Neil Evans' tips for Gilgandra (Sunday)

Track likely Heavy 9 and rail True.

Race 1 MAIDEN PLATE (1280m):

A competitive enough maiden to start the transferred Parkes Cup meeting. Honest and improving Canberra filly 7. I Am Spirited has been mixing form in deeper races, but well suited here dropping back sharply from metropolitan opposition.

Dangers: Rarely do you see a Victorian-based galloper running in these parts, but 1. Dubai Moon from the Frankie Stockdale stable at Pakenham is a big threat back in trip second-up and three weeks between runs. Was regularly in the placings in deeper races back near home last spring, and is well used to carrying this sort of weight. Another Canberra-based filly 11. Red Hair 'n' Freckles is an each-way chance fourth-up in a thinner contest; while improving country three-year-old 5. Monkey Rat heads the rest.

How to play it: I Am Spirited each way
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1000m):

Keen on improving three-year-old 1. Rhythmic Song who is well placed third-up with a 1.5kg claim. Has held his ground okay in two runs back, and strikes peak fitness in a race with less depth.

Dangers: The Pakenham-based stablemate 2. Riverside Special can go close second-up off an even return run at home. Keep safe 5. Soul Night who can improve sharply at her second start, with a 4kg luxury weight claim; while 10. Fortuneous from a soft draw can run into the minor end of the prize.

How to play it: Rhythmic Song to win
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1000m):

Same distance formula for the maidens. Like the value of improving Canberra mare 5. Stunning Sunrise who missed by a head third-up in a slightly deeper contest at the Sapphire Coast. Can settle a few lengths back and well off the fence, and finish best in conditions that suit.

Dangers: Prepared to risk resuming three-year-old 1. Astrolith at short odds from the wide draw. Has trialled well on soft ground, and no doubt his best would be good enough, but faces a tough assignment from this start on a tight track; while 7. Prince Of Tokyo improves sharply second-up with blinkers removed; and 4. All Things Great is over the odds first-up.

How to play it: Stunning Sunrise each way and quinella 1 and 5
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 4 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1000m):

Another dash over the five furlongs shapes nicely for progressive US-bred four-year-old 3. Extra Flash who can make it two wins from his last four despite drawing off the track. Missed by a whisker finished hard last time from midfield in a similar graded CL1, and may well be content sitting wider in heavy going.

Dangers: Ultra consistent 4. No Debt is the clear threat down sharply in weight for a rise in class. Hasn't missed a place all year, and will roll forward from this barrier. Emerging three-year-old 6. Centurion was a dominant all-the-way maiden winner second-up in slick time, but faces a tougher task here from an outside gate; while 1. It's Business Time8. Niccolon and 12. Serene Shadow all go in trifectas and first fours.

How to play it: Extra Flash to win
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 5 CLASS 2 HCP (1600m):

Out to the mile now in a better grade where there are a few chances. Big fan of Canberra three-year-old 1. Loose Love who will find this much easier than the Wagga Guineas where he had little or no luck back in the field. Had previously swept home for a dominant BM 60 win, and all being equal is the superior heavy tracker.

Dangers: Big watch on 4. The Pres who rushed home to win a CL1 at Nowra in heavy ground third-up. Trained on the track, 2. Corvo has more to offer than his modest record suggests, and chased home smart Amulet Street in better company two runs ago. Gap to the rest headed by locally-trained 11. Chesty who has been close-up in his last couple.

How to play it: Loose Love to win
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 6 CLASS 2 PLATE (1200m):

Wide and tough race to assess. Capable four-year-old 1. Hammoon Sweetheart is well over the odds first-up for a leading country stable, and having already won at this level. Should thrive in the conditions being by late great wet track sire Sebring and out of a Show A Heart mare.

Dangers: Emerging ex-Victorian three-year-old 8. Minimal has his first run in the region after a narrow maiden win at Kilmore. Honest four-year-old 4. Shadow Chaser hasn't won for a long time, but returns in a suitable race with gear changes, and reportedly has been working well. Included in wider exotics 7. Olympic Time second-up, and bred to get through the going; and at huge odds 15. Dobroyde up in grade fourth-up.

How to play it: Hammoon Sweetheart each way and trifecta 1,4,8/1,4,7,8,15/1,4,7,8,15
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 7 OPEN HCP (1200m):

Keen at the value aboard six-year-old 6. On A Promise who can score again second-up over the right trip after charging over the top for a dominant fresh winner in weaker company. First time on heavy ground, but has won a staggering six from 15 in soft, including five straight last prep, and this is by far the lightest weight he's carried in a long time.

Dangers: Must keep safe tough five-year-old 1. Jailbreak who has been ultra competitive in tougher races this prep, including being beaten under two lengths in the Listed National Sprint at Canberra, and most recently only a length from the winner in a provincial BM 72. Honest six-year-old 3. Major Time is in the contest as well, despite a query on heavy ground. Has placed in three of his last four behind a few smart winners, and carries only 54.5kg after the claim. Both 5. I Am Capitan third-up with a claim; and 7. Ecker Road fourth-up; can run into the placings.

How to play it: On A Promise to win and box exacta 1,3,6
Odds and Evens: Split

Race 8 PARKES CUP (1600m):

The feature race shapes a little differently now on this circuit, but also enhances the claim of tough Pierro six-year-old 5. Foodie King who can strike from the outside draw coming back in distance. Swept home for an impressive win in the Mornington Prelude at Tamworth before narrowly missing in the Final itself 23 days ago. Boasts a superior closing 400m sprint, and right at home on rain-affected ground.

Dangers: Big watch on Canberra five-year-old 2. Cyborg who charged home to win a BM 70 two starts back, and has never raced better. Another one up from the capital, 1. Invincible Dash can peak third-up after working home late in the Gooree Cup at Mudgee; while not dismissing big-finishing mare 3. Milamoo who will drift well back, but can power home under a big weight drop, and loves rain-affected ground.

How to play it: Foodie King to win and box trifecta 1,2,3,5
Odds and Evens: Odds

Race 9 BENCHMARK 58 HCP (1280m):

Moderate and wide open sprint to finish. Keen at the value with under-rated country five-year-old 3. Blackadder who drops in quality after finishing close-up in a CL3. Normally rolls forward, but also at ease sitting back off a strong speed.

Dangers: Keep safe Canberra mare 5. Keep It Down who blew them away from the back at huge odds in a similar grade at Wagga; while 10. Petain and 14. She's Super; are both an each-way chance at odds.

How to play it: Blackadder each way
Odds and Evens: Odds

BEST BETS:
R2 1. RHYTHMIC SONG
R5 1. LOOSE LOVE

BEST VALUE:
R3 5. STUNNING SUNRISE


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