By Neil Evans
Track improving to Good 4 and rail true so should play fairly even
|Race 1 COUNTRY MAIDEN HCP (1400m):|
Good open maiden to start, with plenty of chances. Muswellbrook 4YO gelding 6. Shamus Star will be hard to beat after charging home late at Taree when well backed at a big price, and the extra trip and cosy trailing gate are big plusses.
Dangers: Rival 6YO Muswellbrook gelding 2. Voyages returned off a long break to finish okay behind a smart one who is bound for the Country C'ships, and step up in distance a bonus as well. Watch the market on local 3YO gelding and first starter 4. Pride Of Adelaide (Adelaide x Miss Montire by Pentire) who has trialled nicely for leading local stable, and sure to get over ground by a Cox Plate winner from a tough staying dam line. Local 4YO gelding 1. St Anton drifted in betting on debut at Tamworth over this trip, but still held his ground okay into a place, and draws better here back at home, with leading rider booked; while another 4YO gelding 5. Izzat has been consistently doing his best work late in four runs this prep, and suited back on his home track. Local 3YO filly 12. Never Listen who also likes to get back and finish on is best of the rest.
How to play it: Shamus Star each way, first four 2,4,6/1,2,4,6/1,2,4,5,6,12/1,2,4,5,6,12. Odds and Evens (First 2): Evens.
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
It doesn't get much easier here, with several either on debut or first-up. First starter, 3YO Muswellbrook filly 14. Makana (Rubick x Sweet Revenge by Justice Prevails) looks the one to beat off a smart trial on this track when she showed early acceleration before scouting wide and winning under a hold. Bred for speed, and leading rider booked, with the winkers on.
Dangers: Warwick Farm 3YO filly 12. For Love was heavily backed resuming at Hawkesbury, and only overhauled late before an average run at Newcastle, but took on high class metro company as a 2YO earlier in the year. Big watch on debutant 3YO Tamworth gelding 8. Danebrook (Hinchinbrook x Bukhoor by Jeune) who has trialled quietly for leading trainer/rider duo, and draws the inside. Local 4YO mare 16. Honey Valley returns for a second prep after doing little on debut in Victoria back in the autumn, and has trialled okay for the new stable, with the winkers going on. Watch the betting too on 3YO Newcastle filly Delavigne (Hallowed Crown x La Parisienne by Commands) who boxed on okay after leading in a Wyong trial six weeks back, but draws right off the track.
How to play it: Makana each way; Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 3 COUNTRY MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
The maidens are at it again, and sticking with 3YO local filly 8. Deepwood Vale despite being drawn wide. Didn't smash the line after being heavily backed resuming this track, but extra trip and stronger rider going on are both big ticks.
Dangers: Rival local 3YO filly 9. Fast Cat can also drive into the finish at third start with the blinkers going on. Despite being well held in both her runs so far, there was plenty of depth in those fields, with both winners headed for bigger prizes. Local 4YO gelding 3. Greenskeeper resumes after hitting the line hard for three straight second placings in the autumn, and was scratched from Mudgee on Sunday to be saved for this. Muswellbrook 4YO mare 5. Our Eppy is also back for a second campaign after being close-up right through her first prep. Hasn't publicly trialled, but draws a nice barrier. Watch the market on 3YO Gulgong filly and first starter 10. Ginger's Voice (Poet's Voice x Red Strands by Strands) who has had two trials for a smart juvenile stable.
How to play it: Deepwood Vale to win; Odds and Evens: Split
Deepwood Vale runs fourth at Scone on August 27
|Race 4 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Potentially a very strong form race. Loved the way 4YO Wyong gelding 3. Moon Panther weaved through the field and was strong through the line winning his maiden fourth-up at Muswellbrook, and ideally suited around this course. Has only missed a place once from five starts.
Dangers: The big threat should come from another 4YO Wyong gelding 4. Sebonna who was heavily backed before powering away to win his maiden third-up at home. May have been a little flattered on a Heavy 9 surface and smaller track, but he has plenty of ability and promise. Speaking of promise, 3YO Hawkesbury colt 6. Bullet Storm has some of that. Swept home from well back to easily win his maiden at Nowra, and no problems up to the mile at third start. Was scratched from an easier race at Mudgee on Sunday. Progressive 4YO Tamworth gelding 2. Mick's Regret is primed for the mile after charging home to win his maiden at Gunnedah under the same weight. Local well-bred 4YO mare 8. Emanuela is also looking for the 1600m fourth-up after working home nicely in a BM 58, and drops 4kg on that effort.
How to play it: Moon Panther each way; quinella 3 and 4; trifecta 3,4,6/2,3,4,6,8. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 5 "TAB KOSCIUSZKO CONTENDER" SPRING CUP (1200m):|
Another competitive and even battle where the weight pull is significant for two runners. Keen on resuming 6YO Wyong gelding 10. Mo The Great who was strong to the line in a recent Open trial over this trip. Very competitive at BM 64 level last prep over longer trips, and won't know himself down on the 54kg limit.
Dangers: Local 4YO gelding 7. Syd's Footprints has disappointed in two runs back against tougher metro company, but also drops right down to the limit weight, and the blinkers should switch him on. Tamworth 5YO gelding 1. Over And Above won three straight up to BM 82 level back in SA in the summer, and wasn't beaten a long way first-up in the region behind a smart sprinter at Dubbo. Draws to get a cosy run, and senior rider goes on; while vastly improved 7YO Tamworth gelding 4. Folkstone has hit a purple patch winning his last two on-speed, and while this looks a little deeper, he should be able to get across from a wide gate, with the rider claiming 2kg, and give some cheek. Wyong 8YO gelding 8. Another Aan was run off his legs under a massive weight resuming this track behind a much improved sprinter. Has won all three second-up starts, but the latest of those was nearly two years ago, and he's only raced twice since. Watch the market.
How to play it: Mo The Great to win and box exacta 1,7,10. Odds and Evens: Split
Mo The Great runs second in a Newcastle trial on August 19
|Race 6 CL2 HCP (1200m):|
Talented local 4YO mare 1. Luna Mia was heavily backed and dominant surging away to win a Class 1 first-up at Muswellbrook, and despite drawing wider and sneaking up in weight, should take care of these and set sail for the city.
Dangers: Rival local 4YO mare 5. Philadora should be in the finish from a nice draw after making late ground resuming in a Randwick Highway. Watch for the stablemate of Luna Mia, 4YO mare 2. Normality doing her best work late first-up for six months off a quiet trial; while Tamworth 4YO mare 11. Kynuna broke through comfortably at second start in a weaker maiden, and while gets in with a postage stamp weight, this is much tougher.
How to play it: Luna Mia to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 7 BM 66 HCP (1000m):|
Tough and even finish for the sprinters. Progressive 5YO Warwick Farm mare 2. Ottamae can make it two straight after finishing hard to win a weaker race at Muswellbrook. Drops 2kg from that effort, and had previously come from a long way back behind a slick sprinter at Gosford.
Dangers: Tamworth 4YO gelding 1. Burning Crown resumes without a public trial, but normally comes to hand quickly, and if he finds some of that metro form from last prep, he'll be very hard to beat. Hawkesbury 7YO gelding 3. Azcannyaz has been consistent around this grade since winning at home fresh four runs back, although not treated well at the weights even with a claim. Tamworth 5YO mare 6. Blinkin Legend carried a big weight to win a weaker race two runs ago before overhauled late at Muswellbrook, but the winner that day has since won again.
How to play it: Ottamae each way and trifecta 1,2/1,2,3,6. Odds and Evens: Split.