By Neil Evans
Track likely Soft 7 and rail True for Provincial C'ship Qualifying meeting
|Race 1 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2100m):|
We start a deep and wide card over the staying journey at set weights. Provincial four-year-old 2. Librarian looks to have a shade more upside than his rivals getting out to this trip fourth-up. Dug deep to win his maiden in heavy ground two runs back before going back from a wide draw and tardy start at Gosford, but still ran home hard into a place.
Dangers: Improving colt 3. Fields Of Honour comes out of that same Class 1 when holding his ground from behind the speed, and gets first use of the inside. Gap to the rest headed by three-year-old 7. Oceanic Flash who has been working home nicely all prep, and can peak fourth-up over more ground. Is bred to swim being by two-time Doncaster winner Sacred Falls out of a Pentire mare.
How to play it: Librarian to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Librarian runs third at Gosford on March 13
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Godolphin three-year-old 1. Amulet Street is the one to beat third-up in ground he likes and dropping to a luxury weight after a 3kg claim. Only missed a place once in seven starts, and this looms as breakthrough time over his pet distance.
Dangers: Got plenty of time for progressive three-year-old 3. Earl Of Sandwich who steps up to the mile second-up after a steady return here. Consistent filly 9. Belle Espoir hasn't missed a place in four runs across her first prep, and is looking for this trip.
How to play it: Amulet Street to win. Odds and Evens: Odds a special
|Race 3 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):|
Tough test here for the juveniles, with all bar one either on debut of starting for just the second time. Like the value about Randwick filly 7. Carartie who resumes for only her second start. Sat well back and wide in a recent trial, yet gathered them up in style, and she looks set for a big return.
Dangers: Big watch on local Rubick filly 11. Sweet Ruby who debuts off two progressive trials. Well bred colt 2. Hombre didn't fire a shot on debut when well backed at odds, but he is bred to get through wet ground and can improve sharply. Another one bred to handle these conditions is filly 5. All Girls who was solid to the line on debut; while watching the betting on stablemates, resuming filly 6. Bahahaa who was outclassed on debut in black-type company last spring, but bolted in the second of two recent trials; and 9. I Like Big Putts who also resumes off two trials with the blinkers removed.
How to play it: Carartie each way and first four 7,11/2,5,6,7,9,11/2,5,6,7,9,11/2,5,6,7,9,11. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 4 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):|
This has taken on a whole new dynamic after several of the fancies came out. Like More Than Ready three-year-old filly 11. Gravity Zero on debut after a nice trial, and bred to handle the ground.
Dangers: Provincial four-year-old 1. Our Cousin Al stuck on well resuming in a handy maiden at Dubbo when easy in betting, and can improve further; while watching the betting on Headwater filly and first starter 10. Emaleah who has had two recent trials.
How to play it: Gravity Zero to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 5 MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
One of the more open races on the program. Provincial four-year-old 3. Taumalolo worked home nicely second-up, and is looking for further. Winkers have been applied, and he's shown a real liking for rain-affected ground.
Dangers: Hard to fathom capable filly 8. La Sagra is still searching for that first win ahead of her ninth start, and far from convinced the inside draw does her any favours here second-up. That said, she's been placed five times, often charging home in stronger fields, and is bred to react first time in heavy ground. Improving three-year-old 7. Klopp was only even to the line third-up at this track, but the winner then bolted in a Class 1 at Canberra before chasing hard on a leader's track in the Albury Guineas.
How to play it: Taumalolo to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 CLASS 1 HCP (1200m):|
Doesn't get any easier here over the same trip, in a field of strong depth. Punters can get a real line on three-year-old 1. California Cible who swept home resuming as a heavily backed favourite beating Amulet Street who goes around as a big fancy earlier in the day. Has been kept ticking over via an impressive heavy track trial win, and draws to get a nice trial just off the speed dropping significantly in weight.
Dangers: Progressive Godolphin three-year-old 3. Jeronimos has trialled quietly since a fast-finishing first-up effort, and he's already a second-up winner. Will have to slot in somewhere from a nasty gate, and unproven in this sort of ground; while keeping safe provincial mare 9. Duchess Marizza with blinkers off and on a surface she relishes.
How to play it: California Cible to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
California Cible wins at Kembla on March 2
|Race 7 BENCHMARK 68 HCP (1100m):|
Good sprint with plenty of hopes. Strong five-year-old 3. Patagonian will settle back fourth-up, and need the pace on, but well used to carrying weight and has a terrific heavy track record.
Dangers: Impeccably bred mare 6. Egyptian Missile did her best work late resuming behind a handy one in a country Class 2, and gets a 4kg weight drop for this tougher test. Include in exotics both 1. Miss Twilight who resumes off a nice trial and loves it wet; while improving three-year-old 10. Time For Victory also gets significant weight relief second-up.
How to play it: Patagonian to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 POLYTRACK PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIER (1200m):|
We save the big one for last as another three try to seal a berth for the showdown at Randwick on Apr 17, and typically there are a stack of chances with the distance now back to 1200m. Despite a wider draw, like the placement here of progressive filly 12. Sequana third-up, one of several Kris Lees-trained runners. Only got going late in the Qualifier at Hawkesbury, but flew home to beat a good Class 2 field at Scone the start before. Better when she can get to the outside, and only previous run on rain-affected going she flooded home to trounce a Class 1 field.
Dangers: Two starts for two wins for speedy stablemate 11. Loch Lomond who steps up sharply in class and first time in these conditions, but there's rarely been a Sacred Falls-sired galloper who didn't respond on wet tracks. Don't dismiss provincial five-year-old 1. Bombasay at big odds after dropping out in a qualifier a month ago that was run at a dawdling speed. Has been freshened, and amongst an impressive 33 percent win rate from 15 starts is a heavy track success. Talented stallion 3. Darleb did it tough from the wide draw in the Qualifier at Gosford, and is drawn to get a much softer run, although a query in the ground. Keep safe 14. Night Flyer who has charged home late in his last two at BM 64 level.
How to play it: Sequana each way and first four: 1,11,12/1,3,11,12,14/1,3,11,12,14/1,3,11,12,14. Odds and Evens: Split.