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Kembla Grange Winners - Tips For The Gong Day

By Brad Gray

Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for The Gong Day at Kembla Grange.

The rail is in the True and the form has been done for a good track.

Race 1 - 1:15PM MARTY CHRISTIE AND CRAMMY i98 BREAKFAST SHOW (6AM - 9AM) 2YO HANDICAP (1000 METRES)

Only one horse here has race experience so we’re diving into the trials which sees 6. Mrs Maisel on top. She has come up favourite, and deservedly so on the strength of her two public hitouts. In the first of those she made a mess of the start, before picking herself up and driving to the line to run third behind subsequent Max Lees Classic winner Tilia Rose and a fellow rival in this 5. Found Our Thrill. Mrs Maisel jumped cleanly in her second trial, went straight to the front and extended nicely to win comfortably. Found Our Thrill was niggled along to run third there. The daughter of Hinchinbrook looked a natural on that occasion.

Dangers: The market looks to have this race well cornered with 2. Destination the obvious threat. The Godolphin colt is a half to speedy Devachan. In his second trial he went to line full of running having been momentarily held up inside the heat winner. Destination and Mrs Maisel trialled at the same set of trials with nothing between them time-wise, however Mrs Maisel’s was much slicker late (33.57s last 600m vs 33.97s). 3. Galactic Force is the two-year-old with race track experience and he wasn’t too far away in the Maribyrnong Plate, his second outing having run third at Bendigo on debut, running sixth at Flemington beaten just 2.6L.

How to play it: How to play it: Mrs Maisel WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: EVENS


Mrs Maisel winning a Randwick trial - November 12

Race 2 - 1:50PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1600 METRES)

Trevor Sutherland has 6. Two Wrongs Dont flying at the moment. The four-year-old wasn’t flash away from the barriers last start, settling at the tail but he savaged the line to run second to Hit The Target. The winner sat outside of the leader in a moderately run race. Punters Intelligence shows Two Wrongs Don’t ran his last 600m in 35.25s, 1.5 lengths quicker than the next best, and a whopping six lengths quicker than the third fastest. He sustained his sprint, being the only runner to break 12s for the last 200m. That was on the back of a four week freshen. The gelding was so impressive at Albury the start before last. Draws off the track so he’ll be at the mercy of good fortune and a suitably run race, but happy to take that gamble at the price.

Dangers: 5. Sneak Preview ran second, albeit a distant one, to Burning Crown two back at Coonabarabran when he broke the track record before winning comfortable at Orange. Unknown at the mile. 1. Peyton Place is ticking over well this campaign for Greg Stephens having formerly been trained by Kris Lees. He hasn’t been out of the money in three starts and will spear across to likely lead this field up. The timing is right for the mile. 3. Hemmerle is no stranger to Highways. He is yet to crack one but never finished further back than fourth in four attempts. Was a touch plain first up for new trainer Jamie Stewart but perhaps needed it. Respect 18. Moss The Boss if he gets a run.

How to play it: Two Wrongs Dont WIN ($7.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT

Race 3 - 2:25PM HARRIGAN MOTOR GROUP BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (2000 METRES)

There is a sense of timing about 2. Mr Reckless fourth up out to 2000m. The five-year-old grey has been kept to 1600m and 1500m in his three runs back but here he presents on the back up over a staying trip with Nash Rawiller replacing apprentice Brock Ryan. Reading between the lines, this is a target race. The import just missed to Asterius two back in what turned into a sprint home and he dashed brilliantly late. That was before flattening off last Saturday at Newcastle, racing like he wanted further. His three wins overseas came over 1700m, 2000m and 2300m. Barrier 1 should see Nash be able to hold a spot midfield or a pair worse, in a race without an abundance of speed. Time to cash in on this horse.

Dangers: 7. California Longbow got the race run to suit at Rosehill last start but was a strong winner. He is a lightly-raced stayer still on an upward spiral. 12. Eugene’s Pick never got a crack at her rivals in that same race. She is a tease and is unknown at 2000m but loves her home deck (4:1-1-2). 3. Jazzland will be rolling along in front making his own luck and has returned in very good order, beating subsequent Canterbury winner Solider Of Love last start. 10. Nordic rises in grade and trip quickly but the ex-Kiwi is a talent.

How to play it: Mr Reckless EACH WAY ($9.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT


Mr Reckless last Saturday at Newcastle

Race 4 - 3:00PM PAGES EVENT HIRE F&M BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)

If 6. Misteed returns in the same vein of form she was in last campaign, she’s very hard to beat in this. Her only failure was when she was stretched out to 1400m second up. Sure, her form suggests she is even better on wet ground but her record on Good tracks (6:0-2-0) doesn’t really do her justice. The four-year-old has always been a standout trialler and that hasn’t changed this time around, picking up her rivals on both occasions without the jockey raising a finger. She won first up last preparation in a strange race where the breaks went on in front from the 600m to the 200m and she had the sharpest turn of foot late. She ran second to Haut Brion Her three starts later before beating True Detective (who was slowly away) at Randwick. That’s an important form reference here with 7. Lucicello.

Dangers: Lucicello found a weak race to win first up, showing a superior turn of foot in clocking the fastest last 600m of the day, something she is no stranger to. She is a smart filly but this is a considerably deeper race. True Detective easily held Lucicello last preparation in the Up And Coming. Classy filly but the draw poses a few queries too. Would prefer her drawn out a touch. 8. Kylease finally finds a race where she can lead, at least until the likes of 1. Call Me Royal carve across. 13. Switched and 9. Handspun best of the rest.

How to play it: Misteed WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT


Misteed winning first up last preparation

Race 5 - 3:40PM ABAX CONTRACTING BENCHMARK 88 HANDICAP (1600 METRES)

Local hope 9. Cuban Royale didn’t get much room in the straight last start at Rosehill and should have finished much closer to Sausedge. The five-year-old is going well and maps to a perfect trail in what looks very much an opportunist race. Can't find much between a lot of the main hopes so it could be 'run of race' that decides the outcome. The question mark over his head is looking at his past cracks at the trip, is that the mile might just see him out. However, he might be that touch stronger again this campaign and this has been a target race for Robert and Luke Price.

Dangers: 3. Gresham has won or placed in 22 of his 31 starts and will likely run a hole again here. Did enough first up and his second up record is strong (4:1-1-2). 1. Testashadow hasn’t won for 720 days but is the class runner. The speed will play into the hands of race outsider 13. All But Gone. 5. Fun Fact drops sharply in grade while another local in 10. Esteem Spirit has won his last three starts at Kembla, and comfortably.

How to play it: Cuban Royale EACH WAY ($8.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT

Race 6 - 4:20PM THE GONG (1600 METRES)

2. Star Of The Seas brings the best form into the race. The reason he isn’t favourite is the indifferent run he produced in the G1 Canatala Stakes. There were no excuses in the stewards’ report. Prepared to forgive him that blemish. He did start $7 there and we are getting similar odds in The Gong. Prior to that he ran third in the G1 Epsom beaten by Kolding and Te Akau Shark (a subsequent Golden Eagle winner and a Cox Plate placegetter). His two runs before that had merit too, one of them when completely luckless in the Bill Ritchie. Glen Boss should be able to park Star Of The Seas behind the speed, ensuring the five-year-old gets his chance. If Star Of The Seas can reproduce his form from earlier in the spring, he’s the horse to beat.

Dangers: Can’t work out why 10. Goodfella is such big odds compared to 9. Noble Boy and 15. Quackerjack. There wasn’t much between them in the Goulburn Cup. Goodfella found 1300m too sharp in The Hunter last week, but was coming again on the line. His form can be patchy but his best is good enough to figure. 1. Mister Sea Wolf lumps 59kg but he is accustomed to big weights. He was outstanding in the G2 Shannon two back. Would you believe that the last time 4. El Dorado Dreaming and 6. Luvaluva won, it was at the same Randwick meeting in April 2018. It’s been a long time between drinks! 3. Nicoletta beat Luvaluva in a NZ Group One back in April. The mile suits her now.

How to play it: Star Of The Seas WIN ($7 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT


Star Of The Seas running third in the Epsom

Race 7 - 5:00PM TRAFFIC LOGISTICS BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (1000 METRES)

4. Seasons is still untapped, winning three of her six starts. She has run second in all three defeats, with a case to be made that she was stiff in all of them. The lightly-raced five-year-old has been sidelined for 11 months but the typically patient Les Bridge has suggested the break has served her well, giving her time to strengthen up. Last campaign, when presented fresh, she gave Nicci’s Gold a touch up at Rosehill before going down to Star Reflection when left a sitting shot outside of the leader. Just the one trial this time back, with an eye to keep her fresh for the 1000m. It is a trip she had never tackled before, a little query as it tends to be a specialist distance. She’ll be allowed to balance up midfield and rush home.

Dangers: The chances here stretch right down the page. 6. Broken Arrows is flying but comes back 100m. Doesn’t seem like much but 1000m and 1100m is a big difference for him. 1. Akasaki and 2. Latin Boy are both dangerous at big odds over their pet trip. 7. Ghostly flies fresh but could find a couple too sharp. 13. Brazenpine is up and running and deserves a shot is Saturday company but hasn’t found an easy race to make that transition. 9. Mossman Gorge beat Star Of The Seas first up over 1000m last time in. Reluctant to underestimate him, or ex-Victorian Tropezina for that matter having trialled so well.

How to play it: Seasons WIN ($3.20 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: EVENS


Seasons winning at Rosehill first up last preparation

Race 8 - 5:40PM POLYTRACK CG&E BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)

12. Tony’s Reward and 9. Trumbull both ran on strongly behind Stephan last start (where 1. Americana Magic ran second). Punters Intelligence shows Tony’s Reward ran a quicker last 600m (33.29s) compared to Trumbull (33.39s) and profiles like he wants the 1200m now. Bjorn Baker’s galloper was held up at the top of the straight too, before diving along the inside. The barrier means he’ll be ridden cold but there’s no way there should be the gap in price that there is. Tony’s Reward has come back in career best form, beating Cardiff and Deference in his two starts prior. He’ll need some luck from where he’ll settle, but that’s why we’re getting the big price.

Dangers: Trumbull is knocking on the door but not only can he be slowly away, he also wanted to hang in last start. He’ll win one of these shortly but they are not the traits of a horse I want to be buttering up when lumping on a favourite. 6. Poetic Charmer always trials well so not getting too carried away there, but he’ll run well again, while 5. Echo Jet had no luck first up and can improve. Americana Magic is in the mix again but will have to absorb more pressure here and is creeping up in the weights.

How to play it: Tony’s Reward EACH WAY ($11 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT


Tony’s Reward and Trumbull running on late

Race 9 - 6:15PM PARTY CENTRAL BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

13. Boomtown Rat profiles to give this race a shake at his first run for Bjorn Baker (ex-Freedman). The five-year-old trialled brilliantly at Rosehill behind Albumin recently suggesting he is going as well as ever. First up last campaign he ran third at Canterbury over 1250m, despite a chequered path in the straight. That was before running sixth beaten four lengths behind Desert Lord and Kolding. He then won at Canterbury out to 1550m. He’s always has had the ability and history suggests he sprints well fresh (3:1-0-2). This is the right set up form him too, kicking off over 1400m on a bigger track. He won’t have the speed to hold a spot from barrier 3, but it should ensure he at least settles in front of a couple of his rivals. That could be key given the lack of a designated leader.

Dangers: 7. Destiny’s Own won second up last campaign and is a very consistent and versatile galloper. He can settle anywhere but the way this race shapes, his best chance will be to settle in the first four like we saw from his first up. Trialled great prior to his resumption. Hard to beat.  3. Groundbreak is capable on his day and won fresh last time in, down the straight at Flemington. 6. Final Award is teasing without winning and suspect he wants a mile now. Monitor market moves for 4. Bobby Dee.

How to play it: Boomtown Rat WIN ($10 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: EVENS

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday’s Kembla Grange meeting featuring The Gong

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