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Neil Evans' tips for Scone (Monday)

3 minute read

Track Good 4 and rail out 5m from 800m to WP.

Picture: Steve Hart

Race 1 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (2200m):

The traditional start over the staying trip on a firm track that may get some rain shapes ideally for improving five-year-old 4. Man Of Heart peaking fourth-up over a significantly longer journey. Has worked home okay from well back in three runs this prep, and is bursting now for a real distance test, especially with some weight relief and winkers going on for the first time.

Dangers: Home tracker 1. Velvet Lady is up sharply in weight after a fair closing run in the deeper Cessnock Cup, and winkers are also a key addition. Honest mare 3. Sacred Girl is very fit well into the prep, and another one looking for this longer trip; while both 2. Our City behind a last start win in a similar lineup at Dubbo; and 5. Kikikapow fourth-up over further; can run into the minor money.

How to play it: Man Of Heart to win

Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1000m):

The first of the short course affairs looks the domain of three-year-old 1. Ferro Vero resuming for a second prep with a 2kg claim, and trained on the track. Showed penty hitting the line in three runs to launch his career back in late autumn, and has been tuned up for this with two progressive trials, bolting in the latest at Muswellbrook. The one to beat.

Dangers: Improving 2. Master Miyagi boxed on until the final couple of strides heavily backed when resuming, and again drawn to roll forward and give a big sight. Gap to the rest headed by lightly raced 6. Invasive Dreams back at home second-up; while honest filly 5. Dubai Bound has placed in all four runs this prep, and is better suited back on the bigger track.

How to play it: Ferro Vero to win

Race 3 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1300m):

Now for a Heat of the Rising Star, and underrated provincial mare 6. Adelinda represents big value fourth-up off a five week break. Has finished off her last two runs here strongly up to deeper CL3 company, and gets some weight relief after the new rider's claim.

Dangers: Provincial filly and ultra impressive first-up winner from off speed, 7. Bangetta will likely jump a clear cut favourite, but still threatens to be under the odds going up 3kg. Another provincial visitor 2. Angara is right in the hunt second-up from a sound trailing draw; while included in exotics both 3. Wilkshire who won a weak country BM 66 two starts ago; and 11. Toy Story who draws inside fifth-up.

How to play it: Adelinda each way

Race 4 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600m):

Got plenty of time for progressive four-year-old 3. Four O'Clock Knock who comes back significantly in trip third-up for the Bjorn Baker stable. Two runs this prep in tougher provincial fields have been solid enough, and the long run from this starting point to the first turn gives him plenty of time to get over from the wider draw.

Dangers: Improving 2. Cheval Savant is also drawn off the track, but he comes back from a good closing run in much deeper BM 64 metro company, and that long run to the first turn also allows him to tuck in well back off the speed. Keep safe 4. Lehndorff up in distance second-up; while consistent local 5. Press The Pedal fifth-up; and 9. Always In who didn't get the best of runs second-up at Wyong; can both add plenty of value into trifecta and first fours.

How to play it: Four O'Clock Knock to win

Race 5 CLASS 1 HCP (900m):

The scamper trip here is well made for very capable metro filly 5. Satin And Silk resuming behind two forward metro trials. Drawn ideally to utilise superior tactical speed, and the Snowden stable has shown its hand placing her over this "chute" course.

Dangers: Big watch on ex-Victorian mare 3. Everylittle Breeze who resumes for the new Todd Howlett stable off two progressive trials. The third of the prominent fresh runners is 8. Split Decision resuming for only her fourth start behind two impressive trials for the Matthew Smith stable, and won on debut back in late May when backed from $6.00 into $4.00. Be shocked if one of these three don't win, but watch the betting on both locally-trained 9. Harbour Gold who returns home after a poor third start run as a solid favorite; and home tracker 10. Tabata Set fourth-up behind a tough maiden win at Muswellbrook.

How to play it: Satin And Silk to win

Race 6 MAIDEN PLATE (1200m):

Open & fairly deep maiden here. The first-up provincial run of lightly raced metropolitan filly 9. Figment makes her the measuring stick. Fitter now and well placed under the set weight conditions carrying only half kilo over the limit.

Dangers: Plenty of them headed by well bred 5. Bucareli Bay who resumes as a gelding off an easy trial. Watch the market too on 6. Ramius who drew wide, but was very well backed first-up on the Beaumont track when even to the line. Good value around 10. Godelba who has charged home late in his last two, and is drawn to find cover back in the field. Include in all exotics, 14. Picasso's Dream who debuts for the Baker stable off two progressive trials; while 2. Dark Vador shapes over the odds first-up with a 3kg claim.

How to play it: Figment to win

Race 7 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):

Same set weight affair for the maidens over a furlong further, and at the big value, with provincial three-year-old 5. Oakfield Hawk ahead of just his second start. Liked the way he made late ground on debut at Muswellbrook behind a smart winner, and being by Dundeel will relish a bit more ground and the big sweeping run home.

Dangers: Naturally, more fancied stablemate 4. Naahro is a big threat after finishing hard, first-up behind the talented Invincible Spy over this trip 24 days ago. The market will tell a story with Hellbent filly 10. Angel Down on debut for the Waterhouse-Bott stable off two quiet trials. Include 6. Rockbarton Icon who flashed home in a Kempsey maiden only 10 days ago; and 14. Way To Divine down in weight third-up; in all exotic plays.

How to play it: Oakfield Hawk each way

Race 8 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1100m):

Toughest and most open race on the program is saved for last. Local four-year-old 1. Aquarter can be hard to catch, but he has ability, and looks ready to hit his straps third-up despite drawing wide. Can settle closer here over a furlong further after two solid enough closing runs back, and looks reasonably well treated at the weights after the young rider takes 3kg off. Over the odds.

Dangers: Must include 2. Midnight Dream who has been around the mark since late August, and finished off well 15 days ago behind the promising Smart And Dapper. Big watch on 4. Apollo Star who thrashed his CL1 rivals at Dubbo first-up. Home tracker 6. Shikanic  with a senior jockey back on; improving 8. Climate Control second-up with a key gear change; and 9. King Rupert deep into the prep; can all run into the money.

How to play it: Aquarter to win



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