By Neil Evans
Track Good 3/4 and rail true so should play fairly even
|Race 1 F & M MAIDEN HCP (1250m):|
Open battle for the girls to start. Keen on 4YO Newcastle mare 2. Mummentum up in distance at second start. Comes out of a good maiden this track when working to the line despite doing a few things wrong, and draws to get a nice trail just off the speed.
Dangers: Market watch on 5YO Muswellbrook mare and first starter 1. Ludavine (Mosayter x Leica Mirage by Desert Price) whose had two fair trials, and the stable is going well. Local 4YO mare 7. Sparkling Rose got home nicely alongside the top selection in that maiden behind Rambler Rebel despite drifting in betting, and draws to get plenty of cover just behind the speed; while Wyong 3YO filly 5. Trajection ran a huge race on debut at long odds back in the autumn. Been given plenty of time after first prep, and resumes off two trials for smart provincial stable.
How to play it: Mummentum to win and box trifecta 1,2,5,7. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split
|Race 2 C, G & E MAIDEN HCP (1250m):|
Now the boys' turn, and loved the way well-bred debutant 3YO Newcastle colt 7. Animate (Animal Kingdom x Flowerchild by Redoubte's Choice) settled back and swept past them under a hold in a 1000m trial, and draws to settle back and plot a similar course for the real thing.
Dangers: Expect further improvement at second start with the winkers on from 4YO Coffs Harbour gelding 5. Double Check after working home nicely on debut under a big weight through heavy ground. Muswellbrook 4YO gelding 8. Shamus Star is another who worked home behind Rambler Rebel this track after being specked in the betting, but while better suited over this trip, is drawn right off the track. Another Coffs 4YO gelding 1. The Memory Man makes his NSW debut after moving up from Victoria. Was well in the market hitting the line in both runs so far, but this is first time on firm ground, and inside draw a likely hurdle for one who likes to drift back.
How to play it: Animate to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.
|Race 3 BM 58 HCP (2000m):|
Capable 5YO Port Macquarie mare 8. Veganza can finish over them and win her second race. Loomed up big this track when heavily backed two runs ago before again finishing hard at Kempsey in a race with a little more depth.
Dangers: Newcastle 5YO mare 12. Dreamfyre finished hard to land her maiden this track holding off Veganza, and draws to get cover midfield, although expect the tables to turn here. Wyong 5YO gelding 1. Captain's Legend comes back in trip and grade, and up significantly in weight, but there's not a lot of proven quality, and he's drawn to park in a lovely spot right behind the speed. Wyong 6YO mare 9. Villarrica continues to improve, and also finished nicely at big odds in that same race as the top selection behind Red Heat; while Coffs 5YO gelding 6. Ambitious Prince produced his best run in a while coming from well back in a Class 2 last start, but back up in weight and drawn wide.
How to play it: Veganza to win and box exacta 1,8,12. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 4 CL1 HCP (1000m):|
Progressive 3YO Wyong filly 6. Royal Eclipse looks beautifully suited second-up from a soft trailing gate. Chased home the smart Iconic Star first-up at Muswellbrook when it was hard to make serious ground, and that is a strong pointer for this.
Dangers: Gosford 4YO gelding 4. Rambler Rebel landed plenty of bets this track resuming off a long break and two smart trials when ridden right out. Draws a much tougher barrier here, but watch those runners earlier who finished behind him last start for a good lead. Wyong 4YO mare 5. Rebecca's Quest did her best work late over a shorter trip at Cessnock, and draws to follow a good speed with leading rider booked. Keep a market on 4YO Muswellbrook mare 11. Little Miss Nic who has let down punters as a well backed favourite since winning her maiden at Dubbo three runs back, but she has been sharpened up at the trials.
How to play it: Royal Eclipse to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
Royal Eclipse runs second at Muswellbrook on August 4
|Race 5 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Open and competitive affair. Wyong 4YO gelding 6. Sheeran is working up to another win since landing his maiden back in May. Likes to drift back and hit the line hard, and has been used to carrying plenty of weight this prep chasing home some smarter gallopers.
Dangers: Kempsey 4YO gelding 2. Heaven's Dream has plenty of early tactical speed, and landed a nice betting move second-up to win his maiden at home, but has paid the price with 59kg, and drawn off the track. Don't let 6YO Pt Macquarie gelding 5. Saint Denis get under your guard because of a poor winning strike rate. Has placed 14 times from 33, and form behind some smarter gallopers is solid. Draws to park in a nice trailing spot just off the speed; while Muswellbrook 4YO gelding 7. Sir Leo will also get a cosy run midfield from the barrier, and can work into the finish.
How to play it: Sheeran each way and box trifecta 2,5,6,7. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 6 CL2 HCP (1400m):|
Improving 4YO Newcastle gelding 4. Myboycolly looks the one to roll from the draw. Finished hard to beat Fashion Icon three runs back who has since bolted in her maiden at Tamworth, and last start was again very strong late to beating a nice horse at Cessnock.
Dangers: Wyong 7YO gelding 3. Texas Tycoon has looked good hitting the line strong in two runs back, but again will be forced a long way back from a wide gate, and will need plenty of speed on up front. Much improved run from 4YO local gelding 6. Storm Attack last start this track, and he's starting to sneak down in the weights; while Tuncurry 6YO gelding 9. Up The Stairs comes out of that same race behind Jamaican Dream when resuming and doing his best work late, and drawn to get plenty of cover back in the field.
How to play it: Myboycolly to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
Myboycolly wins at Cessnock on July 30
|Race 7 HOPKINS LIVERMORE CUP (1400m):|
Feature race, and very keen on explosive 7YO Grafton gelding 3. Tarbert who debuts at this track, and had no luck second-up trying to get a run in the stronger BM 88 Dan Baker Sprint at Coffs on Cup Day. Drawn more towards the middle which suits, and will be charging home.
Dangers: Coffs Harbour 6YO gelding 2. Evopex has a 25 per cent winning strike rate from 28 starts, and was terrific late just behind the place-getters in the Coffs Cup. Draws to do similar, although needs good speed on up front coming back in trip. Pt Macquarie 7YO staying type and metropolitan winner 4. Art Attack will be doing his best work late second-up. Popular local 6YO gelding 6. Subtle Grey hasn't started for 10 weeks since winning the Wingham Cup here, but normally races well on the fresh side, although has a tough draw to overcome.
How to play it: Tarbert to win and trifecta 2,3/2,3,4,6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 BM 58 HCP (1000m):|
Open race for the sprinters to finish, but looks the right one for 5YO Muswellbrook gelding 9. Dragoneight who has chased home some good ones in his last couple, and this is a drop in depth.
Dangers: Progressive 3YO Newcastle filly 11. Fanciful Dream charged away for an easy maiden win as hot favourite third-up, and this is well within her reach. Grafton 6YO gelding 1. Camilo is first-up for six months, but can come to hand quickly from the inside draw, and is well used to lumping big weights. Scone 7YO gelding 3. Mr Snowman is much better than his last plain effort at home, and senior rider goes on. Include Wyong mare 12. Princess Snowy in the exotics after working home okay in her last couple, and gets in light after rider's 3kg claim; while Coffs 4YO gelding 2. Impulsive Maneuver hasn't been far away in three runs back and draws well, but a query against some of these under a big weight.
How to play it: Dragoneight to win and quinella 9 and 11.