By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and Rail True so should play on or near the speed with gradual trend late away from the fence
|Race 1 4YO & UP MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):|
Intriguing sprint for the maidens to get us under way. Warwick Farm 4YO gelding 1. Azoustic likes to settle back and sweep late so will need good speed on up front, but did his best work late behind the smart Coco Cuber resuming over this trip, and at only his second start last winter finished hard to beat all but the winner at Hawkesbury when well specked in the market. Draws well & if he's no more than three lengths off them at the turn, look out!
Dangers: Rival Warwick Farm gelding 4. Shadow Cover commenced his career with two good front-running efforts at Kembla before being swamped leading again this track and trip, but astute trainer has freshened him up, and bound to give a big sight from the draw. Rosehill 4YO mare 7. Tawaret is another who likes to settle off the speed and work home. Hit the line hard to only miss by a long head resuming at Canterbury, and one of the most experienced runners, with six placings from 14 starts; while resuming 4YO Hawkesbury mare 5. Carte Blanche is clear best of the rest.
How to play it: Azoustic to win and trifecta 1,4/1,4,5,7/1,4,5,7. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split
|Race 2 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1900m):|
Typical battle of tactics at set weights, but this looks an ideal rise in distance second-up for handy 3YO Rosehill gelding 4. Judicator who just wilted late resuming over the mile when caught in the middle of a three-horse war from the turn at Wyong. Fitter now, and gets a nice trail just off the speed.
Dangers: Despite a hefty rise in weight, 4YO Rosehill gelding 1. Brilliant Mind will appreciate dropping back to this trip and class after compounding badly at Randwick on Boxing Day. Kembla 4YO mare 6. Tochi can mix her runs, but rattled home to just miss second-up at Moruya before even through the line behind a couple of useful ones at Kembla; while Northern Hemisphere-bred Randwick gelding 2. Switching To Win has had two runs back from a spell, and can peak here from the inside draw.
How to play it: Judicator to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 3YO MAIDEN HCP (1600m):|
Few chances here but very keen on well-bred 3YO Rosehill filly 5. Miss Japan having only her second start. Went up in the air as the barriers opened on debut at the Beaumont track and missed the start critically by a few lengths, but still chased impressively and found the line okay. Obviously fitter, bred to handle longer trips, and draws to get a cosy run from the inside with the blinkers going on.
Dangers: Warwick Farm 3YO gelding 3. Lord Tropicana got home late resuming at Canberra, and gets in well after rider's 2kg claim. Rosehill 3YO and stablemate to top selection 1. Prince Of Arragon improved into his second-up run at Kembla, and should go forward from a middle gate; while 3YO Warwick Farm filly 9. Madam Firetrail will also appreciate stepping to the mile at third start.
How to play it: Miss Japan to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
Miss Japan's debut run at Newcastle on December 26
|Race 4 CLASS 2 HCP (1600m):|
Still at the mile for a more progressive field, and 4YO Rosehill mare 5. Peace Of Mind looks ready to win again third-up. Finished off late resuming in a handy Class 1 at Wyong before another solid closing run at Kembla stepping to this trip. Peaks now.
Dangers: Warwick Farm 5YO gelding 6. Doctor Manhattan has never raced better, and knuckled down late last start to miss by a nose this grade and trip at Wyong, and draws to get an ideal trail. Hawkesbury 4YO gelding 2. Black Star Bowie is at the top of his game after a dominant and overdue all-the-way win at Muswellbrook, and more than likely will push forward again from a wider barrier. Tougher here, but will be hard to catch. Expect an improved run from 5YO Randwick gelding 1. Highjacker who didn't run on when easy in betting at Kembla, but is much better than that, and draws the inside.
How to play it: Peace Of Mind to win and box exacta 2,5,6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 CLASS 1 HCP (1200m):|
Warwick Farm 3YO gelding 3. Riverside's Cash is promising, and looks well treated third-up. Sailed away for an easy win resuming at Canberra before loomed to win again this class at Mudgee. Been very well backed both times, and is the one to beat.
Dangers: Capable 4YO gelding 1. Canyonero has had a little freshen-up via a typical quiet trial, but generally gets back and easy to see why he's had 11 placings and only one win from 18 starts. If he gets a good speed to chase will be rattling into the finish. Hawkesbury 3YO colt 2. Deepfield's Raine hasn't started since charging down the middle to win on debut at big odds, despite being wayward in the straight. Missed a run since, but stable is adept at keeping their youngsters up to the market so watch for him late. Warwick Farm 4YO mare 5. Tereka has had two quiet trials, but first-up last time got home late in a stronger metro maiden.
How to play it: Riverside's Cash to win and quinella 1 and 3. Odds and Evens: Odds.
|Race 6 PROV & COUNTRY MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):|
Debutant 3YO Newcastle colt 4. Awesome Lad (I Am Invincible x Sensible Lady by Street Sense) looks well prepared off two recent trials, bolting in the latest on the Beaumont track. Blinkers are on and leading metro rider aboard.
Dangers: Improving 3YO local filly 10. Divine Approach motored home late to just miss resuming at Taree when heavily backed, but inside gate may be tricky for one who likes to settle well off the speed. Watch the market on resuming 3YO Wyong filly 12. Rocknest Angel who resumes off a steady trial, and trainer has rung the gear changes and scratched her from Scone on Tuesday to be saved for this. Keep 3YO and stablemate to top selection 5. Captain Solo safe returning as a gelding off a near year-long break. In latest trial finished behind Paavo who then came out and won at Taree on debut.
How to play it: Awesome Lad to win and quinella 4 and 10. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 7 BM 64 HCP (1100m):|
Fairly open sprint to finish, although keen on progressive 4YO Rosehill gelding 2. Perigord who finished hard resuming in this grade, and looks ideally suited from a trailing draw over a little extra distance.
Dangers: If 3YO Randwick gelding 4. Daredevil can get across and find a position from a wide gate, he'll be hard to hold out fourth run back. Resumed with a smart maiden win on the Beaumont track before a fair effort from a wide draw in a deeper BM 64 than this. Ultra reliable 5YO Warwick Farm mare 5. Snitzagirl resumes without an official trial, but normally comes to hand quickly, and has only missed a place three times from 13 starts; while include 4YO Newcastle mare 3. Martinique resuming. Didn't do a lot in a trial behind high class sprinter, but fresh record is solid, and won first-up last time in a weak Class 2 at Balaklava, and draws to get plenty of cover.
How to play it: Perigord to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
Perigord runs third at Gosford on December 27