Race 2 — 2.25PM: MONTEATH AND POWYS CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1450m)
Good competitive race. Beautifully bred unbeaten Newcastle filly 7. Angel Of Heaven resumes for leading stable with two quiet trials under her belt. Won both races as favourite at Port Macquarie and Scone in the spring, and will be primed fresh.
Dangers: Loved the way Wyong mare 4. Bid’N’Bare finished off second-up in good quality race at Newcastle, and should be peaking over this trip. Warwick Farm mare 2. Dublin Diva has come back big this prep, winning first-up at Bathurst and then powering home in a BM65 at Canberra but a little flattered by the «fast» lane that day and also rises in weight. Wyong gelding 1. Nitride zoomed home for an upset and dominant win at Hawkesbury, but is up in weight and this is tougher.
How to play it: Angel Of Heaven to win and box trifecta 2-4-7/1-2-4-7.
Race 3 — 3.05PM: TWO RIVERS WINE BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP (1750m)
Open race with plenty of chances. Newcastle mare 4. Azarose has improved in her two runs back from a spell against stronger, and drops to a more suitable grade here for leading trainer/rider combination.
Dangers: Scone trained 3. Harbouring is still on the rise after winning his maiden two back before well backed into a place this grade at Moree. Scone-trained 6. Timid is a fit and capable filly which finally won her maiden from the front last start while rival Newcastle filly 8. Zizania defied a betting drift to easily win her maiden at Taree, and can be in the finish again. Keep a big watch on Newcastle gelding 7. Kravchenko which was sent back to the trials after flopping badly last start, but previous form in this class was sound.
How to play it: Azarose to win.
Race 4 — 3.40PM: PRIME 7 SPRINT CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1000m)
Open battle for the speedsters, although a gelding which should sit just off the pace looks the one to beat. Warwick Farm-based 1. The Runner resumes off a nice trial win, and powered home to beat smart The Sheriff on debut at Nowra late last year.
Dangers: Another capable fresh sprinting gelding 2. Thiswilldous also resumes off a trial win, and Wyong stable is going well. Another Wyong three-year-old gelding 3. Hard Reality rubber-stamped some consistent form with a maiden win here last start, but this looks tougher while Tamworth four-year-old 5. Akecheta easily won his maiden as a hot favourite two runs back before flopping last start in much tougher grade, and should bounce back.
How to play it: The Runner to win
Race 5 — 4.20PM: BHP MT ARTHUR COAL WAYNE HARRIS HANDICAP (1280m)
Wide open all-aged tussle. Consistent Inverell gelding 4. Dylan’s Luck got home well at Tamworth two runs back before a bold effort in stronger Saturday class at Eagle Farm. Up in weight, but draws to sit midfield with cover and charge home.
Plenty of them headed by smart Gosford mare 2. It’s So Obvious which looks well placed in her final run before the Provincial Championship Final at Randwick on April 13. Will drift back from a wide gate but be strong late. Age doesn’t weary Tamworth nine-year-old 1. Mighty Like which charged home to win a similar BM84 last start, but looks a little tough this time from a wide alley carrying an even bigger weight. Local seven-year-old 9. Star Shaft has had two encouraging runs back in town, and looks well weighted third-up from a good barrier. Coonamble six-year-old 7. A Martin Placepick hasn’t started since the Country Championship qualifier at Dubbo, but is down in weight and back in trip, and normally fires off a let-up while Mudgee five-year-old 8. Ori On Fire is another which missed qualifying for the Country Championship final, and has been freshened for this shorter trip, but draws a tricky gate.
How to play it: Dylan’s Luck each-way and first four 2-4-8/1-2-4-8-9.
Race 6 — 4.55PM: HORSEPOWER SKELLATAR SPRINT (1000m)
Pressure galore again for the speedsters, but high-class Mudgee sprinter 14. I Am A Cool Kid which has never finished worse than second in five runs is the one to beat. Hadn’t started for six weeks when just caught late in a BM70 at Canterbury, but looked ultra sharp in a Scone trial win, and also well weighted.
Dangers: Scone mare 11. Falerina is smart and won two straight last spring including a BM78 at Rosehill. Draws nicely on the limit weight, had a trial, and was scratched from Warwick Farm on Wednesday for this. Doubt anything else can win, although big watch on local five-year-old 10. All Stand which draws well for his return and normally puts in a big one fresh. Warwick Farm mare 9. Goldfinch is another one first-up which raced in good quality metro sprints in the spring. Has had two forward trials in open company, but will need some luck from the draw. Both Wyong six-year-old 8. Invincible Quest — which will improve second-up and down in weight — and last-start Newcastle BM75 winner 5. Don’t Tease Me should be included across the exotics.
How to play it: I Am A Cool Kid to win; quinella 11 and 14; first four 14/5-8-9-10-11.
Race 7 — 5.30PM: MUSWELLBROOK WORKERS CLUB GOLD CUP (1500m)
Feature race, with plenty of chances, that could be a real tactical battle from the half mile. Promising Randwick four-year-old 5. Sondelon will park right on the speed from a good draw and looks the one to beat. Won a BM76 at Rosehill last start beating Supernova which franked that form with a dominant win in BM78 Saturday class a fortnight back.
Dangers: Consistent Warwick Farm-trained gelding 6. Great Job has been freshened up after two metro runs, and looks a real chance at the weights while Gosford five-year-old 9. Invicta has really attacked the line in his last couple, and will be suited on the long run in. Goulburn gelding 1. Don’t Give A Damn (nominated for Saturday) is unbeaten at this trip, including a BM88 at Rosehill in the spring, but doesn’t seem to be in the same zone after two runs this prep and has to lump a big weight. Taree four-year-old 10. Blinkin Artie has been very consistent all prep, including a fast-finishing effort in a BM70 at Rosehill last start, and draws to get nice cover midfield.
How to play it: Sondelon to win.
RACE 8 — 6.05PM: ALLWELD SERVICES BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP (1280m)
Looks the right race second-up for ex-Victorian and now Gosford-based gelding 1. King Mombassa. Was well backed when hitting the line from off the speed first-up, and rider’s 2kg claim is significant.
Dangers: Warwick Farm mare 8. Velocano improved to win a decent class 2 at Taree last start, and in well after rookie rider’s 4kg claim. Tamworth veteran 7. St Luke is a little short of his best trip, but rarely runs a bad race, and from an inside draw will be strong late and is over the odds.
How to play it: King Mombassa to win.
R4 1. THE RUNNER
R7 5. SONDELIN
R8 1. KING MOMBASSA
Tips supplied by Racing NSW
Full form and race replay at racingnsw.com.au