By Neil Evans
Track likely Soft 7 with rail out 3m from 800m to WP so expect just off the speed early before trending wider
|Race 1 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2200m):|
We start with a modest staying battle at set weights. Taree 4YO gelding 5. Phylave from the Tess Wilkes stable is still searching for a breakthrough win after 27 starts, but saves his best for rain-affected ground. Ran well above his big market price in the heavy at Gosford two runs back before working home okay in a deeper race at Wyong. Has plenty in his favour getting back on a bigger track.
Dangers: Improving Warwick Farm 3YO 10. Kippax is the logical threat fifth-up in first real prep after doing his best work late in last couple at Newcastle, and should relish the longer trip in a weaker field.
How to play it: Phylave to win and quinella 5 and 10. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (900m):|
Back to the short course in a very open speed battle. Despite drawing the widest gate, expecting a big run from 2YO local filly 9. Baiyka from the in-form Scott Singleton yard who fought on strong after leading here on debut behind a smart sprinter; and is bred to thrive in wet ground.
Dangers: Newcastle 2YO 3. Married To The Mob is also over the odds off a freshen-up after resuming here in a much stronger maiden. Showed speed early before weakening behind ultra talented Lost And Running who ran a record that day, and then destroyed a BM 70 metro field. Has trialled since, and blinkers come off. Home track 3YO 1. Contango resumes off a quiet trial, and was consistently around the money in first prep. Can utilise his early speed from a good draw. Watch the market on debutant 3YO Wyong filly 6. Lasting Grace (Direct Charge x Dix by Strategic) who has had two forward trials, and bred to go quick.
How to play it: Baiyka each way and trifecta 1,3,9/1,3,6,9/1,3,6,9. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1300m):|
Another tricky battle for the maidens over further, but punters can see the real 3YO filly 3. Surf from the Kris Lees stable at Newcastle resuming off a solid trial. Didn't fire on debut here in March when heavily backed from an each-way price, but has ability and bred to love wet ground.
Dangers: Big watch on well-bred 2YO Randwick filly 12. Land Ahoy (Dundeel x Aiden Sea by Danehill Dancer) who debuts off two solid trials; while home track 3YO filly 5. Whitefields has progressed nicely in two runs this prep, and draws to get good cover just off the speed, but wouldn't want it to get into heavy range.
How to play it: Surf each way. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 4 BM 58 HCP (1600m):|
Now that 4YO Newcastle mare 1. The Deel Is Dun from the Jason Deamer yard has broken through again third-up at Cessnock, she can go on with the job here. Was due to run in Friday's cancelled Coffs Harbour meeting, but looks even better placed here back on the bigger track over her pet trip.
Dangers: Hawkesbury 7YO 3. Just Two Vees finished just out of a place fourth-up behind the Deel is Dun, but also suited better on this track. Newcastle mare 4. Miss Fialka has only worked home fairly at big odds in his last couple, but can peak fourth-up from a good trailing draw, although unproven in the ground.
How to play it: The Deel Is Dun to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
The Deel Is Dun wins at Cessnock on June 2
|Race 5 CLASS 1 HCP (900m):|
Intriguing dash. Inverell 2YO gelding 2. Atkinson from the Nathaniel Scott yard makes the long trip down off a fighting debut win in heavy ground at Coffs Harbour. After the claim, he will carry 3kg less here, and sire was a high class wet track sprinter.
Dangers: Progressive Tamworth 3YO 1. Halcyon House can go close second-up back in trip after just weakening late resuming here behind a smart one. Local 3YO filly 3. Disobedient resumes off a handy trial win, and form early last prep was good enough to put her in the finish, although concern is she's unplaced from three starts in soft ground. Rival home track mare 4. Skara Brae comes off a dominant maiden win at Wellington at only third start, but also a query in these conditions.
How to play it: Atkinson to win and trifecta 1,2,3/1,2,3/1,2,3,4. Odds and Evens: Split
Atkinson wins at Coffs Harbour on May 22
|Race 6 BM 66 HCP (1000m):|
Now for the mainly more seasoned sprinters. Muswellbrook 3YO 3. Bengalla Bay is hard fit, and won a similar race at Wellington two runs back. Up sharply in weight, but has shown a real liking for rain-affected ground.
Dangers: Don't under-state resuming Tamworth 5YO 5. Schappose who also comes to hand early, and gets in okay at the weights with a 2kg claim. Include improving Newcastle mare 13. A Fortunate Lass third-up off a long break; while home track 5YO 14. Eleazar hasn't been beaten far in some handy races this prep, and enjoys rain-affected ground.
How to play it: Bengalla Bay to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.
|Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1300m):|
Another testing and very open sprint, with a stack of hopes. Going wide with 5YO Muswellbrook gelding 11. Roy's Command who has been narrowly beaten in his last three over a little more ground hitting the line hard each time. Strike rate isn 't great, but like the way he has been eased back in trip off a month's break, and wider draw should suit in these conditions.
Dangers: Capable local 4YO 2. Boom Gates returns home off two impressive and fast-finishing runs in a Highway and deeper CL3 at Dubbo. Should be right at his peak third-up, but although down in class, handicapper hasn't missed him with 62.5kg, and low draw may not suit his pattern. Progressive Newcastle filly 13. Elegant Grace was a dominant maiden winner two runs back before a mile outclassed in Group 3 company at the Gold Coast. Much better placed here, although like many, the jury's out if conditions get into or near heavy range. Local 3YO 5. Rich And Shameless looks over the odds after finishing hard in a similar race at Tamworth, and has trialled since. Newcastle mare 6. Power Of Wexford is third-up off a couple of nice closing efforts, although best form is clearly on firm ground. Watch for any market move with Randwick 3YO 8. Bullet Raiders who resumes off a nine month break and handy open class trial; while a similar watch on improving stablemate filly 10. Sybella who won on debut at Newcastle, although two runs since have been mixed.
How to play it: Roy's Command each way and first four 2,5,11,13/2,5,11,13/2,5,6,8,10,11,13/2,5,6,8,10,11,13. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 CLASS 1 HCP (1100m):|
A competitive and strong sprint for this class to finish, and many will go on to win better races. Keen at the value on 3YO Randwick filly 3. Belitsa second-up for the Snowden camp. Was overpowered after sitting on the speed first-up at Newcastle, but is a peak second-up performer, and a much stronger rider going on is another plus.
Dangers: Home track 3YO 5. The Snooperstar was strong, winning his maiden first-up. Stays at the distance, and should handle the wet. Impressive Newcastle 3YO 6. Royal Banquet resumed with a nice win at Bathurst in only his second start. Trainer has removed the winkers, and looked good winning a trial since in heavy ground at Wyong. Wyong filly 11. Trojan Angel scored a powerful debut win at Taree, having shown an ability to handle wet ground surging home to win a trial prior. Newcastle 3YO 4. Daltoro confirmed that hot form-line behind Lost And Running from the carnival here by bolting in his maiden at Cessnock as a hot favourite. Has obvious ability, but this is tough and first time in these conditions.
How to play it: Belitsa each way and box all five runners in first four. Odds and Evens: Split