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Neil Evans' Tips For Port Macquarie (Friday)

By Neil Evans

Track Soft 5 (possible downgrade) with showers around and Rail True for Cup day so should play even early before trending wider

Race 1 C, G & E MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):

The boys kick us off at set weights, and 4YO Coffs Harbour gelding 3. Beat That looks ready to break through third-up off a long break after charging home this track when heavily backed, but is up sharply in weight.

Dangers: Liked the improved run third-up from 4YO Newcastle stallion 7. Patagonian at Scone behind a promising one, and he draws to get a nice trail off the speed. Expect further improvement from 4YO Coffs Harbour gelding 8. Sirmise who wasn't far away on debut in the same maiden as Beat That when specked at odds. Watch the market on 4YO Gosford gelding and first starter 4. Geotime (Time Thief x Elly's Spirit by Invincible Spirit) who has trialled quietly at Randwick, and trainer/rider combination know how to strike early.

How to play it: Beat That to win and quinella 3 and 7. Odds and Evens (First 2): Odds.

Race 2 F & M MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):

Now for the girls' edition over the same journey, and this is way more open, with any number of chances. Keen on 4YO Coffs Harbour mare 5. Serlina who is bursting for extra ground after doing her best work late in last couple. Draws a nice trailing gate, and bred to handle any cut out of the ground.

Dangers: Grafton 4YO mare 1. Adventure Queen has only one placing from nine starts, but generally raced in stronger company, and has found the line okay in her last few, so extra little trip a plus, and leading country rider goes on. Local 4YO mare and first starter 9. Zellymay (Lope de Vega x Queen Of The Creek by Theatrical) has had two trials, the latest kept working to the line from a long way back when run at early breakneck speed, and top jockey rides, but another drawn wide. If 4YO Coffs Harbour mare 6. Sneaky Gal can get across from an outside barrier, she'll be hard to get past after two solid runs back from a spell, and took on stronger maidens last spring. Another Coffs-trained mare 7. Spanish Rain has found a new home after campaigning mainly in southern NSW, and is third-up here after two encouraging runs at Canberra and Wagga, although up to 58kg from a wide barrier; while debutant 3YO Taree filly 11. Monica's Star (Dr Doubte's x Star Of Tristeke by Danehill Star) has also trialled quietly, and draws to get plenty of cover.

How to play it: Serlina each way and first four 1,5,9/1,5,6,9/1,5,6,7,9,11/1,5,6,7,9,11. Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 3 CL2 HCP (1000m):

Scone 3YO filly 2. Emperor's Star has tactical speed, but doesn't want it any longer than 1000m to show her best. Has been raced sparingly this prep, and form metro jockey hops on.

Dangers: Super consistent 6YO Coffs Harbour gelding 1. Hard Merchandise has run three close seconds in good company this prep after coming back from a year off, and will park right around the speed from a low draw. Include improving 5YO Grafton mare 10. True Pride who has ability, and resumed off a 10-month break with a good fighting effort behind a nice horse, and drops 2kg to the limit weight. Grafton 4YO mare 3. Oyashio Drift has won two of her last three, and also possesses early speed, but this is tougher; while lightly raced 3YO Newcastle filly 8. Perfect won her maiden at second start last prep at Tamworth, and resumes off two quiet trials on the limit weight, with blinkers going on.

How to play it: Emperor's Star to win and trifecta 1,2,10/1,2,10/1,2,3,8,10. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 4 CL1 HCP (1200m):

Expect enough improvement second-up from classy 4YO Coffs Harbour gelding 1. Plonka who comes back from stronger Class 3 metro grade, and draws the fence. Ran a big race just missing in a Highway at Rosehill third-up in the autumn.

Dangers: Improving 4YO Coffs Harbour mare 6. Rosie Elsie is weighted and drawn to be in the finish after hitting the line hard in two runs back this prep, and jockey switch is significant. Muswellbrook 5YO mare 2. Taldora Miss landed her maiden from the front fourth-up at Newcastle, although back up to 1200m is a query. Was scratched from Gunnedah on Thursday. Another Coffs-trained mare 4. Penny Rosa flashed home late to win her maiden at Grafton last start, and while this is another step up, drops 3.5kg and senior metro rider is booked; while 4YO Pt Macquarie mare 9. Nicconi Lass is hard fit, and has finished off okay in her last couple when ridden quieter.

How to play it: Plonka to win; Rosie Elsie each way and trifecta 1,6/1,2,4,6/1,2,4,6. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 5 OPEN SPRINT (1200m):

Top quality sprint. Wyong 5YO gelding 3. Spring Charlie is tough as teak, and has a smart fresh record. First-up last prep just missed in a Provincial C'ship qualifying heat at Hawkesbury, and has looked well forward in two recent trials.

Dangers: Central Coast 5YO gelding 1. Catesby has been freshened up since a fighting effort from the front at big odds in the much stronger Group 3 Show County at Rosehill. Has plenty of quality, and normally fires off a let-up, but has to cart 62kg. Include improving Warwick Farm gelding 5. Grimoire who has a good strike-rate. Was well backed at double figure odds when powering home to win first-up at Canterbury, before not disgraced behind a smart one in Class 6 at Doomben. Big watch on resuming 4YO Taree mare 8. Malea Magic who hasn't publicly trialled, but has won three from four first-up, including a terrific Highway win in winter beating high class gallopers Mr Wong and Irish Songs; while 5YO Newcastle gelding 10. Sausalito drops 5kg from a fast-finishing win in much weaker grade at Tamworth, and is a contender through the exotics.

How to play it: Spring Charlie to win and first four 1,3,5/1,3,5/1,3,5,8,10/1,3,5,8,10. Odds and Evens: Odds

Spring Charlie wins a trial at Cessnock on September 30

Race 6 HASTINGS CUP (1500m):

Keen on 5YO Wyong mare 5. Miss Redoble who did her best work late second-up in a deep BM 70 at Newcastle, and while drawn wide, will appreciate the extra trip and likely sting out of the ground.

Dangers: Coffs Harbour 6YO gelding 2. Evopex has been a consistent finisher in higher BM and country Cup races, but disappointing in his last couple when well in the market. Newcastle 5YO gelding 1. Chalmers will appreciate this company after a fair third-up run in metro BM 78 grade, and draws to get a nice run off the speed, but not well in at the weights considering he was rolled in the weaker Moree Cup carrying only a half kilo more. Wauchope 5YO gelding 10. Haames normally runs well after a let-up, and comes off an impressive Highway win at Rosehill a month ago powering home at big odds carrying 2kg more; while lightly raced 5YO local mare 7. Let's Rebelle has also been freshened with a runaway win in an open 1000m trial, but jumping to 1500m in this company looks a tough ask.

How to play it: Miss Redoble to win. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 7 PORT MACQUARIE CUP (2000m):

Feature race, with plenty of chances. Newcastle 6YO gelding 2. Mongolian Wolf looks nicely placed and a mile over the odds, despite the hefty weight, coming back from even runs in the tougher Listed Wyong Cup and Group 3 Newcastle Cup.

Dangers: Been a long time since grand 6YO gelding 1. Morton's Fork has won, and of course he has to give most of the field a stack of weight, but his last two closing efforts in a high class company at Randwick and Eagle Farm suggest he can peak here third-up over an ideal distance. Lightly raced 5YO gelding 5. Rapido Chaparro has improved lengths in his last two, and just run down late by a quality stayer in a BM 88 at Rosehill last start. Up sharply in weight, so how much fuel he uses to come over from a wide barrier will be the key. Much improved 6YO Newcastle mare 6. Lady Evelyn has charged home late to win the Cup Prelude and before that weaker Tuncurry Cup, and while she drops significantly in weight, drawn the extreme outside gate is a big leveller; while include 7YO Rosehill gelding 7. Zaunkonig from the inside draw in exotics after bolting in the weaker Bathurst Cup.

How to play it: Mongolian Wolf each way and trifecta 1,2,5/1,2,5,6,7/1,2,5,6,7. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 8 BM 66 HCP (1100m):

Open affair for the older sprinters to finish. Local 6YO mare 2. Typhoon Bonny has motored home into a place from well back in her last three, including a strong Springtime at Wyong, and should get enough speed on front to repeat the dose, although up sharply in weight.

Dangers: Local 6YO gelding 3. Gordon's Leap can improve sharply second-up after a modest return at Newcastle off an eight month spell, and he did win a Highway at Randwick from well off the speed last spring. Coffs Harbour 4YO gelding 8. Impulsive Manoeuver can really mix his form, but he's drawn to get a nice run, and drops 4.5kg from a poor effort in a BM 58 nearly a month back; while 6YO Taree mare 9. Natural Image has been consistent this prep, and is best of the rest.

How to play it: Typhoon Bonny to win. Odds and Evens: Split.

Typhoon Bonny runs second at Wyong on September 6

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

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