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Neil Evans' Tips For Muswellbrook (Thursday)

By Neil Evans

Track improving to near Good 4 and rail out 6m from 1000m to 300m into a cut/away so likely will play on or just off the speed

Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (1000m):

The maidens get us out of the blocks in a tricky sprint, with the first starters likely to dominate. One of them, Snowden-trained colt 5. Out Now (Outreach x Now Now by Danehill Dancer) has been taken along slowly at the trials, and was only clicked up late from well off the speed in his most recent. Suspect they've been waiting for the tracks to firm up.

Dangers: Another debutant 3YO filly 9. She's Super has trialled strong enough, draws well and is bred to go quick. Newcastle 4YO stallion and first starter 1. Berruti (Medaglia d'Oro x Listen Here by Elusive Quality) won a trial two runs back before didn't really travel in his latest although did cover plenty of ground. Wyong mare 3. Enamour keeps slowly improving, and boxed on okay behind a smart youngster at Taree.

How to play it: Out Now to win and box trifecta 1,3,5,9. Odds and Evens: Odds a special

Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1500m):

Out to the middle distance now, and improving Scone colt 14. Seriousness from the Brett Cavanough stable can progress enough to break through at third start. Did his best work late from a mile back in a better maiden at home behind a promising one, and can peak over the longer trip.

Dangers: Big watch on the Messara-trained Northern Hemisphere-bred 3YO 12. Akasawa who looked nice and forward in an open trial, but draws wide. Newcastle 4YO 5. Under The Pump resumes off two quiet trials; while the rest are probably making up the numbers, although include in wider exotics Newcastle mare 10. Miler who drops back from a handy Class 1.

How to play it: Seriousness to win. Odds and Evens: Evens

Seriousness' last run at Scone on August 25

Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1280m):

Randwick 4YO 1. Bondi Blue from the Snowden yard is ready to break through fourth-up in his second prep. Hit the line well at Newcastle in a race run in quick time, and draws to get the right trail.

Dangers: Scone mare 4. Toatoa has the makings of a nice horse, and was strong on debut getting home in a maiden with plenty of depth. Resuming off two nice trials for only her second start, include Waterhouse-Bott filly 12. Splendiferous. Was very well backed in the Starmaker here in autumn, but failed to run on.

How to play it: Bondi Blue to win. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 4 BM 58 HCP (1500m):

Plenty of chances in this one headed by progressive 5YO mare 5. More Spice trained by Scott Singleton at Scone who looks well placed down in weight and out to this distance second-up. Finished hard in a deeper Fillies and Mares race at home resuming, and draws to be tucked away on the inside a few lengths off the speed.

Dangers: Cessnock 5YO 6. Supreme Streak is hard fit, and finds his easiest race in a long time. Was solid to the line in a good CL2 two runs back before tackling much steeper Highway company at Rosehill. Newcastle 5YO 2. The Premier resumes for a third prep, and has been fitted with two trials. Improving Scone mare 9. Santa Margherita has been a handful for connections over the past 12 months, but looks set for a strong campaign after charging home to win her maiden at this track first-up. Always raced like she'll eat up this distance and beyond. Include in exotics Cessnock mare 10. Dad's Blaze who will be rattling home late at big odds.

How to play it: More Spice to win. Odds and Evens: Split

More Spice runs fourth at Scone on August 25

Race 5 CLASS 1 HCP (1280m):

Another wide open battle. And like the double-figure price value about resuming 4YO mare 7. I'm Going having her first run for the Peter Bloomfield stable at Scone. Normally comes to hand quickly, has trialled at this track, and the drier surface is a big plus.

Dangers: Rival Scone mare 8. Potts Point is the immediate threat from the inside gate after bursting through to win her maiden second-up at Narromine. Down in weight, but suspect she loses some advantage on firm ground. Warwick Farm 5YO 1. Dynamited has had a long run of outs since winning his maiden, but has been campaigning in much tougher company for most of that time. Forced to carry a big weight, but from a nice trailing, this is his best chance in ages to win a second race. Local 4YO 6. Forever Jude resumes off a steady trial, and has never missed a place over this distance. Expecting Newcastle mare 3. Manhattan Whirl to hit back on the dryer surface after doing little in the heavy here second-up. Previously had hit the line hard behind a good sprinter, and a senior jockey going on is a good pointer.

How to play it: I'm Going each way and trifecta 1,7,8/1,3,6,7,8/1,3,6,7,8. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 6 BM 66 HCP (1280m):

Lightly raced 5YO Scone mare 8. Modernity from the Rod Northam stable took a big step here last start in the heavy powering home to thrash a similar field. Draws closer in which should prove an advantage on drier ground, and no reason she can't go back-to-back.

Dangers: Tamworth 5YO 6. Blazing Tycoon was going great guns in late autumn winning two straight up to CL3 level, but momentum stalled with the on-set of wet tracks, including a failure in a tougher Highway. Trainer has given him a freshen-up via a searching trial, and he can hit back. Include 4YO mare 10. Predictable Miss who resumes off two trials, and normally fires early in the prep.

How to play it: Modernity to win and box exacta 6,8,10. Odds and Evens: Evens a special

Race 7 CLASS 1 HCP (1000m):

We close the card over the sprint course. Progressive mare 6. Fox Spirit from the Cameron Crockett yard at Scone resumes after a decent spell, and looks ready to go off a smart trial win. Top country hoop sticks, and only missed by a whisker on debut at Dubbo in summer.

Dangers: Drawn right alongside, Rosehill filly 9. Celestial Doll bolted in her maiden first-up in the heavy at Goulburn, and she's destined for better races. Big watch on improving Newcastle 4YO 7. Devil's Choice who found the line well first-up here in a more than handy field; while another ex South Australian 4YO 1. Air Marshal has his first run for the Mark Schmetzer stable at Scone coming off some useful closing efforts in SA.

How to play it: Fox Spirit to win and quinella 6 and 9. Odds and Evens: Split

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

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