SEBBAG - The Scott Dixon-trained Sebbag is our $13 value bet lining up in the Monday Morning AI CG&E Maiden Handicap (1200m). The heavy track is the key to Sebbag’s chances with his career statistics showing a clear preference for wet ground. Sebbag’s overall record reads 20 starts for six placings but the figures improve substantially on soft and heavy tracks five placings from 10 runs. Sebbag was originally trained in Sydney by Patrick Webster and boasts three provincial placings on his resume. The son of Sebring has been placed in three of his four starts since changing stables and looks well over the odds on Monday.
OUR TAX RETURN - Our Tax Return from the Les Tilley stable at Wyong will have the services of Robert Thompson in the ‘Dont Let The Turkeys Get You Down’ Class 2 Handicap (1600m) and only needs to handle the wet track to be the horse to beat. Our Tax Return’s recent form is good enough including a benchmark 55 win at Muswellbrook three runs back before finishing close-up at Goulburn and Cessnock at his latest two outings. A winner at his only starts at the track and distance, Our Tax Return only has to get through the ground to be winning again.
ROSETTA’S COMET - Rosetta’s Comet hasn’t won in heavy ground but has won two from five on soft ground and by the time the Turkey Hatching Class 3 Handicap (1000m) comes around (Race 6 on the program) there is a good chance the track will be in the soft range. Trained at Bendemeer by Jane Clement, Rosetta’s Comet has been placed in two of her three runs this preparation including a close third at Wellington last start when she had no luck. Rosetta’s Comet looks well placed on Monday carrying the minimum weight after the claim for apprentice Mikayla Weir and will provide tough opposition for her rivals launching from the inside gate.
EXILIA MISS - Exilia Miss could be described as the new kid in town when it comes to staying races in the northern part of New South Wales. It’s often the case of same horses, different result in the distance races on country tracks but Exilia Miss certainly adds some new blood. Exilia Miss was originally trained in Victoria by Leon and Troy Cortens with the daughter of Nadeem’s only win being a Bendigo two-year-old victory at her second career outing in April 2016. Although Exilia Miss was unable to place in 11 subsequent runs she did contest seven metropolitan races. Now with Stirling Osland at Armidale, Exilia Miss has found her mark in country New South Wales and is chasing a hat trick of wins after victories at Tamworth and Armidale. Exilia Miss goes from 1900m to 2210m in the Westlawn Insurance Brokers benchmark 60 Handicap but the last to first victory at Armidale last time out suggests the mare will be even better as the distances progress.
MIDWEEK HUSSLER - The Todd Fletcher-trained Midweek Hussler will be chasing back to back wins at Grafton when he lines up in the Ford & Dougherty Commercial Sales Class 2 Handicap (1610m). A three-year-old son of Husson, Midweek Hussler recorded his second win from six starts when a class one winner at Grafton over 1400m on November 21. After settling midfield, Midweek Hussler finished his race off in a manner that suggest the step up to the mile on Sunday won’t be an issue. Matthew McGuren retains the ride and should be able to give the gelding the run of the race launching from barrier five. If that scenario eventuates, Midweek Hussler should be winning again.