Raceday focus: Best bets at Scone, Parkes

Not much has been able to stop Anchois this preparation and his trainer Cody Morgan is expecting another big run from one his best horses at Scone on Thursday.

The Choisir four-year-old lines up in a BM66 Handicap (1100m) and heading into this race only the smart Sei Stella has beaten him at his three runs this time in.

That was in a Highway Handicap in December and he’s a great fresh horse so six weeks in between runs isn’t going to hurt his chances.

“He has a crack every time. He’s my best chance,” Morgan said.

“He’ll go there and put himself in the first two or three and he looks really well. He looks great in the skin and he worked well on Saturday morning and should be hard to beat.

“He going into it with 57.5kg instead of 59kg will help and Wendy has ridden half a dozen winners for me this season so she’s riding well.”

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MATT JONES’ BEST BETS

SCONE

BEST BET: ANCHOIS (Race 8, No. 2)

This horse comes off a good form race when second and the freshen up only plays to his advantage and it’s hard to see oneget the better of him if he’s at his best.

NEXT BEST: SINGLE SAPPHIRE (Race 6 No.11)

This horse has only had two runs but they’ve both been in town and she wasn’t disgraced on either occasion. She’s drawn perfectlytoo.

BEST EXOTIC: QUADDIE

Race 5: 1, 2, 4

Race 6: 3, 8, 11

Race 7: 1, 2, 5, 6

Race 8: Leg 4: 2

TRAINER TO WATCH

Peter and Paul Snowden send two horses — Vici (Race 1) and Single Sapphire (Race 6) — to the bush which doesn’t happen too often and you get the feeling they’re hear for confidence boosting runs.

PARKES

BEST BET: CASZAR (Race 7 No.2)

This horse is really knocking on the door and after some encouraging runs should be ready to get the job done.

JOCKEY TO WATCH

Qin Yong has five rides with Any Blinkin’ Day and Dynamite Dan looking like his best hopes.

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Despite his good form this preparation, Morgan doesn’t think it will be a walk in the park with Wendy Peel on board from barrier four.

It’s an open race with at least three other good hopes.

“There’s probably a couple of sneaky chances in the race. I’ve always followed Rodney Northam’s horse (Love For Willow) on its home track and it will be getting home hard,” Morgan said.

“The dangers, Press Review and Love For Willow, are more 1400m horses and Kedah will be tough to beat too.”

Making Shadows is Morgan’s other hope and he’ll be trying to win a Benchmark 5 Handicap (1600m).

He’s got it in his to win on talent alone but needs to be more determined according to his trainer who said he had excuses last start when seventh at Tamworth.

He’s third-up now and is very fit.

“He was really good first-up. He paraded a bit over the top then and I made a mistake by taking the blinkers off second-up. I shouldn’t have,” Morgan said.

“I’ve put the visors back on him and taken the ear muffs off. He was caught three deep last time.”

The five-year-old has placed six times from 18 starts but it’s the number in the win column that is the worry for his supporters.

“The only concern is that he’s won one from 17 and that was on a heavy track so that’s hard to look past,” Morgan said.

“It’s D-Day for him here with a good drawn in an even race so I think he’ll be right in the finish even though he’s not that genuine. He wants the mile.”

Morgan just wants him to get smothered in the run and be allowed to finish off his race down the straight.

“I think he’ll be midfield then we’ll get him to the outside. He looks hard to beat even though he’s only won once from 17 starts,” he said.

Western Parade and Western Saga, along with St Luke look to be the main dangers in the big field and Morgan said his runner is a nice each-way chance if he gets even luck.

ANY BLINKIN’ DAY TO HAVE GOOD LOOK AT WIN

Clint Lundholm has plenty of faith in his veteran Any Blinkin’ Day as he sets him for another feature country race at Parkes.

The seven-year-old races in the Open Handicap (1400m) and he’s no stranger to this type of race as he enters his 43rd start.

He comes off a fifth placing behind the in-form Mackellar’s Love and he won at his only start at Parkes and over 1400m.

“I think the old horse is back in good form and has been very consistent of late. I think he’s a great chance in the race,” Lundholm said.

“It looks good paper. I can only go on what the horse is doing at home and he looks a million bucks and is doing well so I’m sure he can figure somewhere in the finish.

“He’s a hardened handicapper now and he can win it.”

Mum’s The Word is looking to make it back-to-back wins in a BM58 Handicap (1000m) after triumphing at Gilgandra over 1200m a month ago and the drop back in trip shouldn’t hurt her hopes.

“I think she’s struck a nice race here,” Lundholm said.

“She’s been going great. I know she’s only won the one start but she’s only been beaten by less than three lengths all preparation.”

Ben Shoof is racing for the Dubbo trainer in a Class 2 Handicap (1400m) and he feels the Hemlet four-year-old’s consistency will take him a long way in the event.

Zouzoom is still trying for a breakthrough win in a Maiden Plate (1600m) and he ran third last start over 1550m.

It was his best race performance after a strong of runs at 1000m and 1300m

“We finally got a placing out of him and he’s got to the distance he needs. He’s shown that he wants a mile,” Lundholm said.

“He’s got no pace early but he’ll keep battling away home and he can run well again.”

MATT JONES’ INSIDE MAIL

SCONE

RACE 5

Bon Allen has been given his easiest assignment in a while today but he’ll still need to be at his best to win. In Good Healthis first-up and wasn’t bad in running third to end her last preparation and she’s got enough talent to figure in the finish.Go Joyce Go returns after suffering a bleeding attack last winter. He’s another who has the talent to go close to winning.Dreamy Dragon will come from off the speed and hit the line hard.

BET: Bon Allen to win

RACE 6

Luna Mia is a Redoute’s Choice filly who comes off a barrier trial win ahead of her debut here. Drawing wide is often a negative,especially with a first starter, but she may just have the talent to win. Expellable gets the blinkers on for the first timenow and he’s getting better each time he steps out on a track. Single Sapphire was less than three lengths off them in townlast start so she should be a big threat now in the bush. Akecheta will learn a lot off his debut run.

BET: Single Sapphire to win

RACE 7

Western Parade has been freshened and goes from a 2100m run back to a mile and that’s often a proven formula and he’s goingto look to come over the top of them late. Western Saga doesn’t fire a shot on wet tracks and the firmer surface at Sconeis what he needs to win again and he’s won twice at the distance. St Luke shouldn’t be discounted at a track and trip thathe enjoys. He missed the kick last start.

BET: St Luke to win

RACE 8

Anchois ran a good race when second in a Highway race more than a month ago and he will fire off a freshen up from a goodgate at a reasonable weight. Kedah looks like his main rival and she’s won two from four and forgive her ninth placing laststart. Press Review came of age later last preparation and gets a light weight and good gate so there’s no reason she can’trun a big race.

BET: Achois to win

PARKES

RACE 4

The Rouseabout is third-up now and should peak and he hasn’t been far off his victors for many starts in the past year. Hemight be over the odds. Bid To Fame is going up two classes here off a breakthrough win but it’s not the hardest Class 2 raceand he’ll be coming from off the speed. Recital has raced against better horses than he faces here and is a hope at a triphe likes. Zaze is similar and should be beat home with Greg Ryan on.

BET: The Rouseabout to win

RACE 5

A Martin Placepick is flying at the moment but in all her wins and placings of late she has drawn perfectly but that’s notthe case today. Kingsbridge will improve a lot second-up but the wide gate is a query. Sea Lady has been a nice mare for sometime now and she’ll be in this for a long way and she’s been unlucky not to win the past two. Trainer Rodney Robb told stewardsthat Thermosa will be looking to lead this race and he’s trying to get him into a Country Championships heat such is the opinionof him so he can bounce back. Attalea is a good hope too. This is a hot little race.

BET: Quinella 5, 6

RACE 6

Dynamite Dan has been racing in career best form for a while now and there’s no reason why he can’t win despite his poor strikerate. He’ll be there in the finish somewhere. Mum’s The Word is going well enough to suggest she’s a chance and she’s a versatilemare who can be anywhere in the run. Hu Hit Hu is building towards a win. She’s not a fresh horse and gets better with racingbut she is dropping back in trip and will have to defy history because she’s yet to win or place in 10 attempts at 1000m.

BET: Dynamite Dan to win

RACE 7

This is the day for Caszar to record his first win after three-straight second placings and he should in the perfect spotfrom an inside gate. Valarian has also recorded a number of placings of late and will probably look to cross the field froma wide gate and should run it out strongly if he gets a bit of luck early in the race. Hiemal will be on the speed and he’sjust dropping back a tough in trip and will be strong late.

BET: Caszar to win

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