By Neil Evans
Track Good 4 and rail out 7m from 1000m to 350m & 4m the remainder.
Race 1: CLASS 1 HCP (1400m)
With the early favourite preferred in a stronger race at Warwick Farm on Monday, this sets up nicely for improving filly 8. Destructive Diva who can peak third-up off a month-long break, and on the limit weight. Was heavily backed before a fair effort at Canberra, then ran home well here in similar company 11 days ago. Gets a soft run behind the speed.
Dangers: Metro mare 7. Twelve Hours should also be afforded a cosy run in transit from a low draw, and is hard fit coming off a dominant on-speed maiden win. Another city visitor 4. Deep Fury comes through that same race as the top selection when working home fairly deep into the prep; while 5. Waikato Flyer can run into the money second-up.
How to play it: Destruction Diva to win.
Race 2: BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1000m)
Back in distance for a very competitive restricted sprint, and little separates a few in the market. Expecting home track mare 4. Deep Shimmer to bounce back hard third-up on firmer footing. Did lead all the way resuming on rain-affected ground, but the jockey reported a very unfavourable action last time out and her mount had resented plenty of wet track kick-back. Has since won a trial in nice fashion, and can reignite the prep here from a soft draw.
Dangers: Rival local 1. Mittata hasn’t publicly trialled returning off a 22-week break, but has a solid fresh record and draws inside. Another one trained on the track, 3. Masters has placed in two of his last three and draws to get a nice run with cover behind the speed. Consistent mare 5. Ultra White, who has been in the money all prep and finished hard to win that Class 1 here early last month, and last-start BM 58 winner 6. Areeba Spirit both go in trifecta and first four plays.
How to play it: Deep Shimmer to win.
Race 3: MAIDEN PLATE (1200m)
Promising home-track colt 8. Sheetice has gone under by a whisker in two runs in his first full prep, but has shown more than enough to break through here. Was grabbed right on the line as the hottest of favourites here 11 days ago, but the addition of blinkers and a drop in weight make him a near good thing.
Dangers: Watch the betting on resuming local filly 9. Lyrical Beauty, who hasn’t started since a solid closing debut run at Muswellbrook in autumn. Another one trained here, 3. Stand In Line is a shade over the odds on this handy speed map first-up off a lengthy break, while at big odds 1. Fletchlo debuts as a gelding in blinkers behind a recent trial win.
How to play it: Sheetice to win.
Race 4: CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2125m)
A significant drop in class and a cosy run in transit combine to make provincial mare 2. Dunjenni the one to beat in a thin affair deep into her prep. Stuck on well enough to run a place in consecutive races before over-racing badly in front wearing blinkers when tackling a much deeper provincial BM 64 in what has proved a handy form race. This is far more to her liking, and expecting her to take a “sit” this time behind the lead.
Dangers: Provincial-based 1. Storm De Lune has more to offer than his poor record from 20 starts suggests, and while well beaten in a Class 1 at Kembla, this is weaker. Honest 3. Fine Example is better suited here over more ground and back on a bigger track; while 8. Hit ’Em Up at his fourth start; 9. I’m Scarlett, who ran home well into a place only 10 days ago; and 11. Notabadsmile, fourth-up with blinkers off, can all challenge for minor money at each-way odds.
How to play it: Dunjenni to win.
Race 5: BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1600m)
Capable filly 4. Miss Ghent is ready to win again fifth-up and staying at the mile. Ridden too close in a tougher provincial race two starts back before settling further back and hitting the line hard in a Class 1 at Canberra. Up in weight for what is a thin line-up, and as long as she can tuck in for cover from a wide draw, has a superior closing 400m burst.
Dangers: Drawn right alongside and with an identical career record from six starts, 2. Stasera is a threat fourth-up after being edged out by a head last time. Over the odds is 6. Weekend Affair who was okay in a deeper BM 66 last start and draws to get a soft run just off speed. Topweight 1. Amigos No More, who finished hard here in a Class 2 fourth-up, and 5. Smokin’ Cod, with some weight relief third-up, both represent each way value.
How to play it: Miss Ghent to win.
Race 6: MAIDEN PLATE (1000m)
Tricky and open sprint for the maidens at set weights, with several on debut. One though returning off a one-off country run back in autumn, Deep Field filly 7. Field Of Myrtle looms as the one to beat. Has been fitted with two progressive Rosehill trials, and the Bjorn Baker yard looks to have found a very winnable first-up race.
Dangers: Plenty of them starting with stablemate filly and well-bred first starter 12. Slinky by superstar The Autumn Sun who draws the fence behind two improving trials. Keep safe 2. Deceive resuming off two handy trials, and draws to find a nice trail just off speed. Resuming for the Gary Portelli stable, 3. Debello is a key market watch off two quieter trials, while the betting will be a further indicator around nicely bred three-year-old 4. Kewell on debut behind two trials. A third Baker-trained runner,17. True Gem by Star Witness, starts her career off two progressive trials.
How to play it: Field Of Myrtle to win.
Race 7: MAIDEN HCP (1600m)
Lightly raced and progressive metro three-year-old 5. Inca Trail can strike at his second start. Chased well on debut at Hawkesbury when backed at an each-way price, and back to country opposition from a sound trailing draw over 100m further is the breakthrough formula.
Dangers: Got plenty of time at good odds for 1. Wild Calm, who hit the line hard here second-up to get within a long neck and bred to get further. Keep safe 10. Sekani, who also improves into his third start; while from a softer draw 2. Easement can run home into a place.
How to play it: Inca Trail to win.
Race 8: BENCHMARK 66 HCP (1300m)
Plenty of chances in the closer. Love the first-up value about tough mare 6. Stratum Pride returning for her first run since mid-March. Was competitive in much better races last prep, and normally comes to hand early in the prep.
Dangers: Naturally 5. British Statesman is a threat fourth-up from a soft draw. Dropped back from Highway grade to lead all the way as a hot favourite in a weak Class 2, although wouldn’t be diving into any short price in a race with more depth. Resuming 2. Jumeirah Beach normally takes one run back to show something, but has trialled OK and gets a soft run with cover. Despite a wide draw, 8. Crazy Russian can claim a second win in four starts back from a deeper provincial race; while honest 9. Bully For You is very fit and comes off a fast-finishing Class 1 win here.
How to play it: Stratum Pride each way.
Race 2: (4) Deep Shimmer. Race 4: (2) Dunjenni
Race 8: (6) Stratum Pride