By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and rail out 2m from 1100m to winning post so fairly even early before gradual trend away from the fence
|Race 1 3YO CLASS 1 (1000m):|
The 3YO's get us underway in a good quality set weights and penalties race. Godolphin 3YO 1. Secretively was impressive returning as a gelding on the Kensington track before only fair to the line as hot favourite at Hawkesbury, but track was favouring the outside that day. Dropping back in trip on a firmer track, and from a soft draw, are all pluses.
Dangers: Consistent Randwick filly 2. Juan Diva has only just missed in two BM 64s at Canterbury after a dominant first-up win, and gets winkers for the first time. Watch the betting closely on returning filly 7. Van Giz from the Bjorn Baker yard at Warwick Farm who took on some smart maidens in spring before winning at third start, and has looked sharp enough in two recent trials. Another Godolphin filly 6. Lesage draws the inside, and drops 3kg from a valiant effort in front resuming at Newcastle, but tackling some smart ones here.
How to play it: Secretively to win and trifecta 1,2/1,2,6,7/1,2,6,7. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):|
Small and thin field at set weights, and keen on the only 2YO in the race, Snowden-trained colt 8. Reignite who can improve sharply over more ground on a firmer surface after working home okay on debut at Canterbury in Soft 7 ground.
Dangers: Randwick gelding 1. Gogal from the Waterhouse-Bott stable looks the main threat despite racing wide and compounding in the heavy on the Beaumont track last start. Has since trialled impressively, and the blinkers come off. Watch the market on debutant Chris Waller-trained filly 6. Love The Look who was a $150K yearling purchase, but hasn't shown up at the trials.
How to play it: Reignite to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Reignite runs fourth at Randwick on March 4
|Race 3 CLASS 2 HCP (1400m):|
Another tricky affair, with a few chances, and the weights will have a say. Hard to go past talented and lightly raced 3YO Wyong filly 4. Trajection who resumed with a dominant and fast-finishing win in soft going at Hawkesbury, although the win was flattered by the outside bias. Goes up only 1kg, and draws to get plenty of cover.
Dangers: Big watch on Godolphin 3YO 3. Whispered who returns as a gelding off two quiet trials. Showed good progression in spring winning a BM 64 at this track before outclassed at Listed level. Similarly talented Randwick 3YO 1. Bullet Fly also resumes as a gelding, and looked sharp winning a recent trial. Was never far away against tougher opposition last prep, and team Snowden has removed the winkers, but left blinkers on.
How to play it: Trajection to win and box exacta 1,3,4. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1600m):|
Back to the maidens over an intriguing and tricky mile, with two debutants from the Waller stable coming out of the same synthetic track trial. But 4YO mare 5. Red Hot Chillypins from the Joe Pride stable can break through third-up from a nice draw on the quick back-up after powering home late this track and trip.
Dangers: Impeccably Japanese bred filly 3. Epaline (Epiphaneia x Travessia by Deep Impact) looks a likely threat. Worked home okay in that 1250m trial - her third in two months - without ever being let go, and looks well prepared to run out this trip on debut with the blinkers on. Sire won the Group 1 Japanese St Leger and Cup double from only three starts, and dam is by super sire Deep Impact. Stablemate filly 4. Spacing (Reliable Man x Decking by Woodman) sat out at the back and did a bit of sight-seeing in that same trial, but don't be surprised if she's working home late into the finish. By a former Group 1 Queen Elizabeth winner out of a mare by prolific US sire Woodman. Local 3YO gelding 1. Highmaster can drive into the finish fourth-up.
How to play it: Red Hot Chillypins to win and box trifecta 1,3,4,5. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 5 MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Yet another maiden sent to test, but we can pass with flying colours aboard home track 3YO gelding 1. River Charge who looks primed to strike second-up after just missing in a handy maiden at Wagga, and the winner went around as one of the big chances in a strong Class 3 at Friday's Albury Cup meeting.
Dangers: Big market watch on 3YO gelding and former Victorian-based 4. Side Hustle who has his first run for the Bjorn Barker stable, and looked sharp winning both lead-up trials. Randwick gelding 3. Duty was poor first-up at this track, although the winner then saluted in the Listed Canberra Guineas, but has trialled well since. Watch any betting moves on Godolphin filly and first starter 5. Delicately (Medaglia D'oro x Genteel by Exceed And Excel) whose been taken along slowly at the trials, and debuts in blinkers; while stablemate filly 8. History has also trialled since an ordinary first-up run at Newcastle six weeks ago. Randwick 3YO gelding 10. Rocketing To Win has been running on okay in three runs this prep, and gets blinkers for the first time.
How to play it: River Charge to win and quinella 1 and 4. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 BM 64 HCP (1200m):|
Bigger field here, with a stack of hopes. Smart 3YO Newcastle colt 4. Darleb resumes off two trials, the latest eye-catching behind Regimental Band who was then very good charging home first-up under a big weight. Beat a good maiden field on debut last spring, and the "Queen of Hoops" has been booked.
Dangers: Progressive 3YO Godolphin gelding 2. Zakat can take the next step after charging home to win his maiden at Newcastle, and the third horse then bolted in same track on Thursday. Local 4YO gelding 1. Charm Offensive is hard fit well into his prep, and didn't shirk the task getting home in the Provincial Qualifier at Newcastle. Had been super consistent before that, including a maiden win here, but has the task ahead under 60.5kg from a wide barrier. Home track 7YO 5. I Am Magnificent can't be dismissed over his pet trip after flying home late in last couple across similar grade; while Warwick Farm 3YO 6. Jacquine Reward has improved many lengths in his first real prep leading all the way here to break his maiden, and the second horse then bolted in his next run this track by nearly three lengths.
How to play it: Darleb to win and box trifecta 2,4/1,2,4,5,6/1,2,4,5,6. Odds and Evens: Evens
Darleb runs third in a Wyong trial on March 2
|Race 7 BM 64 HCP (1600m)|
Play it again benchmark Sam, but out to the mile, and that augurs well for talented 3YO Godolphin filly 5. Collete whose been freshened up off a dominant Class 1 win at Newcastle over further, and kept ticking along nicely with an easy trial win over 1250m.
Dangers: Emerging 3YO Godolphin filly 11. Maia Nebula blew them away fourth-up on the heavy at Hawkesbury after being a moral beaten at Newcastle. Nice stayer in the making, but drawn wide and may not be as effective in good ground. Another promising filly 8. Off Her Roca from the Freedman stable at Randwick has trialled quietly since consecutive smart wins at Goulburn, and blinkers go on. Include both 5YO Warwick Farm geldings 6. Doctor Manhattan from the good draw, and 10. Colesberg down in weight, in wider exotics.
How to play it: Colette to WIN Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 8 PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS QUALIFIER (1400m):|
Feature race of the day as three more look to land a berth in the big final at Randwick on Apr 11, and it goes without saying there's plenty of chances in a quality full field of 16. High class 5YO stallion 3. Occupy from the Kris Lees stable did his best work late in the Newcastle qualifying leg. Very good second-up, and just needs to find cover from a tricky draw. Way over the odds!
Dangers: Promising filly 13. Electric Girl from the top local Gwenda Markwell stable continues to improve beating a handy metro BM 64 field, and then a Class 2 here with good depth, both times stalking the speed. Loves to roll forward, but has to do it from the extreme outside gate. Smart Wyong gelding 1. McCormack, with a 33 per cent winning strike rate, maintained his superior fresh record storming home to win a BM 76 at Warwick Farm, but neither his second-up or firm track form is as good. Another one from the Lees yard, 4. Juventus is smart second-up and was strong late resuming in a metro BM 88, but will need a tonne of luck here from a tough draw. Huge market watch on stablemate, talented 4YO mare 12. Frankely Awesome who hasn't started since back-to-back Group 1 placings over the carnival last April, but has been fitted for this with two quiet trials over 1000m. Emerging 3YO Hawkesbury filly 14. Piping Roller steps to this distance for the first time, but drops 4.5kg from a dominant front-running win at Newcastle, and can give them something to catch; while yet another Lees-trained runner, emerging filly 11. Enchanted Heart has cruised home to win her last two in the country, but this is significantly tougher.
How to play it: Occupy each way.
First four 1,3,4,13/1,3,4,11,12,13,14/1,3,4,11,12,13,14/1,3,4,11,12,13,14.
Odds and Evens: Odds
PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR:
Mar 28: WYONG
Apr 11: FINAL @ RANDWICK