By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and rail True so should play fairly even throughout the day
|Race 1 F & M BM 58 HCP (1000m):|
The girls kick us off in an absorbing sprint that looks tailor made for improving Scone-based 4YO 2. Are You Dreaming who has won two of her last four in fairly dominant fashion after leading, and draws the inside. Looks well placed in this company after being run off her feet at Coonabarabran chasing high class Burning Crown who ran a record.
Dangers: Tamworth 5YO 1. Blinkin' Legend has been raced sparingly all prep, although form has been a little patchy since beating a decent BM 58 field at home four runs back. Despite being a reliable weight carrier, the handicapper hasn't missed her with 62kg. Muswellbrook 4YO 3. Polish Train rattled home from well back to win her maiden and subsequent Class 1 before failing to run on in a handy BM 58 at home.
How to play it: Are You Dreaming to win. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split
Are You Dreaming wins at Taree on October 18
|Race 2 C, G & E MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Now the boys' turn over a slightly longer trip. Newcastle 4YO gelding 5. Dicko's Mate is still trying to break through after 20 starts, but has regularly taken on better gallopers than this, and draws to park on the fence trailing the speed. If he reproduces anything like his last start effort behind Trackman at Scone, he'll be hard to stop.
Dangers: Watch for sharp improvement at second start from 3YO Tamworth gelding 2. Comedy Deel who never got near the action on debut in that same race behind Trackman, but drew wide in what was a strong maiden. Better placed here from the draw and marginally down in weight. Newcastle 4YO gelding 3. Swordsman is another who looks better placed here third-up, down in weight and up in distance; while big market on 5YO Tamworth gelding 10. Think Of Legend who returns off an eight month spell, and looks destined for a much bigger prep with the blinkers off after bolting in a recent trial.
How to play it: Dicko's Mate to win and box trifecta 2,3,5,10. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 OPEN HCP (1600m):|
Very tricky affair with plenty of hopes. Newcastle 5YO gelding 4. Nothing Too Hard didn't fire a shot in the Cessnock Cup, and probably found the ground too firm, but before that in consecutive BM 64s at home beat The Kroc before no match for Plaisir, and both those horses have since won again in convincing fashion.
Dangers: Northern Hermisphere-bred 6YO Tamworth gelding and former Victorian 5. Rostam didn't run on resuming in a Class 3, but shapes much better in this down 3kg and is already a second-up winner. Scone 8YO gelding 1. Life O'Brien has had two fair runs back in tougher grade after more than two years off the scene. On face value, he looks well placed even with 61kg third-up over the mile considering he has strong metro form in high benchmark races over further, but that was way back in mid 2017, and may still need the run. Muswellbrook 8YO gelding 2. Disgraceful is one of those hard-to-catch frustrating types who regularly finishes off without threatening. Jumps sharply from 1100m resuming to the mile, but seems to save his best form for second-up.
How to play it: Nothing Too Hard to win and box trifecta 1,2,4,5. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 F & M MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Improving 3YO Scone filly 3. I'm Going can break through at third career start for a stable having a good run. Finished off okay at home when an easing favourite behind two smarter youngsters who would take these, so looks supremely well placed.
Dangers: Watch the market on rival 3YO Scone filly and first starter 4. Distinctly Dubai (Zoffany x Dubai Fling by Dubai Destination) who was out the back in a recent trial, but draws a nice for gate for smart juvenile stable. Newcastle filly 7. Diddley Dee was disappointing first-up at Pt Macquarie when well backed, but likely improver here for top provincial stable.
How to play it: I'm Going to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
I'm Going's last start at Scone on October 25
|Race 5 CL 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
A very moderate line-up at set weights, with most of these having had more chances than a reindeer at Xmas, and this augurs well for a 3YO gelding just getting started. Newcastle-based 10. Ego Dancer debuted with a fair effort from off the pace at big odds behind the smart Trackman, and was scratched from Wednesday's Scone meeting to be saved for this.
Dangers: Doubt there are any, but 6YO Cessnock mare 6. Lucky Starlet has run some handy races in solid BM 58 company, and draws to get an economical run around midfield.
How to play it: Ego Dancer to win. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 6 CL3 HCP (1450m):|
Competitive affair with a few hopes. Time for talented, if not unreliable, 4YO Scone mare 3. Gem Dealer to show what she can do. Didn't miss by much getting home from the back at Taree two runs back before again finishing off late in a high class Highway at Rosehill. Looks well treated with 56kg, and just needs some cover to allow her to explode over the top.
Dangers: Newcastle 4YO gelding 2. Heredero hasn't won for a while despite a fairly smart record around this grade. Normally comes from off speed, but two runs back stuck on gamely after leading behind the smart Emanuela before failing to run on in a Class 2 at Gunnedah. Better placed here from a nice trailing draw and down 2.5kg. Capable 5YO Scone gelding 1. My Zebrinka has been consistently in and around the money this prep, winning a BM 66 at Muswellbrook two runs back, and draws to find a good position somewhere on or near the speed. Improving 4YO Cessnock gelding 4. Dukes County has put two wins together, and while this is a step up in class, he draws to get the right sort of finishing trail. Connections of 5YO Tamworth gelding 5. Kliftee will be getting paranoid after four straight third placings at four different tracks, each time right on the winner's heels. Looks nicely placed from the draw and at the weights, and the winkers have come off.
How to play it: Gem Dealer to win and trifecta 1,2,3/1,2,3/1,2,3,4,5. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1000m):|
Improving 4YO Newcastle gelding 5. Ultimate Power comes back in trip after a steady return in a deeper race at Muswellbrook, but as long as the inside holds up okay, he looks well placed for a strong trainer/rider combination.
Dangers: Consistent 7YO Tamworth gelding 4. Lookin' Alive can repeat the dose in this grade after defying a betting drift to land at Gunnedah, although starting to climb well up in the weights. Newcastle 4YO gelding 4. Shark Alley is much better suited second-up at this distance after flopping in a BM 58 resuming at Taree. Was dual accepted for the now abandoned Pt Macquarie meeting, and looks to have landed in the slightly easier option. Glen Innes 6YO gelding 1. Victory Vibes returns in a weaker race after crowning last prep with a strong BM 66 win at Muswellbrook, but considering his fresh form is only ordinary, looks weighted out of the contest even with a 4kg claimer reducing his impost back to 62kg. Include lightly raced 5YO Tamworth gelding 12. Kensington Kid in exotics after consistent form across inferior races.
How to play it: Ultimate Power to win. Odds and Evens: Split.