By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Scone on Friday.
The rail is in the True and the track currently in the Soft range, with light showers forecast for Friday.
|Race 1 - 12:20PM CRESSFIELD STUD & HORSEPOWER MAIDEN HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
2. Ice Shelf has trialled four times ahead of his debut and looked a touch better every time he has stepped out. Looks ready now to make a winning debut. The Redoute’s Choice gelding has showed natural speed in all of them so expect Kerrin McEvoy to have the three-year-old on top of the speed, if not leading, certainly in the first four. Kris Lees looks to have a professional galloper on his hands which will take him a long way. The blinkers are on too. As is the case with all debutants, would like to see some market support.
Dangers: Gerald Ryan’s two-year-old 4. King’s Champ ran in the G3 Breeders’ Plate and G3 Pago Pago at his first two outings. He was outclassed. Last start he went around at Muswellbrook and rattled to the line after the tearaway leader Bengalla Bay clung on to victory. That horse has since won again, and convincingly. 9. Tamlika got chopped out for runs on several occasions on debut at Armidale. It was a big effort for her to keep dusting herself off and hit the line in the manner she did. 10. Costanzia looked sharp in a Randwick trial win for Maher and Eustace, back from a layoff. She was originally trained by Waterhouse and Bott.
How to play it: Ice Shelf WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Ice Shelf’s latest trial at Newcastle – April 17
|Race 2 - 12:55PM KIA ORA STUD MAIDEN PLATE (1300 METRES)|
All was clearly not right with 4. England the last time we saw him. He was rolled at odds on in a four horse race at Rosehill, running last. That saw him spend half a year on the sidelines. The three-year-old had shown promise prior to that, finding the line in limited room at Canterbury on debut behind Golden Tycoon before just missing to Nicco Lad, again at Canterbury. Chris Waller scratched him from Wednesday for this softer assignment and although he won’t be screwed down, his class should see him put these away before working through the grades. He was beaten a long way in his Randwick trial, and he only had the one, but liked how he motored to the line under a tight grip.
Dangers: The stablemate 12. Tawaret, at double figure odds, looks some threat of knocking off the favourite. The I Am Invincible filly was okay when fourth last start at Warwick Farm in a much deeper race than this while first up she was touched off by Glamour Cat, who was subsequently not far away from Reelem In Ruby at Warwick Farm. Godolphin filly 8. Chantresse will roll along and make her own luck in front. She split Got Your Six and Romantic Whisper on debut at Newcastle before running second to Merlinite. She looked to get her chance last start but the winner looks a talent.
How to play it: England WIN ($1.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
England’s Randwick trial – April 26
|Race 3 - 1:30PM INGLIS 2YO CHALLENGE (1100 METRES)|
5. Outta Reach has plenty of depth behind her form. The filly with Goulburn-based trainer Kurt Goldman has been seen three times. On debut she chased home subsequent Group Three winner Stronger at Kembla Grange before splitting Aecee Vinco and Girls Are Ready at Canberra, with the latter going on to win two consecutive city races. The last time we saw the daughter of Your Song she didn’t offer much but it was in the Inglis Nursery behind Accession and Starsbourg. This is the easiest race she has ever contested. It’s a pretty compelling case so have to lean her way at the early odds on offer.
Dangers: 2. New York Nick ran fourth at Newcastle on debut over 900m in what should be a reasonably deep maiden over the 900m scamper. Devachan won the race, bringing city form, while Vaporizing was brave in second. The son of Nicconi worked to the line like 1100m would suit now. He has snuck under the radar at the big price. Hard to knock 4. Longbottom given she is two from two, but she certainly looks short enough at the odds on quote coming off SPs of $21 and $4.80. Was scratched from Saturday due to the good draw here.
How to play it: Outta Reach EACH WAY ($8 TAB Fixed Odds) and BOX QUINELLA 2,4,5
Outta Reach at Canberra at her second start
|Race 4 - 2:05PM PRYDE'S EASIFEED CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
2. Zouologist had to cart the field up to tearaway leader Plenty at Warwick Farm last start and thought he was brave to finish second. The Zoustar gelding was a dominant winner at Warwick Farm prior to that, breaking his maiden after being around the mark in his first campaign. The three-year-old has clearly come back much stronger. Glyn Schofield will roll forward from the draw, as is his established racing style, and he is going to take running down. He is untried at the mile, out from 1300m last start, but he is a half to Black On Gold and peaks here third up. He is the runner with the runs on the board so surprised he isn’t favourite.
Dangers: The Chris Waller-trained stablemate 10. Austria found the line nicely on her Australian debut behind High Shine. Outside of the winner though, the race doesn’t look strong. The import looks suited out to the mile now and Kerrin McEvoy sticks with the four-year-old mare. She has huge upside no doubt but is very short given the unknowns around her. 1. Occupy is another import that did enough first up over 1400m, but at Newcastle. That was behind Je Suis Tycoon, a subsequent placegetter in a Highway Handicap. That’s a step below the form some of his rivals offer but is another with upside. John Sargent’s gelding 9. Think It Over charged to the line at Hawkesbury last start and will love the big Scone track.
How to play it: Zouologist WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Zouologist fighting on last start at Warwick Farm
|Race 5 - 2:40PM NEWGATE FARM & DARACON GROUP CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
12. Polhampton wasn’t far away at Warwick Farm first up finishing fourth to Invictus Salute but was beaten less than a length at the finish. It was a leader dominated event where Ronstar ran second and that horse has since won in town himself. Trainer Noel Mayfield-Smith has kept the filly fresh since then and given she stays at 1100m, that suits. The three-year-old looked in good order in a tickover trial at Hawkesbury. Her form last campaign reads well for this and it’s the easiest race, class wise, she has contested since breaking her maiden back in November. Jay Ford will have options from the low draw.
Dangers: Snitzel filly 8. Zelrosa was better than the form guide reads at Gosford as the field finished where they settled in running. The tempo will be much truer in this and she gets her chance to bounce back. One run from 1. A Million Dreams jumps off the page when assessing his chances and that was beating Knowitall Jack and Lonely Heart on the Kensington track. Is versatile enough to find cover and still be competitive. 7. Buckin’ Beauty gave a sight at Scone last start and the winner there has since gone on with it. Be sure to include 2. Phaistos and 13. Gimme Shelter in exotics.
How to play it: Polhampton WIN ($12 TAB Fixed Odds) and BOXED TRIFECTA 12,8,1,7,2,13
Polhampton at Warwick Farm first up
|Race 6 - 3:20PM TURANGGA FARM CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
5. High Shine camped in behind a fast speed at Warwick Farm on her Australian debut and got a dream run through but she put her rivals away without raising a sweat. The form out of the race hasn’t been strong, quite the opposite, but it was the win of a mare destined for much bigger and better things. Her three NZ runs prior to that suggested she was a talent. In her maiden win she towelled up handy staying three-year-old Imelda Mary, winning by near eight lengths. It’s no surprise to see James McDonald stick with her. She stays at 1300m second up but is a month between runs so that should offset that concern.
Dangers:1. Nicco Lad is another runner that brings city form, running third behind Echo Jet and Reelem In Ruby last time out at a $5 SP. That’s strong for this. He’s a big threat. 9. Sakura is hard in the market off two straight wins but she hasn’t beaten much outside of Echo Gem, who was a sitting shot first up with plenty of weight. Handy filly but looks too well found.
How to play it: High Shine WIN ($3 TAB Fixed Odds) and SAVE Nicco Lad ($4.60)
High Shine dashing clear at Warwick Farm
|Race 7 - 4:00PM DARLEY SCONE CUP (1600 METRES)|
7. Take It Intern was great first up at Randwick, which was his first start for Kris Lees. The five-year-old sat in behind a slow speed in what turned out to be a sprint home. That didn’t suit him over 1400m but he clicked through his gears, doing his best work the last 200m, running 11.26s (Punters Intelligence), bettered only by 11. Salsonic, a big chance in this race himself at the odds. Take It Intern won brilliantly second up in his first Australian campaign, when trained by Darren Weir, out to 1700m, so expect significant improvement here at Scone off what he produced first up and that’s enough for him to be winning this. James McDonald said after his first up run that he gives him the feel of a Group One animal. Kerrin McEvoy takes over now (McDonald can’t ride 53kg) but you don’t lose anything there. The wide draw isn’t ideal but wouldn’t be surprised to see McEvoy drive him out aggressively to park outside of 6. Special Missile given the lack of speed engaged.
Dangers: Special Missile got a very soft time in front last time out and nearly pinched the race only for Mahalangur to nab him late. He is close to another win and looks to get control again. 4. Fierce Impact worked to the line nicely in the G1 All Aged Stakes behind Pierata last start, with a last 600m of 33.39s only bettered by two other runners (Punters Intelligence). The Japanese import is ticking over well, but did show last preparation that he is probably at his best out to 2000m. Can settle closer from the inside draw which aids his claims. The same can’t be said for Salsonic. His strike rate is poor but convinced he has returned in career best form. The lack of pace is a concern but he is going too well to discount. 3. Ducas Valentinois always runs well at Scone.
How to play it: Take It Intern WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds)
Take It Intern at Randwick first up
|Race 8 - 4:40PM TRAPEZE ARTIST @ WIDDEN STUD NOEL LECKIE COUNTRY CUP - BENCHMARK 84 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Another wide open affair so prepared to gamble on 9. Tim’s Principal at what looks to be generous odds. Despite being a half-brother to one of the better wet trackers we’ve seen in recent years, Avoid Lightning, this fella doesn’t like it all. Pen his run in the Country Championships Final and his form either side is appealing for this. He ran second to The Lion at Newcastle and then second to Unbiased at Tamworth, qualifying him for The Championships. Last start he raced a touch out of his grade at Hawkesbury but his closing splits were second to only the dominant winner Signore Fox, with Punters Intelligence revealing a last 600m of 33.32s.
Dangers: 6. Lucciola Bella has been kept fresh for this after running second to Noble Boy in the Country Championships Final. That suits her. The mare possesses a lethal turn of foot when she’s on. 18. Blinkin Fast has claims on his home track. His rivals dropped him at the top of the straight at Armidale last start but like how he worked to the line. The 1400m is his right trip, despite his record suggesting otherwise. 12. Valree is always a chance at this level while 10. Editors and 11. Go The Gantry are in purple patches of form and must be respected.
How to play it: Tim’s Principal EACH WAY ($26 TAB Fixed Odds)
Tim’s Principal at Hawkesbury last start