By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Thursday’s Newcastle meeting. Selections based on a good track.
|Race 1 – 1:20PM ADVANCED PEST CONTROL HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
1. Winter Thorn is either a good thing or a good risk at his Australian debut but erring on the side of him putting in on race day. His two trials have realised two last placings but they were around the 1000m trips, this is a mile. Doesn’t look to be a heap of depth so he’s entitled to run well.
Dangers: 7. Elegant Carriage was a bit stiff not to run into a placing at Canberra third-up when back to 1400m. Draws well for the step up in trip again and no surprise to see her charging home. 4. Elusive Jewel was a $61 chance at her second start at Kembla Grange where she was able to sit closer to the speed than her debut and stayed on well. If she can repeat that sort of effort she can be in the finish here. 2. Earl Of Sandwich ran well first-up at Wyong then a shade disappointing at Gosford when a drifter in the market. Other career placing was at this track in October and has shown enough to say he can be competitive.
How to play it: Winter Thorn WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Winter Thorn’s latest trial at Newcastle on March 25
|Race 2 – 1.55PM RED FUNNEL PROVINCIAL CUP (1600 METRES)|
4. Onemore Sapphire resumed with a respectable effort beaten four lengths in a Provincial Championships Qualifier at Kembla. Tends to improve with a run and three of his four wins are at this trip. Expecting improvement on a sound return and that gives him a good chance.
Dangers: 9. Forever Jude doesn’t have a great strike rate but improved on it with a dominant win at Mudgee over a mile just over a week ago. This is harder, granted, but he’s racing well and could go on with it up in class. 5. Deepwood Vale hasn’t done a lot wrong and is probably a deserved favourite. Easy Tamworth winner before running into a sound second in a similar class over 1400m here two weeks ago. Definite chance. 3. Pride Of Adelaide ran a handy enough race first-up then a bit below par at Gosford up to the mile on a soft 7. Led when narrowly beaten here at the corresponding meeting last year and if he’s going to fire up it’s likely to be now.
How to play it: Onemore Sapphire E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Onemore Sapphire’s first-up run at Kembla on April 3
|Race 3 – 2:35PM AVID PM HANDICAP (2330 METRES)|
8. Insider Trader has had a few chances but in a wide open race he’s a good each-way hope on the back of a much improved second at Hawkesbury where he closed off strongly late. If you ignore his heavy track Kensington failure his recent efforts are good enough.
Dangers: 2. Legend Has It was a dominant winner over a mile here two starts ago then never in the hunt at Gosford last time which is unusual. Since trialled okay and up in distance he should be handier and is worth another chance. 9. Prince Camelot has been around the mark without winning and had good support in his latest attempt at Gosford over 2100m where he boxed on okay for fourth. Has a show on his best. 1. Cliffs Of Moher was thrown in with the sharks in the G1 Ranvet Stakes and was naturally outclassed behind Verry Elleegant. He did flop at Hawkesbury before that and his best efforts this prep have been in the wet so that’s a query. Stays in the mix though.
How to play it: Insider Trader E/W ($10 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Insider Trader runs second at Hawkesbury on April 5
|Race 4 – 3:15PM SUEZ PLATE (1200 METRES)|
4. Osamu will start a very short priced favourite and rightly so looking at the form he brings into this maiden. Split The Face and Emanate first-up before failing in the Inglis Sprint. But has been gelded, drawn ideally and is entitled to get away with his maiden here.
Dangers: 1. Caesars Palace was strongly supported first-up at Kensington and didn’t finish the race off. That was a month ago and has since been back to the trials where he just had a cruise around. He has the chance to find some form. 5. Luminoso hasn’t raced since being run down by Green Flash at Newcastle on March 5, there was a decent gap to third in that race. Drops 4.5kg after the claim so no surprise to see him be competitive again. 11. Egao will need some luck from the wide gate but his two runs prior to his last start failure at Warwick Farm had enough merit to give her another chance.
How to play it: Osamu WIN ($1.35 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Osamu runs second at Randwick on January 23
|Race 5 – 3:50PM OAS TECHNOLOGY HANDICAP (900 METRES)|
5. Mareeba has shown plenty of promise in her trials and while she’s a little shorter than you’d want to take for a narrow 735m trial winner she does look hard to beat if she can bring trial form to the races. Drawn well and gets every chance to making a winning debut.
Dangers: 2. Coal Crusher poked through late into third in his latest trial on the synthetic at Warwick Farm a couple of weeks ago. In a good stable and if there’s any support it’d be significant. 8. Hyperfield was reeled in late in his latest trial at Kembla but it was still handy enough. Takes on the older horses here but could give a sight. 9. Cupid's Kiss is another two-year-old on debut and she scored a handy enough win in a Scone trial two weeks ago.
How to play it: Mareeba WIN ($1.65 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Mareeba wins a trial at Randwick on March 11
|Race 6 – 4:25PM MACKA’S SAND AND SOIL HANDICAP (900 METRES)|
8. Tango Stepz comes off a total forgive run at Wellington on Cup Day where she was shuffled out of it early but still hit the line into fifth beaten three lengths. Form prior was excellent for a race like this and gets a big weight drop. Good each-way chance.
Dangers: 12. Zanzidance was a drifter in betting first-up at Hawkesbury and held on to run third. Speedy type who could be hard to run down if she finds a good spot. 1. Emilette hasn’t raced since failing at Kensington back in December when right in the market so overlook that. She’s a good short courser and normally fires when fresh. Keep in mind. 3. Bigger Than Thorn is also coming off a flop before a break but he also has a strong first-up record and trialled okay a month ago. Drawn well, gets back but should be hitting the line.
How to play it: Tango Stepz E/W ($8.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Tango Stepz runs fifth at Wellington on March 28
|Race 7 – 5:05PM TAB VENUE MODE HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
1. Highly Desired is a reliable type who hasn’t raced since the Mudgee Cup in December where he was a beaten favourite. Has trialled nicely and ran well fresh last prep before racing consistently through eight runs. Has top weight but drawn well and it’d be a surprise if he’s not competitive.
Dangers: 8. Mix ran right up to his first-up effort when running away with a maiden at Albury a few weeks ago. This is a solid class rise off that but he’s a promising type and he’s likely to measure up. 6. Titanium Power ran an even race when resuming at Gosford on a soft 7 but it could be that he wasn’t comfortable there and he might well improve sharply based on his first two starts on good tracks. 4. Commute was always out the back first-up at big odds at Warwick Farm and didn’t fire a shot. However she is unbeaten second-up and the 1300m is a lot more in her comfort zone so she can only improve and could lift sharply.
How to play it: Highly Desired E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Highly Desired wins a trial at Gosford on April 7