By Neil Evans
Track Good 4/Soft 5 and rail out 4m from 900m to 275m and 2m the remainder
|Race 1 3YO & UP COLTS, GELDINGS & ENTIRES MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
We kick off a very strong meeting with the maiden sprinters at set weights. It's been a long wait for talented Scone five-year-old 2. Lope De Broker who bled on debut last April when heavily backed. Has had two progressive trials, and draws to get a sweet run.
Dangers: Watch the betting on four-year-old 4. Twin Seas who hasn't done a lot in two trials, but draws well and trained on the track. Keep safe local three-year-old 11. The Gossiper who only missed narrowly third-up at Scone. Query from the gate coming back sharply in distance, but does get blinkers.
How to play it: Lope De Broker to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Lope De Broker runs third in a trial at Muswellbrook on February 10
|Race 2 3YO & UP FILLIES & MARES MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
Now the girls' edition, and it's hard to resist the trial form of three-year-old Wyong filly 8. Eyewitness who looks well placed on debut. By Star Witness and won her two latest trials by comfortable margins.
Dangers: Improving filly 6. Belleofthehunter has been close-up in two runs back at the provincials, and can peak here with winkers going on. Gap to the rest, although big watch on four-year-old debutant mare 2. Busy Izy who trialled strongly narrowly beating Accelerant who then went close on debut. Bred for speed, and draws the inside gate; while included in exotics Scone filly 7. Discompose third-up.
How to play it: Eyewitness to win and quinella 6 and 8. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1600m):|
Even and very testing maiden, with a stack of chances. Like the value about four-year-old provincial mare 12. Mopitts who can run over the top of this field fourth-up. Has attacked the line late in her last two at Muswellbrook, and looks nicely placed on the limit weight over a bit more ground.
Dangers: Newcastle filly 5. Mon Amore is searching for this journey after three runs back in deeper provincial grade. Draws to get plenty of cover, and drops 2.5kg in weight. Improving three-year-old 1. Wiki progressed nicely when stepping up sharply to a middle distance in only his second start, and the winner then bolted in again over much further at Scone on Sunday. Blinkers have been removed. Keep safe tough three-year-old 3. My Greyt Mate who also improved significantly second run after a spell, and getting out to the mile on a quick back-up is a worthy pointer. Victorian four-year-old 7. High Commission has been placed in all three runs this prep carrying a big weight, and while this is tougher, gets his chance dropping 3.5kg from a sound trailing draw. Scone four-year-old 10. Individualist is also bursting to break through, and gets significant weight relief, but will need everything to go right from a horror draw.
How to play it: Mopitts each way and first four 1,5,12/1,3,5,7,10,12/1,3,5,7,10,12/1,3,5,7,10,12. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 4 CLASS 3 HCP (1000m):|
Exciting sprint, with potential Country C'ship qualifying spots on the line. Scone four-year-old 3. The Snooperstar resumes in a suitable race. Was very competitive in Highway company last spring, and reportedly has been working strongly.
Dangers: Plenty of them headed by resuming provincial four-year-old 4. Ready To Roam who has trialled well and comes to hand quickly. Smart local four-year-old 2. Depth That Varies flew home resuming here before failing to run on in a strong Highway at Randwick. Proven weight carrier and who can find a trail, but dropping back in distance against some of these is a query. Consistent Scone five-year-old 6. Expellable draws to get a good trail off the speed, and is best of the rest.
How to play it: The Snooperstar to win and trifecta 2,3,4/2,3,4,6/2,3,4,6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 CLASS 1 HCP (1400m):|
One of the toughest and open races on the card where early positions will be vital. Progressive Scone mare 9. Dont'forgetmonica has bigger fish to fry, and can make it two straight this prep third-up. Didn't have the easiest of runs at Dubbo, but still rounded them up impressively. Drawn out, but comes in a few after scratchings and only needs some cover to the 600m to be charging home again.
Dangers: Got plenty of time for home track four-year-old 3. Another Arli who hit the line okay first-up at Walcha, and the form has stood up well. Normally improves again into his second-up run, and has never missed a place from four starts here. Progressive four-year-old 5. Dr Copper is ready to win third-up from an ideal trailing draw after finishing well to miss narrowly in a similar race only 11 days ago. Loved how improving four-year-old 6. Roman Candle took control of his maiden at Taree, and gave nothing else a chance from the 500m. Taking on tougher here, but loves this trip. Include hard fit mare 10. Surf who landed her maiden last start; while keeping safe stablemate 8. Dream Song who has made a bad habit of being rolled as favourite, and draws off the track, but she has enough ability to be in the finish third-up.
How to play it: Don'tforgetmonica each way and box exacta 3,5,9. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 6 C, G & E BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1200m):|
It doesn't get a whole lot easier here. Tough local six-year-old 4. Kensington Kid is hard fit and dug deep to win at Walcha, and should again land in a nice spot right on the pace.
Dangers: Capable four-year-old 1. Mathematics did his best work late resuming here in a better race, but faces a task under 60kg from a wide barrier. Improving three-year-old 5. Magic On Ice was disappointing in a Class 1 after beating a handy maiden, and can rebound despite being unfavourably treated at the weights. Include in exotics 7. Rightful Heir second-up.
How to play it: Kensington Kid to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 CLASS 3 HCP (1600m):|
Back out to the mile for another open and good quality contest. Keen on lightly raced Scone six-year-old 4. Velaro who should have won the Gilgandra Cup when badly held up in the straight before failing to finish off in Highway grade. Back to the right company, and this is a pet trip.
Dangers: Tough four-year-old 2. Rich And Shameless rarely runs a bad one, and was terrific off a one month break missing by a nose in a Country C'ship Preview. That said he rises sharply to 60.5kg. Consistent home mare 7. Ellebeedee swept home for a dominant win in weaker class, and well capable of going to another level, but facing a tough task from the barrier; while 8. Fenerbache draws to get a soft run and is best of the rest.
How to play it: Velaro each way and box exacta 2,4,7. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 8 FILLIES & MARES BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1200m):|
We close with a sprint for the girls. Progressive Scone mare 6. Stellar Blaze only needs to find cover from the outside gate to take care of these. Has hit the line impressively in her last two, latest coming from last here when well backed. Peaks fourth-up for an in-form trainer/rider combination.
Dangers: Home track mare 5. Mock Song draws well, but would need to keep improving after winning a low-grade race at Walcha. Big watch on resuming mare 1. Nashian who hasn't started for more than seven months, but comes to hand quickly and draws the inside.
How to play it: Stellar Blaze to win. Odds and Evens: Split a special
Stellar Blaze runs third at Tamworth on February 12