CORDONED - Despite returning from a 124-day spell, a last start Canterbury win for the Kris Lees-trained Cordoned is the stand out form reference for the Hydra Hose Class 3 Handicap (1000m). A four-year-old son of Lonhro, Cordoned won a Benchmark 70 handicap at Canterbury on January 10 over 1100m on a soft (5) track before heading to the spelling paddocks. The Canterbury win was Cordoned’s second victory last preparation after winning his maiden at Gosford resuming from a spell accounting for the Kim Waugh-trained Newsflash who won two of his four subsequent runs and finished second in the Provincial Championships Final at Randwick. Cordoned has the benefit of two trials leading into his return to racing and is in with a winnable weight after the claim for Louise Day. If the support comes in betting movements through the day, Cordoned looks set to start punters off on a winning note.
LA PONT - Cordoned’s stablemate La Pont is ready to win second-up in the Wingham Services Club Wingham Cup 1 June Class 1 Handicap (1250m). A Scone runner-up on debut before going one better at the same track at his second career outing in two first preparation runs, La Pont did enough when third at Taree resuming last start to suggest he is the horse to beat fitter second-up stepping up in distance. Again the betting is likely to tell the tale, La Pont eased from $2.80 to $3.50 resuming and if the money comes with the run under his belt is the horse punters would want to be on.
SLEEPWALKER - Kim Waugh’s sole runner at Taree on Tuesday is Sleepwalker who will benefit from the 1.5kg claim for apprentice Chris Williams in the Mid Coast Automotive Group Benchmark 65 Handicap (1400m). A lightly raced six-year-old son of Dreamscape, Sleepwalker has won three races and finished in the placings on five occasions from his 12 career starts and it is worth noting nine of those 12 starts were at provincial venues with the three runs on country tracks yielding wins at Taree and Port Macquarie and the remaining country run resulting in a Taree placing. Sleepwalker looks better than a country grade horse for mine and rates as the day’s best bet peaking third-up.
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.