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Neil Evans' Tips For Port Macquarie (Friday)

By Neil Evans

Track improving to Good 4/Soft 5 and Rail out 3m so on-pace early before levelling out.

Race 1 3YO MAIDEN HCP (1006m):

Very testing affair to start with a few first starters on show. Debutant Scone gelding 1. Sunday Patrol (Fast 'n' Famous x Catside by Tale Of The Cat) has had a fairly quiet time at the trials, but drawn well, and trainer/rider combination must be respected.

Dangers: Wyong filly 5. Rebecca's Quest should improve second-up after a fair home track return. Ran some nice races in first prep last winter, and this looks a bit weaker. Big watch on locally-trained filly 8. Yulong Jupiter who hasn't started for nearly eight months and had no official trial, but ran well at only two career starts. Wyong filly 9. Margie Bee returns for only her second career run off a quiet trial, but stable has good fresh record; while Gosford filly 6. Stella Veloce (Mossman x Writteninthestars by Written Tycoon) is another nicely bred debutant drawn wide, but did win a trial in heavy ground.

How to play it: Sunday Patrol to win and trifecta 1-5-8/1-5-6-8-9.

Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1506m):

Two runners from the same form-line stand out! Wyong 3YO gelding 5. Direct Vision has ability and is ready to win third-up from the inside draw. Has been hard in the market both career runs and charged home to just miss at Scone. Wears visors for the first time.

Dangers: Beautifully-bred Newcastle filly 8. Autumn Rain from leading stable returned in that same race also hitting the line hard, and bred to get over much further, will be finishing strong again. Watch for second-up improvement from stablemate filly 11. Virani who is better suited this trip; while Scone gelding 6. In Fiore has had two solid runs back, and draws a nice trailing gate.

How to play it: Direct Vision to win and quinella 5 and 8.


Direct Vision runs third at Scone on April 8

Race 3 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2012m):

Always a tricky battle of tactics, with most of these going up in distance, including Scone filly 10. Galina who can break her duck at 16th career start. Has found the line from well back in her last three, and screaming out for this longer trip dropping down to the limit weight.

Dangers: Consistent Wyong gelding 1. Boston Blues scored a dominant win two runs back at Armidale before again finishing hard in similar grade, although weighted to his best; while Coffs Harbour 5YO 8. Winged Poet showed significant improvement up in trip last start.

How to play it: Galina to win.

Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1206m):

Consistent Kempsey filly 2. Campari Soda has been knocking on the door all prep, and again draws to be in the finish. Finished under a length off the winner in three straight runs here before charging home late in a deeper maiden at Grafton. Looks the one to beat!

Dangers: Newcastle filly 6. Airlie Avenue showed good finishing ability last spring, and flashed home late resuming at Scone. Extra trip an obvious plus; while un-raced and well-bred stablemate filly 4. Free Verse has been given plenty of time at the trials. Local 2YO filly 9. Sizzling Suzanne has already had four runs this prep and can finish into the placings again. Coffs Harbour 4YO mare 11. The Timewarp is another runner who naturally drifts back, but hits the line hard, and drawn to get good early cover.

How to play it: Campari Soda to win and quinella 2 and 6.


Campari Soda runs second at Grafton on April 15

Race 5 OPEN HCP (1206m):

Looks a race in two, although in-form 6YO Taree mare 5. Lobban Hood gets the nod in a tougher test, but thrown in at the weights after rider's 3kg claim. Won her last two at BM 58 level, and draws again to take up her customary on-speed position.

Dangers: Local 4YO and topweight 1. Patriot is treated okay under 58kg, and will be hitting the line. Flew home resuming to win at BM 66 level two runs back before a terrific effort in stronger company at Grafton again charging home from well off the speed, and longer trip is ideal third-up. Another local 4YO gelding 2. Local Comet has a good winning strike rate this track and found the line impressively in his last few; while Gosford 6YO 3. Cascata Rossa who drops in weight is best of the rest.

How to play it: Lobban Hood to win and quinella 1 and 5.

Race 6 CL2 HCP (1506m):

Local 3YO gelding 1. Foxy's Foxinator is a smart performer around this grade. Charged home to win two back on this track, and the second horse was a knock-out winner at Wyong on Wednesday. Then finished well again against stronger at Tamworth, although handicapper hasn't missed him up to 59.5kg.

Dangers: If Newcastle filly 2. Scenic Sight recaptures her spring form in Victoria, she'll be powering into the finish. Resumed with a nice closing effort behind a good horse, and this trip looks ideal second-up. Local 3YO gelding 5. Chamisal bolted in his maiden here at only third career run, and is on the way up; while Taree filly 4. Good Excuse really mixes her form, but has ability, although this is as far as she wants.

How to play it: Foxy's Foxinator to win and box exacta 1-2-5.

Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1106m):

Another open affair, with several chances. Loved the way Gosford 3YO gelding 3. Bill 'N' Ted flashed home resuming for only his second prep in a CL1 at Taree. Was a dominant second-up winner last year, and leading country rider jumps aboard.

Dangers: Coffs Harbour gelding 1. Lethal Dream resumed with a fast-finishing win this track before kept ticking over with a trial win at Grafton. Has an edge in class on most of these, but has to lump 62kgs. Cessnock gelding 5. Ghetto Boy is another one who mixes form, but he's drawn to find a nice position and rider takes 2kg off; while lightly raced Scone gelding 9. Enseguida was impressive winning his maiden this track at second career start, and while this is obviously tougher, he's bred for real speed on both sides.

How to play it: Bill 'N' Ted to win.

Race 8 CL1 HCP (1006m):

Wide open sprint to finish. Wyong 3YO gelding 2. Hard Reality won his maiden as a heavily backed favourite at Muswellbrook before a fair effort in deeper company, and the blinkers stay on.

Dangers: Plenty of them headed by Newcastle filly 1. Can I Rock who won't want to get too far back from the inside draw, but her first-up run at Newcastle was a beauty, and she can finish hard. Local 3YO gelding 4. In Ya Skyrocket resumes off a sharp trial run, and has plenty of early speed. Watch for Gosford filly 8. Jenaya late. Will go a long way back from the widest barrier, but like in her maiden win at Taree can rattle off a slick final 400m. Wyong filly 7. Commanding Rose who broke through for maiden wins last start are drawn to take up handy positions near the speed.

How to play it: Hard Reality each way and first four 1-2-4/1-2-4-7-8.

All the fields, form and replays for Friday's meeting at Port Macquarie

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