By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and rail true so should play fairly even
|Race 1 BM 58 HCP (2000m):|
This looks the race for 5YO local gelding 2. Condover Hall who wasn't far off in deeper races over shorter trips before stepping up to 1900m and chasing home The Kroc at Kempsey. Ready for this journey, with form rider aboard.
Dangers: After a string of solid closing runs, 5YO local gelding 1. Shoreditch finally scraped home for a fourth career win at Taree in this grade, but goes up in trip and weight. Newcastle 4YO mare 4. Miss Fialka was unwanted in betting resuming in a Class 1 over too short a trip, although jumps up sharply in distance and rises in weight, but only win so far came second-up.
How to play it: Condover Hall to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1500m):|
It's play it again Sam for 5YO Newcastle gelding 1. Elgin who left punters squirming third-up when rolled in a tight finish at Muswellbrook as a long odds-on favourite. Same rider, same trip, and same race conditions, although this looks a shade weaker, so is the clear one to beat fourth-up.
Dangers: Doubt there are any if the hotpot keeps his mind on the job, but 4YO local gelding 2. Suffice should be included after two fair runs to start his career. Kempsey 3YO filly 9. Bear The Crown has finished hard from well back in two runs so far, and draws the inside so will be tucked away and saved one final charge; while 3YO gelding 4. Graziano from top local stable has also found the line much stronger as the distances have risen, and draws to get a nice position and hit the line again.
How to play it: Elgin to win and trifecta 1/2,4,9/2,4,9. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
Hard to make any sort of case for most of these, but not resuming 3YO Newcastle filly 13. Hibern from the leading yard who started off with two improving runs mid year, and has trialled strong enough getting through the line under a good hold for what looks a suitable return race.
Dangers: Local 4YO mare 9. Firefly Poppy only had moderate form in four runs through the autumn, but has trialled well and looks set for a much improved second campaign; while 4YO Taree gelding 4. Cascade County has mixed his form and certainly didn't back up a strong betting move last start, but in a race with a long tail, he's best of the rest.
How to play it: Hibern to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.
Hibern runs third in a trial at Wyong on October 23
|Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Very tough race and plenty of chances headed by former Victorian 3YO gelding 2. Spirit In The Sky who has his first run in NSW for leading local stable. Has gone close in two of his four runs this prep, and new trainer has made some significant gear changes.
Dangers: Quite liked the last furlong on debut from 7YO Coffs Harbour mare 8. Miss Dent who will appreciate a little more ground, although drawn right off the track. Wyong 3YO filly 11. Brookwyn was beaten out of sight second-up at huge odds after bungling the start, but expect her to improve sharply for form stable. Watch the market on 4YO Gosford gelding and first starter 1. New Tycoon (Foxwedge x Backatem by Note Book) who has had two solid trials, and debuts in blinkers; as well as Newcastle 3YO 6. Krayzelburg who returns as a gelding also off two quiet trials, and draws the inside.
How to play it: Spirit In The Sky to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 OPEN HCP (1500m):|
Most competitive race of the day. After four runs back, 5YO Taree gelding 2. Casino Mondial looks ready to win again. Did his best work late in the BM 84 Hastings behind a smart one before finishing even stronger to miss by a whisker in the BM 83 Krambach Cup at home, and winkers go on for the first time.
Dangers: Local 5YO gelding 3. Mister Smartee couldn't get into the fight in similar grade at Grafton last start, but previous form was sound, and draws the inside, with a little drop in weight. Newcastle 5YO mare 4. High Rush is much better than his first-up showing at Wyong where he dropped out after trailing the speed. Down 3kg from that run, and senior country rider goes on, so expect sharp improvement. Kempsey 6YO gelding 7. I've Got This steps up from BM 58 grade where he has found the line in last two runs, often enduring a checkered path. Drops a lofty 6.5kg in weight for the rise in class, and if he gets speed on up front and a clear run from the 400m, can be right in the finish. Tuncurry 6YO gelding 8. Up The Stairs is another testing a tougher class after an impressive BM 58 win at home before finishing on late in a Class 3 this track; while 5YO Newcastle gelding 5. Nothing Too Hard is another whose form, while inconsistent, belies his poor winning strike rate. Hit the line hard in a BM 79 at Quirindi, and while this is tougher, carries his lightest weight in a long time.
How to play it: Casino Mondial to win and first four 2,3,4/2,3,4,5,7,8/2,3,4,5,7,8/2,3,4,5,7,8. Odds and Evens: Split.
Casino Mondial runs second at Taree on October 18
|Race 6 BM 58 HCP - HEAT OF THE RISING STAR (1000m):|
Another very tricky sprint. Coffs Harbour 4YO mare 2. Blevio, who won this distance in a Class 1 with more depth two starts back at Ballina, is drawn to get the right trail. Was scratched from Monday to be saved for this.
Dangers: Local 6YO gelding 1. Triage appreciated being ridden a little further back last start sweeping home to win this grade, and while back in trip and up a little in weight, can certainly repeat the dose. Similarly, local 4YO gelding 3. Just Sizzling will also look to rip home late off a good tempo, and gets in well at the weights after rider's 4kg claim. Central Coast 6YO mare 6. Miss Eimar hasn't started for more than eight months, but has trialled well and has a solid fresh record; while 5YO Wauchope mare 5. Odds Or Evens has been freshened up and hasn't won for a long time, but comes out of a smart sprint at Cessnock where she finished under three lengths from Hiemel who was only just beaten in Sunday's Thunderbolt at Queanbeyan, and Royal Eclipse who had won two straight prior.
How to play it: Blevio each way and box trifecta 1,2,3,6. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 7 CL1 HCP (1000m):|
Still with the restricted sprinters, and 3YO Newcastle gelding 1. Mr Polar can take the next step after a dominant front-running maiden win first-up at Muswellbrook, and was well backed second-up last prep against stronger when beaten under three lengths.
Dangers: Wauchope 5YO gelding 2. Chief Havoc was no match for the flying Burning Crown who ran a record at Coonabarabran before winning on Hunter day at Newcastle. Prior had hit the line nicely in a Class 2 this track, and looks well placed from the inside draw. Wyong 3YO gelding 4. Elusive Eagle was fairly hard in the market in brief first prep winning second-up at Coonamble, and returns now as a gelding. Showed speed in an open trial ahead of first run in more than four months.
How to play it: Mr Polar to win and box exacta 1,2,4. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 8 BM 66 HCP (1200m):|
Good tough race to finish. Capable 5YO Newcastle gelding 2. Mr Grumpy has found the line well in two runs back behind The Crimson idol who has since won again, and Upper East Side who is headed for metro company. Steps up to ideal 1200m trip now.
Dangers: Love the way local 5YO mare 7. Our Girl Babs is going, storming home from midfield to win consecutive Class 1 and Class 3 races, and while sharply back in trip is a concern, has been freshened. Gladstone 5YO gelding 1. San Marco has been raced sparingly this prep, but produced his best effort in a while last start working home in that same race behind Upper East Side at Kempsey, and is also looking for this trip. Local 5YO mare 4. Maid Marilyn was specked at big odds resuming in the stronger Highway at Newcastle, but failed to beat a runner home, although second-up form is better in what is a far more suitable race.
How to play it: Mr Grumpy to win and quinella 1 and 2. Odds and Evens: Split.