EPIC DAN - The Allan Kehoe-trained Epic Dan is drawn to get all the favours in the run when the gelding launches from barrier one in the Parkes Services Club Satellite Handicap (1200m). A Greg Ryan ride, Epic Dan should be right at his peak having his third run this preparation after finishing a close second to Goldfinch at Muswellbrook last start with a three-length gap back to third and the form was confirmed with the winner running a courageous race when run down late at Rosehill last start. It’s worth noting Epic Dan’s third-up record reads two wins and a placing from three runs - reckon he will be winning on Sunday at the same stage of a preparation.
NOEL'S GIFT - A winner of just one race from his first seven starts, the Gayna Williams-trained Noel’s Gift is the form horse coming into the Parkes Services Club Parkes Cup (1600m) with three wins and three placings from his last seven outings. Indeed the only time the Grant Buckley ride has missed a place in the sequence was in the Country Championships Final at Randwick when Noel’s Gift was far from disgraced finishing 5-1/2 lengths from the winner in the $600,000 final. A last start third over 1600m at Kembla looks a strong form reference for a Country Cup and Noel’s Gift looks well weighted getting in with 1kg over the limit. Noel’s Gift is likely to settle midfield behind a genuine tempo and will get his chance in the Parkes straight.
TOOTZ - Smith will have four runners at Coffs Harbour on Friday with Tootz looking the pick of them in the Michael Flick Landscape Maintenance Class 2 Handicap (1010m). A three-year-old daughter of Zizou out of the Fastnet Rock mare Rock And Roll, Tootz finished runner-up in races at Tuncurry and Port Macquarie at her first two career starts before going to the spelling paddocks with plenty of confidence after breaking through for a maiden win at Port Macquarie on October 7. Tootz returned a winner with a comfortable victory at Taree resuming last start and is a filly that looks to have further upside. It is worth noting the two wins for Tootz have come on soft and heavy tracks which adds confidence with Stewards posting a soft (6) track for racing at Coffs harbour on Friday.
CHALK - The Wendy Roche-trained Chalk has finally drawn a barrier and looks exceptional value in the Turangga Farm Class 2 Handicap (1300m). An $8 chance in early betting, Chalk has jumped from barrier eight or wider in his last five starts and gets his chance to return to the winner’s list with a soft run in transit starting from barrier two on Friday after being forced to race wide without cover in his two runs at Rosehill and Randwick this preparation. It’s worth noting the last time Chalk drew an inside barrier was six runs back when the four-year-old saluted at Randwick. I made one of Chalk’s rivals a Racenet Blackbooker out of the Hawkesbury stand-alone meeting on April 28, see the article here and will be having something on Fuchu at the $21 currently available as well.
NEW TIPPERARY - The Joe Pride-trained New Tipperary was another Racenet Blackbooker from recent weeks. you can read the full article here with the four-year-old looking well placed in the Darley Scone Cup (1600m). The essence of the thoughts in making New Tipperary a blackbooker apart from a promising first-up run were his second-up record (three wins and a second from five runs) and three of his six wins have come off 21-day breaks between races. New Tipperary gets ticks on both counts in Friday’s feature race and looks well weighted with 55kg. Wouldn’t want to be taking much less than $5 in a quality field on Friday but happy to have something at the $5.50 available at the time of writing.