By Neil Evans
Early Good 4 rating likely to drop to around Soft 5/6 with rain forecast, and rail out 6m so on-pace early before gradual trend away from the fence and off speed.
|Race 1 CLASS 2 HCP (1600m):|
We kick off with a heat of the Rising Star, and loved the way local 5YO gelding and specialist miler 5. Manhattan Zip charged home to just miss this track and trip third-up, and with a 2kg claim from the inside draw, will be very hard to hold out, especially if we end up well into soft range.
Dangers: Canberra 5YO mare 2. Zaromatic who looks well placed from the draw, and with a 2kg claim. Scored a dominant Class 1 win here three runs back before finishing off okay this grade in her last two, and is primed now for the rise in trip. The Hayes-Hayes-Dabernig team are back over the border with improving 5YO gelding 1. Storming Eclipse who steps up in grade from a tidy Class 1 win at Corowa under the same weight. Will push forward from a middle gate, and hard fit now after four runs this prep. Local 4YO mare 4. Coves hasn't missed a place in her last four, and rarely runs a bad one at home, but this is a little tougher.
How to play it: Manhattan Zip to win and quinella 2 and 5. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 2 BM 66 HCP (1800m):|
Another competitive heat of the Wagga Stayers Series, but now that 6YO Goulburn gelding 9. Defy has got back to winning ways maintaining an unbeaten record on this track, he's the one to beat from an economical draw. Back up in grade, but looks well treated at the weights, although doesn't want the rating much worse than Good.
Dangers: Victorian 4YO gelding 8. Almighty Gold is the obvious threat after sailing home for a dominant BM 66 win here on Xmas eve when heavily backed. Hasn't been punished too much at the weights and draws to get an ideal trail just off the speed. Canberra 5YO gelding 7. The Senator was disappointing third-up here in a Class 2 over the mile when taken to the front, but fitter now, and is a winner over 1900m. Drawn to get a nice run on speed again, although may choose to take the sit this time. Albury 5YO gelding 5. Shinseki has been ultra consistent this prep, and is better than his record suggests. Hasn't finished off in last two runs here either side of a fast finishing effort this at home, but the winkers go on, and draws to do little or no work around midfield.
How to play it: Defy to win and trifecta 8,9/5,7,8,9/5,7,8,9. Odds and Evens: Split.
Defy wins at Wagga on January 9
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1600m):|
Even battle over the mile. Emerging 3YO Canberra filly 4. Room Number was terrific second-up on this track motoring home late in a maiden over this trip, despite having a tough run. Has to be ridden stone cold again from a wide barrier, but is down in weight, and sire handled wet ground and won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth in 2013.
Dangers: Another visitor from the David Hayes team in Victoria, 3YO gelding 2. Bartender Blues has been battling away and mixing his runs right through spring and into summer across some handy maiden fields. Include 4YO Wodonga mare 7. Sharlie who also finished off well in that same race behind Overflowing as the top selection, and gets significant weight relief after rider's 2kg claim.
How to play it: Room Number to win and box exacta 2,4,7. Odds and Evens: Evens.
|Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1000m):|
Keen on lightly raced 4YO Canberra mare 3. One More Girl who resumes for a stable with a handy early strike rate. Was close up on debut at Moruya last spring in a maiden run in record time, and has looked forward enough in two trials.
Dangers: Big watch on local 3YO filly and first starter 12. Miss Elsie May (Krupt x Natural Time by Naturalism) who was pressured on speed in a recent home trial, but still cruised away to win by more than three lengths, and gets in light after rider's 2kg claim. Wangaratta 4YO mare 6. She's Our Reward was was well fancied by punters on the last day of 2019 at Echuca, and only worn down late in her first run for a year. Has good tactical speed, and blinkers stay on. Debutant 3YO Braidwood gelding 4. Face The Day (Zoffany x Crazyonyou by Encosta de Lago) was put away after a plain trial in strong open company last August. Hasn't trialled since, but stable is under-rated and made significant gear changes for one bred to go quick. Watch the market on 3YO Goulburn filly and first starter 11. Loco Motion Lass (Bullet Train x Ohmygood by Foreplay) who hasn't been seen publicly since a quiet open trial more than seven months ago.
How to play it: One More Girl to win; Miss Elsie May each way; & trifecta 3,6,12/3,6,12/3,4,6,11,12. Odds and Evens: Split
One More Girl's trial at Queanbeyan on January 11
|Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1300m):|
Good tough contest. If 4YO Goulburn mare 11. Fight For Love can get across from a wider barrier, she'll be hard to beat coming out of stronger form-lines, and with the blinkers applied. Stuck on okay after leading a in strong maiden at Wyong before no match for the smart Riverside's Cash who has since put away a Class 1 field in dominant fashion at Gosford. Just missed as a heavily-backed favourite here last start, and looks ready.
Dangers: Victorian 3YO gelding 5. Mississippi Flyer hasn't been far off the winner in all three maiden runs this prep, and draws to park right behind the speed, with blinkers on for the first time. The effort of 3YO local gelding 6. Pushkar was better than it looked last start here, although cannot take a trick with barriers drawn even further out. Will be ridden quiet, and extra ground an obvious plus.
How to play it: Fight For Love to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.
|Race 6 BM 66 HCP (1400m):|
Plenty of chances here, headed by progressive 4YO Albury gelding 11. Benjamery who gets his chance here fourth-up down in weight with the winkers going on. Has attacked the line from well back in his last three, and out to 1400m looks ideal.
Dangers: Albury 4YO front-running gelding 6. Jawwaal had been consistent all spring, including a Class 1 win at home, before compounded badly in a tougher Highway on the Kensington track after a lengthy freshen-up. Much better suited in this, although looks under the odds from a wide draw. Hawkesbury 6YO mare 9. Caliera Gem has been in and around the placings all prep, and gets the added addition of blinkers. This is a bit tougher, but drawn to get a lovely run just off the speed. Local 4YO gelding 8. Two Wrongs Don't has done very little in his last two after a terrific closing run in a Highway at Rosehill, but has too much ability to dismiss, although record on home track is poor.
How to play it: Benjamery each way. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 7 F & M BM 58 HCP (1200m):|
Wide open contest for the girls, and toughest race of the day. Despite rising in weight and drawn wide, improving 5YO Goulburn mare 8. Designer Dance looks well placed in this company. Did her best work late in a Highway at Rosehill three runs back before flashing home from a mile back in a Class 1 here. Will be ridden cold from the gate again, and helped by any cut out of the ground.
Dangers: Another Goulburn mare on the move is well-bred 4YO 10. Acturial who resumes more than seven months after a slashing one-off maiden win at the Sapphire Coast last winter. Hasn't publicly trialled and will need plenty of luck from the wide barrier, but bound to come to hand quickly. Albury 4YO mare 1. Rarer Than Rubies is much better suited out to this trip second-up after a fair return run in this grade at home.
How to play it: Designer Dance each way and box exacta 1,8,10. Odds and Evens: Evens.
|Race 8 C, G & E BM 58 HCP (1200m):|
Now the boys' edition over the same trip, and it doesn't get much easier. Talented 4YO local gelding 7. Jodhpur resumes for a second prep over the same trip he won his maiden over on debut. Will need luck to get cover from a wide draw, but looked sharp in a recent trial, and will be finishing hard with any sort of decent run.
Dangers: Capable 4YO Canberra gelding 1. Eurosay looks well placed fourth-up coming back from Highway company when forced to work from a wide gate. Draws to get a nice trail, and has a sound record on this track. Rival Canberra gelding 2. Romeo Vella also comes back in grade, and drawn right alongside will push forward and sit on speed, although carries his biggest weight in a long time; while 3YO Albury gelding 12. Mnementh also resumes off a one-off debut win this track in spring when heavily backed, and has been given a quiet trial.
How to play it: Jodhpur each way. Odds and Evens: Split.