Race-by-race preview and tips for Thursday meeting at Kembla Grange

Track likely Soft 6 and rail True

Race 1 – 1.15pm: PROVINCIAL CLASS 1 HCP (1000m)

We start on rain-affected ground with the provincial-based sprinters. Local More Than Ready three-year-old 4. Twobobrob was close-up on debut at Newcastle when well-backed. Had previously won an open class trial on soft ground, and fitter now, shapes to get the ideal conditions. Was scratched early from the next race to run in this.

Racing returns to Kembla Grange on Thursday.Credit:Getty

Dangers: Trained on the track as well, 1. Copper Moon tracked the speed and finished strong to win on debut in heavy going. Improving home filly 5. Artieos has been placed in three from four this prep, with an edge in race fitness, and also comfortable on wet tracks. Gap to the rest headed by stablemate of the former 2. Bowie Of Dubai who dug in late for a strong first-up provincial win against the older maidens; while last start provincial maiden winner 3. He’s Purring can run into the minor money from the inside draw.

How to play it: Twobobrob to win. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 2 – 1.50pm: MAIDEN HCP (1000m)

Like the opening race, not much between a few of these, but debutant home tracker 3. Candlelit looms as the one to beat. Showed good cruising speed to easily win a trial here under a hold, has since been gelded, and bred to thrive in the conditions being by Press Statement out of a Mossman mare.

Dangers: Big market watch on Godolphin four-year-old 1. High Plateau who has been prepared to debut as a gelding behind three improving trials, and bred to handle the ground. Keep safe too metro colt 4. Global Empire returning for only his second start behind a trial win; while 9. Miss Black Diamond improves second-up.

How to play it: Candlelit to win. Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 3 – 2.25pm: 3YO MAIDEN HCP (1200m)

Got plenty of time for progressive metro filly 8. Bindi’s Choice who peaks at her third start back down a little in weight. Has worked home nicely in two runs to start her career, the latest over 1200m run in a slick 1.09.6 mins, and like most of the Denman stock goes in all conditions.

Dangers: Talented 5. Sports Legend was poor first-up in a small field as a hot favourite at Hawkesbury, and must be a risk at the price over 100m further. Home tracker 1. Headstock presents over the odds second-up; while Irish-bred 11. Fiancetto improves at her second start.

How to play it: Bindi’s Choice to win. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 4 – 3pm: 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1300m)

Now for the juveniles, and there are plenty of hopes. Like the value about I Am Invincible colt 1. Altair I Am on debut for a leading Rosehill stable. Was strong through the line in a recent trial win, has options from the draw, and winkers have been applied.

Dangers: Big watch on Savabeel colt 9. Wymark who stuck on well in a city maiden on debut. Also keep safe the stablemate of the top selection, More Than Ready colt 5. Mr Caleb who won the second of two recent metro trials, and drawn to get to the middle of the course if the pattern goes that way. Both well-bred The Autumn Sun colt 2. Autunno at his third outing; and 8. The Years drawn inside at second start; are also in the each-way mix.

How to play it: Altair I Am to win. Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 5 – 3.35pm: BENCHMARK 64 HCP (1300m)

Always fair depth in these races at this level, with several looming over the odds in a wide open race. One of those is Star Witness mare 6. Flying Witness who resumes off two very quiet trials, but is significantly up to 1200m. Had strong form over much further last prep, and from the draw can settle back, and be given plenty of time to wind into the race.

Dangers: Beautifully bred three-year-old 1. Golden Age resumes behind a quiet trial. Forgiving of four-year-old 2. Jumeirah Beach who got back into an awkward spot in a last start country BM 66 where they never made any ground from all day. That came off a nine-week break, and his previous form was sound. Resuming 3. Vucetich coming back in grade; 8. Piece Of Turf shooting for a fourth straight win up in class; and 12. Zouologist off a tough country BM 66 win; all got into trifecta and first four bets.

How to play it: Flying Witness each way. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 6 – 4.10pm: MAIDEN PLATE (1400m)

Tough affair here. French-bred metro filly 13. Zakiyya will likely go around at a big price, but shapes well enough here third-up in suitable ground. Worked home okay last start over further against metro opposition, and will very much relish getting back on to a bigger track where she can settle off the speed and produce a telling final 400m.

Dangers: Progressive 5. Ring Ahoy has plenty of ability and was well specked in the market before finishing hard first-up in metro company, but doubt the inside draw late in the meeting will do him any favours. Improving city three-year-old 3. Crazy Russian can peak at his third start. Has found the line well in two runs from just off the speed. Improving 2. Clear Choice was big odds when holding his ground okay on debut in that same race as the former; while including 6. Separatist fourth-up in wider exotics.

How to play it: Zakiyya each way. Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 7 – 4.50pm: MIDWAY C’SHIP QUALIFIER (1400m)

Wide open and strong feature race of the day. Talented metro mare 13. Essonne has been given a quiet trial since dumping the rider at Canterbury in a night meeting 13 days ago. Previously had swept home to beat a handy metro BM 72 field third-up, and will finish this off strong getting on to a suitably bigger track, under a big drop in the weights. Boasts a 50 per cent win rate from only eight career starts, with all four coming in soft ground.

Dangers: Plenty of them headed by 3. Spangler who has been given six weeks via an easy trial after unluckily powering home to miss narrowly in the Ballina Cup. Improving four-year-old 6. So Good So Cool also charged home from the back first-up in a metro BM 72; while 1. Byron will roll across on speed from the wider draw, and give a sight on his preferred soft ground. Keep safe 8. Phearson who resumes from a wide gate, but comes to hand quickly in the prep, and right at home on rain-affected going. Smart four-year-old 4. Mobstar will likely have to navigate through traffic getting back from the inside gate, but she’s another one who fires off any length of break.

How to play it: Essonne each way. Odds and Evens: Split

Race 8 – 5.30pm: BENCHMARK 64 HCP (2000m)

We finish over the longest journey of the day, and in another open battle, it stacks up nicely for provincial mare 5. Ausbred Bluebird peaking third-up. Has worked home solidly in two similar fields up to this trip, and both CL1 wins so far came on soft ground over further last prep.

Dangers: Honest and tough 3. Endorphins comes back in grade and trip three weeks between runs. Emerging three-year-old 4. Midori Burly has trialled quietly since a dominant off-speed win in weaker country grade. Keep safe too convincing last start winner 7. Whetu who rises in grade; while locally trained 8. Jamberoo up in distance off a Midway CL1 win; and 10. Sulwaan who beat a promising one in a provincial maiden last start; can both add further value into the exotics.

How to play it: Ausbred Bluebird to win. Odds and Evens: Split



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