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Neil Evans' Tips for Coffs Harbour (Thursday)

3 minute read

Track Soft 5 and rail out 2m from 1000m to 350m into a cut/away & True the remainder:

Racecourse : Coffs Harbour (Australia).
Racecourse : Coffs Harbour (Australia).

Race 1 BENCHMARK 74 HCP (1405m):

Plenty of chances in a tactical opener, but still improving mare 6. Little Prophet lands on top third-up off a month-long break. Led all the way in weaker grade under a big weight when fresh before sticking to his guns from behind the speed in the deeper Kempsey Cup. Those runs read well for this getting on to a bigger track, and she's well equipped to handle soft going.

Dangers: Naturally, 8. Velvet Haze is a big threat hunting a third win in her last four starts. Was dominant in weaker class fresh before working home okay in a BM 66 here, then landed a good betting move when leading all the way at Grafton three weeks ago. On pure form, she's the best-weighted runner in the race after a claim. Another one well in the market, although shaping under the odds is 4. Dark Euro who has worked home to beat all but the winner in his last two, but not well treated under 59kg here for an eight-year-old with an average strike rate. Keep safe ultra honest 2. Casirina who hasn't won for a while, but finished right behind the top selection in that Cup when finishing hard from the back.

How to play it: Little Prophet to win

Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1405m):

Another open affair in a race lacking quality. Settled on improving five-year-old 4. Single Shot at the value third-up. Worked home okay late at big odds resuming in a stronger Super Maiden before finishing close-up 20 days ago when ridden much closer to the speed. Ready to peak now fitness-wise, and thrives on any soft surface.

Dangers: Plenty of them starting with 3. My Mate Cobber who can improve sharply here from a sound draw and coming back from deeper provincial company. Watch the market on 6. Sonofdec who defied a massive price to run home okay on debut at Newcastle. Improving 5. Quinky Deel and 12. Ride Like A Girl both progressing into their fourth starts; go into trifecta and first four plays.

How to play it: Single Shot to win

Race 3 CLASS 1 HCP (1405m):

Despite being a huge and unwanted price - $131.00 in some early markets - unfashionable five-year-old 6. Ravalawa is not without a chance improving sharply third-up. Admittedly has been beaten out of sight in two poor runs back from a lengthy spell, but the much underrated trainer has made some astute gear changes, and this is his pet trip, especially on a softer surface.

Dangers: Big watch on 5. Yareakh who draws to get cover, and found the line when fresh behind a heavily backed and short-priced winner. Progressive three-year-old 2. Lunartie will likely jump clear favourite, but ultimately a risk at the price. Was a strong maiden winner at second start before being run down late in a country CL1. Given he jumps from a wider gate here in a race with more depth, wouldn't be entertaining anything under $3.50; while lightly raced 7. Kaihoko is the best of the rest after a fast-finishing first-up win.

How to play it: Ravalawa each way

Race 4 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1605m):

Up to a middle distance here augurs well for five-year-old mare 3. Spiele second-up behind an eight week break, and significantly with blinkers being introduced. Did her best work late resuming in a deeper race than this, and her closing form around this distance through winter is a clear indication she's well over the mark in this.

Dangers: Last start winner in this grade over a much shorter trip 3. Uncaged is naturally in the mix, but is clear under the odds rising to 61kg over this journey on a bigger track. Watch the betting on 5. He's A Devil who is hard fit and comes out of the same race as the top selection; while 6. Star Of Yamba who needs a big track; and 9. Battledance up in distance from a soft draw; are both capable of running into the money.

How to play it: Spiele to win

Race 5 MAIDEN HCP (1205m):

Back to maiden company for another open affair, and lightly raced and well bred local mare 3. Electric Evie emerges as the best value in the race. Closed off well enough in two runs to start her career when hard in the market before taken to the front 13 days ago and boxed on only fairly. Should be ridden from off the speed here jumping from a wider gate, and she strikes peak fitness.

Dangers: No doubting 8. Talma I Love Her is the clear measuring stick in the race, hard fit and from an ideal trailing draw. Has kept improving in three runs this prep, and blinkers come off for the first time. At bigger odds, keep safe 10. Cuisenaire who gets a soft run inside fourth-up; while 4. The Manager on debut as a gelding behind two recent trials; 6. Regina's Girl third-up; and 14 Shatusia second-up since April; can all add value in trifecta and first fours.

How to play it: Electric Evie to win

Race 6 SUPER MAIDEN PLATE (1005m):

Very keen here on lightly raced and ex-Victorian four-year-old 5. The Extreme Cat resuming over the right trip off a strong trial in a first outing for the Nathan Doyle stable at Newcastle. Went off favourite when behind the winner in two autumn runs south of the border before being spelled. Been in work for some time, and blinkers coming off is a significant fresh gear change. Bred to thrive in soft ground, and is the one to beat.

Dangers: Watch the betting closely on home track Pride Of Dubai three-year-old 6. Golden Dubai who debuts from a handy draw behind a dominant trial win at Grafton. Another lightly raced one on the way up is 7. Mawson's Expedition who led for a long way on debut, and has been given a month between runs. Similarly at each way odds, debutant Shalaa colt 8. Rathoran is potentially good value wearing blinkers off three progressive trials, winning the latest at Wyong in comfortable fashion; while locally trained 4. Scotland resuming without officially trialing; heads the rest.

How to play it: The Extreme Cat to win

Race 7 CLASS 3 HCP (1205m):

Any number of chances in this sprint which shapes to have good speed on, and that suits talented local five-year-old 11. Lockup The Kittens second-up at big odds. Continually found the line well without winning up to the mile last prep when based in Canberra before transferring to the Mid North Coast. Was beaten under a length in his first run since late June, and the longer straight and step up a furlong in trip; are both big pluses.

Dangers: Promising provincial filly 4. La Boqueria is one of several chances to roll forward early and set up the speed. Held her ground okay when resuming in BM 66 grade, and bolted in from the front second-up last prep. Big threat. Underrated mare 9. Mrs Ed is also likely to roll across and sit right on speed deep into the prep, with a drop in weight. Despite a little query at this distance on the bigger track, 5. Babayka should get a soft run on speed; while 3. Test The Waters first-up off a lengthy break; and 6. Inviva who is hard fit and trained on the track; are both capable of running into the minor money.

How to play it: Lockup The Kittens each way

Race 8 CLASS 2 PLATE (1005m):

Likely the most open and toughest sprint on the program is saved for last. Despite only a modest strike rate, five-year-old 1. Abrazen Laugh is tough and honest, and well over the odds fifth-up. Has twice run home into a place in his last three against deeper CL3 opposition, and with enough speed on here, can slot in a few lengths back and produce a superior finishing burst over the final 350m.

Dangers: Improving filly 11. Eloheh is well credentialled having placed in all three runs this prep, including a smart maiden win in the middle, but she's been set a task from the outside gate. So too has local mare 7. Moskeeta who resumes form a wide barrier off a 45 week break, although she has ability and loves soft ground. Improving mare 9. Snow Falcon off a second-up win; and home tracker 3. Pixie Hallow who was $8.00 into $6.00 when winning a CL1 here first-up; head the rest.

How to play it: Abrazen Laugh each way

BEST BETS:
R6 5. THE EXTREME CAT
R8 1. ABRAZEN LAUGH

BEST VALUE:
R4 3. SPIELE


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