By Neil Evans
Giant card for Rhino Cup and Winter Country Classic Final day, with track likely Good 4 and rail out 3m from 900m to 400m, then True the remainder so around or just off the speed pattern before trending wider late
|Race 1 2YO HCP (1110m):|
The babies kick off a 10-race show, with all bar one runner either debuting or having only their second start. Keen on Rosehill colt 1. Conscript from the Gerald Ryan stable who scored an impressive all the way win on debut at Bathurst as a hot fancy, with something in hand. Up in weight, and drawn further out, but has tactical speed, and the bigger track will allow him to get over.
Dangers: Plenty of them headed by Newcastle colt 8. Triple Ace who finished close-up on debut in a handy maiden at Tamworth. Draws to park right behind the speed, and winkers go on. Expect Tamworth gelding 3. Without Shame to be driving into the finish after rattling home late at big odds on debut behind Never Talk; while include in exotics two Scone debutants 7. Nicator (Nicconi x Apamene by Sebring) who debuts in winkers and 10. I Promise You (Panzer Division x Wild Goose by Grandera), both having scored strong trial wins.
How to play it: Conscript to win and trifecta 1,8/1,3,7,8,10/1,3,7,8,10. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 2 CLASS 1 HCP (1110m):|
Open battle, with plenty of chances, headed by 5YO mare 5. Lily's Gold resuming for the Scone yard of Cameron Crockett. Trialled nicely, and can settle back off a good speed before sweeping home down the middle.
Dangers: Newcastle filly 2. Cool Missile can bounce back on firmer going after disappointing in soft ground at Taree. Previously looked smart careering away from the turn to win on debut at Coffs Harbour. Local 3YO filly 7. Matter Of Factor has only won once from eight starts, but has been just behind the winner in three of her last four, and gets in light after rider's full claim. Scone 5YO 1. Eleazar will find this easier than his last two when working home okay, although up significantly in weight, and drawn off the track. Expect improvement from Orange 4YO 3. Cotton On George who didn't begin well here last start, but was still flat to the line. Draws a good gate, and can settle much closer.
How to play it: Lily's Gold each way and trifecta 2,5,7/1,2,5,7/1,2,3,5,7. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 3 CLASS 1 HCP (1110m):|
Play it again Sam in an equally open sprint. Very keen to see 3YO Scone filly 5. Magic Attitude from the Brett Cavanough stable fourth-up with the blinkers coming off. Has done her best work late in three deeper races, despite not having a lot of luck, and should relish the big stretch here.
Dangers: Rival Scone 3YO 1. Primal Scream can win again after landing his maiden off a freshen-up at Mudgee. Drawn to settle a few lengths off the speed with cover, and pounce late. Local 3YO 2. Forgiato has worked home okay from off the speed in his last two, and little extra ground a plus; while Narromine 3YO 3. Planet Ex looks over the odds from the draw after a tough front-running win at Wellington in only his second start.
How to play it: Magic Attitude each way. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 4 3YO & UP MAIDEN HCP (1010m):|
Still with the sprinters, and again plenty of hopes. Capable 3YO filly 6. Japingka is fresh and has her first run for new local trainer Kody Nestor since transferring from the Mark Newnham yard. Settled back and found the line well in two deeper provincial maidens earlier in the year, and has trialled soundly.
Dangers: Talented Scone filly 7. Confinement resumes after bolting in a recent trial, and will be hard to hold out over this trip. Rival Scone 5YO 2. Haitian Poet also looks primed for his long-awaited return from a 14-month lay-off, winning the second of two open class trials in smart and controlled fashion. Watch the betting on Mudgee 3YO and first starter 1. Council (Krupt x Sister Swank by Fusaichi Pegasus) who finally debuts off two recent solid trials, with blinkers on.
How to play it: Japingka to win and quinella 6 and 7. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1310m):|
Challenging race at set weights. Mudgee 3YO gelding 4. Harley Fat Boy loves to settle back and finish hard, and was impressive late here last start after getting into an awkward spot. Drawn better and can break through at fourth start.
Dangers: Plenty of them headed by Scone 3YO 1. Bernadelli who was even on debut at Mudgee in that same race as the top selection, and behind Primal Scream who goes around earlier in the meeting. Muswellbrook filly 13. Tariff Trump has had four runs back and needs to find more, but draws better, and leading country rider goes on. Tamworth 3YO 5. I'm Savvy will appreciate the extra trip and bigger track after working home okay at home in his last two; while Narromine filly 14. Wild Rocket is best of the rest.
How to play it: Harley Fat Boy to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Harley Fat Boy runs third at Dubbo on June 1
|Race 6 MAIDEN PLATE (1310m):|
Same conditions again for the maidens. Progressive Scone filly 11. Entreat from the Crockett yard can land fourth up after finishing hard in a maiden here last start, and trainer has replaced blinkers with winkers.
Dangers: Consistent Tamworth 3YO 2. Danebrook hasn't missed a place in four runs against stronger opposition to start his career, and is the obvious threat despite a wide draw.
How to play it: Entreat each way and quinella 2 and 11. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 7 RHINO CUP OPEN HCP (1610m):|
First feature race of the day is a tricky battle of tactics and tempo, and there's not much between most of them. Lightly raced Wellington 6YO 2. Potent Force has plenty of ability, and finished strong from well back in a handy BM 74 at Wellington in his first start for 11 months. Natural improver, and one of the better weighted runners after the claim.
Dangers: Tough Nyngan 7YO 1. A Magic Zariz likes to settle back and finish off, and 3kg claim off-sets the big weight. Flashed home to win the Diggers Cup at home before again working home in the BM 83 Parkes Cup. Newcastle 6YO 4. Cullingworth was only plain resuming behind a smart one at Newcastle, but drops in weight, and always improves sharply second-up. Narromine 7YO 3. A Martin Placepick took a long while this prep to find his best, but charged home off a good trail to claim that same race at Wellington. Tamworth 4YO 6. Rubble ran two close second placings before tiring in the BM 86 Gunnedah Cup over this trip, but had stepped up from 1200m so fitness will be greatly improved.
How to play it: Potent Force to win and first four 1,2,4/1,2,3,4,6/1,2,3,4,6/1,2,3,4,6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 OPEN HCP (1010m):|
Back to the short course for a good quality sprint. Like the value about 6YO Newcastle gelding 5. Star Crossed who got strung up well back in the Lightning at Tamworth off a freshen-up, but much better suited here on the bigger track.
Dangers: Progressive Gulgong 5YO 8. Kookabaa has put two wins together, both times hitting the line from just off the speed. Drops a hefty 6kg in weight after rider's claim, but this is tougher and not totally convinced inside draw suits. Muswellbrook 3YO 9. Bengalla Bay fought hard to win fourth-up at Wellington after enjoying a nice trail, and similarly drops in weight for this harder test; while Mudgee mare 2. Our Dasha finished off okay resuming in the Lightning, and has won two from three second-up.
How to play it: Star Crossed each way and box trifecta 2,5,8,9. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 9 BM 58 HCP (1610m):|
Thin race which augurs well for promising 3YO Newcastle filly 3. Rua Raposa from the Lees stable who looks hard to beat from the draw after a dominant maiden win at Coffs Harbour in only her second start. Draws okay, and red to run out a strong mile.
Dangers: Bathurst filly 4. Jetline didn't fire a shot last start after winning her maiden second-up, but she's better on a firm track, and winkers go on. Watch for sharp improvement from 7YO Orange mare 7. Fanny Chenal who was beaten a long way last start at Wellington, but carries the same weight in a much weaker race; while local 6YO 5. Club Town is tough, and only two career wins have come here.
How to play it: Rua Raposa to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Rua Raposa wins at Coffs Harbour on May 22
|Race 10 WINTER COUNTRY CLASSIC FINAL BM 58 HCP (1310m):|
A marathon day closes with an open and competitive feature, and there are a stack of chances. Wellington 6YO gelding 2. Universal Thief has found a stunning new lease of life in the Michael Mulholland stable since arriving from Victoria early in the year. Hasn't finished worse than second in his last five including dominant CL2 and BM 58 wins at Narromine and at home, before rocketing late to just miss here under 61kg.
Dangers: Progressive Dubbo 3YO 3. Cloud Factory finished strong too last start to hold out the top selection, although drawn wide, and meets him 2kg worse off at the weights. Home track 5YO 1. California Fox has been in and around the money all prep, and is drawn to either lead or sit right behind the speed. Just missed a place in the stronger BM 83 Diggers Cup at Narromine two runs back. Scone mare 4. Modernity held on strong to beat smart Holy Empress here last start, and that mare scored a dominant win back at home on Tuesday. Include both improving Scone mare 12. Fiery Zone, and local mare 9. Dusky Damsel, in exotics.
How to play it: Universal Thief each way. Odds and Evens: Split.