By Neil Evans
Track likely Soft 7 and rail out 3m from 450m to 1100m and True the remainder
|Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1500m):|
A little break in the weather may see us start in soft range, but the rain is expected to return so patterns will be a close watch. Hard fit after four runs this prep, local four-year-old 4. Mopar has shown enough improvement and can break through at his ninth start. By leading wet track sire, drawn to get a nice trail and a senior jockey takes over after a four week freshen-up. The value!
Dangers: Consistent mare 8. Palazzi Signorili has found one better all three runs this prep, and is the one to beat, although two of those margins were big and she's well under the odds. No doubt she can beat this field, but two runs in similar ground so far have been very plain. Lightly raced mare 6. Arataki is clear best of the rest at her third start and drawn the inside.
How to play it: Mopar to win; quinella 4 and 8; trifecta 4,8/4,6,8/4,6,8. Odds and Evens: Evens a special
|Race 2 3YO MAIDEN HCP (1300m):|
Bit of depth to this one and all bar the topweight are fillies. Progressive Godolphin filly 4. Jadida made up good ground at Wyong at only her second start chasing home the smart Impressive Lass who then was a dominant Class 1 winner in Canberra. Bred to relish the wet.
Dangers: Big market watch on Sebring filly 5. My Delight who has been strong at the trials, and debuts for top trainer/rider combination. Liked the second-up effort from improving 3. Deep Creek, and she gets the blinkers added carrying 1.5kg less. Expect another Godolphin filly 8. Hirondelle to be hitting the line first-up. Raced well here on debut 11 months back, and returns off a steady trial with significant gear changes.
How to play it: Jadida to win and trifecta 3,4,5/3,4,5/3,4,5,8. Odds and Evens: Split
Jadida runs second at Wyong on February 26
|Race 3 4YO & UP PROV & CTRY MAIDEN HCP (1100m):|
Testing maiden with a few chances. Keen on four-year-old 2. Taumalolo second-up and back slightly in trip. Condition gave out late resuming in a deeper maiden at Kembla, but much better placed here from the draw and dropping 3.5kg after the claim.
Dangers: Resuming four-year-old 5. Pure Rubick is a serious threat off two trials, with the blinkers going on. Hasn't raced for more than eight months, but expected to come to hand quickly, and was scratched from Scone on Monday to be saved for this. Local mare 3. Disengage resumes off two forward trials here, with the blinkers added. Will get a lovely run right behind the speed. Gap to the rest.
How to play it: Taumalolo to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 CLASS 1 HCP (1000m):|
Still with the sprinters, and good race for this grade. Progressive mare 2. Van Giz will be very hard to hold out fresh off two nice trials. Placed in a similar race first-up last time, and draws to get a lovely trail in ground she thrives in.
Dangers: Another one returning from the spring, filly 5. Zanzidance is also smart when fresh, and fitted with a winning trial. Speedy three-year-old 1. Belieber has only been collared in two runs at BM 64 level either side of a Group 3 failure, and crucially stays at the 1000m trip. Will give another big sight from the low draw, but doubt he can hold off a few of these. Include in exotics Scone mare 4. A Fortunate Lass having her first run for smart new stable off two progressive trials.
How to play it: Van Giz to win and quinella 2 & 5. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1800m):|
Another fairly open contest at set weights. Well bred filly 11. Lady Of Luxury is perhaps the most talented one in the race, and was good chasing home a dominant CL1 winner at Canberra having stepped up sharply in trip. Has to overcome a tough draw, but looks well treated at the weights, and had plenty of experience already on rain-affected ground.
Dangers: Improving three-year-old 3. Ossabuco is much better suited here after feeling the pinch third-up in tougher metro grade. Lightly raced filly 9. Bella Cavalla was only a long neck from the winner second-up at Kyneton. Gets in well for her first run in NSW, with senior metro rider aboard from the inside draw. Prepared to be patient with country mare 7. Lost Impact who has been okay in two provincial runs to start her career, and step up in distance is a plus. Include in exotics honest filly 13. Rebel Rama who is searching for this distance or even further fifth-up.
How to play it: Lady Of Luxury to win. Odds and Evens: Odds a special
|Race 6 BENCHMARK 64 HCP (2000m):|
Always an open and tactical battle around this grade and journey, but could well end up a strong form race. Hard to go around promising colt 6. Socrates third-up on the big track. Hit the line hard after being held up last start over the mile, and this looms as a perfect trip. Was thrust into Group 1 company last spring at only his fourth start.
Dangers: Another stayer on the rise 2. Just A Jedi has won his last two at the provincials in dominant fashion sitting just off the speed. Up in weight, but will run this right out, and should also enjoy the long straight. Include in exotics lightly raced 9. Rondino who was an impressive country maiden winner two runs back; and well bred mare 10. What A Girl who drops in weight for this tougher test.
How to play it: Socrates to win and quinella 2 and 6. Odds and Evens: Evens
Socrates runs second at Kembla on March 2
|Race 7 CLASS 1 HCP (1400m):|
Plenty of quality and depth in this one too headed by progressive mare 6. Flash Point who is ready to win again deep into the current prep on a track rating she will appreciate. Has charged late to miss narrowly in her last two, and more ground is a big plus.
Dangers: Godolphin filly 7. Eleusa got going late resuming in a good quality CL1 at Newcastle, and like her getting out to this distance second-up. Improving filly 3. Seleque finished off well second-up after being out-sprinted on the turn and then held up in BM 68 metro grade. Looks well placed here from the inside draw with blinkers back on, but can be very one paced; while improving 1. Yardstick was right behind Eleusa first-up, and has solid form on rain-affected ground.
How to play it: Flash Point to win and trifecta 6,7/1,3,6,7/1,3,6,7. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 8 BENCHMARK 68 HCP (1300m):|
We close with a competitive sprint. As long as the inside is still holding up, Godolphin mare 4. Phemonoe is the one to beat second-up with blinkers going on. Missed by a head resuming in a stronger metro race, and well capable of carrying the big weight back at the provincials.
Dangers: Lightly raced four-year-old 8. Numbers Game motored home to win a country BM 66 second-up, and looks well placed to run the quinella.
How to play it: Phemonoe to win. Odds and Evens: Evens