By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Thursday’s Gosford meeting. Selections based on a soft to heavy track.
|Race 1 – 12:35PM KENTAN MACHINERY PLATE (1600 METRES)|
7. Switch Play is coming off a run that was much better than it looks on paper, a closing fifth at Kembla, he didn’t get the best of luck in the straight but liked the way he hit the line. Draws soft and up to a mile, only needs to handle the conditions to go close.
Dangers: 6. Namazu contested the same race and finished second after sitting up on the speed all the way. No match for the winner but held the others at bay. That on pace style might be an advantage for him around Gosford and he has beaten Switch Play home both times they’ve met. Logical threat. 1. Bob’s Your Uncle has been around the mark without winning and his best effort to date was a second on a soft 6 at Wyong so he should handle the ground. Not disgraced last time in a race with a tearaway leader. Can’t overlook. 8. Hirondelle was placed in the wet on debut then not disgraced in two subsequent attempts. Up to the mile from gate one so every chance.
How to play it: Switch Play WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Switch Play runs fifth at Kembla Grange on May 19
|Race 2 – 1.10PM SIGNARAMA ERINA/GOSFORD HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
1. Archery Butts has been gelded since his two starts in Victoria a year ago and one of those was on a heavy track where he finished midfield. Back home, he’s trialled strongly with an easy win at Hawkesbury and this is a good option for him to return with a win.
Dangers: 3. Princess Sunlight hasn’t seen a wet track but she’s been consistent in her races and trials to date so you’d back her to be okay. Close up here on debut then no match for Private Thoughts at Hawkesbury back in December. Trialling well and if she does handle the ground she can take catching. 2. Key Largo bumped into a promising one when resuming at Wyong a couple of weeks ago but chased home nicely into second. That was a promising effort so if he can back it up he’s in the mix. 5. Honey Go Lightly took on a couple of very strong races in her first two starts then spelled. Trialled okay behind a runaway winner recently and it wouldn’t shock if she filled a placing.
How to play it: Archery Butts WIN ($2.25 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Archery Butts wins a trial at Hawkesbury on May 11
|Race 3 – 1:50PM BJ HOWES HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
1. Great News looks a very smart type in the making and she was dominant in her first-up win at Wyong, sitting third and pouncing in the straight. Drawn out this time and strikes a wet track but on breeding she should be fine on that score. Hard to go past.
Dangers: 4. Bowery Breeze caught the eye two runs back at Kembla Grange hitting the line hard then last time out not disgraced at Warwick Farm. Is a heavy track winner and back to her right grade here. If there’s an upset it’ll likely come from her. 6. Stratum Charge held her ground when resuming at Moruya and will be fitter for this. Best form has come at this distance and in wet ground so gets a couple of ticks this time. Each-way hope. 2. Missile Heat cruised home on debut at Nowra then safely held but not beaten far at Kembla. No easier here but could be an improver.
How to play it: Great News WIN ($2.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Great News wins at Wyong on May 14
|Race 4 – 2:25PM THE ENTRANCE LEAGUES CLUB HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
8. Ladies’ Gem is worth a look each way on a wet track. Forced to chase a tearaway leader at Kembla last time and was left a sitting shot. Prior to that ran a nice third on a wet track at Wyong and has a city placing in the heavy to his name. Can run a cheeky race here.
Dangers: 1. Side Hustle was a huge drifter in betting at Goulburn last start and was held up for a run for a while before working home to snatch second. That was his first go on a heavy track. Drawn well and entitled to be in the finish somewhere. 4. Auvergne had support when too good at Wyong two back then ran on without threatening behind a subsequent city winner there two weeks ago. One of the chances. 2. Estroverto generally races well in the wet and was a Scone winner two back before a fair effort at Hawkesbury early this month. Trained here and expect him to be competitive back onto a forgiving track.
How to play it: Ladies’ Gem E/W ($11 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Ladies’ Gem runs fifth at Kembla Grange on May 16
|Race 5 – 3:05PM LUUX PROPERTIES HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
4. Ultimate Thinker wasn’t disgraced though safely held on debut back in January and is another that has trialled quite well in the lead up to a first-up run. If she can hold a closer position from gate one she will be very hard to stop.
Dangers: 3. Right Bower took a long time to warm up at Tuncurry first-up when favourite but did get going late so will appreciate another 100m. Fitter and he’s in the mix. 9. Don’t Recall is a stablemate to Right Bower and she showed some improvement into her second trial at this track a couple of weeks ago. Well worth keeping an eye on. 2. Duchess Marizza has trialled up quite well and though a bit of luck is required from a tricky draw she's in the strong Maher/Eustace stable and has to be considered.
How to play it: Ultimate Thinker WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Ultimate Thinker runs second in a Warwick Farm trial on May 22
|Race 6 – 3:40PM WALKER BROS TIMBER & BUILDING SUPPLIES PLATE (2100 METRES)|
1. Egyptian Pharaoh was on the pace when an even fourth at Hawkesbury last time and in a winnable race only has to repeat the performance to see him go close.
Dangers: 5. Jet Pilot is a 26 start maiden so fair to say he’s had a few chances but he has put five second placings together on a variety of surfaces. Gets back and runs on so he’s one to consider on an each-way basis. 4. Misty Summer didn’t do a whole lot at Kembla Grange last time and she’s been struggling a little overall this prep. Has a placing to Missybeel to her name so has the ability and with blinkers on she’s perhaps worth one more chance. 8. Tic Toc Man is a 22 start maiden but is racing consistently and might be looking for a bit more ground.
How to play it: Egyptian Phoraoh E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Egyptian Pharoah runs fourth at Hawkesbury on May 21
|Race 7 – 4:15PM EVE SECURITY SERVICES HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
2. Gold Rhapsody is a very good wet tracker and is back on her preferred ground after a game placing at Coffs Harbour where she raced wide on the speed but went down narrowly. Romped home in the wet previous two starts and while yet to win at 1100m gets a big chance.
Dangers: 4. Salina Dreaming shows some promise and was always in control when sitting just off them and racing away late first-up at Muswellbrook on a soft 7. Tricky gate for her but likely to go forward and commands respect. 12. Sebring Express has been a little disappointing since a third here to Aussie three back but she’s back on her favourite track and drawn a lot better, goes okay in the wet and could be a knockout here. 5. Skyray is another capable of an upset if he finds his best and he can run a big race fresh. Fitter for two trials and his best form, he’s city placed just four back, has him in the mix with blinkers on.
How to play it: Gold Rhapsody E/W ($6.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Gold Rhapsody runs third at Coffs Harbour on May 8