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Neil Evans' Tips For Grafton (Tuesday)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4/Soft 5 and rail out 4.5m from 1600m to 1200m, then out 5.5m the remainder so on-pace early before levelling out late with some showers around

Race 1 OPEN HCP (1020m):

Intriguing open class sprint to start, and doubt the 63kg will be enough to stop high class 7YO local gelding 1. Tarbert finishing over them, although back in trip in a small field is hardly his go. Won't be knocked around tuning up for the $1.3 million Kosciusko at Randwick, but comes off a stand-out closing effort behind Baller in a metro BM 78.

Dangers: Improving 6YO Ballina gelding 5. General Nelson has never gone better winning a BM 66 two runs back before fighting on from the front behind a city class horse at Lismore; while 7YO Casino gelding 4. San Sierra comes out of that same race at Lismore behind Tawfiq Boy when beaten under a half length at big odds. Inverell 6YO gelding 2. All Stand can run into a place after a solid effort behind a smart sprinter at Doomben.

How to play it: Tarbert to win and trifecta 1/2,4,5/2,4,5. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split

Tarbert runs second at Randwick on September 7

Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1120m):

Plenty of chances here, with a few starters on show, and a border-hopper looks the one to beat. Eagle Farm-trained 3YO filly 10. Another Kiss looked sharp in a Doomben trial, and rider sticks for her race debut.

Dangers: Murwillumbah filly 14. Our Girl Wanda resumes off some handy work at the trials after one failed run in the autumn so watch the market. Armidale 4YO mare 6. Lonny Lonny is close to breaking through, and gets in well at the weights after rider's claim, but jumping from a wide draw. Found the line okay when ridden a little quieter second-up this track, and extra trip a bonus.

How to play it: Another Kiss to win. Odds and Evens: Evens.

Race 3 CL1 HCP (1120m):

Open race. Gold Coast 3YO filly 4. Zac Attack has ability, and lines up for only his third start. Has been freshened since finding 3YO Fillies company at Eagle Farm a little rich five weeks ago when hard in the market, and was scratched from the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.

Dangers: Kempsey 4YO gelding 2. Sheeran has been freshened coming back from the mile, and should park right behind the speed from a low draw. Hard to get a true line on the long-awaited return of 5YO Inverell-based gelding 1. Cabriere who hasn't race since winning his maiden more than a year ago, and hasn't seen a public trial for nearly 10 months. Did show plenty of early promise as a 3YO, and progressive stable has booked a 3kg apprentice who is having a good run, so watch the market closely. A 2kg claim will help 5YO Casino mare 6. Crackaview spear across from a wide barrier. Won her maiden two starts back from the front before run down late at Bowraville, but this is significantly tougher.

How to play it: Zac Attack to win. Odds and Evens: Evens

Race 4 BM 58 HCP (1020m):

This looks ideal for 5YO local gelding 4. Institution to win a long over-due second race. Has run three straight seconds here, twice when run down late after leading, before taking an early sit last start, and just missing behind a smart one. Regular rider again claims 3kg.

Dangers: Patience is being stretched with another local, 8YO mare 8. Ilia who has been ridden quieter in her last two and found the line well, and she gets down now to a luxury 52kg after the claim, and draws to get plenty of cover. This is her chance. Local 5YO mare 2. Invincible Tammy felt the on-speed heat in that same BM 58 behind Congregate, but this looks easier, with form metro rider booked.

How to play it: Institution to win and box exacta 2,4,8. Odds and Evens: Evens

Institution runs second at Grafton on September 23

Race 5 BM 66 HCP (2235m):

Always a tactical and open contest at this grade and trip, and a few are dropping back from failed Cup bids. Former Sydney, now Sunshine Coast-based 5YO mare 2. Vihari can return to the winner's stall fourth-up after a solid run in stronger metro grade behind a promising stayer, but has to overcome a big weight and wide barrier.

Dangers: Ballina 6YO gelding 1. Winkler didn't really justify his strong market support in the BM 84 Lismore Cup after finishing close-up in the Prelude, and while this is a significant drop in grade, he also rises 6.5kg in weight. Coffs Harbour 5YO gelding 6. Real Time Warrior steps up from winning a BM 58 this track two runs back, and would need to find another length or two, but draws to get a cosy run on speed.

How to play it: Vihari to win and box exacta 1,2,6. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 6 MAIDEN HCP (1430m):

Very tough lining many of these up, but was taken by the first-up run of 4YO Coffs Harbour mare and ex-Victorian 11. Play School who finished off nicely after covering ground from well back. Draws to get an economical run back in the field, and extra distance ideal.

Dangers: Coffs Harbour 5YO mare 8. Sweet Kiara has experience and race fitness on her side, and hasn't been far away in her last couple. Coffs Harbour 4YO mare 5. The Actress is screaming out for a longer trip after doing her best work late in her last few, but will need plenty of speed on up front to get into the finish; while 4YO gelding 1. Big Brook finished off nicely on debut at the Sunshine Coast, and is bred to appreciate more ground.

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

Race 7 BM 66 HCP (1430m):

It doesn't get any easier here, with a stack of chances. Progressive 5YO Gosford gelding 4. Matakauri hasn't been far off them in his last few since winning consecutive races to start this prep mid year, and looks a mile over the odds at a big price.

Dangers: Lightly raced 4YO gelding 2. Dubai Tycoon has come back well after a long break, winning first-up at the Sunshine Coast, and just missing in a Class 4 last start. Draws to get a lovely trail just behind the speed. Coffs Harbour gelding 8. Lose The Snip is only just out of Class 1 grade, and taking on stronger here, but draws to park in a nice trailing spot just off the speed. Sunshine Coast 4YO mare 9. Musical Blues is another who draws to get a cosy run behind the speed, and has been consistent enough around this grade. Kempsey 6YO gelding 1. Mister McIlroy has hit a purple patch powering home to win his last two in this grade, but inside draw may not favour his natural finishing pattern. Gold Coast 6YO visitor 3. Jakuta won a thin BM 65 at Kilcoy two runs back before outclassed behind Alligator Blood at the Sunshine Coast, but that horse then went to Caulfield and won the Group 3 Guineas Prelude on Sunday.

How to play it: Matakauri each way and box first four 1,2,3,4,8,9. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 8 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1630m):

Another tough one to finish, but lightly raced 4YO Gold Coast gelding 2. Kingly draws well and is on the rise. Finished off from a long way back resuming this grade, and only previous win was second-up.

Dangers: Murwillumbah 4YO gelding 6. William should be ready to peak now after three runs back, and draws the fence. Include 5YO Coffs Harbour gelding 11. Guest third-up. Still a maiden after 15 starts, but has been placed 10 times continually charging home from well off the speed, often without luck. Down in weight, and distance looks ideal. Pt Macquarie 6YO gelding 5. Saint Denis has only one win from 36 starts, but placed 15 times, and if he can reproduce his closing effort behind a nice horse at Tuncurry two starts back, can drive into the finish over a suitable trip; while 4YO Pt Macquarie mare 9. Olena took 13 starts to land her maiden, but similarly she rattled home from midfield last start to just miss in a Class 1, and extra distance also a plus.

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

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

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