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Race-by-race tips and preview for Muswellbrook on Friday

RACE 2 – 1.10PM: ZOUSAIN NEW TO WIDDEN STUD 2020 BENCHMARK 66 HANDICAP (1500m)

Progressive Gosford six-year-old 8. Dashing ‘N’ Daring looks well placed in these conditions to go back-to-back at the same track stepping up a little in class. Beat a handy field at Taree three runs back, and carried 1.5kg more when surging home to win here last start.
Dangers: Honest Newcastle six-year-old 4. The Outcast was no match for the top selection last start, but carries 4kg less. From the same form line, Scone mare 9. Brigid Of Kildare prefers wet tracks, and worked home well behind Dashing ‘N’ Daring. Small rise in class is offset nicely by a 4kg drop in weight. Include rival Newcastle mare 3. Toe Tapper, who fought hard to win a BM66 at Scone before working home OK at Wyong, and the form around the first two that day is very strong. Home-track seven-year-old 1. Cosmic Reign led all the way here two runs back before completely overrun in stronger company, but this is more to his liking and the 3kg claim gets him back in at the weights.
How to play it: Dashing ‘N’ Daring to win.
Odds and Evens: Evens.

RACE 3 – 1.50PM: HORSEPOWER MAIDEN PLATE (1000m)

Testing sprint where the market will have a big say, especially around the debutants. One of those, three-year-old 7. Lord Bronn (Va Pensiero x Valar Morghulis by Henrythenavigator) looks ready to go for the Brett Cavanough yard at Scone off an impressive trial where he was never let go. Sire was a dual group 3 winner.
Dangers: Newcastle four-year-old 3. Meyisti resumes as a gelding off two forward trials. Stuck on well after leading in both career runs so far, and bred to get through this ground. Another Scone first-starter, 8. Ranuncula (Exosphere x Wokpool by Hussonet), won that trial over the top selection, but was ridden out from just off the speed. Big watch on Hawkesbury four-year-old and first-starter 1. Assertive Ace (Swiss Ace x More Assertive by Zeditave) who trialled strongly. Local mare 4. Countess Rostova resumes off an eight-month break, but has trialled well and narrowly missed winning on debut here last spring.
How to play it: Lord Bronn to win and box exacta 3,7,8.
Odds and Evens: Split.

RACE 4 – 2.25PM: CALYX @ COOLMORE MAIDEN HANDICAP (1280m)

Newcastle filly 3. Virtuous Miss is the main threat at third start after being run down as red-hot favourite in the last couple of strides at Scone. Draws well and the trainer has added blinkers.
Dangers: Scone four-year-old 2. Fitzroy Boy resumes off a long break with no public trial and the winkers coming off, but in very good country hands. Progressive three-year-old 12. Son Of Sampson was good first-up here working home late after covering ground, and drawn to get a more economical run with leading country hoop booked. Scone mare 11. Santa Margherita resumes off two trials, although will need some luck from a wide draw.
How to play it: Virtuous Miss to win.
Odds and Evens: Split.

RACE 5 – 3.05PM: MAGIC MILLIONS QUEEN OF THE VALLEY MATCHMAKER F&M BENCHMARK 66 HANDICAP (1280m)

Good quality race for at this level for the girls. Love the value about Scone mare 5. Modernity from the Rod Northam stable deep into this prep. Charged home from a mile back behind a smart sprinter last start, but won’t want it getting too wet.
Dangers: Tough to get off promising Newcastle mare 4. Jaja Chaboogie, who has won two straight in dominant fashion after stalking the speed. Draws to get another cosy run on the inside, but up to 59.5kg this grade at only her fourth start is still a task. Newcastle mare 3. Without Conviction has hit the line well in her last two, but the handicapper hasn’t missed her with 60kg and she would prefer it drier. Stablemate mare to top selection 2. Mo’s Glory comes back from a tougher Highway at Rosehill and is better suited over further, but watch for her getting home late third-up while local mare 6. Dancing Dollar is best of the rest.
How to play it: Modernity to win and first four 4,5/2,3,4,5,6/2,3,4,5,6/2,3,4,5,6.
Odds and Evens: Split.

RACE 6 – 3.40PM: STAR TURN @ VINERY BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP (1000m)

Keen on Newcastle mare and former Victorian 3. Hard Faith first-up for the Nathan Doyle yard. Fitted for this with a smart 1000m trial win at Gosford, and won her only previous start in heavy going.
Dangers: Local mare 2. Sophie’s Lass was a dominant class 1 winner two runs back before finding the pressure of a Highway on heavy ground too much, but this is much more to her liking and big weight offset by a 4kg claim. Wyong four-year-old 4. Mathematics can mix his form, but top rider gets back on.
How to play it: Hard Faith to win and quinella 2 and 3.
Odds and Evens: Split a special.

RACE 7 – 4.20PM: UNITE AND CONQUER @ KINGSTAR CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1000m)

Staying at the short course, and the first-up run of local mare 4. Emilette for trainer Jan Bowen holding her ground after chasing the speed looks a nice platform for this. Draws to either lead or sit right behind, and has never finished further back than second at this track.
Dangers: Wyong seven-year-old 1. My Empire resumes with no official trial, but that’s customary for the stable, and he’s already a fresh winner. Tamworth four-year-old 5. Crackerjack Kenny is a query in wet ground, but produced the best run of his career to bolt in a maiden at home. This is tougher, but will be tucked away on the inside and saved for one last surge. Watch the betting on Scone staying mare 3. Cosmic Haze who resumes with no public trial, and while this is way short of her best distance, she will be working home. Resuming Newcastle four-year-old 8. Devil’s Choice draws to get a nice trail.
How to play it: Emilette to win.
Odds and Evens: Split.

RACE 8 – 5.00PM: VIATEK CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1280m)

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Scone mare 4. Now Or Never has so much more talent than her one win last start from 17 attempts. Swept home effortlessly under 59kg third-up at Wyong, and we can finally start to see the best of this five-year-old who relishes wet tracks.
Dangers: Progressive Newcastle four-year-old 2. Chasing Comets returned off a long break to claim his maiden here in explosive style motoring home to win by four lengths. Only has to hold form to be one of the toughest to beat staying at the trip. Include improving Wyong three-year-old 6. Adios Steve, who won his maiden here third-up, and draws to get a nice trail while Tamworth mare 1. The First Of May steps up suitably in trip third-up off a lengthy break.

Tips supplied by Racing NSW.
Full form and race replays available at racingnsw.com.au

BEST BETS:
R2 8. DASHING ‘N’ DARING
R7 4. EMILETTE

BEST VALUE:
R8 4. NOW OR NEVER

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