By Neil Evans
Track likely to slip back around Soft 5/6 and rail True:
|Race 1 Zachariah PLATE (1000m):|
We start Provincial Qualifying day with the maidens over a competitive dash. Local three-year-old filly 3. Hasalake resumes off two trials, ridden out to dominate the latest one sweeping down the middle. Stable renowned for having them ready, and well equipped to handle any track downgrades.
Dangers: Star Witness filly 5. Star Cherie looks ready for her debut after a dominant latest trial win from the front, although she was pushed out, and has never trialled on anything worse than a Good rating.
How to play it: Hasalake to win and quinella 3 and 5. Odds and Evens: Odds
Hasalake wins a trial at Gosford on March 1
|Race 2 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):|
Tricky assessment with several new ones on show, and varying formlines. Keen on Godolphin filly 10. Naples second-up with the winkers applied. Finished well resuming here in a handy maiden, and on debut last spring powered home late in a Listed race at Caulfield.
Dangers: Improving stablemate filly 6. Camplin didn't have much luck trailing the speed at Canterbury when heavily backed. Drawn further out, and only needs cover to be in the finish. Big watch on Hinchinbrook filly 5. Anagain debuting in blinkers off a strong trial win.
How to play it: Naples to win. Odds and Evens: Evens
|Race 3 3YO & UP MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Down to five runners, with three on debut. Godolphin-based Exosphere three-year-old 2. Tersaine is suited here, and over the odds on debut after two forward trials.
Dangers: Liked the trial win of 5. Zachariah who resumes for a second prep; while 4. La Sagra never missed a place in five runs last spring stretched out past a mile, and trialled well behind Deepstar who then won her maiden first-up at Goulburn on Thursday. Keep safe another local first starter 6. Annyidea who also trialled strongly in heavy ground here for a sharp stable; while home track debutant 7. Sancta is the best of the rest.
How to play it: Tersaine to win and first four 2,4,5/2,4,5/2,4,5,6/2,4,5,6,7. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 CLASS 1 HCP (1200m):|
Provincial four-year-old 2. Loch Lomond justified heavy backing on debut at this track jumping to the front and giving nothing else a chance. Has trialled since, and any amount of rain is a plus being by one of the great Group 1-winning wet trackers.
Dangers: Improving three-year-old 1. Edmond can bounce back after pulling up lame resuming in a deeper race, and carries only 2kg over the limit after the claim.
How to play it: Loch Lomond to win. Odds and Evens: Split a special
|Race 5 COLTS, GELDING & ENTIRES BENCHMARK 64 HCP (1100m):|
Despite a smallish field, plenty of chances in this one. Tough four-year-old 3. Ready To Roam stuck on well at Tamworth after leading in his first run for a new provincial stable. That was a very handy CL3, and he's drawn to either lead again or sit outside the speed, and at his best on rain-affected ground.
Dangers: Lightly raced five-year-old 1. Beach Baby has gone forward in better company and been overhauled in two runs back from a spell. Fitter now, although suspect he'll be ridden quieter this time from the wider gate. Taree-based four-year-old 8. Standing Bear has hit a nice vein of form. Dashed home to easily win a provincial C1 before getting home hard from well off the speed this grade. Supremely in at the weights after rider's 3kg, although not convinced the inside draw does him any favours. Expect a big run fresh from 6. O'Mudgee off two useful trials.
How to play it: Ready To Roam each way and trifecta 1,3/1,3,6,8/1,3,6,8. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 6 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1900m):|
Out over distance we go for an open contest at set weights. Keen on progressive colt 5. Fields Of Honour third-up getting out to a longer journey. Trailed the speed before powering home to land his maiden at Warwick Farm, and looks well treated carrying half kilo less back to provincial level. Love the breeding cross here by dual Group 1 NZ star Tavistock out of two-time Group 1-winning mare Fashions Afield.
Dangers: Got plenty of time for 3. Librarian who led all the way at Newcastle second-up off a lengthy break to win his maiden. Loves the wet being by Zoffany, but has to get over comfortably enough from a wide barrier. Keep safe good mare 11. Ladylovestogamble if she gets a run. Hard fit after four runs back and looking for this trip.
How to play it: Friends Of Honour to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 7 FILLIES & MARES BENCHMARK 64 HCP (1100m):|
Back to the sprint course for the girls, and this stacks up nicely for Godolphin filly 3. Attribution second-up. Led them a merry dance resuming here to crack her maiden, and love the fact she's been kept at the same trip in similar ground. No concern carrying the big weight.
Dangers: Promising filly 6. Pandora Blue has won both starts this prep, trailing the speed and surging home both times. This is a decent step up, but she's bred to thrive on wet tracks. Provincial mare 1. Night Flyer may find this too short fourth-up, but nothing will be finishing stronger. Did her best work late at Wyong in similar ground, just needs a good tempo to chase.
How to play it: Attribution to win and box exacta 1,3,6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 POLYTRACK PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIER (1200m):|
We close the meeting with the feature Provincial Qualifier at Class 5 level under set weights. High class four-year-old provincial mare 12. Great News is very well placed resuming. Looked forward in a good 1000m open trial hit-out behind last year's Golden Slipper winner. Boasts a 50 percent winning strike rate from only eight starts, and reacts in all types of ground.
Dangers: Iron-like five-year-old 1. Liberty Sun has drawn the outside barrier in a big field, but he has good tactical speed, and is rock hard fit. Dud deep to win a metro BM 88 off a six week break, and has continued to work well suggesting the long prep hasn't taken any edge off. Improving provincial mare 11. Electric Girl is better suited here third-up after dropping out when leading in the Provincial Qualifier at Newcastle. That was a deeper field, and she was disadvantaged by track bias favouring runners to the outside. Talented four-year-old stallion 2. Darleb is capable of firing fresh off two quiet trials, although he also will need some luck drawn off the track.
How to play it: Great News to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Great News runs second in a Gosford trial on March 1