By Neil Evans
Track around soft 5 and rail true
Race 1 COLTS, GELDING & ENTIRES MAIDEN HCP (1000m)
Scone first-starter and Outreach three-year-old 6. Wedged has looked smart in two winning trials nearly five months apart, the latest only nine days ago careering away to win by more than five lengths. Draws well for a powerful country combination and must be the one to beat.
Dangers: Rival debutant 2. Croesus is right up to the mark off three progressive trials in a month and debuts in blinkers for another leading trainer/rider combination. Be surprised if the winner comes outside those two, but keep safe four-year-old 7. Goofy Mick who resumes off a handy provincial trial win. 1. Gattling Gun held his ground OK on debut and can improve on a bigger track.
How to play it: Wedged to win and quinella 2 and 6; Odds and Evens: Evens
Race 2 FILLIES & MARES MAIDEN HCP (1000m)
Now the girls’ turn and it’s a little more open and trickier. Expecting sharp improvement second-up from provincial three-year-old 1. Costa Del Mar who blew it at the start resuming as a well backed favourite at Orange. Draws the inside and better suited on the bigger track.
Dangers: Provincial three-year-old 13. Sweet Ruby measures up well off a good fighting debut effort from the front at Gosford. Back to this trip is a big plus, although she can’t afford any slip-ups drawn off the track carrying 1.5kg more. Watch the betting on Headwater filly 6. Waterhead who is five weeks since a smart trial win at this track beating Discreet Star who beat a handy maiden field at Tamworth on Tuesday. Include in exotics Scone gallopers 10. Sublime Lady first-up off a dominant trial win and 7. Written Verse resuming for her first run in smart Scone stable.
How to play it: Costa Del Mar each way and trifecta 1,13/1,6,7,10,13/1,6,7,10,13; Odds and Evens: Odds
Race 3 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1750m)
Market might have a job sorting this one out. Improving Taree three-year-old 3. Casirina can strike fourth-up from an ideal trailing draw. Won in heavy ground three runs back before working home late in deeper races last two.
Dangers: Progressive three-year-old 1. Nothing’s Sacred has won two from four this prep and was a dominant winner from a close trail at Tamworth last start. Winkers replace blinkers, bred to thrive on soft tracks, and still OK at the weights after a 3kg claim. Local 6. Scorched Land is hard fit and will appreciate a drop in grade, while keeping safe 4. Hustled who can improve further third-up over more ground.
How to play it: Casirina to win; Odds and Evens: Odds
Race 4 CLASS 2 HCP (1500m)
Tough and wide race with plenty of hopes. Improving provincial colt 3. Adios Steve was a mile over the odds when working home well third-up in a handy BM 64. From a soft draw on the quick back-up should be right at his peak for this.
Dangers: Lightly raced and smart provincial filly 2. Silent Tryst hasn’t finished further back than second in five starts. Swept home for an easy CL2 win at Orange, although tackling some better ones here carrying 2kg more. Improving four-year-old 1. Momack has trained on nicely since a solid first-up effort for more than eight months. Extra ground is a natural bonus, and the trainer is one of the best in the country at placing them early in the prep. Keep safe resuming filly 12. Lovetheinvasion who has had two trials, and on debut in early December bolted in at Tuncurry by more than four lengths. 10. Frankly Savvy is second-up and on the next line.
How to play it: Adios Steve to win and box trifecta 1,2,3,12; Odds and Evens: Split
Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1280m)
Back to the maidens, and any emerging pattern will be crucial here, especially with a cut/away in play. Promising filly 9. Annyidea produced a strong closing run on debut when she had to work around some slow ones before hitting the line hard. Just needs to find cover from a tricky draw and can let down powerfully on the bigger track.
Dangers: Progressive filly 11. Croatian Madame has gone close in her last two charging home from the rear, and should have won last start at Dubbo. Been given plenty of time to recover and blinkers go on. Expect sharp improvement second-up from 3. Trumped Up down in weight with the blinkers coming off. Big watch on resuming mare 8. Toguchi who has had two quiet trials, but normally comes to hand quickly. 10. Bright Eyed Girl can peak at her fourth start. Monitor the betting on debutant Scone filly 12. Cross Step who won the second of two trials comfortably.
How to play it: Annyidea to win and box exacta 3,9,11; Odds and Evens: Odds
Race 6 CLASS 1 HCP (1280m)
Another tester, although the fancies have seemingly drawn well. Talented four-year-old 3. Chevconi produced an enormous run at Wellington making up a tonne of ground after blowing the start by several lengths. Out to this trip fourth-up on a much bigger track is tailor-made, and only needs a half decent getaway.
Dangers: Capable filly 4. My Sister Carole is also searching for more ground after hitting the line late at Tamworth, and blinkers have been removed. Resuming filly 6. Keen Contributer is a market watch having not publicly trialled. Progressive 10. Summer Glow is also suited out in distance at only fourth start.
How to play it: Chevconi to win; Odds and Evens: Split a special
Race 7 BENCHMARK 66 HCP (1280m)
Scone colt 5. Tempel One hasn’t started for nearly six months but is high quality and looked right up to the mark winning the second of two recent trials over 1200m. Drawn to get to the middle of the track and will be strong late, with the “Bullring” booked to ride.
Dangers: Talented Dubbo mare 10. So Good to Me was an impressive CL3 winner two runs back at home and looks well placed back on the bigger track. Another Scone raider 1. Bright Rubick resumes off two progressive trials and was competitive enough at metro BM 78 level last spring. Smart three-year-old 2. Magic On Ice has won his last two at Tamworth but faces a task carrying 60kg against a few of these.
How to play it: Tempel One to win; Odds and Evens: Split
Race 8 CLASS 2 HCP (1000m)
We finish with a competitive sprint. At the value, like resuming Scone filly 14. Winside who has looked very forward in two trials. Bolted in from off the speed on debut here last spring, and bred to relish soft ground.
Dangers: Another one from the Messara production line, 9. Ceasefire only needs to get across into any sort of position from the wide gate to be the obvious threat. Careered away to win by more than six lengths on debut, and is clearly headed for bigger targets. Capable seven-year-old 7. Greenheart resumes off a 10-week break, and returns to where he blitzed a maiden field in heavy ground three months back. Big watch on lightly raced 5. Street Power resuming off a dominant trial win. 6. Satin Ruby has hit the line hard in her last two.
How to play it: Winside each way and trifecta 9,14/5,6,7,9,14/5,6,7,9,14; Odds and Evens: Split
Race 6: 3. CHEVCONI
Race7: 5. TEMPEL ONE
Race 3: 3. CASIRINA
Tips supplied by Racing NSW
Full form and race replays available at racingnsw.com.au