By Neil Evans
Track Improving to Soft 5 or a shade better and rail out 6m so on-pace early before a levelling out
|Race 1 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2335m):|
The stayers get first crack at set weights on a track slowly drying out, and Newcastle 5YO gelding and UK-bred import 9. Urbino looks a good thing after hitting the line hard to just miss as a hot favourite on his Australian debut this track. Got into a couple of bumping duels early in the straight which probably cost him the race, and has since been gelded, with the blinkers on, and is even better suited over longer journey.
Dangers: The rest should be battling for the minor money headed by 6YO Hawkesbury mare 5. Russian Express who is hard fit, and was specked at good odds this track last start but didn't run on. Coming out of that same race behind dominant winner Breakdance, improving 4YO Warwick Farm gelding 8. True Marvel was plain to the line but previous effort at big odds in Nautibernie's race at Gosford was sound. Newcastle 4YO gelding 7. Taroba is another with that same form-line behind Breakdance, and while would have to improve, is drawn to get a cosy run.
How to play it: Trifecta 9/5,7,8. Odds and Evens (First 2): Split.
|Race 2 C, G & E BM 64 HCP (1200m):|
Keen on 5YO Warwick Farm gelding 5. Versetto who was well backed resuming in a BM 72 at Canterbury and powered through the line late. Won second-up last prep, and extra trip in his favour.
Dangers: Plenty of them headed by progressive 4YO Newcastle gelding 4. Starismo who got home hard in tougher grade this track last start. Big watch on 3YO Newcastle colt 7. Pandano second-up who was outclassed resuming in the much tougher Group 3 Up & Coming. Bolted in on debut back on Australia Day this year. Smart 6YO Pt Macquarie gelding and Randwick Highway winner last spring 2. Gordon's Leap resumes off a near nine month break. Doesn't normally fire fresh, but has trialled well; while Rosehill 5YO gelding 3. Triple Choice is also first-up since the summer, and likely to need the run, but has trialled twice and will be working home.
How to play it: Versetto to win. Odds and Evens: Split.
Versetto's first-up fourth at Canterbury on August 21
|Race 3 F & M BM 64 HCP (1200m):|
Now the girls' turn over the same trip, and two smart ones resuming hold the key. Randwick 4YO mare 5. Got Your Six is back for a second prep off two trials for top metro stable. Ran three good second placings in high class maiden company to start her career before easily breaking through fourth-up this track.
Dangers: Rival Randwick 4YO 1. Nangami also resumes for a second prep off two quiet trials, and is strong fresh. Bolted in on debut at Gosford in the autumn and then took the step up to this grade in her stride running a very handy field off its legs. Newcastle 4YO mare 2. Kedah did a terrific job winning second-up at Gosford after being shuffled back before the turn, picked up early in the straight and charged over the top. Gets a 2kg claim to off-set rise in weight, and back on her home track is also a plus.
How to play it: Got Your Six to win; quinella 1 and 5; box trifecta 1,2,5. Odds and Evens: Odds.
|Race 4 3YO MAIDEN PLATE (900m):|
Back to the short course now, and this is tricky, with trial form a key. Rosehill gelding 5. Peak can break through second-up for leading metro stable after sustaining a long run from the rear when resuming and well backed this track, and should settle a little closer this time.
Dangers: Rosehill filly 8. Giselle Anne resumes off a nice trial win after taking on much tougher Group company through the autumn, but still looks under the odds. Big market watch on rival local 3. Intimidating who hasn't started since a fair debut run on Boxing Day against tougher company, but has been gelded with the blinkers going on, and also trialled well for leading provincial stable. One of the first starters, Muswellbrook colt 4. Magic Boom (Spirit Of Boom x Sparkling Sound by Oratorio) has been held together nicely through the line in two trials. Draws well and is bred to come to hand quickly. Newcastle gelding 1. Cool World has hit the line hard at big odds in his last two, and while he'll be giving them a tidy start, watch for him rocketing home. Debutant local gelding 2. From The Hip (Shooting To Win x Southern Girl by More Than Ready) has trialled okay for a stable that has a good reputation with this age group.
How to play it: Peak to win and first four 3,5,8/3,5,8/1,2,3,4,5,8/1,2,3,4,5,8. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 5 C, G & E MAIDEN PLATE (1300m):|
Even and tough race, with plenty of chances. Loved the latest trial of 3YO Godolphin gelding and first starter 12. Live Music (Shooting To Win x Key Bar Nights by Anabaa) who cruised through the line under a nice hold, and looks well prepared for this debut trip with the blinkers on, but has to overcome the extreme outside barrier.
Dangers: Rosehill 3YO colt 7. Bottega (Snitzel x Bennetta by General Nediym) has had two trials for smart metro stable. Expect 3YO Randwick colt 8. Brandenburg to improve resuming for a second prep after two promising trials. Include 3YO Randwick gelding 13. Mesmer who returns for a second prep off two steady trials for form trainer/rider combination; while another Rosehill-trained colt 11. Hostage Of War improved into a good second-up run at Kembla, and draws to get a nice trail off the speed, with plenty of cover.
How to play it: Live Music to win and trifecta 7,8,12/7,8,11,12,13. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 6 MAIDEN HCP (1500m):|
Promising 4YO gelding 3. Aoraki looks the one to beat off a big first-up run since coming from Victoria, sweeping home from the back to be beaten under a length at Kembla. Down a kilo on that effort with the blinkers applied, and bred to appreciate more ground.
Dangers: Watch for an improved run fourth-up at big odds from 4YO Warwick Farm gelding 5. Monstrosity who won a trial in dominant fashion and has the winkers going on. Gosford 4YO gelding 4. Estroverto finished nicely second-up at Hawkesbury, and draws the inside here; while 4YO Wyong gelding 2. Aytobe has kept improving as the distance have risen, and should be near his peak fourth-up.
How to play it: Aoraki to win. Odds and Evens: Odds.
Aoraki's first-up run at Kembla Grange on August 17
|Race 7 F & M MAIDEN PLATE (1300m):|
Another wide open battle for the girls. Randwick 4YO mare 2. Brunetta will likely drift well back from a wide draw and rising in trip, and try to run over the top of them second-up. Not well in at the weights, but will appreciate the bigger track.
Dangers: Rival 4YO Randwick mare 3. Lochita has been given a decent freshen-up and two trials since being over-run on debut nearly two months back, and will benefit from a firmer surface; while stablemate mare 4. Tepario finished off okay resuming this track, almost alongside Corporal who goes around earlier which could be a significant form pointer. Randwick 3YO filly 9. Foxborough who raced in black-type company in the autumn, and won a recent trial, looks well placed; while 3YO filly and ex-Victorian 8. Fling who is having her first run in NSW is also an each way chance. Debutant 3YO Warwick Farm filly 6. Cecile (Sebring x Antique Rose by Redoubte's Choice) can run a race on debut for top stable after an impressive trial cruising home under a hold, but draws wide.
How to play it: Brunetta each way. Odds and Evens: Split.
|Race 8 CL2 HCP (1400m):|
Local 4YO mare 12. Stratacheva has hit the line nicely in her last two runs around this grade since steaming over the top to win her maiden at Scone. Still on the limit weight, and at her peak now after four runs back looks over the odds.
Dangers: Warwick Farm 5YO gelding 4. Destiny's Hero didn't do a lot resuming at Kembla, but form last prep was sound in deeper races; while 3YO Gosford gelding 11. Django Unreined has been tough as teak leading all the way to win his last two at Taree, but taking on stronger here.
How to play it: Stratacheva each way. Odds and Evens: Split.