Race-by-race tips and preview for Hawkesbury on Thursday

Race 4 – 2.25PM: XXXX GOLD PROV & CTRY MAIDEN HANDICAP (1300m)

5. Extreme Freedom is the logical horse to beat. Fought hard when challenged on debut on a heavy track in a solid performance. Given an easy trial leading into this last week and sure to be in the firing line.
Dangers: 2. Avvertimento has struck form again in his last couple albeit on heavy tracks. Yet to race on good ground so it’ll be interesting to see if he can hold his form. 6. Zedly might find this a bit short of his best but he improved with racing last time in to be placed at a mile before a spell. Expect he’ll get back from the wide gate and work home, and he could be placed.
How to play it: Extreme Freedom to win.
Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 5 – 3.05PM: CLUB MOUNT LEWIS MAIDEN PLATE (1100m)

12. Renosu started favourite first-up on a heavy 10 and stopped quickly after leading. Zoukerino won that race. Forget that, he clearly didn’t love the wet and he’s trialled very well since. Entitled to another chance.
Dangers: 1. Boston City looks very close to a win with placings at his past two starts on this track. Just nabbed in the last few strides last start, drawn well and sure to be competitive again. 10. Magic is the wild card. The $2.5 million colt was placed in the Silver Slipper and Pago Pago at his first two
starts before failing in the group 1 Sires’. Always out the back and not tested in his trial won by Malkovich. Draw wide so he’ll go back and look to round them up. This is a maiden so he’s entitled
to feature. 11. Motion Legend has improved with each trial and while he was asked to win his latest at Kembla he did it quite well. Expecting him to look to be on the speed and could take running down.
How to play it: Renosu each-way.
Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 6 – 3.40PM: RICHMOND CLUB BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1800m)

5. Matlock should roll towards the front and give a good sight based on his latest effort when a close second to Regal Pom at Kembla. If he gets a nice run on pace this is no harder than last time so expecting him to be in the finish.
Dangers: 4. Good Omens ran well on a good track here three starts back, last couple have been on heavy ground including her Goulburn win a month ago. Another on-pacer and well worth another chance back out of city grade. 3. Time Raid struck some form when he led over this course fourth-up and boxed on for third. Needs to repeat that effort but chance he could on another good track. 1. So Sneeky is back on top of the ground after a couple of heavy track runs including a handy second at Warwick Farm a few weeks ago. Honest type who can’t be left out of the main hopes.
How to play it: Matlock to win and trifecta 5/1,3,4/1,3,4.
Odds and Evens: Split.

Race 7 – 4.15PM: PIONEER SERVICES ROWLEY MILE (1600m)

Hard to go past 2. Cross Talk who was awesome in his all-the-way win in the Winter Challenge. All the form around him is strong, he does have an extra 4.5kg to carry here but you know what you get, he’ll be going forward and he’s the one they have to beat.
Dangers: 4. Oscar Zulu backs up after a sound enough third behind Surefire at Rosehill last weekend. Placed both attempts at the mile and he’s capable of adding to that tally. 7. Monegal is rarely too far away in these races and she wasn’t disgraced in the Winter Challenge, running fifth, before a close fourth in the Coffs Harbour Cup. No surprise if she fills a placing. 3. Skyman is on the fresh side having not raced since he won the McKell Cup in June. Won three times at a mile so well worth including.
How to play it: Cross Talk to win and trifecta 2/3,4,7/3,4,7.
Odds and Evens: Evens.

Race 8 – 4.55PM: CELEBRATING DARRIN VOSS BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1300m)

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8. The Himalayas is coming through the grades this preparation and backed up an easy first-up maiden win with a similarly strong effort over this course at the end of June. Freshened up but looks progressive and has strong claims.
Dangers: 5. Mahagoni is a big watch first-up since two promising Midway efforts on heavy track in the early autumn. While his trials aren’t anything to rave about he could be a sharp improver on good track. 11. Navajo Peak is racing in good form and was just touched out as favourite at Wyong in this grade a few weeks ago. Has a wide gate to contend with but hard to leave out of the main chances. 7. Duke Of Buckingham trialled quite nicely for a first-up run and while he will relish a bit further his last win was at 1400m so he can sprint well fresh.
How to play it: The Himalayas to win and trifecta 8/5,7,11/5,7,11.
Odds and Evens: Split.

BEST BETS:
Race 2: (1) THE POACHER
Race 7: (2) CROSS TALK
BEST VALUE:
Race 5: (12) RENOSU

Tips supplied by Racing NSW
Full form and race replays available at racingnsw.com.au.

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