BELRIDGE - A maiden from 18 race starts on good tracks, the stats for the Nick Mitchell-trained Belridge look substantially better when the five-year-old’s form is filtered to isolate performances on soft and heavy tracks. Three wins and two runner-up efforts from 11-starts suggest Belridge has conditions made to order in the Prime7 News Class 3 Handicap (1412m). Belridge hasn’t been sighted in three starts this preparation on good tracks and we have to go back to June 2017 to find his last run on a heavy track which resulted in an emphatic 5-1/2 length win in class two company at Nowra. Apprentices have been on board Belridge in each of the three runs in his current preparation with the booking for Chad Lever on Tuesday being taken as a positive lead. The blinkers go on for the first time and Belridge looks set for a sharp improvement with conditions to suit.
CHALCEDONY - Trained on the track my Matthew Robinson, Chalcedony is another galloper whose record looks better on wet tracks. One win and four placings from 23-starts on top of the ground versus four wins and four seconds from 20-starts when the rain is about is reasonable enough evidence to suggest Chalcedony’s chances are enhanced in the wet ground on Tuesday. Chalcedony has been contesting stronger races in recent starts including a close second in an open handicap on a heavy (8) track at Taree last start. At first glance the 9kg weight race down in grade to a benchmark 59 in the Wingham Beef Exports Handicap (1614m) would look a substantial hurdle however if we go back to a race at Taree on March 16 we find Chalcedony going down narrowly in a benchmark 55 lumping 61.5kg on a good track with a look at the replay suggesting the six-year-old was unlucky after being held-up for a considerable portion of the straight. Chalcedony is well treated at the weights and gets his chance to return to the winner’s list on his preferred wet ground.
OUR TROLLEY DOLLY - Whilst the evidence isn’t as clear as to a preference for wet ground for the Neil Godbolt-trained Our Trolley Dolly who chases back to back wins in the XXXX Gold Class 2 Handicap (1007m), the three-year-old daughter of Star Witness is proven on heavy ground. An 18-start maiden at the start of her current preparation, Our Trolley Dolly has won two of her three runs this time in winning on a heavy 8 surface at Coffs Harbour three runs back and winning on good ground at the same track last time out. The two wins were separated by an unplaced effort at Taree however Our Trolley Dolly hit the line strongly on that occasion and was less than two lengths from the winner when the judge called a halt. It’s is far more likely Our Trolley Dolly has simply turned the corner rather than having a preference for any track condition but whatever the reason Our Trolley Dolly’s recent form looks good enough to be right in the mix on Tuesday.
ANOTHER PLAN - There was enough in the maiden win of the Brett Cavanough-trained Another Plan to suggest the four-year-old can handle the rise in grade when he contests the City Of Dubbo Club Members Memorial Class 1 Handicap (1400m). Having his second start in a race, Another Plan had plenty on a maiden field at Coonamble on March 12 going straight to the front and racing away to win by more than three-lengths. A couple of winners have come out of the race to add merit to the form albeit at non-tab meetings and there is still plenty of scope for improvement for Another Plan. Another Plan has the early speed to take advantage of the inside barrier draw and will take plenty of running down again despite the class rise.
VALATIA - There haven’t been too many gear changes in the 39-start career of the Scott Thompson-trained Valatia who will have the blinkers back on when he contests the Dubbo RSL Sunset Bistro Benchmark 55 Handicap (1600m). Valatia wore blinkers for the first time on March 12, 2015 at his sixth career start with the gear change getting immediate results when the gelding won his maiden over the 1600m at Dubbo. Blinkers remained a part of Valatia’s gear as the now seven-year-old won an additional three races during the next three years with the blinkers coming off on March 6 and once again the change in gear was successful with Valatia winning over 1600m at Scone. After two subsequent unplaced runs at Dubbo and Scone the blinkers go back on for Friday’s assignment. Just maybe Valatia needs the gear changes to put his mind on the job nowadays, at $13 I am happy to have something on to see if we are on the right path.