By Neil Evans
Track improving to near Good 4 and rail true for open Showcase Gold Cup day so likely pattern fairly even, with a late trend away from the fence
|Race 1 2YO HCP (1000m):|
We start Gold Cup day with a competitive and tricky dash for the babies, and most are on debut. One of them, Warwick Farm colt 2. Froome (Exosphere x Perfectly Rosey by Perfectly Ready) from the Bjorn Baker yard showed early speed impressing in a Hawkesbury trial run in quicker time than most of the open trials that day, and top country rider is on.
Dangers: Big watch on Warwick Farm colt and $240K purchase 1. Easy Single (Not A Single Doubt x Special Lover by Pins) from the Maher-Eustace stable having his first start off two solid trials, sitting wide in the latest on a tight rein. Rival Farm colt and first starter 5. Valley Prince (Dissident x Valley Prince by Denman) also looks ready to go off two winning trials, but drawn off the track; while Rosehill filly 11. Ready To Soar comes out of a Maiden at Newcastle behind Glaciers, and can improve.
How to play it: Froome each way and quinella 1 and 2. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split
|Race 2 3YO & UP MAIDEN HCP (1000m):|
Now the 3 and 4YO's get their turn in a wide open affair, with several just making up the numbers. Not so 3YO Warwick Farm filly 9. Lateral Missile (Smart Missile x Lateral by Stratum) who debuts in blinkers for the Baker stable and looks well above average. Her last 400m in a Hawkesbury trial was very impressive after she blew the jump and was forced to sit wide all the way.
Dangers: Emerging Rosehill mare 7. Kiss And Tell resumes off a long break, and drawn wide, but looks forward enough off two smart heavy track trials. Watch the betting on well-bred 3YO debutant 4. Pierro Star (Pierro x Palm Shade by Oasis Dream) whose had three quiet trials for leading juvenile yard, and draws to get a soft run. Include in exotics resuming 3YO filly 10. Solid Foundation having her first run for the Matthew Vella stable at Hawkesbury.
How to play it: Lateral Missile to win and trifecta 7,9/4,7,9,10/4,7,9,10. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 3 COUNTRY ONLY MAIDEN PLATE (1280m):|
Doesn't get much easier here in another wide market. Like the placement and value here on Mudgee mare 11. Polished Penny who resumes without a public trial, but was consistent through spring up to the mile in deeper races, and can charge late off a strong tempo.
Dangers: Canberra 5YO 2. Attuned is hard fit and deep into his second prep. Was swamped late by the speedy Rumpshaker at Queanbeyan last start, and is some query over this journey up sharply to 59kg. Expect improvement at big odds over more ground from Scone filly 12. Dolladream who will drift back, but finish hard.
How to play it: Polished Penny each way. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 BM 58 HCP (1600m):|
Now the restricted milers battle it out, and there's plenty of chances headed by 5YO Canberra gelding 4. Eaglehawk who can take the next step here despite a rise in weight and depth. Stalked the speed and careered away for an easy mile win in a weaker CL3 at Queanbeyan, and will run this out strong.
Dangers: Progressive 4YO Warwick Farm gelding 1. Moon Panther drops back in trip third-up. Didn't finish off at Hawkesbury on a Heavy 9, but back on firmer ground is a big plus, although has the task of getting over from a wide barrier under a hefty 62.5kg. Gulgong 4YO 2. Slatey Bay has finally started to put it together winning two of his last three, although also up sharply in weight. Ultra consistent Scone mare 8. More Spice will need luck from an outside gate, but her form in and around this trip and class is rock solid, not having finished further back than second in her last five.
How to play it: Eaglehawk to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Eaglehawk wins at Queanbeyan on April 6
|Race 5 CLASS 1 HCP (1400m):|
Keen on progressive 3YO filly 7. Exotic Deel from the Nick Olive stable in Canberra fourth-up this prep from a good trailing draw. Was flat this class when well backed two runs ago on Black Opal day, but the two who finished in front of her have both since won. Was then ridden quieter and hit the line powerfully at the Sapphire Coast. Form country rider goes on.
Dangers: Warwick Farm filly 2. Extreme Jewel has enough ability to figure second-up. Will be forced back from a wide draw, but can peel off a smart final 400m. Dubbo 4YO and second-up Maiden winner 6. Shwanky Doo will get plenty of cover back in the field, and can rush home late. Include in exotics 3YO Dubbo filly 14. Eva's Deel who can improve sharply second-up on firmer ground; and Canberra 4YO 12. Future Dreams who fought on for a fair way leading at the Sapphire Coast, and drops back to more suitable trip.
How to play it: Exotic Deel to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Exotic Deel runs third at Sapphire Coast on March 27
|Race 6 CUP DAY SPRINT (1000m):|
Hold on to your hats here as the more seasoned sprinters pin their ears back, and typically it's wide open. Lightly raced 4YO gelding 3. Golden Tycoon from the Greg McFarlane stable at Gosford not surprisingly was easily swamped after leading in the stronger Provincial C'ships Qualifier at Newcastle run in record time in his first run for more than 10 months. Has since been freshened with a smart trial win, and will improve significantly.
Dangers: Consistent Scone 5YO 2. Another Sin carries his biggest weight in a long time, but is in top form. Was only run down late in the Flat Knacker at Albury before taking over on the turn and landing the Town Plate at Wellington. From the inside draw, either leads or sits right behind the speed. Bathurst mare 7. Jetgirl is also smart over this distance and was right behind Another Sin at Wellington. Draws to get an economical run behind the speed; while watch for Scone 5YO 9. Oneness getting home late fresh who comes to hand quickly and has had a quiet trial.
How to play it: Golden Tycoon each way. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 7 ORANGE GOLD CUP (2100m):|
Feature race of the day. Lightly raced 5YO gelding 12. Reward Seeker from the Wellington yard of Michael Mulholland is stepping up sharply in class, but has won his last two with ridiculous ease, and he's the one on the rise. Has come from midfield to blow away two BM 58 fields at Bathurst and at home on Cup day, and extra distance no concern dropping 5.5kg in weight.
Dangers: Talented and consistent Canberra 5YO 2. Zoffany's Lad was a good thing licked in the BM 85 Gundagai Cup after circling the field from the 1000m & only caught in the last few strides. That came after a strong BM 78 win at Rosehill, but has the task of coming over and finding a position from the outside barrier. Scone mare 5. Concessions looks over the odds after sweeping home to bolt in the Armidale Cup, and then fair to the line in a handy BM 64 at Newcastle. Ready for this longer trip. Warwick Farm 5YO 11. Elkano will also appreciate this rise in distance and dropping 4kg after getting home late in that same Newcastle race behind Night Witches; while 6YO Warwick Farm gelding 1. Shock Alert draws well fifth run this prep.
How to play it: Reward Seeker each way and first four: 2,5,12/2,5,12/1,2,5,11,12/1,2,5,11,12. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 BM 58 HCP (1300m):|
Another very open one to finish. Dubbo 5YO 1. California Fox should be ready to peak dropping in grade after two fair runs back, but the handicapper hasn't missed him one bit with 62kg.
Dangers: Emerging Canberra 3YO 17. Zelago is on the rise having won her last two; while improving 5YO's 5. Helcolore from Albury and Mudgee-based 6. Petain are both over the odds in this grade.
How to play it: California Fox to win and box trifecta 1,5,6,17. Odds and Evens: Odds.