By Neil Evans
Track Good 4, with slight chance of downgrade, and rail true for Cup Day
|Race 1 CLASS 2 HCP (1000m):|
Keen on 3YO Wyong filly 2. Girls Kick who resumes off a smart trial when only overhauled late by speedster The Bopper with a gap to third. This looks inviting after coming off a strong run in the Wellington Boot to land his maiden in dominant fashion here in autumn. Taree filly 5. Lucky Shadow resumes with no official trial, but has done plenty of work and won on debut last prep.
Dangers: Gosford filly 3. Undeniable charged home to win a Class 1 at Bathurst first-up, and draws to get a cosy run just off the speed.
How to play it: Girls Kick On to win and quinella 2 and 3. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):|
Much more open battle now over a bit further. Local 3YO filly 12. Nicci Trix looks well placed at second start over more ground and down slightly in weight after finishing off late here on debut.
Dangers: Big watch on Taree mare 5. Polariser who like the stablemate in race 1 resumes with no public trial. Will settle back from a wide draw and be strong late under a 2kg claim. Must respect Wyong filly 10. Don't Recall who resumes off a steady trial for her first run at country level; while $350K purchase filly 13. Night Of Mayhem debuts off two quiet trials from a soft draw.
How to play it: Nicci Trix to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 C, G & E MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):|
Another tricky sprint for the boys, but very keen on Newcastle 3YO 11. Sian resuming as a gelding off two strong provincial trials, and the form around his two runs in May is more than handy.
Dangers: Capable 4YO 4. Standing Bear resumes off a long break for new and astute Taree stable, with no public trial and a stack of gear changes. Ran home hard on debut at Doomben in January. Local 4YO 3. Schoona The Better debuts off two trials, with the blinkers on. Sire won at Listed level. Keep safe debutant Newcastle 3YO 6. Alastor and stablemate to top selection who hasn't done much at the trials, but bred to run some time.
How to play it: Sian to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Sian runs second in a trial at Newcastle on September 23
|Race 4 BM 66 HCP (1100m):|
Plenty of pressure and depth here. Progressive Newcastle 4YO 4. Gironde is unbeaten second-up from two starts, and maps to get a good trail off the fence. Resumed with a strong finishing effort at Scone, and has won two from three at this track.
Dangers: Ultra consistent 4YO Taree mare 13. Monica's Star resumes for a good stable, with no public trial. Hasn't missed a place in five starts so far, both career wins have come at this track, and should have enough early speed to get across and negate the wide barrier. Lightly raced Coffs 7YO 6. Northern Knight looks over the odds second-up after working home late in a handy Class 3, but will need to slot in from a wide draw. Newcastle mare 12. Leave Me Some has attacked the line impressively in two runs back at Tamworth, and while this is tougher, he's already a winner here, and gets key gear changes; while 6YO 1. Revenire is best of the rest second-up from the inside draw, despite lumped with 63kg. Was preferred here to Gosford on Thursday.
How to play it: Gironde to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Gironde's first-up run at Scone on September 25
|Race 5 HASTINGS CUP (1500m):|
Very open race, with a stack of chances. Progressive mare 7. Cryptic Jewel is well placed second-up from a low draw, with top country jockey booked. Did her best work late in the Panorama at Bathurst in her first run for new Muswellbrook yard, and drops 3kg for this. Took on much tougher metro opposition in autumn.
Dangers: Far North Coast 7YO 5. Tivoli Street is ready to win fourth-up after finishing hard all prep against good quality opposition. Can settle back off a solid tempo and be strong late carrying his lightest weight in a long time. Tough Newcastle 6YO 1. Chalmers broke back into the winner's circle fighting them off at home in a BM 68, and likely to adopt a similar tactic here under 60kg. Another Novacastrian, 9. Nothing Too Hard hit the line hard to just miss in a blanket BM 64 finish at Wyong, and continues to hold form deep into the prep; while local 5YO 11. Chamisal is capable of driving into the finish if he gets some early luck from the widest barrier.
How to play it: Cryptic Jewel each way and trifecta 1,5,7/1,5,7,9,11/1,5,7,9,11. Odds and Evens: Odds a special
|Race 6 QUALITY SPRINT (1200m):|
Another good deep battle, with plenty of hopes. Wyong 5YO 1. Oxford Tycoon has a handy fresh record, and looked sharp in two recent trials. Was a key Provincial C'ship player in autumn, and is drawn to get an economical run off the speed, with top metro hoop aboard.
Dangers: Tamworth 5YO 3. Burning Crown is on the quick back-up well down in grade after being collared in a much stronger BM 88 at Randwick. Either leads or sits right behind, and while 1200m is as far as he wants, has a class factor. Gosford 6YO 2. Americana Magic resumes with no official trial, but has built a solid record in handy grade, and two of five career wins from 22 starts have come first-up. Warwick Farm mare 4. Kawaikini was terrific getting home hard second-up in a metro BM 72, and well in at the weights from a soft draw; while must include local 6YO 6. The Drake who drops 6.5kg from a fair closing effort at Wyong.
How to play it: Oxford Tycoon each way and trifecta 1,2,3/1,2,3,4,6/1,2,3,4,6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 PORT MACQUARIE CUP (2000m):|
Feature race of the day. Like the value about tough Rosehill mare 4. Savacool who has held her form nicely at Group 3 and Listed level since powering home to win the Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury first-up off a 10-week break. Naturally back up in weight, but well over the odds.
Dangers: Progressive Randwick 4YO 6. Entente will jump a short-priced favourite from the inside draw, and is the obvious threat. Stuck on hard to win a BM 88 at Rosehill third-up, and looks supremely well weighted under 55kg. Tough mare 5. Aliferous disappointed in the Group 3 Newcastle Cup after three solid closing third placings in metro company, and will need plenty of speed on up front to get home from a wide draw. Stablemate 7YO to top selection 3. Mantastic comes back from an even fourth-up effort in Group 3 company at The Valley, and blinkers come off.
How to play it: Savacool each way and quinella 4 and 6. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 8 CLASS 1 HCP (1200m):|
Very even contest to finish. Lightly raced Muswellbrook mare 3. Cecilia has been freshened up via a smart trial win. Yet to miss a place from four starts, and beat a good maiden field at Scone back in June.
Dangers: Big watch on Taree 5YO 2. Don't Cry Mama who hasn't started for nearly nine months, and without a public trial, but will come to hand quickly. Coffs mare 9. The Red One finished well in a weaker race at Lismore last start after bolting in her maiden by more than six lengths.
How to play it: Cecilia each way. Odds and Evens: Split.