Raceday focus: Coonabarabran and Coffs Harbour

MILLION-DOLLAR yearling Red Knot is on target to defend his Coonabarabran Cup crown as he continues his country crusade around NSW.

Red Knot has won five of his six races over Monday’s 1600m distance, including his last outing to take home the Coonamble Cup.

He led throughout last start under apprentice Reece Jones, who is on board again today, and trainer Rodney Northam believes he’s well placed with the 4kg claim off his 60kg weight.

“There’s been a little bit of rain out there so it should be a nice track for him and he’s drawn OK in barrier five. The young apprentice rode him well last start, so he’ll get his chance,’’ Northam said of the 2014 Magic Millions Sale topper.

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BEST BETS WITH BRAD DAVIDSON: COONABARABRAN CUP DAY

BEST EACH-WAY: MIAMI DADE (Race 7, No. 8)

I thought his run in the Coonamble Cup was a beauty. He had to go right back from the wide draw but had the best late splits in the race. He can settle closer in the run here from the better draw.

NEXT BEST: BLINKIN FAST (Race 4, No. 1)

He has the 59kg to lump but he just has the best form coming into this. He was only two lengths away in a recent Highway race in Sydney and his form prior reads well for this. He also handles all conditions.

OTHER PLAY: REGAL CANNON (Race 2, No. 1)

He just got too far back first-up but I like the way he found the line when clear late. He will appreciate the extra 100m and just has to stay in touch early.

BEST EXOTIC: QUADDIE

1st leg: 11,3. 2nd leg: 6,1,2. 3rd leg: 8,2,3,4,5. 4th leg: 7,2,4,3.

JOCKEY TO FOLLOW: GREG RYAN

Has a full book of eight rides, including several strong hopes.

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“There is probably a little bit more pressure in this race than what there was in the Coonamble Cup so he probably won’t get an easy lead up in front, but he’s fit.’’

Red Knot’s winning prospects soar when he is able to lead and dictate the tempo in races. Of his six career victories, five have come after leading throughout.

“Once he gets into his rhythm, he relaxes in the mid stages,’’ Northam said.

“He has got a fairly high cruising speed and just goes along at that gallop then he’ll find a length or two turning for home and just sort of hold that to the line.

“If he gets them off the bit turning for home then he is pretty hard to run down.’’

Red Knot, a son of Redoute’s Choice, was the highest priced yearling to go under the hammer at the Gold Coast Magic Millions Sale in 2014, selling to Gai Waterhouse for $1 million.

Red Knot failed to win a race under Waterhouse at Tulloch Lodge but has turned the corner since relocating to Scone.

“He’s a hard-going horse on the track so I think with the quieter environment here in the country, he doesn’t get fired up as much,” Northam said.

“Obviously it’s a lot lesser grade and he’s been able to win a few races and get a bit of confidence. I think that’s probably helped him more than anything else.

“He holds his form pretty well and he’s in a very good place at the moment.’’

Meanwhile, champion country jockey Greg Ryan is sticking with the Northam-trained gelding The Debater in Monday’s OSM Constructions Class 1 Handicap (1400m) after a rock- solid second at Coonamble 15 days ago.

“He ran really well,’’ Northam said. “He was caught a bit wide and probably a little bit further back than we wanted to be but he attacked the line really well.

“He has drawn awkward again (today) and probably has to go back a bit again but there looks to be good speed in the race.”

McCARTHY HOPES BETTER TRACK WILL YIELD RESULTS

AN improving track at Coffs Harbour is what trainer Terry McCarthy wants to see when he arrives from Ballina on Monday.

He lines up two runners, Stellar Jewel and Blue Monte, and his six-year-old mare looks to be his best winning chance.

Stellar Jewel races in a Class 3 Handicap (2010m) and has finished in the placings at her past three runs including a third at her home track last start over 1900m when she came from sixth at the 400m.

“She’ll race well. She should have nearly won last start at Ballina but she’s one of those unlucky horses that can find something to go wrong during a race,” McCarthy said. “This race should suit her now that she’s going up to 2000m and I’d like to see the track get out of the heavy range.”

With regular rider Leah Kilner on board she’ll relax in the run before making her rivals work before the home bend and she only has to carry 53kg. “The trip is something she can handle and we’ll ride her a little bit different than usual. We’ll ride her more quiet so she can make a nice long run,” McCarthy said.

“The horse of Matthew Dunn’s (Mother To Race Her) likes to race on the speed so there will probably be a bit of tempo in the race. She always runs an honest race so I’m hoping she can poke her nose out and win.”

Blue Monte lines up in Class 1 Handicap (1507m) a race later and while his form doesn’t read as good, he’s run behind the likes of New Horizons and Caro Cavallo this time in.

“He’s a fit horse but he’s been struggling to find the right races,” McCarthy said. “The company he’s been going around in is pretty solid and the distance should suit him.”

Thoroughbred action heads to Coonabarabran and Coffs Harbour in NSW on Monday.Source:News Corp Australia

INSIDE MAIL WITH BRAD DAVIDSON: COONABARABRAN CUP DAY

RACE 1

10. Labrusco just found one better on debut at Muswellbrook but he trialled well behind the likes of Nictock and Sharpe Hussler prior to that. He will be better for the run and has drawn to get all the favours. 11. Lock And Launch hasn’t been far away in two trials this time in and he is bred by Gooree Park Stud. 2. Thermosa was under a hold in a recent trial and also must be respected.

BETTING STRATEGY: LABRUSCO TO WIN.

RACE 2

1. Regal Cannon just got too far back first-up but I like the way he found the line when clear late. He will appreciate the extra 100m and he just has to stay in touch early. 10. Miss Academy won a Beaumont trial and then covered ground on debut when third at Dubbo over the 1000m. She will be better for that. 11. Nic And Run is always capable but hasn’t won in 21 starts to date.

BETTING STRATEGY: REGAL CANNON TO WIN. QUINELLA-1,10.

RACE 3

3. Festival Of Light did a bit of work to find the front last start and then give a big kick at the top of the straight only to be run down late. He should go close again here. 4. The Debater drifts back anyway so the wide draw is probably not hopeless here. He has really attacked the line at his past two starts and should be doing the same here. 9. Blinkin Legend was runner-up at Armidale two back and she only has to reproduce that to go close here.

BETTING STRATEGY: LEANING TO FESTIVAL OF LIGHT.

RACE 4

1. Blinkin Fast has the 59kg to lump but he just has the best form coming into this. He was only two lengths away in a recent Highway race in Sydney and his form prior reads well for this. He also handles all conditions. 5. Podium Bound has been getting home at his past couple and can sit a touch closer from the low draw, while 4. Cricklewood has been running on well at his past couple and should do the same here.

BETTING STRATEGY: BLINKIN FAST TO WIN.

RACE 5

Class 2 Plate here and some of these are really well weighted and the other not so much. 11. Meraki Miss is one that is pretty well off at the weights and she probably looks the horse to beat if she lines up here. She was a good winner at Orange last start and looks to go one better. 3. Recital has won his past two and did trial well coming into this. 13. Tallyman next best.

BETTING STRATEGY: BOXED QUINELLA- 3,11.

RACE 6

Good race the Cup Day Sprint and track conditions will probably determine a lot. 1. Nictock is the best horse in the race but he has a big weight to lump and doesn’t want it wet. The safe way to go is probably 6. Our Dasha and she has been flying this prep. She was only three lengths off Esperance last start and won three on the trot prior to that. 2. Under The Thumb has a big finish on his day but where does he get from the outside gate?

BETTING STRATEGY: OUR DASHA TO WIN.

RACE 7

I want to make a case for 8. Miami Dade here and I thought his run in the Coonamble Cup was a beauty. He had to go right back from the wide draw but had the best late splits in the race. He can settle closer in the run here. 2. Red Knot won the Coonamble Cup but goes up in the weights here because of it. He should be hard to catch again. 3. Itsa Fait Accompli, 4. Schedule and 5. All But Gone (if he runs here) should all be running on as well in the big race of the day.

BETTING STRATEGY: MIAMI DADE EACH-WAY.

RACE 8

Interesting race where track conditions will be important. If it’s proper wet by this time than 7. Hammoon Bridge and 2. Not For Export both love these conditions and should go close 4. Austin has been in terrific form of late and should go close regardless of the conditions. 3. Free Ticket ran well first-up and is not a noted fresh performer, so he will be better for that.

BETTING STRATEGY: HAMMOON BRIDGE IF HEAVY, AUSTIN IF SOFT OR BETTER.

Originally published as Raceday focus: Coonabarabran and Coffs Harbour


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