Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - OUR CITY (2) improved sharply when back in grade for a determined 0.5 len win over 2200m at Dubbo on November 4. Confidence high now and has carried the extra weights well in the past. SACRED GIRL (3) stuck on well at the latest when fourth over 1900m at Armidale eight days ago. Extra trip shouldn't pose a problem and looks hard to hold out against this lot. VELVET LADY (1) dour type who drops in grade fourth-up. Plugged away when fifth over 2100m at Beaumont (Newcastle) in the Cessnock Cup on October 30. No shock to see her fill a placing. KIKIKAPOW (5) sure to make her presence felt.
RACE 2 - FERRO VERO (1) is a locally trained maiden galloper resuming after finishing runner-up on two occasions last time in. Placed to perfection here after racing in town and the provincials last prep and since fitted with two strong barrier trials. Go close. CANNY PROSPECT (3) returns after a spell of six months. Placed twice first-up and drawn to perfection here. Not asked to do much when seventh in a recent trial. Expected to figure prominently. INVASIVE DREAMS (6) was having her first run for the Cameron Crockett yard when caught the eye late running third over 1000m at Muswellbrook on November 7. Claim helps again and expected to have trained on. DUBAI BOUND (5) returns after a spell of four-and-a-half months after finishing third at her last four starts. Has placed first-up and at this course. Has genuine prospects.
RACE 3 - BANGETTA (7) smart Hellbent filly who the stable has an opinion of. Returned in good order with a slick 0.7 len win over 1150m at Beaumont (Newcastle) on October 30. Extra trip suits and can continue on her winning ways. ANGARA (2) is a promising Frankel gelding who looks set to hit his straps this time in after resuming with a sound third over 1300m at Newcastle on November 4. Fitter now and sure to take holding out. ADELINDA (6) has a fitness edge over most of these and held on well when third over 1400m at this track on October 27. Good record this course and distance and watch for her late. ASTROLITH (4) raced on the pace last start before fading to finish sixth over 1000m at Muswellbrook. Can give a sight if at his best.
RACE 4 - LEHNDORFF (4) lightly raced Snitzel gelding who finished unplaced in the VRC Derby last year. Made up a little ground late when seventh over 1300m at Newcastle on November 4. Fitter now and big improver out to the mile. ALWAYS IN (9) two runs back have been full of merit and racing like the mile will suit. In leading yard and maps well here. TAMAR (6) was in the money two starts back at Muswellbrook but couldn't back that up when unplaced over 1900m at Newcastle last time. Expect he will make amends. PRESS THE PEDAL (5) finished just a head away in third last start over 1600m at this track. Has ability and can measure up on best form.
RACE 5 - EVERYLITTLE BREEZE (3) is a four-year-old mare who is having her first run for the Todd Howlett stable. Raced in stronger company last time in and has solid first-up figures. Fitted with two sharp trials and look for her late. SATIN AND SILK (5) speedy filly resuming after jumping in grade when a tiring eighth over 1000m at Kembla in Bm64 class on July 20. Goes well first-up and two searching trials will see her take plenty of catching. OFF DA HIZZLE (6) is a Hellbent mare resuming with good fresh figures. Had no luck from the wide gate when seventh over 900m at Goulburn on July 7. Two trials have been okay and drawn to get the right run. HARBOUR GOLD (9) ran below expectations after covering ground when a plugging sixth over 1000m at Muswellbrook on November 5. Hard fit now and looks well in with the claim.
RACE 6 - FIGMENT (9) smart Not A Single Doubt filly fitter after resuming with a gritty second over 1150m at Beaumont (Newcastle) on October 30. Extra trip suits and looks better than these. BUCARELI BAY (5) Neasham-trained gelding resuming after battling on debut when seventh at Wyong over 1200m on July 15. Gelded over the break and fitter with two trials. Keep safe. GODELBA (10) is a four-start maiden with a fitness edge over most of these. Caught the eye late when fifth over 1250m at Kempsey on November 10. Quick back-up suits and has genuine wining claims. DARK VADOR (2) has finished runner-up on four occasions from eight starts. Held on well with the 59kg when second over 1300m at Goulburn on June 16. Two trials should see him forward enough for this. Look for him late.
RACE 7 - WAY TO DIVINE (14) improving with racing and gives the indication the 1400m will suit at third race start. Shuffled back from the inside draw when an unlucky sixth over 1300m at Newcastle on November 4. In a leading yard and expected to figure prominently. NAAHRO (4) nice return when rattled late from well back to secure second over 1400m at this track on October 27. Should be able to race closer and looks a genuine top-three contender. OAKFIELD HAWK (5) made an encouraging debut last time out when ran on late to finish fifth over 1280m at Muswellbrook on November 5. Fitter now and stays in the mix. ANGEL DOWN (10) filly by Hellbent from Amoret on debut. Fitter for two trials. Pay to keep an eye on betting moves.
RACE 8 - BRIEFLY (7) fitter after two runs back and raced in stronger company last time in. Disappointed second-up when seventh over 1280m at Muswellbrook on November 5. Well drawn again and maps well with Ben Looker aboard. AQUARTER (1) goes well this track and trip and had no luck from the outside gate when ninth over 900m at this track on October 27. No surprise to see him turn things around quickly. KING RUPERT (9) solid return when knuckled down strongly late when a long neck second over 1000m at Muswellbrook on November 5. Looks to have come back well and gets the right run again. TELEGRAPH (3) fitter now third-up and back in class after running 12th over 1000m at Kempsey in Bm66 grade on November 10. Sure to be strong late.