VEGA MAGIC - Quality galloper attempting to become the first horse to win two straight Goodwood. Confirmed his elite status when a good thing beaten in last year’s The Everest, in what could be argued as now being the world’s premier sprint race. Would challenge anyone that tries to mount a case against him here of that effort, these are clearly much inferior sprinters. Not put off by the barrier, in fact I see it as our friend, hoping punters will be put off by the apparent awkward gate. I have Vega Magic getting in handy just off leaders with cover. Without sounding too arrogant, even luck and I expect him to win. For exotic players Thronum, Missrock and Flamberge will be others we will be throwing in the mix. Also suggest punters launch into the $15 that is available in this year’s The Everest as that price will be gone if he wins here, and he will get a slot.
OUTSMARTEM - The former Victorian Outsmart showed enough in his maiden win at Taree on May 1 to suggest the four-year-old can work through the grades in New South Wales. A Bairnsdale placegetter on debut in two runs for Robbie Griffiths before heading north, Outsmartem gave nothing else a chance racing on the speed before careering away in the straight to win by 2-3/4 lengths at his first NSW start for Neil Godbolt. Godbolt is an astute country trainer and there are a couple of gear changes which suggest there is improvement to come with the knowledge gained from the first-up run for the stable with an off-side blinker and a lugging bit going on for the first time. The Petries Mitre 10 CG&E Class 1 Handicap is far from the strongest country class one you will see and Outsmartem looks set for back-to-back wins.
I AM SPECIAL - Punters will need to take advantage of the various products offered by corporate bookies like Odds Boost with Ladbrokes and Power Play with Sportsbet for the Ben Smith-trained I Am Special, but the mare does look close to a good thing in the Browning Motors Benchmark 64 Handicap (1000m). There are no prizes for tipping $1.50 chances but as I have said previously the bonuses available through the corporates make these sort of horses backable and with many punters these days taking multi bets I am reluctant to leave them out purely because of the short odds. A winner of three of her six starts to date including a class two win at Newcastle last start and in well at the weights after the 1.5kg claim for Chris Williams, I Am Special looks a class above her rivals.
SPINNING GOLD - He doesn’t win out of turn but the third-up record for the Damien Lane-trained Spinning Gold suggests he will go around over the odds in the Benchmark 65 Handicap (1450m). A winner of eight of his 62 starts, Spinning Gold has finished out of the placings in two runs this prep at Gosford and Newcastle which is in line with his career statistics showing 12 runs at his first two runs in a preparation for just three placings, however the figures improve considerably third-up with the gelding winning twice and finishing third from four runs at the same stage of a preparation. From a good draw and the expectation of a much-improved run third-up, $10 in early betting markets looks over the odds.
ELLE’S NEL - Finally drawing a gate should see the Jane Clement-trained Elle’s Nel return to the winner’s list in the John “Mouse” Sinclair Day 12 June Class 3 Handicap (1100m). Elle’s Nel showed plenty of promise at the end of last year winning successive races at Moree and Quirindi before finishing less than a half-length from the Country Championships winner Victorem when fourth in a Highway Handicap at Randwick on December 16. After resuming from a 70-day let-up, the three-year-old filly had no luck in a Rosehill Highway Handicap before finishing in the placings at her last three starts launching from barriers 8,9 and 10 and enduring wide runs in the last two at Scone and Tamworth. Barrier four here, Elle’s Nel should get all the favours in running and stands out as the day’s best bet at Quirindi.