By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and rail True so fairly even early before gradual trend away from the fence and off the speed
|Race 1 HEAT OF THE WAGGA STAYERS' SERIES (3200m):|
Good series over the two miles for restricted stayers at BM 74 level, and as always, timing, tempo, and hard fitness will all have their say. Victorian 5YO gelding 1. Da Deputy would only have to repeat his terrific closing effort in a BM 78 at the Valley off a near two-month freshen-up to be a near good thing, and last time on this track careered away to win easily over 3800m, although is at his best on rain-affected ground.
Dangers: While this is a decent step up in grade, liked the way 4YO Albury gelding 4. Testigo Estrella finished hard to win last start. Has taken a real liking to the this track, and drops 3kg for this tougher test; while 6YO Wodonga mare 3. Tubbs Gift comes out of that same stronger race at The Valley behind Serenade The Stars, but was well beaten at huge odds, and would need to find a few lengths.
How to play it: Da Deputy to win and quinella 1 and 4. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split.
|Race 2 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Even race over the mile at set weights, with little depth. Long been a fan of local 4YO gelding 2. Jungle Book who can break a long run of outs fourth-up this prep. Is much better than his record suggests, and is draw to be tucked away with cover back in the field.
Dangers: Improving 4YO Goulburn gelding 4. Verdi can improve big time getting out to this trip third-up, and is an obvious threat; while 3YO local gelding 5. Weja relished the step up the mile third-up powering home to claim his maiden, and with form apprentice taking 2kg off, can certainly figure again.
How to play it: Jungle Book to win and quinella 2 and 4. Odds and Evens: Evens.
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1000m):|
Tricky little sprint, with a few first starters on board, but 3YO filly 5. Gentlemen's Words looks the one to beat fourth-up from leading Victorian stable after charging home into a place this track a fortnight back.
Dangers: Expect 3YO Wodonga gelding 2. Jimmy John to bounce back after dropping out at home last start, and there were excuses. Has good early speed, and previously was only caught in the last stride on this track when a heavily backed short price favourite. Gundagai 5YO mare 3. Awadhi was incredibly $151.00 on debut when charging home late to just miss a place at this track. Will rift back from a wide gate and try to repeat the dose so keep watch on the market.
How to play it: Gentlemen's Words to win and quinella 2 and 5. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 4 MTC MAD SCRAMBLE (1000m):|
Aptly named competitive and very open sprint under handicap conditions. Wodonga 6YO gelding 2. Cash Crisis hops over the border at the right time for good strike-rate stable. Has finished hard in his last couple, and even better drawn here to be tucked away midfield and saved for one final surge.
Dangers: With plenty of speed on up front, lightly raced 7YO Albury gelding 1. Whycatchim is fitter, and can also return to the winner's stall third-up. Did his best work late last start under a huge weight at home, and while carting 60kg is still a task, this is the lightest he's carried this prep. Canberra 7YO mare 5. Mixed Blossom is a first-up specialist, and looks suited at big odds on the limit weight off a nice trial; while expect rival 6YO Canberra gelding 6. Polar Star to bounce back off a poor run when outclassed at The Valley. Drops 4.5kg from that, and will be ridden much further forward. Albury 5YO gelding 9. Air Gordon is another who likes to race on the speed, and has hit a purple patch winning his last two. Gets in nicely at the weights, although more depth here; while the more fancied runner he beat at home, 5YO Jerilderie gelding 10. Moving On Up is also stepping up in grade, but can't be dismissed dropping a massive 8kg in weight after the rider's claim, and drawn to get a cosy run on the fence behind the speed. Include 5YO Goulburn gelding 3. Stone Cold in wider exotics who resumes without a public trial, but normally goes well fresh and is drawn ideal.
How to play it: Cash Crisis each way and first four 1,2,5/1,2,5,6/1,2,3,5,6,9,10/1,2,3,5,6,9,10. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 BRAGGER CUP BM 50 HCP (1600m):|
Even but lower grade race for the milers. Goulburn 6YO gelding 1. Defy pulled up lame after getting home okay in a much stronger Highway at Rosehill two runs back before letting punters down as a well backed favourite in a BM 58 at Queanbeyan when rider took off way too early. Up to a hefty 61kg, but if he's ridden quieter back in the field from an inside draw, can get out and finish over the top of them in what is a very weak race.
Dangers: Forbes 4YO mare 9. Miss Charlie has been up for a while, but finished off okay behind a nice horse at Bathurst last start at big odds.
How to play it: Defy to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.
Defy runs fourth at Queanbeyan on October 14
|Race 6 STAN SADLEIR STAKES (1400m):|
Competitive and fairly open race. Despite a wide draw, this is a distance where 5YO Queanbeyan gelding 2. Bart can give a tonne of cheek up front. Was over-run in the stronger Tony Campbell Cup at Canberra two runs back before fighting on tough to win a good race over the mile this track beating the ultra consistent Parliament.
Dangers: Progressive 5YO Albury gelding 8. Shinseki has stepped up nicely in good company to run a place in his last two hitting the line nicely both times, and draws to get a good trail. Local 5YO mare 4. Lady Mironton is the weighted runner of the race dropping a whopping 8.5kg from a nice closing fresh effort in a BM 65 at Canberra, and second-up form is strong; while the winner of that race 5YO Braidwood mare 5. Irish Lucy is 5kg better off, but faces more early pressure here, and unlikely to get things all her own way in front.
How to play it: Bart to win and box trifecta 2,4,5,8. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 CL1 HCP (1200m):|
Another tough and open battle. Improving 4YO local gelding 3. Backwater Trader can peak again fourth-up after winning on debut in very heavy ground in late July. Has closed off nicely in his last two, and draws to be tucked away midfield on the fence, and saved for one last surge.
Dangers: Wodonga 4YO gelding 2. Chipsaredown struggled resuming from a wide barrier at Echuca after a nice one-off debut win at Wangaratta in autumn, but stable generally places them well, and he can bounce back. Albury 4YO mare 8. Princess Cordelia has hit the line hard from well back in her last three, and will appreciate the extra journey. Emerging 3YO Wodonga gelding 6. Halo Warrior was well backed at odds before careering away to win his maiden first-up at Cootamundra, and while this is harder, he has good early speed and draws to get a nice run.
How to play it: Backwater Trader to win and box exacta 2,3,8. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 8 MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):|
Fairly thin race to finish augurs well for 4YO Leeton gelding 1. Crimson Hoffa third-up after flashing home from near last this track last start, and extra distance looks ideal.
Dangers: Expect improvement second-up and drawn inside from 4YO Goulburn gelding 3. Love Me Broke who was very plain resuming at Moruya. Local 4YO gelding 5. Zarsnip has shown marginal improvement in three runs this prep, but draws to get a lovely trail just off the speed; while 4YO local gelding 4. Supalux hasn't had a lot of luck this prep, often finding the line late getting well back from wide barriers. Drawn off the track yet again, but leading district jockey aboard is a plus.
How to play it: Crimson Hoffa to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Crimson Hoffs runs second at Wagga on October 19