Race-by-race preview and tips for Grafton on Sunday

Track soft 6 and rail out 4m from 1600m to 400m then 3m the remainder, so on-pace early before levelling out

City winner: Zamex, pictured winning a Haigheay at Rosehill, is the on top selection in the  feature South Grafton Cup.

City winner: Zamex, pictured winning a Haigheay at Rosehill, is the on top selection in the feature South Grafton Cup.Credit:bradleyphotos

Race 1 CL1 & MAIDEN PLATE (2225m)

Competitive and even affair for the battling stayers at set weights to start. Gold Coast 3YO gelding 4. Champagne Vega has continued to improve as the distances get longer and is coming back from a stronger metro BM 65 when wasn't beaten far. Has a real liking too for soft tracks.


Dangers: Coffs Harbour 5YO 3. Winged Poet hit the line hard at home behind Mother To Race Her and three starts back finished over the top of Champagne Vega in a similar race this track. Another Coffs visitor 1. Consoling took 24 starts to break his maiden in similar class at Lismore two runs back and then was okay late against stronger and draws to get nice cover off the speed. The rest would have to improve dramatically.
How to play it: Champagne Vega to win and box exacta 1-3-4

Race 2 MAIDEN HCP (1110m)

Talented Gold Coast 3YO 1. Heritage Sash returns as a gelding. Let punters down first prep when just beaten twice as a heavily backed odds-on favourite when did things wrong but is smart and returns off a lengthy break after two sharps trials.

Dangers: Port Macquarie 3YO 2. Lucky For Some looks the quinella runner. Ran a string of close seconds in decent maidens last prep before doing little resuming at Coffs Harbour. Better off second-up and down in weight. Local 2YO filly 11. Show Some Heart was only fair resuming for a second prep but can improve here. Include local mare 13. Vintage Luxe in exotics.
How to play it: Heritage Sash to win and quinella 1 and 2

Race 3 MAIDEN HCP (1110m)

Play it again Sam, and there's a stack of chances here. Coffs Harbour 4YO mare 8. The Timewarp is hard fit and ready to win. Just missed in a good maiden last start at Port Macquarie after previously not far off two smart ones. Nice drop in weight but is drawn off the track.

Dangers: Gold Coast filly 3. Turmoil disappointed last start at Coffs Harbour after a solid run at Murwillumbah but looks well in this grade at the weights. Stablemate filly 7. Decisive Heart should be ready to peak third-up in her first prep after finishing off strongly on home track. Gosford 3YO 4. In Fiore has been mixing his form across stronger maidens but is a real query in soft ground. Coffs Harbour 3YO and first starter 1. Alpine Racer (Sebring x Alpine Club by Model Man) is by a Golden Slipper winner out of a strong South African dam line and has trialled strongly. Ballina-trained 2YO filly 12. Rahaan (Mulaazem x Parclose by Loup Solitaire) whose only trial was 10 weeks back at Canterbury is a big market watch on debut.
How to play it: The Timewarp each way and trifecta 3-7-8/1-3-7-8-12

Race 4 CL1 HCP (1110m)

The mainly younger sprinters on show again, with 3YO Murwillumbah gelding 1. Ashman resuming and the one to beat. Just missed on debut last prep before a dominant maiden win at Lismore as a hot favourite. Has good early tactical speed and trialled for leading country stable.

Dangers: Ballina filly 6. Annie Ethyl dropped in class to win an easier maiden at Lismore from the front last start and previous form consistent. Draws a good gate. Nice return at the Gold Coast from Ballina 3YO 2. Dorset Coast and was competitive second-up last prep behind a good horse. Drawn wide but gets a 3kg claim. Inverell-trained 4YO 4. First Wave has been mixing distances but really attacked the line late in a stronger C2 at Tamworth last start. Will drift a long way back and need speed on up front, but watch for him late.
How to play it: Ashman to win and quinella 1 and 6

Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1415m)

Whether ridden on-speed or further back, Port Macquarie filly 7. Little Funny Bunny regularly finds the line without winning. Draws wide but one of the better weighted runners all day after 3kg claim.

Dangers: Taree 4YO gelding 1. Classy Fella has chased home two smart sprinters this prep and can peak here third-up. Port Macquarie mare 5. Backhouse Frilly may need the run first-up and is drawn wide but raced against stronger last prep and has enough quality to be in the finish.
How to play it: Little Funny Bunny each way

Race 6 BM 58 HCP (1415m)

Very keen on improving 3YO Ballina filly 3. Be Watchful who has won her last two from the front, and ready for this grade.

Dangers: Grafton 6YO gelding 2. Caro Cavallo will naturally travel well off the speed but back out to a more suitable trip and will be finishing on late. Border-hopping 4YO gelding 6. The Big Eater from Beaudesert looks well placed in this company after attacking the line strongly in his last two against tougher opposition, while Coffs Harbour 4YO 4. Ambitious Prince desperately wants this longer trip.
How to play it: Be Watchful to win and box exacta 2-3-6

Race 7 BM 58 HCP (1415m)

Take two over the same trip and grade. Local 3YO filly 7. Julianne's Wish swept home for an easy C1 win this track two runs back before outclassed when leading behind a smart one in the Guineas Prelude. Will just need some luck to get in from a wide barrier but looks the one to beat.

Dangers: You never quite know what's coming with Port Macquarie 3YO 5. In Ya Skyrocket, but his last couple in C1 grade have been solid enough Read More – Source