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Neil Evans' Tips For Gosford (Thursday)

By Neil Evans

Track Soft 7 and rail True:

Race 1 SUPER MAIDEN HCP (1100m):

On a surface that should sneak back into soft range, Godolphin's 1. Presides by the late great Lonhro can strike on debut as a gelding from the inside gate behind two steady trials.

Dangers: Improving filly 5. Floodgates is knocking on the door ahead of her fourth start; while 8. Du Cap missed by a head in heavy ground last start coming off a five week freshen-up. The second of the Godolphin runners, 9. Lily Bobtail resumes for a second start off two trials.

How to play it: Presides to win

Race 2 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1100m)::

Tricky juvenile affair here, with most on debut. Tassort filly 7. Cashaway Gold resumes for her second start off a five month spell, and has trialled well enough.

Dangers: Must include well touted Snitzel filly 8. Declichy Boulevard who returns for her first run in NSW for the new Chris Waller stable behind two strong trials. Gap to the rest headed by provincial filly 11. Smashing Rosie and Godolphin debutant 12. Tarragon by Blue Point who can add plenty of value into trifecta and first fours.

How to play it: Cashaway Gold to win

Race 3 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):

Take Two for the youngsters over the same trip, and promising colt 6. Zealously only needs to get across from the wide draw to be the one to beat, resuming for only his second start. Fought on for a long way when debuting on the Kensington track, and fitted with a smart trial win.

Dangers: Big watch on 12. Obscure who reloads after flopping at this track on debut when backed from $4.80 into $3.80. Came through the worst past of the track that day, has since trialled, and is bred to relish the ground being by Exceed And Excel out of a Street Cry mare. Over the odds as well is 1. Better Breakout on debut as a gelding wearing blinkers for a renowned fresh stable, and also arrives behind two progressive trials. Include both Justify colt 3. Justice Warrior and Deep Field colt 5. Superhero on debut in wider esotics.

How to play it: Zealously to win

Race 4 PROVINCIAL 3YO MAIDEN HCP (1200m):

Plenty of chances in this three-year-old stoush as well, headed by resuming 12. Classic Poetry who represents the best value in the race having her first outing for the new Newcastle yard. Didn't do much in three runs at Geelong last winter before being tipped out, but has been given plenty of time in a stable that loves to get them ready fresh. Fitted with two forward provincial trials, and importantly races for the first time without blinkers.

Dangers: Plenty of them starting with 1. Hydrometer who draws the fence and looks primed at his third start. Despite a much wider barrier, don't dismiss debutant 3. Lucky Star who was strong through the line in a recent Hawkesbury trial win, and bred to handle the going. Both improving 4. Rum Diary peaking third-up; and at bigger odds 5. Veloce Rosa can run into the minor money.

How to play it: Classic Poetry each way

Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):

Got plenty of time for resuming colt 13. Evenflow who returns via two eye-catching trials. Was progressive enough in two city runs last prep before being turned out, and reportedly been working well in the lead-up to this. Gets a charmed run from the inside barrier, either leading or sitting right behind, and right at home on rain-affected ground.

Dangers: Drawn alongside, capable filly 10. Eraantyva will likely go off a short-priced favourite, and gets a soft run just off the speed. Only missed by a half length on debut at Canterbury when rock solid in the market, and scratched from the Kensington meeting on Wednesday to be saved for this. Be surprised if one of those two doesn't win, but keep safe at good odds 11. Summer Soiree who has an edge in fitness fourth-up.

How to play it: Evenflow to win

Race 6 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2100m):

The staying types get their chance here, and in a race with depth and several chances, the best value lies with improving and lightly raced import 3. Hiawatha, having his third start for the Annabel Neasham stable. Was pulled up when resuming off a lengthy break at Kembla and forced to regain a stewards' clearance before sticking on strong in a similar race here when beaten only a neck. Hits peak fitness now with an in-form and more experienced jockey going on. Bred to get further and handle the ground being by the great Camelot out of a Danehill Dancer mare.

Dangers: Naturally, progressive and sparingly raced 2. Earth Dance is a threat getting to this journey third-up, so too is tough and improving 11. Royal Standard who has placed in his last two and is searching for this distance now. Last start provincial maiden winners 6. Montgomery and 7. Seasons Of Mist are both well into their preps, and drawn low; while 12. Waverley can improve third-up.

How to play it: Hiawatha to win

Race 7 MIDWAY BENCHMARK 64 HCP (1600m):

Always plenty of chances in a Midway affair over the mile, but that means a big price for 3. Whetu, who can upset more fancied rivals second-up. Did his best work late resuming at big odds in similar company at Kembla, and the key is getting back on much preferred rain-affected ground. Drawn to get cover back in the field, and while ideally he wants further, nothing will be hitting the line harder.

Dangers: Tough 4. Edge Of Reward is very fit and continues building a solid record. Shoots for a second provincial win in three starts, and looms as the measuring stick in suitable going; while 1. Arale draws the inside with a 3kg claim, and will appreciate the drop back from BM 78 metro company. Include 2. Pandano, back in grade; and 7. Deep Fury fifth-up in wider exotics.

How to play it: Whetu each way

Race 8 FILLIES & MARES BENCHMARK 64 HCP (1100m):

One of the toughest races on the program. Settled on resuming metro filly 8. In Flight who has her fair share of ability, and is comfortable in the going. Never finished further back than second in her first proper prep last time, beating a handy maiden field here second-up. Has been fitted with two trials, expecting her to settle back off the speed and importantly off the fence before producing a superior closing burst from the 300m.

Dangers: Over the odds is 1. Smiling Prophet, coming off a tough third-up win in heavy ground at Wyong, and drawn to get cover off the speed. Big watch too on 6. Cosy Corner who resumes off two forward trials, and also draws to get an economical run with cover. Improving 2. Impulsivity was very good two starts back at Newcastle when running home hard to claim a similar race before doing his best work late in tougher class at Canterbury; while 4. Flightcrew aims for a third straight win this prep stepping up from Class 1 level.

How to play it: In Flight to win

Race 9 BENCHMARK 64 HCP (1600m):

The boys' edition closes the card, and it shapes best for smart and lightly raced 3. Norton Road who can stay unbeaten at his third run returning off a spell. Announced himself with two front-running provincial wins earlier in the year, and turned up for this with a rock solid heavy track trial. The one to beat in a weakened race.

Dangers: Keep very safe 4. Undivided who also resumes off two progressive trials with key gear changes, and draws to get a cosy trail; while 8. Dagon fourth-up is the best of the rest.

How to play it: Norton Road to win

BEST BETS:
R5 13. EVENFLOW
R8 8. IN FLIGHT

BEST VALUE:
R7 3. WHETU

All the fields, form and replays for Thursday's Gosford meeting

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