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Neil Evans' Tips For Grafton (Tuesday)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4 and rail true so should play nice and even

Race 1 CL1 HCP (1400m):

Modest opener. Coffs Harbour 4YO mare 1. Penny Rosa finished strongly to win her maiden on this track two runs back before again closing off from well back this grade, and while up sharply in weight, draws to get a soft run with plenty of cover and will be finishing hard again.

Dangers: Murwillumbah 4YO mare 3. Bling 'N' Bubbles had been consistently behind the placegetters in three runs before putting in a shocker against stronger this track last start, but have to be forgiving back in this company, with leading trainer making an important jockey switch; while 6YO Coffs mare 6. Fantasy Midnight is capable from a good draw if she finds her best.

How to play it: Penny Rosa to win. Odds and Evens (First 2): Odds

Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1200m):

Coffs Harbour 5YO mare 2. Dawn Thunder has good early tactical speed, and has led up and been run over in two runs this prep. Fitter now in a race that looks a little easier, and will be fighting on for a long way.

Dangers: Murwillumbah 3YO gelding 5. Bells Approaching returns as a gelding and will be hard to beat. Was outclassed in metro maiden company back in late autumn, but resumes off a nice trial when he was never really let go for dominant country stable.

How to play it: Dawn Thunder to win and quinella 2 and 5. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 3 BM 66 HCP (2350m):

Always testing and open contests for the stayers on this track, and again there's plenty of chances. Progressive 4YO Murwillumbah gelding 4. William is really hitting his straps well into this prep as the distances rise. Finished too well in a Class 1 here two runs back before just missing this grade at home, but draws to get an armchair right behind the speed.

Dangers: Ballina 5YO mare 5. Clever Dolly was well backed at a price when careering away to win by more than seven lengths this grade two runs back before overpowered in tougher BM 75 metro grade. It may be a big ask for 7YO Armidale gelding 2. Rage Against to win two straight after breaking a long run of outs in the Spring Cup at Gunnedah, but he's as honest as they come, and gets in okay at the weights after rider's 2kg allowance. Lismore 5YO gelding 1. Peak Hill fought on well to place in his home town Cup three runs back before finding metro grade in Brisbane coming back in trip too tough. Better suited here, but almost looks weighted out of it rising sharply to 61kg.

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

William runs second at Murwillumbah on October 15

Race 4 BM 66 HCP (1400m):

Same grade, but well back in trip for a tricky contest. Like the placement here from leading stable with 5YO Murwillumbah gelding 3. Bullet Shot who hasn't started for five months, but looks forward enough off two nice trials. Was competitive in metro company up to 2000m last spring, and despite being lumped with 61kg first-up, this looks an ideal starting point.

Dangers: Progressive 4YO Pt Macquarie gelding 1. Chamisal only has get his share of luck third-up from the widest gate to be right in the finish. Was well supported when powering home from midfield to win a Class 1 last start, and while the handicapper hasn't missed him with a whopping and seemingly over the top 62kg, he'll be ridden quiet and saved for a late charge. Gold Coast 4YO mare 11. Coolwedge has only been fair in her last few after winning a weak race at Gatton four runs back, but draws well and hails from a strong stable. Glen Innes 7YO gelding 10. Tan Tat Nova resumes coming back in trip. Won last time at this track in weaker grade, but not a noted fresh performer, and continues to wear front bandages. While he hasn't won for a while, 8YO local gelding 8. Melted Moments never shirks the task almost exclusively in this grade and has been working home well from off the speed all prep.

How to play it: Bullet Shot each way and box exacta 1,3,11. Odds and Evens: Odds.

Race 5 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1700m):

Tough and open contest at set weights. Despite some fast-finishing efforts this prep and back in autumn, 5YO local mare 4. Anacreon took 25 starts to land her maiden, but it was impressive over the mile at Ballina making a long sustained run from midfield well before the turn, and motoring away to win by nearly four lengths after being heavily specked in the market, and the second horse has since easily won her maiden. Now that she's tasted success, can go right on with it.

Dangers: Local 4YO mare 5. Lily Of China hasn't been far away in three runs this prep, and can peak here fourth-up from a good trailing draw. Improving 4YO Murwillumbah gelding 10. Cane Cutter is closing in on a maiden win in his first prep after getting home hard in his last couple, and this looks an ideal journey fourth-up. Rival 4YO Murwillumbah gelding 1. Maleko hasn't been far away in his last few at the Gold Coast, and should find this easier, but will need all the breaks climbing to 59kg from a wide barrier; while 4YO Coffs mare and ex-Victorian 8. Play School finished hard from midfield to win her maiden at second run this region, but was outclassed stepping up to Class 2 grade. Will find this more to her liking and extra trip a plus.

How to play it: Anacreon to win and trifecta 4,5,10/4,5,10/1,4,5,10. Odds and Evens: Split

Anacreon wins at Ballina on October 6

Race 6 BM 58 HCP (1200m):

Open race, with most having some sort of each-way claim. The best value, though, is 5YO Pt Macquarie gelding 6. Dangerous Dan with the winkers coming off. Strike rate is only average, but last few closing runs have been very encouraging. Was big odds when finishing hard late behind Lose The Snip in a Class 2 here last start, and drawn to get plenty of cover from a low draw, that looks good form for this.

Dangers: Another Matt Dunn-trained runner resuming, 5YO Murwillumbah gelding 1. Westrock looks well placed in this grade off two trials, with the jockey taking 2kg off. Local 4YO mare 2. Julianne's Wish resumes for leading local stable without a public trial, and while's she too good to dismiss, nearly always needs a run before showing her best, and is drawn off the track. Stablemate 5YO mare 4. Invincible Tammy has been close up in her last couple and draws to get a nice inside run on the speed, but struggles to run out 1200m. Coffs Harbour 4YO gelding 5. Ceremonial Prince fought on well under a big weight to land his maiden last start, but this is tougher jumping from a wide barrier; while 4YO Armidale mare 10. Chance Of Rain who beat a handy Class 1 field three runs back is best of the rest.

How to play it: Dangerous Dan each way and box trifecta 1,2,4,6. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 7 CL2 HCP (1000m):

Yet another intriguing battle. Local 4YO mare 4. Oyashio Drift can figure second-up. Won two straight on this track on-speed in late autumn, and resumed with an even run this grade at Pt Macquarie. Draws to get a lovely trail stalking the speed.

Dangers: Another local, 5YO gelding 3. Tesarc resumes off a four month break and some strong runs in tougher grade mid year, but first-up record is poor. Armidale 5YO gelding 7. Institution has been banging on the door all prep, and deserves a better record than one win and six placings from 17 starts, although this may be a bit tough; while 4YO Taree gelding 6. Jest Magic has consistent enough form in and around this grade, but seems to perform best on wet tracks. Both home track runners and 5YO mares, 10. True Pride and 11. Magic Era have been finishing off okay and should be included in wider exotics.

How to play it: Oyashio Drift to win. Odds and Evens: Split.


Local 7YO gelding 2. Cool Prince drops back sharply in trip from the stronger BM 84 Hastings at Pt Macquarie, but don't be concerned. Has enough early speed to take up a striking position, and has a smart record on his home track.

Dangers: Plenty of them headed by 7YO Casino gelding 3. San Sierra who will be there for a long way from the inside draw after leading from barrier to box in a BM 66 this track last start, and drops a significant 5.5kg from that win. Pt Macquarie 5YO gelding 5. Golden Comet has a good fresh record, and looks primed for this off a recent trial win. Ballina 6YO gelding 4. General Nelson is another who likes to stride forward, and won a BM 66 from the front at Ballina three runs back. Must include 6YO Taree mare 8. Valbeata who has found a new lease of life powering home at huge odds to just miss in a stronger sprint at Pt Macquarie before again hitting the line hard behind in-form Sausalito in the Krambach Sprint; while 6YO Tamworth gelding 7. The Lion hasn't produced his old form for quite a while, but did trial well last week.

How to play it: Cool Prince each way and first four 2,3,5/2,3,5/2,3,4,5,8/2,3,4,5,7,8. Odds and Evens: Split.

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

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