By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s meeting at Hawkesbury. Warm conditions expected and a good track with the rail in the true position.
|Race 1 – 1:35PM LIVAMOL MILE HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
Each of the six probably has a case that they can win so if you like something don’t let me talk you of it. Came back to 1. Cyrus Rocks who does have a few convictions but he returned in excellent order at Kembla earlier this month to be just run down in the last 100m by Amanito who was very well backed. He’s giving away weight but fitter second-up and might just get control either in the lead or outside it. Well placed and won’t have a better chance to break through at provincial level.
Danger: 4. Open Road is a lightly raced three-year-old who attacked the line to win his maiden at Canberra at just his second start. Proven at the trip and no reason he couldn’t go on with it. 5. Vigorish finished ahead of Sacred Edge in a 1200m event at Canberra and improved to take out a 1425m maiden at Moruya. Found form on good tracks and could also make the step up. 3. Mozart's Work was placed in the same race as Cyrus Rocks first-up then sound again at Kembla on January 13. Small field so can't be discounted.
How to play it: Cyrus Rocks WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Cyrus Rocks resumed with a game second at Kembla Grange on January 3
|Race 2 - 2:15PM BOB & JULIE CARROLL 40th ANNIVERSARY HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
I’m always nervous about tipping last start maiden winners but two of the top three chances are coming off impressive maiden wins and are hard to ignore. So impressive was 3. Kathaire at Wyong it’d be a surprise if she’s not right in the finish again. She’d been placed in her three previous runs this time in, including two at this track, before she made a real mess of her rivals winning by over five lengths. (Punters Intel: her 35.15 last 600m more than a second faster than any other in the race). An extra 100m won’t worry her, she was being eased on the line last start, and I think it’s a matter of where she gets to in the run and if gate one is a plus. Regardless happy to say she’s the horse to beat.
Dangers: 1. The Patrician sat three wide throughout and was still far too strong in his first win at Kembla earlier this month. He’s a versatile type who can be handy or settle off them and he puts in every start. Read what trainer Robert Pearse says here. 2. Commanding Witness has trialled up quite well and did start favourite at Randwick before a spell behind a couple of smart colts. Maiden winner at 1000m at this track at his second start and interesting to see him kick off at the longer trip. Keep in mind. 4. Brunch led all the way to win at Kembla back in early December and last time out wasn’t quite up to it when third at Canterbury in a small field. The runner-up from that race has since won in town. She could feature without surprising.
How to play it: Kathaire E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Kathaire’s very easy maiden win at Wyong on January 6
|Race 3 - 2:50PM RICHMOND CLUB PLATE (1100 METRES)|
A yard and market watch closer to the race is advised but prepared to punt on 8. Tarabai on debut. She’s taken a bit of time to make it to the track but her trials have always been handy and in her latest she raced on the speed before being restrained then worked home again to be narrowly beaten. I can’t see her being further back than third or fourth in the run and so long as she’s solid in the market I’d expect her to go close in this field.
Dangers: 2. Angel’s Boy has placed in two maidens containing some handy young horses and been relatively safely held on both occasions. Started $1.40 at Newcastle before a spell and had every chance. Two trials back and he found the post in good style late in his second. First run as a gelding, blinkers on so if he doesn’t fire here he’d be hard to back going forward. Logical threat. 3. Thirty Knots was a little wayward after leading on debut at Gosford and weakened late to run fifth. Fitter and you’d expect him to go forward with the claim and gate one. Possible improver. 7. Lamplight Lili wasn’t asked for anything too serious in her latest trials so I’m not worrying too much about the margin. Given her trials haven’t been as obvious she’s one to keep an eye on closer to the race and look for some support.
How to play it: Tarabai WIN ($3.30 TAB Fixed Odds); Quinella with Angel’s Boy.
Tarabai runs a close second in a Rosehill trial on January 8
|Race 4 - 3:25PM EASY LANE PROV & CTRY MAIDEN (1100 METRES)|
Found this to easily be the toughest race on the card. That said, surely this is the right race for 2. Fifth Affair to finally chalk up a maiden win. She been placed in five of her 11 starts including all three at her home track. Ignoring her last start when she was unsuited in a stronger Canterbury maiden and one that was slowly run. She contested a good form race at Hawkesbury prior to that when resuming and if she repeats that performance it would be good enough to win here. It’s just the 11-start maiden fact that makes you a bit gun shy.
Dangers: 1. Dragon’s Flyer is also locally trained and on debut on the back on two trials in the past month or so. They haven’t been bad efforts, the latest on the synthetic at Warwick Farm, and with everything in his favour it wouldn’t shock to see him be competitive. Check the betting. 7. Bell Serenade had some support first-up at Taree and boxed on fairly into fifth place. She has been disappointing but should be up on the pace here and has each-way claims. 8. Katy’s In Charge was hard in the market on debut at Queanbeyan back in September and was always well back. Given a bit of time and she did hit the line reasonably well in a trial at Nowra recently so she could show a lot more this time around.
How to play it: Fifth Affair WIN ($1.90 TAB Fixed Odds) if you’re game.
Fifth Affair runs a close second when resuming at Hawkesbury in December
|Race 5 - 4:05PM HAWKESBURY GAZETTE & COURIER HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
Completely forget 4. Bella Vella went around at Randwick last time out, she was way out of her league and it probably wasn’t a bad effort to finish six lengths from Sasso Corbaro who would start hard in the market in the Magic Millions at her next start. She led and romped in over this course first-up from a break in what appears a similar sort of race. Appears to be the leader here also and is sure to give them plenty to catch.
Dangers: 6. Star Aspiration has only won the one race but she’s a consistent mare and it’s best to overlook her unplaced effort at Moruya last time. Prior to that she’d placed in a couple of Highways and was runner-up at Muswellbrook. Generally an on pacer and will likely be handy to the speed. Go well. 1. Postmaster General bumped into a handy type when resuming last time in but was a shade disappointing in two subsequent attempts. Fresh again off two trials and the latest he wasn’t pushed about in a blanket finish for third. Worth including him in the chances. 2. Florid was out of his debut last start at Randwick and this is a much more suitable assignment. Placed in all three starts here including first-up behind Sasso Corbaro. Blinkers go on so he has his chance to improve.
How to play it: Bella Vella WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds).
Bella Vella leads all the way to win at Hawkesbury first-up in December
|Race 6 - 4:45PM ABAX CONTRACTING METRO & PROV MAIDEN (1500 METRES)|
It was hard to miss the debut performance of 2. Kathmandu who settled well back off a wide gate at Kembla Grange and attacked the line very hard behind The Patrician (Punters Intel last 600m in race best 33.71/last 200m in 11.06). He goes to 1500m and has drawn much more favourably so settling a lot closer should be on the cards. I note he was a $19 chance on debut so he does need to prove it wasn’t misleading but on face value he looks the one to beat.
Dangers: 12. Stella Victoria is bursting to win a race and I’m wary that I did tip her at Warwick Farm last week when she ran third in a BM71 for the fillies. Back to a provincial maiden with blinkers on but the wide gate scares me a bit with her. It’s interesting Adam Hyeronimus is the rider here though so that could signal she goes forward. Logical threat and no surprise if she breaks through. 11. Lake Hayes made a handy enough debut at Wyong where she made ground without threatening the first two and without being able to be fully tested. Fitter for that and if there’s improvement to come she’s right in the mix. 9. Attracted also comes through the Wyong race where she finished fourth after appearing to have every chance. The blinkers go on for this race so she could be open to some improvement as well.
How to play it: Kathmandu E/W ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Kathmandu’s eye-catching debut third at Kembla Grange – January 3
|Race 7 - 5:20PM RAAF BASE RICHMOND HANDICAP (1800 METRES)|
Anyone’s race to wrap up the day. I thought a class drop and distance increase were in favour of 2. Vain Elaine who has been taking on solid city company in three runs this time in. She wasn’t disgraced second-up behind Jaunty at Canterbury then unsuited back in trip behind Sugar Bella at Randwick. Much less depth for her here and if she’s going well enough this time in she’s entitled to go close.
Dangers: 5. My Friend Charlie was a bit one paced when he resumed with an even fourth over a mile at Gosford but is sure to be fitter for the run. He also has the blinkers first time and note he won at 2000m second-up last time in. Could take running down. 8. Stradazzle was outclassed at Listed level last time out but nothing wrong with his two previous wins at Kembla and this track. Has every opportunity to be competitive. 9. Letter To Juiette ran well here first-up at 1400m then had her chance but not disgraced at Randwick. Barrier's a little sticky but is in the mix.
How to play it: Vain Elaine E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Vain Elaine at her best winning the Nowra Cup back in May