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Neil Evans' Tips For Gosford (Saturday, Provincial Championships)

By Neil Evans

The track is in the heavy range and the rail true so gradual shift in the pattern towards the middle.

Race 1 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2100m):

Predominantly 3YO stayers get first crack on a track that will have the cut out early, but under a good cover of grass. Former Kiwi-based 3YO 2. Sir Harry crossed the Tasman for top metro stable and surprised winning his maiden second-up at big odds over the mile. Has been back to the trials since ahead of this longer trip, and is bred to get over plenty of ground.

Dangers: Stablemate 1. Mangione finished off okay from well back at Kembla in soft ground, and looking for this trip. Won his maiden at Canterbury in the spring on a similar rating. Expect Warwick Farm mare 4. Layton Abbey to improve further third-up getting out to a suitable distance.

How to play it: Sir Harry to win.

Race 2 CL4 HCP (1600m):

After some significant scratchings, looks spot on in the small field for Newcastle filly 5. Hammoon Ballad who resumed with a nicee effort at Wyong and suited now second-up at this trip.

Dangers: Muswellbrook gelding 4. Yuralla Boy has found the rise in grade a little rich last couple, but previously put two wins together up to BM 64 level, and is an honest as they come.

How to play it: Hammoon Ballad to win

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

Rosehill gelding 2. Jaytees was well backed before being over-run late in a good class Maiden at Wyong. Ready now at third career run, and previously trialled strong in rain-affected ground.

Dangers: Godolphin filly 5. Sakura had three trials before a fast-finishing debut second at Goulburn when heavily backed, and is a clear threat.

How to play it: Jaytees to win and quinella 2 and 5.

Race 4 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):

Close, close and close, but still no cigar yet for 3YO Godolphin gelding 6. Pindus despite a stack of close placings in better company. Just caught late two runs back this track before ridden quieter at Wyong and got home nicely behind a promising one. The one to beat!

Dangers: Hawkesbury gelding 5. Niccirose was always hard in the market first prep, and has trialled well for her return. Rider's 3kg claim crucial in the ground. Godolphin filly 9. Angevin who debuted off two good trials in a deeper Hawkesbury maiden.

How to play it: Pindus to win and box trifecta 5-6-9.


Pindus runs second at Wyong on February 28

Race 5 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):

Very testing affair with the babies all debuting at set weights on rain-affected ground, so the late market will be pivotal. Randwick gelding 5. Sacramento (Pierro x Alzora by Redoubte's Choice) from leading Randwick yard who was strong to the line in a recent soft track trial, and is bred to handle all ground. Wears blinkers first time.

Dangers: Warwick Farm gelding 4. Prince Of Puzzle (Rubick x Agathacristi by Lacryma Christi) wasn't far away in that same trial and should be in the finish. Randiwck filly 11. Foxbrough (Dissident x Sense Of pride by Lemon Drop Kid) trialled smartly behind Evening Slippers; while colt 2. Avion Fury (More Than Ready x Elan Grenadine by Rock Of Gibraltar) has also trialled well in soft ground; and include Newcastle filly 10. Citrouille (Duporth x Le Jardin by Hussonet) from the trials.

How to play it: Sacramento to win and first four 5-11/2-4-5-10-11

Race 6 BM 64 HCP (1100m):

Another open battle, but Newcastle 3YO 6. Quick Nick can bounce back. Bolted in two back at Scone, before missing the start and having to do much work under a big weight at Pt Macquarie. Rider's 3kg claim a big swing here in heavy ground.

Dangers: Gosford mare 5. Queen Ablaze is back to her right trip and track where she won first-up, although has never raced on anything but good. Wyong mare 4. Classy Anna mixed her form last prep, but resumes in weaker grade and has a good fresh and wet track record; while Warwick Farm 3YO 9. Broken Arrows has produced three solid runs back in good company, although untested in this ground.

How to play it: Quick Nick to win and box trifecta 4-5-6-9

Race 7 CL1 HCP (1200m):

Wyong mare 5. Mighty Marmalade has hit the line hard all prep, without winning, but gets her chance here late in the day to charge over the top. Bred to handle the ground.

Dangers: Godolphin gelding 4. Haikili looks a clear threat. Swept home to win his maiden at Newcastle second-up before again closing hard at Goulburn under a big weight. Handles wet ground.

How to play it: Mighty Marmalade to win and quinella 4 and 5.

Race 8 PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER (1200m):

Terrific race, with a group of talented 3YO's likely to dominate. Talented Newcastle filly 13. Evalina is bred to handle the wet and looks beautifully weighted. Resumed in high-rating Inglis Sprint before dominant BM 64 win beating Ligulate who then sailed home to win at Warwick Farm. Has a placing in Listed company in heavy ground.

Dangers: Smart colt 9. Golden Tycoon is second-up off a valiant run behind Baller at Rosehill for in-form central Coast stable, but ground may be a query. The third Kris Lees chance 12. Kanavu looks headed for a big autumn after two runs back, although first try in soft or heavy ground. From rival Newcastle yard 4YO mare 3. Ellie's Encore looks way over the odds after resuming with a nice finishing effort in a good BM 76, and she normally peaks second-up. Include Wyong mare 2. Bangkok who looks well treated third-up in the ground after a strong BM 70 win; while Kembla-trained 7. Fortification won his only previous start in rain-affected ground carrying 2kg more.

How to play it: Evalina to win and first four 9-13/2-3-9-12-13


Evalina wins at Randwick on March 6

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

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