By Neil Evans
Track Soft 5 and rail out 5m
|Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
Written Tycoon filly 7. Miss Jay Fox is suitably placed second-up back in distance from the inside draw. Was well supported first-up for eight months when sticking on okay at Bathurst after winning both lead-up trials.
Dangers: Expect a big run first-up from 6. Invincible Fire who led home a smart trial field, and blinkers have been removed; while another one resuming 4. Deepstar has trialled well.
How to play it: Miss Jay Fox to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 2 CLASS 2 HCP (1000m):|
Bit of depth in this one headed by provincial filly 6. Majestic Shot resuming off two smart winning trials for a stable who knows how to get them ready. Charged home to win both starts in the country last prep, and being three from three at the trials, is yet to finish behind a runner on any scale.
Dangers: Well bred mare 3. Egyptian Missile returns off a steady trial for her first run since spring. Won two straight last prep in dominant fashion, and the more rain the better. Improving filly 5. Head On Up draws well, and is also much better off back at this trip third-up.
How to play it: Majestic Shot to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 3YO MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):|
Fairly open sprint with a few on debut. Got plenty of time for consistent 4. Mystic Vein who has beaten all bar the winner in his last four. Drawn well enough, and little drop in weight and distance can prove the key.
Dangers: Watch the betting on 6. Valiant Lad who won the middle of three recent trials on rain-affected ground, and debuts in blinkers for leading metro yard. Improving 2. Bullet Force has been fair to the line in his last two at the provincials, although will find this easier; while 7. Bel Suono can improve third-up.
How to play it: Mystic Vein to win and quinella 4 and 6. Odds and Evens: Evens
Mystic Vein runs second at Goulburn on February 21
|Race 4 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1600m):|
Loved the way progressive filly 6. Classic Train swept home late behind a handy one here in similar grade at only her second start after winning on debut. Stays at the trip, and can settle a bit closer. The one to beat.
Dangers: Emerging mare 2. Bizou has had four runs back from a spell, and is ready to strike. Has worked home from well off the speed in her last two, but can settle a couple of lengths closer here from a friendlier draw. Comes out of that same BM 58 here as the top selection, but generally been racing in much deeper races. Another mare 3. Todwick relished the heavy conditions to career away and claim her maiden third-up, but not as effective on drier ground, and up 2.5kg.
How to play it: Classic Train to win and quinella 2 and 6. Odds and Evens: Evens
Classic Train runs third at Goulburn on February 21
|Race 5 BENCHMARK 66 HCP (1600m):|
Up in grade and back in distance. Consistent home track five-year-old 4. War Deck hasn't been beaten by more than a long neck in his last three, including a strong win at CL2 level. Has been freshened up dropping back from the mile, and also gets significant weight relief.
Dangers: Top weight mare 1. Musume came back to this grade last start and boxed on for a long way after leading, although not convinced she can beat some of these carrying 61kg again. Lightly raced 6. Island Bay Boy had little or no luck first-up here when an odds-on favourite, but gets his chance to atone from an economical draw, dropping sharply in weight, and more experienced and stronger rider hopping on.
How to play it: War Deck to win and box exacta 1,4,6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 MAIDEN HCP (1400m):|
Keen on three-year-old 2. Ugly Nicos at his third start after working home fairly in two handy form races, and this shapes as a nice first-prep peak.
Dangers: Improving filly 1. Belle Espoir is the logical threat in a race where she can cruise across and find the front. Placed in all three runs to start her career, and blinkers have been added. Include 4. Not A Choice who comes out of a modest run in that same provincial maiden as the top selection, but can improve at fourth start with blinkers going on.
How to play it: Ugly Nicos each way. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Tricky one to finish for the maidens over the mile. Dundeel filly 11. Moremi didn't fire a shot resuming in a deeper provincial maiden despite being hard in the market. Expect her to hit back hard carrying half kilo less considering this is the weakest race she's lined up in so far.
Dangers: Improving three-year-old 7. Stonehenge has been disappointing this prep, but is drawn to get a lovely on-speed run, and can strike fourth-up staying at the trip. After a rock solid debut, 5. Mr Severino was flat second-up at the provincials, but can improve getting out to this journey.
How to play it: Moremi to win and box exacta 5,7,11. Odds and Evens: Odds a special