By Neil Evans
Open card on a Good 4 rating and rail true so should play predominantly even
|Race 1 BM 58 HCP (2100m):|
Good competitive race to start for the staying types, and this looks spot-on for 4YO Newcastle mare 2. The Deel Is Dun getting to this journey fourth-up. Had no luck from back in the field second-up at Scone over the mile before hitting the line hard at Muswellbrook behind an in-form galloper when virtually impossible to run him down off a very slow tempo. Draws to get a stack of cover, and a still promising one by Dundeel.
Dangers: Taree 9YO gelding 1. Loving Home finished strongly to win this grade three runs back at Grafton, but has struggled up in grade last couple, and doubt he can give the top selection 4kg from a wide gate and beat her. Gosford 8YO gelding 3. Coolaminyah Kid has worked home okay in his last couple, and should be competitive over slightly longer trip.
How to play it: The Deel Is Dun to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
The Deel Is Dun runs second at Muswellbrook on November 29
|Race 2 3YO MAIDEN HCP (1000m):|
Plenty of debutants on show here in a tough sprint. Newcastle gelding 3. Findellee (Time For War x Del Amore by Lion Hunter) debuts for a smart stable and has trialled okay finding the line under his own steam. Draws right off the track, but has the "Queen of Hoops" Sammie Clenton to steer.
Dangers: After a fair debut in stronger company in winter, Muswellbrook filly 10. Sophie's Lass resumes after showing speed in two forward trials. Just needs to get across comfortably from a wide gate to be in the finish. Wyong gelding 6. Sapphires Son didn't do much in first prep in winter, but resumes here off a fair trial and draws to get a nice trail. Cessnock gelding 12. De Goey improved lengths in his third run in first full prep, and also draws to get a cosy run; while Muswellbrook filly 8. Ella's Joy (Benfica x Judem by Galileo) debuts after three spaced trials for a stable renowned for producing flying youngsters.
How to play it: Findellee to win and box exacta 3,6,10. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 3 4YO & UP MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
It doesn't get a whole lot easier here among the older maidens, although this is the right distance for 4YO Hawkesbury gelding 1. Black Star Bowie to break through second-up. Did his best work late resuming in a deeper maiden at Gosford run in race record time, and second-up last prep only just missed at Bathurst as a well backed favourite.
Dangers: Wyong 5YO mare 5. Oxford Bella resumes off a long break, but trialled nicely and has plenty of early tactical speed. Gosford 4YO mare 10. Gottabe Red will find this easier than last start maiden at Scone when well down the field behind two smart gallopers, and drops in weight from a nice barrier. Include 4YO Newcastle mare 6. Leave Me Some who has shown steady improvement in three runs, and stuck on okay behind a smart youngster at Wyong, and the blinkers go on.
How to play it: Black Star Bowie to win and box exacta 1,5,10. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 4 4YO & UP MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Play it again Sam. Expect enough improvement here second-up from 4YO Wyong gelding 4. Hidden Hills who was outclassed behind the smart Adelong resuming at Wyong, but draws to get a nice trail around midfield.
Dangers: Punters left the money in the bag badly with 4YO Newcastle mare 8. All A Lady at Taree when she led and compounded despite firming from $2.40 into $1.90. Previous run at Scone was sound, and she's back down to 54kg. Scone 5YO gelding 5. Gold Codes almost stunned the market at Muswellbrook when beaten under a half length at huge odds in his first run for a year, and looks suited by the longer trip, but has an awkward draw to overcome.
How to play it: Hidden Hills to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
Hidden Hills' first-up run at Wyong on November 28
|Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):|
Thin race and plenty of chances headed by 4YO Muswellbrook mare 11. Countess Rostova who hit the line nicely on debut at home when easy in betting, and draws even better here over longer to coil up off the speed and be produced early in the straight.
Dangers: Newcastle 3YO gelding 10. Reuben James has been sparingly raced this prep, but never away in handy company, and draws the inside with the blinkers going on. Newcastle 4YO gelding 4. Hillandale resumes without a public trial, but was never beaten far in some handy maiden company through winter. Expect improvement at second start from 4YO Gosford gelding 5. New Tycoon stepping up in trip; while persistent 4YO Taree gelding 6. Phylave is out to break through at his 21st start, and is best of the rest from an economical draw.
How to play it: Countess Rostova each way and quinella 10 and 11. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 6 CL1 HCP (1000m):|
Another open contest, but after disappointing across some deeper company in her first prep, 4YO Port Macquarie mare 7. Firefly Poppy was well tried in the market finishing hard to win first-up at home, and having strengthened and matured, she looks set for a strong campaign.
Dangers: Gosford 5YO mare 5. Little Wonder fought on hard to win a handy maiden from the front at Scone, and normally holds her form into second-up run. Newcastle 3YO filly 6. Xiaoli's Ying appreciated a freshen-up and sharp drop in class careering away to bolt in her maiden at Quirindi, and can go with the job here. Port Macquarie 3YO gelding 2. Full Of Spirit stuck on well second-up behind an in-form sprinter, and just needs the breaks from an awkward draw to be in the finish. Newcastle 5YO mare 3. Lady Wahoo resumes without a public trial, but has more ability than her record suggests, although drawn even further off the track.
How to play it: Firefly Poppy to win and trifecta 5,6,7/2,3,5,6,7/2,3,5,6,7. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 7 BM 66 HCP (1400m):|
Headline race of the day, and keen on local 4YO gelding 5. Onemore Sapphire second-up from a good draw after a nice closing effort resuming in a good quality Class 2 at Newcastle. Has a solid record, and was only beaten under a length twice coming from well back in winter Highway races.
Dangers: Smart 4YO Port Macquarie gelding 1. Foxy's Foxinator has been lumped with 61kg, but he's probably earned it after a terrific first-up Class 3 win over a similar trip at Grafton, and while second-up form isn't as flash, he's got plenty of quality in this grade. Like the progression this prep from 5YO Gosford gelding 4. Time Of Glory who swept home top win a Class 3 at Orange second-up, although the handicapper hasn't missed him with 60.5kg; while 5YO Newcastle mare 3. High Rush will find this a bit easier than her second-up effort when trying to lead all the way in a BM 82.
How to play it: Onemore Sapphire to win and box trifecta 1,3,4,5. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 8 CL2 HCP (1400m):|
Good competitive battle to finish. Port Macquarie 5YO gelding 9. Dangerous Dan is a perennial back-marker who doesn't win often, but can shock the market at big odds on the seven-day back-up and finish over the top from a soft draw. Back out to 1400m is an obvious plus.
Dangers: Newcastle 4YO gelding 1. Heredero has been building towards a third career win all prep in generally stronger company, and stable has been very deliberate placing him lately. Was no match for the smart Gem Dealer in a Class 3 at Quirindi, but this looks more suitable; while watch the market on resuming 4YO Newcastle mare 4. Azarmin who is not a noted fresh performer, but trial was okay, and this time last year stormed home to win her maiden at only run on this track.
How to play it: Dangerous Dan each way and box exacta 1,4,9. Odds and Evens: Split.