By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Friday’s Newcastle Gold Cup meeting. Selections based on a Good track.
|Race 1 – 12:50PM MACKA’S SAND & SOIL HANDICAP (2300 METRES)|
It’s always an ask to win a maiden then win again but there looks to be plenty of raw talent in 2. Ocean Walzer. He took a few shots to win in Victoria, going under at short prices, but his win at Swan Hill was outstanding, especially considering he almost put himself over the fence a couple of times in the straight. He still raced away and held a clear margin. There won’t want to be any antics from him against a few more seasoned stayers but he has the upside and these imports can improve quickly.
Dangers: 3. Chain Of Fools had no luck two starts ago and proved that with a much improved second at Randwick behind the in-form Cormac. Less depth in this field and if the visitor does anything wrong he’ll be the one to take advantage. 1. Whangamata has struck form at his last four starts and was a deserved winner over this course in a Class 1 when a well supported favourite. His form around Scratches and Impavido has him in the mix and being an on-pacer he’ll be in this for a long way. 6. Le Sacre Blur is a consistent performer up in class on his last few but he’s racing so well I can see him up there and sticking on gamely as he usually does. Probably not a winning chance but one for the trifectas.
How to play it: Ocean Walzer WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds).
|Race 2 - 1:25PM SIMPLOT PARTNERS HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
Another horse coming off an impressive maiden win is the well bred 2. Girl Tuesday who gave away a decent head start at this track on debut before rounding up her maiden rivals with a bit of arrogance. Punters Intel data shows she ran 34.63 for her last 600m, almost a second quicker than any other runner, and 11.79 for her last 200m. She’s only going to appreciate the step up to a mile and has half as many horses to get past. She’s a bit short for my liking but it’s hard to tip against her looking at that first-up win.
Dangers: 1. So Bizarre could be a question mark at the mile but she is tough and she was there to be beaten at Wyong last start but refused to lay down and was able to beat a couple of handy types. She’ll be in or near the lead and if she is able to run out the distance then she can take some catching. 4. Oakfield General is a little over the odds considering how unlucky he was last start in this class. He was beaten over four lengths but he was badly held up when those ahead were making their runs and he wasn’t tested to the line. Impressive winner at 1500m at this track prior to that and he could surprise. 5. Chosen Prince probably didn’t run out the extra trip when runner-up to Scratches a month ago and coming back to a mile, where he won nicely three runs back, is in his favour. Certainly a decent place chance.
How to play it: Girl Tuesday WIN ($1.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Girl Tuesday sails home to an impressive debut win at Newcastle on August 25
|Race 3 – 2:05PM NBN NEWS PLATE (1200 METRES)|
I tried very hard to find something to beat the short priced favourite 13. Sir Owen here but, if he does everything right, he’s clearly the horse to beat. On debut as an odds-on shot he missed the start and was left chasing but kept coming to be beaten a length. His two trials this time in have been outstanding and dominant. He’s a full brother to Comin’ Through and he has his own share of talent. Likely winner.
Dangers: If something goes awry with the favourite it wouldn’t surprise to see 7. Petain right in the finish. Ignoring his debut at Ararat, he had a very quiet trial and is now with Kris Lees. A bit of support for him closer to the race will tell you there’s something expected of him and he’s worth keeping safe. 2. C’est Davinchi and 9 Big Bad Bruce are resuming and should be in consideration for the multiples. The former has four seconds from five starts and a quiet trial while the latter disappointed on debut when right in the market but trialled nicely twice leading into this race.
How to play it: Sir Owen WIN ($1.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Sir Owen wins his latest trial at Wyong on September 10
|Race 4 – 2.40PM ADVANCED PEST CONTROL PLATE (1200 METRES)|
Another race where the short priced favourite really does look the one to beat. Again, I tried to go around 10. Galina but it might just be she’s better than them. Last prep she was huge first-up, had no luck at all second-up and beaten in a tight finish in a strong city two-year-old event. Nothing wrong with her trial and while drawn the outside it probably suits her style to get to the outside and run home.
Dangers: 12. Miss Einstein is 20/1 in early markets and I thought that was overs on her two trial performances. Very good stable, drawn the inside and while she’s bred to appreciate a mile or more it wouldn’t shock me to see her run well. 9. Collectively is another first starter and she’s taken a bit of time to make her debut. Trialled well behind Mansa Musa in August then again sound at Rosehill a couple of weeks ago. Drawn well and she could run a cheeky race. 4. Oakfield Romance hasn't done a lot wrong in five starts and kept coming when placed in a similar race here last month. Again drawn poorly but an each-way chance.
How to play it: Galina WIN ($1.85 TAB Fixed Odds).
Galina’s first-up run last preparation at Randwick in April
|Race 5 – 3.20PM HUNGERFORD HILL WINES SPRING STAKES (1600 METRES)|
Big D-Day ahead for 1. Outrageous who gets every chance to show what he’s made of third-up out to a mile from a perfect draw. Whether he can take advantage of it could be the difference between winning and losing. Group 1 placed in the autumn in the Sires’ and started favourite in the Champagne and probably should have won at least one of those. Ran well first-up at an unsuitable trip then way too far back in the Ming Dynasty last time. No excuses here, he’s entitled to win or he may not be a colt much longer.
Dangers: 7. Aristocratic Miss proved competitive at this level in the autumn and there was merit in her effort at Randwick in what was a messy race won by Reginae. Placed in the Fernhill at her only attempt at the mile and is capable of winning. 11. Sunreel brings different form lines into the race but she could easily measure up. Dominant winner against older mares at this track a month ago, drawn ideally and it’s worth keeping her in mind. 2. Aramayo wasn’t disgraced in the Ming Dynasty finishing alongside Dealmaker who has confirmed the form. He did have every chance in the run but getting back to the mile should suit and he’s an each-way hope.
How to play it: Outrageous E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Outrageous runs on when the Ming Dynasty is all over at Rosehill on August 25
|Race 6 - 3:55PM YARRAMAN PARK TIBBIE STAKES (1400 METRES)|
So many different ways this race could pan out but there looks to be enough speed for every mare to get her chance. 7. Miss Que ran a blinder first-up with no luck behind Trekking and Tactical Advantage in a strong form race then I thought she had excuses behind Don’t Give A Damn on a sticky track. Trialled well since that run and her only 1400m attempt she was run down by Osborne Bulls which isn’t bad form. Sure to run another honest race and is a good each-way hope.
Dangers: 2. Savatiano drew the outside in the Mona Lisa at Wyong, went back then rushed around them to hit the lead on the turn and held them off in an impressive first-up win. Won’t be able to do that around Newcastle but she’s clearly the horse to beat if she has any luck. Kerrin may well take luck out of it and go forward and if she finds a good spot it will take a good performance to stop her. 9. Awake The Stars didn’t have it all her own way at the Gold Coast last start but she put away lesser rivals as you’d expect if you’re looking at a race like this. She’s able to race forward if required and has built a handy record so she could measure up here. 4. Irithea had her chance in the Mona Lisa but she’s racing in such good form at present you know she’ll give another good sight up on the pace. 3. Princess Posh would be next best, she also had her chance at Wyong but that was off a six week break and she’s back home here so can improve.
How to play it: Miss Que E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Miss Que finishes off her tick-over trial at Warwick Farm on September 7
|Race 7 - 4:35PM SHARP ELECTRONICS GROUP NEWCASTLE GOLD CUP (2300 METRES)|
Taking the punt that 13. Just Shine can get a race run to suit him this time around because he’s a much better stayer that his last couple of runs would suggest on paper. No luck two starts back at Randwick then sat closer behind a tearaway leader and was the first horse beaten. Go back prior to that and he had Carzoff’s measure twice. Drawn nicely and I’m sure he’s good enough to be in the finish here at each-way odds.
Dangers: 3. Carzoff was ridden a perfect race by Kerrin McEvoy to win the Wyong Cup and it’s no surprise to see him retain the ride as this horse has a few tricks. That said he’s rarely too far away and with a well timed run he’ll be hard to hold out again. 1. Auvray was able to account for Libran back in March and ran a close fourth in the Sydney Cup. He resumed with a nice effort at 1900m behind Avilius and with a trial after that run he’ll be much fitter for the return to a staying trip. On his best form he’s a genuine threat. 2. Destiny’s Kiss won’t know himself with 58kg on his back and with the two runs from a couple of months off under his belt if he’s going to be competitive this is the race for him. Even effort at Wyong but drops 3kg to give him his chance.
How to play it: Just Shine E/W ($10 TAB Fixed Odds).
Just Shine and Carzoff clash at Rosehill back on July 28
|Race 8 - 5:10PM AUSTRALIAN BLOODSTOCK CAMERON HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
After plenty of deliberation I settled on 3. Arbeitsam because I think there’s no way he doesn’t give a huge sight on the pace in a race where he might just get some control. He was game leading first-up in the Tramway, beaten less than a length by Comin’ Through and it’s hard to forget he ran third in the Doncaster back in April. Fitter and if he does get a few on pace favours he’ll give a strong kick and take some running down. Good each-way chance.
Dangers: 10. Plein Ciel is a very smart Victorian former import who sat three wide with cover and proved too good at Caulfield second-up off a long break. He hasn’t run a bad race and gets in here on the limit, can race forward or back and is one horse that scares me in this race. 8. I Am Coldplay ran a super race at her first start for Chris Waller, getting back and hitting the line strongly on a day where the rail and on the speed were the places to be. Quiet trial since I’d be surprised if she is storming home again. Can’t leave out 16. Kaonic has every chance to earn his spot in the Epsom with a nice gate and he attacks this third-up off two solid Randwick wins. Other lightweights 12. Sambro and 15. Best Of Days are also capable of winning this race but you can’t tip them all.
How to play it: Arbeitsam E/W ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Arbeitsam’s first-up fourth at Randwick, with Tom Melbourne second, on September 1
BEST BET: Race 1 No.2 Ocean Walzer ($3.10)
BEST EACH-WAY: Race 8 No.3 Arbeitsam ($6.50)