Raceday focus: Best bets, inside mail for Newcastle, Grafton

Form analyst Matt Jones is confident a step up in distance and the roomy Newcastle circuit will suit a last start winner from the stable of Snowden Racing even better.

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His first-up win was sensational and off that, he’s ready to step up in grade and the extra ground is what he’s looking for no doubt. A big track is also to his liking.



He’s taking on some horses who have been there and done it in the past but he’s on the way up unlike some of his rivals. He’s got an attractive racing pattern.


Race 5: 1, 3, 6, 7

Race 6: 1, 3, 4, 8

Race 7: 6, 7

Race 8: 3, 4, 6, 9

Tommy Berry has a number of leading chances at Newcastle on Wednesday. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images


I’ve got Tommy Berry winning at least three races with good chances like Tuscan Gaze, Poignant, Senor Toba and Adelaide’s Light.



Race 3, No.10: DIANA ROCKS

She gets up to 1410m now which is ideal after a very encouraging return over a shorter trip first-up. She’s got wins in front of her this time in.


Sally Taylor brings Apalala back to the races off a 31-week spell and she had a pretty slick winning trial heading into the fourth race.



My Delight was an impressive city winner last start and comes back to the provincials to find this 1880m which she looks well placed in and should run the trip at just her third start. Bob is a bit of a non-winner but will also run the trip right out and deserve another chance after going down as a well-supported favourite last time. His chances are running out though. Senor Toba gets back on top of the ground here after being no match for a subsequent Stakes winner last start at the midweeks. He’s nominated for a Stakes race on Saturday so if he’s held back to run here, he’s a hope.

Bet: Senor Toba to win


Shamani was given a very soft trial for this after showing promise during her first preparation. She ran a ripper race fresh over 1400m on debut after moving up in trip so she should let rip. Sophomore was only getting warmed up over 1300m when produced fresh last time and she’s no doubt an improver second-up where she’s raced well and won at in the past. Spanish Pearl has been looking for 1400m for a little while now and although she needs more wins, she’s a very consistent type.

Bet: Spanish Pearl each way

Edward Cummings has Spanish Pearl racing in consistent form and the mare looks hard to beat at Newcastle. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


Adelaide’s Light was sent out an odds-on pop and raced like it first-up at Kembla Grange and it was obvious he wants more ground which he gets here. Last time he races here he ran second to Duais who has won a Group race and ran a close second in a Group 1. Cuban Joe got back on debut but rattled home to win impressively and off that run it’s expected that he’ll run boldly again at track that will suit. Texas Storm might sneak up the rail and surprise a few.

Bet: Exacta 6, 7


Time For Victory gets back on to a bigger track and he’s a horse on the rise in an astute stable and he should be running out the 1200m strongly as a very fit horse and a perfect draw. There’s a stack of other handy horses in the race but he’s got the most upside. Leave Me Some was good at Canterbury last time and is well-placed here at a trip she’s only won at, but it’s happened five times. Henschel will enjoy a firmer track and Siesta Key drops in grade off a good run in a Provincial Championships Qualifier.

Bet: Time For Victory to win



Diana Rocks hit the line well first-up over 1220m and it was obvious halfway up the straight that the 1410m on Thursday is what she needed and she gets every chance from the nice draw. What do we make of Butlers Breach with Stony Creek form? He ran above expectations on debut and the betting late will be interesting with him. It was decided before he started that Cefalu wasn’t up to Sydney racing but he shouldn’t have an issue in the country and should be running on and getting over more ground soon. This is as good a chance as any for Flying Euros to break his maiden at start 22. He’s placed 11 times.

Bet: Diana Rocks to win


Fetch debuts off a Doomben trial which she won by half a length and she’s got the inside gate here which she had in her heat and this isn’t a strong race so she’s well placed to have a bright start. Crown hasn’t been seen publicly since running second at Lismore in December but she does race positive and can sit in behind the speed over 1000m and threaten late based on previous form. Apalala returns after a debut flop last year but she won her trial in fast enough time to suggest she’s spelled well and is an improver.

Bet: Fetch to win

Trainer Cathleen Rode has Vallejo ready to peak third-up at Grafton on Thursday.Source:News Regional Media


Moringa’s Amordoro has the wide gate now but he’s only been positive in his three runs so look for that again. He does need luck so he’s not suspect late in the race. Hallowed Dreams is also out wide and is an on-speed horse but she’s in better form and will run out a strong race as long as she gets even luck in the first half of the race. Vallejo is drawn to get the run of the race and that may prove the difference with a few fancies drawn out. She’s third-up after coming home well at her past two so this is her chance to win again.

Bet: Vallejo to win


Jakuta won the same grade of race at the same trip last start and he gets a better draw now so should be able to lead easier but he is a bit of a up and down horse. Jay Curve hasn’t raced since February 2020 which was a race win. She’s a market watch. Wamwarra Bay has also won in the grade in the past and he would’ve taken plenty out of his last run when not overly enjoying the heavy ground which he avoids on Thursday. Stylish Pattern has mainly been racing in better grade than this and has been hitting the line of late.

Bet: Stylish Pattern to win

Originally published asNewcastle, Grafton tips: Light to shine bright

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