By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Thursday’s Coffs Harbour meeting. Selections based on a good to soft track.
|Race 1 - 12:15PM TOORMINA HOTEL 3YO PLATE (1205 METRES)|
1. Buck Pharoah has been a beaten favourite at his last two but is much better off at the weights after going under narrowly here last start. Ideally drawn and entitled to run up to his short price.
Dangers: 2. Harlem Groove was first-up since January in the same race and he worked home nicely into fourth. Much fitter here but no better off at the weights so will need a bit of luck to turn the tables. 7. Boncassie led all the way to win the race in question but was getting 6kg from Buck Pharoah so is 4kg worse off. Expect she will roll forward and give a sight and that gives her a chance. 3. Kapsali is another to come through the Coffs Harbour race and it was his debut, he ran an even fifth and was in the market. Can only be better for that so improvement could see him in the placings.
How to play it: Buck Pharoah WIN ($1.75 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Buck Pharoah runs second at Coffs Harbour on July 24
|Race 2 - 12:50PM O'BRIEN ELECTRICAL & PLUMBING PLATE (1305 METRES)|
2. Are We Good has been solid in two runs since a break and he drew wide when running into fourth late at Taree last week. Slightly better gate here but should be close to a peak and has a good each-way chance.
Dangers: 9. Ultimate Man had good support when boxing on strongly into a placing from on the speed here second-up. Draws nicely this time, while he’s had a few chances he’s worth a look. 1. Ambridge has attacked the line well at both starts to date and the extra trip might be in his favour. Well backed when beaten three lengths at Grafton a month ago. Definite chance. 3. Brunel Kingdom disappointed last start at Ballina on a heavy track but merit in his first-up effort at Grafton to be narrowly beaten. Worth another chance onto a better surface here.
How to play it: Are We Good E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Are We Good runs fourth at Taree on July 27
|Race 3 - 1:25PM LLOYDS AUCTIONEERS MERV MERCER MILE (1605 METRES)|
12. Beef Week Princess had no luck at all at Lismore last start and should have finished a lot closer. Backing up suits as she was up in distance into that race and if she gets the breaks can be right in the finish.
Dangers: 3. Saintly Sunrise has been going around in Highways at his last four and his three efforts before his latest at Randwick were very handy. Gets back and runs on and no surprise if he’s charging at them late. 2. Mikado draws out but is an on pacer so expect him to roll forward. Game in defeat at Taree last week and drops 2.5kg. Capable of winning this. 6. Lord Avatar was runner-up at this trip at Grafton before a midfield finish in a Rosehill Highway. Down in class and gets blinkers on, one of the each-way chances.
How to play it: Beef Week Princess E/W ($10 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Beef Week Princess runs sixth at Lismore on July 30
|Race 4 - 2:05PM GRANT BASTIAN MEMORIAL HANDICAP (1005 METRES)|
5. Amirykal rarely runs a bad race and was strong at the finish when narrowly beaten at Ballina first-up. Fitter, handles all conditions and while awkwardly drawn she should be hard to hold out again.
Dangers: 13. Bel Academy was a dominant all the way winner at Class 1 level here second-up from a spell and will likely pounce on the lead again. No reason why he won’t take plenty of catching. 3. Rockin’ Ruga ran well first-up last prep then went off the boil a bit. Given an easy trial, blinkers on and a soft draw he’s one to keep an eye on fresh. 7. In A Step had support and battled on okay in the same race as Amirykal into third place. Blinkers first time might spark her up, she will need some luck from the gate but is consistent and has a case.
How to play it: Amirykal E/W ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Amirykal runs second at Ballina on July 22
|Race 5 - 2:40PM DRISCOLL'S AUSTRALIA KEN HOWARD SHOWCASE CUP (2005 METRES)|
5. Into The Oblivion can mix his form but his best is more than good enough to be in the finish of this. Game at Newcastle two starts ago then far from disgraced in open company here when back in trip. Definite chance.
Dangers: 3. Arctic Wolf was a winner at 2000m before changing stables and he’ll be better suited back to this trip after a close up fourth in the Sawtell Cup at 1515m. Wide gate a worry but otherwise a good chance. 13. Senatorial was solid in the market and got the job done on a heavy track at this distance at Taree three weeks ago. Last two wins have been in the heavy but stays well and is an each-way hope. 7. Ambitious Prince gets a chance to improve out in distance after disappointing last time.
How to play it: Into The Oblivion WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Into The Oblivion runs second at Newcastle on July 3
|Race 6 - 3:15PM BELLBOWRIE MOTORS CLASS 3 HANDICAP (1205 METRES)|
2. Standing Bear has come back in great form with a dominant win first-up at Grafton a month ago. He was competitive at provincial level last time in and draws perfectly. He can be relied on to run a big race again.
Dangers: 1. Chasing Comets improved sharply second-up for a runaway Scone win at 1100m a few weeks ago. All wins are on soft and heavy ground so track condition could be vital but has to be respected after such an impressive effort. 6. Tawfiq Lass is a lightly raced mare also coming off a wet track win by a big margin. She hasn’t done a whole lot wrong and a drier track shouldn’t worry her. Go well. 8. Supreme Diva ran a handy race here two starts ago at 1000m then up in class during the Grafton carnival and she finished close up behind The Drake. Each-way claims back to a more suitable race.
How to play it: Standing Bear WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Standing Bear wins at Grafton on July 8
|Race 7 - 3:50PM CARLTON DRY COFFS HARBOUR CUP (1605 METRES)|
1. Opacity can be forgiven for his last start failure on a heavy track, his previous form was top class including a win over Order Again three starts back at a mile. Has top weight but draws nicely and should be hard to beat.
Dangers: 2. Luncies has some X-factor about him and created a good impression winning at his second Australian start at the Hawkesbury stand alone meeting in May. Fitter for two trials and is a threat. 6. Greek Hero found his best form to take out the Sawtell Cup here off a wide gate with 60kg. Drops 6kg here and has to be considered. 3. Itz Lily is always around the mark and hit the line late as usual chasing home Blondeau over 1400m at Randwick. Likely drifts back from the wide gate but will be running on strongly.
How to play it: Opacity WIN ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Opacity wins at Randwick on June 12
|Race 8 - 4:25PM COFFS HARBOUR TOYOTA DANIEL BAKER SPRINT (1205 METRES)|
4. Hellenism is well placed here on the back of a top effort in the Ramornie at Grafton. That was on the back up from a Highway win. She’s trained here, drawn perfectly and has the racing style to make use of it. Take beating.
Dangers: 3. The Drake has been freshened up since winning a Class 6 at the Grafton carnival a month ago and he does have a liking for this track where he’s unbeaten in two starts. Tends to get back but looks a danger. 9. Aheadofhistime was an impressive winner of the Prelude to this race a couple of weeks ago. Finished close up behind The Drake at Grafton before that and has to be considered. 12. Sausalito chased home Aheadofhistime into second placing and has each-way claims again here.
How to play it: Hellenism WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Hellenism runs sixth in the Ramornie at Grafton on July 7