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Neil Evans' Tips For Taree (Thursday)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4 and rail true so should play predominantly on or near the pace before levelling out late for feature Harrington Cup day

Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (1000m):

Very competitive opener for the maidens to kick off Harrington Cup Day. Ultra consistent 4YO local mare 5. Peachie's Dream is still trying to crack the nut ahead of his 19th start, but has been placed 10 times. Failed to run on resuming here from a wide barrier just before Xmas after being well tried in the market, but he's much better off second-up from a softer draw, and ran four straight second placings in handy company through winter.

Dangers: Liked the way 3YO Muswellbrook filly 3. Sophie's Lass stuck on gamely from the front first-up at Tuncurry when easy in betting, but faces a task to control this from a wider gate. Big watch on debutant 3YO Wyong filly 6. Summer Orchard who has looked sharp at the trials, and stable renowned for firing early. Gosford 4YO gelding 1. Geo Time can break through at his fourth start after missing by a whisker at Gunnedah. Hard fit now, and will appreciate getting back on a bigger track. Pt Macquarie 4YO gelding 2. Line Up Girls has natural early speed, and bursting to win one after four runs this prep. Was close-up in two runs at Grafton before only run down in the final stride at Kempsey as a heavily backed odds-on fancy, and will zip forward again here for strong trainer/rider combination; while improving 4YO Newcastle gelding 7. Swordsman needs to find a length or two, but is best of the rest.

How to play it: Peachie's Dream each way and first four 3,5,6/3,5,6/1,2,3,5,6,7/1,2,3,5,6,7. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split

Race 2 CLASS 3 HCP (1600m):

Up to the mile now, and very keen third-up on progressive 4YO Tuncurry gelding 2. Onemore Sapphire who is ready for this trip after finishing nicely in stronger 1400m company in two runs back. Draws to get a good trail back in the field, and was only beaten under a length in a good class Highway at Rosehill in July.

Dangers: Pt Macquarie 5YO mare 6. Our Girl Babs steps up in grade after just missing out in a weaker BM 50, but two runs back at Kempsey finished off okay in a BM 58 behind Controlthewitness who then scored a dominant win at Coffs Harbour on Monday. Progressive 5YO Wauchope mare 5. Music Box Dancer won at a huge price on debut at Pt Macquarie before finishing hard to beat a modest Class 1 field at Kempsey third start. Still improving and gets a soft run behind the speed, but this is harder. Newcastle 5YO gelding 1. Nothing Too Hard has a poor winning strike rate, although generally raced in tougher company all prep. Comes back sharply in trip under a big weight so will need plenty of speed on up front to be any chance of getting over the top.

How to play it: Onemore Sapphire to win. Odds and Evens: Split.

Onemore Sapphire's first-up run at Newcastle on December 1

Race 3 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2000m):

Tough and very moderate contest, although looks ideal for 5YO Central Coast mare 13. Onemoreforluck who flashed home from a mile back over the mile at Scone before again finishing hard in a similar race here, splitting Mo's Glory and Genghis Khan. Leading rider sticks and in terrific at the weights.

Dangers: Improving 3YO Newcastle gelding 11. King's Row is a threat third-up at ninth overall start after a tidy closing run in that same race at Scone. Draws to park in a nice spot with cover, and is out of a lightly raced NZ mare who was placed in a Group 3 over 2100m. Warwick Farm 6YO gelding 1. Counterfeited has more to offer than his one win and six placings from 16 starts. Had two fair runs back from a lengthy break in deeper races up to the mile at Canberra, and gets to his best trip third-up. Kempsey 4YO gelding 9. Red Intuition has been in and around the money over longer trips all prep, and while he has a difficult task from wide barrier, is hard fit and form stacks up okay.

How to play it: Onemoreforluck to win. Odds and Evens: Odds

Onemoreforluck runs second at Taree on December 22

Race 4 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):

Open maiden with plenty of chances headed by 3YO Pt Macquarie gelding 6. Wandzel has obvious scope after debuting with a nice closing effort here from well back behind a smart mare. Top country hoop goes on, and this looks an ideal follow-up race.

Dangers: Newcastle 4YO mare 7. Brazenbrook has more ability than her three placings from nine starts suggests. Was unwanted in betting resuming on the Beaumont track, but best career run so far came second-up. Local 3YO gelding 4. Hitman hit the line hard after being ridden quieter second-up, and while up in weight and drawn out, should get the necessary tempo on to launch home late. Wyong 4YO mare 9. Schengen continues to slowly improve, and is another one coming out of that Scone mile behind Lady Llewellyn, but is drawn right off the track. Consistent 5YO Coffs Harbour mare 5. Dawn Thunder has run seven placings from 12 starts, and hasn't been beaten far in her last five. Led for a long way when well backed on home track over this prep, although will need to jump clean as a whistle from a wide gate to grab her customary front-running role. Was scratched from Coffs Harbour on Monday to be saved for this.

How to play it: Wandzel to win. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 5 MAIDEN HCP (1250m):

Plenty of hopes again, with Central Coast stables having a big hand. Gosford 6YO gelding 1. Jay'N'Jay will be right there again on the speed from an ideal draw looking to repay punters after three straight second placings this prep. Was only run down late in a handy maiden at Muswellbrook two back before failing to run down the winner as a hot favourite at Queanbeyan.

Dangers: Somersby 4YO gelding 2. Canford Mick looks well placed third-up after getting home hard from well back this track despite drifting in betting, and leading rider back in the saddle is a key pointer. At huge odds, 3YO Wyong filly 7. Ourlittlejeanie can run a big race on debut after getting through the line nicely in the latest of three trials; while expect sharp improvement at second start from 3YO Wyong filly 11. Code Blue who will appreciate the extra trip after debuting here over 1000m.

How to play it: Cafe Royal to win and trifecta 1,2/1,2,7,11/1,2,7,11. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 6 HARRINGTON CUP BM 66 HCP (1300m):

Feature race, with any number of chances. Big fan of 4YO Newcastle grey gelding 8. Schemer especially when he's ridden quietly. Put two nice wins together before stepping up to miss a place narrowly in a Class 3 at Tamworth. Needs the speed on to get home, but draws to get a nice trail.

Dangers: Off a five week freshen-up and weighted to his best under 62 kg, 4YO Pt Macquarie gelding 1. Chamisal is suited dropping back from the mile to this distance. Draws to get an economical run right behind the speed, and last win four runs back was here with the same jockey on board. Progressive 3YO Gosford gelding 5. Django Unreined loves this track, and was only run down late resuming this grade here 11 days ago. Won only previous 2nd-up run here when leading all the way as a rock-solid favourite, and will be tough to beat if he gets an uncontested lead. Last start Tuncurry BM 66 winner and big local hope, 5YO mare 2. Danzibar Dancer is well into what has been a consistent prep, but this is the biggest weight he's carried since debuting nearly two years ago. Don't be put off by the poor winning strike rate from 43 starts of 7YO Central Coast gelding 6. Neretva who has found the line okay two runs back in similar company, and looks ready to peak on a track he goes well at. Include 5YO Scone gelding 7. My Zebrinka who also comes out of that BM 66 race here on Dec 22 when finishing less than a length from the winner, and draws to get a soft run just behind the speed with cover. Well travelled 7YO Rockhampton gelding 3. Rise To Fame returns off a break for his sixth run on a different track in two states since late August, but his spring form around this grade is good enough to be in the finish form the inside draw.

How to play it: Schemer each way and box trifecta 1,2,5,6,8. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1000m):

Competitive sprint to finish. You're never quite sure what's coming with talented 5YO local gelding 1. Crackneck who has to lump 62.5 kg in his first run for five months. Hasn't publicly trialled, but fresh form is superior to these, and with the winkers coming off for strong trainer/rider combination he is way over the odds.

Dangers: Watch the market on freshened 6YO Central Coast mare 6. Miss Eimar who dropped out from a wide gate at Pt Macquarie off a long break, but has since trialled okay, and scored a dominant win her over the same trip nearly 12 months ago. Local 4YO mare 11. Valley's Sister is better than her one win and one placing from 12 starts suggests, and draws to get a cosy run just behind the speed.

How to play it: Crackneck each way. Odds and Evens: Split.

All the fields, form and replays for Thursday's Taree meeting

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