Brad Gray's Tips For Gosford's Stand-Alone Saturday

Brad Gray's Tips

MARKWELL DREAMER.
MARKWELL DREAMER. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

Race 1 - 11:15AM VITAL HOSPITALITY GROUP 2YO HANDICAP (1200M)

We've only seen 7. London ($5 on TAB) at the races once in the past and he finished fourth behind the subsequent Golden Slipper winner and a filly that was beaten a lip in a Blue Diamond. That duo was of course Fireburn and Revolutionary Miss. It turned out to be a very deep two-year-old race back in January. London was sent around a $5 chance and boxed on well despite covering ground throughout. Pantonario ran third, who was coming off a placing in the Gimcrack on debut and thereafter went on to run third in the Widden Stakes and fourth in the Percy Sykes Stakes. London has only trialled once ahead of his return and it was over the 740m at Warwick Farm on the synthetic which is cause for alarm bells but love the way he cruised through the line under no pressure.

Dangers: 4. Resonator ($3.10 favourite) returned a gelding a Canterbury first-up and ran his rivals ragged from in front. He ran through the line at the end of 1200m and he maps to find the front here with Tim Clark sticking. 9. Zou Tiger ($5) was no match for Zougotcha at Canterbury on debut but it was a bottomless Heavy surface. Sweet Baby Boom ran third and subsequently franked the form. Zou Tiger has been back to the trials and looked sharp. 2. Command Approved ($5) kept trying on a Heavy 10 at Randwick first-up over 1100 with Zougotcha tying the form into Zou Tiger.

How To Play It: London WIN

Race 2 - 11:50AM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1200M)

The barrier for 3. Boom Boom Basil ($6.50) doesn't look pretty on paper but he has the gate speed to offset it with an aggressive early ride. The four-year-old sat outside of the leader at Randwick first-up and was nailed on the line. He didn't find the fence in run that day either, which was advantageous as the meeting went on. With just seven starts to his name, the son of Foxwedge is still trending upwards and should only come on from his first-up run three weeks ago. Sam Clipperton rode Boom Boom Basil last start and he sticks, unsurprisingly. There are three or four other go forward horses, most drawn to his immediate inside, so his race is likely to be won or lost in the first couple of hundred metres.

Dangers: 12. Markwell Dreamer ($12) comes through the same race as Boom Boom Basil and got way too far back in the run. He too wasn't in the best part of the track, finding himself in the same lane as Mr Hussill, who won a Highway himself at his subsequent start. 10. Tuscan Valley ($6 equal favourite) doesn't muck around when he wins. His three wins, all within his past five starts, have been by 4.3L, 4.8L and 7.3L. He won by half of the Wellington straight last start. 11. Cracking Mo ($16) didn't finish off at the end of 1400m last start so he comes back to 1200m. 7. King's Trust ($18) is always a knockout hope.

How To Play It: Boom Boom Basil WIN

Race 3 - 12:25PM MIDWAY BENCHMARK 72 HANDICAP (1200M)

1. Oxford Tycoon ($15) loomed as the winner first-up at Canterbury Park but it was a meeting that proved impossible to win after swinging widest. That combined with him needing the run first-up saw him run last of the six runners. That's why we're getting an inflated price second-up and more than happy to cash in on the bookie's over-reaction. Second-up last preparation he was very unlucky not to win a Midway at Kembla Grange, strung up in behind runners before flashing late to run Royalzel to a narrow margin. There is speed right across the track in this race which will allow Dylan Gibbons, who claims a valuable 3kg on the topweight, to come out neutral and just park up somewhere midfield. It's another wide open Midway Handicap but Oxford Tycoon, the class runner in the field, looks to be the one the early market has overlooked.

Dangers: 15. Showtime Lady ($7) has trialled exceptionally well ahead of her return. The four-year-old has needed the run first-up in her past two preparations before winning second-up so that's the query. She got out to 1700m at the backend of last preparation too. The barrier doesn't make this an easy task for 18. Sunborn ($6 eq fav) to go back-to-back in Midways but there was a lot to like about how she won first-up. We still haven't seen the best of her given the interruptions she has had throughout her career. 5. Miss Fox ($11) is two from two at her home track and she's rarely far away at the finish. 9. Adamas Prince ($18) was better last start than it reads on paper, 2. Two Up ($8.50) continues to hold his form while 7. Dalaalaat ($12) comes into consideration with a drying track.

How To Play It: Oxford Tycoon EACH-WAY

Race 4 - 1:00PM TRIPLE M 107.7 THUNDER THOUSAND 3 & 4YO BM 72 HCP (1000M)

Anything goes here. One thing that does look certain is that the speed will be hot up front. That gives 7. Siege ($4.20) her chance to rattle home over the top. It's not ideal finding a backmarker over an 1000m scamper at Gosford but she's a mare with above average talent, having won two of her three starts. The fact that she is still racing is perhaps a nod from Godolphin that they can win better races. She's already four. The only time she was beaten, at start two, she was backed into $2.40 and bad luck beat her when third to El Buena. She made amends for that defeat at Goulburn first-up last preparation, scoring an impressive win before she again found herself in the spelling paddock. Has trialled twice ahead of her return and was given an easy time.

Dangers: 5. Dehorned Unicorn ($3.70 fav) is a three-year-old that continues to improve for Joe Pride, typical of the stable. The soft draw gives Tyler Schiller the chance to take a trail just in behind the speed and his latest trial win flagged that he has returned well. 8. Nicci's Song ($10) bounced back second-up when ridden for speed. She'll find herself in the first couple again. It'll just come down to how much pressure she'll have to absorb. 2. Never Second ($4.20) has won four of her nine starts, including two from four last preparation, her first with Annabel Neasham. The wet track certainly holds no fear for her. 4. Blow Dart ($14) can sit just about anywhere in the run and he sprinted brilliantly to win over 900m first-up last preparation.

How To Play It: Siege WIN

Race 5 - 1:35PM BYRNE PIPE AND CIVIL BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (2080M)

5. Military Mission ($4.20) has picked up his rivals and spat them out at his past two starts in this same grade. Main Stage ran second in the first of those and he went on to win his next two starts. Then last start at Hawkesbury, Military Mission sat outside of the leader and once he took over at the top of the straight, it was game over for those chasing. The task has been made harder by the rise to 61kg and the wide draw but the tactics won't change for this import. Rachel King will make a beeline straight for the front, more so now knowing that she's on a very fit stayer tackling this fourth up. Ideally, the four-year-old would perhaps be tackling 2400m at this stage in his preparation but there's enough in the price to find out if he can overcome that.

Dangers: The lightly-raced 14. Hameron ($3.30 fav), was beaten on his merits by Main Stage last start despite starting an odds-on favourite. That was only his third career race start. Gets the blinkers on for the first time. 13. Ting Tong ($5.50) has place claims back out to this trip as does 12. Stellar Performer ($9.50), but she maps to be seeing most of her rivals turning for home. She wasn't far off Hameron last start at Canterbury.

How To Play It: Military Mission WIN

Race 6 - 2:10PM BROOK GROUP 3 & 4YO BENCHMARK 72 HANDICAP (1600M)

1. Solar Apex ($14) has always raced well fresh. Last preparation he won over this same track and trip in this same grade first-up as a $2.90 chance. That was in Wednesday company so there is more depth here, and he did it with 56kg, not the 60.5kg he's asked to carry here even after the claim of Tom Sherry, but he's already an appealing bet at double-figures odds. Now throw into the mix that his record as Gosford reads 3:2-1-0. Two preparations ago he ran second to Kiku first-up. It was hard to get any guide on the four-year-old's one trial back as he was given a very easy time on a heavy Rosehill track over 1030m but given the horse's first-up pattern and how effective he has been at the track in the past, it looks to be a race that Chris Waller has targeted.

Dangers: 10. Samarkand ($5) was outsprinted at Warwick Farm last start by Chateaux Park. It looked his race to lose on paper. He stays at the mile for his third run in a row so the knock is how much dash he'll show when asked to quicken so wouldn't be surprised if he rolled along and tried to pinch it. 6. Elusive Jewel ($7) backed up a dominant first-up win with a second to Quintello at Randwick. She was well held by the winner but there was a gap back to third and an even bigger gap back to fourth. She has clearly returned well for John Thompson. 9. Holstein ($14) kept finding the line last start behind Rangi Toa which sets him up well out to the mile third-up. Should able to hold a prominent spot in the run which looks key to his chances. If 15. Diamil ($4 fav) is here instead of The Coast, he's top pick.

How To Play it: Solar Apex EACH-WAY

Race 7 - 2:45PM MOSTYNCOPPER GOSFORD GOLD CUP (2080M)

It's largely a group a stayers that you're left to sift through the form guide looking to find excuses for their run of outs. Not 10. Main Stage ($5). The seven-year-old is absolutely flying. He has the lowest benchmark rating here and isn't well weighted with a 53kg minimum but he has run top two in his last six starts. Two of those defeats came at the hands of Diamil and Military Mission. Since then he repelled up-and-comer Hameron at Canterbury before putting 6.5 lengths on his rivals at Warwick Farm. That was his 51st start so he has been around the block a few times now but he finds himself in career best form. That's coincided with riding him on top of the speed. He looks to get control up front in this too, which makes him hard to catch.

Dangers: 2. Great House ($4.20 fav) held his ground in a leader dominated Chairman's Quality last start. He has been freshened since to cope with dropping back from 2600m to 2000m. His third prior to that behind Stockman and Mount Popa reads well for this. 3. Marroni ($5) was beaten a similar margin by Mount Popa two starts ago in the Neville Sellwood before pulling up lame after the JRA Plate. He was very heavily backed there. Forget that. 1. Numerian ($6) was probably flattered last start being dragged into the race by Polly Grey and finding the fence in run at Randwick last start but it also coincided with the import getting out to 2000m for the first time in Australia. He was still beaten five lengths, however. 9. Mirann ($41) next best.

How To Play It: Main Stage WIN

Race 8 - 3:25PM DE BORTOLI WINES TAKEOVER TARGET (1200M)

It's never an easy watch with 9. Blondeau ($14) but we're getting the right price to find out whether he can replicate what he did at this very meeting 12 months ago. That was in a BM78 and this year he tackles a Listed race but that performance would still give this race a nudge. The four-year-old found a good level of consistency last preparation, not finishing outside of the top four in nine runs straight. Forgive his failure on a Heavy 10 at Doomben before he didn't get a crack at his rivals in the Magic Millions Sprint behind Isotope. Not sure if barrier 2 is a blessing or a curse for him here. On occasions he has shown enough gate speed to hold a spot. Either way, he'll need to get the breaks at the right time but if he does, look out.

Dangers: 4. Southern Lad ($13 into $7) has been set for this race. The reason being that he is such an explosive fresh horse. His first-up record reads 9:3-3-1 and he added to that win tally first-up last preparation. He typically always trials well and this time back has been no different. 6. Gravina ($4.80 fav) deserves his spot in the market despite racing a touch flat as a $2.80 chance in the Star Kingdom. Has been freshened since then and been back to the trials; a formula James Cummings uses with great success. 10. Majestic Shot ($8) fits in well here and also maps to get her chance. However, she's well found. 8. Lord Olympus ($16) has won two from three second-up and liked his work through the line behind Andermatt first-up. 15. Constant Flight ($61) and 3. Prime Candidate ($14) warrant respect but will need to work to cross from their wide draws.

How To Play It: Blondeau EACH-WAY

Race 9 - 4:05PM THE COAST (1600M)

1. Our Playboy ($5 eq fav) will need to lump 60kg being the highest rated runner in the field but he's still the horse to beat. Brandenburg carried 58.5kg to victory in this race 12 months ago. The four-year-old is loving life in Sydney this autumn, relishing wet tracks to run Mr Mozart to a length in the Doncaster Prelude before comfortably winning an BM100 three weeks ago, beating a luckless Art Cadeau and the Queensland carnival bound Huetor. He carried 59kg there too. There doesn't look to be a lot of speed on paper in The Coast this year and from the perfect draw, Tim Clark can just park in behind the likes of 8. Maurice's Medad ($26) and 4. O'President ($16). We saw Mr Mozart frank that form line at Hawkesbury. Only has to hold his form to be in the finish once more.

Dangers: 7. Rustic Steel ($6.50) plummets in weight to carry just 52kg. Had his chance in the Provincial-Midway Championships Final last start but was only beaten half a length. He has been back to the trials since and put nine lengths on his three rivals. The query is whether he'll get a strong mile but he won't get a better set up to find out. 10. Party For One ($13) has to tick the mile box too but the way she was rallying again through the line last Saturday in the Hawkesbury Guineas suggested that she is looking for it now. 11. Diamil ($5 eq fav) got sandwiched in the straight at Randwick last start when jumping a $1.90 favourite. The blinkers go on now. 6. Kinloch ($12) maps to be last but he possesses a big finish, as does 3. Steinem ($12) who can bounce back to form now third-up.

How To Play It: Our Playboy WIN

Race 10 - 4:45PM TOOHEYS BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP (1200M)

There's chances right down the page in this but how many of them have run Mazu to a length? Just the one - 8. Battleton ($2.90 fav). The three-year-old then went on to run fifth in the Gr 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes down the straight behind Home Affairs. It was well documented how unruly he was as a colt. He returns a gelding this time back to curb his manners pre-race. The son of Zoustar, trained by Bjorn Baker, showed a lot of improvement from his first trial into his second trial suggesting that he is ready to head back to the races. The latest of his trials was at Warwick Farm, where he cruised past his rivals. This race should be genuinely run and Jason Collett, who has ridden him in three of his four starts, shouldn't have any problem finding a midfield position.

Dangers: Convinced that 1. Rainbow Connection ($11) is a very smart horse. He has been on the sidelines for a year after suffering a tendon injury but Matt Dunn's strike rate with horses resuming off such long breaks is quite good. 10. He's A Hotshot ($23) often exceeds expectations. He won't want a heavy track but soft is okay. He ran second first-up behind Garrison and maps to get the first crack at holding the lead in this. 5. Coal Crusher ($6.50) is still winning despite doing things wrong. He can't afford to keep doing that as the races get harder. 11. Latino Blend ($26) is racing better than her bare form suggests.

How To Plat It: Battleton WIN


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