Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - A moderate Bm72 to kick things off. FIRST LIGHT (3) raced handy but was a bit one-paced when fifth here at this trip a fortnight ago. Stepped up sharply in distance that day so the run will do him good. Is a winner at 2400m and is smart enough to take this out. DENILIQUIN (1) has been plain in two runs this time in work, most recently when unplaced in a small field over 1900m at Canterbury. Important to note he has won 3/4 when third-up so sharp improvement looks on the cards. AUSPICIOUS CLOUD (2) battled on fairly to finish just behind First Light here last time out. Winkers on and fitter for three runs back so should be highly competitive. HAROLD THE GREAT (5) finished fourth in that 2400m race here recently, beating home some of today's key rivals. Dour type who cannot be ruled out. MIST OF BATTLE (4) comes here off a convincing win in a Class 1 over 2100m at Wyong last Wednesday. Progressive four-year-old who looks up to this grade.
RACE 2 - Cannot put a line through any of these. INFANCY (7) is a promising filly back from a 24-week spell. Opened the maiden campaign with a couple of wins before racing well in Listed company, including a last start third in the Members' Stakes over 1400m at Eagle Farm. Should be sharp enough while fresh to trouble this field. GOOD LIEUTENANT (3) won over this trip first-up at Kembla then found 900m a bit sharp last time. Back to a more suitable race, draws the fence, and Nash goes on, so plenty of positives. SOOBOOCO (5) pulled up with a slow recovery rate when very poor at headquarters most recently. Usually a reliable conveyance so he deserves another chance. GLOBAL EMPIRE (1) last raced when an easy maiden winner over 1100m at Wyong in August. Good fresh performer who won a trial at Kembla on 27 November. In the mix. MARTIAL MUSIC (2) impressed first-up at Gosford and should give backers a sight.
RACE 3 - TE PANI (11) is an interesting runner first-up since June and racing for the first time under the care of Annabel Neasham. Finished just 1.5 lengths away at Group 3 level in Adelaide last prep so she has a touch of class. Two trails since coming to Sydney should have her ready to fire. RAVISHER (8) was close enough on straightening but didn't quite finish off when fresh from a break over 1200m at Gosford recently. Worth another chance with that run under the belt. TAMAROA (2) showed promise in the maiden campaign and is one to consider first-up from a 27-week break. Godolphin's first starter ZARAGOZA (1) is beautifully related, by Street Boss out of the dam of Osborne Bulls and Zapateo. Trials have been quiet but expect he has plenty to offer. TARABEAU (5) returns after a gelding op. Placed first-up last prep at Scone and more is expected this time in work.
RACE 4 - A case can be made for every runner. SUMO STAR (5) just failed to hold out the in-form Shadows Of Love when resuming at Rosehill two starts ago. Had every chance but didn't quite close the race off over 1250m at Canterbury last time. Looking for this trip and he will be cherry-ripe now. MY TRUTH (1) worked home well when the race was all over to just miss the placings in a blanket finish over 1200m at Gosford last start. That was his first run for five months and he did win second-up last time in work. Major player. BLUFF 'N' BLUSTER (4) was outclassed in the Goulburn Cup two back and didn't get a strong 1550m last start. Beaten narrowly in a similar race to this on 2 October which is the better form reference. ATLANTIC OCEAN (3) got the monkey off his back with a barnstorming win in a Bm64 here at this trip a fortnight ago. Cannot be ruled out with the confidence restored. LEMAIRE (6) has been beaten around a length at both runs this prep and generally peaks third-up.
RACE 5 - MISS HELLFIRE (6) started favourite when resuming in a Saturday class Bm78 over 1100m at Rosehill last start and did a good job but could only manage third behind the promising Eagle Nest. Although tackling the boys today she looks well in with 1kg less in a mid-weeker. Always improves with that run under the belt. Clear top pick. SONORA (8) is back from a 24-week break. Didn't come up last time in work, missing the frame in three appearances. Won over 1400m at Sandown in her last run against midweek company. Definite contender. TESTATOR SILENS (4) resumes from a 31-week break for new trainer Joe Pride. Has won 3/5 first-up and generally contests deeper races than this. Right on the radar. STARMAN (5) resumes. Has only raced once since November 2022 so might need this but isn't hopeless. CRAFTY EAGLE (3) is back from a 21-week spell. Has won 2/3 when fresh and has trialled twice recently so he looks forward enough.
RACE 6 - MISS CHECKONI (4) led for home but was swamped late and missed the placings last start over 1500m at Rosehill. Form prior to that in Midways was solid. Gets in beautifully today after McLucas' claim so in a moderate line-up she gets her chance to break an 11-month win drought. The lightly raced five-year-old DENARAU (7) closed well but just missed in a Class 1 over this distance at Orange last time out at the second run of the campaign. Won at Wyong at her only previous third-up run. Good lightweight hope. CRYSTAL WATERS (5) has found the line with purpose at both runs this time in work, most recently over this trip in a Hawkesbury Bm68. Very fit now and drops 3kgs after Roper's claim. Must be respected. OH GOLLY GOSH (2) looked the winner but was nailed on the line over this journey at Kembla last start. All three of her wins have come at 1400m. Each-way hope. AND WE DANCED (1) impressed first-up after a 14-month absence at Wagga recently. Genuine mare who cannot be ruled out.