Track Good 4, rail out 5m from 800m so should play on-speed early before levelling out.
RACE 1 – 2.18PM: TATHRA BEACH HOUSE APARTMENTS BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP (2208m):
Small staying field makes it a pure battle of cat-and-mouse tactics, but 2. The Potato Pontiff is the one on the rise and suited getting out to a longer trip third-up. Cruised home as a hot favourite this track last start and leading Canberra rider sticks.
Dangers: Cooma-trained 1. Coolamine won his home Cup two runs back before outclassed in a stronger BM65 Federal at Canberra and with the riders claim looms as the quinella runner. Queanbeyan-trained 4. Hilltop Hood is third best.
How to play it: The Potato Pontiff to win, quinella 1 and 2, first 4 in order 2-1-4-3
RACE 2 – 2.53PM: TATHRA BEACH BOWLO TATHRA CUP (1008m, BM58):
Moruya mare 1. Living Doll looks very well placed coming back from a hotter BM83. Flying when overrun late, and still in well at the weights after the claim.
Dangers: Goulburn-trained 2. Newtown Is Coming won two back at Nowra before puncturing late over the 1200m at Canberra. Mixes form, but this is weaker and shorter trip suits. Much-improved effort from Kembla-based 3. Halliday Road in a decent class 3 at Wagga last start, but goes up sharply in weight.
How to play it: Living Doll to win and quinella 1 and 2.
RACE 3- 3.28PM: HEAT 1 SAPPHIRE STAYERS BENCHMARK 66 HANDICAP – BEGA CUP PRELUDE (1608m):
Tricky race, but Canberra-trained 4. Reliant has been solid enough to the line in his last two when easy in the betting both times, but is crying out for the extra trip.
Dangers: Canberra rival 1. Balansa is the clear threat back in grade despite a poor effort second-up. Extra trip and rider's claim big plusses. Moruya-trained 5. The Blues Brother appears the only other winning chance after scoring two back this track in similar grade. Found the BM78 Fred Cooper at Goulburn a little rich, but this suits better from a nice trailing draw.
How to play it: Reliant to win and box trifecta 1-4-5.
RACE 4 – 4.03PM: KIM POSO PROPERTIES CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1608m):
Low-rating race at set weights looks ideal for Canberra mare 10. Reign Over Me which broke through to win her maiden at home last start and can go right on with the job from the inside draw.
Dangers: Moruya-trained 1. Bendethera made light work of his big price and weight last start hitting the line hard in a BM58, and is even better suited over the longer trip while Moruya mare 8. Georgian Court improved into the placings stepping up to this trip last start. From smart stable and will take up a nice striking position off the speed. Watch for big improvement second-up from lightly-raced 6. Oscar Cranach. Bred on high-class European staying lines, he didnt do much first-up at Moruya but fitter and extra trip an obvious advantage while Canberra-trained 4. Imanacheeva can be very hard to catch, but will take up a forward position and this isn't strong.
How to play it: Reign Over Me to win
RACE 5 – 4.38PM: BUILDCERT CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1008m):
Lining up to back Canberra three-year-old 1. Ninky Nonk here. Resumed with a solid effort in a strong class 2 at Orange when caught in the worst part of the track late, and is unbeaten second-up.
Dangers: Canberra mare 4. Kopaonik hit the line hard in her final two runs last prep on the synthetic there and appears well placed first-up with the riders 2kg claim. Super consistent Moruya sprinter 5. Smart Remark incredibly has not missed a place since April, winning his maiden six runs back at Queanbeyan before a string of close seconds, each time sitting just off the speed in similar grades. Draws again to get a cosy run and be in the finish. Well weighted.
How to play it: Ninky Nonk to win and box exacta 1-4-5.
RACE 6 – 5.13PM: LITTLE BOTTLER TATHRA MAIDEN PLATE (1208m):
Another moderate but tough race to dissect. Canberra mare 6. Boston Ivy can finally crack her maiden first-up. Hasnt raced since a flat performance in a class 1 this track back in July, but stable renowned for having them ready and she draws a lovely stalking barrier.
Dangers: Canberra-trained 1. Banja Luka is the clear threat. Hasnt been beaten far in three runs back from a long spell and should be peaking fourth-up, with the rider claiming 2kg.
How to play it: Boston Ivy to win and quinella 1 and 6.
RACE 7 – 5.50PM: ITZ GUNNA BE BIG 2 DAY CARNIVAL 2 & 3 FEB MAIDEN PLATE (1408m):
Surely this is breakthrough time for Canberra four-year-old 3. Luga Lad at 18th career start.
Didnt finish off at Wagga last start, but previously had been charging through the line right through this prep. Draws nicely here to settle midfield with cover and pounce late.
Dangers: Local 5. Samaras Choice didnt run on first-up from a long break at Wagga, but was specked in the market and will improve significantly second-up while big watch on Braidwood mare 9. Star Cash which is improving and was game from the front coming back in trip last start at Moruya. Expect Canberra filly 10. Larmour to also improve second-up at this trip after a modest first-up run at Wagga.
How to play it: Luga Lad to win
R2 1. LIVING DOLL
R7 3. LUGA LAD
R3 4. RELIANT
Supplied by Racing NSW.
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