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Neil Evans' tips for Wellington (Sunday)

3 minute read

Track likely Soft 7 & Rail True:

Race 1 MAIDEN HCP (900m):

We start the feature Cup day card with the maidens over the short course. This suits nicely second-up for three-year-old 2. Scarzel who was swamped when fresh in a much deeper maiden. Fitter now, and can give a big sight over this distance with winkers coming off.

Dangers: Improving 1. Rhythmic Song has to overcome a wide draw, but he has enough tactical speed to get across and take up a handy position. Was only collared in the last few strides third-up, and suited back 100m to this scamper trip. Watch the betting on 3. The Big Seal who resumes for a second prep off a nice trial, and bred to handle rain-affected going. Both lightly raced 5. Geewiz Johnny first-up for seven months; and metro two-year-old 6. Inequality who has early speed and third-up; go in exotic plays.

How to play it: Scarzel to win and box exacta 1,2,3
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 2 MAIDEN PLATE (1100m):

Very moderate and open sprint at set weights. Provincial-based Fastnet Rock three-year-old 6. Oakfield King hasn't been knocked about at the trials, and debuts for a good fresh stable with a senior rider aboard. Can settle back behind a good speed and finish hard.

Dangers: Local mare 10. Couture resumes without publicly trialling, but was never far from the money in five runs last prep. Expect a much better effort from 5. Monkey Rat; while provincial mare 8. A Tender Lady can run into a place third-up off a long break; and 11. Love Marilyn is hard fit and draws the inside.

How to play it: Oakfield King to win
Odds and Evens: Evens

Race 3 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):

Some real battlers in this who have had a stack of attempts without success. From a softer draw second-up, progressive provincial filly 12. Zippy Power is the one to beat. Missed narrowly hitting the line fresh, and can settle closer from this draw.

Dangers: Underrated four-year-old mare 11. My Khaleesi is a threat fourth-up. Likes to settle back and work home, although has had very little luck in three runs back, and not surprisingly a more senior rider goes on. Blinkers come off, and she has a superior closing 300m. Progressive filly 10. First Secret has only placed once from eight starts, but liked how she charged home a fortnight ago, although a tough task coming from well off speed around this track. Keeping safe, improving four-year-old 4. Mclellan who has been working home okay, and this is fairly weak; while watching the betting on 6. Opal Glory who resumes without an official trial.

How to play it: Zippy Power to win and My Khaleesi each way
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 4 CLASS 1 HCP (1400m):

Promising and lightly raced So You Think filly 3. Show Me Your Love is the one to beat second-up from the inside draw. Swept home for a dominant first-up maiden win at Mudgee in heavy ground. Was scratched from her home track meeting on Saturday, and also from a very winnable race last week to be saved for this.

Dangers: Provincial three-year-old 1. Test The Waters showed good improvement second-up hitting the line from well back in a deeper race. Naturally up in weight from an even wider gate, but he's got more scope than most of these, and the extra 100m is a further plus. Improving filly 2. Bondadoso dug in hard to win her maiden by a whisker fourth-up at Hawkesbury, although also has a tricky gate and more weight. Included in exotics 8. Starlink behind an impressive maiden win in heavy ground; and 4. Soloist who continues to find the line.

How to play it: Show Me Your Love to win and quinella 1 and 3
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 5 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1100m):

Improving mare 6. Matter Of Factor draws to get a soft run back in the field, and is ready to win again third-up off a long break. Hit the line late behind a handy galloper in weaker grade at Canberra, and carries 4.5kg less here with a superior jockey taking over.

Dangers: Improving four-year-old 2. Anchor's Point really attacked the line behind a handy sprinter last start after a smart maiden win four weeks earlier. Watch the betting on speedy four-year-old 3. Mr Pointer who returns off a good trial; while honest 4. Olympic Time second-up; 7. Shooting Zaa fifth-up with a change of rider; and 8. Fox Spirit also with a much stronger hoop aboard; all go in wider exotics.

How to play it: Matter Of Factor each way
Odds and Evens: Evens

Race 6 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1100m):

Same grade and distance recipe here, although shapes more clear-cut with lightly raced filly 3. Brief Statement who can bounce back hard after tailing off third-up on a very heavy track in much stronger Highway grade. Had previously hit the line to beat all bar the winner in two handy Class 1s.

Dangers: Tough mare 1. Rebecca's Quest won a similar race two starts back before outclassed in deeper provincial grade only five days ago. Track the market on 4. My Belladonna resuming behind a quiet trial; while long overdue mare 2. Cool Missile is the best of the rest.

How to play it: Brief Statement to win
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 7 BENCHMARK 66 HCP (900m):

Back to the short course augurs well for five-year-old mare 5. Moetta who can strike second-up. Tracked the speed before just running out of condition when resuming from a lengthy break, and looks well weighted in this company considering he's been placed in higher grades.

Dangers: Speedy nine-year-old 1. I Am Capitan is also better placed over this scamper trip after being swamped in three runs this prep, and the big weight hike has been off-set with a 3kg weight allowance. Led all the way in his only previous start on this course last spring. Watch the betting on ex-Victorian mare 6. Arlark Mofeed having only her second run for the new Canberra stable off a long break; while 7. I Love Lucy and 8. Expect A Hero go in trifectas and first fours.

How to play it: Moetta to win
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 8 WELLINGTON CUP (1700m):

Feature race looks the ticket for progressive Randwick four-year-old 3. Major Artie who comes back from a superior metropolitan race, and shoots for three wins from his last four. Tracked the speed before finishing best at The Valley under a similar weight, then held ground in even deeper grade at Sandown before holding off a smart finisher at Eagle Farm. Back a little in trip four weeks between runs, and as long as he gets across from an awkward gate, will take plenty of beating.

Dangers: Talented four-year-old import 5. Sibaaq is a big threat after an impressive first Australian run hitting the line late in BM 78 company at the Gold Coast. Before leaving the UK won two of his last three up to a UK 90 rating level. Must keep safe four-year-old stablemate to the top selection 13. So United who can peak third-up over more ground; while tough seven-year-old 4. Casino Mondial who gets some weight relief fifth-up; and last start provincial Midway winner 7. Knight who steps up in trip; are both each-way chances.

How to play it: Major Artie to win
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 9 BENCHMARK 74 HCP (1400m):

Good competitive closer, with plenty of chances. Like home track five-year-old 4. Athena's Lad who resumes from a good trailing draw. Won two straight last prep from just off the speed before holding his own in stronger metro company, and has a smart fresh record.

Dangers: Capable 2. Ecker Road can mix his form, but has more than enough ability, and was a dominant front-running winner in the BM 86 Satellite at Gilgandra two starts ago. Not often you see the Albury stable of Donna Scott around these parts, but that's a big pointer for five-year-old 3. Halo Warrior who has hit the line nicely in consecutive stronger grades at Wagga. Include in wider exotics 5. Morpheus dropping in class fifth-up; 7. Big Surprise; and 8. Ferus who has been freshened up via a trial win, and won his only previous start at this track 10 weeks back.

How to play it: Athena's Lad to win
Odds and Evens: Split



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