By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and rail out 2m so on-pace early before slowly trending towards the outside.
|Race 1 3YO MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
Intriguing race, with a couple of debutants from strong stables, so late market moves will be telling. Scone filly 3. Andiamo Miss knocked up late in a recent trial after showing good early speed and covering ground. Draws the fence here and leading rider hops aboard.
Dangers: Taree filly 4. Peaches Dream has been placed three times from seven starts and worked home nicely at Port Macquarie. Newcastle-trained gelding 2. Serbelloni has had two solid trials in lead-up, and looks forward enough to be in the finish. Include Muswellbrook gelding 1. Comes 'N' Goes in exotics, hasn't raced for eight months, but was close-up on debut last prep, and has had a quiet trial.
How to play it: Trifecta 3-4/1-2-3-4.
|Race 2: BM 58 HCP (1000m):|
Good quality 58, and keen on Newcastle-trained 3YO 3. Quick Nick who resumes off a four month spell. Was just edged out first-up last prep when heavily-backed at Taree and looked good in a dominant trial win at Wyong last week. The one to beat!
Dangers: Apart from failing two runs back in much stronger company at Randwick, the form around Muswellbrook-trained 4. Roman Typhoon is hard to deny back in this grade. Three back was close-up in a BM 64 at Gosford; and then fought on strong at BM 70 grade behind a good horse who has since only been beaten a whisker in town. Local 4YO 1. The Mont broke through for his second win as a well-backed favourite at Gunnedah this grade, and with the claim, should have enough speed to come across and be in the finish. Doubt anything else can win!
How to play it: Quick Nick to win and quinella 3 and 4.
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1400m):|
Open affair with several chances, but big watch on Scone-trained 3. Pyro who was easy in the market and did little resuming at Port Macquarie, but drawn better and suited up in trip. Last prep was narrowly beaten second-up after being well backed at odds.
Dangers: Newcastle 3YO 5. Volt Of Power has been unwanted in betting in two runs back, but both times found the line from well off the speed, and ready to peak; while Scone filly 6. Zouling resumed with an even effort at Armidale, and is drawn to do little work a few lengths off the pace. Newcastle 3YO 2. Mr International weakened in an open trial, but was on one rein for much of it, and still looked okay through the line; while watch the market with Scone mare 10. Ecstatically who was well beaten in first run for 10 months, but will improve significantly second-up. Leading rider jumps on.
How to play it: Pyro to win and trifecta 3-5/2-3-5-6-10.
|Race 4 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2100m):|
Mudgee-trained 3. We Can't Be Beaten can pay back punters for failing this grade at Bathurst last start when laid in down the straight after a dominant maiden win at Gunnedah when heavily backed.
Dangers: Scone mare 5. Artefiori was impressive storming home to win this grade at Muswellbrook, and was right on We Can't Be Beaten's hammer previous run. Up in weight, but suited by the extra trip and will be launching late again. Local 5YO 2. Making Shadows gets to ideal distance fourth-up; while this is as far as local mare 6. Hammoon Dancer wants, but is capable and draws the fence for leading trainer/rider combination.
How to play it: We Can't Be Beaten to win.
We Can't Be Beaten runs fourth at Bathurst on January 29
|Race 5 CL1 HCP (1400m):|
Good competitive race, and looks ideal for Newcastle 3YO 2. Peyton Place who was run down late this track last start. Peaks now fourth-up from a good alley and much stronger rider goes on.
Dangers: Cessnock mare 11. Dad's Blaze is best of the rest after scratchings.
How to play it: Peyton Place to win.
Peyton Place runs second at Tamworth on January 24
|Race 6 CL1 HCP (1000m):|
Promising Newcastle 3YO 1. Hildago looks very hard to beat this trip from a good gate. Exploded away to win maiden at Scone last start, and will carry the weight.
Dangers: Local 3YO 2. King Percy has a good fresh record, and powered home to win on debut at Gunnedah back in late autumn. Will drift back from a wide gate, but watch for him storming home. Newcastle filly 3. Sevini bolted in her maiden at Cessnock two runs back before puncturing in a tougher race at Pt Macquarie, but can bounce back over this shorter trip; while Newcastle filly 7. Sassy Charlie resumes off two solid trials; and local mare 5. Mystic Splendour is also first up without an official trial, but came to handy quickly last prep and draws the rail.
How to play it: Hildago to win and first four 1/2-3-5-7.
|Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1200m):|
Local 6YO 3. Manabar is going great guns winning both runs this prep, including a dominant on-speed performance at Muswellbrook this grade after initially being slow to leave the barrier.
Dangers: Newcastle-trained 5. African Guy was unwanted resuming this track, but found the line well from midfield, and should improve again from a nice draw. Scone filly 7. Delchuzy won two straight late last year before just being found out at CL2 level last couple and this looks a little easier.
How to play it: Manabar to win.