By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Thursday’s meeting at Hawkesbury. Selections based on a soft to heavy track.
|Race 1 – 1:15PM SCHWEPPES PLATE (1300 METRES)|
5. Merlinite is very easy to like first-up since chasing home the smart Scarlet Dream back in November. Even more encouraging is her impressive trial win on a soft track a couple of weeks ago. If she runs up to her last start and her trial she should win.
Dangers: 1. Banteux hasn’t raced since August where he produced his best effort in three starts to date at Canterbury. No public trials so be guided by the market. He’s the one looking most dangerous. 6. Recording To Win ran up to win over this trip at Scone when resuming but was outgunned late. Two wet track runs have been fair but she’s in her second prep now and might be stronger. Keep in mind. 4. Flight Zone seemed to have her chance when breaking into the placings for the first time at Bathurst on March 17, she'd have to improve to win this but could place.
How to play it: Merlinite WIN ($2.10 TAB Fixed Odds).
Merlinite wins a trial at Randwick on March 14
|Race 2 - 1:50PM TAB STAND ALONE SATURDAY HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
5. China Gale is ready to win third-up after two nice efforts including chasing home the promising Amangiri in a similar race last week. No match for the winner there but he was stronger than anything else on the line. Very hard to beat.
Dangers: 3. Shadow Flight started 100/1 but really attacked the line late over 1400m at Warwick Farm two weeks ago and there’s less depth in this event. Third-up and out to his preferred trip he’s one of the major chances. 2. Redemption Road carried 61kg to win here two starts back then struck a heavy track for the first time and battled on okay in a stronger race here last week. Well worth another chance. 1. Brother In Arms has largely been racing in better company of late with mixed results. Some hope here on his fourth at Canterbury two starts ago but will want an improving track.
How to play it: China Gale WIN ($2.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
China Gale runs second to Amangiri at Hawkesbury on March 20
|Race 3 – 2.25PM HAWKESBURY GAZETTE HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
2. Omar was outclassed in a Listed race before a spell but did show ability with two wins prior to that. Trial winner at the start of the month, query on a very wet track but it's improving so he goes close if he gets through it.
Dangers: 3. Yulong Wain led and was run down at Goulburn a few weeks ago and is yet to prove himself in the wet. That aside when he’s raced in the right class he’s been competitive so don’t overlook. 5. Buckin’ Beauty started huge odds but didn’t disgrace in the Wyong Magic Millions race back in December. Rarely far away and is capable of a placing. 4. Captain Courageous placed on a soft track at his only wet track attempt and is racing consistently. In a small field he has to be a chance.
How to play it: Omar WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Omar wins a Rosehill trial on March 1
|Race 4 – 3.05PM POLYTRACK HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
1. Chilled Rose has her chance to break the maiden status this time. No luck two starts ago at Gosford when wide all the way then bumped into a pretty strong maiden at Warwick Farm two weeks ago and stayed on okay for fourth. Everything made to order for her here.
Dangers: 4. Dubai Harbour disappointed on debut a year ago but given plenty of time and he’s looked good winning two trials at Randwick leading into this. Back as a gelding, expect he’ll ne up on the speed and has to be respected. 7. Impurity made it six career seconds in 15 starts and might have been a bit stiff not to break through when runner-up here two weeks ago. No worries on a wet track, it’s just a matter of the planets aligning for her. 5. Able Fun is a bit of a mystery first-up since October without a trial but his lone placing to date came on a heavy track, so if there’s support for him it could be significant.
How to play it: Chilled Rose WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Chilled Rose runs fourth at Warwick Farm on March 13
|Race 5 – 3.40PM BIDFOOD PROV & COUNTRY HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
4. Silk Touch is well worth another chance after having excuses on debut where she raced wide and copped a bump on the turn. Beaten a bit over three lengths and had trialled well prior. Extra distance is a big plus and she’s a likely improver.
Dangers: 1. Don’t Judge Me has been thereabouts in three runs this time in and wouldn’t have to improve a lot on his last start second at Newcastle to be in the finish. Not conclusively proven in the wet but worth the risk. 3. Niccirose will be fitter for a first-up fourth at Bathurst though he did lead there and knocked up. Open to improvement in a winnable race. 6. Shadow Ace had some support on debut at this track and beat just the one home. Was trialling well going into that so might pay to forgive.
How to play it: Silk Touch E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Silk Touch’s debut at Hawkesbury on March 11
|Race 6 - 4:20PM SKY RACING PLATE (1500 METRES)|
Tactics changes might be significant here with 7. Achondrite who was run down by Mizzy after leading on debut on a soft track then went back and didn’t make any significant ground behind Fasika on a good track. Up in distance and if she leads she’ll take catching.
Dangers: 9. Ivira was only a couple of lengths behind Achondrite in the Mizzy race and latest effort she ran on well from last at Kembla on a heavy track. Racing well enough to see her in the finish somewhere. 5. Taj contested the same race as Ivira at Kembla and was an even fifth without being eye-catching. Shown enough to suggest he can improve here. 2. Aurman Zou was never in the hunt resuming behind Green Aeon but his two wet track runs have been his best so there’s a fair chance he can lift sharply on what we saw first-up.
How to play it: Achondrite WIN ($2.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Achondrite runs second to Mizzy on debut at Canterbury on February 22
|Race 7 - 4:55PM IRRESISTIBLE POOLS AND SPAS PLATE (2000 METRES)|
14. King Of Seas has a win in him soon and he should appreciate getting out to 2000m. Found himself way too far back at Newcastle last time but hit the line well into second. Hasn’t seen a wet track yet aside from a soft 5 but assuming he handles it he’s hard to beat.
Dangers: 12. House Of Cartier comes right back in class after running sixth in the Group 3 Kembla Grange Classic where she led but was no match for the better class fillies. Not as strong late as you’d like to see but much easier here and was G2 placed in NZ on a wet track. Has to be respected. 2. Brilliant Mind led all the way to break through over 2100m here fourth-up and will be up there for a long way in this too. Only had two soft track runs and both on a 5 so that’s the query. 13. Loveseat arrived just in time to score at Kembla over a mile and she's bred to handle the extra distance so can't be left out.
How to play it: King Of Seas E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
King Of Seas runs second at Newcastle on March 9
|Race 8 - 5:35PM PROTEXIN HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
2. Dunatun is racing consistently without winning of late and with an improving track might have a good chance to score this time. Sent out favourite in a similar race here last start and charged late after getting back to last. With the right run he should go close.
Dangers: 12. Foxdown was three months between runs when running on evenly for fourth at Bathurst and will be much better for it. Placed here two starts ago and is okay in the wet so a good each-way hope. 3. Cloak was a beaten favourite over this course second-up but has the blinkers on and the claim so he’s entitled to another chance. 11. Bonanova's Dream looked good winning a maiden here a couple of weeks ago and an improving track is in her favour. Each-way.
How to play it: Dunatun WIN ($3.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Dunatun runs into fourth at Hawkesbury on March 11