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Neil Evans' Tips For Grafton (Monday)

By Neil Evans

Track improving to Good 4 and rail out 2m so on-pace early before levelling out

Race 1 CL3 HCP (2217m):

Despite both career wins coming in heavy ground, progressive and versatile 5YO Gold Coast mare 4. Miss Fraser can take the next step here after careering away from the front last start at Coffs Harbour.

Dangers: Coffs 6YO gelding and consistent placegetter 3. Winged Poet goes up in weight over a longer trip, but his close-up effort in the stronger BM 83 Ken Howard behind Our Gravano puts him right in this; while 5YO Gosford gelding 2. Rock Sonic has improved lengths this prep winning two of his last three, but weighted right to his best after a comfortable BM 66 win.

How to play it: Miss Fraser to win. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split.

Miss Fraser wins at Coffs Harbour on August 3

Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1708m):

Thin race, yet very tricky over this middle distance. Despite only one placing from eight starts, 4YO Ballina gelding 6. Patriot Missile only has to run up to his last couple this track to be the one to beat.

Dangers: Coffs Harbour 5YO mare 1. Sunset Ruby is struggling to break through after 14 starts, but her fighting effort from the front last start in a stronger Class 1 was a sign she's getting close, and 3kg claiming rider puts her well in the contest; while 4YO Grafton mare 2. Adventure Queen improved significantly third-up, and can also work into the finish.

How to play it: Patriot Missile each way and quinella 1 and 6. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1105m):

Port Macquarie 4YO mare 8. Jackpot Telephone looks suited after finishing hard behind the smart Rambler Rebel who has since won again in good time at Taree on Friday. Has shown nice improvement in only her second prep, and extra distance a plus.

Dangers: Kempsey 5YO gelding 3. Ohchebelcavallo can go close after disappointing as favourite on his home track, but there was more depth to that race, and previous form was solid. Improving 5YO local mare 6. Cristal Caz held her ground on the heavy at Coffs last start when specked at a big price, and should improve again back on top of the ground; while 4YO Coffs mare 10. The Actress resumes and will be doing her best work late.

How to play it: Jackpot Telephone to win and box trifecta 3,6,8,10. Odds and Evens: Evens.

Race 4 C, G & E CL1 HCP (1005m):

Ballina 5YO gelding 7. Dukatti is a big price, but has more ability than his one win and four placings from 16 starts suggests. Has been raced sparingly this prep, and draws to get a nice trail just off the speed and quicken early in the straight.

Dangers: Kempsey 4YO gelding 5. First Time Lucky resumes for leading district stable, and can position nicely here midfield from a low draw. Just missed this track behind a nice horse two runs back before ridden further forward and compounding late at Taree. Will be getting home over this trip. Coffs 4YO gelding 3. Spirit Of Cherokee is knocking on the door for a second win after flashing home into second two runs back before again doing his best work late in a stronger Class 3 when well backed, but wide barrier and more weight are queries over shorter trip. Local 4YO gelding 2. Bozeman has early speed, and suited coming back in trip with the blinkers off after being easily overwhelmed by a smart one at the Gold Coast.

How to play it: Dukatti each way and box trifecta 2,3,5,7. Odds and Evens: Odds.

Race 5 F & M CL1 HCP (1005m):

Now the girls' turn over the same sprint trip, and keen on 4YO Gosford mare 6. Charging Clear third-up. Resumed with a fair closing run in a BM 58 this track before only an even effort on the heavy at Coffs, but back on top of the ground, and drawn to park in behind, she'll be hard to hold out with the blinkers coming off.

Dangers: Coffs 6YO mare 11. Secrets No More has only won once from 46 starts, but hit the line nicely in her last two in this grade, and gets in with only 51kg after rider's 3kg claim. Local 5YO mare 9. Laura's Star also draws to be in the finish. Worked home nicely last start in heavy ground, and well in on the limit weight. Ballina 4YO mare 1. Annie Ethyl hasn't been far away after winning her maiden as a hot favourite at Casino three runs back, but up sharply in weight and drawn off the track. Include Kempsey 4YO mare 2. Campari Soda first-up despite not having fired in two previous fresh runs. Drawn wide, but has ability on her day, and was always solid in the market during her last prep.

How to play it: Charging Clear each way and trifecta 1,6,11/1,2,6,9,11. Odds and Evens: Split.

Charging Clear's second-up run at Coffs Harbour on August 3

Race 6 BM 66 HCP (1408m):

Toughest and most competitive race of the day, with several chances. Improving 4YO Casino gelding 4. Exclusive disappointed last start at Coffs when solid in the market, but rattled home for a dominant win in a weaker race this track two runs ago. Likes to drift back and finish off, and should be enough pressure on up front to get home hard.

Dangers: Kempsey 6YO gelding 1. Jexerlent has been up for a while, but rarely runs a bad race. Finished off okay in the stronger BM 83 Dan Baker before again hitting the line this grade at home. More depth here, but draws to get a trail, and 3kg apprentice off-sets the big impost. Local 6YO gelding 2. Saxophone is a little hard to predict, but beat a good field this track three runs back before even efforts in the Dan Baker Prelude and in this grade at Lismore.

How to play it: Exclusive to win. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1205m):

Kempsey 6YO gelding 7. I've Got This has had a little freshen-up after sweeping home over the mile into second in a good BM 58 at Taree. Draws to get a stack of cover back in the field, and will be flying home late.

Dangers: Coffs Harbour 8YO gelding 2. Elite Dubleo will appreciate further ground after finishing off okay in his last two over shorter trips. Improving 4YO Gosford gelding 10. Empathy has been well in the market around this grade, but up in weight from a wide gate; while 5YO Coffs gelding 4. Aimalac Bulsa finished over the top to win a Class 1 in the heavy last start, but good track form is not as impressive, and has a horror barrier to overcome.

How to play it: I've Got This to win. Odds and Evens: Split.

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

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