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Neil Evans' Tips For Sapphire Coast (Monday)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4 and rail out 3m from 800m to 350m into a cut/away

Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (1407m):

Testing maiden to start. Keen on improving Canberra four-year-old 4. Bubbler who can break through fourth-up getting down in the weights after a 3kg claim. Has finished nicely in his last two, and step up to this trip is ideal.

Dangers: Rival Canberra mare 9. More Shots rushed home fourth-up at Scone but missed narrowly after being very well backed. Again looks well placed in this company, but wouldn't be taking too short a price back on a smaller track. South Coast mare 6. Hoystryke got back from a wide draw third-up at Canberra and never came on, but can settle a bit closer here from the draw, and be in the finish. Include in exotics provincial four-year-old 3. Aphro Man resuming; and four-year-old mare 7. Just A Pearl who continues to slowly improve.

How to play it: Bubbler to win. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 2 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1007m):

This looms as a Kembla showdown. Nice mare 9. Pindarra's Dream resumes off a dominant trial win at home, and draws to park right behind the speed. Took on much tougher provincial and metro races last spring, and trainer has significantly reapplied the blinkers.

Dangers: Progressive filly 4. Nicci's Song picked up where she left off last prep, sweeping home for a dominant first-up win at Wagga. Up in weight, but this has less depth, and she only needs some cover from an awkward gate to be charging home again. Bolted in her maiden here last spring. Canberra mare 6. Tycoon Tily is hard fit, and over the odds from the draw. Drops a little in quality after sticking on well at home in her last two. Improving mare 5. Loose Wire rises in class after winning here, but sneaks in okay at the weights after rider's 3kg allowance.

How to play it: Pindarra's Dream to win and quinella 4 and 9. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1207m):

Canberra four-year-old 4. Jack The Brumby is on a quickish back-up, and will find this easier than his first two runs back at home. Has the speed to off-set a wide barrier, and little drop in trip is a big plus too. The one to beat.

Dangers: Debutant Excelebration filly 14. Times Change has trialled well at the provincials; while watching the betting on four-year-old 2. Archie's A Star who resumes without officially trialling.

How to play it: Jack The Brumby to win. Odds and Evens: Evens a special

Jack The Brumby runs fifth at Canberra on February 19

Race 4 CLASS 2 HCP (1207m):

Reasonable speed in this one. Canberra five-year-old 1. Sebago was fancied second-up at home but only hit the line fairly. Has been freshened up, with winkers added, and this is thin.

Dangers: Honest four-year-old 3. Alan has boxed on okay here in his last two, and drawn to roll forward and give a big sight again; while five-year-old mare 5. Rapidity can peak third-up.

How to play it: Sebago to win. Odds and Evens: Odds a special

Sebago runs third at Moruya on February 14

Race 5 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1407m):

Much wider affair here. Like the value about improving four-year-old 11. Icksta who was only a long neck from the winner here first-up. Drawn to get a nice trial, and carries 1.5kg less in a field with a little more depth.

Dangers: Tough provincial seven-year-old 4. Halliday Road only has to run this trip out to be tough to beat. Gave nothing else a chance from the front here last start in deeper grade, and despite the weight rise, should find the lead again. Keep safe resuming five-year-old 7. Gunzar who has had two trials; and four-year-old mare 8. Shrug second-up.

How to play it: Icksta each way and quinella 4 and 11. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 6 MERIMBULA CUP (1607m):

Feature race of the day stacks up well for tough Shoalhaven six-year-old 2. Roseirro who can break a run of outs fifth-up from the right draw. Has been working home well in much deeper races all prep, and looks well treated under 57kg.

Dangers: Include four-year-old 8. Zounique who made up late ground second-up in a CL2 at Wagga, and drops a hefty 6.5kg here after the claim. Provincial four-year-old 9. Club Legend is also one of the better weighted runners after finishing hard from well back second-up in a BM 58.

How to play it: Roseirro to win and box exacta 2,8,9. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 7 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1607m):

Capable Moruya four-year-old 1. Pahang is getting up in the weights, but also bursting to win one this prep. Has attacked the line late in his last two against better opposition, and step up to this distance can prove the key.

Dangers: Improving three-year-old 5. Django Dream finished best to win a weak maiden at Queanbeyan at only his third start, and carries 1.5kg less here. Keep safe another lightly raced three-year-old 12. Sweet Cheval who has beaten all bar the winner in his last two, and draws to get a soft run down in the weights. Home track five-year-old 2. Pride Of Kalaru is also advantaged up in trip third run back.

How to play it: Pahang to win. Odds and Evens: Split

All the fields, form and replays for Monday's Sapphire Coast meeting

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