By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Friday’s Newcastle Cup meeting. Selections based on a good track.
|Race 1 – 1:35PM MACKA’S SAND & SOIL PLATE (1850 METRES)|
6. Reaching is a little hard to go past, she’s always promised a lot and she overcame plenty of issues to break through when out to 1500m second-up. Slowly out, leader had a picnic but she was still able to work through and score. Bred to handle the extra trip again and blinkers on, J-Mac and gate two give her every possible.
Dangers: 5. Miss Japan shapes as a horse that will win more races looking at the intent she showed picking them up, albeit in the last stride, over the Wyong mile. She was only getting warm there too so you’d imagine more ground is a plus, she also has blinkers on and if there’s an upset it’s probably her. 9. Street Dancer was way out of his depth second-up in the Ming Dynasty and it probably wasn’t a bad run to be beaten six lengths given it was hard to run on. His best run so far was a second at Randwick in June, opportunity for him to feature here. 4. Lunar Rain improved second-up back onto a good track and she did break her maiden status over this course back in April. Small concern the runner-up went straight past her at Wyong but stays under notice.
How to play it: Reaching WIN ($1.60 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Reaching wins at Newcastle on September 1
|Race 2 – 2.10PM GTS LAWNPRIDE AUSTRALIA HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
2. Yangtze Rapids is another short priced favourite who is entitled to get the job done. Showed ability in his first prep then wound up strongly late on resuming at Warwick Farm. The winner is in a Group 2 on Saturday, the third horse won at the Farm on Wednesday so it’s a strong enough form pointer. Drawn well and is the one to beat.
Dangers: 8. Sidearm is a legitimate danger if things can go his way. He was sound in a leader dominated race here first-up then lost the compass a bit at Kembla but had to like the way he closed off after conceding so much ground. Might have to go back but there’s a win in him shortly. 1. Savvy Legend was big odds at his debut and it wasn’t a bad effort finishing off from near last over 1250m here. Looking for more ground it seems, barrier is a bit sticky but wouldn’t shock to see him figure in the placings. 3. Volterra had his chance first-up at 1300m here a couple of weeks ago and on face value this is harder so he’s going to have to improve. That said he can be placed.
How to play it: Yangtze Rapids WIN ($1.80 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Yangtze Rapids runs second at Warwick Farm on September 2
|Race 3 – 2:50PM ADVANCED PEST CONTROL HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
6. Covent Garden is worth a look each-way in a race where things should pan out a bit better for her than first-up. She was forced to lead there and battled on okay in what has been a good form race so far. Drawn to get cover this time and we should see a bit more from her.
Dangers: 3. True Faith is the logical horse to beat. Went back from a wide gate and was never in the picture until late when a closing fourth over 1300m here. Fitter for that and kinder draw this time, whether she can use it remains to be seen. Hard to beat. 7. Darling Diamond wasn’t disgraced at her only start at Gosford and while drawn wide she should appreciate the bigger track and the extra trip on her breeding. One to keep an eye on. 4. Bargain was a beaten favourite at Hawkesbury second-up after a fast finishing fourth at this track. Certainly has a win in her somewhere and is one of the chances.
How to play it: Covent Garden E/W ($7.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Covent Garden runs fourth at Warwick Farm on September 2
|Race 4 – 3:25PM MINDER CLOUD SERVICES HURRICANE HANDICAP (900 METRES)|
6. Burning Crown has the speed to overcome the tricky gate and at least put himself in the first few, from there he’ll need the luck to get the right run and relax. Well weighted, rarely runs a bad one and needs a big run here to showcase himself for the Kosciuszko. With that even luck should go close.
Dangers: 4. Akasaki was no match for a runaway winner last time at Warwick Farm but solid run to hit the line from last into second. Has won twice at 900m and once at this track, will be back minding his own business and running on strongly. 2. Rare Episode can be a bit hit and miss but at her best she’s a city winner and is trialling okay for a first-up run. One that you’d rather include than dismiss and is another good ride for James McDonald. 3. Condor is capable of a big fresh run if they overdo it up front. Won a recent trial but that was at 1200m so that’s a minor concern but watch him for later on this prep.
How to play it: Burning Crown WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Burning Crown wins a trial at Muswellbrook on September 9
|Race 5 – 4:05PM AUSTRALIAN BLOODSTOCK CAMERON HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
9. Just Thinkin’ is a tough on pacer and showed that winning second-up at Randwick over this trip off a wide alley. Game at Group 1 level at 2000m last spring and close to his peak now after those couple of runs. Expect him to either lead or sit outside the leader here and with 54kg on his back he should be hard to run down.
Dangers: 2. Special Reward backs up after an even effort in the Theo Marks last Saturday where he found himself in the box seat but didn’t really get a go at them when needed. That said not sure if he wins. Won the Newmarket here in March by a margin and is a genuine threat. 6. Rock won this race last year with 56kg so has done well to get in with 0.5kg less this year. Made ground from near last when resuming in the Tramway and will likely get back again here. If he gets the right set up he’s capable of running over the top of them. 7. Miss Fabulass is Group 1 class when she’s on her game but is a bit in and out. Had her chance in the Mona Lisa first-up at Wyong but held her ground. Bigger track suits and she has to be thrown in the mix.
How to play it: Just Thinkin’ E/W ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Just Thinkin’ wins at Randwick on September 5
|Race 6 – 4:40PM SHARP ELECTRONICS GROUP NEWCASTLE GOLD CUP (2300 METRES)|
1. Mugatoo is giving away weight and goes back on trial at a staying trip but he’s just been a winning machine since arriving in Australia. Managed to settle closer and was too strong in the Premier’s Cup second-up. Only two defeats have been at 2400m, the first he was just outmuscled by Young Rascal and the other was at WFA. Can’t go past.
Dangers: 2. Hush Writer had his first run since the Sydney Cup when a gallant third in the Wyong Cup at 2100m where he settled a lot further back than usual for him. Expect him to be more forward here and if he happens to get a soft run up there he’ll give cheek. 11. Herengawe an his best race in Australia in third behind Mugatoo at Rosehill. Meets him 1kg better here and while he’ll still need to improve to turn the tables he can be placed if he holds that form. 8. Paths Of Glory is hard to knock on his two wins on end at Kensington and the Wyong Cup. It was a very patient ride to win there at Wyong from last and he’ll need another good one from Rachel King off the outside gate. But the horse is in top form and has a case.
How to play it: Mugatoo WIN ($2.15 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Mugatoo wins at Rosehill on August 29
|Race 7 – 5:20PM YARRAMAN PARK TIBBIE STAKES (1400 METRES)|
8. Yamazaki has been excellent running fourth at both starts this time in, she was only getting wound up at the end of the Mona Lisa around Wyong so the big track here will allow her to balance up and hit the line. Should be good speed here and with even luck, that backmarkers require, she can be in the finish.
Dangers: 18. Air To Air is a promising mare and her first-up run at Randwick was superb, she arguably threw it away in the last 50m by running out but regardless a nice return. Extra 100m a plus and expect her to be hitting the line strongly here too. 11. All Saints’ Eve has been kept fresh since a tough first-up win over this trip on a heavy 10 at Randwick. Ticked over with a trial, she’s always promised to be above average and gets a chance to show it here from a kind draw. Go well. 1. Miss Siska is new to the Matt Smith stable and is an interesting runner with a WFA win over Kings Will Dream to her name earlier this year. Trialling okay, keep an eye on betting but good enough to win this if right.
How to play it: Yamazaki E/W ($8.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Yamazaki runs fourth at Wyong on September 4