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Neil Evans' Tips For Gosford Saturday (Provincial Championships)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4 and rail true so likely on speed early before levelling out as the fields get bigger

Race 1 3YO & UP MAIDEN HCP (1200m):

Testing opener with some first starters pivotal in the market. Randwick filly 1. Alchermes didn't get a lot of room closing strongly this track on debut when backed in from a double figure price, and draws to get plenty of cover a few lengths off the speed.

Dangers: Watch the betting on Waller-trained debutant filly 3. Bellicious (Brazen Beau x So Delicious by Henny Hughes) who has had one trial; while 4YO stablemate mare 6. High Academy had trialled well before striking trouble on debut, and may pay to forgive. Another filly on debut 5. Ludicrous Mode (Snitzel x Nothin But A Dream by First Offence) has had two recent improving trials, and part of a strong young team from the O'Shea stable at Randwick.

How to play it: Alchermes to win. Odds and Evens (First 2): Odds

Race 2 CLASS 2 HCP (1600m):

Up to the mile in a small but quality field. Warwick Farm-based 6YO 1. I Arize will be hard to hold out after charging home first-up at big odds in a CL2 at Newcastle, and both career wins have come at this journey.

Dangers: Talented 4YO Newcastle mare 6. Lochita couldn't go with a smart one at Scone two runs back, but rebounded in dominant fashion bolting in a CL1 at Tuncurry. Decent rise in grade here, but gets in light after form rider's 2kg claim. Newcastle 3YO 3. Blazing Sunrise also comes out of that CL2 at home when working home okay, and extra distance third-up suits; while 3YO Godolphin gelding 5. Tongariro jumps straight to this class after an impressive first-up maiden win at Newcastle flooding home from a mile back, and the Animal Kingdom sire-line is starting to make a real mark around the region.

How to play it: I Arize to WIN. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):

Very tricky maiden field at set weights, with most on debut. Not so 3YO gelding and $330K purchase 5. Shadow Crush (Per Incanto x Inertia by Danasinga) from the Mark Newnham yard who was scratched from Hawkesbury last Sat in favour of the firmer track here. Has had three trials, the latest sitting behind in a field of four and working home well, and the winner Cathars then saluted second-up.

Dangers: Debutant 3YO Randwick gelding 3. Kyo (Poets Voice x Sennyo by Denman) is a clear threat off a dominant trial win beating home Significant Rule who only went under a head on debut at Goulburn on Thursday, but trial margin may be flattering after he he circled wide early in vastly superior ground. Include resuming Newcastle filly 7. Elegant Grace who has had two trials; while much of the speed could centre around 3YO local gelding 4. Rumpshaker who hasn't started for eight months, but returns as a gelding with the blinkers on. Loves to roll forward, and has trialled nicely.

How to play it: Shadow Crush to win and box trifecta 3,4,5,7. Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 4 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2100m):

Now the stayers' turn, and one 3YO might have the upset edge. Progressive Warwick Farm filly 6. Happy Candy cruised home to win her maiden here three runs back before close-up in two runs at Canterbury after trailing the speed. Well in at the weights after rider's 2kg claim.

Dangers: Lightly raced and imported 6YO Godolphin gelding 3. Wren's Day is the obvious and short-priced threat. Given plenty of time after rolling forward and dropping out in a much stronger race over 1400m at Rosehill three weeks back. Best form is easily around this distance, and blinkers come off. Randwick filly 7. Stick 'Em Up draws the inside, and can go close third-up getting to her pet distance after two encouraging runs back at the provincials. Both 4YO metro geldings 1. Blast and 2. Parry Sound can also improve out to this trip after moderate runs in a BM 64 at Canterbury.

How to play it: 6. Happy Candy each way and quinella 3 and 6. Odds and Evens: Split

Happy Candy's last start at Canterbury on February 28

Race 5 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):

No time to dawdle here as the babies - most on debut - let rip over the sprint course, and there are several hopes. Smart Snowden-trained Randwick gelding 6. War Memorial returns for his first run since a moderate debut in Listed company at Doomben late last year. Turned a recent Wyong trial into a one-act affair, and looks tough to beat.

Dangers: Randwick colt and first starter 2. Gundy Bridge (Im Am Invincible x Bareena by Filante) from the Waterhouse-Bott yard can springboard off two forward trials with the blinkers on, although draws a tough debut barrier. Godolphin and former Victorian colt 3. Jerle didn't shirk the task in his second run in NSW at Canterbury, and again drawn to park right behind a strong speed. Well bred Scone colt 5. Tempel One was no match on debut at Newcastle for the heavily-backed winner, but fitter now, and better suited out over a little longer journey; while well-bred Hawkesbury filly 11. Supertanker (Brazen Beau x Head Over Heels by Fastnet Rock) debuts in blinkers, and also worked nicely through his trials, winning the latest at Wyong, but last 600m home was significantly slower than War Memorial on the same day.

How to play it: War Memorial to win and first four 2,6/2,3,5,6,11/2,3,5,6,11/2,3,5,6,11. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 6 CLASS 1 HCP (1200m):

Again a tough and even sprint, although loved the winning debut here from 3YO Wyong filly 8. Daphne Jean who swept home from just off the speed, and again draws to park with a trail off the fence. Stable has a terrific strike-rate with younger horses early in the prep.

Dangers: Emerging 3YO Wyong colt 1. Bovalino will attempt to take the next step after powering away to beat a handy field on debut at Newcastle. Gdolphin 3YO gelding 5. Katona made late ground resuming in that same Class 1 at Newcastle, although back on the smaller track, will need a tonne of speed on up front to get over the top.

How to play it: Daphne Jean to win. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 7 BM 64 HCP (1100m):

Another competitive sprint, with a stack of chances headed by emerging 3YO local filly 10. Miss Fox who has won both starts this prep in dominant fashion parking just off the speed, and while there's more depth and class in this, she has the best acceleration in the race.

Dangers: Smart and lightly raced 6YO Kembla mare 5. Speed And Style had to play the bridesmaid in a string of races last prep before winning two straight. Tuned up with a recent trial win, and will roll forward from a handy gate. Warwick Farm mare 4. Sebring Express resumes off a nice trial, and has more than enough ability in this company. Was only a few lengths off the winner in consecutive BM 78 metro races last winter. Watch for Godolphin filly 14. Lavande flying home late after winning her maiden two runs back before finishing hard in a CL1 at Newcastle.

How to play it: Miss Fox to win and quinella 5 and 10. Odds and Evens: Split

Miss Fox wins at Taree on February 23


We save the best for last in a wide open feature at Class 5 level under set weights, with the top three earning a spot in the final at Randwick on Apr 11. Very keen on quality 4YO Newcastle mare 11. Asharani who is hard fit well into her prep, and took a tonne of ground off extra smart Trumbull in a BM 88 at Randwick a fortnight back. Looks well in at the weights, and Australia's top female rider Samantha Clenton gets back on.

Dangers: No doubting 4YO Wyong gelding 1. Trumbull is the most talented sprinter in the race, and was terrific first-up at Randwick, but jumping from the second widest gate in a full field of 16 around this track leaves little or no room for error. While Trumbull will push forward, smart home track sprinter 2. Through The Cracks will be forced all the way back from the widest barrier and be saved for one crack. Has been freshened since motoring home over the top in a BM 70 at Warwick Farm, but around here will need the front runners to go mad if he's to flash home. Another local, 4YO gelding 6. Golden Tycoon hasn't started for more than 10 months, but draws the inside and looked sharp in a recent and dominant trial win.

How to play it: Asharani to win and quinella 1 and 11. Odds and Evens: Odds


Mar 21: KEMBLA
Mar 28: WYONG

Apr 11: RANDWICK ($500K Final)

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Provincial Championships meeting at Gosford

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