TAMWORTH PROPERTY CO F&M MAIDEN HANDICAP Tips (Race 1)
Armidale Next Best Bet - Race 1 No. 3 Lapseki
Set to resume in her second racing preparation is this filly from the Brett Cavanough stable, who showed some ability in two runs last spring and had excuses on a soft track at Muswellbrook via her latest, where she was wide, without cover and was tipped out following that performance.
By Dissident and out of the dam Miss Tenacious, a three-quarter sister to multiple Group winner Majestic Music, Lapseki caught the eye on debut at Gunnedah in class record time over the 1250m on October 12, an event that has produced three subsequent winners.
They've given this big, long striding three-year-old time and with a few key changes (blinkers on), she won a Scone 1250m trial comfortably on March 31 where she quickened up after over-racing a little early on a slow speed, so expect jockey Ashley Morgan to be positive from gate three.
MARIA RIVER CATTLE CO CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE Tips (Race 3)
Armidale Best Bet - Race 3 No. 1 Battle Guardian
This four-year-old has been building quite well towards win number two, resuming off a freshen-up on February 19 where he worked home strongly despite finding the 1200m a little sharp and it was much of the same over the mile at Tamworth.
Having his first start at Armidale on March 28, he can consider himself quite unlucky to run into the progressive Point Counterpoint in a Country Class 1 & Maiden event, a galloper who had Provincial form prior to a two-length defeat in a city staying affair when sent north to Brisbane.
The chasing effort from Battle Guardian was full of merit, finishing just over a length off the winner with more than a seven length space to third and in a race that's no harder, especially given Point Counterpoint is no longer eligible for this grade, he gets his chance on Tuesday.
DEBORTOLI WINES BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Armidale Value Bet - Race 6 No. 3 Military Bay
Despite losing the 4kg claim, this gelding is no stranger to carrying weight, successful with huge imposts last season, albeit at Picnic level but he has proven on numerous occasions that he's more than up to this sort of grade..
Military Bay attempted a Highway at Randwick first-up, where considering he faced a Soft 7 track (conditions he doesn't handle) and was wide, without cover, the son of Hinchinbrook certainly wasn't disgraced and was sent out as favourite at Wellington following that.
In a leader dominated event, he's chased well as the eventual runner-up but wasn't suited dropping from 1000m to 900m, so now to 1100m third-up, a trip that he's a dual winner over, this does look better placement in what isn't a strong race.