Tips by Brad Gray
Brad Gray's tips and insights for Scone on Saturday. There are winners to be found for eight races!
The track is in the Good range the rail out 3m from the 800m to the winning post, true the remainder. The first event is set to jump at 12:15pm.
|Race 1 - 12:15PM KIA ORA STUD BENCHMARK 80 HANDICAP (2200 METRES)|
Drochoid’s run at Randwick last start suggested he is desperate for 2000m plus now fourth up. He had excuses with the four-year-old import shuffled back through the field just as he should have been making his run before grinding to the line to finish 2.2L behind impressive winner Goathland. Would be surprised if that form doesn’t stack up. The start prior to that he won well as Gosford on a heavy track over the mile. He was a month between runs but there is every chance that win took the edge off him. He has been lumped with 62kg (60kg after Blaike McDougall’s claim) but has more upside than these. This is the race Interlocuter won for Godolphin last year after the winner was disqualified.
Danger: Equipped got an easy kill at Newcastle last start which will give him a much needed boost of confidence. It was only his second him in 20 starts. Prior to that he just missed to Lovani while back in February there wasn’t much between him and Mazaz who looks another key hope here having run second to Roman Son at Hawkesbury last start. Throw Mandalay Bay into any trifectas.
How to play it: Drochoid WIN ($4.20TAB Fixed Odds)
Drochoid’s last start run in the ANZAC Cup
Animalia is not without a hope if they ride him to lead (has won both career starts by dictating).
|Race 2 - 12:50PM VINERY STUD BENCHMARK 80 HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
Bad luck is the biggest danger to Cradle Mountain and given he has led in every one of his four straight wins, it’s hard to see that costing him. He is $1.60 but rightly so. He is simply better than BM80 grade. Clare Cunningham is doing a brilliant job in working him through the grades, resisting the temptation of throwing him straight into black type company. Two back he broke Bentley Biscuit’s long standing track record at Kembla Grange before going very close to the Randwick 1200m track record last start, only recently set by Anatola. Punters’ Intel reveals his cruising speed is what sets him apart. He has the ability, which only the elite have, to sustain fast splits. That makes him near impossible to peg back against this level of opposition.
Danger: Don’t think there is one but if I must, Malahat was nailed on the line at Randwick over 1000m having resumed a gelding. He had every chance but has been around the mark in Group and Listed races for much of his career to date. He beat Kementari when the now boom colt was on debut at Canterbury. Isn’t a year a long time in racing! Malahat would need a 50m head start to beat him now. Watch for Another Aan hammering the line late. Follow him second up if he runs to expectations here.
How to play it: Cradle Mountain WIN ($1.60 TAB Fixed Odds)
Cradle Mountain making a mess of his rivals first up
|Race 3 - 1:25PM SEGENHOE STUD WOODLANDS STAKES (1100 METRES)|
There is a stack of speed here with at least five noted front-runners. That leans me the way of Pretty In Pink. This Sebring filly, trained by John O’Shea, couldn’t have done much more on debut at Gosford trouncing her rivals. She only had one 800m trial at Warwick Farm prior to that and was green at end of her debut so can only improve. She’ll have to in order to win this jumping straight to Listed company. She’ll give her rivals a start from the wide draw but a few of her rivals will be sitting ducks down the Scone straight. There are a stack of different form lines coming together in this so not an easy race to assess!
Danger: Lady Of Shalott was heavily backed on debut at Muswellbrook and did it nicely at the finish. She is another that maps to ease out of the speed battle and get the last crack. Witherspoon has always been held in high regard by Brad Widdup while speedsters Miss Invincible and Miss Scorcher will be the ones to run down and have fitness on their side but suspect they’ll bring about each other’s undoing. Critical Reaction has trialled nicely in Sydney for the Hayes camp.
How to play it: Pretty In Pink WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Pretty In Pink winning at Gosford on debut
|Race 4 - 2:05PM INGLIS 3YO GUINEAS (1400 METRES)|
Think we found out once and for all in the Packer Plate that Dissolution is not a 2000m horse. Now the challenge for trainer Brad Widdup is to have him fresh enough to drop sharply back to 1400m. The fitness base is already there so can’t imagine the stable have done a great deal with him in the three weeks since. As an interesting precedent, Prized Icon ran second in this race last year coming back from 2400m in the ATC Derby. That was with six weeks between runs, however. Drawn 9 shouldn’t pose much of a problem with the Snitzel gelding to hunt forward sit in the first couple.
Danger: Villermont was outstanding in winning the Gunsynd at Doomben last start. He went straight from the front and grinded his opponents into the ground. You’d have to think similar tactics would be adopted here back to 1400m from the mile. He doesn’t have the turn of foot to win a sit-sprint. Dissolution got the better of Villermont in the Carbine two runs back. The horse that does have the acceleration is Moss Trip. She has been great all preparation including last start when sweeping home to collect the G3 James Carr. Now she has to do it against the boys.
How to play it: Dissolution WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Dissolution and Villermont met in the Carbine
|Race 5 - 2:45PM EMIRATES PARK DENISE'S JOY STAKES (1100 METRES)|
Demerara is the classiest horse in the race, as her benchmark rating and 59kg burden suggests. The daughter of Commands was last sighted when 0.3L fourth in the G3 PJ Bell behind Houtzen. She had every possible chance there but it was a race run in fast time and looking through her form, suspect she is much more comfortable over 1100m as opposed to 1200m. She certainly appears more dynamic at the shorter trip. She has won five from eight overall which is impressive enough, but take out her 1200m, her record reads 5:4-0-0, with the miss being a Group Three fourth down the straight behind Jorda and I Am Excited.
Danger: Terrified of Sasso Corbaro. Her trials are never much chop so don’t judge her off that. She was brilliant first and second up last campaign before running in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas and the G2 Light Fingers. Has a deadly turn of foot so certainly wary of her. Resin might be the Godolphin second seed on paper but she shouldn’t be underestimated here. Has won three on the bounce and her latest Warwick Farm win was better than it reads on paper. Valeria the smokey for multiples.
How to play it: Demerara WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds)
Demerara’s fourth in the PJ Bell last start
|Race 6 - 3:25PM YARRAMAN PARK LUSKIN STAR STAKES (1300 METRES)|
This is a lovely race for Osborne Bulls to dip his toe into black type racing. For a horse with his get-back style, his record of 9:6-2-1 is outstanding. He was beaten last start at Randwick but certainly lost no admirers running some sizzling sectionals to get as close to Tribal Widsom as he did. Punters’ Intel reveals splits of 10.86s, 10.54 and 10.95 for his last 600m (32.35s). With Le Romain heading north for the Doomben 10,000 it leaves this race there for the taking. His price got a snip with his main danger out but it boosts the confidence levels. Wouldn’t be surprised if he jumped closer to even money.
Danger: Firsthand was excellent first up in the Hall Mark behind Burning Passion. He’ll strip fitter for that and was a second up winner when last in work, beating To Excess. He’s five now but still suspect we haven’t seen the very best of him yet. Maybe it will be this preparation. Invincible Gem looks exceptionally well weighted with 54.5kg just 1.5kg above the minimum. There is a query around her form but in her defence, has run in three Group Ones!
How to play it: Osborne Bulls WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds)
Osborne Bulls charging home last start at Randwick
|Race 7 - 4:05PM COOLMORE DARK JEWEL CLASSIC (1400 METRES)|
The name of this mare becomes more and more fitting every week – Slow Burn. She keeps teasing us with her ability but slow getaways have cost her dearly in her last two starts. It’s not a trait she has shown in the past – she had always been one of the first into stride – so giving her another chance at Scone. I’m not ready to give up on her. Like Hawkesbury last start, she has drawn wide again, but her two latest efforts are much better than the form guide suggests. She has rattled home on both occasions. Two back at Randwick she ran the fastest last 600m of the entire day (Punters’ Intel). If she can possie up closer to the speed, she’ll take holding out.
Danger: Dyslexic went down by the barest of margins last start to Moss Trip in the G3 James Carr. She is a filly still on the up and having ticked the 1400m box in a big way, she’s right in this. Has only had five starts so we don’t know her ceiling yet. Ghisoni is working her way back to another win. The blinkers go on for the first time to help her, in James Cummings’ words, “hit top gear sooner.” The lack of tempo, at least on paper, is a concern for her.
How to play it: Slow Burn WIN ($10 TAB Fixed Odds)
The Hawkesbury Crown – look for Slow Burn, Ghisoni and Shazee Lee in particular
|Race 8 - 4:45PM ARROWFIELD STUD ORTENSIA STAKES (1100 METRES)|
To Excess really rolled through the grades last preparation with two wins and four placings from his six outings. Can make genuine excuses for all four defeats too. Two back he was three wide the trip in the field of six and still only got beaten a pimple before running third behind Test The World and Bon Amis. He charged home though running his last 600m in Osborne Bulls like figures – 32.61s he stopped the clock at (Punters' Intel). Love how this race sets up for him too. He’ll be tucked in behind what looks a good speed even without Tango Rain and get his chance to dash clear. Led in his trial at Wyong on Monday before throttling down to still win well.
Danger: What do we do with Terravista? Only six months ago he ran Redzel to less than a length in the Darley Classic. His run in the Challenge was much better than it reads with Punters' Intel revealing his last 600m was 31.88s! So why isn’t he $2.50 instead of $4.80? 61kg coupled with barrier 13 and at eight years of age, that his best days are behind him. Still wary! Glenall and Spending To Win fought out the finish at Hawkesbury and look key hopes in this too.
How to play it: To Excess WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
The last time we saw To Excess at the races