By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Thursday’s Kembla Grange meeting. Selections based on a soft track.
|Race 1 - 12:50PM EDGAR BRITT MAIDEN HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
1. Verbek is a promising type and while 1000m is going to be short of his best he should still be hard to beat in this field even with no official trial. Lost a race on protest last prep and was stakes placed so has the talent. Read co-trainer Robert Price's comments here.
Dangers: 6. Huzzah is a well bred Godolphin filly on debut and she’s shown enough in her two trials to mark her down as a danger, particularly as 1000m would be more suitable for her. 5. Grand Palazzo is a stablemate to Verbek also resuming and she did trial quite well albeit in a small field. Any improvement in the track condition would be a plus and she can run well. 2. Chalkley started big odds and wasn’t disgraced at Hawkesbury a month ago. Placed on a soft 7 at this track and distance in May so a placing isn’t out of the question in a small field.
How to play it: Verbek WIN ($2.10 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Verbek runs second at Eagle Farm on June 5
|Race 2 - 1:25PM GEORGE MOORE BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
4. Delexo couldn’t have been more impressive scoring first-up at Muswellbrook by a widening margin. Always shown promise and finds the leading rider here. Should be prominent throughout and the one to beat.
Dangers: 5. Pick The Score hasn’t raced since a solid second over this course back in May at the end of a solid preparation. Did it fairly easily in a recent trial and she’ll be very competitive. 9. Esteemed Lady led all the way for an upset win at Hawkesbury two starts back then not disgraced in a strong Class 1 at Wyong. Back on her home track and she’s worth keeping in mind. 2. Kattegat is flying at the moment with strong finishing wins at Moruya and Forbes. Freshened since the latest and is worth including.
How to play it: Delexo WIN ($1.65 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Delexo wins at Muswerllbrook on September 2
|Race 3 - 2:05PM ATHOL (GEORGE) MULLEY CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
3. Different Strokes was never going to be beaten at Wyong two weeks ago as he cruised away with a maiden at a short price. Form prior to that suggested a win was near and while up in class he looks capable of going on with it.
Dangers: 1. Jojo Was A Man steps up in trip after two runs in town and second-up he did make some late ground without threatening at 1300m. Down in class and scratched from Kensington for this. Gets his chance to feature. 2. Echo Point races best when he’s on the pace and he couldn’t get near it first-up over the short trip at Wyong. Much better suited here and his maiden win was at this track and distance. Likely sharp improver. 8. Never Cry impressed breaking through at Goulburn on a soft track then tried hard in a solid Class 1 at Hawkesbury holding third. Only has to hold that form to be somewhere in the finish.
How to play it: Different Strokes WIN ($3.00 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Different Strokes wins at Wyong on September 3
|Race 4 - 2:40PM JIM AND ANN CAMERON BM 64 HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
8. Louder has been racing consistently on all surfaces and chased hard at Goulburn last start on a heavy track. That was provincial level and this looks no harder so she has to be a good each-way chance again.
Dangers: 2. Mystic Vein has led all the way in both wins and just failed to do that at Wyong last time, going down narrowly. Drawn out but expect him to roll forward and if he gets the breaks will be hard to run down. 3. Jeanne D’Arc improved quickly second-up to win at Newcastle on a good track. She can be hit and miss but everything points to her running well here. 7. Eden Vale appreciated a big class drop on a series of runs in town when he finished over the top to win at Bathurst under 59.5kg. Sting out of the track a plus and wouldn’t shock if he’s in the placings.
How to play it: Louder E/W ($3.90 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Louder runs second at Goulburn on August 28
|Race 5 - 3:20PM NEVILLE SELLWOOD METRO & PROV MAIDEN HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
13. Thousand Years wasn’t fancied on debut but finished strongly into a promising third over 1300m. There was some depth to that maiden and if she can come on from that run she’ll be hard to beat.
Dangers: 12. So I See couldn’t get near them early but made some late ground first-up at Nowra. Perhaps she wants a bit further but gets an extra 100m and she can be expected to improve. 1. Tyrol just failed here two starts ago when favourite, since then a fair effort at Hawkesbury over this trip. Not far away and is worth including in the chances. 14. Wine Talks wasn't disgraced on debut here beaten two lengths and can forgive Kensington failure on a heavy track. Has a chance to fire up.
How to play it: Thousand Years WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Thousand Years runs third at Hawkesbury on August 31
|Race 6 - 3:55PM GEORGE PODMORE MAIDEN HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
6. Lukey Luke is an interesting first starter who really wasn’t pressured at all winning a trial here earlier this month. Hard to know what was there but did it so easily he’s worth a look each-way on debut on his home track.
Dangers: 1. Head Legislator is bursting to win a race with a frustrating run of five consecutive second placings, three of them this time in. Narrowly beaten in his past two and gets yet another chance. 14. Torinda showed improvement second-up from a spell as he ran into third, albeit beaten over two lengths, at Wyong. Bigger track should suit and extra 200m doesn’t appear an issue. Keep in mind. 3. Deep Snow had some specking at his second start and hit the line late behind a smart type at Wyong and the form is holding up okay. Again a big track looks a plus and he’s still open to some improvement.
How to play it: Lukey Luke E/W ($13 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Lukey Luke wins a trial at Kembla on September 6
|Race 7 - 4:35PM BILLY COOK CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
10. Beep Test is an up and comer who ran right up to good support as he swept home to win at Gosford a few weeks back. Up in class but the manner in which he won last time suggests there’s more to come. Go well.
Dangers: 5. The Bullring was thrown into the Pago Pago Stakes at his third start and didn’t measure up but showed promise in his first two starts. Cruised along in a trial recently and looks a good chance. 3. Agrum raced near the speed when placed at Wyong last time. Only failure was in a BM72 in town so has to be considered here. 11. Flower Moon improved sharply to lead all the way at Goulburn at her second start. That was on a heavy track, so interesting to see her on firming ground here.
How to play it: Beep Test WIN ($2.15 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Beep Test wins at Gosford on August 27