By Neil Evans
Track improving to near Good 4 and rail true so should play fairly even with slight trend towards the outside.
|Race 1 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Good quality mile race in this grade to open, and should be the domain of talented Scone 4YO 6. Total Recall dropping back from a fair closing effort third-up in Highway company. Was a bit flat late in that race, but not at home on a Heavy 9, and back on firmer footing here, and drawn to get plenty of cover around midfield, he's the one to beat.
Dangers: Progressive local 3YO 7. Casirina scored a dominant win from the front at Muswellbrook beating Wadi Musa who then won convincingly at Scone. Wider draw and deeper field here, so will need to fly the barrier and get across the field sharply. Port Macquarie 5YO 2. Flying Mojo has only won one from 19, but placed a further eight times. Has consistently been finding the line all prep, and also drawn to get a nice trail off the speed. The rest will be at big odds, but include hard fit Kempsey mare 10. Neptune's Wink in wider exotics.
How to play it: Total Recall to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 2 F & M MAIDEN (1250m):|
Open and tough sprint for the fillies and mares. Like the value about Newcastle 3YO 9. Pelgrave for Kris Lees who can improve sharply at only her second start after working home okay at big odds on debut in a handy maiden at Tamworth.
Dangers: Newcastle 4YO 2. Miss Scalini is having her first run for trainer Nathan Doyle who is making a habit of getting these interstate arrivals to fire first time. Form last prep was solid enough, but drawn off the track, and her trial was only fair. Drawn right alongside, rival Novocastrian 4YO 1. Respectful was solid through the line first-up at Muswellbrook, but she'll need plenty of luck here. Watch the betting on Port Macquarie 5YO 5. Kate Lea who was heavily backed from a big price in her first run for new stable, showing plenty of speed in heavy ground well off the fence before tiring late.
How to play it: Pelgrave each way and box trifecta 1,2,5,9. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 C, G & E MAIDEN HCP (1250m):|
Now for the males' edition, and again there's plenty of chances. Keen on debutant Newcastle 4YO 5. Sharpay Ruler (Unencumbered x Sharpay Magic by Magic Albert) again from the Doyle stable who debuts off a smart soft track trial, and is bred to fly.
Dangers: Wauchope 4YO 1. Highbury keeps finding one better having run four seconds in a long prep. Hit the line late behind a smart one last start, and seems to be still holding his form. Draws the inside and can go close again. Another first starter 11. Vanbari (Vancouver x Elimbari by Fastnet Rock) has trialled okay for leading trainer/rider duo, and debuts in blinkers.
How to play it: Sharpay Ruler to win and quinella 1 and 5. Odds and Evens: Odds a special
|Race 4 BM 58 HCP (1000m):|
The short course sprinters won't hold back here, and two runners stand out. Resuming Wyong 4YO 2. Henschel from the Allan Denham yard is a smart customer who won two straight in the country in only his second prep. Will likely drift back off the speed, and be produced late.
Dangers: Coffs Harbour mare 1. In A Step led all the way in a similar race this track two runs back before boxing on well from the front in a stronger grade at Grafton over the carnival. Lovely draw to control the race, and 4kg-claiming rider gives her a nice weight advantage over the top selection. Be surprised if one of those two doesn't win, but Newcastle 5YO 3. Jamaican Dream is capable of charging over the top if the speed up front is hot; while include Tuncurry 6YO 8. Scorching third-up in wider exotics.
How to play it: Henschel to win and quinella 1 and 2. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 CLASS 1 HCP (1000m):|
Newcastle mare 3. A Fortunate Lass from the Jason Deamer yard has been close-up in two handy Class 1s, and can finally break through for a second career win. Hard fit deep into the prep, and can settle back off a good speed and finish over the top.
Dangers: Progressive and rival Newcastle 4YO 2. Star Raider will head the market, and be hard to stop second-up from the inside draw. Fitness gave out late when resuming gelded as a short-priced fancy here, and is supremely treated at the weights after rider's full claim. Include another Novacastrian 7. Red Light Dancer who was right on the heels of the top selection at Scone two runs back before run off her feet behind a smart one last start.
How to play it: A Fortunate Lass to win and quinella 2 and 3. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 BM 58 HCP (2000m):|
Typical even affair for the staying types, with several chances. After four straight placings, tough Port Macquarie 6YO 6. Condover Hall can break a long run of outs stepping up to this trip. Reliable weight carrier who is hard fit, and much better suited on firmer ground.
Dangers: Wauchope 4YO 3. Prince Of Troy was ridden much quieter last start at Tamworth over the mile before working home late, so expect him to be ridden closer from the inside draw carrying 60kg. Won the Grafton Guineas Prelude over a shorter distance four runs back. Port Macquarie 6YO 7. The Croc produced his best effort in a long time defying the chasers to win this grade at home on a Heavy 10, but a query he can repeat the dose carrying 59kg on firmer ground. Muswellbrook 6YO 5. Apache Junction defied a big-price drift to gain a tight decision in a Class 2 at Tamworth, but goes up 4kg and is drawn further out.
How to play it: Condover Hall to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Condover Hall runs second at Port Macquarie on August 10
|Race 7 LIVERMORE CUP (1400m):|
Feature race of the day stacks up nicely for smart Wyong 5YO 3. Holy Reign trained by Kim Waugh. Struggled in very heavy ground two runs back at Warwick Farm before exploding home from the back to win a handy BM 64 at Newcastle. Drops in weight for this, and even better suited on drier ground. The one to beat.
Dangers: Stablemate 7YO to top selection 1. Manhattan Mist hasn't been far away against generally tougher opposition, and a little more ground from a nice trailing draw makes him a genuine threat. Port Macquarie 5YO 5. Gumshoe is looking for this distance now after working home late in two runs back against handy opposition, and was preferred here over a BM 66 on Sunday. Include local mare 4. Danzibar Dancer who boxed on well after leading first-up at Newcastle, and is well treated at the weights.
How to play it: Holy Reign to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
Holy Reign wins at Newcastle on August 8
|Race 8 CLASS 2 HCP (1400m):|
We close the meeting with a good quality battle for this class. Now that Newcastle 5YO 3. Bandahara has broken back into the winner's stall, he can go on with the job. Had put the writing on the wall in a couple of nice closing efforts before finishing strong to win a handy Class 1 at Scone. Has trialled quietly since, and top rider goes back on.
Dangers: Newcastle 5YO 1. Discombe relishes this sort of trip when he's fresh. Good weight carrier who won the second of two trials impressively, and will go forward and be hard to run down. Include at big odds Wyong mare 10. Fearless Mila who charged home late in heavy ground at Dubbo in what is already proven a strong form race; while Taree mare 13. Hold All Tickets will appreciate the rise in distance after four improving runs this prep.
How to play it: Bandahara to win and trifecta 1,3/1,3,10,13/1,3,10,13. Odds and Evens: Odds