PIRTEK MUSWELLBROOK MAIDEN HANDICAP Tips (Race 1)
Muswellbrook Value Bet - Race 1 No. 5 Miss Melba
None of the raced brigade in the opener from Muswellbrook have really shown anything and the pick of the trialler's among the first starters was this filly from the local Cassandra Stummer stable who finished third in 900m here on November 17.
I suspect the daughter of Olympic Glory will get over more ground in time, however that piece of work was quite strong where cutting the corner after settling towards the rear in that small field, she continually made ground under a hold and was well in front 50m-100m past the line.
Jockey Mitchell Bell is striking at 25.71% (18 wins) since the start of October and he takes the reins on Miss Melba who has shown enough ability to figure straight away.
TEAM THOROUGHBRED NSW MAIDEN HANDICAP Tips (Race 2)
Muswellbrook Next Best Bet - Race 2 No. 2 Surf
By Hallowed Crown and out of a Galileo mare who's only two wins came over 2100m-2200m, the step up to 1750m should suit this four-year-old third-up off the back of two fair attempts over 1500m, which have both been at Muswellbrook.
Whilst she has gone down at some short quotes over her five career starts to date, she faces a very average Maiden field here and the form from November 1 where she grinded home for third reads well with Oakfield Cherokee coming straight out of that to score impressively at Grafton.
Whilst Surf is limited, she has looked more comfortable on firmer footing, so can improve off that last outing which was on a Soft 7 and from barrier five under experienced hoop Andrew Gibbons, I doubt she'll get many better opportunities than this to break the Maiden.
ALLWELD SERVICES F&M CLASS 1 HANDICAP Tips (Race 4)
Muswellbrook Roughie - Race 4 No. 4 Fairy Beast
It's quite a low affair, but at big odds in arguably the most suitable assignment she faced this campaign, this daughter of Toorak Toff can run a cheeky race at a big price.
After a fair resumption although finding the 1000m too sharp, Fairy Beast stepped straight to the seven furlongs at Kempsey second-up where she was narrowly reeled in by Bear The Crown, a handy enough galloper that would take care of this field and they spaced the rest of the field.
The seven-year-old was solid enough following that at Taree which can be a tough circuit to make ground on and here where there's a little less depth overall, she's an each-way chance.
COASTLINE POOL & SPA BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Muswellbrook Best Bet - Race 6 No. 12 Leeward
The 1500m was short as she wanted it, however, class got her home over that trip on her November 1 debut here and following that, was thrown straight into the deep end via the Group Three Spring Stakes at Newcastle where she certainly wasn't disgraced when finishing just beyond midfield.
Although she finished eighth of 12 on that occasion, it is well worth noting that she put more than five lengths on the next runner home in Shaddy, a galloper that had some handy form prior to that and Leeward wasn't far off the likes of Namazu and Ellsberg, who are potentially stakes class horses in the autumn.
In a country Benchmark 58, this well-bred daughter of Dundeel appears the only progressive galloper in this field and providing she's not over the top in her first preparation, then she should be accounting for this field.