By Neil Evans
Good 4 and rail true so even early before slight trend towards the middle
|Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Competitive opener. Improving 3YO Newcastle filly 6. Fashion Icon looks beautifully suited stepping up to the mile after finishing hard in her last two over shorter trips at Muswellbrook.
Dangers: Time for beautifully bred 3YO local gelding 2. Egyptian Amulet to also fire stepping up to the mile. Was ridden a little closer last start this track, but extra trip a big plus on home track. Well bred 3YO Newcastle filly 5. Brazenbrook, stablemate to top selection, can figure after going under as an odds-on fancy in her last two. Draws the fence, and also suited by the extra trip. Include Newcastle mare 7. High Flight in wider exotics.
How to play it: Fashion Icon to win and trifecta 2-6/2-5-6-7. Odds & Evens (First 2): Evens.
Fashion Icon runs second at Muswellbrook on July 1
|Race 2 BM 58 HCP (2200m):|
Local 4YO mare 4. Athena's Voice finished hard at Dubbo two runs back before closing okay in a stronger Class 6 at Grafton. Back up in weight, but gets a nice trail from the draw and this looks the right distance.
Dangers: Gosford 7YO gelding 2. Coolaminyah Kid has won two of his last three, and defied a betting drift to power home and win this grade at Mudgee last start, but weighted right to his best. Hawkesbury gelding 5. Captain Americain has finally shown some consistency in his last two runs, and also draws to get an economical position back in the field; while 6. Sadler's Rest has been campaigning on his home track at Tamworth this prep, without threatening, but with top rider going on from a nice barrier, can challenge at bigger odds.
How to play it: Athena's Voice to win. Odds & Evens: Evens.
Athena's Voice runs second at Dubbo on June 30
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1300m):|
Open affair, with a few first starters that can influence the market. One of those, internationally-bred 3YO gelding 2. Succendam (Sea The Moon x Having A Blast by Exchange Rate) looked good hitting the line hard in a recent trial for strong stable.
Dangers: Big watch on debutant 3YO gelding 3. Vegarein (Lope de Vega x Raindane by Danehill Dancer) who has been kept quiet at the trials for leading Newcastle yard; while stablemate colt 5. The Premier was a little disappointing when heavily backed second-up at Muswellbrook, but fitter and down in weight. Wyong 3YO gelding 4. Moon Panther finished hard resuming in that same race at Muswellbrook when heavily specked at a big price, and should appreciate the spacious track. Another of the Kris Lees runners, 3YO filly 9. I'm Kate is a knock-out each way chance.
How to play it: Succendam each way and boxed trifecta 2-3-4-9. Odds & Evens: Split.
|Race 4 MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):|
Plenty of chances again, but looks a nice second-up assignment for 3YO Newcastle filly 7. Stratacheva who resumed off a lengthy break and over a shorter trip at Newcastle with a fast-finishing effort. Draws to get a cosy run midfield over more suitable trip.
Dangers: Tamworth 2YO gelding 9. Boomalong did his best work late on debut at Grafton, and even better suited this track. Another 2YO gelding 11. Mr Polar has shown ability in two runs so far and the blinkers go on, but draws a tricky gate. Newcastle 5YO gelding 1. Little Geoffrey stalked a hot speed in the heavy on a poor track at Gunnedah last start, and didn't finish off. Will appreciate much firmer footing here, but big weight and wide gate are tough hurdles. Keep watch on returning 2YO Newcastle gelding 13. Salsa Dreaming who has trialled okay, but drawn wide.
How to play it: Stratacheva each way. Odds & Evens: Odds.
|Race 5 CL1 HCP (1100m):|
Competitive race, with a real form reference. Local 5YO gelding 2. Real Classic was unwanted in betting first-up off a long break, but still found the line strongly in a good quality Class 1, and second-up form is rock solid for a race like this.
Dangers: Rival local filly 4. Fritz's Factor scored a dominant maiden win two runs back before closing off okay in that same race as Real Classic behind Engadine, who has since won again. Wyong 3YO filly 5. Pluck And Lucky is another who likes to get back and charge late. Has rattled home from well back in both runs this prep, and draws to come down the middle again.
How to play it: Real Classic to win and quinella 2 and 4. Odds & Evens: Evens.
|Race 6 BM 66 HCP (1100m):|
Muswellbrook mare 5. Majestic Pedrille has ability, but mixes her runs. Was good late in a Class 3 at Tamworth last start, and draws to get a nice trail just off the speed.
Dangers: Warwick Farm mare 7. Snitzagirl resumed with a nice professional win in weaker grade at Muswellbrook, and drops in weight for this tougher test. Newcastle 5YO mare 2. Not Surprising can bounce back after outclassed resuming in a metro BM 70; while rival Newcastle 3YO gelding 1. Albert's No Pussy ran a big race behind a smart horse this track and grade two back before a little flat last start, and continually lumping big weights might be taking its toll; while another Novacastrian 4YO mare 6. Belle Of Portugal must be respected after hitting the line hard behind in-form Engadine last start when specked at a big price.
How to play it: Arleta each way and first four 5-7/1-2-5-6-7. Odds & Evens: Odds.
|Race 7 CL3 HCP (1400m):|
Good race to finish. Smart 3YO Newcastle filly 8. Star Alibi has looked terrific winning both her starts at Muswellbrook, and while there's plenty more depth here, she looks headed for bigger riches. Will drift back from a wide gate, but should be powering home on a track that suits, especially with lugging bit going on.
Dangers: Local 4YO gelding 1. Ibini is progressive, and only been out of the placings three times from 13 starts. Cruised home from the front in a BM 66 four runs back, and just missed against tougher opposition last start. Newcastle 3YO gelding 7. Da Power won first-up in weaker grade at Muswellbrook, and in only previous prep won her maiden second-up. Scone 4YO gelding 4. Velaro has been freshened up via a nice trial run, and was competitive against stronger last spring, including consecutive metro Highway runs. Keep watch on any market move for 6YO Newcastle gelding 3. Dead Calm who was a smart youngster, but hasn't raced for well over two years, and has been taken along quietly at the trials.
How to play it: Smart Alibi to win and quinella 1 and 8. Odds & Evens: Split.