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Neil Evans' Tips For Gunnedah (Monday)

By Neil Evans

Track Soft 5 and rail true so should play fairly even

Race 1 3YO MAIDEN HCP (1250m):

This looks ideal for 3YO Scone gelding 1. Scatjak at fourth career start. Flopped in a stronger maiden at Quirindi before hitting the line nicely at Scone, and very well in at the weights after rider's 3kg claim.

Dangers: Didn't mind first run in six months from 3YO Armidale gelding 3. Union Curtain, and can improve again over further. Stablemate filly 8. Rabaab can also work into the finish fourth-up; while keep watch on debutant Tamworth filly 4. Amazing Day (Tickets x Avicenna by Shamardal) who has trialled okay.

How to play it: Scatjak to win and trifecta 1/3-4-8.

Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1000m):

Newcastle 5YO 1. Little Geoffrey has been very competitive in stronger maidens, and improved to just miss at Tamworth last start. Looks the one to beat in this company.

Dangers: Newcastle 2YO colt 2. Giordano boxed on strongly on debut at Scone, despite easing in betting, and just needs to overcome the wide draw to be in the finish.

How to play it: Little Geoffrey to win.

Little Geoffrey runs second at Tamworth on June 18

Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):

Mudgee 3YO gelding 9. Scepter Of Power has been freshened and looks supremely suited from the inside draw. Previously ran three consecutive close seconds in superior company, and draws to park right behind the speed. The one to beat.

Dangers: Cessnock 3YO gelding 2. Crime Wave worked home okay on debut at Port Macquarie, and drawn to get a nice trail midfield; while Moree-trained 8. Ringside flew home at Tamworth at third career run, and should appreciate the extra trip; while the rest are making up the numbers.

How to play it: Scepter Of Power to win and trifecta 9/2-8.

Race 4 CURLEWIS CUP (1400m):

Competitive race, but looks ideal for 3YO Mudgee filly 2. Gentle Persuasion who put two wins together, then rattled home in a strong Class 3 at Scone before competitive in a Rosehill Highway when forced to work from a wide gate. Better drawn here, well at the weights, and the one to beat. Was scratched from the main race at Mudgee on Sunday.

Dangers: Newcastle 6YO gelding 1. Royal Tudor has found the line nicely in his last two behind smart sprinter Star Boy, and drops in grade here fourth-up, but has to carry the grandstand. Watch for Armidale mare 3. Exilia Miss getting home late first up. Was well beaten in consecutive country cups last prep, but previously won a BM 74 at home when well backed. Draws to get a cosy run and leading country rider hops aboard. Tamworth 9YO warrior 4. Hammoon Boy also comes out of those two races behind Star Boy where he performed well above is long starting price, and draws the fence, although does prefer it wetter. Include 5YO local hope 5. Beale Street in exotics, just missed at Moree two runs back before leading all the way in a BM 77 at Quirindi. Mudgee 6YO 6. Wild Cavalier who comes back in trip for leading stable, and gets in light after the claim; and Armidale 6YO gelding 7. New Endeavour who hasn't been far away in consecutive BM 66 races; are the best of the rest.

How to play it: Gentle Persuasion to win and first four 1-2/1-2-3-4-5-6-7.

Gentle Persuasion's last start at Rosehill on June 15

Race 5 BM 58 HCP (1600m):

Open race, and going with one on the rise second-up in well-bred 3YO Newcastle filly 5. Azarmin who resumed with a fair closing effort at Port Macquarie. Flew home to win her maiden second-up last prep, and better suited this distance, with top country rider booked.

Dangers: Expect a much better run from Tamworth 4YO 4. Autumn Ridge who didn't let down in a Class 1 last start but previous form in similar company had been consistent. Scone-trained 3YO 7. Modern Family put two good runs together at Dubbo before getting lost right out at the back in similar grade at Coonamble. Drawn wide, but with even luck can get into the finish; while Armidale 4YO gelding 1. Falster finished off nicely in stronger grade at Tamworth last start, but up in weight and drawn right off the track.

How to play it: Azarmin to win and quinella 4 and 5.

Race 6 BM 66 HCP (1000m):

Plenty of chances, but keen on promising 3YO Mudgee filly 6. Key Factor resuming, especially with front concussions plate coming off. Won three from five in her first prep, has good early speed and draws to control the race.

Dangers: Newcastle mare 3. Not Surprising was never far away in stronger races last prep, and while outclassed first-up in a stronger metro BM 70, this is more suitable. Quirindi mare 11. Snipex Abaa resumed with a nice win at home, and is a previous second-up winner. Walcha 5YO 5. Smokey Eye has a poor winning strike rate, but hit the line nicely in his last two and draws to get an economical run. Glen Innes 5YO 1. Victory Vibes has been tackling deeper races, but will need plenty of luck from the wide gate under a big weight. Wyong mare 8. Kate's Pearl finished hard to win a Class 3 at Taree two back before felt the bigger weight late at the same track. Tougher assignment here, but drops 4kg and draws well.

How to play it: Key Factor to win.

Race 7 CL2 HCP (1000m):

Scone-based 3YO filly 2. Mapili charged home to win his maiden two runs back at Muswellbrook before just missing against stronger on his home track. Drawn to get a nice run just off the speed, and leading hoop goes back on.

Dangers: Keep watch on Tamworth mare 8. Rockatoo first-up. Was consistently well in the market through last prep, and won her maiden at most recent run on this track.

How to play it: Mapili to win.

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

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