The chances of Myprayer in the first race will rest on two rival runners who Louise Dean hopes will set the race up for her horse.
The four-year-old finally gets up to 1500m and his fate is generally dictated by the tempo and the speed map says Rapido Chaparro and Magic Search may help set up a win for the backmarkers by putting on a good speed.
BEST BETS WITH MATT JONES: HAWKESBURY
BEST BET: THE PROMISE (Race 7, No. 2)
He looks to be a stayer on the rise and I loved the way he powered past his rivals from the back of the field at Goulburn last start. Any improvement off that and he wins.
NEXT BEST: STEALTH SNIPER (Race 3, No. 1)
Stealth Sniper simply has good form in higher grade around him which means he’s the one to beat and is ready for 1800m.
VALUE BET: INANUP (Race 5, No. 2)
This horse makes his own luck which is a big bonus and he’s another that has good form in higher grade so it’s a nice formula ahead of this race.
BEST EXOTIC: QUADDIE
Race 4: 1, 3, 7, 9
Race 5: 2, 3, 4, 8
Race 6: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
Race 7: 1, 2
TRAINER TO WATCH: SCOTT SINGLETON
His horses always race well at their home track and he’s got Staggering, Fame Shines and Watch The Cat placed well.
JOCKEY TO WATCH: GLYN SCHOFIELD
Has a number of good chances including Stealth Sniper and Kedah but they’ve both drawn wide so he’ll need tobe at his usual best to get them home.
The trainer already knows the plan for Jay Ford who sticks with her horse after they ran an unlucky second at Goulburn last start.
“We’ll run along in the race, hook out and off we go,” Dean said.
“He takes a while to wind up. A lot of the races he’s been in have been small fields where they’re generally stop-start races and he needs the speed on to get into the race.
“He’s the most unlucky horse I’ve ever had.’’
Myprayer will come out of barrier seven and be ready to build into the race approaching the home turn but he needs to getaway well and relax if he’s to storm over the top of his rivals.
“Jay had to really get stuck into him for the first 300m at Goulburn then he got into a rhythm and a horse slightly came outand took his running,” Dean said.
“Drawing out is a good thing because he can get caught up. Jay will be able to set his own course and, if the speed is on, it will suit him.
“I’ve taken the winkers off and Jay doesn’t think it will hurt him; he’ll be able to have a little look around.”
With an important gear change made, Dean hopes Myprayer will show his full potential. His only win came over 1500m when bolting in at Kembla Grange last preparation and, after three good runs this time in, he’s ready to peak.
“I don’t overrace him because there’s not much of him,’’ Dean said. “I’ve just tried to build him up slowly and now we are getting fair dinkum. If he’s going to show anything, it should be in this race. Once he gets going, he really tries. He just needs things to go his way.’’
Musume is Dean’s other runner today, in the Maiden Handicap (1300m), and she’s got race experience on her side. She’s run second at her past two over the same trip and is expected to be driven to the lead by Adam Hyeronimus.
“She just jumps out and goes,” Dean said.
“She’s always been very quick and now we’ve got to maintain that and keep going.
“If she jumps like she normally does, she should have enough pace to get across into a nice position, slow them down and dictate the race.
“You don’t know how a lot of them will race but we’ll stick to our plan and let them sort themselves out.’’
Dean said it would be extra satisfying to get a win with the grey filly. “I trained her mother (Elkaydee) and Adam rode her,’’ she said.
“She only had four starts and broke down.”
INSIDE MAIL WITH MATT JONES: HAWKESBURY
This looks like an open race despite the small field. If Rapido Chaparro and Magic Search inject enough speed into the race it will set up perfectly for Myprayer to come home hard. Dawn Raid will run its honest race but needs to find a length towin while Elkano finished off nicely last start but does drops 100m in distance. He’ll be strong to the line and should sit just off the speed. One Of The Kind will go forward too so this could set up well for Myprayer and Elkano.
BET: QUINELLA 1, 3
This is a pretty weak race. Our Dawn looks to be one of the better hopes and she’s looking for this trip. She’s run behind some promising horses like Vedder and Frankely Awesome. Deliya looks set up perfectly to challenge her after a good first-up effort and is in the type of stable that produces staying types well. Emerald Earth ran honest last start and the step upto 1500m is what he needs. Commander’s Watch is a first starter to keep in mind off his trial form.
BET: OUR DAWN TO WIN
A few horses look to have legitimate claims here including Stealth Sniper who has good form in higher grade around him and he’s the one to beat and is ready for 1800m now. Fluidity should get the gun run from the gate and her last start was strong over a mile. Happy Hustler is the knock-out hope while Jonjo’s Comet has got the winkers on for the first time which should make him focus all the way to the line. Borazon has a wide gate which isn’t a hug concern at this trip and he’s a different horse now that he’s been gelded.
BET: STEALTH SNIPER TO WIN
Musume will look to lead and get a soft run in front so she can finish it off and she’s in good enough form to go close. There’s a stack of first starters which make it hard but I’m Kate looked good his her trial before this and has drawn well. Cossetot looked strong in his last trial and he had two heats in the past four weeks so he’s forward for this. Georgina Gold is by a Melbourne Cup winner so she’ll want further eventually but 1300m fresh means she can produce a bold run for a strong stable.
BET: QUINELLA 3, 7
It would be hard not to back Kedah if the barrier draw wasn’t so bad but if she gets the breaks she’s got the ability to win. Lilth just didn’t get enough room to show her true ability last start so don’t go off her. Inanup is consistent and even though he hasn’t win in five starts he hasn’t been far off the winner in higher grade and he puts himself on the speed which is an advantage. Playard has decent enough form to be a threat on his home track but he too will need luck from the draw.
BET: INANUP TO WIN
Another open event with Black Magnum heading the list and he seems to be racing better as a gelding. He was a length off Bare Naked Lady last start and it went on to run second in town on Wednesday. Crafty Tycoon is given his chance to shine now after finally getting out of metropolitan racing for an easier assignment. Fame Shines put in a good enough trial in town to suggest the’s ready to do well fresh at his home track which is a big plus. Dorf Star’s lead-up trial was everything you’d want to see before a first-up run.
BET: BLACK MAGNUM TO WIN
Savvy Ken looks set to start a short priced favourite and even though he’s the top pick he’s only won once from nine starts. He ran another second last start but the gap to third was significant. The Promise has a fair bit of work to do at the topof the Goulburn straight last start but reeled them in with ease and is a massive threat here and will be coming home hard. Watch The Cat is showing plenty of promise but it’s only start three so he’ll have to be good to beat the more seasoned campaigners. Wild about her is the other main hope and should also be strong to the line. This is a good race to end the day.
BET: THE PROMISE TO WIN
DOLAN CAN GET DOUBLE REWARD FOR DEEDS
In-form apprentice Robbie Dolan has done the work behind the scenes with two of Mark Newnham’s lightly-raced three-year-olds, Pleated Miss and Starchild, to ensure both come away with wins at Nowra on Sunday.
Dolan, who is managed by Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Wayne Harris and indentured to another former postilion in Newnham, has a busy day at Nowra with several rides for outside trainers as well as his two for the boss.
The first of the Newnham pair to race is Pleated Miss who has finished second last on debut then last at her next two.
BEST BETS WITH SHAYNE O’CASS: NOWRA
BEST BET: PLEATED MISS (Race 4, No. 9)
A Mark Newnham trained filly who has run 12th of 13, last of 12 then 7th of 7, but rest assured she is much better than that. Could see the ‘real one’ today hopefully.
NEXT BEST: FRENCH FROLIC (Race 6, No. 2)
A Gwenda Markwell trained filly who is absolutely crying out for the mile today after two excellent/closing runs over 1000m and then 1300m at home at Kembla. Go very well.
VALUE BET: THE RUNNER (Race 1, No. 5)
Has so far looked like exactly what his name is when placing second in his two Rosehill trials. If he runs up to either, he’llbe winning. Monitor market moves.
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW: WINONA COSTIN
Unlikely to be the favourite to win the TAB Jockeys Challenge today but her books isn’t too bad and she knows the venue very well indeed.
BEST EXOTIC: QUADDIE
Race 5: 2,4,5,6 Race 6: 12
Race 7: 9 Race 8: 3,5,6,10
Don’t be mislead though, the flashy daughter of Choisir is infinitely better than that says everyone close to her including Dolan who rode her in her Warwick Farm trial on November 21.
“She hasn’t shown too much yet but hopefully now she can start showing a bit more from this weekend,’’ Dolan said.
“She just gives them a little bit at the start and especially in Australian racing, you just can’t give away that much at the start but she only got beaten about six lengths in the trial and was a long way off them on the bend. So it wasn’t a bad effort.
“I reckon when it all clicks with her, you could see a nicer filly in maybe a couple of runs down the line.’’
Whether Sunday’s 1100m will be too short for Pleated Miss remains to be seen bearing in mind that her dam won at 2200m whilst her 2nd dam is a daughter of Sadler’s Wells whose lone win was over the trip of 2600m.
Darby Racing’s big team of owners could well be cheering after the Under The Southern Stars Maiden (1100m) when the well-bred Starchild resumes.
A daughter of Star Witness and from the family that gave us Exceed And Excel, Starchild has placed in two very strong barrier trial heats lately not least when third to her highly regarded stablemate Aim For Perfection.
“I was very happy with the two trials,’’ Dolan said. “We think a bit of Aim For Perfection and Starchild was only beaten a couple of lengths by her in the trial.
“It’s had been a while since I sat on her before I trialled her and and she’s really strengthened up a lot over the last few months.
“She’s got a nice barrier so I am sure she’ll be up there on the pace somewhere.’’
Starchild’s first trial also boasts some serious depth given that the heat winner, Skagerrak, came out and won impressively soon after.
On top of that, Starchild has been to Nowra before — finishing second at her debut run behind Where’s Fraunhofer who is also down to run in an earlier race.
TAPAVINO HER OWN WORST ENEMY
A DROP in class and a return to the track and distance where she broke her maiden should be enough for Tapavino to win at Nowra on Monday.
The Jason Coyle-trained mare hasn’t won since March and has a strike rate of just three wins from 33 starts. That said, the daughter of Murtajill and stakes-placed Mother’s Milk hasn’t always had things fall her way.
“She’s cost herself quite a few wins,’’ Coyle said. “She always wants to do too much early and can sometimes fail to finish her races off but it when it gets run to suit, she can be quite strong late.
“She has always been a hard horse to get fit because she is quite a gross mare and is getting a little bit older now, but she’s well into her preparation.
“As long as the track gets to that good range, she looks the horse to beat off that nice Canterbury run.’’
Coyle was referring to Tapavino’s November 30 effort when she came from last to finish fourth, 3.2 lengths behind Tell Me.
Coyle’s other runner on the Nowra card is Sharp Tune, who races in the Esplin family colours.
Sharp Tune is a half-sister to Slightly Sweet with whom Coyle won two Group 3 races and more than $500,000.
In contrast to her half-sister’s impressive CV, Sharp Tune is unplaced in five starts but three of them at least glimpsed the talent she has kept hidden.
Sharp Tune has been prepared for Monday’s Under The Southern Stars Maiden Handicap (1100m) with a couple of trials.
The most recent was at Hawkesbury on November 26 where she inexplicably finished 12 lengths from the winner.
“I have a big question mark on that barrier trial, I am hoping that the track that day was just way too firm for her,’’ Coyle said.
INSIDE MAIL WITH SHAYNE O’CASS: NOWRA
The Runner is a Bjorn Baker trained gelding by Snitzel out of Gold Coast Bracelet winner Femina Fashion. The horse has done enough in his two trials, second both times, to indicate he has talent beyond a country maiden. Be wise to monitor the markett hough. Say Goodbye ran 2nd to Baker’s star filly Rosina Kojonup in a WF heat before winning one himself on Nov 9. Go well. Ex-Godolphin charge Hiemal debuts for the new camp on Sunday.
BET STRATEGY: THE RUNNER WIN, EXACTA 5 TO BEAT 2
Where’s Fraunhofer was impressive winning here at her second ever run on what was a bottomless heavy 10 back on the middle of the winter. Amazing to think that this fellow is a 7YO having only his third run. Denesc is a Danny Williams owned and trained Denman mare who has run some quite reasonable races in her 8 starts. Unplaced all 3 resuming is a query perhaps. Pretty Song is a last start winner.
BET STRATEGY: WHERE’S FRAUNHOFER WIN, QUINELLA 1,7
Sacred Son has some compelling numbers to go with him here not least that he is four starts for a win and three thirds when racing over this same course and distance. Ran a real eye catcher to Chewbecca at Goulburn last time out. Fabricator was borderline unbeatable against Canberra maiden opposition last start. Led throughout and won by 1.6-lengths. Can keep it going today. Appetizing has placed at two of three track/distance-wise.
BET STRATEGY: SCARED SON EACH-WAY
Pleated Miss, as we have pointed out in several places on this page today ‘0x07’ and that 7th was last of 7 so she is in effect ‘000’. Now don’t let that fool you, she is a million times better than that. The big issue is the 1100m, she’s bred to run2000m+ on the dam-sire and she gives away Walla Walla like starts but she can finish off over this top — maybe. Sportini is another one who is better than her record says. Swidini s a player.
BET STRATEGY: PLEATED MISS EACH-WAY, QUINELLA 9,12, DUET 9,12
Smelting is a cleverly named horse being out of a mare called Scorched. On top of that, Smelting is a close relation to Furnaces who famously won his first start like a champion. As for this Matthew Dale trained debutant, there was a lot to like about his easy third in his Nov 18 trial at Canberra. The Mark Newnham trained Starchild was second here last campaign to the aforementioned Where’s Fraunhofer. Trialling well. Hush Money is a big, big watch.
BET STRATEGY: SMELTING WIN, EXACTA 5 TO BEAT 6, QUINELLA 5,6, BOX TRIFECTA 2,4,5,6
No horse racing at Nowra on Sunday is in a more suitable race than French Frolic. The Gwenda Markwell trained filly whop is bred to stay at least 1600m has been getting home big time in her only two runs, one over 1000m behind The Art of The Bar, the last one over 1300m. Nowra track suits and the mile is just perfect. Looks ready to peak. Spectre has placed at two of hisfour runs, one of them here. Aeecee Delighted has a bit going for him.
BET STRATEGY: FRENCH FROLIC WIN
Darley bred gelding Sparsholt is by Street Cry out of a Sadler’s Wells mare. Not that it means much now as a 7YO with 44 starts under the belt but at least we can still call him a blue blood. Hopefully we can call him a winner given that he is racing with so much consistency of late. Drawn well and not at all badly weighted. Just Dylan is a major obstacle however. He was third at Wyong last start and is 1 for 1 here at home over this trip. Man Of Colours and Going Purple are in the mix.
BET STRATEGY: SPARSHOLT EACH-WAY
Tapavino can never be ruled out of anything, even city races. Granted, he has only ever won three out of 33 but he is the type who can flash up late in anything and run a race at big odds. Keep in mind too that one of those three wins was here at Nowra and over this same trip when he broke his maiden way back when. This could be his day. Delight lost the rider last start after winning at Bathurst prior. Zardoro is very consistent and well drawn.
BET STRATEGY: TAPAVINO EACH-WAY