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Neil Evans' Tips For Gosford (Thursday)

By Neil Evans

Track likely Heavy 8 & rail out 3m so around the speed early before trending wider and off speed late

Race 1 F & M BM 64 HCP (1200m):

We open with a competitive sprint that could turn into a real battle of tactics and tempo. Despite climbing in weight, 3YO filly 1. Miss Spiteful from the Waterhouse-Bott camp at Randwick is well placed third-up. Back a notch here after finishing close-up in two deeper races on the Kensington track, and handles the ground.

Dangers: Newcastle mare 7. Ellie's Encore was well backed hitting the line hard resuming at home, and her second-up record is good. Hasn't won for a while, but was close-up in some strong country and provincial fields earlier in the year. Wyong mare 3. Margie Bee covered plenty of ground last start at Kensington, but draws the inside here. Closed off nicely in her previous two against stronger, and all three wins have come over this trip. Taree mare 2. Lucciola Belle held her own first-up in a Highway at Randwick, and second-up form is strong enough in these conditions; while Warwick Farm filly 5. Ruby Tuesday has trialled nicely for her return, and fought hard first-up last prep when she struck traffic problems, but a query in the ground.

How to play it: Miss Spiteful to win and quinella 1 and 7. Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1100m):

Loved the way 3YO Warwick Farm colt 2. Key Largo from the Bryce Heys stable ripped home late this track second-up in heavy ground, and he looks a good thing in similar conditions over further.

Dangers: Rosehill colt 4. Mr Colorful (Headwater x Holder Sunset by Shamardal) looks ready to go off a dominant trial win in heavy ground, and can run the quinella.

How to play it: Key Largo to win and quinella 2 and 4. Odds and Evens: Evens

Key Largo runs second at Gosford on May 28

Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):

Still with the maidens, but out to the mile. Imported 6YO gelding 1. First Footman from the Freedman yard at Rosehill almost has this at his mercy third-up at set weights with blinkers going on. Produced a big run first-up at Kembla under 61kg, before a little flat at Newcastle, but has a clear progression edge over these.

Dangers: Don't under-sell Hawkesbury filly 8. Ausbred L'or who closed off strongly first-up at home, and bred to have a real liking for rain-affected ground; while include Randwick filly 9. Todwick with blinkers applied fourth-up.

How to play it: First Footman to win and quinella 1 and 8. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 4 BM 70 HCP (1900m):

Tricky affair. Capable Newcastle 3YO 2. Controlthewitness had little peace in front this grade last start when easy in betting, but his previous couple were sound, and drawn to get a cosy run on the fence. Has a 33 per cent winning strike rate from 12 starts.

Dangers: Expect sharp third-up improvement from stablemate mare 3. Alam Mo Na who was very plain in that same race, but far more effective on rain-affected ground, and well in at the weights after jockey's claim; while Wyong 4YO 1. Tolemac has been freshened up via a nice trial, and is a provincial heavy track winner.

How to play it: Controlthewitness to win. Odds and Evens: Evens

Race 5 4YO & UP MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):

Moderate and tough race. Lightly raced Wyong 6YO 2. Montana Thunder from the Damien Lane stable ran on okay as an odds-on favourite resuming at Taree, and extra trip an obvious plus. Dam was good in wet ground, and senior metro rider goes on.

Dangers: Consistent Hawkesbury 4YO 4. Thriveinthehome loves to lead, and stuck on well to place in his last three. Suited from the draw around this track, and will handle the ground. Watch the betting on 4YO Warwick Farm first starter 3. Straight Torque (Power x Katie O'Reilly by O'Reilly) who has had two trials coming in.

How to play it: Montana Thunder to win. Odds and Evens: Evens.

Race 6 C, G & E BM 64 HCP (1200m):

Good race for the boys. Warwick Farm 4YO 1. Lancaster Bomber came off a second-up win at Newcastle in this grade to finish just behind the place-getters in a deeper battle on the Kensington track. Back up in weight, but gets a vital claim, and very effective from off the speed in wet conditions.

Dangers: Promising Warwick Farm 3YO 2. Bushido resumes off a tidy trial, but best form so far is on firmer going. Goulburn 6YO 5. Ruthless Agent hasn't won for a while, but hit the line hard in a BM 70 at Canterbury two runs back, although a query if the track gets too wet; while another one from the 'Farm 6. Skyray can improve second-up.

How to play it: Lancaster Bomber to win. Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 7 BM 64 HCP (2600m):

Now for a real tough and open staying test. It took a while for 6YO Warwick Farm mare 6. Joe's Joy to win a fourth race, but she powered home from a mile back at Kembla in heavy ground, and gets similar conditions here over a longer trip. Performs best when drawn towards the outside.

Dangers: Progressive 3YO gelding 5. Gunaluva is ready for this trip after a big effort to win his maiden fourth-up at Newcastle when forced to go a long way from home, although best runs have been in firm going. Tough Warwick Farm 3YO 10. Lord Tropicana backs up quickly after a fighting effort at Wyong, and looks one of the better weighted-runners all day after rider's claim. Missed narrowly getting home well at previous start on a Soft 7, so extra distance looks okay. Improving 'Farm 4YO 8. True Marvel surged through the mud from well back to beat Lord Tropicana, and the longer trip also looks up his alley. Randwick 4YO 1. Castel Sant'angelo returns from a solid Victorian campaign, running three placings in his last four. Can dictate the speed drawn the inside, but this opposition looks tough under 62kg.

How to play it: Joe's Joy each way and trifecta 5,6,10/1,5,6,8,10/1,5,6,8,10. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 8 CLASS 2 HCP (1000m):

Home track filly 5. Salina Dreaming from the Angela Davies yard is very promising, and can win much better races. Swept home for a dominant first-up win in this grade at Muswellbrook, and the second horse has since won his last two. Then unlucky here in a BM 64 covering a stack of ground, but still hit the line to just miss. Loves rain-affected ground.

Dangers: Progressive Wauchope 3YO 7. Tallis is a clear threat after fighting on strong first-up for five months in a tougher Highway at Randwick, and very well weighted after the claim in this grade. Randwick 4YO 2. Invincible Lad improved sharply fourth-up in a good CL3 at Goulburn, and drops in weight, but won't want to get too far back on the inside late in the day.

How to play it: Salina Dreaming to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.

Salina Dreaming runs second at Gosford on May 28

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

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