Tips by Mark Brassel
Hawkesbury Race Club steps up to the plate with their fabulous stand-alone Saturday meeting featuring the $200,000 Group 3 Livamol Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) and the $200,000 Gr 3 Blacktown Workers Club Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m). The track is rated Good (4) with the rail in the normal position and the first event at 11:55am. If you're searching for winners, look no further ...
|Race 1 - 11:55AM RICHMOND CLUB PROVINCIAL STAYER'S BENCHMARK 84 HANDICAP (2100M)|
Eerised (9) is only lightly-raced with eight starts behind him and did enough last start to suggest he has claims in this, especially at $17 on TAB fixed odds. Worked to the line nicely when 4th to Mongolian Wolf in the Group 3 Packer Plate at Royal Randwick (2000m) and being trained on the course, we're giving him great each-way prospects.
Danger: The in-form Lookin' At You (5) - $3 has won his last two starts and his latest win on this track was full of merit so should prove hard to beat. Import Great Glen (6) - $4.40 has had two runs down south and should strip fitter.
How to play it: Good value in boxing the trifecta - 9/5/6/2/10.
Eerised finishes gamely in Group company
|Race 2 - 12:30PM TAB CLARENDON STAKES (1300M)|
Hard to go past topweight Serena Bay (1) - $1.80 who is dropping back from Group 2 company during The Championships. Kicked away at the top of the rise and only claimed inside the 100m when 3rd to Shoals and Formality in the Percy Sykes Stakes at Royal Randwick. That's good enough form to be winning this.
Danger: If there is one, So Bizarre - $10 has only had the one start and did it tough racing wide throughout in heavy conditions at Warwick Farm and only knocked up in the last 100m. Should be improved but could lack the class of the favourite.
How to play it: Serena Bay straight out, maybe take the quinella with So Bizarre.
Serena Bay holds her own in stakes company
|Race 3 - 1:05PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1100M)|
Lightly-raced galloper Ruthless Agent (2) - $4.40 has plenty of ability with three wins from six starts. Looked the winner at the 250m but found the bottomless heavy track too much when 3rd to Mr Spin at Randwick (1600m) in February. Has been freshened since and will relish the return to a dry surface here.
Danger: Don't Doubt Her (8) - $5 has not been since since last December when heavily backed ($6 into $4.80) in a TAB Highway at Randwick. Trainer doesn't often bring them to these types of races unless they have strong prospects. Still Undaunted (7) - $17 didn't handle the ground at Randwick last start and deserves recognition at the odds.
How to play it: Box the tri - 2/8/7/6/3.
Ruthless Agent runs a bottler at Randwick
|Race 4 - 1:40PM HAWKESBURY XXXX GOLD RUSH (1100M)|
Pretty keen on Old North (9) at the $12 on TAB fixed odds. Has not raced since last September but is a Group 2 winner and his latest trial was excellent, rattling home for 2nd under a throttle hold behind stablemate Grunderzeit (8) - $8.50. Expect a huge run fresh. Clearly Innocent (3) - $6.50 is all class and is resuming after a solid Wyong trial win. Fresh for a new stable, don't let him under your guard.
Dangers: It's $5 the field so luck in running will play a huge part in determining the winner.
How to play it: Box the quinella - 9/8/3/7. Old North powers home to win the Tulloch Stakes
|Race 5 - BLAKES MARINE BENCHMARK 85 HANDICAP (1300M)|
This event is as wide open as Sydney Heads with the favourite at $5.50. Two starts back Voilier (12) - $15 was a close 3rd to Be Like Dad & Roaring to Win at Rosehill, with the second horse since winning at Randwick. Last start failed in the heavy conditions and with a much firmer track at Hawkesbury, expect a sharp improvement from this fellow with just 53.5kg after the claim for Andrew Adkins.
Dangers: Astara (6) - $6 is a former Kiwi filly whose two barrier trials have been very good so expect a forward showing fresh. Lanciato (8) - $7.50 has not appeared since winning at Rosehill in February and is another to have trialed nicely.
How to play it: Box the quinella - 12/6/8/1.
Voilier goes down fighting at Rosehill
|Race 6 - 2:55PM 2017 GODOLPHIN CROWN (1300M)|
Artistry (2) - $7.50 into $4 is as honest as they come and has been well found in the TAB fixed odds market. After winning first-up at Rosehill (1100m) she then finished gamely for 3rd to Secret Agenda in a Group 2 race during The Championships at Randwick. Nicely placed here and the firmer surface will prove advantageous.
Dangers: Another consistent mare Daysee Doom (8) - $5 never runs a bad race and is in this up to her ears. Shillelagh (10) - $14 has plenty of ability and was placed in a Group 3 race (behind Artistry) at Flemington last November.
How to play it: Box the tri - 2/8/10/7.
Artistry finishes rapidly to score at Rosehill
|Race 7 - 3:35PM BLACKTOWN WORKERS CLUB HAWKESBURY GUINEAS (1400M)|
Going with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Calanda (5) - $5, a gelding packed with loads of promise. Flew home to score at Randwick in December then resumed with an impressive win at Canterbury after being trapped wide throughout. Showed class to pick himself up off the canvas after looking in trouble at the 200m and expect him to improve further here.
Danger: The favourite Spright (4) - $4.40 is smart but has only raced over the 1400m once and finished out of a place.
How to play it: Take the quinella Calanda (5) stand-out and throw in three at value with 9/12/14.
Calanda sits wide throughout and still wins at Canterbury
|Race 8 - 4:15PM LIVAMOL HAWKESBURY GOLD CUP (1600M)|
Talented import Havana Cooler (3) - $13 took out the Doncaster Prelude at Rosehill (1500m) first-up last campaign and we're backing he goes close to repeating the dose here with blinkers on the first time from a lovely gate (no.4). Let's chance the arm at the nice each-way odds.
Dangers: Stablemate Spectroscope (6) - $7 won two straight at Rosehill in March before unplaced in the Doncaster Mile. Much better suited here and look for an improved showing. Fabrizio (5) - $7 has won 7 of 13 starts and his flop on the heavy track at Randwick first-up can be overlooked, especially as he'll launch from the inside gate.
How to play it: Box the trifecta - 3/6/5/8/14.
Havana Cooler flies home to win at Rosehill
|Race 9 - 4:50PM ALL STATE SHOPFITTING BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (1500M)|
Ziganui (3) - $8.50 is an ultra-consistent galloper with 4 wins and 5 placings from his 11 outings. He was runner-up to Maryore in a Provincial Championships Qualifier at Goulburn before finishing 3rd to that mare in the Final at Randwick. "She'll be apples" alright with the 'ace' Hugh Bowman aboard who will park the four-year-old in a nice spot, ready to pounce.
Dangers: Broadside (2) - $7.50 will derive benefit from his first-up effort, with Beretta (1) - $7 and So Willie (5) - $14 last start winners who demand respect.
How to play it: Back Ziganui to win with a stand-out quinella 3 from 2/1/5/15.
Ziganui runs home solidly in the Country Championships Final