By Neil Evans
Track rated Good 4 and rail true for a strong card
|Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (1400m):|
The maidens get us underway and 4YO gelding 1. Dunlee can win second-up getting on to the bigger track after finishing off okay in a deeper maiden at Wyong.
Dangers: Improving 3YO 3. My Greyt Mate can settle a little closer here after hitting the line late in two runs back at Muswellbrook; while local 4YO 4. Fitzroy Boy can improve fourth-up over more ground and dropping in weight.
How to play it: Dunlee to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
Dunlee runs third at Wyong on September 4
|Race 2 COUNTRY ONLY MAIDEN PLATE (900m):|
The first-up brigade can fight this out. Tamworth-based 1. Danza Dark is a talented 4YO resuming off a lengthy break for only his fourth start. Should have broken through on debut here back in autumn when rocketing home late after being badly held up trying to get through the field. Will be screaming home over the final furlong.
Dangers: Handy filly 12. Mischief Managed was close-up in two good maidens to start her career, and returns off two trials from the inside gate. Big watch on local colt 9. Intercept who hasn't publicly trialled, but gets blinkers on for form stable.
How to play it: Danza Dark each way and box exacta 1,9,12. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):|
Very tough and open race at set weights, with a stack of debutants on show. One of them, Mudgee 3YO 5. Amicus Curiae looks hard to beat from the draw off a smart trial win
Dangers: Talented local 3YO 15. Ranuncula had little or no luck on debut getting home at Muswellbrook before charging late to just miss at Tamworth. Only needs a clear run from the turn back at home to be in the finish. Include 7. Dream Eclipse at a big price after trialling okay at Kembla; while 13. Express Flight found the line well in that same trial as the top selection.
How to play it: Amicus Curiae to win and trifecta 5,15,/5,7,13,15,/5,7,13,15. Odds and Evens: Odds a special
|Race 4 CLASS 2 HCP (1600m):|
Very even tactical battle over the mile. Randwick 4YO 1. Holy Sunday returns to where he charged home scoring over this trip two runs back, and the second horse has since bolted in. Should have won at Canberra last start when put into brick walls from the 250m mark.
Dangers: Progressive 4YO 6. Sapphires Son is at the peak of his game sweeping home to win a BM 58 here after chasing home the top selection previously. Expect him to be a contender for next autumn's provincial c'ship series. Consistent 5YO 4. Hubble was rewarded for some tidy efforts powering home to win a thinner race at Tuncurry, and is drawn to get a nice trail.
How to play it: Holy Sunday to win and quinella 1 and 6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 CLASS 2 HCP (1100m):|
Back to the sprinters, and home-track 5YO 4. Free Rider can strike second-up after an ordinary effort in a similar race at Dubbo. Draws to get good cover, and as long as he can get to the outside at the 400m, will be charging over the top.
Dangers: Tamworth 4YO 2. Depth That Varies resumes off a lengthy break, with the blinkers coming off. Has plenty of ability, normally fires early in the prep, and well in at the weights after rider's 4kg claim. Progressive 5YO stallion 3. Belle Reve has won his last two in dominant fashion, although more depth here and drawn off the track.
How to play it: Free Rider to win. Odds and Evens: Evens
Free Rider runs sixth at Dubbo on September 13
|Race 6 BM 66 HCP (1100m):|
Good strong sprint, with plenty of chances. Like the value about local 4YO 8. Reveal The Magic who resumes for a new stable off good work at the trials. Was close-up behind some smart ones last prep, and has only missed a place twice from 11 starts.
Dangers: Lightly raced ex-Victorian 5YO 6. More Sundays resumes for his first run also for a new stable. Has trialled well behind a smart sprinter, and took on stronger opposition last prep. Cessnock 4YO 2. Luff flew home to win a weaker race resuming, and if he can pick up a trail and be saved for the final 300m, will be in the finish. Big watch on another local, 7YO 3. Aristograts who resumes off a smart trial win, and has a 50 per cent winning strike rate from six attempts. No public trial, but trainer has rung the gear changes, and only needs to find a position from the wide barrier to be running home; while 9. Star Raider won a weaker race two starts back, and is best of the rest.
How to play it: Reveal The Magic each way and trifecta 2,6,8/2,3,6,8,9/2,3,6,8,9. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 7 CLASS 1 HCP (1300m):|
Home track 3YO colt 5. Freedom Square exploded away to beat a handy field here on debut, and while this is tougher, he has a stack of potential and is the one to beat.
Dangers: Local filly 12. Lucky Banner felt the pressure in that same race as the top selection after an impressive maiden win covering plenty of ground. Draws to get a much softer run, and will be strong late. Improving 3YO 14. Son Of Sampson scored a deserved maiden win at Tuncurry after tracking the speed, although taking on some stronger ones here; while 7. I'm Going ran a terrific race at big odds on debut, and can progress further from the inside draw.
How to play it: Irish Thunder to win and quinella 5 and 8. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 BM 66 HCP (1400m):|
Wide open one to finish. Somewhat shocked by the big price of 5YO mare 6. Belle De Vega who charged home late in a similar field resuming. Will again be forced a long way back from the wide barrier, but she's a second-up winner, and will love the long run home.
Dangers: Tamworth 5YO 4. Ronan's Rock has had a couple of false starts since sweeping home for a dominant CL2 win at Coffs early last month. Kept up to the mark with a recent trial, and is drawn to coil up in behind the speed; while improving mare 14. Hard Faith is better placed over this distance third-up.
How to play it: Belle De Vega each way. Odds and Evens: Evens.