By Neil Evans
Track slowly improving to around Heavy 9 and rail out 2m so likely just off the speed early before trending wider
|Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
We kick things off with a maiden sprint at set weights. Armidale filly 10. Vinaigrette has been freshened since a string of solid placings in deeper maiden company, although won't want to get too far back over this trip.
Dangers: Pt Macquarie 3YO 5. Pollard has been up for a while and needs to find a length or two, although draws to park in a better spot here.
How to play it: Vinaigrette to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Vinaigrette runs second at Moruya on May 14
|Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Improving 3YO gelding 5. Roman Candle from the Paul Perry stable at Newcastle looks very hard to beat after chasing home a smart one at Cessnock carrying 1.5kg more. Previously had found the line well in heavy ground at Pt Macquarie.
Dangers: Muswellbrook 2YO 6. Scorched Land closed off late first up this track in a very handy maiden behind a smart filly who then bolted in at Muswellbrook on Sunday. Extra ground is a big plus. Newcastle 2YO filly 13. No Laughing Matter comes out of that same maiden here behind Never Talk, but first time in wet ground and drawn off the track is a task. Gilgandra 5YO 3. Poster Man hit the line okay from midfield at Wellington in his first run for 11 months since a change of stable, and gets a pivotal 2kg claim.
How to play it: Roman Candle to win and quinella 5 and 6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Up to the mile now at set weights, and Newcastle 3YO 7. The Borough again from the Perry yard can take care of these despite coming back sharply in trip and rising in weight. Finished hard behind a handy stayer at Cessnock last start, and much less depth here.
Dangers: Armidale filly 14. Wanda Beach has improved significantly in her last couple up to this trip, although unproven on rain-affected ground. Newcastle 4YO 3. Munsa Magic is a threat fifth-up off his fast finishing run in the heavy at Pt Macquarie, and has trialled okay since.
How to play it: The Borough to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
The Borough runs second at Cessnock on June 2
|Race 4 BM 66 HCP (2100m):|
Good competitive and open staying battle, with plenty of chances. Newcastle 5YO gelding 6. Expiredtime from the Nathan Doyle yard is well placed fifth run in and down in weight. Charged home to win a BM 58 at Muswellbrook in Soft 7 ground three runs back before just missing here last start over this trip.
Dangers: Armidale mare 8. Nodeel has more than enough ability powering home to win a CL1 at home two runs back carrying 2kg more, but her best form is nearly all on firmer ground. Local 4YO 13. Kapcer Boy swept home to beat both Expiredtime and Nodeel on a Good 4 last start, but is yet to win from nine starts on rain-affected tracks.
How to play it: Expiredtime each way and box exacta 6,8,13. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 5 BM 58 HCP (1200m):|
Another open contest. Local 4YO gelding 5. Ronan's Rock is on the cusp of a second win. Worked home nicely in a CL1 here two runs back before finishing hard again over 1400m, and the second horse then won in heavy ground at Muswellbrook on Sunday. Trainer has gone for a near side blinker only.
Dangers: Gunnedah 9YO 8. About Time has been consistent this prep, albeit often in weaker company, but nearly half of his 10 career wins have come on soft ground.
How to play it: Ronan's Rock to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 BM 58 HCP (1400m):|
Same grade over a little further. Capable 4YO mare 14. Flying Pretty has her first run for the Luke Hilton stable at Gosford since transferring from Ballina. Has been freshened since an even first-up run at Murwillumbah, but ran three strong closing second placings in similar company earlier in the year. Prefers wet ground, with only win so far in heavy going.
Dangers: Newcastle 3YO 9. Reuben James went to the front and gave nothing else a chance in his maiden win at Taree fourth-up, and while this is tougher, wouldn't need to improve much more and has shown enough in rain affected ground. Home track mare 5. Mystic Splendour was outgunned by Laughs Loudest two runs back before a determined CL1 win here, and the second horse has since won. Proven in the wet, and draws to get a nice trail behind the speed.
How to play it: Flying Pretty each way and box exacta 5,9,14. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 CLASS 2 HCP (1000m):|
Good quality sprint to finish. Impressed with the debut win of 4YO Armidale mare 5. Auntie Monnie from the Justin Blanch stable who powered home from midfield in dominant fashion. Obvious tougher test, but gets in light after jockey's 2kg claim. By good wet track sire Arlington, and dam was unbeaten in heavy ground.
Dangers: Scone 5YO 3. More Than A Samba beat a smart one second-up over this trip at Muswellbrook. Will go forward from the inside draw, and proven in wet ground. Was scratched from Bathurst on Monday to be saved for this. Talented Scone 4YO 1. Magic Charlee should have nearly won second-up at home finishing hard from the back, but constantly laid in. Bred to handle wet ground, but back in trip on a smaller track is a query. Newcastle 4YO 2. Patagonian produced a big effort resuming here in a BM 58 when finding the line late after missing the start. Has trialled since, and senior rider goes on, but unknown in the conditions.
How to play it: Auntie Monnie to win and trifecta 1,3,5/1,2,3,5/1,2,3,5. Odds and Evens: Odds