Improving three-year-old gelding 5. Roman Candle from the Paul Perry stable at Newcastle looks very hard to beat after chasing home a smart one at Cessnock carrying 1.5kg more. Previously had found the line well in heavy ground at Pt Macquarie.
Dangers: Muswellbrook two-year-old 6. Scorched Land closed off late first up this track in a very handy maiden behind a smart filly who then bolted in at Muswellbrook on Sunday. Extra ground is a big plus. Newcastle two-year-old filly 13. No Laughing Matter comes out of that same maiden here behind Never Talk, but first time in wet ground and drawn off the track is a task. Gilgandra five-year-old 3. Poster Man hit the line OK from midfield at Wellington in his first run for 11 months since a change of stable, and gets a pivotal 2kg claim.
How to play it: Roman Candle to win and quinella 5 and 6
Odds and Evens: Split
Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1600m)
Up to the mile now at set weights, and Newcastle three-year-old 7. The Borough again from the Perry yard can take care of these despite coming back sharply in trip and rising in weight. Finished hard behind a handy stayer at Cessnock last start and much less depth here.
Dangers: Armidale filly 14. Wanda Beach has improved significantly in her last couple up to this trip, although unproven on rain-affected ground. Newcastle four-year-old 3. Munsa Magic is a threat fifth-up off his fast finishing run in the heavy at Pt Macquarie, and has trialled OK since; while Newcastle filly 9. Hyperlink can peak third-up at this distance but like many first time on this sort of rating.
How to play it: The Borough to win
Odds and Evens: Split
Race 4 BM 66 HCP (2100m)
Competitive and open staying battle, with plenty of chances. Newcastle five-year-old gelding 6. Expiredtime from the Nathan Doyle yard is well placed fifth run in and down in weight. Charged home to win a BM 58 at Muswellbrook in soft 7 ground three runs back before just missing here last start over this trip.
Dangers: Newcastle three-year-old 2. Salsa Dreaming is racing well, careering away to win a CL1 over a mile at Coffs Harbour two runs back before finishing hard to narrowly miss in a BM 58 at Mudgee. Draws off the track, and form on rain-affected going is mixed. Armidale mare 8. Nodeel has more than enough ability powering home to win a CL1 at home two runs back carrying 2kg more, but her best form is nearly all on firmer ground. Local four-year-old 13. Kacper Boy swept home to beat both Expiredtime and Nodeel on a good 4 last start, but is yet to win from nine starts on rain-affected tracks; while Coffs Harbour four-year-old 11. Grand Anthem is hard fit and can improve stepping up in distance.
How to play it: Expiredtime each way and trifecta 2,6/2,6,8,11,13/2,6,8,11,13
Odds and Evens: Evens
Race 5 BM 58 HCP (1200m)
Another open contest, although progressive three-year-old Newcastle filly 7. Elegant Grace from the Lees stable was a dominant maiden winner at Beaudesert two runs back before outclassed a mile in group 3 company at the Gold Coast. Big drop in grade, and did win a trial in soft 7 ground earlier in the year.
Dangers: Local four-year-old gelding 5. Ronan’s Rock is on the cusp of a second win. Worked home nicely in a CL1 here two runs back before finishing hard again over 1400m, and the second horse then won in heavy ground at Muswellbrook on Sunday. Blinkers come off, although untried in this ground, and not convinced the inside gate will suit. Newcastle filly 4. Perfect Peace has been competitive in three runs this prep against smarter opposition, and sire is a renowned producer of wet trackers. Gunnedah nine-year-old 8. About Time has been consistent this prep, albeit often in weaker company, but nearly half of his 10 career wins have come on soft ground.
How to play it: Elegant Grace to win
Odds and Evens: Split
Race 6 BM 58 HCP (1400m)
Same grade over a little further. Capable four-year-old mare 14. Flying Pretty has her first run for the Luke Hilton stable at Gosford since transferring from Ballina. Has been freshened since an even first-up run at Murwillumbah, but ran three strong closing second placings in similar company earlier in the year. Prefers wet ground, with only win so far in heavy going.
Dangers: Newcastle three-year-old 9. Reuben James went to the front and gave nothing else a chance in his maiden win at Taree fourth-up, and while this is tougher, wouldn’t need to improve much more and has shown enough in rain-affected ground. Home-track mare 5. Mystic Splendour was outgunned by Laughs Loudest two runs back before a determined CL1 win here, and the second horse has since won. Proven in the wet and draws to get a nice trail behind the speed. Newcastle six-year-old 1. Achi Baba has hit the line well in his last two against stronger, and handicapper’s weight rise has been offset by rookie rider’s 4kg claim. Drawn wide and query in the wet. Include in exotics Coffs Harbour mare 10. Tycoon Anna, who gets a 2kg claim and multiple gear changes.
How to play it: Flying Pretty each way and first four 4,5,9,14/4,5,9,14/1,4,5,9,10,14/1,4,5,9,10,14
Race 7 CLASS 2 HCP (1000m)
Good-quality sprint to finish. Impressed with the debut win of four-year-old Armidale mare 5. Auntie Monnie from the Justin Blanch stable, who powered home from midfield in dominant fashion. Obvious tougher test, but gets in light after jockey’s 2kg claim. By good wet-track sire Arlington, and dam was unbeaten in heavy ground.
Dangers: Scone five-year-old 3. More Than A Samba beat a smart one second-up over this trip at Muswellbrook. Will go forward from the inside draw and proven in wet ground. Was scratched from Bathurst on Monday to be saved for this. Talented Scone four-year-old 1. Magic Charlee should have nearly won second-up at home finishing hard from the back, but constantly laid in. Bred to handle wet ground, but back in trip on a smaller track is a query. Newcastle four-year-old 2. Patagonian produced a big effort resuming here in a BM 58 when finding the line late after missing the start. Has trialled since and senior rider goes on, but unknown in the conditions. Include Gosford mare 7. Miss Devinci whose form is inconsistent, but two wins from 12 starts both came on soft tracks.
How to play it: Auntie Monnie to win and trifecta 1,3,5/1,2,3,5/1,2,3,5,7
Odds and Evens: Odds
Race 1: (11) MARRIED TO THE MOB
Race 3: (7) THE BOROUGH
Race 4: (6) EXPIREDTIME
Tips supplied by Racing NSW.
Full form and race replays available at racingnsw.com.au