By Neil Evans
Track Good 4/Soft 5, with the rail out 2m to the 300m, then true, so should be mainly on-pace.
|Race 1 2YO HCP (1000m):|
A mixture of first starters and some with a run under their belt. Gosford gelding 1. Django Unreined (Poet's Voice x Half Pie by Domesday) has had two trials, winning the latest in good style when pushed out in good time, and stable is on a strong run. Draws well.
Dangers: Expect big improvement back on firmer footing and dropping a long back in class from Scone filly 3. Bronte who was well beaten at Group 3 level in heavy ground behind subsequent Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi, but previously had trialled strongly in good ground. Big watch on debutant Wyong filly 5. City Jet (Wandjina x Oh Ay Bee by Excellent Art) who looked smart at the trials, only beaten a head when never let go. Wyong filly 7. Royal Eclipse improved into her second run at Coffs Harbour and has a fitness edge; while watch any market moves for well-bred Scone filly 6. Deepwood Vale who has had two quieter trials for leading stable.
How to play it: Django Unreined each way and box trifecta 1-3-5-7.
|Race 2 CL2 HCP (1200m):|
Competitive and tactical affair, although this looks ideal for Scone mare 6. Pierone who has been finding the line around this grade all prep, and gets in light after rider's 2kg claim.
Dangers: Newcastle mare 1. Cuban Sizzle has produced two good runs this prep, and form around Dame Kiri is strong; while looks a nice first-up choice for resuming 3YO Tamworth colt 3. Rubble who has had a trial and comes to handle quickly for smart stable. Up sharply in weight, but won fresh impressively last prep. Local 5YO 2. Golden Legacy looks the best of the rest.
How to play it: Pierone each way and box exacta 1-3-6.
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Punters were cheering for 4YO Scone mare 2. Tombolo first-up when she looked home at the 150m mark before swamped in the last few strides. Draws to take up a nice position just behind the speed, and is the one to beat.
Dangers: Loved the first-up run of Armidale-trained 1. Cos I'm Good flashing home late at Scone, but draws an awkward barrier. Newcastle 3YO debutant 3. Bombasay (Rothesay x Bomba by Last Tycoon) trialled smartly at Gosford for leading trainer/rider combination; while Wyong filly 12. Soori threatens to return much stronger this campaign after a nice trial.
How to play it: Tombolo to win.
Tombolo runs second at Scone on March 18
|Race 4 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Open affair with most having had plenty of chances. Wyong mare 7. Al Pheroz gets her chance to break through. Mixes form and positions on the map, but she's fit and can take up a lovely trailing spot just off the speed. Top country hoop booked to ride.
Dangers: Newcastle filly 13. Silver Frost has gone off favourite in all three runs this first prep, but while competitive, has disappointed. Fit and ready, just needs cover from an awkward gate to be in the finish. Tamworth gelding 2. Cherokee has ordinary overall form, but a strong finishing effort behind Bus Ticket last start was a nice pointer, and he's better suited stepping out to the mile at big odds. Tamworth-trained 5. Sadler's Rest resumed from a long break with a fast-finishing effort in a weaker maiden, but this is a nice journey second-up.
How to play it: Al Pheroz to win and quinella 7 and 13
|Race 5 CUP PRELUDE (2100m):|
Just over three weeks from the Cup, and love the natural progression in trip from 5YO Newcastle gelding 2. Plaisir who finished okay under a big weight at Newcastle, and then hit the line hard in stronger race at Hawkesbury in heavy ground over same trip. Ready to win!
Dangers: Newcastle-trained Quirindi Cup winner 1. San Francisco is up sharply in weight, but last-start even finishing effort in stronger Listed Canberra Cup is good enough for this. Mudgee gelding 7. Kingsbridge will also appreciate firmer footing over this trip.
How to play it: Plaisir to win and quinella 1 and 2.
|Race 6 CL1 HCP (1400m):|
Looks a nice race for improving Scone gelding 1. Augusta In April who draws to get a nice trail just off the speed. Finished hard to win his maiden second-up at Muswellbrook before just missing this grade at Moree.
Dangers: Tamworth mare 4. Mystic Splendour has ability and is a threat. Hasn't done much in two runs back from a spell, but peaking now over a more suitable trip. Last start Moree maiden winner 5. Brooklyn Beach draws inside and is down in weight for this tougher test; while the form of Tamworth gelding 6. Kadarchi in and around the placings is sound enough.
How to play it: Augusta In April to win.
|Race 7 CL3 HCP (1600m):|
Tough and open contest. Port Macquarie 3YO 5. Foxy's Foxinator is the one with scope and has produced three very tidy runs from just off the speed this prep, finishing hard to win his latest this grade. Extra trip ideal.
Dangers: Newcastle 4YO 1. Aruba was out of his depth in the Muswellbrook Cup, but better served here on firmer footing, although may be weighted out of the contest with 61.5kg. Armidale 4YO 6. Nistlerooy is nearly always in and around the placings without winning, but also draws a tricky barrier; while 3YO gelding 8. Moree Dreaming hung on to beat Augusta In April last start, and while that may have been his peak run, drops in weight and gets the perfect draw to park on the speed.
How to play it: Foxy's Foxinator to win.
Foxy's Foxinator wins at Port Macquarie on March 22
|Race 8 BM 58 HCP (1000m):|
Another open battle for the speedsters to finish, but keen on Scone-trained gelding 7. Marokawa to make it two straight this prep, despite drawing a horror wide gate. Resumed with a dominant CL1 win, and if he can come across and get any sort of luck will be strong through the line.
Dangers: Gunnedah 5YO 2. Jazzee Nicc loves this trip and is drawn ideally, but carries his biggest weight in some time; while Tamworth mare 3. Fiery Eminence also has sound form, and took on stronger last start, but also has a tough barrier to overcome.
How to play it: Marokawa to win.