APPRECIATION OF BRIAN COWDEN CLASS 1 HANDICAP Tips (Race 2)
Moruya Value Bet - Race 2 No. 6 Huxton Creeper
Despite the decent trial leading into his December 24 debut at Wagga, this three-year-old was unwanted in the betting ($13-$17) and after settling nicely off the leading quartet, was produced at the 300m and let down strongly for a very soft one and a half-length victory on the line.
The form has been franked from that event with Stand Your Ground breaking through at her next start and the time for that Christmas Eve Maiden stacked up superbly, completing the 1000m in around three lengths faster overall (faster last 600m as well) than the 1000m Class 3 on that card.
From an inside alley this time around, apprentice Amy Lucas will need to be more mindful of the potential road blocks, but I suspect they'll look to be more positive anyway on Huxton Creeper who looks to have a future.
BL&A MAIDEN PLATE Tips (Race 3)
Moruya Best Bet - Race 3 No. 13 Boomahnoomoonah
Whilst she admittedly had every chance if good enough on December 27, this filly was eventually left in front a long way out on that occasion and was a sitting duck for the winner coming off a strong speed, however, she has still put nearly four lengths on the next runner home in that contest.
On a good surface at Moruya, seven days prior to that attempt, Boomahnooomoonah was only a few strides off grabbing Yote Amo Maria in a fast 1300m for Maiden class (just over three lengths quicker than the Class 2 and nearly identical overall to the Open Handicap later in that program).
Tommy Berry ventures to Moruya for their Cup day meeting on Thursday and with gate three at his disposal aboard this galloper from the strong local Natalie Jarvis stable, she should be breaking through off that recent form.
NORTH RYDE RSL SHOWCASE MORUYA CUP Tips (Race 7)
Moruya Cup Tip - Race 7 No. 4 Gunga Din
Following a little spell, this five-year-old from the strong Keith Dryden yard rattled off some very respectable times in a Warwick Farm midweek 1300m effort (fastest 800-600m/third quickest last 600m) prior to landing big wagers when saluting as our value bet on the December 29 card from Canberra
He generally needs to that bit of tempo on up front to produce his best and with Peyton Place kicking up early from an inside draw along with Hay Bale working across from out wide, there should be enough favours in that regard and he can sprint hard again with a whopping 4.5kg drop in the weights.
Star country hoop Blaike McDougall takes the reins on this gelding for the 2021 Moruya Cup, a jockey that strikes at better than 25% when combining with this stable over the last 12 months and although it is a rather competitive feature, Gunga Din has the strongest turn-of-foot in this field at his best.
AREWELL AND GOOD LUCK BRIAN COWDEN BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP Tips (Race 8)
Moruya Next Best Bet - Race 8 No. 1 Sebago
Having now his second start for the trainer Matthew Dale is Sebago who has had only failed badly once in his career, which was via a Highway at the end of his last campaign, where something clearly went amiss after being pulled out of the event (blood in the mouth post-race and was then spelled).
There was no intent aboard Sebago in the fresh return at Wagga on December 24 when eased well back after jumping well and whilst he did run on fairly for an eventual fourth-placed finish, Sebago peaked on the run late in that leader-dominated affair in not a dissimilar effort to prior fresh attempts.
Both of his wins have come second-up which includes a victory at 1400m, so is clearly open to improvement this Thursday and in a rather weak line-up, this five-year-old looks about the most genuine galloper in this field.