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Country Championships Tips: Scone Qualifier (Sunday)

Tips from Brad Gray

All your tips, form and analysis for Sunday’s Scone Country Championships Qualifier (transferred from Muswellbrook).

Winner: 6. Sassaby ($15) Sassaby hasn’t had much luck in his two starts this time in. Rachel Murray never really had the chance to find top gear on him in the original Scone Qualifier but he still kept darting through the middle of the pack to run fifth. When you consider All Summer Long, who although made a sustained run from the rear, only finished marginally in front of Sassaby the price discrepancy seems too large. He is $15 while All Summer Long is a firm favourite at $4. The drop back from 1400m to 1300m isn’t ideal for Sassaby but given the track will again be in the heavy range, he’ll still get his chance.

What the trainer says (Greg Bennett): “I was very impressed with Sassaby’s efforts in the Scone heat. Once he realised he could handle the soft going he was great. He pulled up perfectly after the run.”

Scone Qualifier (also featuring All Summer Long and Art D’Amour)

Related article Bennett Pins Hopes On Wildcard

Quinella: 8. All Summer Long ($4) It’s fair to say that the barrier beat him in the Scone Qualifier. He was jagged back to last from the draw and worked home to be beaten just 0.1L. And that saw him run third! He has drawn slightly better here which should at least ensure he is in front of a couple. The wet track holds no fears and he has won stepping back in trip in the past (1400m back to 1100m off a four week break). He was of course scratched from the Country Championships Final last year when hard in the market behind stablemate and eventual winner Clearly Innocent. Tipping a fairytale Greg Bennett quinella as his training career draws to a close.

What the trainer says (Greg Bennett): “He was very unlucky to miss out in that photo finish. He can do varied distances so I am not too worried about that.”

All Summer Long winning last preparation back in trip

Trifecta: 9. Art D’Amour ($6) Convinced this four-year-old is up to winning a race in town. He was beaten for the first time in his five start career in the Scone Qualifier but hardly disgraced. The form guide reads 10th but he was only beaten 2.4L and the step back in distance suits him perhaps the best of any runner in the field. Cody Morgan made no secret of the fact that he was worried about the 1400m at this stage of his career. The heavy track doesn’t look to suit however he is too classy a galloper to completely discount. He has been back to the trials since and went very nicely in winning his heat (albeit on a good track).

What the trainer says (Cody Morgan): “There’s no doubt he has a touch of class which will carry him a long way.”

Art D’Amour’s impressive Tamworth barrier trial

Related article Cody Paints A Picture Of Two Top Prospects

Roughie: 9. Pelerin ($13) The second of Cody Morgan’s runners brings a completely different form line to the three above who all come out of the strong Scone Qualifier. The Tamworth-based trainer has been extremely patient with this five-year-old throughout his stop-start career but he definitely boasts his fair share of ability. He hammered the line off a near year-long break at Scone over 900m before flattening out a touch over 1200m at Tamworth but he still kept finding the line. He could be looking for 1400m now third-up but the wet track might play into his hands regrading this. He is unknown on anything worse than Good. If he handles the ground, expect him to be charging at them late.

What the trainer says (Cody Morgan): “He ran third on Tuesday (Tamworth) at just his second start in 12 months and he will improve greatly. Don’t be surprised if he runs a huge race in the Wild Card.”

Pelerin’s closing last start third

*All prices courtesy of TAB and are correct as of 9am Friday on 24 March.

Tipping results:

Grafton Perfect Dare $2.10 (1st) Sunny Fame $11 (13th) My Cousin Bossy $13 (7th) Roughie: Foxy Walk $71 (5th)

Goulburn Ruthless Agent $6 (4th) Pumpkin Pie $2.50 (1st) Shutter Bug $8 (6th) Roughie: Steel Frost $17 (2nd)

Dubbo La La Loopsy $2.50 (2nd) Eagles Dare $17 (6th) A Magic Zariz $7 (8th) Roughie: Coming In Hot $11 (10th)

Taree Cogliere $6 (1st) Ever So Natural $4.20 (3rd) Shotgun Roulette $7 (2nd) Roughie: Dubai Sights $11 (6th)

Scone Art D'Amour $6 (10th) All Summer Long $4.60 (3rd) Caerless Choice $6 (1st) Roughie: Sassaby $15 (6th)

Wellington Galaxy Warrior $4 (2nd) Absolute Ripper $6.50 (12th) Distinctive Look $6.50 (1st) Great Choice $9 (scratched)

Albury Levee Bank $6 (7th) Challenge Accepted $4.20 (3rd) Forever Newyork $6 (2nd) Ruark $11 (4th)

All the fields, form and replays for Sunday's Muswellbrook Championship meeting

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