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Neil Evans' Tips For Newcastle (Friday)

By Neil Evans

Track likely Soft 5 and rail out 8m from 1000m to 400m, and 7m the remainder

Race 1 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2340m):

Surely it's break-through time for four-year-old mare 8. Chenin Blanc deep into the prep, and peaking at this longer trip. Has just missed hitting the line hard in his last two, gets a nice weight advantage from the older and Cl1 horses, and top jockey jumps aboard at the right time.

Dangers: Improving three-year-old 9. Singapura worked home late behind an emerging stayer, and can also hit a peak over the longer journey; while lightly raced mare 10. Spinpix was right behind the top selection at her third start, and is drawn to trail the speed.

How to play it: Chenin Blanc to win. Odds and Evens: Split


Chenin Blanc runs second at Goulburn on February 21

Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):

This looks an ideal starting point for three-year-old Redoute's Choice colt 5. Green Flash who draws okay for leading metro stable, and has trialled strongly.

Dangers: Expect three-year-old 4. Bullet Hero to return much stronger as a gelding. Hasn't started since a one-off debut run here last spring when drifting in betting. Debutant Dissident three-year-old 6. Immaculacy is also a threat off some smart work at the trials, but draws a sticky gate.

How to play it: Green Flash to win and box exacta 4,5,6. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):

Potentially a good quality maiden. Nicely bred three-year-old 5. Stonehenge was taken to the front at Goulburn at only his third start, and was run down late. Trainer has significantly brought him back in trip with a gear change, and the leading hoop who rode him in trials gets his first crack on race day.

Dangers: Pierro filly 7. Gateaux had to work over from a wide gate on debut at Canberra before holding her ground okay behind the winner. This looks harder, but drawn to get a much more economical run. The addition of blinkers and finally getting on to a firmer surface can improve four-year-old 1. Legend Has It who has struggled in three runs on rain-affected ground.

How to play it: Stonehenge to win. Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 4 3YO & UP MAIDEN HCP (1400m):

The much-awaited debut of three-year-old All Too Hard filly 4. Vanilla Sky arrives, with the stable confident enough to start her over this trip. Looked real smart winning the third of three recent trials, and she draws to get the right sort of run.

Dangers: Local three-year-old 1. Members Only was very good on debut in heavy ground at big odds, but conceding 3kg to the top selection looks a task.

How to play it: Vanilla Sky to win. Odds and Evens: Split


Vanilla Sky wins a trial at Rosehill on January 27

Race 5 BENCHMARK 78 HCP (900m):

Plenty of depth in this one over the short course. Don't undersell talented five-year-old mare 4. Heaven's High at big odds resuming for a new stable off a dominant trial win. Has a smart fresh record, and draws to get a lovely trail just off the speed.

Dangers: Tough Wyong mare 2. Invincible Kiss has been strong through the line in three consecutive metro BM 72s, and looks well treated on a 55kg limit coming back to a provincial BM 78, and with the leading jockey hopping aboard. Progressive home track four-year-old 5. Mr Polar will be hard to beat again from a soft draw if she backs up in six days from a dominant BM 68 win here last Saturday. Include Exosphere three-year-old 6. Ballistic Moon after sweeping home to win his maiden here first-up in heavy ground.

How to play it: Heaven's High each way and trifecta 2,4,5/2,4,5,6/2,4,5,6. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 6 2YO HCP (1400m):

Now the two-year-olds lock horns, and hard to go around exciting Sebring colt 1. Tea Leaves who charged home to miss by a nose in a good provincial maiden at only his second start. Should relish getting on to the bigger track over a bit more ground.

Dangers: Big watch on American Pharoah colt 2. Another Pharaoh who debuts for an experienced local stable off three trials. Keep safe debutant Criterion colt 4. Last Not Least who has spent plenty of time at the trials since last spring, and bred to handle soft ground.

How to play it: Tea Leaves to win. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 7 NEWMARKET HCP (1400m):

Wide open feature race of the day at Group 3 level sets up well for smart home track five-year-old 2. Gem Song second-up off a long break. Was having his first run in more than 15 months when working home nicely behind a star galloper at Randwick, and this is a lovely progressive distance returning home.

Dangers: Godolphin has targeted this race with high class resuming six-year-old 1. Cascadian who looked forward, winning the second of two trials. Conditions will suit, but a query jumping from the inside barrier for one that loves to settle well back. Can never discount five-year-old 4. Outrageous over this trip. Has been freshened since charging home late in a strong Magic Millions Cup at the Gold Coast, and looks well treated dropping to 55kg. Keep safe four-year-old stallion 8. Bottega who resumes from a soft draw and nice trial; while included in wider exotics Godolphin mare 6. Asiago second-up, and five-year-old 3. Purple Sector resuming off two trials.

How to play it: Gem Song each way and box trifecta 1,2,4,8. Odds and Evens: Evens

Race 8 FILLIES & MARES BENCHMARK 64 HCP (1200m):

Promising Zoustar filly 5. Never Second couldn't run down the winner resuming at Hawkesbury, but she's been given time, and can bounce straight back over this longer journey.

Dangers: Improving 3. So Far Away was solid through the line first up here, and blinkers have replaced winkers.

How to play it: Never Second to win. Odds and Evens: Split

All the fields, form and replays for Friday's Newcastle meeting

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