Neil Evans' Tips for Scone (Monday)

Track improving Good 4 and rail True:

Race 1 2YO OPEN HCP (1000m):

We start another Country C'ship Wild Card and Showcase meeting with the youngsters over the sprint trip. This set up nicely for progressive Winning Rupert colt 1. Curl Curl at only his second outing. Liked his fast-finishing effort behind a more than handy winner on debut, and from a middle gate which gives the jockey options, should embrace this sweeping run home.

Dangers: Naturally big market watch on debutant Lope De Vega colt 5. Rimbaud who improved to win the second of two recent metro trials. Draws to either lead or sit right behind with plenty of cover. Be surprised if anything else wins, but home tracker 2. More Than A Star who held on to beat the top selection on debut; and 6. Shine Your Light back sharply in class third-up; can fight for the minor money.

How to play it: Curl Curl to win and quinella 1 and 5
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 2 CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1700m):

Tricky tactical affair here in a big field over this middle distance. Tough local three-year-old 6. Battlespace looms as the most progressive runner in the field. Tracked the speed before going home best to beat a handy country maiden field, and carrying 2lbs less here with winkers being added, looks nicely placed to go back-to-back.

Dangers: Plenty of them, with early positioning a key. Provincial-based ex-UK mare 9. Lyrical Lady will need plenty to go her way early second-up from the wide draw, but if she can tuck in for cover somewhere around midfield or better, has the finishing class to get over the top. Included in exotic bets, 4. Razzama at big odds; 7. Apache Jewel and 8. Love Rules who will both need luck drawn off the track; and country-based former Kiwi 8. Capaldi third-up.

How to play it: Battlespace to win
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 3 OPEN HCP (1000m):

The tried and tested older sprinters lock horns in a short-course battle, and it shapes ideally for home track five-year-old 8. Comonic first-up since early spring. Showed good cruising speed to easily win a recent trial, and already has a dominant fresh win from late autumn last year.

Dangers: Home track four-year-old and ex-Victorian 5. Rising is the natural threat first outing for the Brett Cavanough yard. Hasn't raced since late October when leading all the way in a BM 64 on synthetic, but came to hand sharply in his first prep. Keep safe 3. Riva del Sol back in grade second-up with gear changes off a seven week break; while 6. Major Murphy heads the rest from the inside draw.

How to play it: Comonic to win
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 4 MAIDEN HCP (1300m):

A few hopes in this headed clearly by Not A Single Doubt four-year-old gelding 3. Single Shot who debuts for a good strike rate provincial stable. Right up to the mark winning both lead-up trials, draws inside in a race weakened by one of the early market rivals preferred at Kembla on Saturday.

Dangers: Must respect improving 2. Exonumia third-up with winkers coming off; while there was plenty to like about the debut run of 1. Hammoon Sky charging home to miss narrowly over 5 f. Both 10. Amokura from the outside barrier; and 11. Divine Rendezvous second-up with blinkers being added; can add value into trifecta and first fours.

How to play it: Single Shot to win
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1000m):

Full field of maiden sprinters here, and as long as she gets a clear run from the 1 3⁄4 f, home track Street Boss filly 10. Kissaki is the one to beat returning for only her second start off a 41 week break. Hit the line on debut in heavy going last winter, and tuned up for this with a trial win at the provincials. First time out on a firm surface, and drawn to get to the outside.

Dangers: From a nice trailing draw, rival local 6. Leica Storm can run the quinella first-up in his second full prep; while at bigger odds 3. Aquarter who failed dismally first-up as a hot favourite; and debutant fillies 12. Once Again My Girl who has trialled okay; and 13. Outishka behind two trials; all go in exotic bets.

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

Race 6 CLASS 2 HCP (1100m):

Progressive mare 3. Dollar Magic will be tough to beat back at home second-up after working home to beat all bar the winner in a CL2 Highway at Randwick 22 days ago.

Dangers: Another one who shapes over the odds is 7. Acotango third-up; while 1. Barradas resuming from a handy draw with a crucial 7lbs weight claim; 6. Little Beginnings first-up off two quiet trials; and 8. Diamond City also first-up behind two trials; are all capable of running into the money.

How to play it: Dollar Magic to win
Odds and Evens: Odds


The final spot in the Country C'ship Final at Randwick is up for grabs in the feature Qualifier at Class 5 level, and naturally there's a swathe of chances. At the good value, confident big-finishing five-year-old 1. Casino Lord can find his best fourth-up over the pet trip. Hasn't missed a place in three runs against similar opposition, charging home to win a BM 85 feature sprint two runs back before stiff not to win an early Country C'ship Qualifier when flooding home late into a place. Draws to get plenty of cover back in the pack, and will relish the long sweeping run home behind a solid tempo, just needs to find clear air from the 400m.

Dangers: Talented four-year-old 12. Lisztomania is a clear threat third-up from a soft draw and six weeks between runs. Gets good weight relief, and has been kept ticking over via a quiet trial. Lightly raced 4. Talbragar is a smart sprinter who bolted in a CL3 first-up, but jumping 2 f against much deeper opposition from a wide barrier is a big ask, and he threatens to go around under the odds. Keep safe 10. The Dramatist who stormed home late behind a smart BM 66 winner first-up, and drops 15lbs for this. Include in trifecta and first fours, 2. Two Ya Got at big odds progressing off two consecutive on-speed wins; and 7. Commando Hunt second-up and coming through that same formline as the top selection.

How to play it: Casino Lord each way
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 8 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1400m):

No doubting promising local filly 12. Melody Again was a good thing licked first-up as a hot favourite at Dubbo when settling right out the back before making up a huge amount of ground to miss by a nose. Has been given an easy trial since, and this trip and track should be right up her alley, although may need to steer away from the inside late.

Dangers: Rival local 5. Sharp Shock impressed at that same meeting flying home to claim a BM 58 second-up, and drew to get plenty of cover here with blinkers removed. Watch the betting too on 7. Justfour who finished hard to win a BM 58 first-up, and draws to find another useful trail. Progressive 1. Rhythm Is A Dancer gunning for a third consecutive win, but sneaking right up in the weights; and 3. Indicative back a little in class; are the best of the rest.

How to play it: Melody Again to win
Odds and Evens: Split



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