MCCHICKEN CLASS 2 HANDICAP Tips (Race 1)
Dubbo Best Bet - Race 1 No. 2 Spilia
He certainly wasn't friendly to punters when campaigning for Danny O'Brien in Victoria, remaining a 16 start Maiden for the old stable but like many gallopers, is finding the country NSW circuit far easier.
The son of Pierro has won two from 10 since making the move, including a win over a very handy country horse in Activation first-up at Mudgee who at his next start won a $150,000 Country Championships Qualifying heat (Coonamble).
Spilia is on the seven-day back-up after making good ground into second over 1400m on April 4 and although up in the weights, is well down in grade for Sunday's assignment at Dubbo over the mile.
MCFAVOURITES BOX CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (Race 3)
Dubbo Next Best Bet - Race 3 No. 2 The Dark Knight
This gelding obviously had his issues early days, starting his career as a five-year-old last October in a campaign where he improved with every run, which included a pair of Provincial placings before a freshen-up.
Resuming at that stronger Provincial level in February, The Dark Knight appreciated a drop in grade on February 27, breaking through for a much deserved Maiden victory at Muswellbrook before a luckless effort on March 26.
Back in a very slowly run affair, the effort to come from the rear and only be beaten a shade over two lengths on the line had plenty of merit while he should find this much easier, back from a Benchmark 66 to Class 1 & Maiden company.
HAPPY MEAL MAIDEN PLATE Tips (Race 5)
Dubbo Value Bet - Race 5 No. 6 Differing
Always wary when a city stable offload one without having a start, which is what Mark Newnham did when handing this three-year-old to the very astute Scone yard of Cameron Crockett.
That said, you obviously don't have to be a world beater to win a country Maiden and Differing was sent out as a respected $5 chance on the March 5 program here, where he over-raced throughout, finishing a well beaten fifth in a 12-horse field.
The son of Dissident had trialled without blinkers in three heats prior to that outing (which had all been sound), a gear change that was made for the debut but they have now been removed, so expect him to settle better and improve naturally with race experience.