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Neil Evans' Tips For Ballina (Monday)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4 and rail true so should play fairly even.

Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):

Murwillumbah-trained 5. Hayburner hit the line nicely from well back resuming at the Gold Coast under a big weight and looks to breathing all over this from the inside draw and over longer trip. The one to beat!

Dangers: Hard to fathom local 4YO 1. Dash For Van is still a maiden after 11 starts, but has found the line right through this prep. Loved his races spaced and will be working into it again. Two Gold Coast-trained 3YO's have claims, 3. Curse Free who took on Magic Millions company two runs back; and 4. Extraction whose two runs back from a spell have both been good and should peak for this.

How to play it: Hayburner to win

Hayburner's first-up second at the Gold Coast on January 19

Race 2 BM 66 HCP (1400m):

From the same stable as previous selection, 2. Ten Taubada's looks well suited third-up at this trip. Progressed to this grade successfully last start and has a class edge, but will have to work across from the widest gate.

Dangers: Casino mare 1. She Tells Lies chased home Ten Taubada's from a long way back last start, and hit the line nicely despite being unwanted in betting. Fitter now and better draw will enable her to settle a bit closer. Over the odds. Include local 5YO 5. Kitteau who also resumes back in grade.

How to play it: Ten Taubada's to win and trifecta 2/1-5.

Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):

Deeper maiden, but eyeing off a running treble here with Matt Dunn stable aboard 3YO first starter 4. Ashman. Liked his trial at home earlier this month cruising through the line under a hold before again held together behind the place-getters in a trial at the Gold Coast. Looks ready and draws well.

Dangers: Gold Coast visitor 11. Foxy Bella was fair from the front resuming at Ipswich, but that was her first run for nearly a year, and she improves here from a good draw.

How to play it: Ashman to win.

Race 4 CL1 HCP (1400m):

Widen open affair, with several chances. Gold Coast mare 5. Ivy's Dream didn't finish it off last start at Ipswich, but previous two runs were sound on speed. Gets a nice run from a good gate, and she's much better than her one win and eight placings from 19 starts suggests.

Dangers: Another one from the Dunn yard, 4YO mare 1. Everlasting Love looks the clear threat back in grade after competing well at BM 70 metro level. Won her maiden at Wyong in the spring after a string of close placings, and this is well within her reach, especially with rookie rider taking 4kg off a big weight. Gold Coast mare 6. Lightning Pageant broke through at home last start, and could go on with it; while 2. Pirlo will improve second-up at this trip after a fair return at the Gold Coast.

How to play it: Ivy's Dream to win and quinella 1 and 5.

Ivy's Heart's last start third at Ipswich on January 18

Race 5 MAIDEN HCP (1250m):

Another open charge here, although looks nice assignment for 3YO local 1. Beach Baby who was rock solid in the market and found the line okay resuming this track in a $40K Maiden. Step up in trip suits, and last winter was beaten only 5 lens behind star sprinter Zoustyle in a Doomben maiden.

Dangers: At only second race start and off a break, 3YO Murwillumbah filly 9. Bling 'N' Bubbles was hard in the market and solid to the line resuming this track, and improves over this trip for leading trainer/rider combination. 3YO 4. William has taken a long time to get to the starter, but showed enough in a recent trial to be competitive. Drawn wide, but from top stable. Include Coffs Harbour 4YO 5. Barucci who resumed off a long break with a nice closing effort at Taree behind Monaco Sniper who has since run a close second in a good CL4 at Port Macquarie.

How to play it: Beach Bay each-way.

Race 6 OPEN HCP (1600m):

If Gold Coast 6YO 4. Smooth Consul gets an even share of luck from the wide gate, he's the one to beat! Was only run over late after being heavily backed in a BM 75 at the Sunshine Coast, and before that won two straight at BM 70 level in Qld from the front both times. Looks to be in well at the weights.

Dangers: Local 4YO 3. Ataraxia has been well beaten in all three runs this prep, but against deeper and tougher company, so well back in grade and from a good barrier should amount to a money run. No doubting Gold Coast 4YO 1. Future Event has the ability to win this, but will need some luck under a big weight from a wide gate. His run in the Ballina Cup charging late was a beauty. Local 9. Pleased also looks well placed at the weights and from a good barrier.

How to play it: Smooth Consul to win.

Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1000m):

In a race of little quality and depth, going wide with Grafton mare 1. Ilia first-up over this trip. Was hardly reliable for punters back in the spring, but did progress up to BM 80 level and was competitive enough. Drawn out, but rider's claim gets her into the race well, and smart move to return over this trip.

Dangers: Gold Coast raider 3. Wainui Gold resumes in a suitable race off just a fair campaign in spring, but also drops in grade; while local 6YO 2. Paroo River is also first-up and best career form has been early in the prep. Include 10. Tobasco having first run for a new stable in wider exotics.

How to play it: Ilia each way and box trifecta 1-3-4-10.

All the fields, form and replays for Monday's meeting at Ballina

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