HAWKESBURY Racing Club hosts its standalone meeting this Saturday and what a card it has produced.
The Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas and Group 3 Hawkesbury are the key races on the card and they closely resemble what could be a major race at The Championships.
With $1.5 million in stakes money up for grabs, the racing this Saturday promises to be exciting and punters should be taking advantage. Betting on the same tracks every Saturday isn't ideal, so sign up at Sportsbet.com.au and enjoy some provincial racing at its best.
The day starts with the Highway Plate where Atom Eve will look to continue its unbeaten run to four and get punters off to a profitable start.
Race 1 – Tab Highway Plate (1100m)
Atom Eve has looked above average in winning its first three races. The Norm Gardner-trained filly won a Highway Handicap last start by a half-length margin and its start prior was a 4.3-length win. The daughter of I Am Invincible has breeding on its side and it should continue to win at this level.
Professor Marx ran well for second at Muswellbrook last start after racing out of its grade at Rosehill in its start prior. The Rodney Northam-trained gelding has won two from 11 with six placings and it looks good enough to be a danger to the favourite.
Noble Joey gets the services of James McDonald after winning last start at Goulburn. The three-year-old had three consecutive runs in the Highway Handicap series and its best finish was a second placing at Randwick. Its two-length win last start came right down in grade, but it won't have to improve much to feature in the money.
Race 1 tip: Atom Eve to win at Crownbet.com.au
Race 2 – Richmond Provincial Stayers Championship (2100m)
Duca Valentinois was a good winner at Warwick Farm last start at midweek level. The improving import for John O'Shea will appreciate the rise up in distance for this as its most recent European win came at The Curragh over 2012m. Drops to a nice weight and this field contains no superstars.
Hipparchus is another imported stayer which looked the goods last start. The Chris Waller-trained former French galloper won by two lengths at Kembla Grange and it looked to have plenty of improvement to come this season. Brenton Avdulla takes over the riding from Hugh Bowman and at 55kg it looks tough to beat.
Loving Home doesn't win often, but it's rarely far away from the action. The son of Shamardal won at Canterbury three starts back and it went close after leading last start. It has placed at this distance and place chances appear best in this.
Race 2 tip: Hipparchus to win at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 3 – Blakes Marine Claret Stakes (1300m)
Alliterate wasn't overly disappointing behind Impending at Rosehill last week and this race looks a touch easier. The two-year-old put two wins together earlier this preparation which is stretching out since January, but it has ability and could run a top three finish.
Radcliffe was a game winner at Warwick Farm last start over Sezanne. The two-year-old by Lonhro sat wide for most of the 1200m trip and was still able to sprint well enough in the straight. James McDonald sticks with it and the money will likely be on again.
Angharad should be respected on its past two efforts and Brenton Avdulla is riding as well as anyone at the moment. The form in behind the Exceed And Excel filly hasn't been overly great since, but it should only improve with racing and this isn't the strongest stakes field ever assembled. Watch for any betting moves.
Race 3 tip: Radcliffe to win at Bet365.com.au
Race 4 – Hawkesbury Gold Rush (1100m)
Alberto Magic tarnished its picket fence form line last start, but that came in the top grade. It was no match for the likes of Malaguerra so punters will have to go on its form prior which included three consecutive wins. It does have experience with a win on this track and despite a big weight, class could take it a long way.
Inz'n'out makes its return after a five-month break. The Gerald Ryan-trained gelding has won and placed fresh and it has placed five times over this distance. The four-year-old can handle any surface with wins coming on good, soft and heavy which makes it tough to beat here. Any positive market movement will indicate a good run is coming.
Coolring hasn't been far away in three runs since winning at Rosehill. The in-form Bjorn Baker trains the five-year-old which has run two good placings its last two which featured a third behind Malaguerra in the St Kingdom Stakes. This is a tricky field which is full of class, so keep an eye on the market for any guide.
Race 4 tip: Alberto Magic to win at Crownbet.com.au
Race 5 – Lander Toyota Ladies Day Cup (1300m)
Danish Twist flew home to score the $400,000 Provincial Championship Final at The Championships last start and it looms as a nice chance again. Its opposition are better-rated horses, but it has adaptability throughout the run and drawing the inside barrier should ensure a dream run. Would have liked to have seen a lighter weight, but don't discount in this grade.
Rock Forthe Ladies has a good win record of four from 10 and it produced a huge finish for fourth last start. The Bjorn Baker-trained gelding didn't have the best run in transit at Randwick after getting back from the wide draw, but getting barrier three is a nice change. Punters like to back it and we expect a similar outcome for this race.
Onemorezeta was unlucky to finish second last start at Warwick Farm. The four-year-old settled back during the run and wasn't given the best of rides from apprentice Samantha Clenton. Trainer Kris Lees is sticking with Clenton for this which offers her a chance of redemption. The 2kg claim will help and it could return to its best form with some luck.
Race 5 tip: Danish Twist to win at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 6 – 2016 Godolphin Crown (1300m)
Godolphin has a strong chance of winning its own race with Fitou. The John O'Shea-trained mare flashed home for fifth last start and it has won second up in the past. It ended its previous campaign with two consecutive victories and its breeding suggests another strong preparation is in store. It is well-weighted at 56kg and McDonald adds to his good book of rides.
Two Blue caused an upset at $26 last start at Randwick in the Sapphire Stakes and bookmakers should have trimmed it down for this. The seven-year-old mare rarely puts two wins together, but take nothing away from its win last start and it has the ability to lead and kick strongly. Paul King partners it again and it could sneak into the minor money.
Nancy has cost punters some serious money in three runs this campaign, but it finds a good spot at Hawkesbury this Saturday. The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained mare has run as the favourite or close to it in its last three starts since winning at Warwick Farm last year. This race looks a touch easier than its recent efforts and it has the class to score the win.
Race 6 tip: Nancy to win at Crownbet.com.au
Race 7 – Panthers Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m)
Strawberry Boy looks to remain unbeaten at Hawkesbury having won its first two starts on this track. The Chris Waller-trained gelding is a great statistical bet as it has won four times at this distance and three times second up. It was only narrowly swamped on the post at Randwick last start and it looks a good chance to keep its unbeaten track stats in order.
Tales Of Grimm had its supporters when fresh up at Randwick last start, but it wasn't able to give them anything to shout about. The seven-year-old has been sparingly-raced with only 22 starts for four wins, but it has always had some ability and it did win the Scone Cup in May last season. A quick turnaround in form wouldn't be a surprise.
Pajaro is a quality gelding for Peter and Paul Snowden which will get all favours from the inside draw. The son of Align mixes its form which can be frustrating for punters, but it runs well at this distance with a win and a placing so that's a positive betting sign. Being down in the weights helps so consider at a price.
Race 7 tip: Strawberry Boy to win at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 8 – Blacktown Hawkesbury Guineas (1400m)
Suspense suffered its first defeat in five starts at Randwick in the South Pacific Stakes, but it should have come back a stronger gelding. The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained three-year-old showed plenty of ability in winning its first four starts and it does drop down in weight to 56kg for this. Tricky barrier of eight, but it should be well supported in the market.
Handfast was a brilliant winner in the South Pacific and it looks to be going places. The John O'Shea-trained gelding sprinted fast and put 1.8 lengths on the likes of Santa Ana Lane, which is great form moving forward. The son of Street Cry has plenty in store in the spring and this will be a nice stepping stone.
Spill The Beans faces a drop in class after taking on the likes of Press Statement and Japonisme at its last two starts. The Gerald Ryan-trained colt was a stylish winner in the Eskimo Prince Stakes at Randwick in February and it has the ability to sit on the pace and kick strongly. It might sneak under the bookmakers' radar so get in early for the best price.
Race 8 tip: Handfast to win at Bet365.com.au
Race 9 – Fishboy Seafoods R77 Handicap (1500m)
The form surrounding Trafalgar's last start win has been good and it looks a strong chance again. The Chris Waller-trained gelding has won three from five with two placings and that consistency has rewarded punters to date. It flew home from last at Warwick Farm and it should settle closer from the inside draw. Looks hard to hold out.
Mackintosh is a promising former Kiwi runner which failed in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas. The son of Pins beat a subsequent New Zealand Derby placegetter at Ellerslie before coming to Australia and that form should stack up nicely for this. The betting will indicate how forward it is, but we're expecting a tidy effort at each way odds.
Santa Rocks is a chance down in the weights. The Hawkes-trained mare has been running well at midweek levels and this is tougher, but carrying only 55kg helps and it goes best at this distance. A win against in this quality of race looks unlikely, but consider for place options.
Race 9 tip: Mackintosh to win at Crownbet.com.au