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Neil Evans' Tips For Cessnock (Monday)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4 & Rail out 3m from 900m to 250m, then true the remainder, so predominantly on-pace.

Race 1 BM 58 HCP (1000m):

Improving Scone filly 2. Mapili finished hard to win her maiden at Muswellbrook two runs back before again finding the line in CL1 at home. Will need to get in from a wide gate, but well up to finishing over the top here.

Dangers: Quirindi mare 3. Snipex Abaa came off a long break to win first-up at home when fighting on strong from the turn, and again draws to control the race up front. Wyong 8YO 5. Kamehameha doesn't win often, but resumed with a terrific effort at big odds in a stronger race behind Bubbles Ball and Engadine who have both won deeper races since. Local mare 7. Mon Petite Fille showed plenty of early speed behind Engadine at Muswellbrook, and will give a sight from the inside gate around this course.

How to play it: Mapili to win and box trifecta 2-3-5-7; Odds & Evens (First 2): Split.


Mapili runs second at Scone on June 24

Race 2 2YO MAIDEN HCP (900m):

Plenty of first-starters on show here over the scamper trip. Loved the winning trial last month of debutant Newcastle filly 8. Frozen In Time (Husson x Suspended Time by Gilded Time) who sat wide but cruised home under a strong hold for leading stable.

Dangers: The trials of Randwick colt 5. Showdown (Showcasing x Midnight Senorita by Pins) on firmer ground have been consistently good, and he looks ready to go on debut with the blinkers on. Newcastle filly 7. Fanciful Dream was heavily backed when sticking on nicely first-up at Muswellbrook, but draws a tricky barrier. Hawkesbury trial winner and gelding 2. Billy Piu Style (Wicked Style x Discord by Gilded Time) looks the pick of the rest.

How to play it: Frozen Time to win and quinella 5 and 8; Odds & Evens: Split.

Race 3 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2125m):

Modest staying race at set weights sets up nicely for improving 3YO Newcastle gelding 9. Lucitor who is screaming out for this longer trip after flashing home late in his last two over shorter. Drops significantly in weight, and sired by a Melbourne Cup place-getter.

Dangers: Muswellbrook 4YO gelding 2. Apache Junction has been up for a while, but hit the line hard in his last two as the distances have risen. Down in weight, and can peak over this trip. Tamworth 5YO gelding 3. House Wins comes out of that same race as Apache Junction finishing only fairly behind Raziel after covering ground from a wide gate, but two previous runs in BM 66 grade are good enough here. Hawkesbury 3YO gelding 5. Prolongo has kept improving this prep, and just missed when leading at Gundagai last start.

How to play it: Lucitor to win; Odds & Evens: Split.


Lucitor runs second at Tamworth on July 5

Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1150m):

Open affair. Debutant Newcastle 2YO filly 13. Hard Lady (All Too Hard x Lady Primrose by More Than Ready) made up plenty of late ground chasing home Frozen Time in that trial, so form lead could be there from Race 2.

Dangers: Wyong filly 2. Madam Ilithya fought on strong when just missing at Scone, and should be in the finish second-up with top country hoop navigating from a wider draw. Big watch on Warwick Farm filly and smart trial performer 8. The Light Of Day (Swiss Ace x Pure Light by Encosta de Lago) first start jumping from a wide barrier. Expect improvement fourth-up from 3YO Newcastle gelding 6. Freedom's Fire who is down a little in class and sharply in weight; while 2YO filly 14. Predictable Miss (Iffraaj x Not Surprized by Danzero), stablemate to Hard Lady, has trialled only fairly but draws a nice trailing gate.

How to play it: Hard Lady to win and trifecta 2-8-13/2-6-8-13-14; Odds & Evens: Split.

Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1570m):

Plenty of chances in a very thin race. Scone 3YO gelding 8. Populist mixes his form, but is suitably back in trip and down in grade.

Dangers: Newcastle 3YO gelding 1. Applicant has not run a place in 11 starts, but finished off okay in his last couple, and this is weaker. Newcastle gelding 7. Lord Byron is trying to break the duck at his 20th start, and is up sharply in weight, but this is a drop in quality.

How to play it: Populist each way; Odds & Evens: Split.

Race 6 CL2 HCP (1570m):

One of the stronger races of the day, and looks ideal for 3YO Newcastle gelding 1. Charlie's Law fourth-up from the inside draw. Has finished off nicely in all three runs this prep against stronger, and looks ready to win again.

Dangers: Stablemate filly 6. Azarmin resumed off a six month break with an even run this grade at Port Macquarie. Looks well treated at the weights, and won second-up first prep. Wyong 3YO gelding 4. Commander Bell came off two solid runs to win his maiden last start at Scone, and draws to get a lovely run just behind the speed. Gulgong 3YO 2. Larynx won a BM 58 at Bathurst three runs back, and only just missed this grade at Dubbo last start. Best ridden back from the wide gate and will be finishing on; while local mare 8. Dad's Blaze is a noted finisher second-up, and better than her one win from 18 record suggests.

How to play it: Charlie's Law to win and first four 1-4-6/1-2-4-6-8; Odds & Evens: Split.

Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1100m):

Wide open sprint. Wyong 6YO mare 6. Di's Diamond looks hard to beat off a good closing effort in a stronger BM 66 at Muswellbrook. Up in weight, but previous form was sound behind better horses than these.

Dangers: Newcastle gelding 3. East Esplanade is slowly working towards a win. Held on okay for third after leading against stronger at Newcastle, and while up significantly in weight, down in grade and suited around this tighter track. Wyong 4YO mare 8. Equiseta was unwanted in betting when resuming, but will improve sharply second-up.

How to play it: Di's Diamond each way and box exacta 3-6-8; Odds & Evens: Evens.

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

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