By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and rail out 4m from 1400m to WP so should be a gradual trend away from the fence for much of the day
|Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):|
Very tricky maiden at set weights to start, with some just starting out and others who have had stack of chances already. Looks a nice race third-up for 3YO Victorian filly 10. La Magnat who has been solid enough in two runs this prep at Mornington. Extra distance a plus in what looks a weaker race, and trainer has kept the blinkers on but removed the winkers.
Dangers: Tumut 5YO gelding 1. Bouddi is yet to place from nine starts, but if he performs to his hugely improved second-up run this track when heavily backed from an each-way price, he'll be around the finish from the inside draw. Hard to believe 4YO Cootamundra mare 6. Nanga is still a maiden after 27 runs considering she hasn't been far away in her last three runs this track, and was $3.70 into $2.90 last start getting home okay over the mile. With a good tempo up front, she can work into the finish. Local 6YO mare 7. Nat Shrap is another one who showed rapid improvement last start just run down at a big price after being well beaten in her first three runs this prep. Gundagai 4YO gelding 3. Taliano loves to go forward and has been well in the market throughout his brief career. Was placed four straight before knocking up at Wodonga second-up, and must be a distance query first try at 1400m.
How to play it: La Magnat to win and box trifecta 1,3,6,7,10. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split
|Race 2 CL1 HCP (1600m):|
Progressive and versatile 5YO Canberra gelding 2. Sugar Pine is at the top his game. Had to change course charging home this track two runs back, before dominating from the front over this trip at the Sapphire Coast winning by nearly six lengths. Back on this track will probably be ridden quieter from a handy draw, and he's got Highway written all over him.
Dangers: Improving 4YO Leeton gelding 1. Crimson Hoffa is the obvious threat. Landed his maiden this track after trailing the speed in that same race that Sugar Pine rattled home, and likely cheap run from the inside gate will be a plus. Be surprised if anything else wins, although 5YO Wodonga gelding 3. Savvy Acquisition comes back sharply in trip, but drawn to take a handy enough position.
How to play it: Sugar Pine to win and quinella 1 and 2. Odds and Evens: Split
Sugar Pine wins at Sapphire Coast on December 2
|Race 3 CL3 HCP (1000m):|
Good quality and open dash. Canberra 7YO mare 9. Kopaonik landed a strong betting move from $8.00 into $4.40 rattling home to win a BM 58 third-up this track. Takes on tougher here, but draws well with senior rider aboard, and generally saves her best for the short trip.
Dangers: Big watch on 4YO mare and former Victorian 4. Honeysuckle Choice having her first run for new Canberra stable with the blinkers coming off. Looked good winning a recent trial, and has solid fresh form. Watch the market on lightly raced 6YO Goulburn gelding 5. O'so Tempting having his first run for more than a year, and was close-up behind Honeysuckle Choice in that same trial. Jerilderie 4YO stallion 2. Delago At Ease won two straight after leading, but buckled under more pressure last start in a BM 58. In well at the weights after rider's 2kg claim, but this is harder.
How to play it: Kopaonik each way. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 4 TED RYDER PRELUDE (1600m):|
Smart edition this year, and should be the property of Canberra stables, but not the one you think! Perennial back-marker and 9YO gelding 4. Le Cavalier is one of the best weighted runners across the meeting. Charged home late in a BM 70 at home two runs back before only fair from the back in the Queanbeyan Cup over 2000m. Will need an obvious good speed to chase, but after rider's 3kg claim, this is the lightest weight he has carried for a long time.
Dangers: Rival 5YO Canberra gelding 9. Upper House is a big threat. Stepped up sharply in trip third-up and motored home to win a BM 60, and drops 4.5kg from that effort. Loves the mile, and first-up this prep came from near last to be beaten under three lengths in a Highway at Rosehill. Canberra 6YO 2. Supreme Polarity has built a nice record from 21 starts, and right at his peak after four runs back. Stuck on okay in a BM 70 Federal before controlling a BM 66 this track, and bolting in by more than four lengths. Gets a 2kg claim. Wodonga 6YO gelding 7. Wyangle has solid high benchmark form, and did his best work late in the Wodonga Cup over a similar journey; while 5YO local mare 5. Takookacod has hit the line nicely in two runs back from a spell, and suited now up to the mile.
How to play it: Le Cavalier each way and trifecta 2,4,7,9/2,4,5,7,9/2,4,5,7,9. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 OPEN HCP (1000m):|
Another strong sprint with a stack of chances. Canberra 6YO gelding 7. Exaggerate powered home to win a handy BM 60 three runs back before a terrific win over the top in the BM 80 Thunderbolt on Queanbeyan Cup day. Drawn and weighted well, and should get the necessary speed on up front to sit a few lengths off and finish over the top.
Dangers: Local 7YO gelding 4. Fermanagh Lad is a threat second-up from the inside gate after sticking on okay resuming behind one of the better non-metro sprinters in NSW in the Snake Gully Sprint at Gundagai. Look for 5YO Jerilderie gelding 9. Moving On Up to be flooding home late as well after finishing fast behind Mixed Blossom this track last start, and gets in light after jockey's 2kg claim. Canberra 8YO gelding 1. Burradoo will find this more to his liking after outclassed in consecutive BM 78s at Rosehill, but still has to lump a big weight from a wide barrier. Cowra 10YO gelding 2. Zarhron might be in the twilight, but normally comes to hand quickly, and looked sharp bolting in a recent home trial, although the handicapper hasn't missed with 62kg. Canberra 7YO mare 6. Mixed Blossom has won seven from 33, but five of those were first-up, including this prep in record time, so hard to have her after three runs back in this company, but she's down in weight and draws well.
How to play it: Exaggerate to win and first four 4,7,9/1,2,4,6,7,9/1,2,4,6,7,9/1,2,4,6,7,9. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 CRICHTON CUP BM 66 HCP (1800m):|
Another competitive heat of the Wagga Stayers Series, and keen on 4YO Jerilderie mare 3. Smart Style at the value who shoots right down in the weights after finishing hard form the back in a lead-up BM 58 over the same trip.
Dangers: Local 5YO gelding and former Victorian 2. Azaryah has taken to his new Riverina base like a duck to water winning two straight both times after leading, and draws to control the speed again; while 4YO Goulburn gelding 4. The Bluesmobile got home okay to split Azaryah and Smart Style in that same race, and drops 4.5kg for this. After two improving runs back, another Goulburn 4YO 1. Ritmico is looking for this trip, and senior country rider goes on.
How to play it: Smart Style each way and box trifecta 1,2,3,4. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Thin and wide open battle. Trusting 5YO Wodonga mare 4. It's Christmas is back to her best returning off a break. Dropped out with problems in a maiden at Benalla but previous form was sound, and draws a nice barrier for good trainer/rider combination.
Dangers: Local 3YO filly 11. Rockopal wasn't disgraced in a much stronger maiden first-up this track, but has to overcome a wide draw; while 3YO Goulburn gelding and first starter 2. Highly Decorated (Epaulette x Lolavie by Stratum) has been given plenty of time to prepare after two improving trials.
How to play it: It's Christmas to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 CL2 HCP (1200m):|
Another open and tough one to finish. Progressive 5YO Canberra mare 5. Zaromatic looks the one to beat from an ideal trailing draw. Finished stylishly to win a Class 1 this track third-up, and while this is a shade tougher, he drops 4kg after the rider's claim.
Dangers: Well travelled 5YO Albury mare 3. Nicconi Poni looks well suited in this company from the inside gate after finishing hard in a metro BM 70, and then back in grade for a fair effort at The Valley. Fellow Albury visitor, 4YO 4. Benjamery is another who likes to drift back and hit the line, but will need to get over and find cover from a wide barrier. Improving 3YO Corowa gelding 7. Nicotera has returned in great order this prep winning his maiden and a Class 1 in succession, and while he steps up a little more here, draws okay and should appreciate the long run home. Wodonga 4YO gelding 1. Banger has been finding the line okay in solid races over the border, including a BM 64 first-up at The Valley, but will need luck from a wide draw.
How to play it: Zaromatic to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.
Zaromatic wins at Wagga on November 25