By Neil Evans
Track likely Soft 7 and rail true for Group 3 Belle of the Turf meeting
|Race 1 C, G & E MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):|
We start with the boys in a competitive maiden. Improving 4YO gelding 5. Pacific Ocean can strike third-up. Has found the line well in two provincial runs for the new Randwick stable, and the form around is solid.
Dangers: Promising Scone 3YO 12. Street Power is the logical threat from a nice draw after missing by a nose on debut in a handy maiden at home, and top city jockey going is a strong pointer. Big market watch on 3YO Godolphin first starter 9. Raoul who has been fitted with recent trials.
How to play it: Pacific Ocean to win and quinella 5 and 12. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 2 F & M MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):|
Now for the girls' edition, and it's a tough and far more open affair, with a few promising ones either on debut or resuming. Well bred 3YO Warwick Farm filly 4. Impressive Lass returns off two forward trials. Hit the line hard on debut at Kembla in late winter, and looks ready to go.
Dangers: Smartly bred 3YO filly 6. Linguee has trialled nicely for a stable renowned for firing fresh, but she'll have to do it on debut from the extreme outside gate. Godolphin filly 5. In Flanders hasn't lived up to her early potential, and resumes off a quiet trial with the blinkers removed. No doubting has the ability, but will find it tough around this track from a wide barrier. Include honest filly 11. Super One Susie who only missed narrowly at Canterbury last start, and was scratched from Orange on Monday to be saved for this; while supremely-bred filly 8. Miss Baltimore can improve after fighting on okay behind a smart maiden winner at Orange.
How to play it: Impressive Lass each way and box exacta 4,5,6. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 3 BM 64 HCP (1000m):|
Home track 4YO stallion 1. Rejinsky is the one to beat back to this distance off a sharp winning trial. Both career wins from five starts have come over this trip, and he draws to sit right on the speed.
Dangers: Mudgee 3YO 11. Amicus Curiae is fresh, and striving to keep his unbeaten record intact at third start after consecutive wins in the country. Likely to sit just back off the speed from a middle gate. Watch the betting on Newcastle 7YO 2. Nosey who resumes off a recent trial win.
How to play it: Rejinsky to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
Rejinsky wins a trial at Wyong on December 18
|Race 4 BM 64 HCP (1600m):|
Progressive 5YO 3. Onemore Sapphire has never raced better, and so much to like about his latest two wins over this distance. Swept down the middle in a dominant display at Tuncurry before bursting between runners late in a BM 68 at Wyong. Is better than this grade, but sharp rise up to 59.5kg is a potential leveller.
Dangers: Promising Randwick mare 5. Send Me Wild has also returned this prep with back-to-back wins, both times sailing home from well off the speed. Will be forced to settle well back from a wide gate, but gives the impression she'll relish the mile and be produced late in the bigger field. Gap to the rest headed by 5YO 11. Austreet who can peak from a soft draw fifth run this prep.
How to play it: Onemore Sapphire to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
Onemore Sapphire wins at Wyong on December 16
|Race 5 BM 64 HCP (1600m):|
Same rating and trip in a wide open affair, with a stack of chances. Consistent 4YO mare 5. Sky Diamonds rarely runs a bad one, and made a solid return this grade at Hawkesbury without having much luck, and normally improves into her second-up run.
Dangers: US-bred Tamworth 5YO 8. Mandalong Tapit is finally fulfilling potential having won two of his last three over this trip in country grade. Drawn okay, and sneaks down in the weights, but taking on some smarter ones here. Tough mare 4. Segrill took off early at Wyong two runs back, and defied all the closers before an even run in that tougher race behind Onemore Sapphire. Doesn't want too much rain, but draws to get a soft run on the inside just off the speed. Both 4YO mares 6. Dinado and 7. Fill Of Fun, and 5YO mare 2. Oksal, can be included in wider exotics.
How to play it: Sky Diamonds each way and box exacta 4,5,8. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 GOSFORD GUINEAS (1200m)|
Intriguing edition of the Listed Guineas, with two runners set to dominate. Smart filly 9. Forbidden Love is unbeaten fresh, and out to cement a Magic Millions start at the Gold Coast. Returns off a nice heavy track trial and a two month freshen-up since leading all the way at Listed Level, and then a terrific fighting 3rd in the Group 1 Empire Rose at Flemington. Will settle back from a wider draw, and look to charge over the top.
Dangers: Powerhouse front-runner 1. Malkovich has won his last two up to BM 72 grade, dictating on a high cruising speed and breaking their hearts behind. Suited big time at set weights in his own age group, and if he gets any sort of cheaper sectional through the middle, will be very hard to run down. Gap to the rest headed by promising 3YO 4. The Face who was only collared late resuming in a strong metro BM 72.
How to play it: Forbidden Love to win and quinella 1 and 9. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 7 BELLE OF THE TURF STAKES (1600m):|
Feature race for the fillies and mares at Group 3 level. Talented 4YO 9. Fulmina flopped when well supported second-up at Randwick; but stewards reported she resented being crowded for much of the race so prepared to forgive. Had resumed with a powerful late finish in a metro BM 78, and if she can slot in from a wide gate early enough, can dash home under a light weight.
Dangers: Doubt there's been a more luckless horse in one prep than Canberra 5YO 10. Sausedge who is bursting to win one fourth-up. Should have bolted in the Snake Gully Cup at Gundagai when held up badly and losing his spot before charging home late, then hit the line from well back under a big weight at Randwick, before should have won again when striking trouble in the straight and becoming unbalanced before again picking up and attacking the line better than anything. Beautifully weighted on the limit 54kg for the extra trip, but as always needs a clear shot from the 400m. Smart mare 6. Threeood can be hard to catch and steps up sharply in trip, but can settle back from a low draw and be saved up one final surge. Include 7. On The White Turf who has won two of her last three in wider exotics.
How to play it: Fulmina to win and quinella 9 and 10. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 CLASS 4 HCP (1200m):|
Tough home track 5YO 4. Liberty Sun has done everything but win his last couple in metro company. Hard fit well into the prep, and draws to roll forward and give another big sight over an ideal journey.
Dangers: Tamworth 4YO 5. Anubis resumed with a tidy CL1 win at Quirindi, and is down sharply in weight for this tougher challenge.
How to play it: Liberty Sun to win. Odds and Evens: Split.