By Neil Evans
Track downgraded to soft 6/7 and rail out 3m from 1000m to 350m into a cut/away so on-pace early before gradual trend towards the middle
|Race 1 BM 58 HCP (1660m):|
Tricky opener, with plenty of chances, although the Highway form looks hard to go past. South Coast 5YO gelding 2. Fortune's Path hasn't been all that far away in four straight Highway runs in much deeper fields after a first-up win in this grade at Nowra. Naturally goes up sharply in weight, but has the quality.
Dangers: Goulburn 7YO mare 7. Isadora Twinkle also comes out of solid enough Highway form at Rosehill. Likes to drift back and finish hard so up in trip a bonus as well. Warwick Farm 4YO mare 1. Blevio is looking for this journey now after four runs this prep over shorter. Mixes her runs, but this isn't overly strong and is used to carrying weight. Improving 5YO Canberra mare 8. Tiara Road must be a chance third-up coming back from a BM 66 at Wagga when she did her best work late, and draws the inside. Kembla 5YO gelding 6. Mickey Jay was easily overhauled fourth-up in a Class 1 this track and distance last start, but this looks a shade weaker and he drops in weight and draws better; while 5YO gelding and stablemate 4. Joel has been consistently finishing okay in Class 1 company, and draws to get an economical run just off the speed. Include 6YO Kembla gelding 3. Mohican in wider exotics.
How to play it: Fortune's Path to win and quinella 2 and 7. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split.
|Race 2 CL1 HCP (1435m):|
Another even affair. Kembla 4YO mare 4. Two Seas has impressed this prep, flying home to win his maiden first-up at Grafton, and last start hit the line nicely on this track behind My Sweet Fish who took on Group 2 company at Rosehill on Saturday.
Dangers: Local 5YO gelding 3. Gorush Lightning continues to improve. Won his maiden convincingly two runs back, and similarly was good late behind My Sweet Fish. Local 4YO mare 8. Sarzana didn't finish off in a BM 58 last start, although raced further forward and chased a fairly hot speed. Likely to be ridden quieter here, and if she runs up to her fast-finishing effort behind Fusca two back, look out. Warwick Farm 6YO gelding 6. Adaboycharlie has been up for a while and draws wide, but also comes off a nice closing effort behind My Sweet Fish; while 5YO Goulburn mare 1. Uber Lux will improve second-up rising in distance with the blinkers going on after doing nothing at Canberra in her first run for five months.
How to play it: Two Seas to win and trifecta 3,4,8/3,4,8/1,3,4,6,8. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 3 BM 66 HCP (1020m):|
Good pressure sprint. Lightly raced 6YO Warwick Farm gelding 3. Il Bandito has plenty of ability, but is hardly reliable. Hasn't won for a long time, but both runs this prep have been good just missing in a BM 64 at Kembla before closing okay from the back in a stronger race at Wyong. Up sharply in weight, but if he can park in the first half of the field, looks ready to win again.
Dangers: Queanbeyan 4YO gelding 1. Concrete won all three starts in his autumn prep, including a Highway, and has had two fair runs back in BM 70 grade. Looks well suited in this company, but handicapper hasn't missed him with 63kg. Loved the way 5YO Kembla gelding 2. Twirling Moss rattled home to win a Class 3 on this track, and while forced to carry his biggest weight, is fit enough and draws okay. Big watch on resuming Gosford 4YO 7. Rapid Lover who returns as a gelding with the blinkers coming off, and does have a smart first-up record; while local 5YO mare 6. Oxford Angel was only even through the line behind Twirling Moss last start, but will get a lovely run from the barrier, and the blinkers go on.
How to play it: Il Bandito to win and trifecta 1,2,3/1,2,3,6,7. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 4 MAIDEN PLATE (930m):|
Short course battle with little depth at set weights augurs well for 4YO Randwick gelding 3. Home Scene who has found the line okay against stronger in three runs back, and draws to get a nice position just behind the speed. Trainer has made a number of gear changes, and was scratched from Muswellbrook on Monday to be saved for this.
Dangers: South Coast 4YO gelding 4. Thorn Brook was unwanted in betting resuming, but still hit the line nicely on this track, and stable renowned for placing them well. Market watch on 3YO Braidwood colt and first starter 10. Delago Bay (Delago Deluxe x Half Eight by Octagonal) who has trialled on this track, and stable is often under-rated; while 4YO Canberra gelding 2. Balkan Ruler has had three runs back from a spell, and is best of the rest.
How to play it: Home Scene to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
Home Scene runs third at Gosford on August 13
|Race 5 BM 66 HCP (1435m):|
Progressive 5YO Kembla gelding 5. Golly I'm Lucky was well backed before motoring home to win a BM 58 this track last start, and while this is a bit tougher, he drops 2kg and is drawn to get a lovely smoother back in the field.
Dangers: Front-running 5YO Queanbeyan gelding 1. Bart will be hard to run down third-up over this distance. Has solid form over longer trips, and trainer has off-set a huge weight by putting a 4kg claiming apprentice on. Local 5YO gelding 7. Whiskey'N'Diamonds is a home track specialist winning his last three here around this grade, settling well off the speed and swooping home; while 5YO Kembla gelding 2. Shapur produced a much-improved run in a deeper race at Wyong last start, but up in weight and generally prefers rain-affected ground.
How to play it: Golly I'm Lucky to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.
Golly I'm Lucky wins at Nowra on August 25
|Race 6 MAIDEN HCP (1435m):|
Nowra 4YO gelding 1. Ilvermorny has had three improving runs this prep, and was rock solid in the market last start in a much stronger maiden than this behind two smart ones.
Dangers: Local 3YO filly 5. Shrug is zeroing in on a win after finishing hard in her last two on this track, and extra trip is only a plus. Watch for sharp second-up improvement with the blinkers going on from 4YO Warwick Farm gelding 3. Monstrosity who dropped out after leading against stronger at Newcastle; while rival 4YO Warwick Farm mare 6. Cadence can also improve third-up down in weight.
How to play it: Ilvermorny to win and quinella 1 and 5. Odds and Evens: Odds.
|Race 7 MAIDEN PLATE (1210m):|
Tough race, but liked the recent quiet metro trial from 3YO Goulburn gelding and first starter 11. Highly Decorated (Epaulette x Lolavie by Stratum) who wasn't let go, but still strong through the line. Has Group 1-winning blood on both sides, and this looks a nice opening assignment.
Dangers: Local 3YO filly and former Victorian 14. Boom And Zoom looks the logical threat after just missing first-up at home when heavily backed, and draws to get a cosy run with a natural pull in the weights. Braidwood 5YO gelding 2. One More Tipple has hit the line hard in two of his last three runs on this track, and draws to get plenty of cover off the speed. Kembla 3YO gelding 13. Sir Eagle did his best work late at big odds on debut at Nowra, and should improve again. It's a long way from Lismore to Moruya for 5YO Gosford gelding 4. In The Zone who steps out for only his second run in seven months, but he's been hard in the market right through his six-start career stretching back more than a year so the best is yet to come.
How to play it: Highly Decorated each way and quinella 11 and 14. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 8 BM 58 HCP (1210m):|
Open race to finish, but 6YO South Coast mare 6. And There Is More looks well placed from a good gate to break the drought. Continually hit the line hard from well off the speed through winter, and closed nicely again last start at Nowra behind Golly I'm Lucky who is well fancied in an earlier race so watch the form-line.
Dangers: Improving 5YO mare 1. Judy In Disguise from the leading local stable powered home to win this grade two runs back at the Sapphire Coast before finishing off okay under more weight at Goulburn, and draws a good barrier. Rival 6YO local gelding 2. Atomic Blast finished hard to score an upset win this track last start, but more depth here. Much improved effort in a Class 3 on this track last start from 5YO gelding 8. Titian Storm, but has a wide draw to overcome.
How to play it: And There Is More each way and box trifecta 1,2,6,8. Odds and Evens: Split.