By Neil Evans
Track improving to near Good 4 and rail True so should be even early before gradual trend towards the middle and off speed.
|Race 1 COUNTRY ONLY MAIDEN PLATE (900m):|
Tricky maiden to start, although loved the trial effort this track of debutant 4YO Tamworth stallion 1. Pass The Card (Tickets x Dyna Diva by King Cugat) who was pushed right off on the turn and covered a stack of ground, but still ran through the line strong. Leading country stable and rider combine.
Dangers: Muswellbrook 3YO gelding and first starter 9. Ringo's Charm looks to have good natural speed leading virtually all the way in a recent home track trial. Gulgong 3YO filly 13. Sniper Excels can improve second up on a bigger track; while 5YO mare 5. Havelka resumes for a new local stable, and draws to get a cosy run.
How to play it: Pass The Card to win. Odds and Evens (First 2): Odds.
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):|
This looks even tougher, with plenty of chances. Nicely-bred 4YO local gelding 5. Melik (Redoubte's Choice x Secluded by Hussonet) finally gets to race day after an opening campaign was shelved more than a year ago. Bred for further, but has cruised through the line in both recent trials, and can win on debut.
Dangers: Local 4YO mare 8. Dreaming Of Gold was unlucky not to salute on Tuncurry Cup day steaming home late at just second start, and draws the fence. Improving 3YO Wyong gelding 13. Buckin' Rippa was heavily backed before holding his ground in that same Tuncurry maiden as Dreaming Of Gold, and can improve. Newcastle 4YO gelding 3. Ice Shelf returns for leading stable after a fair debut back in May, but has had two progressive trials. Expect sharp improvement third-up from 4YO Newcastle stallion 6. Patagonian who hasn't done much so far this prep, but comes out of deeper maiden form; while 4YO Gosford mare 9. Gottabe Red was very easy in betting before a moderate effort behind a heavily backed winner at Tuncurry.
How to play it: Melik to win and quinella 5 and 8. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1400m):|
Newcastle 3YO gelding 4. Salsa Dreaming can finally break through after finishing hard into second in his last three. Was no match for a smart one at Tuncurry last start, and while he'll be forced a long way back from a wide draw, should get enough speed on up front to allow him to rattle home again.
Dangers: Local 4YO gelding 2. St Anton was disappointing when well fancied by punters in only his second start, and has to overcome an awkward gate. Rival home track gelding 10. Izzat has been up for a while, but continues to do his best work late, and from a cosy draw, can power into the finish again; while 3YO Newcastle filly 13. Perfect Pattern will appreciate a significant step up in distance at third start.
How to play it: Salsa Dreaming to win and box trifecta 2,4,10,13. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 4 CL1 HCP (1300m):|
Good race, with three runners clearly in front of the rest. Progressive 3YO Wyong filly 7. Trajection was terrific winning her maiden third-up at Tuncurry after copping a check before the turn, and then had to weave into the clear before charging over the top. This isn't a whole tougher, and she drops 3kg from that run.
Dangers: Strong filly 9. Deepwood Vale from leading local stable made amends for missing a place on debut as a heavily backed favourite by charging down the middle from well back for a dominant maiden win. Stays at home, with just 54kg, and will be getting home hard again. The inside draw probably doesn't suit the pattern of 4YO Newcastle gelding 1. Magic Charlee but his fresh run from well off the speed was okay, and looks even better suited here second-up with the blinkers coming off. Doubt anything else can win, but rival 4YO Newcastle mare 5. Miss Eporetto has improved in her last two when ridden further back, and she's starting to sneak down in the weights; while 4YO local 6. Queens has come back a stronger mare this time winning her maiden first-up before powering home to just miss in a Class 2 at Mudgee.
How to play it: Trajection to win and box exacta 1,7,9. Odds and Evens: Odds.
Trajection's first-up second at Taree in August
|Race 5 CL2 HCP (1100m):|
Loved the way tough 3YO Wyong filly 5. Royal Eclipse came over from a wide gate, sat in the breeze and fought hard to win a BM 58 on the Beaumont track third-up. This doesn't look much harder, and even better in at the weights.
Dangers: Lightly raced 3YO Newcastle filly 9. Wild Fortune looks the immediate threat after running good time to win her maiden here on debut before rattling home late in a BM 58 at Coffs Harbour. Still improving, and also down in weight. Muswellbrook 4YO mare 7. Alchera finished hard to win a Class 1 at Quirindi two runs back before only plain at Tamworth, but down significantly in weight, and draws to get plenty of cover. Gulgong 4YO mare 4. Smart Moove has plenty of ability, but didn't fire a shot in short second prep through winter. Trainer has freshened her up with a nice trial, so could well be ready to regain that spark from earlier in the year. Warwick Farm 4YO gelding 1. Legislation had solid enough form in smarter company through winter, and fast-finishing first-up run in weaker grade at Kembla was good, but has a poor second-up record.
How to play it: Royal Eclipse to win and quinella 5 and 9. Odds and Evens: Odds
Royal Eclipse wins at Newcastle on September 5
|Race 6 CL2 HCP (1600m):|
Plenty of depth here. Local 4YO mare 2. Emanuela should be right at her peak now after charging home along the inside to beat a smart Class 1 field this track and trip fourth-up, and was scratched from Hawkesbury on Thursday to be saved for this.
Dangers: Progressive 4YO Newcastle mare 1. Sunreel hit the line hard third-up at Coffs Harbour under more weight, and draws to get a nice trail midfield. Stablemate gelding 3. Heredero is much better than his ordinary effort last start on the Beaumont track when well backed, but drawn wide and first go at the mile under 58kg is a real query. Rival 4YO Newcastle mare 5. Ducale has finished hard into second at her last two, and is ready for this significant rise in trip; while local 4YO mare 4. Couru got the job done under 59.5kg at Armidale second-up, but this is tougher.
How to play it: Emanuela to win and first four 1,2/1,2,3,4/1,2,3,4,5/1,2,3,4,5. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 BM 66 HCP (1100m):|
Most open battle on the card. Newcastle 4YO mare 6. Without Conviction has won her last two charging home from midfield, and is still on the rise. Drawn out, but that might suit late in the day, and will be rattling home again.
Dangers: Coonabarabran 6YO mare 5. Sea Lady resumes off a six month break, and her best runs are usually fresh. Hasn't publicly trialled, but draws to get plenty of cover back in the field, and leading rider has been booked. Despite a wide barrier, expect a big run first-up from 5YO Warwick Farm mare 7. Hylonome who normally races well fresh, and comes out of two high class Open trials. Hawkesbury 7YO gelding 3. Azcannyaz has been freshened since two solid closing runs around this grade, and 2kg claim is vital; while 7YO Gulgong gelding 2. Attalea hasn't won for a while, and mixes his runs almost at will. Not well in at the weights, but first time on a track that should suit his swooping pattern.
How to play it: Without Conviction to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 8 BM 66 HCP (1400m):|
Deep and exciting race to finish. Progressive 5YO Tamworth gelding 3. Schappose has hit the line nicely in consecutive Class 3 Highways, and looks well suited here despite a sharp rise in weight.
Dangers: Newcastle 4YO gelding 4. Sir Winkle has been a little disappointing in his last few, including being rolled as a hot favourite at Cessnock, since an easy Maiden win here four runs back. Needs to improve, but back on top of the ground is a huge plus. Smart 6YO Wyong mare 2. City Of Love resumes off a nice trial, and normally comes to hand quickly. Beat a good Maiden first-up in the autumn, but the inside draw is a query for one that likes to settle back. Was scratched from Hawkesbury on Thursday. Newcastle 4YO gelding 5. Akeed has found this class a little tough since stepping up from two BM 58 wins, but will get a lovely run from the draw. Warwick Farm 4YO mare 14. Renalot has been consistent all prep without winning, and first time on a track that should suit; while 6YO local gelding 10. Weather Channel is another whose ability is much better than his record suggests. Hasn't been far away in two Highways this prep, and will be finishing on from well back.
How to play it: Schappose to win and trifecta 3,4/2,3,4,5/2,3,4,5. Odds and Evens: Split.