By Neil Evans
Strong card on a Good 4 with the rail out 3m from 800m to the WP so reasonably on-pace early before the back-markers get into play in the later races
|Race 1 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2200m):|
The older stayers kick us off, and a few of them are struggling to take the next step. Not so one of the more lightly raced, local 4YO gelding 4. St Anton who sailed away from the front to win a weak Class 1 at Gunnedah at his fifth start. This is a little stronger, but he's still rising, although hind bandages on for the first time is a little query.
Dangers: Newcastle 5YO mare 8. Oakfield Chaparral has had two fair runs back from a long spell, but gets to more suitable trip now, and with the blinkers on she can give a big sight from the inside draw.
How to play it: St Anton to win and quinella 4 and 8. Odds and Evens (First 2): Evens.
|Race 2 F & M CL1 HCP (1100m):|
Competitive and tricky sprint, with a few chances. Improving 4YO Wyong mare 2. Fearless Mila has good ability and resumes off a nice open class trial where she had to lead the field up chasing the tearaway winner, but still found the line nicely under her own steam. Has the quality, despite being lumped with 61kg.
Dangers: Rival 4YO Wyong mare 1. Snicki Minaj looks the logical threat third-up after finishing okay in a Class 1 at Pt Macquarie, and style suggests she will love the long stretch here. Local 4YO mare 3. Aubrey Skies was unwanted in betting first-up for six months at Pt Macquarie, and ran accordingly, but she's a much better second-up performer and gets in light after rider's 3kg claim. Gosford 5YO mare 4. Hasty Heart has found the line nicely in two runs this prep, and draws to get a cosy position on the fence back in the field.
How to play it: Fearless Mila to win and box trifecta 1,2/1,2,3,4/1,2,3,4. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 3 3YO MAIDEN HCP (1100m):|
Another good sprint, with a string of good stables out to make a mark with youngsters just getting started. Local filly 4. Mother's Day, by a former Golden Slipper winner, was well backed when just missing on debut, but she was a bit raw that day and should naturally improve, although has to carry 3.5kg more.
Dangers: Will be fascinated to see how rival and well bred home track filly 6. Know Where To Look (So You Think x Hard To Find by Elusive Quality) goes on debut. No recent public trial, but looked sharp winning one back in March, draws well and form senior rider is a plus. Wyong gelding 1. Two Up has made a fair start to his career, and draws a soft barrier, but will need to find a length or two to take care of these. Similarly, Newcastle filly 3. Are Zhu Ready will also need to improve at third start after being run down leading on the heavy at Tamworth.
How to play it: Mother's Day to win and quinella 4 and 6. Odds and Evens: Evens.
|Race 4 C, G & E BM 58 HCP (1300m):|
Thinner contest, with little depth, augurs well for emerging 3YO local gelding 3. Sir Clooney who bolted in on from the front on debut at Gunnedah before easily over-run in a deeper affair at Newcastle. Draws to control the tempo again without a lot of pressure, with blinkers being replaced by winkers, and rider's 3kg claim gets him in very well at the weights.
Dangers: Honest 8YO Tamworth gelding 1. St Luke can make it two wins from his last three third-up. Finished over the top to score at big odds two runs back before failing to hit the line last start, but also in well at the weights after rookie rider's 4kg claim, and this isn't strong; while 5YO Cessnock gelding 4. All Day struggles to win, but is fit now after three runs back and draws to get an economical run.
How to play it: Sir Clooney to win and quinella 1 and 3. Odds and Evens: Odds.
Sir Clooney wins on debut at Gunnedah on October 10
|Race 5 BM 66 HCP (900m):|
No holding back here over the scamper distance. Gulgong 3YO filly 5. Deviate hasn't won for a while, but this looks right up her ally from the inside gate. Hasn't been far away in thee runs back, and draws to park right behind a good speed and burst through late. Was beaten under two lengths in the Wellington boot as a 2YO back in the autumn.
Dangers: 7. Magic Town is hard fit and drawn to be in the finish. Comes back from running a beauty at huge odds in the Highway at Rosehill, and while would prefer it a little longer, he's the big closer late. Tamworth 6YO gelding 3. Whosyourhousemate resumes off a handy trial, and does have a solid fresh record; while watch the market on resuming 4YO Wyong gelding 4. Nitride who hasn't publicly trialled, but normally comes to hand quickly, and stable is very good at placing them fresh.
How to play it: Deviate to win and trifecta 5,7/3,4,5,7/3,4,5,7. Odds and Evens: Odds.
|Race 6 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Open and good quality maiden over the mile at set weights. Improving 4YO Newcastle mare 8. Autumn Rain can break through third-up creeping up in distance. Beautifully bred to get over much further ground, and will relish getting to the outside on a big spacious track.
Dangers: Local 4YO gelding 1. Hardyo looks close to breaking through at third career run. Kept finding the line at Newcastle last start, and will appreciate his first start on home track with a 3kg claim and the blinkers going on. Somersby-trained 5YO mare 11. Onemorerforluck has finished hard and just missed in her last couple at Newcastle and Cessnock, and another suited on this track from a handy trailing draw. Must include improving 3YO Newcastle filly 13. Delector who was well backed getting home okay late this track at only her second start, and draws to get a softer midfield run up in distance; while expect sharp improvement too at second start from 5YO Wyong gelding 2. Oakfield Dazzler who wilted badly on debut in that same race behind Trackman, but the blinkers have quickly been applied.
How to play it: Autumn Rain to win and box trifecta 1,8,11,13. Odds and Evens: Split.
Autumn Rain runs second at Port Macquarie on October 27
|Race 7 C, G & E CL1 HCP (1100m):|
Another very competitive sprint battle, with plenty of hopes. Local 3YO 1. Split is a gelding to watch who resumed with only a moderate effort on a firm track at Muswellbrook, but the winner that day Upper East Side is a promising 3YO who has since won again, and he's a much better second-up performer. Won the 2YO Inglis Challenge on Scone Cup day in the autumn finishing over the top of high class Longbottom.
Dangers: Plenty of them, headed by nicely bred home track 4YO gelding 2. Ausfighter who resumes off two trials, bolting in the most recent by nearly eight lengths, and wears a lugging bit for the first time. Gosford 5YO gelding 3. In The Zone easily took care of a handy maiden field two runs back before finding the opposition a bit tough at Wyong, but looks better suited here drawn the inside with the blinkers on; while 3YO Newcastle gelding 6. Mahogany Bay is another suited on this track, and will be finishing strong again after zooming home to win his maiden two runs back at Muswellbrook.
How to play it: Spilt each way. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 8 F & M BM 58 HCP (1300m):|
Tough one to finish. Local 4YO mare 3. Mo's Glory has drawn wide third-up but that might be okay late in the day. Finished nicely resuming at Dubbo before kept chasing behind the smart Burning Crown who ran a record at Coonabarabran. Up sharply in weight, but more time to settle over her pet distance.
Dangers: Excited to see 4YO local mare and first starter 5. Lady Llewellyn (The Factor x Vetorisc by Vettori) start her career. Bred for speed, draws well and has been taken along quietly at the trials; while stablemate and 4YO mare 10. Santa Margherita showed good improvement at her second run in a handy maiden, and despite being drawn off the track, can improve further with the blinkers going on. Rival local 5YO mare 1. Philadora was well beaten in that same sprint behind Burning Crown, but looks better placed back at home, with a 3kg allowance off-setting big weight.
How to play it: Mo's Glory to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.