Track improving to soft 6 and rail out 5m from 1500m to 350m into a cutaway.
RACE 1 – 12. 30PM: KIEWA VALLEY SPRINGWATER MAIDEN PLATE (905m)
We open up over the short course, and all aboard home-track three-year-old 1. Incentive who resumes for the top local yard behind a dominant heavy-track trial win. Only previous run disappointed as a short-priced fancy on Australia Day, but stable has already scratched him from a very winnable race to be saved for this.
Dangers: Improving Canberra mare 9. Stunning Sunrise did a good job chasing home hard on the tricky Gilgandra circuit third-up, and the quick back-up signifies she’s come on well from that. Local filly 6. Penny Stocks is suited coming back to this scamper trip having been very weak here 10 days ago, while lightly-raced mare 4. Falreine with blinkers added third-up; and Victorian filly 7. Pretty Panda are each-way chances at bigger odds.
How to play it: Incentive to win and Stunning Sunrise each-way.
Odds and Evens: Odds.
RACE 2 – 1. 05PM: SURDEX STEEL ALBURY MAIDEN HANDICAP (1410m)
Tough and wide race for the maidens over further. Improving Wangaratta mare 9. Diamondsandpearls can finally break through fourth-up at her 12th start. Much better suited on the drying surface after floundering late here in heavy 10 going 10 days ago, and best weighted runner in the race after the rider’s 3kg claim.
Dangers: Liked the last furlong from Shamus Award three-year-old 3. Cellar Champ on debut, and this looks a natural progressive trip. Watch the betting on Al Maher three-year-old 1. Almandra on debut behind some quiet trials for a stable who loves to strike fresh. Keep safe local Pierro filly 6. La Quinta Donna who has found the line OK, and gets a little weight relief at her third start, while 12. Redhair’n’freckles stays on the limit weight, and is best of the rest fourth-up.
How to play it: Diamondsandpearls to win.
Odds and Evens: Odds.
RACE 3 – 1. 40PM: REDI2HIRE ALBURY MAIDEN PLATE (1182m)
It doesn’t get much easier here, with several strong hopes. One hopping the border for the first time, and stablemate to the previous on top selection, is three-year-old 5. War Dog who can strike fourth up in his first proper prep. Was ridden quieter 16 days ago at Donald when backed from $9 into $5. 50, hitting the line hard after working through traffic. Suited on the bigger track here. Significantly, was preferred here to his home track meeting on Sunday.
Dangers: Must keep safe 7. Kappy’s Angel who was strong late on debut at Wagga. Another visitor from up the road – and the only two-year-old in the race – 12. Lunar Shoes was also doing his best work late on debut when specked at a big price. Include in exotics both home tracker 3. Greek Tycoon with blinkers back on and progressive four-year-old 9. Sweet Biscuit from a softer draw.
How to play it: War Dog to win and trifecta 5,7,12/3,5,7,9,12/3,5,7,9,12.
Odds and Evens: Odds.
RACE 4 – 2. 15PM: CHOICES WODONGA BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP (1182m)
Big finishing Victorian six-year-old 2. Chairman’s Choice hasn’t won for a while, but race by race this prep has been powering back to near his best. Charged late to miss by a whisker this track in a stronger BM58 two starts back before again finishing well at Wodonga. Likes it soft, always carries weight, and only needs a clear run from the bend to swamp them.
Dangers: Wagga visitor 4. Kaipaki rates over the odds from a handy draw second-up off an eight-week break. Big watch on underrated Wang mare 9. Our Guardian Angel resuming with a key gear change, while Canberra filly 8. My Girona, from the inside barrier, and 10. Dancing With Kitty, whose only previous win came in soft going, are both capable of filling a place.
How to play it: Chairman’s Choice to win.
Odds and Evens: Evens.
RACE 5 – 2. 50PM: VALE PAUL CARROLL BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP (1182m)
Same grade in another tricky and open battle. Keen on progressive filly 4. Blushing Mary who can improve sharply second-up in a thinner race. Won two straight from the front up to this grade last prep, and just buckled under pressure fresh in superior CL3 company after covering early ground. Much better placed here back on preferred soft ground.
Dangers: Ultra-consistent Wang three-year-old 2. Malabar Jack has won three from five since mid-March, and while he’s been generally kept to thinner quality races, is capable of taking this from a handy on-speed draw. Keep safe hard fit five-year-old 3. Gironde who likes to settle back and hit the line. Canberra mare 1. Starliv can figure dropping back in grade second-up, and three of her four career wins have come in soft going, while 7. Keep It Down is over the odds after charging home at a huge price to upset a similar field here 17 days ago.
How to play it: Blushing Mary each-way.
Odds and Evens: Split.
RACE 6 – 3. 25PM: GAZEBO & SHADE CENTRE CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1005m)
One of the wider and toughest contests of the meeting, but clear value leaning to yet another Victorian raider, three-year-old 5. Noble Nightowl second-up with blinkers back on. Worked home OK first-up in a BM58 at Kyneton, and drawn to get a nice trail just off the speed.
Dangers: Any number, starting with border-hopping three-year-old 1. Wegottem Today Son who only went down narrowly first-up from a six-month break carting 62kg. Another big chance second-up is 3. Agent Moon who missed by a head in a country CL1 when resuming off an even longer break, and draws to get a soft trail. With a 50 per cent placing strike-rate from 14 starts, 7. Liberalized is a threat third-up off a long break, as is local three-year-old 4. Keith better drawn third-up and 11. The Tapster with a far more experienced jockey taking over.
How to play it: Noble Nightowl each-way and box exacta 1,3,5.
Odds and Evens: Odds a special.
RACE 7 – 4. 05PM: ACE RADIO 2AY BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP (905m)
Back to the flying short course which augurs well for good quality Victorian three-year-old 2. Mojo Music who can win again after a dominant display at this track in class 1 grade only 10 days ago. Not quite the good thing he would be on heavy ground, but having only missed a place once from nine starts, he only needs to leave the barrier OK to be the one to beat.
Dangers: Local five-year-old 1. Seventh Seal stuck on bravely in a much deeper sprint here at that same meeting, and looms as the big threat. Gap to the rest headed by 10-year-old 3. It’s Business Time who continues to put in and Victorian mare 11. Jelt first-up behind a quiet trial.
How to play it: Mojo Music to win.
Odds and Evens: Split a special.
RACE 8 – 4. 40PM: EBA HIRE CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1510m)
Plenty of chances in the closer headed by progressive Canberra three-year-old 1. Loose Love who drops back from the tougher Wagga Guineas when not getting much room at a vital stage back in the pack. Had previously swept home for an impressive win at home and, despite the natural weight hike, can produce a superior final 400m.
Dangers: Capable mare 3. Sumdeel is the logical threat third-up from the inside draw with key gear changes, while last-start winners 4. Bonvalante and 6. Bring A Dame as well as 7. Ghosted all go into exotic plays.
How to play it: Loose Love to win.
Odds and Evens: Odds.
Race 4: 2. Chairman’s Choice
Race 7: 2. Mojo Music
Race 5: 4. Blushing Mary
Tips supplied by Racing NSW.
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