By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Day 1 of the Scone Cup carnival on Friday. The track is expected to be good and the rail is in the true position.
|Race 1 – 12:25PM HORSEPOWER & CRESSFIELD HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
Open sort of race to kick off the carnival but I’ve liked the trials of the well bred filly 10. Tryst going all the way back to August. She’s out of a half-sister to Rain Affair and has taken a bit of time to get to the races. Wasn’t asked for a lot in running third after leading in her Rosehill trial earlier this week. Appears to have the tactical speed to make some use of a good gate, perhaps just off the speed, and find her way into the finish.
Dangers: 9. Sparkling Facet was a bit disappointing at her debut at Newcastle backj in October where I thought she had her chance. Her two trials back have both contained merit, going under about half a length both times without being tested. If she has come on from the spring then she’ll be competitive. 6. Artefiori may well still be priced on who her mother is but she is only on her second preparation so there’s upside to be had from a couple of defeats in the summer. Given a good hitout in her first trial then held together behind them at Muswellbrook in her second. I suspect she might find the 1000m too short, especially with the likelihood she’ll go back from the outside gate, and that makes her under the odds. But you can’t leave her out either. 7. Pierina is an ex-Kiwi filly having her first run for Kris Lees. Runner-up in the Artefiori trial at Newcastle at her only local appearance. Keep safe.
How to play it: Tryst E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Tryst runs third in her trial at Rosehill on May 7
|Race 2 - 1:00PM PAGES EVENT HIRE HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
I thought 7. Deft was the only serious danger to Mascot and with that horse's scratching he stands as the one to beat for mine. He was solid in the betting on debut in a mixed form race to date on the Kensington track a few weeks ago, beaten 2.3 lengths. He was tightened up a bit around 100m out and while he was safely held he’ll benefit from it. Will need a bit of luck but has a big chance.
Dangers: 8. Fudgewedge was a minor drifter in betting first-up at Wyong and it was a fair effort, she didn’t like where she was in running to the turn but when she found room she only worked home. That was 1000m and she comes here with blinkers on and an extra 300m so don’t be surprised if she’s an improver. 4. Metamorphic looked all over a winner at Newcastle first-up when he dashed away early in the straight only to be reeled in. He’s not been far away but hasn’t been able to convert as yet. Can’t be confident but if you leave him out, at least of the early quaddie, this’ll probably be the day he gets you. 1. Athletico blew the start in his only trial so his beaten margin may be misleading. In a race that looks to have few winning chances he could show up given he's the unknown factor.
How to play it: Deft WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Deft's debut on the Kensington track at Randwick on April 18
|Race 3 – 1:35PM NEWGATE STALLIONS HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
Another three-year-old returning as a gelding and I’m happy to go with 1. Jolly Honour. Fresh at a mile seems to suit him and he wasn’t far away from some handy horses in his three runs in the summer that followed his maiden win. Narrowly denied at Warwick Farm in a driving finish then bumped into Moss Trip, who is now a Group 3 winner, at Canterbury before a break. Typically quiet trial on Monday and he looks well placed to me.
Dangers: 7. Palmateer rebounded from an episode of cardiac arrhythmia to win with her head on the chest at Kembla over the mile to finally break her maiden status. The ease of that win suggests she’s turned the corner and might live up to some early promise. If that’s the case then she’s the logical threat to her stablemate. 2. Mount Panorama isn’t exactly a punter’s pal with one win from 20 starts but kicking off at a mile is something new. He was asked to win his second trial and although his will to win has to be questioned a bit he could show something here. 3. Surjin has taken a bit of time to find some form this prep but his last two have been sound and while a win would be an upset as far as I'm concerned he's the next best.
How to play it: Jolly Honour WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Jolly Honour runs a game second to Moss Trip at Canterbury back in February
|Race 4 – 2.10PM INGLIS 2YO CHALLENGE (1100 METRES)|
Anyone’s race, plenty of lightly raced horses and luck is going to play a big role. If the luck falls her way you can do a lot worse than 9. Bare Naked Lady who was well in the market on debut in what could be a handy race at Muswellbrook a couple of weeks back. She warmed up when the race was over and was closing fast on the runner-up. Extra 100m a plus and has an in-form jockey so she’s well worth strong consideration. I’m sure she’d be shorter in the market if not for the draw.
Dangers: 12. Sportini was a well backed favourite in the Muswellbrook race at what was her second start. She was safely held but where there’s smoke there’s fire and she’s found Corey Brown to ride from a handy gate. Likely improver. 2. Nick The Skip shouldn’t be underestimated. Plenty to like about the way he found the line first-up since November when beaten a length at Tamworth. Picked up significant ground in the last 100m and was strong through the line. One to keep a close eye on. 8. Heavenly Thunder may well be a false favourite but at the same time I want to keep her on the safe side. Outclassed behind Golden Slipper winner Estijaab last time so that’s not a guide. Prior to that she ran fourth at Wyong and I thought she had her chance. Drawn well and if she can take advantage of it she can be in the finish.
How to play it: Bare Naked Lady E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Bare Naked Lady’s solid debut at Muswellbrook on April 20
|Race 5 – 2.45PM WIDDEN STUD HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
A couple of the early scratchings give me confidence that things are falling into place for 8. Taniko to post back-to-back wins. Not disgraced on debut behind a subsequent Saturday city winner then absolutely strolled home at Wyong, running her last 600m in 35.22 (Punters Intel) and largely hard held from the turn. I think the bigger track will be in her favour, she’s drawn perfectly and really should have no excuses.
Dangers: 11. Katgully Red had some support at odds at his debut on his home track and there was no fluke about the win as he pulled clear from the 200m. Obviously a bit more depth to this field but he’s found a nice gate again and he could well be up to the challenge. 1. Kettering is the only one left of the four Kris Lees acceptors for this race and he’s well worth including, though he probably hasn’t quite lived up to what he has promised. Looked to be going well in his trial at Muswellbrook recently and he’s been competitive in Class 2 company so he has to be considered here. 10. Connemara won like you want to see $1.40 shots winning when she beat four rivals on debut at Gosford. We’ve got no clue as to how good she is yet as she’s done it easily in two trials and a race and from the wide gate here we have a chance to find out. She has early speed so wouldn’t be counting her out.
How to play it: Taniko WIN ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Taniko does it easily in winning at Wyong on April 19
|Race 6 - 3:20PM TURANGGA FARM HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
Best horse in the race without a doubt is 1. Savatiano and clearly the horse to beat for mine. Won fresh last prep then bumped into Star Sensation, was a good thing beaten at Goulburn then bumped into Lisdoonvarna. She accounted for Calculated at Randwick before training off and failing in a strong race won by Sugar Bella that included Anatola. Two trials have been excellent, drawn perfectly and we’re getting a pretty decent price. You don’t like to use the term ‘good thing’ but she looks very close to that.
Dangers: 4. Chalk has the ability to cause problems for the favourite if he can find his best form again. He’s had excuses in both starts back, wide all the way first-up but was game then again wide behind a track record pace at Randwick. Soft draw this time, should be on the pace and if there’s one horse that could knock over the top weight it’s him. 2. Siam is starting to come solid with a pair of easy wins split by a spell. Rounded them up from the back at Kembla when resuming and the extra 100m is in his favour too. Might have to give away a big start but sure to be running on. 5. Playard has a horror draw to contend with but he attacked the line very late when beaten in a blanket finish at Gosford last time around. Not sure where he gets to from the wide alley but with any luck at all he’s capable of getting into the finish somewhere.
How to play it: Savatiano WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds).
Savatiano closes off her Canterbury trial in good style on April 24
|Race 7 - 4:00PM DARLEY SCONE CUP (1600 METRES)|
Typically open Scone Cup. If you’re the forgiving type I’d be overlooking the failure of 3. Cool Chap in the JRA Plate at Randwick and going on his solid mile form as a pointer to this race. Only unplaced effort at 1600m was his three length defeat in the Doncaster Mile two starts ago and prior to that he ran Humidor to half a length at Flemington. Serious Group 1 form. He has the blinkers on and Kerrin McEvoy to ride, the race doesn’t look to have a heap of speed so he can get a nice run, midfield or better, and he looks a very good each-way chance.
Dangers: 4. New Tipperary signaled he could be in for a good preparation with an excellent return in a fast run 1400m won by Tribal Wisdom at Randwick. He can be a bit one paced at times but he has a fantastic second-up record and if that fresh run is any sign then he’s a serious contender. 1. Duca Valentinois won this race last year and seems to be heading in the right direction to defend the title. Thought he was entitled to finish the race off a bit better in the Hawkesbury Cup but he kept coming and the bigger track is more up his alley. Definite chance. 8. Sedanzer was a beaten favourite first-up at Hawkesbury in the Godolphin Crown at 1300m. I don’t know whether she was too close in the run or she found it too sharp but she’s better than that and she’s unbeaten when second-up so she’s entitled to another chance. 2. Kingsguard won the Hawkesbury Cup so can’t be overlooked and while he’s well out of his grade 16. Bezel is a sneaky chance with good form around him in lesser class.
How to play it: Cool Chap E/W ($8.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Cool Chap is beaten three lengths in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 7
|Race 8 - 4:40PM PRYDE’S EASIFEED NOEL LECKIE COUNTRY CUP (1400 METRES)|
I know he has top weight and a wide gate but I found 1. After All That very hard to go past. Country Championships runner-up last year and winner of the Anniversary Highway on Everest Day, his two runs back have been outstanding. Bumped into a rejuvenated Marsupial fresh then charged home again in the Tamworth Cup. The 1400m on his home track is right up his alley and so long as they can run on from the back he’s going to take plenty of holding out.
Dangers: The two main dangers were emergencies and they've been scratched. Next best is 2. Anecdote who has improved with each run this time in and might be now close to a win if things go his way. No match for Cradle Mountain at Randwick last time but stayed on well and has each-way claims. 14. My Tagoson gets back in his races but has a big finish and he should be included too. 15. Try 'N' Run A Muck chased a tearaway leader at Armidale last start and was far from disgraced beaten less than a length in fifth place. Drawn well and will be prominent here, probably more depth than he's used to but an each-way hope.
How to play it: After All That E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
After All That charges into second place in the Tamworth Cup on April 29