Country Cups: Expert Tips and Analysis

The Race Club will share theirtips and insights for selected country cups, outlining how they expect the race to pan and deliver a rated price to each runner.

Check out the Hub weekly for tips for VIC and NSW Country Cups throughout the year.

Also every Tuesday & Thursday The Race Club also offer up two of their very best BACK & LAY selections.

3:55pm Race 7 – 1600m – Scone Cup


Symmetrical track. For the cup, the 1600m is from a chute leading into the back straight. The track can play to the front, then can play run ons. It’s a case of monitoring. With the rail in the true and firmer footing, expect those forward of midfield have favour. They won’t get too far from the rail. 

Speed And Tactics

Not a lot of early speed with the main forward runners drawn in. Sambro forward with Dr Drill pressing from barrier two. Chief Ironside can settle handy. Cutadeel may be the one to be positive from outside


Quite a strong Cup with multiple chances. Live and Free was one we marked fresh on the back of a neat trial. He performed as expected off that, defying his average first-up record to run a strong 2nd to Amangiri. 3rd, Another Dollar has since come out and win the Gosford Cup.

That’s the strongest form line here. Unbiased, the country cup chaser is one I’m more than happy to follow in. Plenty of merit fresh in the Tamworth Cup and although drawn the car park, I can get get him shorter here.

Race Assessment

#10 Live and Free. Assessed Price: $4.5

He was a runner marked first-up on the back of a strong trial leading in. Just missed Amangiri there with third, Another Dollar coming out and winning the Gosford Cup. I think that’s the right form line and he is the horse to beat.

#6 Military Zone. Assessed Price: $6

Well supported resuming. Planted back and deep, peaking on run late over 1400m. One of the better runs from that race. Has trialled up well between runs and he looks well set for his Stradbroke path. 3/4 second-up and he’ll be finishing hard with the main hopes.

#11 Phaistos. Assessed Price: $8.5

Versatile gelding. Doesn’t have to be out to the tail from below middle. He has run well in both starts this time in, winning the latest of those in a race run to suit. Although would point to a rise in trip, I’m not sure he is strong enough at the mile.

#3 Chief Ironside. Assessed Price: $13.5

Won the Crystal Mile last prep on the back of a complete forgive run. Trialled up nearly leading in to his first up run last start where you couldn’t really offer much excuse. He was a month from trial to track there. Query runner who looks to get all favours in running.

#4 Dr Drill. Assessed Price: $15

Tracked a solid tempo last start and boxed on evenly. He was five weeks between runs on the back of a meritorious fresh effort over 1200m. He improves here out to a more suitable trip and with a softer tempo, expect he is around the mark.

#12 Bobbing. Assessed Price: $16

Rarely runs a bad race however would be more suited on a track with give. Hard pressed to go with others late on top of the ground.

#7 Sambro. Assessed Price: $19

Just even fresh and may just need this one as well. Expect a forward position in running and that counts for something but may find a few of these a little more dynamic.

#19 Unbiased. Assessed Price: $21

We were with him in the Tamworth Cup at generous odds and with a tough run in transit, the run was full of merit finishing under a length 4th. Deep throughout and got to the front early to be bloused late. Our yard man had him on the fat side which adds further merit to the performance. He obviously has his work cut out from the barrier but if Thompson can slot in somewhere midfield, he is definitely a hope at big odds again.

#1 Sixties Groove. Assessed Price: $21

Showed he was quite forward in his recent trial and the mile kick off is a good start for him. Although his fresh form doesn’t read that well, he’ll finish off.

#13 Cutadeel. Assessed Price: $26

Wanted further second-up although the run wasn’t enough to suggest he can measure up to the top few here. Prefer sting out.

#17 Petrology. Assessed Price: $31

Big winner in the Muswellbrook Cup from the tail. Trialled between runs where he was pushed out late. Not sure that’s the right form line for this but he will be running on all the same.

#9 Black On Gold. Assessed Price: $31

Another Waller runner resuming. Soft in his second trial and can run well fresh. He’ll be back, running on and likely set for something in a couple of runs time.

#15 Royal Tudor. Assessed Price: $31

He was in the mix back to 1400m in the Tamworth Cup. Had the right run and didn’t quite finish off as needed. That’s his peak in both grade and trip.

#8 Satano Rasen. Assessed Price: $91

Resuming, couldn’t have off trials. Likely back.

#20 Plaisir. Assessed Price: $201

Outclassed here.

#16 The Getaway. Assessed Price: $251

Could not suggest he is up to this on ratings alone. Average fresh.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) – Live and Free 1 unit

BACK (WIN)  – Unbiased for 0.25 units

3:20pm Race 7 – 2000m – Gosford Cup


Expecting a fair playing track. They may get off the rail as the day goes on. For the Cup, the 2000m start point leads straight into a turn before getting to the back straight.

Speed And Tactics

The obvious, Greysful Glamour goes to the front. House Of Cartier to track her across. Ilwendo prominent from the low draw. Expect just a moderate tempo.


Not the easiest race to decipher and I think the early favourite, Greysful Glamour is well found enough. Yulong Prince is the runner I’ve settled with as the main play. Plenty of merit in all runs this time in and with a plumb draw, expect he gets all favours in running.

Greysful Glamour will look to lead and dictate. I really can’t pot her. Just feel, if any acid, there is going to be a couple of strong runners coming late. Shadow Flight might find this a little strong but when you compare prices to Aliferous, whom he stuck with in the Selwood, there’s sound discrepancy. More so the latter priced aggressively, but all the same, Shadow Flight should be tighter.

Race Assessment

#1 Yulong Prince. Assessed Price: $6.2

Good in all runs in this prep at Group level. No luck early in the Ajax but did get to the right part of track. Even in the Doncaster. Caught three out and back in JRA Plate in a race not at all run to suit. Draws a gate here and expect he holds a forward position in running. His figures measure up.

#6 Greysful Glamour. Assessed Price: $6.5

Does look to hold a comfortable lead and that definitely plays in her favour. She’d prefer a genuine good deck, which may eventuate. Led at a fraction above even in JRA only to be nosed late by LLO, who was off midfield, rails in run. She is the one to pin back. 

#4 Brimham Rocks. Assessed Price: $10

Suited at 2000m second up but does have a tough task from the barrier. If Mcdonald presses from out there and finds a spot, I’d think that’s his best chance. Back and coming deep would be an almighty effort. Same prep set up in 18’ which worked well given there were excuses in that run. As above, a positive steer and any luck, he’s in the finish. 

#8 Another Dollar. Assessed Price: $11

Although beaten fair and square by Amingiri, there was enough to like about her run in the Hawkesbury Cup. Needs to slot in early or a chance of being caught out. Expect around the mark again, strength late my query. 

#11 Scarlet Dream. Assessed Price: $12

Resumed well in the Anniversary then failed second up in the Easter Cup. Didn’t handle the going there. He is the big improver off last run with firmer footing and what looks a friendly run in transit. He is 0/5 at the trip but I wouldn’t suggest he’s not suited at it off those attempts. A query none the less. 

#2 Best Of Days. Assessed Price: $16

Every possible in JRA Plate, tracking leaders and boxing on ok. Interested to see what he can do over an extra couple of furlongs going on his figures but not a betting prospect today. 

#9 House Of Cartier. Assessed Price: $16

Dominant in the Wagga Cup with the blinkers back on and back to 2000m. Has to be positive from the draw and even so, every chance of working early. Found out late?

#13 Ilwendo. Assessed Price: $17

Bolted in last start at BM level. Tune up trial between runs. He can challenge the likely leader, Greysful Glamour. Whilst his form is good at that lower level, his figures don’t show he can match motors with the top few. He’ll be within a few lengths come finish time. He’d need to steal those early to hold out a couple of strong stayers. 

#10 Wren’s Day. Assessed Price: $18

Obviously a good level of ability even though only breaking through in Australia in a lacklustre CL1/Maiden. Figures ok. Would need to see more before considering at this level. All favours from pir here today. 

#14 Aliferous. Assessed Price: $21

Was always going to be against her dropping today 1500m in the Hawkesbury Cup last start. She closed off well and is obviously much better suited now back out to 2000m. Will be giving key runners a fair start and I’m not sure she’s capable of picking them up. 

#15 Shadow Flight. Assessed Price: $26

Overs? Well backed and ran accordingly in the Selwood. Was then only even behind Welsh Legend in what was only a fair BM race. He was four weeks between runs and on top of ground. There’s a price discrepancy there to Aliferous, I have them meeting in somewhere in the middle. 

#5 The Lord Mayor. Assessed Price: $27

Trialled neatly after a two month let up. Didn’t do enough last start at 1400m to think he can feature here. Whilst stats say he’s around the mark, recent figures don’t. 

#7 Sweet Thomas. Assessed Price: $71

Expecting he finds this too sharp. Back and unlikely to sprint with them. 

#3 Shraaoh. Assessed Price: $81 

Didn’t come up whatsoever last prep. He hasn’t shown enough in his lead in trials to suggest he can challenge some solid race fit horses. 

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) – Yulong Prince for 0.5 units to Win

BACK (PLACE) – Yulong Prince for 1 unit to Place

BACK (WIN)  – Shadow Flight for 0.25 units

4:20pm Race 7 – 1400m – Wagga Cup


Wagga is quite a big track being a little over 2200m in circumference. Even though it’s a big track, it can play to leaders so it pays to monitor early races.

The Cup start point has approximately a 400m run into the first bend. Currently a heavy 9 with an 8 race card yesterday here. We’d have to expect the inside chops out and they come looking for better ground. 

Speed And Tactics

Azaryah the obvious leader from House Of Cartier. Kaapfever and The Doctor’s Son expected to hold a position behind them.


Kaapfever is the runner I think sets up best and brings the best form here. Solid his last two in heavy conditions. From his position in run, he’ll get every chance.

The Doctor’s Son is an upcoming Country Cup horse. Solid his last two, scoring a ticket here with his last start win in the Murrumbidgee Cup. He’ll relish a deteriorated track. The top few in the market have enough against them and are priced aggressively considering.

Race Assessment

#9 Kaapfever. Assessed Price: $4.20

Last three runs all on affected ground have had great merit. Just missed at 2100m last start, recording top closing race figures. I like the blinkers going back on and expecting a positive ride from inside middle. He is the horse to beat.

#5 Savacool. Assessed Price: $6.50

Good merit in all runs this time in and good reason to be at the top of the market. Hasn’t won at trip and the query isn’t if she gets it, more so she profiles for more ground. She’ll be off midfield and finishing off. Gets through the ground but would prefer on top.

#7 House of Cartier. Assessed Price: $7.00

Willing to put a line through the Chairman’s run and work on her sound effort on pace in the Neville Sellwood. She worked early through the middle to eventually sit osl, kicked and taken over the last furlong. She has trialled in the blinkers, given a good hit out and they go back on today. The risk is, she has raced a bit keen prior with that tinker.

#4 Master of Arts. Assessed Price: $9.50

He will peak over further but does set up ok here. With the lack of speed drawn around him, expect he is forward of midfield. Takes a bit to get into his gears, a little flat when they sprint. He’ll be around the mark.

#3 Maurus. Assessed Price: $10.50

Only average form leading in to this with both runs rating well below his best. Suited by sting out and granted this is weaker. Four years since the last win. Possibly positive from the outside draw today? Class only price.

#14 The Doctor’s Son. Assessed Price: $11.00

Good merit in the Gundagai Cup after travelling deep throughout, boxed on to be beaten 2L. He then booked his spot here with a strong win in the Murrumbidgee Cup lead in. Good upside with him on the Cup circuit and he is one that will relish a further deteriorated track. On trial at the trip and that’s my only reservation with him. Should get a nice trail in running.

#6 Spunlago. Assessed Price: $19.00

2000 > 1200m last start where he wasn’t knocked about. Assuming they couldn’t find a race between runs, so we’ll take it as a tune up trial. His Albury Cup win two back was fair but not a truely run 2000m and I still hold reservation around him at this trip. The heavy ground, whilst he’s not allergic to it, isn’t in favour.

#13 Azaryah. Assessed Price: $21.00

Back up to 2000m suits and she looks to hold a comfortable lead. As stated with another runner, the locals get further weight when rating and Sutherland would have had this well and truely pencilled in this prep. However, query around the give in ground, mostly untested. Expect she makes an early move.

#15 Gentleman Max. Assessed Price: $26.00

Local mud lark. He doesn’t get the trip as strong as a few in this but definitely need to give weight to his wet form. May need a couple more runs.

#16 River of Gold. Assessed Price: $26.00

Unlucky in Murrumbidgee Cup, being bottled up on the fence for a good part of the straight. Found the line well but bird had flown. Low draw and heavy track against.

#10 High Opinion. Assessed Price: $26.00

Proven performer at the track, winning the lead in country cup and runner up in this race from three attempts. Handles give in ground but would prefer on top. Going better than his finishing positions suggest his last two but unders in early markets

#11 Monkery. Assessed Price: $71.00

Gundagai Cup winner on the back of what you could only describe as horrible form. The locals always get weighted thought when running at home but on the road, I’m expecting he reverts to his former self. No.

#17 Cryfowl. Assessed Price: $201.00

Picnic horse.

Betting Strategy

BACK (EW) – The Doctor’s Son for 0.25 units to Win and 0.5 units to Place

BACK (WIN)  – Kaapfever for 1 unit

4:15pm Race 7 – 1400m – Tamworth Cup


Tamworth is a relatively tight track. All starts race from a chute. The Cup start (1400m) has a short run into a gradual turning back straight. Inside barriers and on pace generally an advantage, which is the way we’ve set up today.

Speed And Tactics

Ashman the rail presses. Burbank will go with from barrier 5. Zaunkonig drawn out will be forward fresh and they have to pull the trigger from the deepest on Over and Above.


Quite an open field as the market would suggest. The tempo looks only moderate and I’ve focused on runners midfield to forward. The Cup chaser, Unbiased resumes on the back of three relevant trials. Very soft in the latest two and he’ll be ready to go first up.

Articus was unlucky not to finish 2nd to Petrology in a fast run 1500m. That bodes ok coming back to 1400m fresh. McCormack has returned particularly well this time in and does look to get a nice trail into the race. Plenty of merit last start and no doubt he is in the finish.

Race Assessment

#5 McCormack. Assessed Price: $6.50

He has returned really well this time in. Won well resuming in good figures. Sound behind Electric Girl, again recording good figures (giving her 5kg). Meritorious run last start after being deep throughout and although on the better ground, run still had merit. Looks set up well to blend from outside middle. He is in the finish.

#7 Ligulate. Assessed Price: $9.00

Country Qualifier win sound followed by an even run in the Country Championship ( Our yard analyst has marked him as a dead set dry tracker ). Excuses late there and finishes closer with room. Soft tighten up trial between runs. Flops out back and finishes off. Tempo the query.

#6 Unbiased. Assessed Price: $9.00

Two trials with vision, both very soft. He’ll be ready to go today. 2/2 track and distance, last years winner – had form leading in, winning the country qualifier then sound in championship. Excellent fresh form. Should be able to hold a spot forward of midfield and expect he is in the finish.

#1 Articus. Assessed Price: $9.00

Doesn’t beat the winner in the Muswellbrook Cup but would have finished much closer with luck in the straight. That was first up with now a month between runs, which is ok given the 1400m. Good sign the hoof filler removed. Expect they use the gate to advantage and will just need a little luck again finding a gap early in the straight.

#4 Royal Tudor. Assessed Price: $11.00

Alongside Articus, being caught on heels in the Muswellbrook Cup, finishes closer with a split. Form sound this time in with the 1400m being his pet trip. Tune up trial between runs good. Expect he settles midfield ahead of multiple dangers, which holds him in good stead.

#2 Bobbing. Assessed Price: $13.00

Drawing out not the issue for him as he’ll flop to the tail. However both the track and anticipated tempo not in favour. He has trialled neatly between runs and will finish off as good as any – would prefer sting out.

#8 Ashman. Assessed Price: $17.00

Two starts back this time in have only been fair. Key negatives last start. Better suited up in trip and does draw the rail. Would need to have turned up different today to be winning.

#12 Zaunkonig. Assessed Price: $19.00

Resuming on the back of two slow trials. Sound fresh form but cannot place in run. Expect he’ll need this and follow up in trip.

#13 Burbank. Assessed Price: $19.00

Quick back up after a dashing front running win last start over 1300m. Can be slow to step but does have the luxury of the inside draw. Would still need to go to a new level to match motors with the top few.

#10 Plaisir. Assessed Price: $21.00

Stayer resuming on the back of two soft trials. He’ll be finishing off but has to come through the ruck and possibly all too late. One to follow on what he does here.

#3 Zourkhan. Assessed Price: $23.00

First start for Berger after a stable change from Waller. He trialled neatly, running on under his own steam. This might be a shade sharp for him but do expect he finishes off well on fresh side.

#11 Over And Above. Assessed Price: $27.00

They’ll press from deep and likely cross without much issue. He was only fair fresh behind Burbank, didn’t have the legs to go late. Really hasn’t fired under Morgan and I don’t think genuine enough to consider.

#9 Kool Vinnie. Assessed Price: $41.00

Given a strong hit out in lead in trial prior to first up run. He finished off well there, giving the leader/winner a big head start. Quick back up, chance of working in run or back with classier animals.

#14 Brotherly Secret. Assessed Price: $201.00

Backs up from Grafton Monday at 1100m. I don’t like that, period.

Betting Strategy

BACK (EW) – Unbiased for 0.5 units each-way

BACK (WIN)  – Articus for 0.5 units

4:20pm Race 7 – 1500m – Hawkesbury Cup


Good run in from the 1500m start point. With the rail in the true and Good 4 grounding, not expecting they get too far off the rail in the straight. Giving favour your those closer in running and likely only a few lanes from the rail.

Speed and Tactics

Amangiri will press from Archedemus drawn low. Expecting Mask Of Time to roll forward and Royal Celebration to track him across.


Intriguing but tricky race. Do we forgive Amangiri last start and work on her fresh effort? I have her in the finish but query she’s after more ground. Unforgotten is the big improver and overs in my market. Allergic to mud and I think we see a solid finish back in grade and on top of the ground.

Gaulois is genuine. Does look to get a soft run in transit and is near certainly in the finish. I’m overlooking Mask Of Time‘s good track form a touch but I concede he may be another after further – although kept fresh.

Race Assessment

#1 Gaulois. Assessed Price: $7.50

Trialled fairly between runs, not asked to do much. Although beaten both sides, the Doncaster Prelude run had plenty of merit. Expect he gets a good trail from the middle draw and every chance.

#8 Amangiri. Assessed Price: $9.00

On face value, very poor last start – excuse offered: saddle slipped. Boxed on fairly in the Emancipation on the back of a neat trial. Drops 2kg under hcp conditions, back to Group 3 company, on top of the ground and what looks a plumb run, we can’t argue she sets up well. I do query the trip now, whether she could be after a softer tempo.

#4 Unforgotten. Assessed Price: $10

Definite improver off her first-up effort where she didn’t fire. She has trialled well enough since that fresh run in the Emancipation Stakes. Blinkers off, on top of the ground and at this level, big show late. She’ll be may main play in this race.

#16 Live and Free. Assessed Price: $10

Good kick off point for him at 1500m. He closed off well in a recent trial. He may need this one but I think he can run better than his fresh record suggests given his set up.

#14 Manolo Blahniq. Assessed Price: $11

He has been sound this time in, running on in all starts in races not run particularly to suit. On trial at the trip but off last start, the step up looks to favour. Can settle closer drawn in and on top of the ground suits. No surprise to see him feature.

#5 Mask of Time. Assessed Price: $12

Expect positive from the outside given the lack of speed between him and the two likely leaders. Best of the on pacers in the Doncaster Prelude. Although prefers sting out and the 17-0-1-1 record on top of the ground is glaring, it’s not as bad as paper tells. In the finish.

#15 Aliferous. Assessed Price: $13

Four week freshen back from 2000m where she was dogged late. I think the drop back is too much here but do expect her to be finding the line late.

#10 Royal Celebration. Assessed Price: $13

Strung two together in BM company with give in ground. Plenty of merit. However, can’t place from the draw. I do think they have to be positive from out there and that may create unanticipated pressure up top. Needs to hit a new peak and every chance of working in running.

#6 Girl Tuesday. Assessed Price: $19

Failed fresh, excuses. Made to trial, very soft throughout closing off under her own steam. She’ll need a lot to go right given her set up.

#9 Another Dollar. Assessed Price: $26

Surely a risk. Low draw, back against what looks a moderate tempo, lead in form average.

#3 Brimham Rocks. Assessed Price: $26

Two trials ok leading in. Hasn’t won below 2000m and not sure the race will be run to suit. However, more forward than has been previously.

#7 Archedemus. Assessed Price: $33

Not sure he’s come back that well off his trials. Ex Markwell now with Pride, there’d have to be significant improvement from trial to track to feature.

#11 Tangled. Assessed Price: $41

Another that will need luck early to find a back. Returns from a year long spell on the back of two ok trials. Latest of those compact. Will need to be at top fresh.

#2 Shraaoh. Assessed Price: $151

Expected back and trials don’t indicate he’s travelling that well. Risk.

#12 Valentino Rossa. Assessed Price: $201

Favoured on top of the ground but that might be about it.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) – Gaulois for 0.5 units

BACK (EW)  – Unforgotten for 0.5 units

3:56pm Race 6 – 1400m – Soldier’s Saddle


Bathurst generally favours on pace on rails when in the good range and expect that is the case today. The 1400m is a very fair start point, giving them approximately 600m up the back straight to sort their order.

Speed and Tactics

Regal Stage will be forward today with Catcha Crown and Zouologist looking to trail him across. Hit The Target drawn low the one to hold them out early and Writing Unexpected up there. Expect the tempo is above even.


On face value, this looked an open race, however with enough convictions on multiple runners, I think we can narrow the chances down considerably. Zouologist is the one I’ve settled with. His two starts since joining Vigouroux have been excellent. He reached a new peak from the front when sitting on a solid tempo, only to be nosed late at 1400m last start.

Regal Stage was one I wanted to follow after last start. Our yard analyst had him presenting and parading only fair at Randwick. He no doubt has claims but I have him longer and with the stable airborne, I’m not expecting we get anything better come jump. Ryan will have Fast Talking closer today I’m sure. With a good track into the race, he’ll be in the finish. Writing Unexpected similarly gets a soft run behind the speed.

Race Assessment

#2 Regal Stage. Assessed Price: $6
Sound win in just ok figures resuming. Gave 4.5 and 5.5kg to 2nd and 3rd respectively. Well backed when bungled the start, throwing maps out the window. Finished very well. Should find the front here without too much issue. Stable flying.

#5 Zouologist. Assessed Price: $6.5
Has come back well post stable change from Waller. Tough fresh at 1200m followed by strong on pace effort over 1400m. Figures very good. Expect they press from the gate and with any luck, he is in the finish.

#1 Fast Talking. Assessed Price: $8.5
Should settle closer today from the draw. Sound in chasing from the rear to miss a half length in the Country Championship. Race rated well, was run to suit.

#9 Writing Unexpected. Assessed Price: $11
Strong on pacer who backed up a neat enough trial to win with merit resuming. Deep throughout, boxing on to hold off run ons over 1280m. Overall time fair, he’ll improve on whatever he does here, something back in class and up in trip.

#3 Defeat. Assessed Price: $16
Only even last start after having a soft run in behind the speed. Didn’t sprint with them but did box on. Further?

#12 Supreme Attraction. Assessed Price: $16
Sound in lower grade and would need to find a couple of lengths to match with leading hopes. Will be around the mark at the furlong marker.

#4 Hit The Target. Assessed Price: $18
Made to work early at good fractions, eventually getting osl. Weakened badly. Ok at start prior in qualifier but would need a new peak to feature here.

#7 Thistleso. Assessed Price: $21
Relatively lightly raced 7YO. Last two has finished well with seven weeks between runs from qualifier to Moruya Cup. Peaked on run after taking an inside run in the latter. 1400m on his brink. Would rather 1200m.

#8 Bennelong Dancer. Assessed Price: $21
Good fresh in the qualifier then trialled neatly between runs to championship. Didn’t Fire. Not sure all is sound given the sporadic runs. Other than that, can only offer grounding as an excuse. Not suited today.

#10 Press Box. Assessed Price: $21
On the brink of her peak distance. She hasn’t shown much this time in. Days between runs likely telling.

#11 Speed Camera. Assessed Price: $36
Hasn’t done a lot since her win resuming over 1200m. She was ok in a strong FM BM70 over 1400m before five weeks between runs last start where she did nothing. Not much going for her here.

#13 Kookabaa. Assessed Price: $36
On trial at trip. Two even efforts in lesser grade than this over 1200m. Hard task today.

#16 Catcha Crown. Assessed Price: $61
Operates best on the fresh side at 1200m. Not much scope and it would be hard to say he can improve enough to be in the top few.

#17 Prince Zariz. Assessed Price: $201
He needs to improve 16L on his raw rating to even be considered here.

#6 Herzegovina. Assessed Price: scratched
Mixed prep. Plenty of merit in qualifier run three back, never suited in the wild card. Then to the mile being only even. Suited back to 1400m and does look to get a soft run.

#14 Larynx. Assessed Price: scratched
Better suited back to 1400m. Ok run from the low draw but another that would need to find a few lengths to feature

Betting Strategy

BACK (EW) – Zouologist for 0.75 units

4:35pm Race 7 – 2100m – Orange Gold Cup


Other than the home straight of approximately 350m, the track is on a constant turn. It generally pays to be on pace and they give the rail a wide berth when rain affected. Expect the Soft 5 rating sticks. For the cup, the 2100m start point is at the 200m mark in home straight. The on-pace factor is not as prevalent over this staying trip.

Speed and Tactics

Tempo looks only moderate on paper but with a big field and a few wanting to sort their order, we can expect at least an even tempo. Both Shanghai Patrol and Shock Alert drawn low go forward. We may see Celtic Love press from the middle draw and then Zoffany’s Lad, what do they do from the wide draw? Expect they are positive.


Quite a tricky race to assess as the runners bringing the better form are either back against an ambiguous tempo or awkwardly drawn. The class runners are running below their ratings. There are four runners I have closer to or above their true price: Reward Seeker, Elkano, Yorkshire Rock and the local, Athena’s Voice.

Race Assessment

#2 Zoffany’s Lad. Assessed Price: $6

Hard to fault his prep, finishing in the quinella all five starts this prep. Beaten by the barrier last start in Gundagai Cup, making a mid-race move, to be bloused late. He has the same predicament here, with a bigger field and a little more competition, hard to price him so short.

#12 Reward Seeker. Assessed Price: $6.5

Dominant his past two albeit in lesser grade. He was five weeks between runs off a 2000m victory before walking in last start at the mile. Overall time poor when comparing to the Cup run on that day, however completely different race shapes.

#11 Elkano. Assessed Price: $7.5

Gets here fourth-up on the back of a fast finishing 3rd over 1875m. He was 1400>1875m there with three weeks between runs. He has upside and has a finish as good as any of these. Draws out and yet another runner heavily reliant on some pressure up top. If the race does pan out, he will take holding out.

#1 Shock Alert. Assessed Price: $11

Obvious class edge, however his last two have been well below par. Simply could not recommend on those efforts. Wary but cannot price at single figures.

#8 Athena’s Voice. Assessed Price: $16

Forget last start on a heavy surface in the Wellington Cup. She is allergic to mud. She won at 2200m two back before a fast finishing 2nd in the prelude. That was 6 weeks between runs. She is a big improver on firmer footing and that run under her belt. I can mark her closer in the market.

#5 concessions. Assessed Price: $16

Only one batted last start after a sound win in the Armidale Cup. Her stats say she gets the trip, however she does race keen and I’m not sure she’ll get the luxury of burning tickets in running here.

#10 Brown Thomas. Assessed Price: $16

His figures say he can measure up to a race like this. He can finish just as well as the top few in the market. Reliant on the front runners creating some pressure, as are his main opposition.

#6 Celtic Love. Assessed Price: $19

Not convinced she’ll get the trip. Peak performer up to 1500m. Map ok.

#9 Mr. Epic. Assessed Price: $19

Towed the field up behind a ridiculous tempo in the Wellington Cup. I think he is a risk at + 1800m at this level.

#15 Yorkshire Rock. Assessed Price: $26

He is going better than his form card suggests. Happy to say he wins with any luck last start over 1700m. His two prior were ok given the way those races planned out. From a map perspective, expect he settles in the first half of the field and given that, he’ll get every chance. I’ve marked him closer to the market fancies given his favour in running.

#7 Shanghai Patrol. Assessed Price: $30

Folded quickly in the Wagga Cup when second-up. No real excuses given then leader won. Obviously will take a bit from the run but would have to be a strong turn around.

#16 Blinkin Nomore. Assessed Price: $71

Late call up post scratchings. He gets an ok run from the soft draw but he is very one batted and I can risk him here.

#14 Happy Partner. Assessed Price: $151

Fell in in the prelude. Doubt he sees the trip.

#13 Helstar. Assessed Price: $201

The only thing in his favour is he has been dominant past 2100m prior. That is a while back and his current form does not warrant thought here.

#3 Laure Me In. Assessed Price: (scratched)

2.3L 7th last start over the mile and goes very close having been held up entering the straight till the 150m point. Untried at the trip but given every indication will suit.

#4 Animalia. Assessed Price: (scratched)

Suited up in trip after grinding back at the leader/winner in the Wagga Cup (2000m). He needs everything to go right and not as dynamic as others. Query runner but again, can not price him at single figures.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) – Elkano 1 unit

BACK (EW)  – Yorkshire Rock for 0.25 units

BACK (EW)  – Athena’s Voice  0.25 units

4:55pm Race 7 – 2000m – Albury Cup


Albury is quite a big track with a circumference of approximately 2100m. It basically turns throughout, leading into a 400m home straight. For the cup, they start 100m past the finishing post where the gradual turn begins. Think capital D.

Speed and Tactics

Mecurial Lad and Fun Fact the two to roll forward. Unsure Fun Fact can dictate from the front with the query what a couple of others drawn out do. A host of potential on pacers need to sort their order out leading into the immediate turn from start point.


Expecting they go above moderate fractions and on the big track, Attorney will be suited. He will be off midfield and ready to peak here third-up. Fun Fact will be rock hard, do they leave him alone? He can sustain solid fractions.

Willi Willi can improve with the blinkers coming off today and gets the right run from the middle draw. Monegal better suited on firmer footing and also represents some value in what is an otherwise thin market.

Race Assessment

#8 Attorney. Assessed Price: $4.20

Gets here third-up on the back of two even efforts at 1600m and 2000m. Our yard man scored him well last start, having him on top with comment ‘improved significantly between runs’. Big track behind a genuine tempo and a little gear tinker, I think we see this lightly raced import show up.

#2 Fun Fact. Assessed Price: $4.70

Did not expect the tactics from Australia’s best front running jockey last start but nearly paid off and the assumed logic behind it was sound. Favoured by the pattern of the day and tried to steal it early. Plenty of merit. If he holds steadier fractions up top, he’ll take getting past.

#5 Maid of Ore. Assessed Price: $8.50

Chased hot pace in Canberra Cup and boxed on well. She is versatile, however can she press here with good speed drawn under her? She is well weighted to Fun Fact whom she chased last start. I’m not convinced she can go back and finish over them. Capable, just poorly set up.

#12 Monegal. Assessed Price: $12.00

Fantastic form this prep building to a good win in the Bega Cup over the mile. Three subsequent starts have all had merit, including a forgive two back when 2L 7th, caught on heels, bird had flown once out. Last start, even effort on rain affected track. Much better suited on top of the ground. Does lump an extra 4kg to Attorney from two back. With a little luck slotting in early, expect she is in the finish.

#3 Willi Willi. Assessed Price: $12.00

Hasn’t done much since winning the Wodonga Cup five starts back. Running even, being very keen early and mid race last start. Blinkers come off today. Won this race in 2018 in his sole victory at the trip.

#1 Mortons Fork. Assessed Price: $26

Back in trip and grade. Although a little unlucky in running last start, he threw in the towel quite quickly. Settles closer today from barrier one, will need luck late.

#10 Pumpkin Pie. Assessed Price: $26

Impossible set-up from the draw, forward or back and on trial at the trip, I can’t place her here. Working in run whichever way it pans out.

#13 Ruby Skye. Assessed Price: $26

Strong winner in the Tom Patton Cup over 1800m. Drawn in and up to 2000m both her queries.

#15 Royal Thunder. Assessed Price: $31

On trial at the trip and has indicated it would suit. Coming off an even run in the Corowa Cup at the mile with give in the ground. Suited back to firmer footing and drawn in. Expect holds a spot forward of midfield. Just a little one batted.

#16 Great Glen. Assessed Price: $41

He has to go back from the draw or a very good chance he is posted. Ran above expectations in the Tom Patton Cup two back before working in running last start – effort was still below par.

#17 Gottaluvtrucks. Assessed Price: $41

Does look to get a nice trail in running but outclassed on my figures.

#4 Spunlago. Assessed Price: $55

Comes through the Anniversary Vase. Not convinced at all at 2000m. 1800m peak.

#9 Mecurial Lad. Assessed Price: $66

Mixed prep with an out of the box win at 1550m. On pacer with company up front. I can’t suggest he is in the finish given his sporadic efforts and figures at this trip.

#14 Perfect Illusion. Assessed Price: $101

Import that hasn’t shown a lot in his first two for Beer. Suited up in trip but that is about all.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) – Attorney for 1.6 units

BACK (WIN)  – Monegal for 0.2 units

BACK (WIN)  – Willi Willi for 0.2 units

4:55pm Race 7 – 1600m – Quirindi Cup


This meeting has been transferred to Scone. The track can play on pace and to the fence and then can favour the run ons. It’s a case of monitoring. Given we’re on an official Soft 5 and expected drying track, I’ve set up giving slight favour to those forward of midfield.

Speed and Tactics

Main speed drawn out in Mister Smartee and Redemption Road. A little messy underneath them. Cut The Mustard may press.


Very open race and I’ve got solid queries around a majority of the field at the mile. One runner, Nothing Too Hard brings form and in particular is suited at the mile now.

New Endeavour similarly is suited up in trip, however, requires a little luck in running and will be relying on the front runners to go along. Time Raid sets up particularly well and although I’m not overly convinced on him at the trip, I’m not expecting this to be a true mile.

Race Assessment

#5 Time Raid. Assessed Price: $6.5

Maps very well and if you forgive his last start fail, giving big weight in quite a good field and unsuitable race shape over 1400m, then he does bring ok form into this. However, I still have reservation with him at the mile. From a position in running perspective and what I’m deeming a lacklustre mile, I’m expecting him in the finish.

#9 Hammoon Ballad. Assessed Price: $8.50

Walcha Cup winner having all favours in running. I queried her set-up there but a positive, well timed ride had her salute. She is in the mix and should receive favours in running again.

#13 Nothing Too Hard. Assessed Price: $9.00

Good form leading in with the latest behind what may be a smart one in Get The Idea. They made their runs somewhat together, whilst the winner had them covered, NTH’s effort had a lot of merit. Suited slightly up in trip and whilst his record in this class is one placing from ten, it should be noted, all bar two of those attempts were at 2000m +.

I expect they’re positive from just outside middle and am adamant they need to be forward of midfield in running. He is the runner that I think is considerable overs in early markets.

#6 New Endeavour. Assessed Price: $9.00

A lot of merit in his run in the Walcha Cup. Made a mid race move to circle and kept coming to miss a nose to Hamoon Ballad, who had a relatively soft run in transit. Obviously the step up in trip suits, he’ll just need a little luck from the inside draw. Definitely interested to see what he does here and look to follow at 1800m, hopefully drawn out.

#12 Chuck n Paul. Assessed Price: $12.00

Solid 3rd in the Gilgandra Cup. Likely back in running so will want pressure up top. He sees a strong mile and favoured should we get an improving surface.

#2 A Magic Zariz. Assessed Price: $12.50

All favours placing in the Gigandra Cup on a heavy surface. Drawn out here and I have reservation around him seeing a strong mile. But again, I’m not expecting this is a true mile today.

#14 Ratler. Assessed Price: $14.5

Didn’t beat much when winning a CL3 over 1440m at Walcha last start but did do it comfortably. He saw the best of the surface there and will appreciate the firmer footing again today. Drawn out and is another relying on a solid tempo.

#8 Redemption Road. Assessed Price: $15

Should cross without too much issue and suited back on firmer footing. He was ok in the Walcha Cup but did have his chance. Does need to prove himself at the mile so he goes in the boat with the others that are queried at the trip.

#11 A Martin Placepick. Assessed Price: $18

Not convinced on yet another runner able to see this trip strong. Cut the corner in a truely run race in the Gilgandra Cup. Baulked for a run there and finishes 0.5L closer. Great fresh horse in sprints up to 1400m. With that, tested here.

#3 San Francisco. Assessed Price: $22

Last years Cup winner, however he went in as favourite there due to showing a lot more leading in. Not stretching out at all in his runs and although this is back a few pegs, he still needs to improve.

#15 Cut the Mustard. Assessed Price: $26

I was on side with this mare first-up in the Walcha Cup. She knocked up and probably every right given the run in transit and the trying conditions. I thought she was much more forward leading into that but it’s clear she may need yet another one before we see her best.

She is the query runner map wise as they may press. She’ll be there abouts but wouldn’t expect her to threaten a few of these off her fresh run.

#7 Mister Smartee. Assessed Price: $33

Just not convinced with him. He puts himself in races and floats. Folded in the Walcha Cup as favourite over 1440m and although the step up in trip suits, he is drawn out and this is more competitive. Risk.

#10 Mr McBat. Assessed Price: $33

Good fresh run with two subsequent runs rating well down. Hasn’t won in near three years and appears that’ll continue today. Only argument is he’s a track specialist (earlier in career).

#4 Free Billy. Assessed Price: $40

Seven week let-up into this is a straight up query. Peaks at 1400m and on a genuine good surface. I question him at the mile unless it is frantic up top and they stop; not him pouncing and coming over the top.

#1 Gold Stream. Assessed Price: N/A

Sticking under 2000m hasn’t been successful for him and class can only take you so far at ill suited distances lumping weight. He comes into this beaten both sides over 1500m, although not given the best steer and in a much stronger race. Again, he is the class, I just cannot dispel the queries I have around him today and in general.

Betting Strategy

BACK (WIN) – Nothing Too Hard 0.5 to Win and 0.75 units to place.

BACK (WIN)  – Time Raid to Win for 0.5 units.

BACK (WIN)  – New Endeavour 0.25 units.

5:10pm Race 7 – 1440m – Walcha Cup


Walcha is a tight constant turning track. Basically turns all the way bar the side straight. For the Cup, the 1440m is a chute start. They have a short run to the first turn, which continues turning approximately 500m, until they enter the side straight. Then a tight turn into the home straight. Inside draws and on pace the advantage, being slightly lenient due to the going.

Speed and Tactics

There is a little pressure from outside draws with Rockin’ Ruga and Redemption Road likely pressing. Life O’brien and Mister Smartee prominent from middle draws.


Each way I look at this, Mister Smartee sets up very well. There is pressure to his outside which does give Rolls options. He can either work them early, then take a back or he could hold on pace/lead without spending a penny. Redemption Road becomes a clear danger should they let him cross soft before the first turn. Professor Marx is the query runner.

Presents with a favourable map and if he handles the trip, then expect he features. I was quite taken by Cut The Mustard at the trials. She looked much more forward than in her previous preps and if a little pressure eventuates, she looks primed to finish well.

Race Assessment

#5 Mister Smartee. Assessed Price: $2.7

Good backing last start in a small field, beaten over the final 150m by Time Raid. Worked a shade early and then itchy fingers approaching the straight. Boxed on well enough. Towed them up at the mile to a tear away in his start prior and was strong throughout. He sets up well from the middle draw to work the outside runners early, then drop in or hold the rail and dictate. He is the horse to beat here.

#7 Redemption Road. Assessed Price: $6.2

Somewhat forgive run last start in the Inverell Cup where caught behind a faltering leader. Doesn’t win but finishes 1L closer. Start prior ran strong figures, missing a nose to Desert Marshal over 1300m. Form measures up. Query the five weeks between runs and the draw with that short run to the first turn. If crosses soft, he is around the mark. Scratchings this morning have helped his cause.

#2 Professor Marx. Assessed Price: $7

An interesting runner who hasn’t seen this trip since the 16’ 3YO Guineas. Prior to that, he saw the trip once at the end of 2015 and saw it well enough from a forward position. He was good up to 1300m early 2019 but has since been kept around the 1000-1200m range. He is closer in running today from the draw and handles sting out. He is in the mix and given the right run, I think he does handle getting out to this range.

#11 Cut The Mustard. Assessed Price: $9.5

She looked well in her two trials leading in, with the latest of those, cruising past runners in first gear. Beat nothing with only a subsequent maiden winner to come from that. However, it was a nice piece of work that is hard to ignore. Her two fresh efforts at 13 and 1450m have been good and she appears much more forward for this. The best I have seen her. She is likely off midfield from the draw but I do think if Murray gets into her work early in the side straight, she’ll be hitting the line very well. Favoured further if the track deteriorates. Hurt a little by scratching of Rockin’ Ruga.

#10 Hamoon Ballad. Assessed Price: $11.2

She has a good level of ability and appreciates the cut in the ground but I just cannot get her into favouritism with her set up. She is back to 1440m from the mile, draws the rail and is likely to be close to the tail. She’ll be finishing as well as any and if she wins, too good!

#6 Vega De Lago. Assessed Price: $11.2

Won the Mudgee Cup Sprint (1200m) in just ok figures. Has since been even in three subsequent runs. Expect Ryan is positive from the middle draw and will be thereabouts. Just even efforts with freshness petered, likely left batting.

#4 New Endeavour. Assessed Price: $16.5

Even run last start over 1200m. Took inside runs, raced a shade tight and sound through the line. Has to go back from the draw and again will finish off. A few ahead of him in my market.

#1 Life O’Brien. Assessed Price: $35

Handy country runner back from a metro attempt where he finished 27L last with abnormal respiratory noises over 1900m. Back to 1440m is enough query here. Very surprised should he feature.

#12 Ready To Go Go. Assessed Price: $35

Just ok first-up for the new stable in fair figures. Track pattern of the day against but still would have liked to see more. Does improve with the run and peak performances have come on affected tracks. Needs to have come on considerably.

#3 Rockin’ Ruga. Assessed Price: $18 *scratched

Won over 1250m three back in only fair figures. He then tackled stronger company at 13 and 1400m where he failed on both occasions. There wasn’t enough merit in either of those two runs to warrant too much though here. Hit and miss runner.

#8 Editors. Assessed Price: $28 *scratched

Awkwardly set up from the draw and could easily end up a few pairs back the fence. He’ll need clear air to finish and I’ve got a few ahead of him today.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Mister Smartee 2 units.

 BACK (WIN)  – Professor Marx 0.6 units.

 BACK (WIN)  – Cut The Mustard 0.4U units.

5:05pm Race 7 – 1600m – Bega Cup


Relatively fair track, favouring inside barriers on pace, more prevalent in the sprints. For the Cup, long run up the back straight, to a slight dogleg, then a sharp turn into a long home straight. Expect all runners get their chance with tempo being the dictating factor.

Speed and Tactics

Expect Mecurial Lad and Intueri are the two that fight out the early lead with both Contaminated and Katie Did It pressing between them. There should be ample pressure.


The race sets up very well for those off pace. Favouring both Monegal and Mortar Platoon. The former has been fantastic both starts this time in, recording strong closing figures at 12 and 1400m. C&D stats excellent (2:2-0-0) and three wins at the trip from six, with two minor placings.

Mortar Platoon has been sound his last two and like him back to the mile. Katie Did It comes in with a picket fence and she does look to enjoy a nice run in transit.

Race Assessment

#5 Monegal. Assessed Price: $3.50

Has really found the line in her two starts in this prep. Granted, last race was run to suit, however, she did record top race closing figures and I thought that was a good audition for a race like this.

#6 Mortar Platoon. Assessed Price: $6.50

Cumani runner coming across on the back of two even efforts at 17 and 1800m. I don’t think he gets above the mile strong, so in favour of him dropping back here. He maps very well for this and although a long time between drinks, he is well set up and comes in showing enough.

#13 Katie Did It. Assessed Price: $9.00

Definitely a mare in form! She’s won three on the bounce, albeit in lesser company. Has upside and I’m not writing her off here on the minimum. She doesn’t have to lead and if she can slot in, which from the draw it looks she can, then I think she is in the finish.

#7 All Hard Wood. Assessed Price: $9.00

Surprised this runner is hard in the market and I expect him to drift. Respect the stable, however, hasn’t shown enough to warrant current odds. Can race keen, which he did at 1400m last start. Being inside horses and dictated to, I’m just not with him.

#12 Contaminated. Assessed Price: $14

He’ll be forward and again, plenty of pressure. His best is over a shade further and with a bit of cut in the ground. Last start flop, however, prior form sound. In the mix but I have a few ahead of him.

#1 Mecurial Lad. Assessed Price: $16

Strong winner two back at 1550m, didn’t give a yelp in the going up to 2000m. Suited back in trip and on top of the ground, however, solid pressure anticipated on paper against him.

#9 Nicconita. Assessed Price: $16

Lame last start, so pay to be forgiving. She won this C&D two back in fair figures and will be suited by the solid tempo. I’m not with her but expect she finishes well if all is sound.

#8 Rinviata. Assessed Price: $18

Just missed in the Cowra Cup last start but this is harder and the barrier draw has done him little favour. Can just see him doing a lot of extra work in running whichever way it pans out.

#2 Intueri. Assessed Price: $21

Fair in both starts this time in over the shorter trips. Suited to the mile but another that is going to be affected by anticipated pressure and spots big weight to those who’ll be coming late.

#10 Appoint Percy. Assessed Price: $26

Maybe excuses last start and likely suited back on top of the ground. He is another that can press but I do have him crossed a couple of times and with a 3kg claimer and that scenario, inclined to risk.

#11 Herecomesmybaby. Assessed Price: $26

Resumes and found two jumpouts for her on the TRC jumpouts search, both were just ok. Relatively soft at 1400m. Will be back from the draw and I have a few finishing better than her.

#3 Shalmaneser. Assessed Price: $71

Gave nothing resuming and likely needs a few more runs to be considered.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (EW) – Mortar Platoon for 0.75 units.

 BACK (WIN)  – Monegal for 0.5 units.

4.45pm Race 7 – 1700m – Cowra Cup


Tight two-turn track, that by design, favours leaders. The Cup start point (1700m) is approximately the middle of the home straight. Current official track rating is a soft 5 and a forecast of rain approximately an hour before Cup start time (scattered forecast prior). So we’ll set up for a track in the Soft 5-6 range. 

Speed and Tactics

Mr Epic presses with Bells ‘n’ Bows and Dad’s Boy drawn directly under working him early. Rinviata from the rails draw pushes up. Expecting an even tempo. 

Race Assessment

#5 Mr Epic. Assessed Price: $4.50

Best credentialed runner here, being listed placed two years ago. Has been up a long time, with a stable change from Victoria back in October. Won well two back at the mile from on pace.

Didn’t like the drop back to 1400m, however he was sound there. Now near five weeks between runs leading in. Expect they’re positive on him, just how much work he does early will be critical to his chances.

#6 Bells ‘n’ Bows. Assessed Price: $5.00

Cotton Cup winner, having all favours there. She has since gone on to race just ok in provincial and city company. Fair up in trip two and three back. Back to the mile last start and was a shade unlucky not to finish in placings.

Race run to suit. Does set up well, peaks at mile in stronger grade, may just get this trip strong enough back to country racing and given her set up.

#3 A Martin Placepick. Assessed Price: $7.00

Was quickly up in trip third-up, 12>1600m. Rearward and keen, circled and peaked on run. Plenty of merits considering, however, six weeks between runs, inside draw, first try past 1600m and a soft track are all valid queries.

I think he is closes today in running and if all is sound, he’s in the finish.

#1 Rinviata. Assessed Price: $7.60

Won two back having all favours in running. Overall time average. Only fair in the Ted Ryder last start, with not the kindest run in transit, however would have liked to see more. Blinkers go on for first time since debut in 15’. Will be around the mark.

#10 Dad’s Boy. Assessed Price: $8.30

Interesting month and a half 2200>1400>2200>1400m. Now to 1700m, which suits, expect a positive steer and under the light weight, will be around the mark. Just may get found out if the tempo is a little more genuine.

#11 Dragon’s Shadow. Assessed Price: $9.00

Returned well without much luck over the final furlong at 1500m. Trial leading in was quite forward. Not hopeless and I think has claims here today. Draws to track the main speed and if they do cut at each other, he can finish well.

#7 Athena’s Voice. Assessed Price: $10.00

Good run resuming for the new stable over 1400m behind Dubai Tycoon and Mr Epic. Again at 1400m last start, boxed on ok. Definitely suited to 1700m now. She is likely at the tail with the tempo anticipated to be against. She’ll finish hardest but may be all too late.

#4 Mackellar’s Love. Assessed Price: $16.50

2nd place getter in this last year, however her lead in form was much better. She was ordinary two back over 1500m, 7 weeks between runs, even over 1400m last start and 5 weeks between runs into this. Not well set-up from the wide draw.

#12 Subway Surfer. Assessed Price: $120

There are 90 runners at the meeting today and I have 80 in front of him on ratings.

Betting Strategy

Unfortunately not a great race from a betting perspective but we’ll see what we can grind out. I have Bells ‘n’ Bows priced closer to the money runners and given that, she will be the main play.

She was fair in provincial and city company, back to country racing is her level. She meets the favourite Mr Epic again (beat him in Cotton Cup) and both are similarly set up. Mr Epic will be favoured on pace, with a slight query whether he is working early from barrier 7.

Dragon’s Shadow resumed well on the back of a forward trial. He can sit a touch closer in running and if they overdo it, I think he’s going well enough to close hard.

 BACK (WIN) – Bells ‘n’ Bows for 0.75 units.

 BACK  – Dragon’s Shadow 0.25 win & 0.50 place

4.55pm Race 7 – 1600m – Ballina Cup


Quite strangely shaped four turn flat track. In general, plays to the front. However, rain forecast and if it actually hits, the track will be quickly affected. For The Cup, over the mile, slight dog leg into the back straight, followed by three turns, then into the relatively short home straight.

Speed and Tactics

Landmarks and Boncosta the likely two to press. Bryneich handy.

Race Assessment

6. Smartypy. Assessed Price: $2.80.

Solid win in good figures over 1350m last start. Sprinted quickly, sustained. Sets up well from barrier 7, should hold a spot in behind lead division. First try at the trip, which is the query, however her last start says she gets it.

8. Desmons Pride. Assessed Price: $7.50.

Didn’t like the drop back to 1200m from 1400m last start. Boxed on well enough. Sound in the Christmas Cup prior with pattern against. First try at the trip, profiles as if will suit. Slight query where he gets to in running.

9. Nothingforthepress. Assessed Price: $9.00.

Last years cup winner, always around the mark and does set up well from the low draw. Worked a shade early in the prelude last start and was just even to the line. Economical run here and that will help as I think a couple will be stronger at the mile.

13. Melted Moments. Assessed Price: $13.00.

Bullet proof horse, having not had a genuine spell since March 18’. No signs of slowing up with a solid effort from a rearward position in the Inverell Cup. Racing like the mile will suit, handles the sting out and sound form at track.

4. Boncosta. Assessed Price: $13.00.

Expect presses from the wide draw and should get osl without too much issue. Sound 3L 2nd in the prelude, sets up similarly. I don’t think he is woeful with rain affected going but definitely prefer on top of the ground.

2. Queens of Kingston. Assessed Price: $13.00.

Handy Cup horse, coming off a last start placing in the Pink Silks Cup (1200m). Has a solid enough base for the mile and form at track sound. Needs luck from barrier, will be there abouts.

12. Bryneich. Assessed Price: $23.

Has really only been fair this prep, placing two from five this time in. No favours in running last start, however only steady fractions and overall rating average on day. Expect a positive steer from the low draw and out to mile suits.

1. Morendi. Assessed Price: $26.

To the tail first-up in the prelude. Tracked favourite and winner, left standing. Second-up form better than paper tells, however will be back again and need good pressure up top to feature.

5. Landmarks. Assessed Price: $30

Likely leader, coming off an average effort in the Inverell Cup. Start prior, strong from the front in winning the Lismore Cup – favoured by pattern on day. Query the mile, peaks at 1400m.

11. Flying Machine. Assessed Price: $32.

Didn’t warrant favouritism last start, being very well backed late over 1400m. Boxed on evenly. Maps favourably but not sold on the mile and gap between runs.

7. Bodegra Negra. Assessed Price: $36

Something back July to 19’ form would see him around the mark but hasn’t come up this prep. Can lightly make excuses with little favour in running, however would still need considerable improvement.

10. I’ll Miss You. Assessed Price: $65.

Even from the tail resuming in the prelude. Capable of a big finish. Will want all of this trip and needs the pressure on up top. Inside draw and rain affected ground against.

14. Kuttamurra Al. Assessed Price: $65.

Would need to find a new peak here. Not ideally suited.

17. My Cousing Jackie. Assessed Price: $70.

She is going ok in lower BM races. Doesn’t rater well enough feature here.

Betting Strategy

Expect just above a moderate tempo. Smartypy deserves favouritism off a smart win over 1350m last start. Should hold a position forward of midfield and even though on trial at the trip, her last start says she’ll see it. Desmon’s Pride is also on trial at the trip and does need a little luck from the barrier.

With that, he is a live chance. Melted Moments is the big value runner. Prefer if drawn out a touch but he can finish as good as any. His 11 starts after a let-up have all been in the 12-1400m range, like him at the mile now. Nothingforthepress sets up very well to track speed, will be in the finish, however anticipating a couple stronger late at the mile.

 BACK (WIN) – Smartypy for 1.5 units

 BACK (EW) – Desmons Pride for 0.5 units

 BACK (EW) – Melted Moments for 0.25 units

4.35pm Race 7 – 1600m – Mudgee Cup


Two turn track that plays relatively fair. The start point for the Cup (1600m) is from a chute extending off the back straight, giving them a good run into the top turn. The home straight is approximately 420m.

Speed and Tactics

Mecurial Lad likely leads from Hammond Lane and Hirokin drawn out.

Race Assessment

4. Boomtown Rat. Assessed Price: $2.10.

Resumed with an even effort over 1400m in good company. Raced a little tight early straight, running on well. Best work over the final 150m. Will need a touch of luck from the low draw but with that, he is the deserved favourite.

7. Valree. Assessed Price: $5.50.

Smart win with the blinkers coming off last start over 1300m. Travelled much kinder throughout and dashed up well to space them. If she can settle over this trip, then she is definitely in the mix.

9. Sea Lady. Assessed Price: $9.70.

Good run in the Cotton Cup over the mile, then dropped back to 1400m given no hope from the draw and race shape. Young Sherry riding well, can have her forward of midfield and may not bring the strongest form lines into this, but bumps into a mostly out of form field.

5. Hammond Lane. Assessed Price: $11.50.

Blinkers go back on and expecting they’re positive early today. Restricted range and needs a race run perfectly to suit. Even runner.

10. Weather Channel. Assessed Price: $13.00.

Hit and miss gelding. Has been well placed since coming from SA and although he has run ok up to 1800m, I’m not completely convinced he sees a strong mile.

3. Hirokin. Assessed Price: $17.90.

Handy record starts both the track and the distance. However, his first-up effort was very plain on the back of an ok trial. He needed to box on much stronger given his set-up there and I cannot see him featuring without significant improvement.

6. Life O’Brien. Assessed Price: $19.00.

Three runs this time in have been just fair. Muddling run in the Sandy Hollow Cup followed by a low rating 4th in a handicap race over the mile last start. Likely wants further and easier.

8. A Martin Placepick. Assessed Price: $21.00.

Likely wanted further second-up when sticking at 1200m. A little one batted there, now to the mile. Would need to improve and don’t like set up today.

1. Mecurial Lad. Assessed Price: $21.70.

Completely out of sorts this prep. Both back in grade and back in trip are in favour, however really hasn’t given a yelp this time in and inclined to risk.

11. Chilcotin. Assessed Price: $90.00.

Not today.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Boomtown Rat for 2 units

 BACK (WIN) – Sea Lady for 0.25 units

 BACK (PLACE) – Sea Lady for 0.5 units

5.00pm Race 7 – 1600m – Warren Cup


We only see this track four times a year. It generally plays fair. With moderate SW winds forecast, giving favour to those off rail, with cover in running favour.

Speed and Tactics

Main speed is from Mr. Epic, Attalea and Zagaya. In the next line, Helstar, Sea Lady and Welcome Art. Expect better than a moderate tempo.

Race Assessment

2. Free Billy. Assessed Price: $4.20.

Eye-catching three back over 1400m, followed by another strong run behind Falcon Island stepping up to the mile in the Coonamble Cup.

The 9YO then was favoured by the race shape in winning the Coonabarabran Cup. Wide barrier ok, as he’ll likely flop out the back and be finishing off.

3. Most Exalted. Assessed Price: $6.10.

His last three runs have all had good merit. Sound behind Steamin’ in the Dubbo Cup and then again really good behind Falcon Island in the Coonamble Cup. He’ll be finding the line as good as any and gets weight off of the other two big finishers in Steamin’ and Free Billy this time in.

1. Steamin. Assessed Price: $7.30.

Back from a six week let-up after an ordinary run in the Bathurst Cup. Start prior, won well, sneaking inside runs from the tail. Amongst the chances but with the young apprentice and likely position in running, I’m inclined to risk.

6. Sea Lady. Assessed Price: $9.00.

She is a bit of a query runner here. A record of 6: 0-0-1 at the trip doesn’t read well, however in three of those runs, she was quite good. Much improved getting to 1400m last start, jockey went a little early on her. She gets the right run in transit to be in the finish.

4. Welcome Art. Assessed Price: $12.50.

Tough draw and a little one batted this time in. He does mix his form and at his best he’ll be boxing on well. If he can hold a soft spot midfield and ideally extricate off rail, expect he’ll be grinding home. Just a matter if a few of these are too dynamic for him here.

10. Bells N Bows. Assessed Price: $12.50.

Looking for a hattrick after two fair wins at the mile. Favoured in both by the race shape. Expect she gets a kind enough run in transit, will need a peak rating to step up to a few of these.

7. Mr Epic. Assessed Price: $15.00.

Had his first start for Hyde after coming from Victoria. Couldn’t finish off under the big weight. Suited to the mile and if happens to hold cheap sections from the front, he can be in this a long way.

5. Attalea. Assessed Price: $16.90.

Good win from the front over 1400m two back. Folding last start over the mile after going at a frantic clip up front. Poor steer. I’m not convinced he sees the mile. He’d have to get a very soft time up top.

12. Quick Spin. Assessed Price: $25.00.

Favoured by the tempo last start over the mile and didn’t quite finish off. Time poor for the day. Low draw and class likely sees him struggle today.

8. Helstar. Assessed Price: $33.00.

Dropping back from 2400m is a query. Very one-paced. Would need to return to his August form to feature. Has been up a long time.

11. Zagaya. Assessed Price: $60.00.

Not up to it today.

9. Chilcotin. Assessed Price: $65.00.

Not going well enough. Can’t place him in run and don’t expect him to feature.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Most Exalted for 1 unit

 BACK (PLACE) – Most Exalted for 2 units

 BACK (WIN) – Welcome Art for 0.5 units

4.30pm Race 7 – 1400m – Goulburn Cup

Goulburn normally favours on pacers when the track is in the good range but not so much when it is rain affected. With the expected rain, we are sure to end up in the soft range. I’ve worked to a Soft 6.

Speed and Tactics

It might take a little for a few of the on pacers to sort their order and with that, the tempo should be genuine. Expect Don’t Give A Damn is first into stride from the low draw. Quackerjack likely to press from deep and Goodfella every chance of going with him. They should be the first few in running.

Race Assessment

7. Quackerjack. Assessed Price: $3.20.

Ran out of condition first-up over 1400m, still boxed on well. He worked a shade early after being a little slow to step. Our yard man said he had good improvement to come. Thy Kingdom Come went past after enjoying a soft trail.

I expect Quackerjack to get osl or tuck in behind the lead pair. With that, I think he sets up well enough to be the horse to beat. Risk is, slow to step and/or gets caught working in run from the barrier.

5. Noble Boy. Assessed Price: $3.50.

1.3L 4th in The Kosciuszko from back in the field. Had to wait for a split, whilst the winner got through his gears. He peaked over the final 100m, with the winner holding.

Gets a 2kg weight swing on him today and sure to derive a lot from that first-up hit out. He’ll be favoured by any pressure up top, give in the ground and out to this trip. Well credentialed and is the one to beat.

4. Handle The Truth. Assessed Price: $4.20.

Kosciuszko winner and did so with authority. Every chance in running, sitting just off the lead division. Staved off the swoopers and strong through the line. Hasn’t seen this trip before but off that run, that does not seem to pose an issue. The risk is, he could be crossed multiple times and buried the rail. I doubt inside will be the place to be by this time and will need luck.

1. Sir Plush. Assessed Price: $15.60.

Versatile gelding, winning from 1100m up to 2100m. Resumed poorly, being ridden aggressively to land osl. Weakened badly late. I doubt they’re as positive here. He’ll need luck in running and not well setup. Class runner but not expecting him to feature here.

6. Don’t Give A Damn. Assessed Price: $15.60.

Better suited out to this trip. However, I expect he is pressured and won’t like worse than a soft 5. Will be there till the final furlong.

2. Goodfella. Assessed Price: $17.00.

Back from a let-up and not overly impressed with the lead in trial. Time only fair. Urged late. Fresh form average, however, suited better at this trip first-up. Will need a lot to go right and happy to leave out today.

10. Who’s Knocking. Assessed Price: $61.00.

Only fair second-up over this trip behind an impressive winner. Boasts a handy third-up record but that is probably her best-credentialed stat when we compare her to these. Different gravy.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Quackerjack for 1 unit

4.45pm Race 7 – 1600m – Coonabarabran Cup

Coonabarabran is a weird shaped track, sort of a pear shape. It’s approx 1800m in circumference with a home straight of around 380m. The 1600m Cup start is out of a small chute off the back straight, they have a straight run of about 400m before they reach the 1st turn, then a short straight run before they enter a long turn that brings them into the home straight.

Of note is that it’s a downhill run from the start all the way to entering the home straight, then it’s uphill from top of
straight until the winning post.

Speed and Tactics

Cowboys Karma and Leningrad should settle 1-2 from Attalea, Hammond Lane and the bolters Chilcotin and Austin. Chivadahlii around midfield. Haames from his low gate may enable him to settle a bit closer as well. Free Billy and New Endeavour at the rear.

Race Assessment

Leningrad – Assessed $2.25.

Although he’s only won the one race and by far the least amount of prizemoney in the field, he has good city midweek form compared to country form of the rest of them. He looks the horse they all have to beat.

Haames – Assessed $6.00.

Fairly lightly raced, he’s 4 from 20 with 2 of those wins being highway races and has also won 2 from 5 at this distance. Concern with him is he’ll be back and giving them a start, but with right run can win.

Chivadahlii – Assessed $11.00.

Been around awhile this bloke, but still racing ok, 3 of his last 5 runs were in Country Cups races and each of them had some merit. If he can land in a decent spot in run, then has a hope.

Cowboys Karma – Assessed $14.00.

Should fire across to lead, but will have the fave close to him in run and doubt he can hold him off. Should the fave not turn up, then he can win.

Hammond Lane – Assessed $15.00.

Hasn’t won a race since Jan 2018 but is racing ok, should get a fair run on pace and has a chance because of that, but would need a bit to go right to beat the fave.

Free Billy – Assessed $15.00.

Racing well but gets back to the rear in his races, may have to spot them too big a start, unless they really turn the pace on.

New Endeavour – Assessed $25.00.

He will be back closer last than 1st in run and will need a bit of luck to trouble this field.

Attalea – Assessed $25.00.

Has won 9 from 41, but only up to 1400m with this being his 1st go at the 1600. He will race in a forward spot which is a plus. He narrowly beat Cowboys Karma at last run, but meets him 4kgs worse. Place hope.

Austin – Assessed $80.00.

He’s guaranteed at least $1750 for going around as there are only 10 starters and they pay to 10th place with 8th, 9th & 10th all getting $1750.

Chilcotin – Assessed $100.00.

He’s another that’s guaranteed to pocket a minimum of $1750 for going around.

Betting Strategy

Even though Leningrad has only won the one race and is conceding weight to all his rivals, his form is city midweek form and he’s racing very well at present. He gets a nice run on pace, will have no problem with 1600 and should be too strong for this lineup.

Chivadahlii looks a bit of value if he can get a nice run in transit. 2nd Fave is Haames and he is racing well. If he can position a bit closer from low draw, then has a good hope

 BACK (WIN) – Leningrad for 2.5 units

 BACK (WIN) – Chivadahlii for 0.5 units

4.54pm Race 7 – 1600m – Coonamble Cup

Coonamble track is a two-turn, two-straight track with a home straight of around 420m. The Cup starts out of a chute to the left of the winning post, they have a straight run of under 300m before they hit the 1st turn which takes them into the back straight, then when they’re about 750-800m from home, they enter the turn that brings them into the home straight. The track is basically flat all the way around.

Speed and Tactics

Falcon Island & Cowboys Karma should settle 1-2 with Hammond Lane, Rock Sonic & Bravissimo following, then Welcome Art, Chilcotin and Magic Over The Bay around midfield with the remainder in the 2nd half of the field.

Race Assessment

Falcon Island – Assessed $2.50.

Class runner of race and current short-priced favourite. If they let him control up front then they’ll struggle to run him down. Concern is he can be a hard going horse and also rider not known for riding leaders.

Hammond Lane – Assessed $7.00.

Looks to get a nice run tracking the leaders with in form rider up. He has a good hope if the fave is worked or does something wrong in run.

Cowboys Karma – Assessed $12.00.

He’s an 8yo who is 8 from 38 with 2 from 7 at this distance. He crosses from a wide gate to either sit 2nd or possibly even make a play for the lead. Had he been the only leader, then chances would’ve been better.

All But Gone – Assessed $12.00.

He is 1st up off a 10-week break but did win well at Kembla off a 5-week break at last start. He will be closer last than 1st in the run, but should they overdo it up front, he’ll be getting home as well as any of them. Looks overs

Magic Over The Bay – Assessed $14.00.

Was ok in running 3rd in the Bathurst Cup over 1800m at his last run and 2nd in Dubbo Cup run prior. Has G. Ryan up and a chance with the right run.

Bravissimo – Assessed $15.00.

Consistent gelding, but only won 3 times and only up to 1350. Had two goes at distance for two duck eggs, so may struggle to run 1600 strongly.

Welcome Art – Assessed $20.00.

Handy galloper who’s three from 10 at the distance. Last run was a fair 4th btn over 5L in Bathurst Cup, but he did have a nice run in transit, should get similar here and has a place chance.

Most Exalted – Assessed $25.00.

Backmarker who at his best would be a hope in this, but hasn’t won in over 2 years, so will need to be close to his best and then need a bit of luck to win this.

Rock Sonic – Assessed $40.00.

Only a lightly gelding that’s won 3 from 12, but 2 of them were on Heavy tracks. He should roll forward and he may even press for the lead, as his rider is a handlebars down rider. Strongest field he’s met, hard to have.

Free Billy – Assessed $40.00.

Backmarker who’s drawn wide, so he’ll go back and need a bit to go right for him to figure against these

Chilcotin – Assessed $120.00.

He’s 3rd up in this, will appreciate the distance rise but not the class rise. Can’t have him in this.

Quick Spin – Assessed $200.00.

Another backmarker that looks totally outclassed in this field

Betting Strategy

It depends on what rider elects to do on Cowboys Karma, whether he’s happy to let Falcon Island lead at his own tempo, or does he apply pressure when he crosses from outside draw.

Should he be happy to let the fave dictate then they’ll struggle to run the fave down, however, should he apply a bit of pressure, then that’ll assist the chances of Hammond Lane, Welcome Art, Magic Over The Bay, All But Gone and a couple other backmarkers.

 BACK (WIN) – All But Gone for 0.5 units

 BACK (PLACE) – All But Gone for 1.5 units

5.35pm Race 8 – 1800m – Cootamundra Cup

The track is approximately 1800m in circumference with a home straight of around 340m. The Cup start is out of a chute to the left of the winning post.

They have a straight run of about 300m before they turn into the back straight, then at around the 800m mark, they turn into the side straight which brings them to a short tight home turn leaving them with round 340m run to the line.

Speed and Tactics

Parliament should find the early lead & expect Old Man’s Angel rolls forward from wide draw. Grasp, Titaness, Arrows Destiny & Charlie Royale settle midfield. Danetrille, Onthetake settle back.

Gentleman Max has drawn outside gate so either goes straight to rear or presses. Pace shouldn’t be overly strong.

Race Assessment

Charlie Royale – Assessed $9.00.

Lining up for start 80, has won 2 from 18 at the distance, hasn’t won for 12 months though, but is 4th up in this & his 3 runs this time have had some merit. One of the dangers to the fave.

Gentleman Max – Assessed $7.00.

7 yo iron horse lining up for start 105, has won 14 races but all on Soft or Heavy, with 11 of them being on the Heavy. No wins from 57 starts on the dry, but did run 5th only btn 1.94L in the Dubbo Cup on a Good 3, due to weakness of field, that gives him a hope.

Arrows Destiny – Assessed $12.00.

Is 3rd up in this, 1st 2 runs back were over unsuitable distances, will appreciate getting out to 1600 & looks a fair hope.

Parliament – Assessed $2.45.

Looks the horse they all have to beat, 1600 suits, has a nice draw, is an on pacer which is the right racing style to for this track.

Danetrille – Assessed $26.00.

Even though this isn’t the strongest of fields, he’d need to lift from his current form.

Onthetake – Assessed $14.00.

At his best he’d be very hard to beat, but been out of form for a while & he’s a backmarker so not ideally suited around this track.

Titaness – Assessed $40.00.

She’s had 3 goes at the 1600 for 3 duck eggs. She’s drawn a nice gate & may get nice run in transit, but that may not be enough.

Old Man’s Angel – Assessed $9.00.

Has won 3 from 10 at the distance, rolls forward so will be in right spot in run & looks one of the threats to the fave if things go her way.

Grasp – Assessed $60.00.

He’s the worst in at the weights by 10.5 kgs, so hard to seem him figuring even allowing for gate 1.

Betting Strategy

Horses 1 to 6 are weighted to their BM, the rest are badly in from 2kgs, all the way down to Grasp who is 10.5 kgs worse off.

Overall it’s quite an ordinary lineup. Parliament has won 2 from 4 with a 3rd placing at the distance, he has an inside draw, will lead or box seat & looks the horse to beat.

 BACK (WIN) – Parliament for 1 unit

 BACK (WIN) – Arrows Destiny for 0.5 units

4.53pm Race 7 – 1800m – Bathurst Cup

Bathurst is a relatively tight track, approximately 1600m in circumference. The Cup starts around the 200m mark, so they have a relatively short run before they hit the turn out of the home straight.

They’re turning for around 380m and it takes them into the back straight that is approx 380m in length. They then enter the turn out of the back straight and are turning for about 480m until they straighten up for the 340m run home.

The track suits on pacers over all distances due to it being a tight track.

Speed and Tactics

Expect a line of three or four going into the first turn. Sunday Swindler should press from wide draw, Dynamic Dynasty, Zaunkonig go forward, Colonial Reign from gate holds prominent spot and Great Glen may also press from wide out.

Welcome Art, Helstar, Subway Surfer and Magic Over The Bay hold midfield to seconnd half of the field spots. Dream Habit, Steamin’ and Lucky Elixir should settle at the tail.

Race Assessment

In rated price order.

Great Glen – Assessed $4.00.

GB import that started in Australia with Chris Waller, now with third trainer. Although he hasn’t won below 2100, he gets a postive rider change, will race on pace and meets a weak field which gives him a good hope.

Zaunkonig – Assessed $5.50.

The most lightly raced horse in the race with 26 starts. Is yet to win beyond 1550, but has run 3rd btn 1.1L over 2000 in a BM 82 city Saturday race. He is down considerably in class and will race in a forward spot which brings him into contention.

Steamin’ – Assessed $6.00.

Is racing in good form winning the Forbes Cup four runs back and the 100k Dubbo Cup last run both over 1600. Being a backmarker he’s not suited to this track, but the weak field and G.Ryan steering gives him a hope if he gets luck from back in the field.

Magic Over The Bay – Assessed $6.00.

Ran 4th in the Narromine cup two runs back, then 2nd to Steamin’ in the Dubbo Cup where he was a touch unlucky after going wide and being slightly held up at 400. He meets the winner 4kgs better and may get better run in transit it, good hope if he does.

Welcome Art – Assessed $18.00.

Going into this 2nd up off an ordinary run over 1400m 1st up. He’s drawn the rails and will need things to go right, but has some claim.

Helstar – Assessed $20.00.

Last start well btn 8th in Dubbo cup where he only whacked away. He has won over 2200, so the 1800 will suit better than the 1600. He should settle midfield or better and has a hope with right run.

Dynamic Dynasty – Assessed $24.00.

He’s a winner over this T&D. This is his 4th run this prep, so has freshness on his side and is another that will race on pace or forward of midfield. Has some claims due the weakness of field.

Sunday Swindler – Assessed $26.00.

Is one of the bolters and he’s probably the best chance out of them, as he’ll press forward and if they let him lead on his own then he may hold on for a place.

Lucky Elixer – Assessed $66.00.

Dual 2400m winner, will be at the rear in run and need an awful lot to go right for him and a lot wrong for the ones in the market.

Colonial Reign – Assessed $66.00.

Drawn a nice gate and has rider that rides this track ok. Those are about the only positives I can find for him.

Subway Surfer – Assessed $101.00.

Has only won 5 from 72 and it’s been 11 months since he last won one. Think his record will be 5 from 73 after this.

Dream Habit – Assessed $101.00.

For anyone who’s playing the Odds, Evens or Split bet type, he’s #13, so he can only be part of the Odds or the Split. He’ll be no help to either combination.

Betting Strategy

A pretty average field lining up in this with only saddlecloth numbers 1 to 4 carrying their BM weight. A BM of 71 is the correct BM for the limit weight of 54kgs. Every horse in this carrying 54 kgs has a lower BM than 71, so they all come in badly, from Magic Over The Bay who is only 0.5 kgs
worse off, all the way down to Dream Habit who is 13.5 kgs worse off.

Overall it’s a pretty rugged lineup. Going with Zaunkonig and Great Glen to win with Sunday Swindler a place in a race where a couple of others at the top of the market not ideally suited to this layout.

 BACK (WIN) – Great Glen for 1 unit

 BACK (WIN) – Zaunkonig for 0.5 units

 BACK (PLACE) – Sunday Swindler for 0.5 units

4.40 pm Race 7 – 2300m – Newcastle Cup

Newcastle is a flat track a tick over 2000m in circumference. It’s a two-turn, two-straight track, with a home straight of a tick over 400m. The cup start starts in home straight with around 300m until they hit the 1st turn which is just over 500m in length, they then enter back straight with a run of a tick over 500m, then they start the sweeping bend for home. The track can play to leaders but when playing fair it comes down to tempo.

Speed and Tactics

Expect Hush Writer takes up the early running, Our Candidate, Our Century, Vaucluse Bay and Saunter Boy also on pace. Mawaany Macine and Exoteric may both hold closer spots from their inside draws, as may Master Of Arts. The rest will have to sort themselves out in the 2nd half of the field.

Race Assessment

In rated price order.

Our Candidate – Assessed $3.30.

The short-priced favourite who only a C1 over 2100 at Wyong 4 runs back, but then bolted in at his last 2 runs in Saturday BM 78 grade. Comes in 7kgs badly at the weights but is a young stayer on the rise, so wise to be a bit forgiving in his case. He’s a big hope.

Hush Writer – Assessed $5.50.

Coming into this off a good 2nd in the Wyong Cup. Will appreciate the extra 200m, but will also want a dry surface. T.Clark rides and if he’s left to control the tempo is right in it if on a Good surface.

Red Cardinal – Assessed $10.00.

1st up in this, but has won three from seven 1st up. He’s trialled twice and gone well in both. Will handle any surface and if they overdo it upfront then he’s the horse to hold out.

Our Century – Assessed $20.00.

He’s 2nd up in this off an ordinary effort 1st up in the Wyong Cup, but he went back at the start in a race dominated by the on pacers, so it was a forget run. Expect he races a lot closer in this and has a hope.

Azuro – Assessed $20.00.

1st up off a 62 day freshen up. He did win off a 35 day freshen over 3200 on a Heavy, then followed that winning the 3200m Qld Cup on a Good 3 by 3.75L. Drawn wide, does he go forward or back? May find this tick short, but a hope with the right run.

Vaucluse Bay – Assessed $20.00.

Handy stayer but only won five from 44. He was a fair 3rd taking ground off 1st & 2nd in Wyong Cup. Has placed in a Grafton Cup and has a hope with the right run.

Attention Run – Assessed $20.00.

Another who is also 7kgs badly off at the weights, but is also only lightly raced winning three from 11. Will handle any going. Gets K.McEvoy and not without a hope with the right run despite being poorly in at the weights.

The Good Fight – Assessed $20.00.

2nd emergency and needs another scratching to gain a start, but comes in very poorly at the weights. Seems quite short in the market considering he prefers it Soft to Heavy, also how badly he comes in and how strong the field is.

Master Of Arts – Assessed $31.00.

Ran 9th btn 4.61L in Wyong Cup, but the run was better than it looked, as he was with the tailenders all way to turn and then raced a touch tight when making ground late. Extra 200 a plus and looks a better hope than his odds suggest.

Mongolian Wolf – Assessed $34.00.

He too comes out of the Wyong Cup. Was on the back of Vaucluse Bay in run and worked home ok. Drawn wide, so will need a bit of luck, but think there a few others in same colours with a better hope.

Exoteric – Assessed $40.00.

Was fair in running on ok into 8th btn 3.45L in Wyong Cup. Drawn a nice gate, does go ok on Good but would prefer a Soft surface. Rough hope with the right run.

Saunter Boy – Assessed $40.00.

He’s off a 62-day break. He’s a winner over 2800 in Eurpoe and Listed placed over same distance. His form has been fair without being great since coming to Aus. Is 2.5kgs badly in, but has low draw and good apprentice up. Some hope with right run.

Sweet Thomas – Assessed $50.00.

Has only had the one run in Aus. He raced midfield and only whacked to run 6th btn 6.7L to Wu Gok on a Heavy surface. He looks better suited on dry, but hard to get a good line on him due to only seeing him once.

Mawaany Machine – Assessed $50.00.

He was ordinary at his last run over 1900 at Rosehill, but it was a race won on pace and he was at the rear all way. He’s drawn a low gate that should see him settle closer in run, but would need a lot to go right to beat these.

Destiny’s Kiss – Assessed $60.00.

One of two 11YOs in race, still racing ok but 14 of his 19 wins have come on Soft or Heavy going. Unlikely to get that here, so only has a bolter’s hope.

Betting Strategy

Saddlecloths 1 to 7 are all weighted correctly to their respective BM rating. From there, Hush Writer is only 0.5kgs worse off, then all the way down to The Good Fight who is 9kgs worse off.

Normally Chris Waller has the weight of numbers in staying events, but it’s the Australian Bloodstock syndications that have the numbers covered with 7 of the 15 runners carrying their colours. They look to have a very good hand in it as well with a few of them having live chances.

This would go close to one of the most open Newcastle Cup fields in recent times and quite a strong one as well.

 BACK (WIN) – Red Cardinal for 0.5 units

 BACK (WIN) – Master Of Arts for 0.1 units

 BACK (PLACE) – Master Of Arts for 0.4 units

Note: If track is Good 4 or better, I’ll also be having 1u to win on Hush Writer.

5.05 pm Race 8 – 1400m – Lismore Cup

Lismore track is approximately 1600m in circumference. The Cup starts out of a chute at the top of the straight, they have a straight run of approx 550m until they hit the turn out of the straight.

The 1st part of the turn is quite a sharp 90 degree turn & they’re turning for around 400m until they enter the back straight with a straight run of around 250m, then they enter the long sweeping 570m slightly downhill turn that brings them into the home straight with approx 350m run to the line which is very slightly uphill.

You normally want to be within 3L of leaders at 600 unless it’s a fast run race.

Speed and Tactics

Amibitious Prince should roll forward from wide out, Winkler, Fencourt, Sckam, Ocean Addict Lookin’ At You & Kuttamurra Al should all hold forward to midfield spots, then Peak Hill, with I’ll Miss You, Art Attack & Partnership at the rear.

From the last 5 runs of 11 runners, in only 6 of 55 runs have any of them settled in the 1st 2 in run early. The fave Ocean Addict did 2 runs back when 2nd to Ilwendo over 2200 at Eagle Farm. Fencourt did 5 runs back over 2000m, but has settled off pace at last 4 runs.

Winkler has led twice & raced on pace in other 3 runs. Ambitious Prince was 2nd in run when winning 2 back over 2000 at Taree, then raced on pace in Tuncurry Cup at last run over this distance. Lookin’ At You & Sckam the other 2.

Race Assessment

In rated price order.

I’ll Miss You – Assessed $5.20.

She was a solid winner over 1610m at Grafton last time out, it came off a 40 day freshen up & now backs up in this 9 days later. I give her a hope, but she’s drawn the outside & probably goes back. Fave coming out has helped.

Ambitious – Assessed $7.00.

Will roll forward from wide draw & possibly take the lead, if left to control the tempo then can figure. His last run was a 4th btn 3.85L in the Tuncurry Cup, where he had a nice run in transit, but it was stronger than this lineup.

Winkler – Assessed $8.00.

Ran 2nd to Peak Hill at his last start & thought his run was better than the winners, as he was well back settling, then made a run 3 wide from the 1000 to be OSL 3 wide at 600, hit lead 3 wide turning & only headed at 100.

Kuttamurra Al – Assessed $8.50

3 runs back was 2nd in a BM 75 at Toowoomba over 1625m. Will appreciate the extra trip & looks like he gets a fair run in transit. Has a hope but think he’ll need luck to beat Ocean Addict.

Peak Hill – Assessed $8.50

Last start winner over 1900 at Ballina where he had a nice run throughout to beat Winkler. Rise in class here.

Fencourt – Assessed $10.00

Last start winner of an average BM 66 over 2020 at Murwillumbah, but did record strong closing figures in winning. With the right run in this is a hope at double figures.

Art Attack – Assessed $12.00

Having 4th run this prep & getting out to right trip, but will be at the rear giving most of them a start, will need a bit of pace on & may not get it, a hope if he does.

Partnership – Assessed $14.00

Only lightly raced & won 2 from 10, both in country. Last prep had 4 runs in strong city 3yo races, but was outlassed in them. He will get back & need luck.

Looking at You – Assessed $25.00

Hasn’t won in well over 2 years & although it ran ok from the rear to run 4th btn 2.18L to Peak Hill at last start, the tempo suited. Hard to see it figuring in this.

Sckam – Assessed $60.00

Won an average BM 58 at Kempsey over 1900m at last start, but hard to see it figuring & is also the worst in at the weights by some 9kgs.

Betting Strategy

With Ocean Addict coming out it has opened the race right up & luck in the run will play a big part in the outcome.

I’ll Miss You has the outside draw with an apprentice riding, had she drawn a gate, it would’ve enhanced her chances, if she can get in to a 1 out spot with more than a couple behind her, then she has a hope, but would need a better run in transit than the fave to beat it.

Ambitious Prince will roll forward & if he can get a nice run in transit, then that gives him a hope.

 BACK (WIN) – I’ll Miss You for 0.5 units

 BACK (PLACE) – Ambitious Prince for 0.5 units

4:30pm Race 8 – 1600m – Dubbo Cup

Not the strongest lineup for a Cup race carrying 100k prizemoney, but quite an open race with a few chances nonetheless. Dubbo track is approx 1900m in circumference with a long home straight of close to 430m.

The 1600m start is off a chute off the back straight, they have a straight run of close to 600m before they hit the 1st turn & from there they’re turning all the way until they straighten up for home.

From entering the turn out of the back straight, they turn for approx 570m and it’s a downhill run dropping some 10m from entering it to leaving it at top of straight, then they climb approx 6m from top of straight to WP.

Even though it has a long home straight and is an uphill run home, it still tends to favour the on pacers, due to the entire turn being a downhill run

Speed Map

Expect Sugar Dance rolls forward from outside gate with Any Blinkin’ Day and Cowboys Karma. They look the first three settling. Outta Space should also hold a fairly handy spot, with Mr Dumont, Helstar and Chivadahlii not far away.

Race Assessment

In rated price order.

Mr Dumont – Assessed $6.00.

Former Qld galloper now trained on track and has had 2 runs for 2 solid wins for new trainer. He has drawn well, will settle front half of midfield or a touch closer & is the horse to beat with the right run in transit.

Sugar Dance – Assessed $8.00.

Bolted in leading all the way over 1400 at Mudgee last start with an apprentice rider ND she rides it again in this. No doubt girl presses again from wide gate, but may get company. If left alone then can win.

Artistic Beauty – Assessed $8.00.

Trip is ideal for her as she has won four from 11 at this distance. She should settle around midfield and is one of the better chances now that she gets to her preferred trip.

Most Exalted – Assessed $10.00

Will be 2nd half of midfield in run and will be getting home as well as anything if the expected solid tempo eventuates.

Chivadahlii – Assessed $11.00

Well-traveled 8yo but does have his share of ability. Was a fair 1st up 5th btn 4.08L in Coffs Harbour Cup. This is considerably weaker and must also be one of the hopes with right run in transit.

Magic Over The Bay – Assessed $12.00

Will settle around midfield, gets leading apprentice R.Dolan doing the steering and is one of the chances with the right run.

Steamin’ – Assessed $14.00

Forbes Cup winner over this distance three runs back. He’ll be with the tailenders in run, will be running home well if the speed is on and does have G.Ryan up. One of the hopes if they overdo it up front.

Helstar – Assessed $14.00

Comes in poorly at the weights but is racing well and has drawn a nice gate. 1600 is ideal trip and also goes well at this track with a T&D record of 6:2-1-1. Even though he’s badly in, I give him a chance.

Cowboys Karma – Assessed $17.00

Won twice with another two placings over this distance. He is another that’ll be on pace and that is normally preferred place to be around here, but they may go too hard and that’ll affect him late.

Gentleman Max – Assessed $24.00

Grows a leg in the wet, but will be on a good surface here. He is still has a hope with the right run.

Any Blinkin Day – Assessed $24.00

Has won three from 13 over this distance. Will be one of the leaders in a race that looks like will be solidly run. If it is then he’ll find it tough to hold off the run ons.

Outta Space – Assessed $66.00

Should settle in an pace spot, but she’s up in class and comes in terribly at the weights. She’d need a lot to go right to even run a place.

Zagaya – Assessed $100.00

Ex Vic horse who had his first run in NSW for a battling 7th of 11 btn 5.85 to Sugar Dance over 1400 at Mudgee. Looks to get a fair run in transit but would need to lift considerably to figure in this.

Laugharne – Assessed $100.00

Been out of form for a long time and can’t see him figuring here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Mr Dumont for 1 unit

 BACK (PLACE) – Helstar for 0.5 units

4.35 pm Race 5 – 1400m – Wyong Cup

16 runners around the tight Wyong track, one thing is for certain, there’ll be some hard luck stories in it with a few unlikely of getting closer than 3 wide the trip. With over half the field being off pacers/backmarkers, it looks like there’ll be.

A bigger traffic jam for spots in the back half of the field than the front half. Overall a very tough race.

Speed and Tactics

Stampede looks the early leader, his stablemate Hush Writer goes forward from wide draw, as does Our Century. 3 of Wallers that should also settle fairly close to pace, are Hogmanay, Wu Gok & Vaucluse Bay.

Duca Vaeltinois should also be in the front half of field. From there on, the traffic jam starts. Unless there is a mid-race move by a horse trapped wide, the tempo may not be overly solid, suiting those in the front half of the field.

Race Assessment

In rated price order.

Stampede – Assessed $3.90.

Looks the early leader & horse to beat. He is 4th up in this coming off a good run last start where he led & was run down late by Wolfe who he conceded 10kgs to.

Sixties Groove – Assessed $9.00.

Is 1st up off a 90 day break, 1st up last prep he ran a good 3rd in the Hawkesbury Cup over 1600, then placed at G1 level & won the G2 Brisbane Cup at 4th run in prep. Has drawn wide, but gets Nash up & will need a good steer from the gate.

Wu Gok – Assessed $10.00.

Racing in good form, but it’s been on wet tracks & he is far better when on the wet. Drawn well, gets a nice run in transit, but he isn’t as effective on a Good surface. Seems a bit short in market considering that.

Blue Breeze – Assessed $13.00.

NZ horse who has placed in G1-2-3 company so no doubt has his share of ability. Last run before a spell was for a 3rd in the G1 Auckland Cup over 3200. He’s 2nd up in this off a win over 1400m 1st up.

Duca Valentinois – Assessed $14.50.

Has drawn a nice gate to get a good run in transit, is racing in fair form, will appreciate the step up to 2100 & a chance with the right run.

Our Century – Assessed $16.00.

He is 1st up off a 33 week break, he did win 1st up over 1900 at Rosehill last prep. He’s had 2 trials leading into this. Has a wide gate but should press & race on pace

Hush Writer – Assessed $16.00.

Stablemate of the Stampede, expect he presses forward from the draw, will be suited by Good surface. He was a very good winner over 2400 1st up racing on pace in solidly run race, the query is will the trip be a touch short for him.

High Opinion – Assessed $20.00.

Was a solid closing 4th behind Wolfe over 1800m at his last run. Has drawn wide out, but if he can get a half decent run in transit, I think he is aa good hope at big odds.

All Too Soon – Assessed $23.00.

Is yet to win beyond 1800m, but does look like she’ll handle this trip. Her form is better on affected, but does go ok on dry. With the right run she is another of the many hopes in this race if things fall her way.

Hogmanay – Assessed $23.00.

Taree Cup winner at his last start, this is a class rise for him, but he too is drawn to get a nice run in an on pace spot & K.McEvoy does the steering.

Vaucluse Bay – Assessed $30.00.

Looks to get a nice run in transit, will handle the trip no problem & is another that can figure due to expected good run he looks likely to get.

Mongolian Wolf – Assessed $40.00.

Solid 2nd to Hogmanay in the Taree Cup, this is a rise in class, but he too is 1 of the hopes with the right run.

Exoteric – Assessed $44.00.

One of 5 Waller runners in the race, should settle around midfield & not without a hope of running into placings with a good run in transit.

Master of Arts – Assessed $50.00.

Fresh off a 48 day break, trialed ok leading into this, is probably more effective over further, but is a roughie that looks to have a slightly better hope than current odds of 101.00 suggests.

Dagny – Assessed $60.00.

Most likely settles 2nd half of the field, is only racing fairly & would need a lot to go his way to win this.

Destiny’s Kiss – Assessed $80.00.

11 yo gelding that is far better on a wet surface, will get back & need a lot to go right for him & wrong for the others to figure.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Stampede for 1 unit

 BACK (WIN) – Hush Writer for 0.2 units

 BACK (WIN) – High Opinion for 0.1 unit to win and 0.3 to place

3.25 pm Race 5 – 1400m – Moree Cup

Moree is quite a big track, being approximately 2000m in circumference with a home straight of 370m. The Cup start is in the back straight with about a 400m run before they hit the 1st turn which takes them into a short side straight of about 200m before they start turning for home.

Moree has had zero rainfall for the entire month of August, yet surprisingly the track was originally rated a Soft 5, has since been upgraded to a Good 4

Speed and Tactics

Only a field of 7 going around, but 3 of them on pacers, so there is a possibility that they could run along. The 3 being Desert Marshal, Oh Why & Crim. Chalmers should settle behind them with Upstart, Free Billy & Mysticism at the rear.

I expect Oh Why & Desert Marshal to pair off early. Crim was ridden off the pace last run & she won, so they may decide to do the same again in this. Upstart has drawn the outside so most likely goes back.

Race Assessment

In rated price order.

Only Mysticism (+0.5kg) & Free Billy (+1kg) are carrying above their BM rating.

Chalmers – Assessed $2.50.

Has won 4 from 23 & even though he hasn’t won below 1450, he has placed in the 500k Prov championships at this distance, he has the strongest formlines in the race & if anywhere near his best, they’ll struggle to beat him.

Oh Why – Assessed $4.50.

Has won 9 from 23 with 6 of those being at this distance. He has won his last 3 starts in country class & his BM has gone up 12 points because of it, looks a bit close to the fave in the weights, but if left to control the race is the danger.

Upstart – Assessed $10.00.

Has won 8 from 32 at distances from 900 to 1300. He too has won at past 3 starts in the country & his BM has also gone up 12 points. He’s had 2 goes at 1400 for 2 duck eggs, so would need a good run in transit to win this.

Crim – Assessed $12.00.

Has won 5 from 17 overall with 3 from 6 at the distance. She has won her last 2 over the distance in country BM 75 & 74 races, but her BM has gone up 13 points because of it. With the right run she has some claim.

Desert Marshal – Assessed $15.00.

Has won 6 from 49, all between 950 & 1200. He has had 4 goes over this distance for two 2nds & one 3rd, so is a chance of getting the trip but would need a cushy run either in front or leaders back to have a hope of beating all of them.

Mysticism – Assessed $15.00.

Has won 7 from 33 with 2 of them over this distance. She’ll be out the back, so will want the speed on & if they do put it on, no surprise to see her run into the placings.

Free Billy – Assessed $15.00.

Has won 14 from 68, the most of any in the field, with 5 of them being at this distance. Even though he has the lowest BM figure in the race, he’s not without a hope, but will need them to run along as he’ll be at the rear.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Chalmers for 5 units

 BACK (WIN) – Oh Why for 1.5 units

4.20 pm Race 7 – 1530m – Murwillumbah Gold Cup

Main early speed looks to be Cosmos Seven, Bodega Negra & Shauquin, with Prima Stella & Scoutabout handy from low draws. Nothingforthepress, O’Driscoll & Boncosta next, with Powerline, Zamex, Ready For Danger & Peak Hill back half of field.

Powerline & Ready For Danger are the top 2 in the market & both get back types which isn’t ideal around this circuit, but it does look like it’ll be run at a fairly solid clip. Powerline is yet to race beyond 1400, but his last start said he should have no problem with it the 1530m.

The only concern with him is if he gets buried away on rail from inside draw & doesn’t get clear air, but gate should also enable him to race a pair or 2 closer & be in front of 2nd fave in run.

Ready For Danger shouldn’t have any traffic problems, being that he’ll be back off rail in run & not run into traffic when rider asks him to go. Distance is short of his best, but being 2nd up he may be fresh enough to handle it.

Speed and Tactics

Murwillumbah is a fairly tight track that is approx 1620m in circumference, with a home straight of approx 300m. The Cup start is out of a chute left of winning post, from there they have a straight run of approx 300m before they hit the 1st turn, it takes them into the back straight which is approx 350m long.

Then they hit 2nd turn into a short side straight that brings them to the home turn with a 300m run to the post. It does suit on pacers, but if they overdo it, off pacers come into play.

Race Assessment

In rated price order.

Powerline – Assessed $4.20.

1 of 2 M.Dunn horses & he too will be 2nd half of the field to well back in run. He has an impressive win at this T&D in Oct 2017. He’ll be getting home, is looking for further, but best chance of the 2 Dunn horses.

Ready for Danger – Assessed $6.00.

1 of 2 M.Dunn horses & he too will be 2nd half of the field to well back in run. He has an impressive win at this T&D in Oct 2017. He’ll be getting home, is looking for further, but best chance of the 2 Dunn horses.

Shauquin – Assessed $8.00.

Has drawn the outside gate, will no doubt press forward, but may have to spend a bit of gas to cross them. If he does cross easily enough & left to dictate, has a good hope.

Bodega Negra – Assessed $10.00.

Is a 9yo racing in very good form winning 2 of last 3 runs & 1 of them was the Sth Grafton Cup where he bolted in, but it was on Heavy. He does go better on affected, but does look to get a good run on pace & is a hope at double figures.

Nothingforthepress – Assessed $11.00.

He comes out of the Powerline race at last start, was only btn 0.1L, but winners run was superior. He gets his chance as he should settle midfield to touch closer, but will need better luck than the fave in run to turn tables.

Zamex – Assessed $15.00.

He’s the other M.Dunn trained horse in the race. He ran 7th to Powerline at his last start, running on just ok from the rear, will be back near last again & will need a bit of luck to turn tables on that horse.

Boncosta – Assessed $15.00.

He too comes out of the Powerline race, he had a nice run in transit, but did race in restricted room for portion of the straight, & will appreciate extra trip, but has a sticky gate to contend with, so may not get into good spot in run, if he does, has a hope.

O’Driscoll – Assessed $26.00.

Comes into this off a handy 4th btn 2.2L over 1550 at Canterbury, where he had good run box seating to turn. His 2 prior runs he finished unplaced both times behind Bodega Negra. Draw is a bit sticky, has a hope with right run & has won 5 x over 1500m

Prima Stella – Assessed $30.00.

Her last run was for a 3rd btn 0.28L to Poweline, she did have a lovely run throughout, but she is yet to win beyond 1400m. Would need a bit to go right for her, but she will be on pace, place hope at best.

Cosmos Seven – Assessed $34.00.

Last start winner of a BM 66 over 1605m at Ballina on a Heavy surface. Will race on pace, is a wet tracker that looks outclassed in this.

Scoutabout – Assessed $60.00.

Another that will race on to front half of midfield & another that looks outclassed.

Peak Hill. Assessed $101.00.

Similar to Spiral, he’ll be back & looks outclassed. His best hope is to finish in top 10 to pick up $1000 prizemoney.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Powerline for 2.5 units

 BACK (WIN) – Bodega Negra for 1 unit

 BACK (WIN) – Ready for Danger for 0.75 unit

4.22 pm Taree Race 7 – 2000m – Taree Gold Cup

Only Master of Arts (BM 94), Hogmanay  (BM 82) & Mongolian Wolf (BM82)  are weighted to their respective Benchmarks. They meet every other runner from 2kgs to 15kgs better off at the weights.

Had Master of Arts not been in the race, then Hogmanay & Mongolian Wolf would’ve been equal topweights & all horses down to saddlecloth #7 Cogliere would’ve been correctly handicapped to their respective BM figure, with only the horses below him coming in poorly at the weights.

Speed and Tactics

There looks a bit of speed in the race with Milseain, Pirate Ben and Scotti Be Gotti looking the main speed. Cogliere and Hogmanay should also race handy. Our Gravano if ridden similar to last start should settle not far off the leading bunch, then Mongolian Wolf, Allzin and 2 of the 3 outsiders all rearward.

Race Assessment

In rated price order.

2. Hogmanay – Assessed $3.80.

Chris Waller trained runner who comes into this a last start winner over this distance, he should settle in the 1st 4 or 5 in transit & with even luck will be right in it.

5. Our Gravan – Assessed $4.75.

Third Lees runner, he comes into this a last start winner over this distance at Coffs Harbour in a considerably weaker affair, but did lump 62.5kgs. It was also the 1st time they rode him closer to the speed, from gate 1, may do the same again here.

3. Mongolian Wolf – Assessed $6.70.

First of 3 Kris Lees 3 runners, who is coming into this off a 36 day freshen up, but did have a trial on the Gold Coast 6 days ago. He’s been out of the winners stall at his past 14 runs. If he found his old form, he’d have a good hope

1. Master of Arts – Assessed $9.50.

He has strong form overall, being a dual G3 winner, but his last win was in March 2018. He’s 3rd up here, did little in 1st 2 runs, but they were slowly run affairs. He should get a good tempo in this & if he is anywhere near his best, he’ll be hard to beat.

4. Milseain – Assessed $9.50.

Second of the Lees runners, she was placed in a NZ Oaks, but hasn’t lived up to that since coming to Aus & her form is better on affected going. She’ll lead or race right on the speed & need to be left to dictate to get her chance, but

6. Pirate Ben – Assessed $11.50.

8yo who is a winner at this T&D who was a solid 2nd 2 runs back over 1600, who will race on pace & if he gets into a nice spot early is a chance of causing an upset.

7. Cogliere – Assessed $30.00.

Has only raced over this distance once where he didn’t sem to run it out strongly & is yet to win beyond 1600m. Another that will race on the pace, but would need a bit to go right for him to trouble the more fancied runners at this distance.

10. Allzin – Assessed $30.00.

He is a T&D winner that is going into this 1st up, from wide gate expect he goes back, another that’ll need plenty go right for him to figure.

11. Straight Home. Assessed $201.00.

BM 56 horse that will be hoping for a top 10 finish to collect $2250 prizemoney

12. Scotti Be Gotti – Assessed $201.00.

BM 55 horse in the same boat as Straight Home

13. Loving Home. Assessed $201.00.

BM 51 horse same as the 2 above him.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) – Hogmanay for 5 units

 BACK (WIN) – Our Gravano for 2 units

Current Results

Total Units Staked: 57.35

Total Units Returned: 43.19

ROI: -24.68%

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