By Neil Evans
Feature Cup and Flying meeting on Good 4, with the rail true so should play even early with gradual trend away from the fence.
|Race 1 2YO HCP (1200m):|
Smart Murwillumbah gelding 1. Badoosh can get punters off to a flying start. Was strong late first-up in a 2YO Hcp at home, despite doing plenty of work wide from the 500m, and this looks a lovely progression for leading country stable. Drawn out, but will naturally drift back.
Dangers: Sunshine Coast filly 2. Underwood held off Badoosh resuming to claim her maiden as a clear favourite, but doubt she can do the same again; while Eagle Farm gelding 3. Shanahan will improve off his first-up run at the Sunshine Coast, and looks clear best of the rest.
How to play it: Badoosh to win and trifecta 1-2-3.
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
More even and trickier affair here, and not often you can be with a 6YO mare still searching for her first win after 25 starts, but Grafton-based 11. Valley Crossing has been right around the placings all prep in generally stronger maidens, and is drawn to get a lovely trail just off the speed.
Dangers: Murwillumbah 3YO filly 6. Exploding Star was disappointing as favourite at home last start when up in trip, but much better suited back to the 1000m, although likes to go forward so wide barrier some concern. Local 4YO debutant gelding 3. Montana Mist (Bradbury's Luck x Stop And Stare by Royal Academy) draws the fence for his debut, and looks ready. Ballina filly 10. Runamuk is hard fit after three runs back, but will settle back and need plenty of speed on up front dropping back in trip. Include 2YO Grafton filly 12. Delta Eagle in wider exotics after a solid debut this trip, although was unwanted in betting; while 4YO Lismore gelding and first starter 4. Your Spin (Myboycharlie x Helen's Fortune by Nine Carat) has also been forward enough at the trials to run well.
How to play it: Valley Crossing each way and first four 3-6-11/3-4-6-10-11-12.
|Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
Play it again Sam over the five furlongs, and with any sort of decent run in transit, hard to see Ballina 3YO filly 5. Annie Ethyl being beaten. Has only been run over late in both runs back when rock solid in the market, and peaks now third-up in what is a thinner race.
Dangers: Liked the open trial of Beaudesert filly 6. Belle Jess (Falvelon x La Flash by Frisco View) who is bred for speed, and hops the border with an inside draw.
How to play it: Annie Ethyl to win and quinella 5 and 6.
|Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1300m):|
Murwillumbah 3YO gelding 2. Malawi Gold had threatened to win his maiden all prep in Victoria, before letting punters down resuming at new home as a heavily backed odds-on favourite. Looks a near good thing in this field after the stablemate was scratched.
Dangers: Ballina filly 4. Be Watchful has had two fair runs back from a spell and should peak over longer trip; while Grafton mare 5. No Doubt A Lady has continually found the line from off the speed this prep, and also suited up in distance.
How to play it: Malawi Gold to win and trifecta 2/4-5.
|Race 5 CL2 HCP (1000m):|
Good deep sprint. Murwillumbah filly 2. Dram Of Delago returned with a dominant and well backed win at BM 58 level, and normally holds form early in the prep. Draws out and this is a little tougher.
Dangers: Consistent Grafton filly 4. Oyashio Drift has improved to win her last two in smart fashion, but tougher opposition here and a tricky draw, so must leave the barriers clean. Versatile Gold Coast 6YO 1. Old Trieste finished hard in the heavy at the Sunshine Coast to rack up another placing, and while form is solid around this grade, almost looks weighted out of it up to 60.5 kg. Really liked the progression of 4YO Ballina gelding 5. Deubank who finished hard to win his maiden before again surging late in a decent Class 1. Needs the pace on, but in well at the weights; while Ballina 4YO gelding 7. Dukatti has early speed and will try to take advantage of the inside gate, and while creeping down in the weights, doubt he can hold them all out.
How to play it: Dram Of Delago to win and trifecta 1-2-4/1-2-4-5-7.
|Race 6 BM 58 HCP (1200m):|
Improving 4YO gelding and another from the Matthew Dunn yard 3. Doctor On Ice maps beautifully second-up despite the sharp rise in weight. Was competitive up to BM 66 level in the spring, and flew home late resuming in a good quality Class 2. Leading country rider goes on.
Dangers: Gold Coast 5YO mare 2. La Renarde mixed her form in similar grade last spring, but did have problems. Given a lengthy break before a brilliant recent open trial win, and if she jumps clean will be right there. Gets a blindfold assist for the first time. Local 5YO gelding 1. Crooked Gent continues to close off his races okay, but will be forced a long way back from a wide barrier and will need plenty of tempo on to chase. Both Toowoomba 3YO gelding 3. Le Beau Renard who has fair metro form in Brisbane; and Grafton filly 12. Julianne's Wish who charged home to win her maiden second-up; are value in the exotics.
How to play it: Doctor On Ice to win and quinella 2 and 3.
Doctor On Ice runs third at Murwillumbah on May 10
|Race 7 CASINO FLYING (1000m):|
Feature sprint of the day, and smart 4YO Port Macquarie gelding 4. Patriot can go back-to-back after zooming home late to win the feature Lighting at Gunnedah over this trip. Won a BM 66 and just missed in a strong BM 80 earlier this prep. On the quick back-up and draws to get plenty of cover midfield.
Dangers: Grafton 6YO gelding 2. Cool Prince was bulletproof along the north coast last prep winning four straight at BM 66 level over longer trips, each time from right on the pace. First-up form, though, isn't flash and will be giving some speedsters a decent start. Not easy to assess 7YO Toowoomba gelding 1. Boomwaa who did win in heavy ground at the Sunshine Coast two runs back before failing in stronger grade at the Gold Coast. On strong metro form earlier this prep would be right there, but weight is a real query over this trip. Consistent and well travelled 6YO gelding 7. High Cost hasn't miss a place in four runs this prep; while Inverell 7YO gelding 3. Puzzling Wonder resumes with solid fresh form. Went close in a BM 83 two runs back, and will take up a forward position from a suitable barrier.
How to play it: Patriot to win.
Patriot wins at Gunnedah on May 19
|Race 8 CASINO CUP (1400m):|
The big one of the day is an open affair. Not entirely sure the inside draw will suit smart Toowoomba 5YO gelding 5. Fomo, but he looks well placed second-up over this trip after working home nicely behind Ef Troop at Doomben two Saturdays back. Good strike rate, and should park a few lengths off the speed and launch late. Over the odds!
Dangers: High class 5YO Lismore mare 7. Queen Of Kingston rarely runs a bad race, and after a terrific effort behind Noble Boy in the Country C'ship Final at Randwick, flew home to just miss in a BM 84 at Grafton. Just needs some cover to be charging into the finish. They'll be cheering for 6YO gelding and local hope 4. Landmarks who resumed with an average run at BM 84 level, but always improves after a run, and won an open BM 80 second-up last prep. The Listed Weetwood run of Toowoomba 6YO gelding 2. Apoloboom was better than it looked, and confirmed that in a comfortable win against weaker at Dalby. Good strike rate from a smart stable, but has to overcome a wide barrier. Murwillumbah 6YO gelding 1. Perfect Dare took on much stronger last year, and undoubtedly has the class, but did it tough under a big weight behind Ef Troop in stronger grade, and draws a wide gate. Eagle Farm-based gelding 11. Constantine continues to hit the line hard in good quality races, and again is drawn to settle back with cover and finish strong.
How to play it: Fomo each way and first four 2-5-7/1-2-4-5-7-11.
|Race 9 CL3 HCP (1400m):|
Murwillumbah 3YO filly 2. Axella has ability winning a thin BM 65 at Ipswich two back before way out of her depth in the Group 3 Gunsynd at Doomben. Obvious big drop back in class, and draws to get a lovely trail just off the speed.
Dangers: Nicely bred Lismore 4YO gelding 4. Pierino took on metro Highway company a few weeks back after a consistent campaign around Canberra, and should be in the finish from the good gate and with 2kg claim; while Grafton 4YO gelding 5. Tesarc won a BM 66 at home two back before another nice closing run under more weight at the Gold Coast, but draws very wide.
How to play it: Axella to win and quinella 2 and 4.