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Neil Evans' Tips For Muswellbrook (Friday)

By Neil Evans

Track around Soft 7/Heavy 8 with showers forecast and rail out 3m from 1000m to 300m into a cutaway so expect to play on just off the pace early before a late trend wider

Race 1, GODOLPHIN MAIDEN PLATE (1500m):

Modest opener over a tricky distance at set weights. This looks an ideal trip after four runs in her first prep for improving Scone mare 10. SEAWISE ($4.40 on TAB) from the Stephen Jones stable who did her best work late from the back in a handy maiden at home.

Dangers: Newcastle 6YO 1. ANOTHER SONETTE ($5) comes out of that same race working behind Rockness Angel, and while the longer trip is also a plus, he's still trying to break through after 27 starts. Local mare 8. ALANTON'S TREATY ($3.80 favourite) is suited at the distance third-up; while expect sharp improvement at fourth start from Wyong-based filly 14. YAMBA'S STAR ($4.60). Watch the betting on Newcastle 4YO 5. KINGS ROW ($4.80) who resumes off two quiet trials for an in-form stable.

How to play it: Seawise to win and trifecta 1,8,10/1,5,8,10,14/1,5,8,10,14
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 2, ZOUSAIN NEW TO WIDDEN STUD 2020 BM 66 HCP (1500m):

Progressive Gosford 6YO 8. DASHING 'N' DARING ($3.80 fav) looks well placed in these conditions to go back-to-back at the same track stepping up a little in class. Beat a handy field at Taree three runs back, and carried 1.5kg more when surging home to win here last start.

Dangers: Honest Newcastle 6YO 4. THE OUTCAST ($7.50) was no match for the top selection last start, but carries 4kg less. From the same formline, Scone mare 9. BRIGID OF KILDARE ($6) prefers wet tracks, and worked home well behind Dashing 'N' Daring. Small rise in class is off-set nicely by a 4kg drop in weight. Include rival Newcastle mare 3. TOE TAPPER ($4) who fought hard to win a BM 66 at Scone before working home OK at Wyong, and the form around the first two that day is very strong. Include home track 7YO 1. COSMIC REIGN ($7.50) who led all the way here two runs back before completely over-run in stronger company; but this is more to his liking, and the 3kg claim gets him back in at the weights.

How to play it: Dashing 'N' Daring to win
Odds and Evens: Evens

Race 3, HORSEPOWER MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):

Testing sprint where the market will have a big say, especially around the debutants. One of those, 3YO 7. LORD BRONN (Va Pensiero x Valar Morghulis by Henrythenavigator; $6.50) looks ready to go for the Brett Cavanough yard at Scone off an impressive trial where he was never let go. Sire was a dual Group 3 winner.

Dangers: Newcastle 4YO 3. MEYISTI ($3.60 fav) resumes as a gelding off two forward trials. Stuck on well after leading in both career runs so far, and bred to get through this ground. Another Scone first starter 8. RANUNCULA (Exosphere x Wokpool by Hussonet; $6) won that trial over the top selection, but was ridden out from just off the speed. Big watch on Hawkesbury 4YO and first starter 1. ASSERTIVE ACE (Swiss Ace x More Assertive by Zeditave; $10) who trialled strongly. Local mare 4. COUNTESS ROSTOVA ($14) resumes off an eight-month break, but has trialled well and narrowly missed winning on debut here last spring.

How to play it: Lord Bronn to win and box exacta 3,7,8
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 4, CALYX AT COOLMORE MAIDEN HCP (1280m):

Newcastle filly 3. VIRTUOUS MISS ($1.50 fav) is the one to beat here at her third start after being run down as red-hot favourite in the last couple of strides at Scone. Draws well and the trainer has added blinkers.

Dangers:  Scone 4YO 2. FITZROY BOY ($10) resumes off a long break with no public trial and the winkers coming off, but in very good country hands. Progressive 3YO 12. SON OF SAMPSON ($4.60) was good first-up here working home late after covering ground, and drawn to get a more economical run with leading country hoop booked. Scone mare 11. SANTA  MARGHERITA ($19) resumes off two trials, although will need some luck from a wide draw.

How to play it: Virtuous Miss straight out and save on the quinella 2 and 3
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 5, MAGIC MILLIONS QUEEN OF THE VALLEY MATCHMAKER F & M BM 66 HCP (1280m):

Good quality race for at this level for the girls. Love the value about Scone mare 5. MODERNITY ($8.50 in from $9) from the Rod Northam stable deep into this prep. Charged home from a mile back behind a smart sprinter last start, but won't want it getting too wet.

Dangers: Tough to get off promising Newcastle mare 4. JAJA CHABOOGIE ($1.90 fav) who has won two straight in dominant fashion after stalking the speed. Draws to get another cosy run on the inside, but up to 59kg this grade at only her fourth start is still a task. Newcastle mare 3. WITHOUT CONVICTION ($16) has hit the line well in her last two, but the handicapper hasn't missed her with 60kg, and she would prefer it drier. Stablemate mare to top selection 2. MO'S GLORY ($8.50) comes back from a tougher Highway at Rosehill and is better suited over further, but watch for her getting home late third-up; while local mare 6. DANCING DOLLAR ($5) is best of the rest.

How to play it: Modernity to win and first four 4,5/2,3,4,5,6/2,3,4,5,6/2,3,4,5,6
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 6, STAR TURN AT VINERY BM 58 HCP (1000m):

Keen on Newcastle mare and former Victorian 3. HARD FAITH ($5) first-up for the Nathan Doyle yard. Fitted for this with a smart 1000m trial win at Gosford, and won her only previous start in heavy going.

Dangers: Local mare 2. SOPHIE'S LASS ($3.50 fav) was a dominant Cl 1 winner two runs back before finding the pressure of a Highway on heavy ground too much, but this is much more to her liking, and big weight off-set by a 4kg claim. Wyong 4YO 4. MATHEMATICS ($9) can mix his form, but top rider gets back on.

How to play it: Hard Faith to win and quinella 2 and 3
Odds and Evens: Split is a special

Race 7, UNITE AND CONQUER AT KINGSTAR FARM CLASS 1 HCP (1000m):

Staying at the short course, and the first-up run of local mare 4. EMILETTE ($2.50) for trainer Jan Bowen holding her ground after chasing the speed looks a nice platform for this. Draws to either lead or sit right behind, and has never finished further back than second at this track.

Dangers: Wyong 7YO 1. MY EMPIRE ($12) resumes with no official trial, but that's customary for the stable, and he's already a fresh winner. Tamworth 4YO 5. CRACKERJACK KENNY ($2.40 fav) is a query in wet ground, but produced the best run of his career to bolt in a maiden at home. This is tougher, but will be tucked away on the inside and saved for one last surge. Watch the betting on Scone staying mare 3. COSMIC HAZE ($7) who resumes with no public trial, and while this is way short of her best distance, she will be working home. Resuming Newcastle 4YO 8. DEVILS'CHOICE ($16) draws to get a nice trail.

How to play it: Emilette to win
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 8, VIATEK CLASS 1 HCP (1280m):

Scone mare 4. NOW OR NEVER ($10) has so much more talent than her one win last start from 17 attempts. Swept home effortlessly under 59kg third-up at Wyong, and we can finally start to see the best of this five-year-old who relishes wet tracks.

Dangers: Progressive Newcastle 4YO 2. CHASING COMETS ($3.60 fav) returned off a long break to claim his maiden here in explosive style motoring home to win by four lengths. Only has to hold form to be one of the toughest to beat staying at the trip. Tamworth mare 1. THE FIRST OF MAY ($5) steps up suitably in trip third-up off a lengthy break.

How to play it: Now Or Never to win and quinella 2 and 4
Odds and Evens: Evens

All the fields, form and replays for Friday's Muswellbrook meeting

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