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Neil Evans' Tips For Newcastle (Saturday, Provincial Championships)

By Neil Evans

Track Good 4 and Rail out 2m from 800m - 400m then True the Remainder so leaning on pace early before levelling out

Race 1 C, G & E MAIDEN HCP (1300m):

Tricky race, with not a stack of encouraging form on show. Sticking with Kembla visitor 3. Eskimo Commander who can control the tempo, and gets in well at the weights after hoop's 3kg allowance. Was around the placings last prep through spring, and will also appreciate firming footing after puncturing in heavy ground first-up at Gosford when taken on up front.

Dangers: Hawkesbury 4YO 2. Don't Judge Me has hit the line nicely both runs this prep, and aided by 2kg claim will be running into the finish; while Warwick Farm 2YO 5. Sirmaze (Hampton Court x Siraiki by Singspiel) has trialled okay for debut.

How to play it: Eskimo Commander to win and quinella 3 and 4

Race 2 F & M MAIDEN HCP (1300m):

Now the girls' edition under the same conditions, and looks the right fresh race for Wyong mare 3. City Of Love via a familiar first-up pattern. Resumed in similar this track in the spring and flooded home into a place at big odds. Again has had one trial coming in, and while will naturally drift back from a wider gate, she loves the big straight.

Dangers: Randwick mare 1. Royal Anthem resumed with a nice closing placing at Hawkesbury and jumps from the inside gate. Always a big watch any Godolphin filly on debut, and 2. Attentes (Epaulette x Excommunicate by Grand Lodge) has had two solid trials and draws well with a lugging bit on.

How to play it: City Of Love to win.

Race 3 CL1 HCP (900m):

No loafing in this. Randwick filly 3. Hibiscus Lady improved dramatically on rain-affected ground to win from the front at Gosford after finishing on the heels of the smart Wagner in a trial who won first-up at Kensington on Wednesday.

Dangers: Warwick Farm 4YO 2. Norton has continually campaigned in BM 64 grade and Nowra 4YO 5. Lytafire has gate speed;.

How to play it: Hibiscus Lady to win

Race 4 CL2 HCP (1600m):

Expecting a much improved run from Warwick Farm 4YO 1. Homework with the claim. Went forward under a big weight at Hawkesbury and was overhauled late, but better ridden off the speed back out to the mile.

Dangers: Consistent local 3YO 4. Great Danger looks supremely suited fourth-up despite the rise in weight and will get a lovely trail just off the pace. Former Victorian now Gosford-based 5YO 2. Matakanui won second-up for the new yard in heavy ground, and has a sound record around middle distances. Well-bred Randwick staying 3YO 3. Transact will probably need the run, but has had two quiet trials so watch for him late; while Randwick mare 7. Ikara Miss is going well, culminating in a sharp BM 64 win at Kembla two runs back before an even effort in town behind a smart one. This more suitable and stable going well.

How to play it: Homework to win and quinella 1 and 4

Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1850m):

Wide open battle at set weights over middle distance, with most of the fancies drawn out. Promising Rosehill 3YO 8. King Of Seas has finished hard in his last two and should peak fourth-up, but draws a wide barrier.

Dangers: Beautifully-bred Randwick colt 6. Carif - with a classic So You Think action - disappointed as a well backed fancy resuming at Kensington, but that was a strong maiden, and the winner has since bolted in again. Wide gate is a hurdle, but racing like a good stayer in the making so trip and track suit second-up. Finished on the heels of Group 1 winner Nakeeta Jane in the spring. Rosehill 4YO 3. Reposition is still waiting to win after eight starts, but banging on the door. Hit the line hard in two runs at Kembla before a little disappointing last start, but being by So You Think from a Desert Sun mare you know he will run this right out fourth-up. Improving Randwick visitor 10. Seel The Deel is down in weight after a good chasing effort behind the smart Mr Dependable at Hawkesbury, but another drawn off the track; while 5. Sytus has been placed four times from 14 starts, and although one-paced, should be around the finish from a softer draw.

How to play it: King Of Seas each-way and first four 6-8-10/3-5-6-8-10.

Race 6 BM 70 HCP (1850m):

Randwick-based 3YO 9. Home Made motored home in a strong CL1 at Kembla two back before stepping up to win at Hawkesbury. Draws nicely and extra trip ideal.

Dangers: Newcastle gelding 1. Plaisir looks well placed back in class despite lumped with a big weight. Has found line nicely from well back in stronger company all three runs this year, and screaming out for the extra journey. Warwick Farm mare 6. Seababe is probably the most talented horse and was dominant winning this grade at Canterbury last start, but this is the first time she's drawn a very wide gate, and may be forced to work early. Randwick 4YO 2. Decroux has had two runs back from a lengthy spell, and getting back to the distance and grade where he was competitive last winter. Draws nicely and form apprentice claims 3kg. Local 5YO 4. Clevanicc has never raced better winning two back at Canterbury, but drawn wide and up in weight.

How to play it: Plaisir and Home Made both to win.

Race 7 PROVINCIAL C'SHIP QUALIFIER (1400m):

Terrific race, with ruling All-In favourite and hot fancy here Kembla-trained 5YO 2. Archedemus out to cement his spot in the final at Randwick. Has won his last four, and two straight this prep, and form behind is strong, including two runs back at Warwick Farm beating Juventus who was unlucky in an enormous run in the first Qualifier at Hawkesbury, and last start strong right through the line in a deep BM 78 at Randwick. The one to beat, but from the gate is well under the odds.

Dangers: Smart Wyong 4YO 5. Fuchu resumes for in-form stable way over the odds after a searching blow-out winning a 1200m Beaumont trial comfortably. Went close fresh last time over this trip, and has been set for this to sit midfield and finish hard. Newcastle gelding and topweight 1. Turnberry also resumes off a break and a quiet trial. Was terrific last prep in town winning twice, with three close-up placings in strong BM 78 fields; while stablemate from the Kris Lees camp 3. Bastia hasn't started for eight months, but was around the money last prep at BM 90 metro level after a solid run in the 2018 Provincial C'ship Final. Doubt anything else down in the weights can win, but local gelding 6. All From Scrap and Wyong mare 13. Second Island should be included in wider exotics.

How to play it: Quinella 2 and 5; first four 2-5/1-2-3-5-6-13


Archedemus wins at Rosehill on February 23

Race 8 BM 64 HCP (1400m):

Tricky race, but going with promising filly 11. Think Free for top local stable who was well backed when powering home to win first-up at Scone, and should go on with it here over slightly longer trip.

Dangers: Improving and consistent local 3YO 8. Hildalgo has gone off favourite in his last three, winning twice. Travels on-speed and well weighted after rider's claim.

How to play it: Think Free to win


Think Free wins at Scone on February 22

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Provincial Championships meeting at Newcastle

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