By Neil Evans
Track improving to around Good 4 and rail true so should play fairly even
|Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (900m):|
We start over the short course, and keen on debutant Dubbo mare and former Hawkes-trained 8. Miss Mayfield now with the Kody Nestor stable stepping out in blinkers. Won a trial nicely at Hawkesbury in autumn before turned out, and has trialled again recently.
Dangers: Another debutant 3YO Mudgee filly 12. Mighty Minnie looked forward winning a trial at this track, and stable is having a fine season. Expect sharp improvement from Orange 4YO 1. Ateall who didn't finish off resuming at Narromine, but that was a stronger race and better suited back on firm ground.
How to play it: Miss Mayfield to win and quinella 8 and 12. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):|
Out in distance now, and this is thin. Resuming Gulgong 4YO and ex Waller-trained 1. Rusty Hawk now under Brett Thompson looks well fitted for this trip off two quiet 1020m trials, and blinkers going on. Leading country jockey is booked to ride.
Dangers: Parkes mare 7. Miss Monte ran the best race of her career resuming in a handy maiden at Forbes, but was a little plain at Dubbo next start. Has improved considerably after a poor previous campaign, and draws to get good cover around midfield. Narromine mare 8. Ritzy Diva is another who has shown marked improvement this prep after doing nothing last campaign. Was only run down in the last stride second-up at Narromine, although will need the breaks from a wide draw.
How to play it: Rusty Hawk to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1100m):|
Plenty of chances in this one headed by home track 5YO 2. Old Harbour having his first run for the Michael Mulholland yard with several key gear changes. Has done very little racing in the last two years shuffled around stables, but looked in good order bolting in a recent Mudgee trial.
Dangers: Nyngan filly 10. Knight Drive looks a real chance from the inside draw at her third start. Ridden off the speed at Narromine in heavy ground, and hit the line late, and the significant rise up from an 800m scamper is an obvious plus. Dubbo 4YO 1. Verrazougar trialled strongly at Gilgandra, but faces a task from a wide barrier; while Coonabarabran mare 5. Nicola can improve after dropping out under pressure in a much tougher maiden at Scone.
How to play it: Old Harbour to win and quinella 2 and 10. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 4 BM 66 HCP (1100m):|
Keen on 4YO Gulgong mare 6. Denace again from the Thompson stable returning to drier ground, and back in trip off a little freshen-up. Led all the way as a heavily backed favourite at Gilgandra two runs before buckling under the pressure in a stronger field at Muswellbrook where he wasn't in the best part of the track. Very well weighted after rider's claim
Dangers: Bathurst 8YO 8. Griffin's Gaze steps up significantly from a dominant second-up win in a much weaker race at Gilgandra, but drops sharply in weight. Gunnedah 7YO 1. Epic Decision drops in quality, and draws the inside; while honest local 7YO 9. Harry New Shoes draws to get a trail back in the field, and is best of the rest.
How to play it: Denace to win. Odds and Evens: Evens
Denace wins at Gilgandra on August 1
|Race 5 BM 58 HCP (1400m):|
Tricky race, with several hopes. Narromine mare 5. Sue's Girlfriend from the Wayne Collison stable swept home to win a CL1 in heavy ground second-up, and draws to park in a similar stalking position. Handles all ground, and this looks the right journey.
Dangers: Improving Gilgandra 5YO 6. Bid To Fame has been right on the winner's heels in three runs back, and bursting to win his first race in seven months. Well weighted after the claim, and will likely drift back from midfield and finish hard. Gunnedah 7YO 4. Danspur was way out of his depth in tougher company at Scone, but wasn't far away at his previous start in this grade. Consistent Mudgee mare 9. Kazumi nearly always attacks the line, finishing like a train at Forbes in a handy CL1 off a freshen-up. Watch for her late.
How to play it: Sue's Girlfriend to win and trifecta 5,6/4,5,6,9/4,5,6,9. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 CLASS 1 HCP (1400m):|
Most open race of the day. Cowra mare 4. Brunela trained by Michael Lynch has more ability than most of these, and had four runs back from a spell. Stable has changed up the tactics without success, but she's at her best when ridden quieter from off the speed. Return to a firmer track is also a big boost.
Dangers: Gilgandra 4YO 7. Soldier Poy improved to win his maiden at home after taking over on the turn, and is ready for this distance, although more depth here. Dubbo 6YO 1. Smart Ain't He has a poor strike rate and can really mix form, but if he runs up to his effort at Scone over this trip two starts back, he'll be around the finish; while include in exotics Dubbo mare 8. Hibern getting back to her best trip.
How to play it: Brunela each way. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 CLASS 3 HCP (900m):|
We finish where we began over the scamper course in a good quality sprint. Progressive Muswellbrook mare 5. Emilette from the Jan Bowen yard was a dominant CL1 winner at home in heavy ground before feeling the pressure late in a Highway at Randwick. Back in grade and trip where she can again use her smart tactical speed.
Dangers: Watch the betting on Dubbo 4YO 1. King's Champ who has an ordinary fresh record and lumped with a big weight, but trialled okay. Stablemate 5YO 10. Policy steps up sharply in grade after an easy all-the-way win this track. Goes fast, and can give a big sight down in weight and back to this trip. Include in exotics Hawkesbury 6YO 3. Paris In May who drops in grade via a nice trial after two plain runs at home.
How to play it: Emilette to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.
Emilette runs third at Randwick on August 22