SHEEZINAJAM - Sheezinajam goes well at this track and drops back in trip from a dominant win in a Benchmark 62 over 1875m. Three starts back she was equally dominant when winning her Maiden here and Skye Bogenhuber, fresh from her first Group win yesterday, stays on. By Duke Of Marmalade out of a mare that won three times at 1600m this should be her ideal distance. Sheezinajam is drawn in gate eight but has the speed to go forward, can dictate and has more up side than the rest of this class three field. With a confident, in-form rider on top Sheezinajam can get the job done.
TEEROYS TRIBUTE - I have tipped Teeroys Tribute before with success and he invariably races well fresh. This short course sprint suits the son of Sequalo and all four previous wins have come when ridden by Kenji Yoshida. Eric Ropiha doesn’t have many horses these days but this fellow has been a consistent performer for the stable and from gate one should get a perfect run throughout. Teeroys Tribute will be cherry ripe for this first-up assignment and should be hard to hold off.
TRENT - To the detriment of my pocket I took on Trent at Port Macquarie last start when the three-year-old was having his first start NSW start however he will carry my cash in the Lauders Real Estate Wingham Class 1 and Maiden Showcase Plate (1600m). Trained in Victoria by Henry Dwyer, Trent worked home solidly at his first run for Matthew McCudden to win over what looked an unsuitable 1200m first-up. Trent was always going to win races in country NSW after finishing the closest of seconds in a race at Sandown Lakeside on November 22 coming from well back over 1400m before starting a $3.50 favourite when unplaced over 1800m hence my reasoning for considering 1200m too short. Wrong again, Trent worked home solidly to claim a narrow victory at Port Macquarie and in my opinion can only improve as the distance gets longer. If that’s the case Trent will take a power of beating on Friday.
INVICTA - Only one thing prevents me from declaring the Ken Parker-trained Invicta a good thing in the day’s feature, the Wingham Services Club Showcase Wingham Cup (1600m). A winner of five of his 19 career starts, Invicta has always shown plenty of promise and gets plenty of ticks on Friday having his second run back from a spell. Although Invicta has a duck egg next to his name, he was less than three-lengths from the winner in a benchmark 78 race at Warwick Farm resuming last time out. Robert Thompson has been the successful jockey in four of the five wins for Invicta and returns to the saddle on Friday after the gelding was ridden by an apprentice in Sydney and was friendless in betting easing from $26 to $101. Invicta came off a similar rating performance first-up last preparation to win the Cessnock Cup, so that’s a tick for second-up but it is also where a slight query arises. Although a winner over 1600m, the Cessnock Cup was over 1350m second-up last preparation and therein lies my nagging doubt, 1600m second-up, however at $5 in early betting I am prepared to take the punt.
WINTER SONATA - At first glance barrier 13 looks somewhat of an issue for the Kris Lees-trained Winter Sonata striving for back-to-back wins in the Hellbent @ Yarraman Park Class 1 Handicap (1400m) however the Racenet Speedmap suggests the concerns are unwarranted. The Racenet Barrier Speedmap available here suggests Winter Sonata won’t have much difficulty crossing to either lead or sit outside the leader which significantly improves her chances. After contesting provincial races in her first two careers starts including a maiden a Newcastle two runs back in a race where the first four home including Winter Sonata have subsequently won maidens, Lees took Winter Sonata to Taree for a what turned out to be a soft maiden win. With the early speed to overcome the wide draw and still scope for improvement at start number four, Winter Sonata looks set to send punters home on a winning note.