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Neil Evans' Tips For Muswellbrook (Monday)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4 and rail out 6m from 1280m to 300m into a cut/away so on-speed early before slowly trending out wider


Even and open starter at set weights, with some real battlers going around. Local 6YO gelding 7. Voyages has finished okay in two runs back in stronger maiden company, and looks well placed here third-up from a nice trailing draw.

Dangers: Pt Macquarie 4YO mare 11. I'm Fluent is banging on the door after finishing hard into second in her last three runs, and is the clear threat. Little extra trip is handy, but has to overcome a wide draw. Taree 4YO gelding 6. Phylave has a poor strike rate placed only once from 14 starts, but comes out of deeper provincial form-lines, including an even run behind Succendam at Wyong which would be good enough to go close here. Cessnock filly 12. Shadesmar gets the weight advantage being the only 3YO in the race, and did her best work late in that same race as I'm Fluent at Kempsey; while 6YO Wauchope mare 9. Dogoda Fury is still trying to break through after 32 starts, but his last effort at Pt Macquarie over this trip was sound enough to get into the finish from a decent draw.

How to play it: Voyages to win and quinella 7 and 11. Odds & Evens (First 2): Odds

Voyages' second-up run at Scone on September 9

Race 2 CL3 HCP (1450m):

Very even affair. Wyong 6YO gelding 4. Silent Jack was ridden much closer second-up and held on okay, and even better suited here up in distance and down in weight.

Dangers: Newcastle 5YO gelding 2. Nothing Too Hard resumes with a fair fresh record. Was competitive in deeper company through the autumn, and has trialled nicely behind a promising sprinter. Local 6YO gelding 5. Two Ducks Artie has never been far away in handy company all prep, and is in well at the weights from a useful barrier; while 5YO Cessnock mare 6. Dad's Blaze rattled home to score a shock win at huge odds on the Beaumont track, and wasn't far off the smart Fashion Icon this track two runs back.

How to play it: Silent Jack to win and trifecta 2,4/2,4,5,6. Odds and Evens: Evens

Race 3 4YO & UP MAIDEN HCP (900m):

Open contest again back to the short course, and two first-up gallopers can fight this out. Watch the market on resuming 4YO local gelding 4. Dubai Harbour who struggled in tougher maiden company back in the autumn, but has trialled okay and does have early speed.

Dangers: Scone 4YO gelding 5. Vermont also returns off a break, and while he hasn't publicly trialled and this is a little short of his best, both trainer and rider are in cracking form.

How to play it: 4 and 5 quinella. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1300m):

It doesn't get a whole lot easier here, although this looms as break-through time at 14th start for honest 4YO Newcastle mare 11. Mary Magpie who hit the line hard in successive stronger maidens before a little outclassed on the Beaumont track last start behind a smart debutant. This is her best trip, and drawn to get a winning trail, with leading country hoop hopping back on.

Dangers: Newcastle 4YO gelding 1. Bombasay is drawn to figure first-up off a five-month spell. Was well backed and finished off okay resuming in the autumn, and looked good in a recent heavy track trial win. Watch for rival 3YO Newcastle colt 5. Ski Missile finishing hard after doing his work late first-up over 1400m for a smart stable; while 4YO Muswellbrook gelding 8. Fonce needs to improve, but took on some better maiden company through the winter, and draws the inside.

How to play it: Mary Magpie to win and quinella 1 and 11. Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 5 CL1 HCP (1300m):

Newcastle 4YO gelding 5. Mr Piquet resumed off a five-month break with a dominant off-speed maiden win at Kempsey, and while this is a little tougher, he draws to get a nice trail, and did mix it in deeper company up to the mile back in the autumn.

Dangers: Hawkesbury 4YO gelding 9. Well Decorated drops back from a Rosehill Highway after winning his maiden at Forbes, and then chasing home Autumn Ridge who continued to win before also heading into town. Will be in the finish. Tamworth 4YO mare 3. Steamboat Sally stuck on nicely this grade and track in her first run for nine weeks, and is a seecond-up winner. Wyong 4YO gelding 4. Magnalane probably doesn't want it any further, but has shown nice improvement this prep sweeping home to win his maiden third-up, and stable is having a good run. Wyong 5YO gelding 10. Brixton Town finds it hard to win, but has very solid Class 1 form, and dropping back in trip is no problem for a galloper drawn to park right behind the speed; while watch the market on stablemate, former Victorian import 2. Nacar who is better over much more ground and will drift well back from a wide barrier, but has trialled okay, and will be running on.

How to play it: Mr Piquet each way and first four 3,5,9/3,5,9/3,4,5,9,10/2,3,4,5,9,10. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 6 BM 58 HCP (1770m):

Tough race to dissect over that tricky middle distance, although plenty are just making up the numbers. Relying a little on scope and potential here with improving 5YO Newcastle mare 9. Showada who was only fair to the line resuming for her second prep this grade at Scone, but the winner there would take care of these in a heartbeat, and she took on very handy company early in the year before easily breaking through in a Class 1 at Taree over 2000m.

Dangers: After charging home late to win this grade three runs back, 5YO local gelding 1. Roy's Command has got home okay behind Luddenham Lass in consecutive BM 66 races. No doubt has the quality, and longer trips suits, but rises to a hefty 61kg and drawn right off the track. Dubbo 8YO mare 7. Nightspun seems to have gone off the boil after a couple of good closing runs early last month, but she's in well at the weights after rider's claim, and is fit enough to roll into the finish.

How to play it: Showada each way. Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 7 CL2 HCP (1000m):

Good sprint to finish. This looks ideal for resuming 4YO Newcastle gelding 1. Hildalgo off a nice open trial run when cruising through the line under a throttlehold. Bolted in his maiden at Scone late last year before running a string of seconds in good company over further. Has natural early speed.

Dangers: Rising 3YO colt 9. Star Raider also burst on to the scene bolting in his maiden at Moree, and while this is tougher, he has obvious ability, and draws a lovely gate to stalk the speed. Wyong 6YO mare 13. Cunningar Lass continues to find the line strong in this grade, and she's drawn to get plenty of cover and charge into the finish. Wyong 4YO gelding 2. Thiswilldous resumes off a winning trial, and normally comes to hand quickly in the prep, but has to overcome a horror draw.

How to play it: Hildalgo to win. Odds and Evens: Split.

Hildalgo's trial at Newcastle on August 19

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

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