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Neil Evans' tips for Albury: Monday - 24th June 2024

3 minute read

Track Soft 6 and rail out 3.5m from 1600m to WP

Picture: Race Images Photo

Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (1500m):

There's good value in the opener aboard local filly 8. Sacred Shikoba peaking fourth-up in what is a modest affair. Still to run a place from eight starts, but has worked home okay in her last couple on rain-affected ground against deeper opposition. Right at peak fitness now, and this is her best chance in a while to break through. Over the odds.

Dangers: Naturally early short-priced favourite 1. Sound Of Jura is the clear threat at his fourth start having shown solid improvement in deeper races over the border. Another Victorian 2. Slate Ripper improves sharply second-up. Gap to the rest.

How to play it: Sacred Shikoba to win and quinella 1 and 8

Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (900m):

This shapes nicely at good odds for improving Victorian mare 3. Bernay second-up and 24 days between runs for the 100m drop back in trip. Hit the line impressively resuming at Wagga in heavy ground, and is well treated just a half kilo over the limit weight.

Dangers: Drawn the fence, 2. Read My Lips is the clear threat after hitting the line hard here second-up to only miss by a head. Watch the betting on the sole two-year-old 4. Turn To Glory who resumes for his second start behind a trial win over the border. 6. Brimin down in weight third-up; and locally-trained 7. Capital Rock with gear changes; can both run into the minor money.

How to play it: Bernay to win

Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1175m):

Emerging three-year-old 3. Riverbend Unicorn can break through at his second start. Came off a quiet trial to defy his big price on debut; charging home to beat all but a dominant & short-priced winner. That form reads ideal staying at the distance under the same weight; and in a race with more tempo on offer. Again expect him to settle back in the second half; and get to the outside early in the straight. Bred to get further.

Dangers4. Rocas Grandes was given a let-up after a game front-running effort here on the Riverside track, and looked okay in a recent trial. 1. Bonnyville has beaten all but the winner in his last two on heavy ground, and has enough tactical speed to overcome the wide barrier; while 9. Lady Olivia at her second start; and 8. Impending Love fourth-up; both go in exotic plays.

How to play it: Riverbend Unicorn to win

Race 4 BENCHMARK 82 HCP (1600m):

Tough six-year-old 2. Rathlin is tracking to peak fourth-up getting back over a suitably longer trip. Was in and around the money in two runs up to 1400m at BM 87 level before doing his best work late in a stronger open Federal class on the Canberra synthetic just 10 days ago. The blinkers coming off on a quicker turnaround with a change of jockey are all good pointers; and he will relish getting to the outside on a big and spacious track.

Dangers: Huge respect for consistent 3. La Sante who has charged home into a place in two runs this prep, the latest at Dubbo in a deeper BM 82. Will likely drift back again, but the extra furlong is a big plus. Keep safe too 4. Spitfire who looks well in at the weights fourth-up dropping back from a tougher BM 72 metro race where he made late ground. Gap to the rest headed by 1. Ready To Humble peaking fourth-up over more ground; and 7. Daly Heads who has placed in his last two against similar opposition..

How to play it: Rathlin to win

Race 5 CLASS 1 HCP (1400m):

Hard fit local three-year-old 1. He's My Warrior ran home well into a place in consecutive provincial races; including a tougher BM 64; before missing narrowly in a CL1 here after being backed from $4.20 into $2.80. Bursting to win again; and despite edging up to 59.5kg he looks ready staying at the distance.

Dangers2. King De Lune has to overcome a tricky and wide draw, but there was a lot to like about his first-up win over the border when surging home from midfield in soft ground as a short-priced favourite. Another Victorian 5. Bravissima is also drawn wide, but hard fit deep into the prep and has been holding his own in deeper races. Local 9. Imposing Tallulah also has a tough assignment drawn off the track, but she has enough tactical speed to get across and give a big sight; while 8. The Woke Waiter is the best of the rest.

How to play it: He's My Warrior to win

Race 6 CLASS 3 HCP (1000m):

Progressive home tracker 4. Super Sunny Seeya can bounce back second-up after having no favours when resuming here in a BM 58 over 900m. Was caught wide and did a tonne of work before weakening late; but still only beaten a bit over three lengths carrying 60.5kg. Drops 4.5kg for this with a change of rider, and crucially blinkers are back on. Again drawn out, but much fitter now and at his best on soft ground.

Dangers: Naturally, smart filly 3. Starlight Girl is the immediate threat shooting for a third straight win coming off a tough barrier-to-box effort in BM 66 grade at Goulburn. Keep safe 2. Count Nicholas second-up with blinkers back on for a leading Victorian stable; while 8. Captain Corelli gets a massive weight drop stepping up from much weaker picnic grade, and is clear best of the rest.

How to play it: Super Sunny Seeya to win

Race 7 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1175m):

Improving mare 2. All Astern is ideally suited second-up staying at the trip. Tracked the speed and chased well before missing by a long neck when resuming in similar company, and crucially she's unbeaten from both second-up runs. Tackled Saturday Highway company last prep, and despite a small weight rise; she's still well placed after the jockey's claim. Has a 50 percent win rate over this trip from four starts.

Dangers: Expect sharp second-up improvement from home tracker 1. Magmetric with blinkers coming off; while underrated stablemate 10. Wanaloan can also peak fourth-up down in weight from a more economical draw. Include local pair 3. Champagne Sharon with a jockey change; and resuming 6. Futuristic with a key gear change; in all exotic plays.

How to play it: All Astern to win



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