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Neil Evans' Tips For Grafton (Tuesday)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4 and rail out 3m so even and on-pace early before late trend towards the middle

Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1710m):

As is normally the case over middle distance maidens, most have had plenty of cracks trying to break through, but one still on the rise is 4YO Murwillumbah mare 10. Beyond Desire who has attacked the line late in her last two, and this looks an ideal trip from a good trailing draw.

Dangers: Ballina 4YO gelding 4. Patriot Missile has more upside than most of these finishing hard in his last couple on this track. Will need a share of luck from a wider gate, but is ready to break through. Like the steady improvement from local 5YO gelding 6. There's Always One this prep as the distances have slowly been stretched, and his last run in a handy maiden topped him off nicely for this. Murwillumbah 6YO gelding 3. Monsun Soldier has found the line okay in his last three at the Gold Coast, and will relish the longer journey here being bred on strong European staying lines; while 6YO Pt Macquarie gelding 2. Dr Mayhem has had two improved runs this prep, and draws to get a cosy run back on the fence.

How to play it: Beyond Desire to win. Odds and Evens (First 2): Evens.


Beyond Desire runs second at Murwillumbah on August 23

Race 2 C, G & E MAIDEN HCP (1106m):

Thin and tricky sprint with a few handy ones resuming. One of those from leading country stable 4YO stallion 2. Royal Factor looks ready to go off two nice trial wins, the latest in Open company showing early speed, and a willingness to find the post.

Dangers: Armidale 4YO gelding 3. Kitchener has also trialled nicely for a stable renowned for getting them ready fresh; while watch the market on 3YO Pt Macquarie gelding 7. Graziano who has also trialled okay.

How to play it: Royal Factor to win. Odds and Evens: Split.


Royal Factor wins a trial at Murwillumbah on August 23

Race 3 F & M MAIDEN HCP (1106m):

Now the girls' turn over the same trip in what is a much wider battle. Pt Macquarie 4YO mare 11. Jackpot Telephone looks well placed to break through at her ninth start after finishing strongly this track last start. Down 1.5kg on that run, and draws to get cover off the fence. Significantly, the blinkers come off and pacifiers go on.

Dangers: Big market watch on 4YO Armidale mare 2. Lonny Lonny who hasn't started for nearly a year, and no public trial, but was competitive in decent maiden company at Kembla last spring. Local 5YO mare 4. Savanna Jeune hasn't been far away in two runs at Kempsey, and is on the quick back-up from an ideal trailing draw. Coffs Harbour 4YO mare 7. First Sight came from a long way back without threatening at Lismore, and hard fit can drive into the finish again if she gets a good tempo to chase up front.

How to play it: Jackpot Telephone each way and trifecta 2,4,11/2,4,11/2,4,11,14. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 4 BM 58 HCP (2220m):

Now the stayers' turn, and there are plenty of chances. Ballina 4YO mare 4. Emshalky comes back in grade after finding the line strongly at Murwillumbah when specked in the market, but is up sharply in weight.

Dangers: Consistent 6YO Coffs Harbour mare 1. Winged Poet loves to park on-speed and keep rolling, but has knocked up running close seconds this prep. Only run down late in a good Class 3 last start, but is up a hefty 4kg on that effort. Coffs gelding 2. Real Time Warrior has been honest since winning this grade five runs back, and drawn to get a lovely run off the speed with cover; while 7YO Kempsey mare 9. Wonderful Thing also got home well in that same race as Veganza, and draws to get a soft run on the fence.

How to play it: Emshalky each way. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 5 CL3 HCP (1410m):

Competitive race. Casino 4YO gelding 1. Exclusive has to carry the grandstand with 62kg, but has won two of his last three on this track, both times powering home from well back, and gets the firm track he loves.

Dangers: While the form of 5YO Ballina gelding 2. My Song doesn't look flash, he's been mixing it generally in deeper company. Both Murwillumbah gelding 4. Phabeni who wasn't far away in metro company two runs back; and Pt Macquarie gelding 5. Tokyo Bullet who charged home late in a BM 66 at Kempsey last start; are knockout chances.

How to play it: Exclusive to win and box trifecta 1,2,4,5. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 6 OPEN HCP (1610m):

Feature race is wide open, with some stepping up in trip and others coming back. Pt Macquarie 7YO gelding 2. Art Attack likes to drift back and finish hard. Has been raced sparingly this prep, but did his best work late last start in a stronger BM 85 at Taree behind the smart Tarbert who ran a terrific closing second to high class Baller at Randwick on Saturday. Has solid metro form up to 2400m so little step up in journey an obvious plus.

Dangers: Taree 5YO gelding 3. Editors was huge odds when outclassed in the Coffs Cup two runs back, but comes out of that race behind Tarbert when he finished strongly from well off the speed. The form of 6YO Pt Macquarie gelding 4. O'Driscoll has been all over the place since he won the Wauchope Cup five runs back, but he's generally been tackling tougher opposition, and draws to get a nice run. Ballina 8YO mare 5. I'll Miss You is another one who picks her days to fire, but after finishing well back in consecutive Listed races, she hit the line hard in a BM 83 at Coffs last start when heavily specked in the market. Include 5YO Pt Macquarie gelding 7. Mister Smartee who was a dominant BM 66 winner from the front three runs back, and close-up in his last two, but has to get over from a wide gate. Toowoomba visitor, 7YO gelding 8. Kuttamurra Al was less than three lengths off the winner in consecutive BM 75 races at home before close-up in a strong race at the Gold Coast, and draws to get a cosy run just behind the speed.

How to play it: Art Attack each way. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 7 CL1 HCP (1206m):

Like the placement here second-up for 4YO Kempsey gelding 8. First Time Lucky who resumed with an even effort this track, but generally improves into next run, and back in the autumn ran the smart Charmed Princess to a nose over this trip.

Dangers: Gold Coast 4YO gelding 2. Ragnor broke through second-up at the Sunshine Coast, and draws to park in a nice spot stalking the speed. Kempsey 5YO gelding 4. Ohchebelcavallo was heavily backed before flying home to win his maiden this track last start, and this isn't much stronger; while 4YO Coffs Harbour gelding 6. Spirit Of Cherokee has been finishing off okay all prep without winning, but inside draw for one that likes to get a fair way back is a query.

How to play it: First Time Lucky each way and box trifecta 2,4,6,8. Odds and Evens: Evens.

Race 8 BM 58 HCP (1106m):

Open sprint to finish, but with the same Kempsey stable again in progressive 4YO mare 10. Campari Soda who just missed resuming this track, and looks even better placed second-up dropping 2kg on that effort. Just needs even luck from the wide draw.

Dangers: Beaudesert 4YO gelding 3. Sylvester hops the border, and will be hard to beat from the draw. Cruised home from the front in a Class 1 two runs back before a moderate effort this grade at Murwillumbah. Local 7YO gelding 1. Ministry Of Fear has hit a purple patch winning his last two, but this is stronger, and he draws right off the track. Include in exotics on-speed 4YO Pt Macquarie mare 13. Nicconi Lass who draws a good barrier.

How to play it: Campari Soda each way and box trifecta 1,3,10,13. Odds and Evens: Split.

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

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