CAPITAL Magic will be the sentimental favourite at Taree on Friday as she looks to deliver the Milligan family and her owners the Krambach Cup (1600m).
Her trainer Bob Milligan is still suffering the effects of an accident in March when struck in the head by a horse. Stable representative and son Glen said it would be a thrill if Capital Magic was able to get the job done.
“My old man is a Krambach boy and the people that bred her and syndicated her out are all Krambach people too so they’re keen to win this race,” he said.
MATT JONES’S BEST BETS
SUPER TONIC (Race 6, No.4)
The wet conditions, to go with her form, is the reason why she’s going to be the hardest horse to beat on the card. She’s grows a leg on wet tracks.
SNIPONET (Race 7, No.3)
He will love the wet ground and loves the trip. He’s just going too good to ignore with a top jockey and good gate to take advantage of.
ROY’S COMMAND (Race 4, No.3)
He’s going to be a big improver off his first-up run and the form from that race is good enough to stack up in this one.
Race 5: 2, 6, 10, 18
Race 6: 1, 4
Race 7: 1, 2, 3, 5
Race 8: 1, 4, 8
TRAINER TO WATCH
BRETT BELLAMY can claim a double with Barkala and Super Tonic. They both look like winners in the first and sixth races respectively.
JOCKEY TO WATCH
It could be a big day for ANDREW GIBBONS with Sniponet, Airlie Avenue, Tigers Image and Good Excuse looking like top hopes.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MATT’S EXTENDED PREVIEW & TIPS
Capital Magic comes off an eighth place at Wyong last start but was only 3¾ lengths off Watchdog to the line and she has won on a heavy track which will be an essential box to tick today in the testing conditions.
“She should run well,” Milligan said. “She’s backing up which is my only concern but we needed to get another run under her belt to get her third-up to a mile.
“I think she’ll handle the track which is going to be really wet and it doesn’t look like an overly strong field on paper. It will just depend on which horses handle the going.
“The race wasn’t run to suit at Wyong the other day. She got back to last and they sprinted home and she couldn’t win that race giving them a start but she’s back to the bush now.”
The stable has four other runners entered today and Gypsy Queen, in a Maiden Plate (1000m), looks to be the next best hope.
She comes off a seventh placing at Port Macquarie to Good Excuse and she’s drawn well in barrier four with Peter Graham to guide her in the likely capacity field.
“She’s only a three-year-old and 1000m will be better. She didn’t get the 1200m at Port Macquarie Cup day when she was off the bit a long way from home,” Milligan said.
“She never gave up though and we put a set of blinkers on her for this race and she’s by Ad Valorem so she should handle the wet.”
Dangerous Dan (Maiden Handicap over 1400m) and Anakyn Daraxes (Maiden Plate over 1250m) are the two newcomers to the stable and while still learning about them, Milligan thinks they’re nice each-way hopes as long as they handle the conditions.
“Dangerous Dan is a newcomer to the stable. He’ll improve off whatever he does,” he said. “Anakyn Daraxes is going well but we’ve got to see if he handles the wet.”
Emergency Lots Of Diamonds has gained a run in the Benchmark 58 Handicap (1000m) and while she’s been running out of the placings of late she did run less than three lengths off Sister Joy two starts back.
The Milligan stable is hoping the track stays wet which will bring her right into this race with just 54kg on her back. “Lots Of Diamonds won her only race on a Heavy 10 and I’m hoping she gets a run because she’s really been looking for a wet track,” Milligan said.
Meantime, Port Macquarie trainer Marc Quinn has done a great job with Mina Harker since she arrived at his stables in the winter and she’ll be a winning chance again if she holds her form at Taree.
The five-year-old Viscount mare came to Quinn off 14th, 13th and 10th placings but she’s already won for him and is coming off a third placing behind Zoffany’s Lad and Shadow Prince last start over 1512m at her new home track.
Today she races against that pair in a Class 3 Handicap (1600m) but meets Zoffany’s Lad and Shadow Prince 3.5kg and 1kg better at the weights and she was just 1¾ lengths off winning last time they met.
“She’s come out of her last start run at Port Macquarie very well and worked strongly on Tuesday morning with Backhouse Billy, the Jenny Graham horse that’s going to Brisbane on Saturday,” Quinn said. “She’s drawn six so she should get a really nice run.
“She’s been really good. She hasn’t missed a cheque in three runs so she’s going very nice.”
The wet weather on the NSW Mid North Coast may have something to do with Mina Harker’s boost in form. All three runs this time in have been on soft tracks and she’ll get those conditions again.
“I don’t think the wet track will hurt. She might not like it bottomless but a Soft 7 or even Heavy 8 won’t be a problem,” Quinn said. “I’d say she’s improved. We had her fairly well forward to go well first-up and she was working so well in the lead-up to that race.
“She had a few issues before and they were ironed out before her first-up run.”
Quinn said Sydney punters will be able to watch her at Randwick on October 27 after today’s test. “All going well she’ll head to an 1800m Highway race on Saturday week which is what she’s been aimed for all preparation,” he said.
INSIDE MAIL WITH MATT JONES
RACE 1 (1.25pm)
1. Barkala made a big run from the back of the field over 800m last start first-up and now that he’s fitter and running over 1000m he’s a big show. He can come over the top of them from a wide gate. 12. Sunny Afternoon won his lead-up trial and will have returned a much better horse after a one start campaign in the autumn and he’s got gate one. 7. Bonnie Forever is first-up but has run in better maiden races than this and appears to like soft ground.
BET: BARKALA to win.
RACE 2 (2pm)
2. Malfoy had plenty of trials ahead of his debut race, which was a nice one at Muswellbrook, and he should take a lot out of it, confidence-wise, and he’s bred to enjoy the extra trip. 1. Subtle Grey has no wet form but more than held his own in higher grade last start. The weight and barrier is the only concern. 7. Airlie Avenue raced last start like she’ll relish stepping up to 1400m now and her sire is producing his fair share of winners this year. 4. Candy Girl will handle the wet track and get a suitable run from the gate.
BET: Quinella 2, 7.
RACE 3 (2.35pm)
4. Pinnacle Power is still searching for a win after 14 starts but he’s ran some good enough races to suggest he’s capable here but needs a drying track. 2. Crowd Surfer is on debut and has had a heap of trials in the past year. He put in a nice one two back on a soft track and his breeding suggests he’ll handle the wet today. 6. Bid’n’Bare ran second to Good Excuse last start who looks above average so expect a nice run after that debut performance.
BET: BID’N’BARE to win.
RACE 4 (3.10pm)
14. Good Excuse has a wide get which isn’t ideal but she looks to be a filly on the way up and likes the cut in the ground. She’s got a leading jockey on to help her too. 2. Phelpedo has got better with each run at his first campaign and should get every chance to make it three-straight from the gate. 9. Natural Predator comes into it now that it’s a wet track and he’s too consistent to ignore. 12. Just Sizzling runs best on rain-affected ground. 3. Roy’s Command will improve off first-up run and looks ready to win again but needs luck.
BET: ROY’S COMMAND to win.
Sky Racing news update – 18.10.2018
RACE 5 (3.45pm)
All five of 2. Akamin’s wins have come at this track but he’s drawn bad and has to lug 62kg so it’s going to be tough to win but if any horse can it’s him. 6. Tigers Image may have had second-up syndrome last stat after a great fresh win and he’s run second to Kool Vinnie in the autumn which is top form. If emergency 18. No Qualm gets a run he’ll be right in it because he ticks all the boxes. 10. Lightning Hugh has good fresh form and will be forward enough to do well her.
BET: TIGERS IMAGE to win.
RACE 6 (4.20pm)
1. Petrossian threw the rider last start and young apprentice Stephane Joseph has his first ride in race here, so good luck. This is a massive drop in grade for Petrossian, though. The race looks set up for 4. Super Tonic due to the conditions. She loves the wet and has a second-up win to her name and gets barrier one. 5. Art D’Amour gets blinkers on after a flop last start. 2. Kopite has a heavy track win but that was nearly three years ago. She loves Taree, though. 6. Fast Tycoon looks a good hope, too.
BET: SUPER TONIC to win.
RACE 7 (4.55pm)
3. Sniponet will revel in the conditions and is a model of consistency so expect him to be in the finish at a distance he’s thrived at. He’s the one to beat. If 2. Backhouse Billy runs he’s a threat, while 5. Capital Magic just has to handle the quick back up well to figure and is dropping in grade for this. 1. All But Gone loves a heavy track and will be one of the strongest to the line and is rock-hard fit. Off his last run he’s got to be a top chance.
BET: SMIPONET to win.
RACE 8 (5.30pm)
8. Mina Harker is flying at the moment and gets a handy weight swing over 1. Zoffany’s Lad and 4. Shadow Prince, who beat her last start. It looks like all three will be close again to the line. 2. Winner’s Lane is improving all the time and likes to get his toe into the track and he has enough fitness to push his rivals but he’ll be suspect over the final 100m. 7. Dew Drop is an outside hope but doesn’t like Taree all that much.
BET: Boxed trifecta 1, 4, 8.