By Neil Evans
Track likely Soft 5 with some showers around and rail true so gradual trend away from the fence
|Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (1350m):|
Randwick mare 3. Charged Flame can improve again after finding the line late first-up at Bathurst.
Dangers: Hawkesbury filly 7. Lexi's Choice has been freshened, and is back in grade and trip. Orange 3YO 6. Well Decorated has found the line strong from well off the speed all prep, draws well, and the Declaration Of War breed are flying at the moment.
How to play it: Charged Flame to win
|Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):|
Always a tactical battle over this trip, but punters should stick with Newcastle 4YO 1. Elgin fourth-up despite some costly near misses. Edged out in his last two at Newcastle, the most recent as odds-on favourite, but at peak fitness now, stays at the mile, and can dictate on the speed with the blinkers on.
Dangers: Watch for improvement from Godolphin filly 7. Danae second-up after a fair effort on debut in a decent maiden at Goulburn; while Randwick gelding 2. Costa Zou made late ground resuming behind Superbowl Sunday, but probably needs it wetter to figure second-up. Include strapping Hawkesbury filly 9. Lily Astolat. Is bred for much further, and was ridden a little too close at second start over 1400m, but now getting to a trip that she can be competitive at.
How to play it: Elgin to win and quinella 1 and 9
Elgin runs third at Newcastle on March 8
|Race 3 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):|
Competitive and tricky affair, with big stables debuting some smart youngsters. One of those is Rosehill gelding 2. Bandersnatch (Casino Prince x Divine Faith by Falbrav) who has class and speed on both sides, and tuned up with impressive trial win on the synthetic at Warwick Farm when challenged for much of the way down the straight.
Dangers: Locally-trained 3. Erno (Rubick x Little Mary by Duke Of Marmalade) is bred to run, and looked sharp in a home trial win. Stable renowned for firing early in the prep. Godolphin colt 1. Anethole resumes off two quiet trials, but wasn't far off Cosmic Force at Newcastle in the spring; while 12. Sweeping Statement will improve for top stable and bred to handle the ground. Big watch on Hawkesbury filly 7. Chia who was unwanted resuming behind the smart Evening Slippers, but will improve up in trip. At only second-up run in the spring ran recent Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi to a half length.
How to play it: Boxed first four 1-2-3-7-12
|Race 4 CL2 HCP (1600m):|
Warwick Farm 3YO gelding 3. Soldier Of Love has flown out of the blocks this prep bolting in his maiden before launching late to win a CL1 at Newcastle. By German sire Mawingo who ran second in a Group 1 C.F. Orr, and this looks well within range, despite a jump in weight.
Dangers: Watch for Newcastle filly 4. Everard late. Wasn't far off in good CL2 two runs back before flashing home as a hot favourite to win at Coffs Harbour. Fence draw probably doesn't suit her pattern, but if she gets wound up from the 400m, can finish hard.
How to play it: Soldier Of Love to win
|Race 5 MAIDEN HCP (1100m):|
Tricky race across wide form-lines. Was taken by the trials of debutant Randwick filly 9. Making Whoopee (High Chaparral x Honeymoon Cruise by Fastnet Rock) who cruised in front in the most recent and was only hauled in late by a smart one.
Dangers: Newcastle gelding 1. Ultimate Power looks well placed second-up despite lumping top-weight. Flew home to just miss resuming at Taree when heavily backed, and gets a lovely trailing spot from the draw to launch again. Rosehill-trained 3. Jaytees was swamped late second-up this track, but should peak now. After a tame debut five weeks back, Godolphin filly 11. Angevin has also trialled nicely coming from well back and covering ground to find the line; while 12. Street Rogue just missed resuming at Gosford and drops significantly in weight.
How to play it: Making Whoopee each way and first four 1-3-9/1-3-9-11-12
|Race 6 CL1 HCP (1350m):|
Ex Kiwi mare now with leading Newcastle stable 2. Vendella defied a betting drift to lead all the way on Australian debut, and can go on with it here up in trip.
Dangers: Warwick Farm gelding 1. Burbank mixes form but is in far more suitable race here after resuming in a BM 64 at Newcastle when unwanted in betting and racing accordingly back in the field. Wyong mare 3. City Of Love rushed home late to win first-up at Newcastle, but normally comes off a little second-up and inside draw may not favour her style late in the day. Newcastle 3YO 6. Shark Alley was disappointing last start but isn't far away after four runs this prep. Watch on Newcastle gelding 5. Continuation who resumed off a quiet trial and bred for longer, but should be strong late.
How to play it: Vendella to win and quinella 1 and 2
|Race 7 BM 70 HCP (1100m):|
Good quality sprint. Port Macquarie mare 2. Shelley Beach Road can go back-to-back after a narrow win in stronger grade at home. Has trialled well since, parks in a lovely trailing spot stalking the speed, and rider's 3kg claim is crucial.
Dangers: Port Macquarie 4YO 4. Golden Comet is super consistent and chased home Shelley Beach Road last start; while expect a big first-up run from Newcastle-trained 1. Marathon with a 3kg claim.
How to play it: Shelley Beach Road to win
|Race 8 PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER (1350m):|
Wide open qualifying battle. Smart local 4YO 3. Fuchu was forced to make a long run first-up at Newcastle, but finished just over a length from hot favourite Archedemus. Been given three weeks into second-up run where he peaks big, and doesn't have to get as far back from nice low draw.
Dangers: Kris Lees-trained duo unbeaten 3YO 14. Fuji Fury returns off a break and two quiet trials; while smart 4YO mare 15. Waruna is also first-up since the spring when she won two races, and looked sharp in a recent trial win. Stablemate 1. Turnberry who resumed with a nice closing effort in the second qualifier is classy, but draws wide; while promising local 3YO 11. McCormack is on the seven day back-up after ploughing through the mud to win a CL2 over 1400m at Kembla, and rise in class is off-set by big weight drop. Hawkesbury gelding and early favourite 2. Bobbing has had a couple of false starts after two nice trials last month, but jumps from a wide gate; while include Newcastle mare 6. Ellie's Encore who rattled home for a close fourth behind qualifying winner Golden Tycoon, and will be strong again late.
How to play it: Fuchu each-way and first four 3-15/2-3-6-11-14-15
Fuchu runs fourth in the Newcastle Qualifier on March 9