THE Scone Race Club is saddling up for a big eight-event card at the Bunnan Road circuit on Thursday.
Gates open from noon on January 30, with the first on the program starting at 1.15pm.
Entry is free.
The track's likely to be a good 4 with a true rail (unchanged from January 14).
Race 1 @ 1.15pm SCONE EQUINE HOSPITAL BM 66 HCP (2200m)
Another testing assignment to kick us off with a fairly evenly graded group of stayers. Wyong 5YO gelding 3. CAPTAIN'S LEGEND (Damien Lane/Jake Hull) is third-up off an 11-week break, and gets out to the trip he last won over on the Beaumont track in spring. Draws to get good cover, and trusting he won't be a run short jumping up from the mile.
Main dangers: Local 8YO gelding 1. Knight Star scored a tough win in record time at Newcastle over more ground two runs back, and the second horse has since won, before just fair in tougher grade at Randwick. Not overly reliable and up sharply in weight, but this is a drop in class.
Likely tempo: Moderate
My betting attack: Captain's Legend to Win
Race 2 @ 1.50pm SEGENHOE STUD 3YO & UP MAIDEN HCP (900m)
Back to the short course for the maidens, and it's hard to see resuming 3YO Wyong gelding 5. HENSCHEL (Allan Denham/Robert Thompson) getting rolled. Showed great cruising speed sitting outside the leader bolting in a recent trial under a hold, and appears well in at the weights too, 2.5kg under the top-weight, but only 1.5kg over the limit.
Main dangers: Wyong 4YO gelding 1. Bring Glory (Sebring x Northern Glory by Northern Meteor) is bred to perform, and finds a nice debut race wearing blinkers off a recent home trial win. Hard to believe 3YO Muswellbrook gelding 9. Milo's Charm hasn't run a place from eight starts after finishing just over a length from a promising one this track last start. Stays at the 900m, and hard fit fourth-up.
Likely tempo: Good to strong
My betting attack: Henschel to Win and Quinella 1 and 5
Race 3 @ 2.25pm JOIN NSW RACEHORSE OWNERS ASSN 2YO HCP (900m)
Now the youngsters' turn over the same trip, and this is an intriguing and high pressure dash. Warwick Farm filly 1. TUDOR MUSIC (Greg Hickman/Keagan Latham) has plenty of ability, and flew home here to win over 900m at second start. Failed to run on in tougher company on the Kensington track, but has been given a little freshen-up and won a recent trial, and with good speed on, this track is the key for one that will drift well back from a wide draw.
Main dangers: Smart local filly 6. Very Sharp backs up from her fighting debut win here a fortnight ago, but goes up 3kg and drawn a little wider. Another first starter, Newcastle colt 11. Snitzari (Snitzel x Denarii by Dehere) also steps out for the first time off a nice trial win, but draws awkwardly. Debutant Tamworth colt 5. Tools Down (Written Tycoon x It's Poets Day) won a metro trial narrowly after showing good early speed, although final 100m might be query down this straight; while watch the market on debutant Randwick filly 8. High Sands who comes in off a very quiet trial, but draws well for leading juvenile stable.
Likely tempo: Good to strong
My betting attack: Tudor Music to win and Box Trifecta 1, 5, 6, 8
Race 4 @ 3.05pm HBTA - MAIDEN PLATE (1100m)
Looks a classic race in three! Keen on exciting home track 3YO gelding and first starter 4. GOOD AS NEW (More Than Ready x Ebony Wand by Flying Spur) (Brett Cavanough/Aaron Bullock) who was strong through the line finishing hard after being held up for some time in a genuinely run Beaumont trial a month back. Kept ticking over since and draws to get a nice run around midfield, and top country jockey returns off a short break.
Main dangers: Wyong 4YO gelding 1. Aytobe is a big threat resuming off a smart trial win, and the blinkers staying on. Was consistently in the placings last prep, and first up last time wasn't far off smart Emperor's Star here, and this looks a shade easier. Promising 3YO Newcastle gelding 5. My Naughty Boy charged home to just miss on debut behind Very Sharp, so there's an immediate form reference on offer, and he looks suited by the extra trip.
Likely tempo: Good
My betting attack: Good As New to win and Box Exacta 1, 4, 5
Race 5 @ 3.40pm INGLIS PREMIER YEARLING SALE 1, 2 & 3 MARCH CLASS 2 HCP (900m)
Back to the dash for a real platform race, and some talented emerging sprinters headed by home track 3YO filly 5. TANGO STEPZ (Rod Northam/Tom Sherry a2) who can turn the tables on her main market rival after a fighting effort covering ground a fortnight back behind Pearl Roan, and crucially meets her 3kg better at the weights.
Main dangers: Certainly the unbeaten form on this track of smart 4YO Newcastle mare 2. Pearl Roan is hard to resist. Was somewhat fortunate to win her maiden two runs back holding off the talented Free Rider who blew the start, but has since bolted in, before that explosive win from just off the speed over this trip. Draws to get a soft run again. Hard to see one of the two not winning, but local 3YO filly 1. Talaaqy won two straight in Victoria before brave from the front in her first run for new stable, only swamped late in the same race by the two hot-pots here. Watch the market on resuming 4YO Wyong mare 7. Pluck And Lucky who looked forward in a recent trial, is unbeaten over this distance, and normally comes to hand early in the prep.
Likely tempo: Good
My betting attack: Tango Stepz to win; Quinella 2 and 5; Trifecta 2, 5/1, 2, 5, 7/1, 2, 5, 7
Race 6 @ 4.15pm HORSEPOWER MAIDEN HCP (1400m)
Progressive 3YO Randwick gelding 3. HOLY SUNDAY (John Sargent/Lee Magorrian) is the one to beat after storming home to just miss in a maiden here a fortnight back at third career start, although drawn wider out will be forced to go a long way back again, but he's a tailor-made Scone type of galloper.
Main dangers: Home track 3YO gelding 1. Brother Bassy can peak at third start after working home nicely in a handy maiden at Muswellbrook, but is drawn wide. Newcastle 3YO gelding 11. Krayzelburg is the weighted runner of the race dropping 4kg from an average effort behind Black Star Bowie at Muswellbrook, but still needs to find a length or two. Expect a big run from improving 3YO Newcastle filly 13. Serriano who did her best work late at Taree in her first run for eight weeks, and even better suited this track and trip. Wyong 3YO gelding 8. Sapphires Son has strong form for this hitting the line hard from well back behind Pearl Roan here before chasing home the smart Cafe Royal at Pt Macquarie, but has to overcome the second widest barrier.
Likely tempo: Moderate to good
My betting attack: Holy Sunday to win
Race 7 @ 4.50pm KITCHWIN HILLS BM 58 HCP - HEAT OF THE RISING STAR (1600m)
We jump up to the mile now for a wide open Heat of the Rising Star. After sweeping home to win her maiden in dominant fashion third-up at Pt Macquarie, 3YO Wyong filly 8. MY DESIRE (Kristen Buchanan/Jean Van Overmeire a0) can go on with here from a low barrier and down a little in weight. Another one by emerging fashionable sire Sidestep who was a dual Group 2 winner.
Main dangers: Gosford 4YO gelding 4. Hercules Mo has comes back lengths stronger this prep, flashing home to win first-up here in this grade before again hitting the line in a Class 2 at Taree. Was scratched from Kembla on Wed to be saved for this. Tamworth 6YO gelding 5. Grove Street fought on to win narrowly this grade here two runs back before a tough effort in a blanket finish at home only a week ago. This looks a shade tougher, but draws to get a nice run. Muswellbrook 6YO mare 2. Drusilla likes to go forward, and has won her last two, but goes up in weight, drawn out and this is tougher.
Likely tempo: Moderate to good
My betting attack: My Desire to win and Box Trifecta 2, 4, 5, 8
Race 8 @ 5.30pm SCONE CUP CARNIVAL 15 & 16 MAY - TICKETS ON SALE BM 66 HCP (1100m)
Good competitive sprint to close the meeting, with plenty of chances. Emerging 3YO Newcastle filly 12. XIAOLI'S YING (David Atkins/Aaron Bullock) is breathing all over this fourth-up from a good draw. Resumed with consecutive maiden and Class 1 wins before chasing home talented Iconic Star who has since scored a dominant BM 70 win at Warwick Farm.
Main dangers: On his day, 4YO Gulgong mare 9. Smart Moove can be just that - smart, and not convinced the inside draw late in the day will suit her pattern, but she comes in off a break, and fresh form is solid. Wyong 4YO gelding 8. Commander Bell looks well over the odds resuming off a nice trial effort, and drawn to get a cosy run. Wasn't far off them first-up last time, and won only previous start on this track. Wyong 6YO mare 11. Island Grange drops in weight after charging home for a dominant win at Pt Macquarie, but this is much tougher, and she draws off the track. Don't under-estimate 6YO local gelding 1. Atum at big odds, second-up off a long break. Beat some handy sprinters last prep, and stuck on okay at Gosford. Always improves into second-up run, but likely be forced to go a long way back from a wide draw.
Likely tempo: Good
My betting attack: Xiaoli's Ying to win
R2 - 5. HENSCHEL** Expect: $2.05 - $2.10; My Early Rating: $1.60
R4 - 4. GOOD AS NEW* Expect: $5.00 - $5.50; My Early Rating: $3.70
R8 - 12. XIAOLI'S YING* Expect: $2.45 - $2.60; My Early Rating: $1.95
R1 - 3. CAPTAIN'S LEGEND (E/W)* Expect: $5.50 - $6.00; My Early Rating: $3.90
R6 - 13. SERRIANO (E/W)* Expect: $9.00 - $10.00; My Early Rating: $5.25
JOCKEYS TO FOLLOW: Aaron Bullock; Keagan Latham