Selections based on a soft track.
Race 1 – 12:50PM EDGAR BRITT MAIDEN HANDICAP (1000 METRES)
1. Verbek is a promising type and while 1000m is going to be short of his best he should still be hard to beat in this field even with no official trial. Lost a race on protest last prep and was stakes-placed so has the talent.
Dangers: 6. Huzzah is a well-bred Godolphin filly on debut and she’s shown enough in her two trials to mark her down as a danger, particularly as 1000m would be more suitable for her. 5. Grand Palazzo is a stablemate to Verbek also resuming and she did trial quite well albeit in a small field. Any improvement in the track condition would be a plus and she can run well. 2. Chalkley started big odds and wasn’t disgraced at Hawkesbury a month ago. Placed on a soft 7 at this track and distance in May so a placing isn’t out of the question in a small field.
How to play it: Verbek WIN
Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Race 2 – 1:25PM GEORGE MOORE BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1000 METRES)
4. Delexo couldn’t have been more impressive scoring first-up at Muswellbrook by a widening margin. Always shown promise and finds the leading rider here. Should be prominent throughout and the one to beat.
Dangers: 5. Pick The Score hasn’t raced since a solid second over this course in May at the end of a solid preparation. Did it fairly easily in a recent trial and she’ll be very competitive. 9. Esteemed Lady led all the way for an upset win at Hawkesbury two starts back then not disgraced in a strong class 1 at Wyong. Back on her home track and she’s worth keeping in mind. 6. Conglomerate is racing well without winning this time in, Beaten favourite at Goulburn last time but likely goes forward from the wide gate and is an each-way chance.
How to play it: Delexo WIN; Trifecta 4/5,6,9/5,6,9
Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Race 3 – 2:05PM ATHOL (GEORGE) MULLEY CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1500 METRES)
3. Different Strokes was never going to be beaten at Wyong two weeks ago as he cruised away with a maiden at a short price. Form prior to that suggested a win was near and while up in class he looks capable of going on with it.
Dangers: 1. Jojo Was A Man steps up in trip after two runs in town and second-up he did make some late ground without threatening at 1300m. Down in class and scratched from Kensington for this. Gets his chance to feature. 2. Echo Point races best when he’s on the pace and he couldn’t get near it first-up over the short trip at Wyong. Much better suited here and his maiden win was at this track and distance. Likely sharp improver. 8. Never Cry impressed breaking through at Goulburn on a soft track then tried hard in a solid class 1 at Hawkesbury holding third. Only has to hold that form to be somewhere in the finish.
How to play it: Different Strokes WIN: Trifecta 3/1,2,8/1,2,8
Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Race 4 – 2:40PM JIM AND ANN CAMERON BM 64 HANDICAP (1500 METRES)
8. Louder has been racing consistently on all surfaces and chased hard at Goulburn last start on a heavy track. That was provincial level and this looks no harder so she has to be a good each-way chance again.
Dangers: 2. Mystic Vein has led all the way in both wins and just failed to do that at Wyong last time, going down narrowly. Drawn out but expect him to roll forward and if he gets the breaks will be hard to run down. 3. Jeanne D’arc improved quickly second-up to win at Newcastle on a good track. She can be hit and miss but everything points to her running well here. 7. Eden Vale appreciated a big class drop on a series of runs in town when he finished over the top to win at Bathurst under 59.5kg. Sting out of the track a plus and wouldn’t shock if he’s in the placings.
How to play it: Louder E/W
Odds & Evens: EVENS.