Race-by-race guide and tips for Hawkesbury on Thursday
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Race-by-race guide and tips for Hawkesbury on Thursday

Selections based on a good track.

Race 1 - 12:35PM SAMBELL CONCRETING MAIDEN PLATE (1100 METRES)

9. Gimme Shelter defied her starting price on debut ($41) to run a big race at Newcastle. The Manhattan Rain filly jumped well but was forced to go back from the wide draw before hitting the line sweetly to run second. Winning the race there was Mark Newnham’s Shadow Bridge, who won again at Kembla Grange by 2.5L on Melbourne Cup day. In her Rosehill trial prior to her debut effort Gimme Shelter showed enough speed to hold the front before being run down by the likes of Nordicus and Adana. Both of those horses won their subsequent starts in town. Hawkesbury-based duo Mitchell and Desiree Kearney train the filly and have two wins from their past eight runners, as well as placing in three other races including one in town at Randwick (Eerised).

Danger: 10. Lagarde finds a new home with Brad Widdup this campaign having formerly been trained by Bjorn Baker and a change of scenery might do the trick to spark this filly into breaking through. Her Wyong trial was strong. Has been around the mark in her career to date. 5. Valiant was hard in the market on debut at Kembla but after over-racing in the middle stages, failed to make any impression at all. Be forgiving. Godolphin’s 4. Pauper was plain on debut at Sale but has been gelded since.

How to play it: Gimme Shelter WIN

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A good track is expected when racing returns to Hawkesbury on Thursday.

A good track is expected when racing returns to Hawkesbury on Thursday.Credit:Geoff Jones

Race 2 - 1:15PM ALL STATE SHOPFITTING PROV & CTRY MAIDEN HANDICAP (1100 METRES)

2. Niccirose impressed on debut at Orange, despite being beaten. The Nicconi gelding was driven out to be handy over 1000m, working overtime to eventually land outside of the leader. He boxed on bravely to hold down second comfortably from the chasing pack. The blinkers go on for his second start, he has drawn one and Rachel King rides. She’ll bounce him out from the inside draw and be hard to peg back for local trainer Scott Singleton. There was little between him and 4. McCormack in his trial prior to his debut with both going well.

Danger: Unlike Niccirose, McCormack hasn’t been sighted at the races yet but has trialled again since, winning well at Wyong. Certainly respect this Tracey Bartley-trained three-year-old on the strength of his trials. 1. Montana Thunder is a curious runner, on debut as a five-year-old. We saw him step out at the Wyong trails on Oct 22 having been MIA for two years prior. He bolted in so little wonder why connections persisted. Liked how 8. Polhampton chased home Evict first up but the draw looks sticky for him. The well-bred Snitzel filly 14. Paris Lights (out of City Of Song) can only improve off her Newcastle debut.

How to play it: Niccirose WIN

Race 3 - 1:55PM EASY LANE MAIDEN PLATE (1500 METRES)

1. Dashing Special is a 19 start maiden as a five-year-old but he has placed in nine of his outings and liked the way he trialled at Rosehill. The Gary Moore-trained gelding kicks off over 1500m, which gives him his chance and his second to Live And Free at Kembla Grange last campaign is strong enough to win this. Glyn Schofield will have options from the wide draw as Dashing Special has raced from forward and back throughout his career. In a tricky race, he looks worth an each-way ticket at big odds. This season, Moore has had nine runners at Hawkesbury form three winners and three placings.

Danger: 10. Proven Class chased home Singing Sand on debut at Warwick Farm. The Smart Missile filly missed the kick half a length which ruined her wining chances but she knuckled down to run fourth. With natural improvement from her first outing, and dropping back to the provincials, she is a key hope. Well found in the market though. Thought the effort of 5. Down Stage was very good last start, closer to the inside. 2. Happy Hussler, 6. Knight’s Helmet and 9. The Promise all capable of placing.

How to play it: Dashing Special EACH WAY

Race 4 - 2:35PM T & L FOWLER CONCRETING CLASS 1 HANDICAP (1600 METRES)

1. Britannicus did enough first-up over 1400m behind Neruda and Tunero, who have both run well since. Neruda went down narrowly at Kembla while Tunero placed at Randwick on Cup day. The brother to Roman Son probably wants further than the mile already but he strikes a winnable race here. Can see him settling midfield, with most of the speed drawn wide, before grinding home to be in the finish. Sam Weatherley will have done his homework on the four-year-old, so will give him time to click through his gears. At the odds, happy to play him.

Danger: 5. Nautibernie also worked to the line well first up over 1400m, but like Britannicus, won’t be at his best until her gets out to staying trips. He can still win this though. He was right around the mark all preparation last time in before breaking through at Gosford out to 1900m. Even from the good draw, expect him to give his rivals a start. Big player but he’s very firm in the market, hence the leaning to Britannicus. 5. Elkana is working his way to another win after two sound showings over 1400m for Clare Cunningham and looks ready now third up. 7. Russain Express has the most upside of any of these, coming off a Bathurst win at just start two.

How to play it: Britannicus EACH WAY

Race 5 - 3:15PM TED MCCABE SKY RACING SPRING PROV SERIES HEAT 3 - CLASS 5 PLATE (1500 METRES)

4. Bobbing has worked out this racing caper now! He showed glimpses of real ability in his first preparation but it has all come together now, winning two on the bounce. In the first of those he showed no early toe but still rounded up his rivals before being much more tractable second up. The query prior to that second up run was staying at 1350m. Turned out to be no issue at all but the five-year-old is even better suited out to 1500m. He doesn’t look the most straightforward horse to ride so another big tick is the flying Josh Parr sticking, with the pair clicking last time out. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Bobbing win this before finding himself in a midweeker in town.

Danger: 6. Cuban Royale only whacked away at Kembla last start but his two wins prior to that were strong. He looks to want every bit of the 1500m now and will be much more comfortable right up on the bunny. Expect him to be in the first couple turning for home. 5. Mo The Great will be thereabouts again but he is hard to tumble into with any confidence and looks too close in the market to the untapped Bobbing.

How to play it: Bobbing WIN

Race 6 - 3:55PM BLAKE'S MARINE BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1100 METRES)

Fresh is generally best for 3. Vega so let’s cash in first up. Three of this gelding’s five career wins have come fresh, including last preparation where he swept home to win over 1000m at Hawkesbury. In fact, the five-year-old with Bjorn Baker has won first up in his last three fresh runs. His form tends to taper off from there. As is customary with Vega, he has just had the one trial but liked his work there going to the line with Ronstar under very little pressure. Would be a lot more confident if he had drawn middle to get a smother, but Jean Van Overmeire’s hand will be forced to go back from 11. Still, with any luck, he’s in this up to his ears.

Danger: 7. Beware was disappointing at Warwick Farm first up but with the run under his belt and back to provincial company, he can bounce back. Drawn to tuck in behind the speed and get every possible. 2. French Blue is a five-year-old with just three runs to his name, having been plagued by injuries, but he has won two of them. That includes last start when first up for two years at Bathurst. The time on the day was nothing flash but he can only improve. Big market watch on 9. Northern Lights. No trials since running in May.

How to play it: Vega WIN

Race 7 - 4:35PM LANDER TOYOTA LADIES DAY CUP (1400 METRES)

6. Pecans was scratched at the barriers in the Nivison a few weeks back and despite Joe Pride having to shuffle around her preparation, he looks to have found the perfect race to kick her off in. The mare was a brave winner at Hawkesbury first up last campaign over 1300m, holding off Ghisoni and Invincibella. Pecans had a quite trial last Friday at Rosehill to keep her engine ticking over. 2. Fabrizio will lead the field up with 10. Legislation likely to be keeping him company. That should afford Jason Collett the luxury of slotting in just behind those two. The former Godolphin-trained mare has had eight starts for Pride for four wins and two placings.

Danger: A number of these are capable of winning this on their day but can be hard to catch. 2. Fabrizio will strip fitter from his first-up showing behind 5. Torgersen but his best days look to be behind him. 1. Burning Passion, 7. Interlocuter and 9. New Universe all come off disappointing last start efforts but are all very capable. The fresh blood on the scene is 8. Tougherthantherest. His history suggests he fires fresh and should get a very cosy run from the inside.

How to play it: Pecans WIN and Tougherthantherest WIN

Race 8 - 5:20PM RICHMOND CLUB STAYERS CLASS 4 HANDICAP (2100 METRES)

2. Keep Up hasn’t been flash in his past two runs, I’ll admit that, but he can improve back on top of the ground and in this company. Just three starts ago this six-year-old ran second to High Bridge at Warwick Farm. That horse started one of the favourites in the G1 Metrop. Keep Up subsequently flopped at Randwick on a Heavy 8 before failing to make much of an impression on the Kensington track on a Soft 6. Clare Cunningham is a very astute trainer and this horse would be in the paddock if he was showing signs that he’d had enough this preparation. His best is too good for these so happy to take the odds to find out if he can bounce back.

Danger: 1. Godunov was a dominant all-the-way winner at Hawkesbury over 1800m last time out. Imagine James Innes Jnr would be keen to roll forward again here, especially from the wide draw and with the big weight where momentum is key. 4. Devil’s Lair has a 1.5L margin to turn around on Godunov but strips fitter third up and liked the way he chased to the line, suggesting the 2100m suits third up. 3. Tinker Dan is honest and fits into this grade of race well.

How to play it: Keep Up WIN

Supplied by Racing NSW.

Full form and race replays at www.racingnsw.com.au.