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Neil Evans' Tips For Muswellbrook (Tuesday)

By Neil Evans

Track improving to Good 4 and Rail out 5m from 1000m to 300m into a Cut/Away so pattern likely on-speed early before levelling out

Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (900m):

Scamper over the short-course for the maidens to start. Scone 3YO filly and first starter 8. Aliphera (Trusting x Fill Me Up by Zizou) showed good early speed in her only trial on this track, and while overhauled late, she wasn't pushed out and was strong through the line. Debuts for a stable who knows how to strike.

Dangers: Rival 5YO Scone gelding 10. More Than A Samba is an intriguing runner. Still a maiden after 10 starts and hasn't raced for 21 months, but returns as a gelding and showed controlled speed to lead all the way in a trial this track on the same day as Aliphera, although the final 600m wasn't as slick. Still with the Scone visitors, and 3YO filly 12. Pair Of Heels, by Cox Plate winner Adelaide, has had four mixed runs this prep, and freshened coming back in trip. Outclassed last start behind the smart Deepwood Vale, but draws well and will be finishing hard late; while 4YO Newcastle gelding 15. Swordsman has been freshened via a nice trial after tackling some decent maiden fields, and draws to get a cosy run, with the blinkers coming off.

How to play it: Aliphera each way. Odds and Evens (First 2): Evens

Race 2 BM 66 HCP (1450m):

Another Scone visitor 5YO gelding 5. My Zebrinka finished off okay behind Steamboat Sally two runs back before a similar closing run in a BM 58. Drops 4.5kg from that run, and draws to get a lovely run with cover.

Dangers: Expect sharp improvement second-up from 6YO Mudgee gelding 3. George Two who dropped out in tougher grade resuming at Dubbo, but generally improves sharply into the next run, and draws to get a good trail.

How to play it: My Zebrinka to win. Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1500m)

Back to a more open affair at set weights, although many of these aren't going to any heights soon. Looks ideal third-up for improving 5YO Newcastle gelding 1. Elgin who has closed nicely in two runs this prep, and extra trip augurs well for a consistent type who challenged at a mile and beyond in his initial prep.

Dangers: Newcastle 3YO gelding 10. Chasing Comets couldn't get near the action from well back in the field third-up this track, but he was backed from $3.50 into $3.00, and took on metro company in first two runs of his career. Wyong 3YO filly 14. Shimmering Light did little on debut at home when unwanted in the market, but will find this more to her liking. Local 4YO mare 9. Our Eppy hasn't been far away in three runs this prep behind some promising ones, although will need her share of luck from a wide draw; while another local, 5YO mare 7. Hot Dreamer hasn't gone close in 10 runs so far, but has generally mixed it in handy maiden company, and can improve from a low draw with senior rider hopping on.

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

Race 4 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1750m):

Modest and very tricky race that is made for the exotic players. Local 4YO mare 4. Elleofarock made good progression through winter before outclassed in a Highway at Rosehill two runs back. Came back in grade to only go under narrowly at Newcastle, and is ready for this trip in a weaker contest.

Dangers: Northern Hemisphere-bred 4YO Gosford stallion 1. Arabolini kept going in the heavy at Pt Macquarie to land his maiden second-up this prep, and looks to have turned a corner being ridden on speed rather than from well back in his first prep. Down on the limit weight, 5YO Newcastle mare 13. Oakfield Chaparral didn't run on first-up at Pt Macquarie when well specked in the market, but dropping to 54.5kg from a good barrier, wouldn't need huge improvement to win this. Include 4YO Hawkesbury gelding 3. Snatcha who has had two fair runs back from a spell, but drops in weight. Newcastle 6YO gelding 2. Cobb 'N' Co has a little more ability than his one win from 27 suggests. Finished off okay at huge odds in a smarter field at Tamworth last start, and extra distance is a plus. Gosford 4YO gelding 5. Dundee has been disappointing in two runs this prep after three encouraging efforts at Newcastle in the autumn, while like many in this field, 4YO Cessnock gelding 7. Shivkhani has found the line okay all prep without winning, and is a knockout hope at odds.

How to play it: Ellaofarock to win and box first four 1,2,3,4,5,13. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 5 CL1 HCP 1280m:

Will be surprised if promising 3YO Scone filly 4. Bright Rubick doesn't win this. Outclassed in hot Group 2 company resuming at Randwick, but back in suitable maiden company finished hard at Newcastle before a dominant win this track in record time. Looks thrown in with 56kg, and the one to beat having been scratched from a later race!

Dangers: Above average 3YO Newcastle gelding 5. Mahogany Bay looks the quinella runner after charging home to win his maiden first-up this track from a wide barrier. Newcastle 3YO filly 7. Perfect Peace looked good scoring an upset win on debut at Tamworth, but meeting some smarter ones here; while stablemate 3YO gelding 6. Controlthewitness resumes off two quiet trials, but did win on debut at Pt Macquarie in late autumn.

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

Bright Rubick wins at Muswellbrook on October 7

Race 6 BM 58 HCP (1280m):

Keen on 3YO Newcastle colt 9. Dodecanese resuming. After storming home to win his maiden this track in late May, took on top-notch 2YO metro company through winter and held his own. Drifted back in a recent trial at Gosford, but was only winding up on the line, and this looks an ideal first-up trip.

Dangers: Consistent 4YO mare 2. Mill City resumes for leading Newcastle yard off two quiet trials. Was very competitive in stronger company through the autumn, but normally doesn't peak until second-up. Stablemate 4YO gelding 3. Ultimate Power also returns off two trials and draws the fence, and normally fires early in the prep.

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

Dodecanese's trial at Gosford on Octover 8

Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1000m):

Same grade, but back to the five furlongs, and three runners all coming through the same form-line can fight this out. Local 6YO gelding 3. Mosrai hasn't won for a long time, but looks ready now and is the clear value. Took on stronger Highway company at Randwick two runs back before finishing off nicely in the Class 3 Krambach Sprint at Tamworth, and bigger track here suits.

Dangers: Gilgandra 5YO mare 2. Ms Wicked Nicci was also close up in that same race at Tamworth before taking over on the turn this grade at Gunnedah and bolting in, but this looks a bit tougher; while 5YO Tamworth mare 5. Fussdinado split Ms Wicked Nicci and Mosrai in the Krambach Sprint, and while he draws to get a cosy run, has been up for a long while. Local 4YO mare 12. Little Miss Nic who flew home late in a weaker race at Dubbo last start is best of the rest.

How to play it: Mosrai each way and box exacta 2,3,5. Odds and Evens: Split.

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

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