Race 1 – 11:00AM BOWERMANS HCP (1300m)
3. Madame Pommery charged clear of her rivals first up, stalking the leaders at Rosehill before putting three lengths on the field. It was her late strength that was most impressive about the win. Her 36. 14s last 600m split was the sixth quickest across the entire meeting. Handy for a youngster at just start two. Her last 200m split of 12. 29s was 1. 5 lengths quicker than the next best in the race. The overall time was the quickest of the four 1400m races across the meeting. Yes, she had first crack at the track but it’s still very encouraging when two-year-old times match up to the older horses. Every indicator suggests she’ll relish further. There was a lot to like about the way 1. Baroque Road ran through the line at the end of 1100m, doing it at both ends at the midweeks.
How to play it: Madame Pommery to win.
Race 2 – 11:35AM TAB HIGHWAY HCP (1100m)
17. Overextend has run second at his last two starts, both in Highway Handicaps. He had his chance behind Boom Boom Basil two weeks ago over 1200m but couldn’t reel him in. Interesting that Rod Northam takes the blinkers off coming back to 1100m. His second to Hardware Lane at Hawkesbury prior to that was over 1100m so doubt the slight drop back in trip will be an excuse. He gets in very light again with 52. 5kg after the claim of regular rider Reece Jones and he maps to get the run of the race again. 3. Pure Fuego savaged the line behind Overextend last start, suggesting that he has put a couple of plain runs behind him from last preparation. 4. Comonic resumed from a year on the sidelines at Hawkesbury and showed his rivals a clean pair of heels.
How to play it: Overextend to win.
Race 3 – 12:10PM THE AGENCY HCP (1800m)
7. Willinga Rufio made a big impression on debut, albeit in a Hawkesbury maiden. He sat outside of the leader over 1500m and the further they went the stronger he got. Mycah Leon and Uncaged ran fourth and fifth there, beaten near four lengths, and they’ve won maidens themselves since. It’s no surprise to see the Mark Newnham stable jump him straight out to 1800m at just start two given his pedigree. His full brother is G1 winner in South Africa, winning six races, and he has won out to 2800m. He’s certainly got more upside than and of his rivals and he’s in the right hands with Newnham. 9. Mum’s The Boss has had excuses at her last two starts. Last start was a hidden run and she should have been fighting out the placings.
How to play it: Willinga Rufio towin.
Race 4 – 12:45PM MIDWAY HCP (1400m)
1. French Bonnet is mixing her form this preparation but she has had genuine excuses for her last two starts. At Hawkesbury she was found to have been galloped on, and found herself in an awkward spot upon settling from the wide draw, while last start she just went too fast in front. If she can reproduced her second-up performance, which saw her win a Randwick Midway, she’s the horse to beat. 7. Anagain is a lightly raced filly with just the six starts to her name. Liked the way she knuckled down to chase
3. Momack a fortnight ago. She was only second up there having run in the G3 Hawksbury Guineas first up so she had more improvement out of that Midway going into this. The queries being that there was only 1. 6L from first to fifth in that Midway and how far back she’ll get in the run.
How to play it: French Bonnet towin.
Race 5 – 1:20PM FURPHY WINTER CUP (2400m)
5. Military Mission looked to have the race all parcelled up at Gosford last start before putting in a couple of short ones late, leaving the door open for Hameron to nail him on the line. There was an 8kg weight difference between the pair which perhaps proved the difference.
6. Bonny Ezra ran on into third. The progressive import is still improving, with just 12 starts to his name, and he drops 7kg from 61kg to the 54kg minimum tackling Listed company. Everything he has done this preparation has given the impression that he’ll relish 2400m. Bonny Ezra has three lengths to turn around on Military Mission from their last clash and meets him 3kg worse off. The case for Bonny Ezra purely comes down to fitness. He has raced twice since then so he is a very fit horse now.
How to play it: Military Mission to win.
Race 6 – 1:55PM FAREWELL NEVESH RAMDHANI HCP (1400m)
1. Lady of Luxury clocked the fastest closing splits of the meeting at Rosehill first up behind Mariamia. That flags that she has returned at least as well as last preparation and she won five races last campaign. She takes on the boys second up but drops slightly in grade with her hefty 62kg impost lightened by the 3kg claim from Dylan Gibbons. She gets out quickly to 1400m but respect the placement of Bjorn Baker, scratching her from an equally suitable 1200m race later on the card. Has to be somewhere in the finish. 14. Notions gets in very light after the claim and the front looks to be her if she wants it. That makes the lightly-raced filly a dangerous runner. There was a lot to like about the way she went through the grades last preparation before she was deep ended in the G3 Gloaming.
How to play it: Lady of Luxury to win.
Race 7 – 2:30PM PETALUMA HCP (1800m)
How do we assess 6. Arapaho? What he did last start far surpassed anything he’d done in the past. A repeat of that and he wins again but he’s more likely to regress than hold that form; it’s just a matter of how much. Even allowing for that, he’s still clearly the horse to beat. He skips a couple of grades jumping from a BM78 to a BM84 but gets in with 56kg because of it. The other factor to consider is how flattered he was by the genuine heavy track at Rosehill. 3. Surf Dancer got away with an easy time in front at Rosehill two weeks ago but showed really good determination to fight out the finish with Night Of Power and Quintello. He too drops down slightly in the weights and should be at his top now third up.
How to play it: Arapaho to win.
Race 8 – 3:05PM SCHWEPPES HCP (1200m)
Taking a chance on the former Kiwi-trained filly 8. Per Inaway. The three-year-old, who had built a record of 4:2-1-1, before finding a home with Kris Lees, is the wildcard runner in what is a very winnable race. Being a full sister to Mark Newham’s talented sprinter Shadow Crush makes me a touch wary of her on a wet track given he is so much more dynamic on top of the ground but she looks pretty smart in her own right. She has got speed to use the draw, settling handy in a race without a lot of speed on paper but the real cherry on top was the way she trialled at Scone. 7. Rubinocchi was fired out of the barriers first up at Canterbury to take advantage of the rails bias that meeting, trouncing her rivals. She didn’t back that up at Scone on a soft track, however.
How to play it: Per Inaway each way.
Race 9 – 3:40PM RANVET HCP (1500m)
5. Sibaaq presented like the winner at the Gold Coast first up four weeks ago but just felt the pinch late when second to race fit mare Seleque. Despite that, he looks to be an import with a bit of quality, and significantly, given the lack of pressure on paper, an import with tactical speed. Theres more depth in this race than what Sibaaq faced in Queensland but he can only improve and should settle in the first couple. 14. Wicklow hit the ground running for Chris Waller in his first Australian preparation, winning three of his four starts. He’s a very smart horse and we haven’t seen the best of him yet. Just concerned about the set-up in the context of his price, barrier 1 for a get back horse over a trip short of his best having spent 48 weeks on the sidelines. The market will tell us everything we need to know late.
How to play it: Sibaaq each way.
Race 10 – 4:20PM CANADIAN CLUB HCP (1200m)
5. El Buena trialled exceptionally well ahead of his return at Rosehill two weeks ago and he backed that up on the track, running on from last. He clocked the second quickest last 600m all meeting. Given that the four-year-old tackles the same track, distance and grade of race, it puts him right in the finish again. The big key is the better draw. He won’t have to camp out the back this time. Although his form is pretty well exposed now, having had 17 starts, he may have returned better than ever. 9. He’s A Hotshot is knocking on the door for another win. The form through his Gosford second reads well now, given he split Coal Crusher and Battleton. He’ll want the track closer to soft than heavy.
How to play it: El Buena to win.
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