RATHER SWEET - Happy to have something on the Jamie Thomsen-trained Rather Sweet at the $5.50 available in early betting markets to record back-to-back wins in the Rheem Benchmark 67 Handicap (1000m). Three of Rather Sweet’s last five runs have been on soft tracks and the mare has relished getting back onto good ground in her latest two starts finishing runner-up at Muswellbrook on November 5 before a strong class one win at Hawkesbury last start when she overcame a wide run in transit. With a good (4) track posted for racing at Gosford it is hard to find a reason to suggest Rather Sweet won’t be right in the finish again and we are getting each-way odds.
SUPREME ESCAPE - The Mitch Newman-trained Supreme Escape looks to have a clear edge on her rivals in the Central West Trailers Benchmark 64 Handicap (1000m) despite being a three-year-old filly taking on older horses. Supreme Escape finished third on debut at Hawkesbury behind Pleasantries after covering ground in the run before making amends with a strong maiden win at Canberra on November 19 when once again she was forced to travel three-wide without cover in the run. The performance looked strong to the eye and the figures backed up the merit of the effort with Supreme Escape running approximately four lengths quicker time than the benchmark 55 winner over the 1000m on the same day which augers well for her prospects stepping up in grade on Tuesday. Importantly with a soft (7) track posted for Orange on Tuesday it is worth noting the Canberra win came on a soft (6) surface. Supreme Escape is clearly the horse to beat.
BEL DIABLO - The David J Smith-trained Bel Diablo looks well placed in the Central West Clothing Bin Class 2 Handicap (1280m) after a close fourth in a Highway Handicap at Rosehill on November 18. A three-year-old son of Bel Esprit, Bel Diablo has only been to the races on five occasions including a two-year-old handicap win at Coonamble at his second career outing with the Rosehill fourth the only time the gelding hasn’t finished top three, but it was arguably his best career effort making up good ground in the straight to finish 1.6 lengths from the winner Equal Balance. Bel Diablo rises 1.5kg going from 54.5kg at Rosehill to 56kg on Tuesday but is well weighted with the class figures from the race showing there is approximately 3kg difference between the two races despite them both being classified as class two races. Bel Diablo just needs even luck from an awkward barrier draw to be winning.
KOPITE - The Adam Duggan-trained Kopite’s last run when unplaced at Gosford should be ignored when assessing the mare’s chances in the Hannam Vale Cup On 18 December Benchmark 63 Handicap (1250m). The records show Kopite finishing over seven lengths from the winner in the race won by Pecans on November 25, but Kopite wasn’t tested over the latter stages after being chopped out at the 1000m when attempting an inside run. Kopite should have finished much closer. Her Wyong third two runs back on October 10 when less than a length from the winner Groundbreak looks a solid form reference for a country benchmark race.
NAIS KO - Nais Ko can give trainer Kris Lees a winning double and send punters home on a winning note in the Inglis Classic Sale At Riverside Stables Feb 10-13 Class 2 Handicap (1250m). A three-year-old daughter of Exceed And Excel, Nais Ko has been to the races on three occasions starting $4 when unplaced on debut at Canterbury and was a beaten favourite when fourth at Newcastle last start. The metropolitan and provincial runs were separated by a five-length maiden win at Taree on October 20. Back to country grade on Tuesday, Nais Ko is clearly the horse to beat.