & Evens: Split.
|Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1600m):|
Wide open affair to finish. Local 6YO gelding 2. Hurry Up Harry can mix his runs, but charged home to win a BM 66 in heavy ground this track three runs back. Has disappointed in last couple against stronger, but back in right grade now.
Dangers: Improving Gundagai 4YO 7. Monkery loves wet tracks, and has finished hard to win his last two in weaker company when well backed. Ready for this trip and grade; while another locally trained gelding 3. Autonomous should be included, with three of his four career wins coming on rain-affected going.
How to play it: Hurry Up Harry each way and box exacta 2-3-7; Odds & Evens: Split.