By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and rail out 2m from 1200m to 350m into a Cut/Away
|Race 1 CLASS 2 HCP (1108m):|
Good competitive opener. Loving this track is well bred three-year-old 2. Into The Fire who is looking for three on the bounce after dominant maiden and CL1 wins here, and draws to lead.
Dangers: Expecting further improvement second-up from top-weight 1. Eighth Immortal who did his best work late resuming behind a handy winner in better provincial company. Keep safe 9. Rosadiblu who has placed in her last three, and chased home the top selection last start; while 6. Shamus Dream beat a promising one first-up at Goulburn but had everything go her way.
How to play it: Into The Fire to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 2 CLASS 1 HCP (1408m):|
Improving four-year-old mare 7. Liberty Fields is ready to win fourth-up from an ideal draw. Edged out by a long neck here last start, and carries 1kg less in a race that looks thinner.
Dangers: Under-rated five-year-old 5. Haalan made up good late ground resuming behind a handy winner at Dubbo. Drawn better carrying 1kg less in a race of similar depth, she's well over the odds.
How to play it: Liberty Fields to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
Liberty Fields runs second at Bathurst on February 8
|Race 3 3YO & UP MAIDEN PLATE (1108m):|
Big fan of provincial filly 11. Roam Free who should have won on debut when covering ground and only missing by a head. Previous trial had been ultra sharp, and only needs to find some cover from an awkward gate.
Dangers: Resuming filly 9. Miss Jay Fox hasn't raced for more than eight months, but she'll be hard to beat off two winning trials. Although way outclassed, she was good enough to debut in Group 3 company, and the Written Tycoon sprinters are going great guns. Be stunned if one of those two doesn't win, but another filly 10. Miss Magnum found the line well first-up; while included in wider exotics 4. Black Meteor who beat all bar smart Into The Fire here two starts back.
How to play it: Roam Free to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1408m):|
Tricky affair with a few chances. Improving mare 7. Magical Angel has been right on the place-getters' heels in her last two at the provincials. Has enough tactical speed to get across from the barrier, and can break through in a weaker race.
Dangers: Capable mare 9. Akela's Charm was gallant second-up here finding the line well despite covering plenty of ground, although she's bred to be at her best on rain-affected ground. Was scratched from Goulburn on Sunday to run here. Resuming three-year-old 1. Heads Will Roll has been given a quiet trial, but first time back in country grade, and blinkers come off.
How to play it: Magical Angel to win and quinella 7 and 9. Odds and Evens: Odds a special
|Race 5 FILLIES & MARES BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1308m):|
Having finally landed her maiden in tough fashion here a fortnight back, Rosehill mare 3. Giselle Anne can go back-to-back fourth-up. Has to carry 1kg more over a little further, but she's hard fit, will zip forward and is super honest.
Dangers: Local mare 5. Arithmetic is suited, coming back in distance fourth-up, and blinkers are back on. Albrecht filly 4. Autumn Falls resumes off a handy trial, and will also roll forward; while include home track mare 7. Victory who draws well again after leading all the way to claim her maiden here fourth-up.
How to play it: Giselle Anne to win and trifecta 3,5/3,4,5,7/3,4,5,7. Odds and Evens: Odds
Giselle Anne wins at Bathurst on February 8
|Race 6 COLTS, GELDINGS & ENTIRES BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1308m):|
Now the boys' edition, and two runners can battle this out. Liked the way progressive four-year-old 3. Rocketing To Win hit the line here resuming off a long break behind in-form Into The Fire who goes around earlier as a big fancy. Much better off getting out to this trip.
Dangers: Tough Dubbo five-year-old 1. Gannett Peak defied a betting drift here to make it two straight, and rise in weight is again off-set by regular rider's 3kg claim. Watch the betting on Scone four-year-old 2. Kinship who draws to get a good run on-speed.
How to play it: Rocketing To Win to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 7 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (2008m):|
We finish over the longer journey in a wider affair. Keen on four-year-old mare 4. Time To Dazzle who can make it two straight after finishing best to win a deeper BM 58 at Dubbo, beating Careering Away who then won at Scone. Draws to get plenty of cover just off the speed, and jockey Clayton Gallagher is in good touch having won five of his last 12.
Dangers: Much will depend on how effectively local five-year-old 1. Saint Ay gets across from a wide gate back up in distance. Was only collared late over a shorter trip here 24 days ago, but put two wins together either side of Xmas in smart fashion. Carries the same weight as last start after new jockey's 3kg claim. Dubbo six-year-old 5. Careering Away is as tough as they come fighting hard from the front to win that last start. Draws the inside, but rises 2kg. Honest five-year-old 3. Will To Excel has chased home Birdonawinningpost in his last two, the latest beaten a long way in Highway grade. Despite a sharp weight rise, back in grade over a longer trip are big pluses.
How to play it: Time To Dazzle to win. Odds and Evens: Split.