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Neil Evans' Tips For Newcastle (Thursday)

By Neil Evans

Track likely Good 4 and rail out 4m so expect a fairly on-speed pattern early before gradually trending wider

Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (900m):

The maidens gets us underway, and while there's a few first starters on show, Randwick filly 2. Penang from the Snowden stable is the clear one to beat after being run down as a hot favourite at Newcastle nearly a month back.

Dangers: Debutant filly and impressive trial performer 5. Red Hot Moon ( I Am Invincible x Red Dress Marley by Hussonet) from the Bjorn Baker yard at Warwick Farm is best of the rest ahead of the only 2YO in the field, Wyong filly 8. Girls Kick On (Scissor Kick x Placement by Savabeel) who hasn't been seen publicly since bolting in a home track trial just before Xmas.

How to play it: Penang to win and trifecta 2/5,8/5,8. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 2 3YO & UP MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):

Potentially strong maiden headed by smart 3YO Rosehill gelding 3. Favra who flew home resuming at Warwick Farm before finishing only fairly in the heavy on the Beaumont track as a short-priced favourite. Back on firm footing is the big key, with blinkers also going on.

Dangers: Randwick gelding 6. Ranges hasn't quite lived up the early promise, but will also relish a return to firmer ground after over-run on a Soft 7 at Hawkesbury. Fourth different jockey in four starts over last eight weeks. Wyong 3YO and first starter 2. Dunlee (Dissident x Anelea by Canny Lad) - same sire as top selection - looks over the odds from his trial work, and stable has a good strike-rate with their runners early in a prep; while 3YO stablemate 5. Oakfield Navajo needs to find a length or two despite coming out of a good quality race, but draws to get an economical run right behind the speed.

How to play it: Favra to win. Odds and Evens: Split

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

Similar group over slightly longer trip, and most of the big guns back up from a competitive maiden run in driving rain here a fortnight back. Improving 3YO Rosehill gelding 1. Warp Speed was strong late resuming in that maiden. Looks a real big track horse who needs time to balance up, and extra journey ideal.

Dangers: Warwick Farm 4YO mare 2. Menagerie was a shade disappointing first-up when very easy late in betting, although she sat wide without cover and still boxed on okay. Consistent enough to play a big role second-up. Another 3YO from that same race behind Zakat is Rosehill 3YO 3. Zarzou who found the line well between horses when specked in the market, and drops 2kg in weight. Away from that form-line, watch the betting on 3YO Randwick filly 5. Soul Purpose (Pierro x Soul Singer by Danehill) who has trialled steadily for smart juvenile stable, and debuts in blinkers.

How to play it: Warp Speed to win and quinella 1 and 2. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 4 CLASS 1 HCP (1600m):

Super keen here on powerful and progressive 3YO Godolphin filly 1. Amitto fourth-up after charging home late this class at Kembla to collar all but a smart youngster who then was beaten under a length in the Group 3 Kembla Classic. Has been banging on the door since winning her maiden first-up, and can't wait to see what she runs her final 400m in here.

Dangers: Improving Randwick mare 4. Lady Legend is also suited back out to the mile from a low draw. Flashed home to win her maiden two runs back before again finishing hard late in a BM 64 here. Include in exotics Randwick 3YO 2. Industrial who won his maiden first-up at Bendigo two runs back before a fair effort behind a promising one at Hawkesbury.

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


Amitto runs second at Kembla on March 3

Race 5 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):

Very tricky and open affair, with a few first starters well in the market. Home track filly 8. I Say Hello (Iffraaj x Say No More by Pentire) looks up to the mark after two tidy trials, and senior metro rider jumps on for debut.

Dangers: Hawkesbury colt 6. Wheelhouse (Pierro x Sailing By by Fastnet Rock) will need some luck from a wide barrier on debut, but has looked good at the trials. Sire was incredibly a five-time Group 1 winner from only 14 starts, and dam was Group 2-placed; while Gold Coast-based filly 11. Press Start resumes off two quiet trials, and draws to get plenty of cover back in the field.

How to play it: I Say Hello to win and box exacta 6,8,11. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 6 C, G & E CLASS 2 HCP (1200m):

Still over the same distance for the boys, and hard to tip against promising and supremely-bred 3YO local colt 1. Geo first-up for a second prep, with blinkers replacing winkers. Powered home to win his maiden at second start on the Kensington track, and two lead-up trials have been sharp.

Dangers: Rival home track 3YO gelding 5. Reveal The Magic is as honest as you can get, running a string of close placings since landing his maiden, and gets in light after rider's 3kg claim. Godolphin 3YO gelding 2. Monteserrat drifted in betting first-up before a fair run, but only career win so far was second-up under a big weight so expect significant improvement. Randwick 4YO 8. Quick Finance who drops sharply in weight, and consistent local 5YO 9. Titus, are best of the rest.

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


Geo runs second in a Wyong trial on March 2

Race 7 F & M CLASS 2 HCP (1200m);

Now the girls' edition, and it's a deep and challenging line-up headed by high class 3YO local filly 1. Regimental Band who can overcome the extreme outside barrier off a freshen-up, with the blinkers removed. Much better placed dropping back from hot company in the Group 2 Light Fingers at Randwick, and progressed quickly to carnival grade last prep after landing her maiden at Wyong.

Dangers: Progressive 3YO Randwick filly 4. Instant Attraction took a little while to hit her straps first prep bolting in her maiden at Gosford third start, but comes off two trials and has good early tactical speed. Godolphin filly 9. Plaquette hasn't been far away since cruising to a maiden win at Canterbury three runs back, but another one who will need the breaks from a wide draw.

How to play it: Regimental Band to win. Odds and Evens: Evens

Race 8 BM 64 HCP (1400m):

One of the more tougher and open races of the day, with a stack of chances. Improving 5YO Randwick gelding 4. Think Straight looks big value and way over the odds after hitting the line hard in a handy BM 64 at Wyong in his first run for a year. Before the setbacks, raced at Group 3 level by just his third start back in the autumn of 2014. Draws to get good cover, will love getting back on the bigger track, and senior rider has been booked.

Dangers: Plenty of them headed by well travelled 3YO home track filly 9. Siesta Key who comes back from a solid closing run at Eagle Farm, and previous country and provincial form around this grade is strong enough for this. Talented Rosehill 4YO 5. Beaufort Park can peak third-up despite weighted to his best and drawn awkwardly. Capable 4YO local mare 10. Dundee Lee should be right at her peak fourth-up after charging home to miss by a whisker in a good Class 3 at Armidale. Mixed it in higher benchmark metro company last winter.

How to play it: Think Straight each way and box trifecta 4,5,9,10. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 9 PROVINCIAL C'SHIP QUALIFIER (1400m):

We save the best for last, with the Gosford qualifier transferred from last Saturday at Class 5 level, and the top three nailing a berth in the big final at Randwick on Apr 11. Smart 5YO Gosford sprinter 2. Through The Cracks will go right back back from the widest barrier and be saved for one last crack. Has been freshened since motoring home over the top in a BM 70 at Warwick Farm, and while he'll need plenty of speed on up front, the switch to the much bigger Newcastle track is a significant plus, and leaves him way over the odds.

Dangers: Quality 4YO Newcastle mare 10. Asharani is hard fit well into her prep, and took a tonne of ground off extra smart Trumbull in a BM 88 at Randwick a fortnight back. Looks well in under the set weight scale. No doubting 4YO Wyong gelding 1. Trumbull is the most talented sprinter in the race, and was terrific first-up at Randwick, but asked to find a forward position from the second widest gate in a field of such depth is still a big ask. Another lightly-raced one, 4YO Gosford gelding 6. Golden Tycoon hasn't started for more than 10 months, but draws the inside and looked sharp in a recent and dominant trial win.

How to play it: Through The Cracks each way and box trifecta 1,2,6,10. Odds and Evens: Evens.

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

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