Scone trainer Stephen Jones one to follow on hometown track

THE Scone Race Club will step in to assist the Tamworth Jockey Club when it hosts the organisation's abandoned meeting in the Upper Hunter this week.

Originally scheduled for Monday, it's now transferred to the Bunnan Road track on Tuesday, February 11.

The first race starts at 1.50pm, with free general entry.


A tricky opener, with several first-starters likely to have a big hand. One of them, 3YO home track filly 7. Beauty Betty (Swiss Ace x Ugly Betty by High Yield for Stephen Jones/Grant Buckley) looks the one to beat after winning both lead-up trials, the latest sat three wide on a true tempo, and eased home with plenty in the tank, still clocking a tick over 33 secs for the final 600m. Senior country hoop and trial rider sticks for in-form stable.

Main dangers: The intriguingly bred 3YO Tamworth gelding 1. Crackerjack Kenny is on the brink of breaking through at ninth start after powering home from well back in all three runs this prep, including less than a length off smart Free Rider last start. Didn't look at home in previous runs on rain-affected ground, and sire had little or no wet track form, despite being a Group 1 Northern Hemisphere winner before having four runs in Victoria. Big watch on debut 3YO Newcastle gelding 2. Devil's Choice (Choisir x Sheer Fantazee by Testa Rossa) who trialled well, and stable is firing. Rival Scone 3YO 4. Glendor will be better for the first-up run in heavy ground at Taree when couldn't hang on after leading as a well fancied favourite; while 3YO debutant Muswellbrook gelding 3. Forbidden Palace (Not A Single Doubt x Bernazena by Bernardini) has spent a long time at the trials since outclassed in a Listed sprint on debut at Flemington in the spring of 2018, but is bred to handle wet ground.

Tempo: Solid to good

My betting attack: Beauty Betty to win


Play it again Sam over the same trip for the 3YO's at set weights. Local filly 6. Confinement (Cameron Crockett/Grant Buckley) resumes off two smart trials, the latest recovering from a slow start to lead easily and only run down late by the smart finisher Fritz's Factor. Has already shown a liking for wet tracks, and the blinkers come off.

Main dangers: Tamworth colt and first starter 1. Farmer's Friend (Zoffany x Forcibly by Marauding) wasn't pushed out leading comfortably all the way in a recent home trial, and this suits, although must be a query in these conditions on debut. Rival Tamworth gelding 4. Marcus Cassius (Time For War x Love The Feeling by Semipalatinsk) has also trialled nicely under a hold, and sire was a Group 2 winner as a 2YO in heavy ground; while another home track filly 9. Inferno Miss stuck on well debuting here in a handy maiden four weeks back, and sire remarkably won his first three starts in Soft 7 ground up to Listed level.

Tempo: Solid to good

My betting attack: Confinement to win and trifecta 1, 4, 6/1, 4, 6, 9/1, 4, 6, 9

Race 3 @ CARLTON UNITED BM 58 HCP (1000m)

Still with the sprinters, and improving 3YO local gelding 1. Golden Avenger (Cameron Crockett/Ms Samantha Clenton a0) can go close third-up after an even effort behind high class Hellenism in a Highway at Randwick, and only previous run on rain-affected ground was beaten an eyelash as a 2YO.

Main dangers: Another one from the local Stephen Jones yard, 4YO mare 5. The Light Of Day just missed at Tamworth third-up in this grade after a smart maiden win at Taree to start the prep. Has more than enough ability over this trip, but never been on anything under a Good surface. You're never quite sure which 6YO gelding 4. Invincible Bot is turning up, but this is his best distance, and has sound wet track form. Gilgandra 6YO gelding 8. Baby Merlin has a poor strike rate, and takes on a few better ones here, but best form is clearly in wet ground.

Tempo: Moderate to good

My betting attack: Golden Avenger to win and box exacta 1, 4, 5

Race 4 @ 3.40pm THREAD EFFECTS BM 58 HCP (1400m)

Fairly open contest, although now 7YO Wyong gelding 4. Scatter Blast (Damien Lane/Jake Hull) has returned to the winner's stall finishing powerfully third-up this grade at Tamworth, he can go on with it third-up. One of the better wet-trackers on the program.

Main dangers: Tamworth 6YO mare 2. Ready To Go Go hasn't won for a long time, but can fire third-up dropping back in quality, and wet track form is okay. Newcastle 4YO mare 1. Power Of Wexford should be right at her peak after four runs back, finishing well last time in a Class 3 through inferior ground. Drops a little in grade, but up sharply in weight, and heavy track is some query. Tamworth 5YO mare 7. Olivia's Girl is better than her two wins and four placings from 25 starts. Got home okay behind Scatter Blast in this grade before again doing best work late in a handy Class 3 at Walcha.

Tempo: Moderate to good

My betting attack: Scatter Blast to win and box trifecta 1, 2, 4, 7

Race 5 @ 4.20pm FURNEY'S STOCK FEEDS CLASS 1 HCP (1400m)

Potentially very high rating Class 1, and looms as a two-horse war. Well-bred 3YO Newcastle gelding 1. Animate (Kris Lees/Andrew Gibbons) can bounce back with the blinkers going on after finishing hard as an easing favourite first-up at Port Macquarie. By World Cup and Kentucky Derby-winning Animal Kingdom, out of a smart mare who did handle wet ground. Extra ground and wider draw suit well, and only needs to get through the conditions to be the one to beat.

Main dangers: Smart Newcastle mare 2. Lochita has bigger fish to fry after powering home as a well tried favourite to win first-up at Taree on a Heavy 10 beating Toguchi who was only then beaten a whisker at her next start. Be shocked if one of those two doesn't win, but don't completely under-sell 3YO Muswellbrook gelding 3. Chargement who can improve second-up.

Tempo: Good

My betting attack: Animate to win and Quinella 1 and 2

Race 6 @ 4.55pm RAPID CLEAN MAIDEN HCP (1400m)

Thinner and tough battle here with plenty of chances. Like the value about improving 3YO Wyong filly 13. Pop's Glory (Damien Lane/Darryl McLellan) with the blinkers going on. Worked home fairly in two runs to start her career, but this is weaker, and will love the long sweeping run in here. By a Group 1 winner in the UK who was very good in wet ground.

Main dangers: Newcastle 3YO gelding 2. Mbappe will appreciate the longer trip after working home on debut here a month back, but rises is weight. Wyong 3YO filly 6. Sister Wife didn't fire a shot on debut at Muswellbrook in Soft 7, but will find this a little easier.

Tempo: Moderate to good

My betting attack: Pop's Glory each-way


Testing finish, with a stack of hopes. Progressive 3YO Tamworth filly 9. Crimson Rose (Sue Grills/Greg Ryan) is first-up without an official trial, but should come to hand quickly over this trip, with top country rider aboard. High class sire won his only start in heavy ground.

Main dangers: Consistent 3YO Newcastle filly 3. Frozen In Time resumes for a second prep off a nice open trial, and didn't miss a place in four runs last winter, including a maiden win at Muswellbrook in soft ground. Inside draw late in the day is the biggest concern. Muswellbrook 6YO gelding 6. Voyages also resumes without a public trial, but the blinkers go on and gets to a track where he can be ridden quietly back in the field. Flew home to win his maiden under 59kg last spring. Local 5YO mare 10. Hardspot hasn't started for more than nine months, but has trialled well for strong stable. Watch the market on 4YO Wyong gelding 4. Egyptian Pharoah who resumes without a public trial, but has ability. Down in weight, although must be a query fresh on wet track.

Tempo: Good to strong

My betting attack: Crimson Rose to win and box trifecta/first four 3, 4, 6, 9, 10

My best bets



R5 1 and 2 QUINELLA

My best value



Jockeys to follow: Grant Buckley, Andrew Gibbons

Trainers to follow: Stephen Jones, Cameron Crockett, Damien Lane