By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and rail out 3m so on or near the speed predominantly before likely late trend wider
|Race 1 2YO HCP (1000m):|
The youngsters get us underway, and promising gelding 1. Irish Thunder from the Newcastle stable of Kris Lees looks a near good thing from an ideal draw after a dominant debut win here a fortnight ago easily beating useful 3YO The Spell.
Dangers: Local filly 6. Lucky Shadow should be in the finish after steaming home at big odds to win on debut at Tamworth before only fair last start. Pt Macquarie filly 7. Chillie Cod can fill a place after saluting second-up at Grafton, and again draws to park right behind the speed; while Rosehill filly 4. Time For Peace gets his chance fourth-up from the inside after narrowly missing at Muswellbrook from a wide gate, and previously had tackled stronger.
How to play it: Irish Thunder to win and first four 1/4,6,7/4,6,7/4,6,7. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split
|Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1400m):|
Far more open here, with several chances. Improving 3YO gelding 4. Nightmare from the Marc Quinn stable at Pt Macquarie finished less than two lengths from a smart one here second-up at big odds, and can peak now from a much kinder barrier.
Dangers: Gosford 4YO 2. Little Rocket Man is ready to win after three improving runs back, making ground late at Scone before close up at Muswellbrook, but will need to slot in from a wide draw. Newcastle 3YO 3. Omaka can also go close over a little more ground after a strong closing run resuming in that same race as Nightmare; while also out of the race behind Power Bells here, local filly 5. Salamangkera trailed the speed resuming before swamped late, but fitter now and draws to get a sweet trail a few lengths off the speed.
How to play it: Nightmare each way and box trifecta 2,3,4,5. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1250m):|
Another open one at set weights. Liked the way local 2YO gelding 12. Four Egos from the Ross Stitt stable hit the line hard only second start at big odds, and extra trip suits carrying 1kg less. Over the odds.
Dangers: Progressive Newcastle 3YO 3. Dr Copper got home strongly resuming here off a long break behind smart Irish Thunder who is a dominant favourite in Race 1, and was scratched from Quirindi on Monday to be saved for this. Resuming Newcastle filly 8. Hyperlink has had two trials for leading provincial stable, and found the line okay in only two runs last prep. Big market watch on resuming Scone 4YO 1. Dante Alexander who hasn't publicly trialled but comes to hand quickly, and was placed in two previous first-up runs.
How to play it: Four Egos each way and box trifecta 1,3,8,12. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 CLASS 1 HCP (1250m):|
Competitive and good race for this class. Keen on progressive 3YO filly 7. Magic Attitude from the Brett Cavanough yard at Scone second-up over more ground. Did her best work late resuming in a deeper race at Tamworth as a rock-solid favourite, and draws to get good cover.
Dangers: Pt Macquarie mare 3. Frivolosophy was rewarded for ultra consistent form finishing too well to land her maiden at home under a big weight. This is tougher, but she's hard fit and can measure up. Pt Macquarie 3YO 5. Lord Avatar is over the odds third-up after two solid runs in this grade, and even better suited on firmer footing. Gosford 3YO 2. Rumpshaker has plenty of early speed, and finished hard to win a thinner race at Queanbeyan two starts back before disappointing at Bathurst, and widest barrier is a hurdle.
How to play it: Magic Attitude to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
Magic Attitude runs fourth at Tamworth on April 26
|Race 5 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Improving 4YO gelding 2. Bandahara from the Lees stable at Newcastle has more than enough ability to win here third-up getting to the mile. Has attacked the line late in two runs back at Port and Muswellbrook, although easy in betting both timers, and gets good weight relief.
Dangers: Improving Rosehill mare 7. Any Wish took a while to break through, but when she did it was impressive, powering home at Kembla. Back up to the mile looks ideal from a nice barrier. Newcastle 3YO 6. War Cat has claims after finishing close up here in slightly deeper race, and draws better carrying 1.5kg less. This appears a nice next assignment for improving Muswellbrook 3YO 5. Noble Cause who bolted in her maiden from the front here at third start, and stays at the mile.
How to play it: Bandahara to win and quinella 2 and 7. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 BM 58 HCP (1600m):|
Very challenging race, with a stack of hopes. Tough 5YO gelding 3. Condover Hall from the Neil Godbolt stable at Pt Macquarie was a little disappointing third-up this grade and trip when well fancied in the market, but had stepped up sharply in trip from a smart win at home, so stick solid given she's raced over much further.
Dangers: Port mare 8. Eurogem didn't quite finish it off this grade a fortnight ago when well backed, although wasn't in the best part of the track, so had a genuine excuse and draws to get another economical run. Muswellbrook 5YO 5. Roy's Command looked home for all money when he cruised up here this grade a fortnight back, but found one stronger under pressure. Tougher draw here, and has been up for a while. Newcastle staying mare 7. The Deel Is Dun is an intriguing first-up runner. Only two career wins have come at this track, but she's not a noted first-up performer. Had one quiet trial, and will drift a long way back from a wide gate so look for her doing best work late. Watch the betting on Gosford mare 9. Queen Of Manhattan who ploughed through the heavy to win at Port two runs back before flopping at home in a stronger CL2. This is easier, but we'll find out if she's a pure wet tracker.
How to play it: Condover Hall each way and trifecta 3,5,8/3,5,7,8,9/3,5,7,8,9. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 7 CLASS 3 HCP (1000m):|
Smart Scone filly 1. Emperor's Star was very good in a tougher race at Muswellbrook two starts back before finding a BM 70 at Newcastle a bit rich. Despite the big weight, she's much better suited back in grade and trip, with blinkers reapplied.
Dangers: Newcastle 4YO 2. Jamaican Dream hasn't started for nine weeks, but drops back in trip off a trial, and has a smart record on this track. Wyong mare 5. Invincible Kiss has mixed her form this prep exclusively at provincial level, and ran on okay at Hawkesbury last start. Draws a nice trailing gate, and senior country rider goes on. Watch the betting on Scone 5YO 4. Eleazar whose form isn't flash, but has also been freshened for this shorter trip, and drops in weight with blinkers going on for the first time.
How to play it: Emperor's Star to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Emperor's Star runs second at Muswellbrook on March 27
|Race 8 BM 66 HCP (1400m):|
Strong and open contest to finish. Pt Macquarie 5YO 7. Dew Drop from the John Sprague yard has so much more to offer than his modest strike-rate from 40 starts suggests, rattling home third-up in a BM 82 at home when backed from $6.50 into $4.20. Back in grade, and up sharply in weight, but looks ready to recapture his best at good odds.
Dangers: Progressive Newcastle mare 9. Mummentum returns from three runs over the border, and probably has the most natural ability in this field. Hit the line hard to miss by a whisker at the Sunshine Coast two back before again edged out in a blanket finish at Ipswich. Capable Gosford 6YO 3. Fast Tycoon will relish the extra distance second-up after closing off well from a mile back on Anzac Day at Bathurst.
How to play it: Dew Drop each way. Odds and Evens: Odds