By Neil Evans
Track Soft 5 and rail out 6m from 1400m to WP & true the remainder so likely just off speed for much of the day before late trend well away from the fence.
|Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Testing mile for the maidens at set weights to kick us off. It's hard not to feel sorry for 5YO Canberra gelding 3. Costa Chin Chin who is still a maiden after 12 starts, with seven placings, but so easily could have won a few times over. Charged home late to just miss at Cowra three runs back before a good thing beaten on Canberra Cup day when making up a tonne of ground after missing the start to go down by a long head, then was ridden closer at Orange and didn't finish off. Draws to get an ideal trail.
Dangers: Jerilderie 4YO gelding 5. Tough Decision continues to improve slowly this prep in generally tougher company, and finished off okay here last start over same trip. Tumut gelding 2. Bouddi improved dramatically finishing hard from the back at big odds in that same race here behind Pecuniary Interest; while include 3YO Goulburn filly 12. Post Free who draws wide but finds an easier race third-up.
How to play it: Costa Chin Chin each way. Odds and Evens (First 2): Odds
|Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Wide and very tough maiden, with plenty of hopes headed by 4YO mare 7. Cherry Pie from leading local stable of Chris Heywood who has had three mixed runs back from a spell, but draws to get cover back in the field. Her best form is good enough, especially if the track gets well into soft range.
Dangers: Stablemate filly 14. Thuwaany improved into her second run back at Albury, and still has plenty of progression, but faces a tough task from the widest gate. Improving home track 3YO 1. Bemightyman is suited over a little more ground after a tidy resumption in a handy maiden at Albury. Tumbarumba colt 2. My Solaki hasn't been far away in two runs to start his career, and will push forward from a useful draw. Canberra 5YO 10. Katatonic is another one whose form is all over the place, but drops 4kg from last run here, and at his best can drive into the finish; while include in exotics Canberra filly 13. Silver Nook who resumes without a public trial, but draws to get a soft run back in the field.
How to play it: Cherry Pie each way and first four 1,7,14/1,2,7,10,13,14/1,2,7,10,13,14/1,2,7,10,13,14. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Still with the maidens over the same distance, and keen on local 4YO gelding 4. Certain Shaft who loves to drift back and attack the line late. Powered home in his last three runs, and has been given a two month freshen-up. Will need the speed on up front, but has the best final 400m in the race.
Dangers: Goulburn 3YO 1. Leg Work resumes under a big weight without an official trial, and while he's sure to be getting home strong, inside draw doesn't suit his typical pattern. The rest are at bigger odds, although watch the betting on 3YO local filly 10. Ember who resumes from a good draw and trialled okay.
How to play it: Certain Shaft to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 2YO HCP (1000m):|
Now the youngsters' turn over the sprint trip, and keen on debutant Goulburn gelding 5. Private Agent (Nicconi x Daria by Redoubte's Choice) who draws well, and looked smart in a trial win where he sat off the fence without cover, but still cruised home under a nice hold.
Dangers: Home track gelding 1. Eastern Wind is a clear threat from a nice draw. Took on much tougher metro carnival company in spring to start his career, and should coil up around midfield and look to charge over the top. Rival local 2. Charming Pat has been freshened and returns as a gelding. Was close-up in consecutive runs at Canberra before outclassed and unsuited on heavy ground in much slicker metro company. Jerilderie gelding 4. Mr Moppett (Sizzling x Sweet Enemy by Bon Hoffa) debuts off a sound trial, and stable is under-rated; while Queanbeyan gelding 7. Rescorla improved significantly at second start when well specked in the market.
How to play it: Private Agent each way and quinella 1 and 5. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 5 CLASS 2 HCP (1400m):|
Competitive Heat of the Rising Star series, and while 5YO Canberra gelding 5. Soviet can be hit and miss, looks well placed back in trip. Has been in and around the money last three, and carried his lightest weight in a long time.
Dangers: Emerging 3YO local gelding 1. Demanding Mo shocked the Albury Guineas market at only fifth start in first prep charging home to win at 100/1. Up 6.5kg for this, but draws okay and even better suited on bigger track. Albury gelding 3. Helcolore loves to roll forward and dictate. Wasn't out of a place in last four, including a dominant Class 1 win, before easily overhauled in stronger CL3 company last start. Gets in light after rider takes 4kg off. Watch the betting on resuming Goulburn 6YO 2. Laughing Or Crying who returns for his first start in six months, and draws off the track, but has been in work for a while, and will be finishing on.
How to play it: Soviet each way and trifecta 1,3,5/1,2,3,5/1,2,3,5. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 6 CLASS 1 HCP (1200m):|
One of the toughest races of on the card, with plenty of chances. Progressive 3YO Goulburn filly 8. Talihina has good early speed, and was dominant from the front in her maiden at Albury after chasing home a promising debutant in Canberra. May have to do some work early from the draw, but she has a class edge on these.
Dangers: Watch the market closely on resuming 3YO Albury filly 9. Indiana Rose who won on debut last December, and has looked forward enough in two trials. Home track 4YO gelding 2. Kaipaki can peak here after finding the line strongly behind a smart one second-up in a BM 58 at Albury. If 4YO Canberra mare 4. Miss Crompton can get some luck from the extreme outside gate, she can drive into the finish. Was okay resuming at the Sapphire Coast, but her best form is clearly second-up. Another Albury filly 6. Blue Jean Baby will also need to find some cover from an awkward draw, but she's banging on the door after four runs back.
How to play it: Talihina to win; Indiana Rose each way; trifecta 2,8,9/2,4,6,8,9/2,4,6,8,9. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1200m):|
Good quality race. Local 4YO gelding 3. Jodhpur is the most talented horse in the race, but comes back a long way in journey. Flew home late for an impressive win here this grade and trip three runs back before climbing sharply over two runs to 2000m. All her best form is this track and distance.
Dangers: Goulburn 4YO mare 10. Shanaya is fitter and can improve again after bolting in her maiden at home, and then run down at Class 2 level; while Canberra mare 7. Il Professionale was disappointing at Albury after just missing in a good BM 60 at home, but has a tricky draw to overcome.
How to play it: Jodhpur to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Jodhpur runs third at Wagga on March 10
|Race 8 MTC COUNTRY CUP (2000m):|
Feature race of the day and another Heat of the Wagga Stayers Series looks exclusively the property of Canberra-trained horses. Capable 6YO gelding 3. Balansa from the Keith Dryden stable is getting out to an ideal distance fourth-up. Hit the line late in the Listed National Sprint at Canberra two runs back before again working home in the BM 88 Albury Mile. Can peak now on the big track with leading regional rider aboard.
Dangers: Consistent 8YO gelding 2. Great Glen was very good late at huge odds in the Listed Albury Gold Cup after being well beaten in the stronger Canberra Cup. Up significantly in weight, so will need plenty of tempo up front to surge into the finish. Watch for sharp improvement from 5YO gelding 1. Animalia, one of three Matt Dale-trained runners, getting out to this trip fourth-up. Stablemate gelding 5. Shangani Patrol produced a nice closing run first-up for seven months in a BM 85 at the Sapphire Coast, and this looks a nice trip for a stayer who has won over 2400m at Sandown; while 4YO mare 6. Dark Confidant also looks well placed deep into this prep coming back from finishing close up in a handy BM 64 at The Valley.
How to play it: Balansa each way and trifecta 1,2,3/1,2,3,5,6/1,2,3,5,6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 9 OPEN HCP (1000m):|
Back to the sprint journey & it's an open finish to the card. Canberra 4YO mare 4. Divi has a near 50 per cent winning strike rate, and the one to beat off a freshen-up and smart trial win. Stuck on well in a BM 70 at The Valley seven weeks back, and is at her best fresh.
Dangers: Jerilderie 7YO 2. Pleasant also has a smart record with five wins and four placings from only 14 starts, and wasn't beaten far under a big weight in a good field at The Valley. Draws out, and a lack of second-up form is the only blot on his copybook, but is a proven weight carrier. Another Canberra mare 5. I Am Kalani has also been freshened, and her form is much better than it looks coming out of deeper company, including close-up in a strong BM 87 Federal last start, but draws wide. Local 5YO gelding 11. Real Key is clear best of the rest from a good draw and down in weight.
How to play it: Divi to win. Odds and Evens: Evens
Divi wins a trial at Goulburn on March 23