Form analyst Mitch Cohen gives his best bets and runs the rule over the Quaddie legs at Ballina and Gosford.
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Race 8, No.8: OLAKAU’ATU
Won with a bit in hand at Coffs Harbour first-up. Gets every chance to repeat the dose from a favourable draw.
Race 3, No.5: JIMMY GAGGLE
Has his hoof on the till. Well placed to get the money at start three.
Race 6, No.2: PARKSVILLE
Talented galloper that’s capable of recapturing his best form first-up from a break.
Race 5: 1, 2
Race 6: 1, 2, 4, 8, 11
Race 7: 3, 4, 5, 6, 8
Race 8: 8
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Andrew Mallyon had a treble at Doomben on Wednesday and comes to Ballina with a hot hand.
Race 2, No.12: LADY’S PERCIVAL’S
Talented filly improving with every run. Ready to win a maiden now.
Race 5, No.6: CHIPPER
Should have taken plenty of confidence out of a dominant win last start. Can go on with it here.
Race 1, No.9: WHISKY WISDOM
Made up good ground on debut. Suited by the step up to 1200m second-up.
Al Ash Lad has three placings from five starts for trainer Matt Dunn. The son of Al Maher’s last start second at Ipswich had plenty of merit and he will no doubt be open to further improvement second-up. Nano Star drops back from metropolitan grade to an easier country assignment. Has placed six times in 11 runs. Southern Highlands hasn’t been far away in three runs and gets the perfect draw to run well again. Goddess Glow got in the field as the second emergency but needs to overcome the horror 20 gate.
Verdict: Al Ash Lad to win.
Parksville raced below his best last prep but has won a trial nicely in the lead up to his return. He placed in a Country Championships qualifier less than 12 months ago and recapturing that sort of form is good enough for this. Won at this track and trip at his only previous attempt. Let’s Go Marty is a three-time winner first-up. Tricky draw to overcome but has the talent. Star Magnum runs well fresh and has trialled well in the lead up while Palawi Kani is hunting three consecutive wins at this track and trip.
Verdict: Parksville to win.
With Big Dance eligibility on the line, Point Counterpoint is well position to book his spot to Randwick. The Stirling Osland-trained gelding has been racing in excellent form and strikes a favourable trip here. His record at the mile read two wins and a second from four attempts. Spangler is the best of the two Kris Lees gallopers. Chased hard to just miss at Randwick last time and continues to race well. The Tyler is aiming to win the Christmas Cup-Ballina Cup double. Gets a better draw in barrier 3 as opposed to the 13 gate he overcome in his last win.
Verdict: Point Counterpoint to win.
Olakau’atu looks like one of the best bets on the program. The lightly-raced three-year-old returned with a stylish win at Coffs Harbour last start and can repeat the performance here. Sticks around the same trip with an excellent draw. Danger comes from Chickerartie. The Stephen Lee-trained mare has had all four starts at Ballina this prep, winning two and finishing second in another. Put a line through Legal Edition’s last run. He should be a sharp improver.
Verdict: Olakau’atu to win.
Rangitikei continues to race well without winning. Has finished within a length of the winner in a pair of seconds over 1900m at Canterbury at her past two and stays at the same trip here. Octahedron has been runner up in two of his three runs. Will derive benefit from a 2000m run last time. Dash Dash Dash has placed six times in 14 runs. One of those placings was a second at this track and distance last July. Half of Jimmy Manolo’s eight runs have been second placings.
Verdict: Rangitikei to win.
Hard to go past Chipper on the strength on his maiden win at Wyong. The Kim Waugh-trained galloper gave his rivals a lesson with a five and a quarter-length triumph. Can go forward and prove tough to catch again. I’ll Tell You Now has been racing in excellent form with wins at his past two including last start at Gosford. Must lug the top weight of 61.5kg now. Wish Geewiz Johnny had drawn a gate. The Greg McFarlane-trained gelding is racing well but has the tricky barrier 11 to contend with. King Charming can’t be discounted.
Verdict: Chipper to win.
Calm Down got a well-earned win on the board at Hawkesbury last time. That should be a big confidence booster after she had placed at six of her eight starts before that. Barrier five could prove crucial in a competitive race. Sir Godric jumps from one to her inside. He ran okay when fourth at his first attempt at the mile and should improve off that. Annabel Neasham has a strong hand. Badda Boom Baby was a strong winner last time while Western Front is a former European galloper on debut with a couple of quiet trials. Watch betting with him.
Verdict: Calm Down to win.
King Of Naples has a win and four placings from eight starts. The John O’Shea-trained gelding ran well when second at this track and trip last start. Should get the perfect run from the gate. Capital Asset returns from a break after showing plenty of promise in his debut prep. Two trials indicate the Snowden galloper has returned in good order. Tim’s Principal races will at this venue and loves a third-up assignment. He may be nine now but is still racing well.
Verdict: King Of Naples to win.
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