By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and rail out 3m so predominantly on-speed before gradual trend wider late in the meeting
|Race 1 BM 66 HCP (3146m):|
Another small field battle of tempo and tactics over the extra long journey for the stayers, and most have been around plenty of times. But the one with the least experience, but still well on the way up 5YO Pt Macquarie gelding 4. Privately Epic looks beautifully placed. Hit the line hard in consecutive races at home before rattling home again up in distance to win a Class 1 with plenty left in the tank. Drops 2kg from that, and longer journey is a natural progression fifth run into the campaign.
Dangers: Beaudesert 7YO mare 2. Humility capped off steady progress this prep by sweeping home to win this grade at Ballina by nearly five lengths despite being unwanted in betting, and racing like this distance will be right up her alley. Armidale 7YO gelding 1. Rage Against is as honest as they come charging home to win the Spring Cup at Gunnedah two runs back before an even run this grade and track three weeks back. Is capable over any trip, but the weight is a big query.
How to play it: Privately Epic to win and in order trifecta 4-2-1. Odds and Evens (First 2): Evens
|Race 2 C, G & E CL1 HCP (1206m):|
Back to the sprint trip for the boys, and rising 4YO Armidale gelding 4. Cos I'm Good has enough potential and upside to go back-to-back after motoring home to easily win his maiden first-up at Coonabarabran as a heavily backed favourite.
Dangers: Gold Coast 4YO stallion 2. Invincore looks the clear threat, and well suited second-up after chasing home Mick The Hat in a stronger race at home, and both stable and rider are having a good run. Pt Macquarie 4YO gelding 6. Magnalane has twice found the line okay in handy Class 1 company since bolting in his maiden at Scone; while improving 4YO Coffs Harbour gelding and last start maiden winner 5. Beat That is best of the rest.
How to play it: Cos I'm Good to win and box trifecta 2,4,5,6. Odds and Evens: Evens
Cos I'm Good wins at Coonabarabran on October 27
|Race 3 F & M CL1 HCP (1206m):|
Now the girls' edition, and while you can make a small case for most in the race, believe what you see! Ballina 4YO mare 2. Canford Springs was ultra impressive on debut this track jumping to the front and cruising home. Naturally steps up a notch in class and weight, but bred to get further, and should adopt a similar winning tactic.
Dangers: Casino 5YO mare 3. Crackaview is zeroing in on a second career win with the winkers going on. Wasn't far off the winner this class at Ballina last start, but up a touch in weight and drawn wide. Coffs Harbour 4YO mare 4. Serene Beauty was right on the place-getters' heels last start, and draws to find a nice position with cover. Coffs Harbour 5YO mare 1. Shirazzle flopped badly at Taree last start, but previous form was sound around this grade. Watch the market on resuming 3YO Pt Macquarie filly 6. Sizzling Suzanne off a quiet trial; while 5YO local mare 8. Norma's Joy finished hard to win her maiden at Lismore two starts back.
How to play it: Canford Springs to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1106m):|
Wide open sprint where the first starters will have a big say, and one of them might send you scurrying back through the record books. Rarely has a 7YO mare won on debut, but Coffs Harbour-based 6. Miss Dent (Drumbeats x First Time Love by Orpen) looked sharp winning a recent trial narrowly for a stable renowned for striking early.
Dangers: Debutant 3YO Pt Macquarie gelding 3. Manly Hanover (Safeguard x Manilla I Scream by Fighting Falcon) showed early speed in her only trial for leading country stable. Sire was placed in Group 3 company as a 3YO. Coffs Harbour 4YO gelding 2. Surmise should be ready to peak at third start, but is drawn right off the track; while 5YO Coffs Harbour mare and ex Victorian 12. Pursue stuck on okay in first run for six months, and for new stable, and drops a little in weight.
How to play it: Miss Dent each way and box trifecta 2,3,6,12. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1710m):|
Some 132 combined starts without a win tells you this is a modest field over that tricky middle distance, but smart 3YO Gold Coast filly and hot favourite 11. Miss Gem looks a good thing from the inside draw at only her fifth start. Wasn't far off a smart youngster at Doomben three runs back before an even run at Lismore, and then powering home to just miss this track under more weight. Will be tucked away on the fence somewhere around midfield before unleashing from the turn. Should be daylight second.
Dangers: Kempsey 4YO gelding 3. Red Intuition comes back sharply in trip, but has been in and around the placings right through this prep, and gets in well at the weights after rider's 4kg claim; while 3YO Coffs Harbour filly 10. How Hard Is It has shown steady improvement through some handy maidens, and draws to get a nice trail with the blinkers coming off.
How to play it: Miss Gem to win and quinella 3 and 11. Odds and Evens: Odds.
|Race 6 CL2 HCP (1710m):|
More depth here over the same trip. If progressive 4YO Murwillumbah stallion 1. Royal Factor can get across and find some cover from the wide gate under 60kg, he'll be the one to beat. Has won two of his last four after parking on or near the speed, although jumps up sharply in distance.
Dangers: Local 4YO mare 9. Lily Of China was disappointing behind Prince Of Arran at Lismore after two nice runs prior, but will improve with the blinkers going on.
How to play it: Royal Factor to win and quinella 1 and 9. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 7 CL3 HCP (1410m):|
The first furlong here will be telling, with some of the better fancies drawn wide, but not 4YO Kempsey mare 6. Campari Soda who should be tucked away around midfield from the inside barrier. Beat a good BM 58 field here second-up, and flew home to just miss in a Class 2 at Taree. Freshened since that run, and in well at the weights, so as long as he can find clear galloping room from the 500m, he's the one to beat.
Dangers: Lightly raced 4YO Pt Macquarie gelding 2. Foxy's Foxinator resumes with a smart fresh record. Trialled in typical fashion behind high class Graff, but has to overcome a big weight and wide draw. Local 6YO mare 3. Mia's Got Class hit the line okay resuming under a big weight, and generally is a peak second-up runner, although also drawn off the track. Improving 5YO local gelding 8. Midweek Hussler hit the line hard third-up this track against weaker, but he's hard fit now and drops 4.5kg from that run. Taree 6YO mare 7. Magic Arli is going better than his form suggests. Has been even to the line chasing in three runs back, but this looks a little easier, and she's drawn to find a good trail. Watch for 5YO Pt Macquarie gelding 11. Dangerous Dan running on late down in weight. Likes to settle back and charge home, and will appreciate the longer trip.
How to play it: Campari Soda to win and first four 2,6/2,3,6,7,8,11/2,3,6,7,8,11/2,3,6,7,8,11. Odds and Evens: Evens
Campari Soda runs second at Taree on October 18
|Race 8 OPEN HCP (1410m):|
Great race to finish. Capable 6YO Pt Macquarie gelding 2. I Wanna Be A Jeep also wants to be a winner again, and get his chance here third-up. Didn't miss by much resuming in the Denman Cup at Muswellbrook before powering away in front for a long time in the stronger Jungle Juice Cup at Cessnock, and there were a few that finished well behind him that day who would be competitive in this.
Dangers: Murwillumbah 6YO gelding 10. Tivoli Street looms as one of the best-weighted runners all meeting down on 54.5kg after a dominant BM 70 win third-up at the Gold Coast. Local 7YO gelding 1. Cool Prince was valiant out in front in the stronger BM 84 Hastings at Pt Macquarie before an even run in the Jacaranda Prelude. Fit now after three runs, draws the inside, and this looks a shade easier. Coffs Harbour 8YO gelding 3. Chief In Command is another one who hasn't been far away all prep in good company, but back up sharply in weight. Include 5YO Pt Macquarie gelding 8. Mister Smartee in wider exotics.
How to play it: I Wanna Be A Jeep each way and quinella 2 and 10. Odds and Evens: Evens