By Neil Evans
Showcase meeting, with the track around Soft 7 and rail out 2m from 1000m to 350m into a Cut/away, so likely pattern just off the speed before late trend from wider and further back
|Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (803m):|
We start over the flying short course, with plenty resuming or on debut, and rarely do we see so many age groups in one maiden. Debutant 2YO Newcastle filly 12. Zanshin (Dawn Approach x Judaea by Holy Roman Emperor) from the Kris Lees stable at Newcastle looks ready to go off a nice trial, and bred to handle the ground.
Dangers: Watch the betting on 2YO Inverell first starter 10. Atkinson (Spill The Beans x Hayite by Written Tycoon) who trialled okay and is bred to fly; while local filly 9. Qukes stuck on fairly at Pt Macquarie, and has been freshened up for her fourth run in first prep.
How to play it: Zanshin to win. Odds and Evens (First 2): Evens.
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1205m):|
Plenty of these will go around at big odds, but not so 2YO filly 14. Ciao Uno from the Kris Lees yard at Newcastle. Chased home a handy sprinter on debut at Tamworth as a heavily-backed favourite, and from the draw looks hard to beat with that natural weight advantage.
Dangers: Home track 3YO gelding 4. Praeferox is a threat after finishing close-up in three good efforts to start his career. Draws to get a cosy run on speed, and blinkers go on. Include improving 3YO Grafton filly 8. Enterprise Keren who resumes for new Grafton stable without an official trial, but plenty of residual fitness. Came off two tidy metro runs to just miss finishing hard at Grafton, and likes wet tracks. Doubt the winner comes away from those three, but exotic players should include capable local 3YO 3. Pay The Plumber who stuck on very well at second start after covering ground.
How to play it: Ciao Uno to win; box exacta 4,8,14 & trifecta 4,8,14/4,8,14/3,4,8,14. Odds and Evens: Evens
Ciao Uno runs second at Tamworth on May 4
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1405m):|
Very tricky race for the maidens, with the fancies all drawn off the track. Perennial 5YO local place-getter over longer trips 1. Guest from the Jim Jarvis yard resumes without a public trial, but has never missed a place first-up. Has to cart a big weight, but loves rain-affected ground, and if he gets enough speed on up front will be working home hard.
Dangers: The debut run at Muswellbrook of Newcastle filly 5. Rua Raposa was fair, but she'll find this a little easier, with more fitness under her belt. Pt Macquarie 4YO 3. Flying Mojo got home okay first-up despite easing in betting, and another one who will tryand slot in from a wide draw and finish hard.
How to play it: Guest each way. Odds and Evens: Odds.
|Race 4 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1605m):|
It doesn't get much easier here over further. Grafton 3YO 12. Flying Euros from the David Campbell stable can hit back after being ridden out of her comfort zone from a tough draw at Murwillumbah. Draws to park in a much more forward position, and gets a hefty 5kg drop in weight.
Dangers: Home track 4YO 1. A Million Dreams has been banging on the door all prep, narrowly beaten in his last two. Drops a little in quality, but query in the ground, with his best form on firmer footing. Another local, 5YO mare 7. Lady Wahoo has a poor strike-rate, but has been close-up here in her last two, and will find this easier.
How to play it: Flying Euros to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 5 CLASS 2 HCP (1005m):|
So much revolves around the Matt Dunn-trained stablemates. Progressive 4YO mare 8. Unimpeded let down strongly under a big weight to win at Grafton third-up, and gets conditions to suit, although a little more depth here.
Dangers: Stablemate 5YO mare 2. She's Spicy has been freshened coming back in trip and grade, and with enough speed on up front can get over the top; while local 4YO 4. Fearnley is suited in the ground.
How to play it: Unimpeded to win. Odds and Evens: Evens.
Unimpeded wins at Grafton on May 4
|Race 6 WOOLGOOLGA CUP BM 74 HCP (2005m):|
Feature race of the day, and there are a stack of chances. Like the value here about home track 4YO 12. Galway from the Brett Dodson stable rising in class and trip, but dropping in weight. Has found the line well in his last three, flashing home late in a BM 66 at Grafton after having little luck in the run. Over the odds!
Dangers: Plenty of them headed by tough 4YO Wyong gelding 7. Arrogante who can peak over this trip well into the prep. Has found the line strong in last couple, finishing only a length from the winner at Newcastle in record time. Murwillumbah 6YO 4. Penshurst was in need of the run last start when working home fairly off a nine week break. Previous metro form was good enough for this. Newcastle 7YO stallion 1. Kellstorm will need everything to go his way carrying 61kg, but draws well, loves rain-affected ground, and will find this easier than his last few in Qld. Taree mare 9. But I Know keeps slowly improving, and was solid through the line in a deeper BM 87 at Tamworth.
How to play it: Galway each way and first four 4,7,12/1,4,7,9,12/1,4,7,9,12/1,4,7,9,12. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1405m):|
Another open market here. Ballina 6YO 2. Jakuka is hard fit and grows a leg in wet ground. Well over the odds dropping in quality.
Dangers: Expect a better performance from Wyong mare 13. Value Abbey who loomed to win a good CL2 at Coffs but punctured late under pressure. Grafton 4YO 5. Bugalugs was good resuming in a handy CL2 at Murwillumbah, but up in weight, and all his form is on firmer going.
How to play it: Jakuta each way. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 8 CLASS 1 HCP (1305m):|
It had to be a tough and open affair to finish, so exotic punters can unleash. Improving 4YO mare 7. Frivolosophy from the Neil Godbolt yard at Pt Macquarie is a real wet-tracker running three straight seconds before a deserved maiden win two starts back. Unplaced effort at Taree on unsuitable firm ground was better than it looked, and she gets the right conditions here.
Dangers: Progressive Pt Macquarie 3YO 3. Racketeering was a dominant off-speed maiden winner at third start, and boasts more natural ability than anything else in the field. Looks well placed drawn away from the fence, but no real wet-track breeding, and a query first time on this rating; while Murwillumbah filly 6. Dreamtime Magic has been consistent enough in four runs this prep, and will appreciate a little more ground.
How to play it: Frivilosophy each way and Racketeering to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.