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Neil Evans' Tips For Hawkesbury (Sunday, Provincial Championships)

By Neil Evans

Track Soft 5/6 and rail True so should slowly creep towards the middle of the track

Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (1800m):

Well-bred gelding 1. Brilliant Mind was run down late as a hot favourite at Gosford last start, but gets his chance to repay punters. Won't want it too wet under the big weight, but still bred to handle affected ground, and can control this all the way.

Dangers: Another 3YO gelding 7. Eugenio is a clear threat and comes out of that same race finishing off nicely from off the speed. Drops in weight and also bred to handle soft ground. Lightly raced mare 4. Dominica Rose is still improving and will appreciate the long run home; while 2. Poseidon Star should be ready to produce after three runs back.

How to play it: Brilliant Mind to win and quinella 1 and 7.

Race 2 C, G & E MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):

With two-thirds of the small field resuming, could well be a game of cat and mouse at set weights. Randwick-based 2. California Longbow was never far away in his first prep last spring, and looks to have improved judging from a forward trial significantly in soft 6 ground.

Dangers: Rosehill gelding 3. Dream Fields didn't do a lot resuming behind a smart sprinter, but second-up this trip is more to his liking. Another Randwick 3YO 5. King Of The Realm also resumes off a solid trial. Is bred to stay, and on debut last May was well specked in the market over this trip, despite disappointing. Big watch fresh!

How to play it: California Longbow to win

Race 3 BM 64 HCP (1500m):

Warwick Farm 7YO 5. Doosey is ready to win third run back in suitable conditions. Was good fresh at Gosford from well off the speed in a shorter trip before again hitting the line hard at Kembla after covering ground and fancied at odds. Hard fit now and should handle the soft ground being by Not A Single Doubt out of a Tale Of The Cat mare.

Dangers: Warwick Farm filly 6. Onthetake will also improve up in trip and down in weight second-up, but some query on rain-affected ground; while 5YO 2. Gravitate can be hard to catch, but has been freshened and if he finds his spring form will be in the finish.

How to play it: Doosey to win.

Race 4 METRO & PROV MAIDEN HCP (1100m):

Plenty of potential on show, with some smart youngsters either resuming or debuting. Rosehill-trained filly 6. Zelrosa chased a home a good one resuming at Canterbury in her first run for more than six months, and sure to improve for strong juvenile yard.

Dangers: Big watch on well-bred 4YO mare 4. Oxford Bella who has been off the scene for more than a year, but two recent trials have been sound, and stable renowned for getting them ready early in the prep off any break. Debutant Godolphin filly 7. Angevin (Helmet x Dominions by Canny Lad) has looked okay in two trials, and dam is by a Golden Slipper winner who loved wet ground. Another first starter local filly 9. Shadow Ace (Testa Rossa x Shadow Card by Dane Shadow) won a recent trial, and is bred to handle soft ground.

How to play it: Zelrosa to win and first four 4-6/4-6-7-9

Race 5 BM 64 HCP (1000m):

Keen on Godolphin filly 6. Colombina here first-up in suitable ground. Was held together nicely in a quiet trial, and first-up in the spring knocked over highly-rated The Art Of The Bar in heavy ground at Warwick Farm. Track will be much firmer than that day, but she profiles very well.

Dangers: Doubt anything else can win, but 4YO gelding 4. Hostwin Shadow is fitter now third-up off a long break, and won his only start in soft ground.

How to play it: Colombina to win and quinella 4 and 6

Race 6 F & M MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):

Lining up to back Randwick filly 11. Sister Sledge who resumed off two forward trials with a top effort under 58kg in heavy ground just missing behind Rock who went close to winning again at the Kensington track on Wednesday. Was right on the heels of top 2YO's Estijaab and Pure Elation at huge odds last autumn. The one to beat!

Dangers: Big watch on filly 9. Peace Of Mind whose only run last winter was poor when discarded in betting, but has been given time and recent home trial was good; while Randwick mare 2. Furlana will appreciate the step up in trip second-up.

How to play it: Sister Sledge to win.


Sister Sledge runs second at Canterbury on February 8

Race 7 PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER (1400m):

Terrific race that's not as cut and dried towards the leading stables as market suggests. Loved the trial of big striding 4YO 8. Road To Heaven who is first-up, but bred to get much further by High Chaparral out of a Group 1 winning Oaks mare. One fresh last prep at Muswellbrook and has a liking for the big long straights. Leading rider sticks from latest trial.

Dangers: Plenty of them headed by Kim Waugh-trained lightly-raced talent 5. Safado who didn't finish off as a hot favourite in sticky ground at Canterbury last start, but previous form strong and did handle wet ground early in his career. Drawn a nice gate. Fellow 4YO gelding and stablemate 1. Spring Charlie cops the big weight, but is a first-up specialist unbeaten, and having won both lead-up trials in smart fashion. Lightly-raced 3YO 4. Angel Of Truth heads a strong Kembla contingent. Has won his last three, including a terrific effort at home under 59kg. Up in class and drawn wide so will need some luck, but has the ability to be in the finish. Central Coast mare 11. It's So Obvious made it two wins from last three upsetting good sprinter Miss Que at Canterbury, and drops in weight for the extra trip; while Newcastle 4YO 7. Juventus who chased home early Provincial C'ship favourite Archedemus third-up; another last start Kembla winner 9. Myprayer; and even long-priced mare 14. Second Island should all be included in wider exotics.

How to play it: Road To Heaven each-way and first four 1-5-8/1-4-5-7-8-9-11-14.


Road To Heaven's barrier trial at Wyong on February 5

Race 8 BM 64 HCP (1300m):

Very keen on Warwick Farm 4YO 1. Homework who hit the line nicely second-up at Kembla behind Laburnum who was since very good on Wednesday at the Kensington track. Proven weight carrier and better suited drawn outside horses late in the day.

Dangers: Warwick Farm colt 5. Morpheus is first-up off two trials, and best form last prep was early on; while 2. Redemption Road will improve second-up this trip on his home track.

How to play it: Homework to win.


Homework runs second at Kembla Grange on February 6

All the fields, form and replays for Sunday's Provincial Championships meeting at Hawkesbury

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