By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Saturday’s Scone meeting. Selections based on a soft to heavy track.
|Race 1 - 11:05AM TAB HIGHWAY CLASS 3 HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
19. Daksha has been a little under the radar this time in and the prospect of racing on a soft surface is a big boost for the grey. Placed in a strong Highway in February. He’s left himself with quite a bit to do in his past couple of starts on heavy tracks but he did make good ground once finally clear and balanced up behind Mr Hussill at Randwick. If he can make some use of a favourable draw he is a good each-way chance.
Dangers: 7. The Dramatist endured a wide run at Tamworth but it didn’t matter as he raced well clear to win a Class 1 there on Cup Day. Form around him has held up okay in a Highway since. Has to ensure a wide gate but if he gets cover he’ll be finishing strongly. 17. Keen Contributer is racing consistently without winning and comes through the same Highway as Daksha where he hit the line into second place from a handy spot on the turn. Well worth including. 8. Sungblue is on the back up after a solid effort at Gosford last week and that could be an advantage. Placed behind The Dramatist at 1400m prior and has a show.
How to play it: Daksha E/W ($21 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Daksha runs fourth at Randwick on April 23
|Race 2 - 11:40AM MIDWAY BENCHMARK 72 HANDICAP (1700 METRES)|
4. Lovetheinvasion is building a handy record and was far too good in an all the way first-up win at Muswellbrook under 60.5kg. Very nice weight drop in her favour and he’ll just need to be able to handle the prospect of being led in this race. She can handle that from the perfect draw but if she happens to find the front without any trouble she’ll take running down.
Dangers: 11. Outlook showed she’s in for a good preparation with a late closing third over a mile at Warwick Farm on heavy ground. She improved second-up last time in before winning at her third run back and is sure to be strong late again. 9. Charity Spirit is right back in class after contesting the Group 1 ATC Oaks and she has that Group 3 placing two starts back to suggest she’s well placed in a Midway. Well worth another chance. 5. Always Sure is one of a few fringe chances, his best is good enough for him to be competitive here and on his Eagle Farm placing two back and Midway run four back he can be.
How to play it: Lovetheinvasion WIN ($3.20 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Lovetheinvasion wins at Muswellbrook on April 29
|Race 3 - 12:15PM PAGES EVENT HIRE BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (2200 METRES)|
3. Bonny Ezra is not far off a win and backs up after running third at Gosford last week, looking reasonably strong late so the extra distance will probably suit her. Should be in the finish.
Dangers: 13. Caboche improved nicely into his second-up run at Kensington and has been back to the trials for a tickover. Contested the Group 3 Grand Prix in December at 2100m but won’t find any Gypsy Goddesses in this race. Each-way. Wouldn’t discount 5. Arabolini as he can be very hard to get past as he showed winning over 2400m at Kensington last time. 4. Mission Phoenix could be running into some form after a close second at Hawkesbury on a heavy track a couple of weeks ago. On pacer who can give a sight.
How to play it: Bonny Ezra WIN ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Bonny Ezra runs third at Gosford on May 7
|Race 4 - 12:50PM VINERY WOODLANDS STAKES (1100 METRES)|
3. In Secret is likely to be one of the more popular horses at this meeting after she showed enormous potential in her debut win at Hawkesbury (city meeting) a month ago. She ran the fastest sectionals of the meeting and the placegetters from that race have both win since. Ticked over with a trial in the interim, hopefully gate one is no disadvantage and she will be hard to stop.
Dangers: 4. Lady Harlem showed promise on debut at Moonee Valley back in October and she’s back after a small issue prevented a campaign during the carnival. Nice trial winner recently and she’s a big watch. 16. Mills was in the market at her only start behind runaway winner Russian Conquest back in December. She’s trialled twice and the latest was particularly handy so she’s another to keep an eye on and betting moves should be respected. 2. Deep Expectation was no match for In Secret at Hawkesbury but then proved a bit too good winning a feature at Muswellbrook to finally break through. She’s an on pacer and sure to give a good sight.
How to play it: In Secret WIN ($3.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
In Secret wins at Hawkesbury on April 13
|Race 5 - 1:25PM WESTPAC RESCUE HELICOPTER 3&4YO BM 72 HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
16. And We Danced returns for her first full prep with the Waller stable and she showed she’s right up to this sort of race with her efforts, while beaten, back in January. You had to love the way she moved home in her recent trial and a track in the soft range would be ideal for her. Blinkers going on first-up shows some intent and she should run well.
Dangers: 11. Sacrimony has a smart record and backed up his first-up effort with a strong win at Hawkesbury two weeks ago. Draws to get favours again and is hard to leave out. 14. Divine Breath disappointed at Hawkesbury when well in the market on the back of an excellent second to French Bonnet at Randwick. Honest and entitled to another chance. 18. Different Strokes ran well first-up and backed it up with a solid second on a heavy 10 at Warwick Farm. Barrier probably not an issue now and he's more than capable.
How to play it: And We Danced E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
And We Danced’s trial at Rosehill on April 29
|Race 6 - 2:00PM COOLMORE DENISE'S JOY STAKES (1100 METRES)|
13. I Am Me looks a real talent and, while this is her biggest test to date, everything she’s shown in three wins this time in suggests she’s well up to it. Each win has been progressively dominant and she had little more than an exhibition gallop down the Flemington straight on Anzac Day. She has the draw to be wherever she wants in the run and is hard to beat.
Dangers: 1. Mallory won’t know herself on a soft track and you can put a line through her run in the PJ Bell where she didn’t ever get into it from a wide gate. The form around Mazu from the Fireball has to be good form for this race, and she ran second there, plus she’s also nicely drawn. 5. A Very Fine Red ran third in the Fireball before also contesting the PJ Bell where she finished ahead of Mallory when boxing on in midfield. Also aided by a better surface and she can improve sharply. 3. Zapateo can’t be left out either, she ran second in the PJ Bell and fourth in the Fireball so her form ties in around those horses as well.
How to play it: I Am Me WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
I Am Me wins at Canberra in March
|Race 7 - 2:35PM SCONE EQUINE HOSPITAL LUSKIN STAR STAKES (1300 METRES)|
4. Andermatt will be out to join Godolphin counterparts Ranier, Trekking and Osborne Bulls as winners of this race if he can continue his outstanding form this time in. Granted his wins have been on heavy tracks be he’s proven very effective on all surfaces so far. The wide gate does present a challenge but he’s the type that likes to roll into a race and if he can find a back to follow he will be mighty hard to hold out.
Dangers: 3. Tycoonist looms as the danger on the back of quite an impressive first-up win at Hawkesbury two weeks ago where he stalked Malkovich and was able to run him down. Won second-up last prep, in lesser grade, and is so consistent. 1. Bandersnatch ran very fast time to win the Tamworth Cup and his on pace ability will see him prominent for a long way. Still has 60.5kg against some smart up and comers so will need things to go right in the run. 10. True Detective beat Tycoonist first-up last prep on a soft track and while he can be hard to catch he usually fires to some degree fresh.
How to play it: Andermatt WIN ($2.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Andermatt wins at Randwick on April 23
|Race 8 - 3:10PM ARROWFIELD DARK JEWEL CLASSIC (1400 METRES)|
16. Le Gai Soleil is lethal first-up and no doubt she’s been set to fire here in the Group 3 feature. She was dynamic rounding them up fresh back in February before going under on a heavy track. Forgive that. She’s been an eye-catcher at the trials, particularly her first, and if she can get to the outside and get a shot at them she should pose a threat.
Dangers: 1. Mirra Vision commands plenty of respect on her Group 1 Coolmore Classic placing in unsuitable heavy ground. Freshened up since the Emancipation at Newcastle and a track in the soft range enhances her chances no end. 5. Fashchanel was game in defeat after leading in the Hawkesbury Crown and she will be a lot fitter for that performance. Nicely weighted but poorly drawn, though be wary of how the track is playing by this stage of the two-day carnival and it may not be so bad. 9. Majestic Shot was a bit stiff not to go close in the Takeover Target last week at Gosford and tries 1400m for the first time on the back up. She can take advantage of an inside gate and put herself in the first half, and if she does run out the trip strongly she’s more than capable of going close.
How to play it: Le Gai Soleil WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Le Gai Soleil’s latest trial at Randwick on May 2
|Race 9 - 3:50PM EMIRATES PARK ORTENSIA STAKES (1100 METRES)|
7. Surreal Step was outstanding behind Tycoonist first-up at Hawkesbury in ground he’s not super comfortable with and after having a bit of traffic to negotiate in the straight. Much fitter, and he runs up to that fresh effort he can go close.
Dangers: 15. Ranges is so reliable and will land somewhere just off the pace and have his chance. Won fresh last time in and looked to trial very strongly a couple of weeks ago. Each-way. 2. Roheryn lost his unbeaten fresh record last prep but there’s no denying he is very effective when fresh as his five from six record shows. Given a soft trial leading in and if the pace is on as expected he can be hard to hold out if he can find his best form. 3. Malkovich is speedy and the heavy track probably just got him after being stalked all the way by Tycoonist at Hawkesbury. Soft track form is excellent, it’s likely he’ll be in front on the home turn and it’ll come down to how much pressure he’s absorbed.
How to play it: Surreal Step E/W ($11 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Surreal Step runs third at Hawkesbury on April 30
|Race 10 - 4:30PM YARRAMAN PARK BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
8. Hulk looks to have a brilliant set up to put himself right in the finish first-up if the inside draw doesn’t count against him. At least he will get a smother which he tends to like. Yet to finish worse than second when resuming and they don’t trial much better than he did at Rosehill last week. That second to Andermatt at Kembla is looking good for a race like this. Will need the cards to fall his way but finds a suitable race.
Dangers: 1. Athelric has been dominant on heavy tracks over 1000m at Warwick Farm at his last two starts and just has to convert that form to the soft range here for him to be hard to beat. Drops 1kg after the claim for staying in the same grade. Danger. 12. American President comes right into it on a soft to heavy, having found the outside fence on heavy tracks to win his last couple. 6. Lashes reacted to the blinkers in her trial on Monday and if she can bring that resolve to race day and find her best form it’s good enough.
How to play it: Hulk E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Hulk’s trial at Rosehill on May 6