Race 1 - 11:45AM CENTRAL COAST GRANITE 2YO HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
3. Overpass went down to handy youngster Gleneagles on debut at Hawkesbury before winning consecutive races at Orange and then Warwick Farm. Like the way he chased a fast speed last start at the midweeks to win running away. That was over 1100m and being a son of Vancouver, his strength through the line and his breeding points to him appreciating 1200m now at start number four. The wide draw forces Josh Parr's hand to be positive from the outset but he shouldn't have too much competition other than 11. Sweet Ruby for the lead. Bjorn Baker's two-year-old is in form, flying and hard fit. That sets him up well.
Dangers: 7. Anagain charged to the line in the G3 Kindergarten a month ago behind Paulele having won well at Gosford prior. She has strong claims in this, particularly if she can use the low draw to settle in the first half. 4. Cork Harbour kept finding from in front to beat subsequent winner Astrologer at Canterbury last start. Has scope to improve again and will roll forward to settle handy. Would prefer this to be 1100m for 2. Conexy but she has talent and maps well. She should probably be a touch shorter in early betting.
How to play it: Overpass WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS
Race 2 - 12:20PM TOOHEYS CG&E BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
There is probably more a question around 8. Blondeau's desire as opposed to his talent because he should be knocking around in better races than this. He teased as a two-year-old and that has carried all the way through to now. First up last preparation he resumed on a soft track in BM72 company and was beaten 0.9L by Brutality and Strawb. That was before beating Stormy Rock at Warwick Farm. It was then fourths behind Le Lude and then Sky Lab and Zing. You get the point. He has strong enough form lines to give this race a nudge. Sets up well to stalk a genuine speed and liked his Rosehill trial.
Dangers: Forget 7. Nictock's last start fifth as he found himself closer to the back than the front in the run. He beat Savoury over this track and trip three starts back. He'll have 5. Rammstein for company up front which makes them both vulnerable over the last 50m. They are both capable of pinching it, however. Get the impression that 9. Quiet Riot has so much more to offer than what he has dished up at his last two. The blinkers go on and has trialled great since his latest effort. 1. Flat Heaven is back in grade but has a wide draw to overcome. 4. Henschel beat a subsequent winner at Newcastle last start, and put three lengths on him at the finish.
How to play it: Blondeau WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Race 3 - 12:55PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
Run of the race likely decides the winner so siding with 8. Entreat from a perfect draw and Kerrin McEvoy steering. The Cameron Crockett-trained mare is first up but with two trials under her belt, should be forward enough to give a sight. She is versatile in terms of her settling position but expect her to be in the first four. It'd be no surprise to see her lead, in fact. She finished last campaign winning three of her last five starts, one of those being a tenacious victory over last week's Highway runner up Charlton Park. The market has overlooked the daughter of Denman but there is a lot in her favour, particularly if it's proving hard to make ground at Gosford.
Dangers: 5. Bellastar only has to hold her form from last start at Randwick behind Ahead Start but will need a clever Tim Clark ride from the wide draw. 12. Katgully Red is capable on his day as he proved last preparation in Highway company. Forget last start as the fallen horse put him off stride, coming through the same race as Bellastar. Not giving up on 1. Mr Wong yet either. He is his own worst enemy and barrier 1 is not ideal given his tardy starts but the talent is there. 4. Anethole also has more talent than we've seen lately.
How to play it: Entreat WIN ($14 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Race 4 - 1:30PM HOOLIHAN PARTNERS CONSULTING ENGINEERS 3&4YO BENCHMARK 72 HANDICAP (1600 METRES)
This is the right grade of race for the Chris Waller-trained 5. Nyami . First up he found his rivals too sharp over 1250m where the runner up Count De Rupee broke 33s home for his last 600m while the tearaway winner managed to cling on. He jumps straight to the mile second up and note that he did the same last campaign, winning at Kembla at short odds. The four-year-old won in this grade of race at Rosehill last preparation, beating 1. Montserrat, before running a luckless third on the Kensington track. Expect Jason Collett to hold a spot from the low draw and with any luck, he'll be somewhere in the finish. Just think the market has been too critical of his first up sixth. He's no world beater but he gets a perfect set up.
Dangers: Montserrat and Nyami have met twice in the past and there's been nothing between the pair. Montserrat just has a trickier draw to overcome. He also has a history of improving second up (3:1-1-1). Wanted to be on 6. Blesk next start after his Canterbury fifth a fortnight ago if he tackled 2000m. Just not sure about him staying at the mile for his third run in a row. The ping from his legs could be gone. 4. Tectonicus is an honest three-year-old holding his form really well this time in. It's hard to poke too many holes in his case. 10. Tampering will give them something to chase from in front.
How to play it: Nyami EACH WAY ($8 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Race 5 - 2:05PM IRONHORSE BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (2100 METRES)
Veteran stayer 3. High Opinion floats in and out of form but the nine-year-old showed a glimmer last start that another win is close. The gelding turned for home full of running on the Kensington track but with Mr Dependable turning the race into a sprint home the field had packed up and he had nowhere to go. When he finally saw daylight up the fence he motored to the line clocking the race quickest last 200m of 11.27s. He has done nothing in his three starts prior so there is no guarantee that he'll back up his last start performance but his best would give this a shake. At the monster odds, it might be worth a roll of the dice to find out.
Dangers: 9. Avion Fury was never a hope last start given the way Canterbury played with 5. So Wicked the beneficiary of finding the fence. That's not to say the outcome won't be the same at Gosford but be forgiving of Avion Fury as he was measuring up in deeper races than this prior. 4. My Swashbuckler scored a confidence-boosting win at this track last start in Class 1 company. He won like his price suggested he would, having sat outside of the leader. Could go on with it now. 1. Parry Sound comes through the same race as High Opinion last start but can't justify one being $31 and the other $4.40.
How to play it: High Opinion WIN ($23 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS
Race 6 - 2:40PM DEBORTOLI WINES TAKEOVER TARGET (1200 METRES)
Not the deepest edition of the Takeover Target this year which leaves me wanting to have a throw at the stumps with race outsider 8. Luna Mia. The four-year-old is aggressively placed being a 69 rater against the likes of 1. Signore Fox and 2. Easy Eddie and only receiving five and six kilograms off those two but she is a capable mare on her day. She has finished within half a length of Two Big Fari and Great News in her past two campaigns, broke the Scone 1400m track record 12 months ago and her winning record could be better if not for bad luck and wide barriers. She is no good thing and could be outclassed but she's obviously pleasing Paul Messara at home to get her a chance first up in this off two trials. Can't make a solid enough case to warrant tipping anything hard in the market.
Dangers: 3. Snitz won this race last year and although his form leading in looks horrible on paper he still finds himself in single figure odds. Forget he ever ran at Hawkesbury last Saturday when caught off the track from the wide draw. Might be worth another chance as he's likely to find his favourite spot in running, outside of the leader. That likely leader is 2. Easy Eddie who finally gets another soft track. 1. Signore Fox is more at home on firmer footing but he has won on soft ground before, it's just hard to forecast which version of him will turn up, hence making it hard to dive in when he is favourite. 4. Enchanted Heart can bounce back on a wet track.
How to play it: Luna Mia WIN ($23 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: EVENS
Race 7 - 3:20PM REWARD GROUP & LUUX PROPERTIES GOSFORD GOLD CUP (2100 METRES)
6. Entente wasn't left with any excuses last start in the JRA Plate but at the early price, want to give him the chance to bounce back. His form prior to that was rock solid, as is his SP profile, with a second behind Shared Ambition in the Neville Sellwood and an Albury Cup win. The four-year-old hasn't had the chance to lead this campaign. That could change here with Tim Clark on again and having drawn inside of 5. Wu Gok. You'd think that the tight Gosford circuit would play right into Entente's hands too. Expect him to be give a kick turning for home and prove hard to peg back.
Dangers: 9. Polly Grey also comes out of the JRA Plate and the case for her making the necessary improvement to win a race like this is the wet track. All seven of her career wins have come on soft or heavy ground while she is winless in nine starts on good ground. She won the Epona two starts ago at Randwick on a Soft 7 surface. 16. Stockman carries the 53kg and with a bunch of scratchings, becomes a big player particularly on the wet surface. He is a grinder so Andrew Adkins will need to be on the move before the turn home. 15. Aliferous is always a knockout hope.
How to play it: Entente WIN ($9 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Race 8 - 4:00PM THE COAST (1600 METRES)
4. Arapaho blew out the cobwebs first up at Randwick in a race that has subsequently provided the Hawkesbury Gold Cup quinella. Looking at his replays, the French import appears much more comfortable when given plenty of room. He wasn't afforded that two weeks ago, which was his first Australian start. Arapaho had trialled brilliant beforehand and was supported in betting. The other positives are that Tim Clark takes over now and could control this race from in front, all four of Arapaho's wins, included one at Listed level overseas, came on soft tracks and the short Gosford straight plays right into his hands. Bjorn Baker made this race a target for the four-year-old and it looks to have all fallen into place.
Dangers: 2. Brandenburg hasn't had any luck at all in two runs back, having resumes a gelding. Has a tricky draw to overcome but three wide working into the race mightn't be a bad scenario for him. 3. All Saints' Eve is racing a lot better than it reads on paper. Just hoping she can hold a closer spot from the inside draw. If she can, she's a big chance, especially with the cut out of the ground. 9. Nudge went straight past Arapaho last start and meets him 1kg better. She maps to be out the back here though along with wet tracker 12. Brutality. 1. Nimalee is the class runner and has enough speed to offset the wide draw. The weight is the leveller. 7. Wheelhouse sets up well.
How to play it: Arapaho WIN ($9.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: EVENS
Race 9 - 4:40PM BROOK GROUP F&M BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
1. April Rain is the best mare in the race but there a couple of red flags, mainly where she'll settle in the run which is out the back. That's over 1200m with only the short Gosford straight to reel in her rivals. There are a couple of well-credentialed rivals here too. Now that's said, she has won three on the bounce including an exceptional maiden win first up last campaign at Canterbury. That was followed up by an equally comfortable win again at Canterbury before beating Fashchanel and Vitesse at Randwick at an odds on quote. She was probably looking for further at that stage of her campaign, hence the narrow winning margin. Like the way she has trialled this time back.
Dangers: There's a case to be made that 6. Instant Attraction should have won last start at Canterbury. The four-year-old is a talent, but she mixes her form. Maps well here and her best gives this a shake. Wouldn't want the track to be too wet, however. 4. Stellar Pauline was beaten less than a length in the G3 PJ Bell behind Matchmaker a month ago. Has still only won one from 14 but the talent is there. 5. Exotic Ruby will be cuddled up on the fence and will certainly have a say in the finish.
How to play it: April Rain WIN ($2.20 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT