HAPPY EASTER 3YO MAIDEN PLATE Tips (Race 2)
Mudgee Next Best Bet - Race 2 No. 5 Hasalake
This filly has always shown ability and is worth another chance following the first-up defeat in a Gosford Maiden, where she was a little tardy away in a small field in a sprint where the leader ultimately pinched too big a break after dictating proceedings.
Balancing up late and finishing off strongly via her debut behind a useful Never Second, Hasalake was sent out as favourite at start two as a result of that performance but had to settle for second behind Victorella, who looks a progressive galloper from the Kim Waugh stable.
The form has already been franked from the March 10 race at Gosford with the third-placed All Girls subsequently winning a Provincial Maiden by a good space which bodes well for this three-year-old, who sprinted straight past her in that last start effort.
PINK UP MUDGEE MAIDEN PLATE Tips (Race 3)
Mudgee Best Bet - Race 3 No. 12 Sancta
While it certainly wasn't the strongest of Provincial Maidens, we always have to respect those runners dropping back to Country level and this daughter of So You Think did give a good account of herself in that March 13 debut at Gosford.
Held together when prevailing in her second trial prior to that outing, Sancta did go a little hard in front via that 1200m assignment and now the Ear Muffs go on pre-race which can help take that edge off so she can settle a little better early.
For now, the drop back to 1100m is a plus for this three-year-old who can land straight on the speed again for jockey Ashley Morgan and with any natural improvement here at start two, she should take some catching here.
GOREE PARK BENCHMARK 66 HANDICAP Tips (Race 6)
Mudgee Value Bet - Race 6 No. 7 Patrick May
This gelding took two starts to hit his straps both third and fourth-up last campaign, with comfortable victories over 1300m and then 1400m, the last of those with 60kg, so should be right at his top now with three runs under the belt.
Only narrowly reeled in late fresh, but still fighting late after doing all of the donkey work by dragging the field up to a tearaway leader, he again was working throughout his second-up effort and stuck on very bravely for third against the pattern before contesting the $150,000 Country Qualifier at Coonamble.
While he wasn't disgraced in that attempt, the six-year-old just couldn't get rolling from a box-seat position in a stop/start affair but dropping in grade on Sunday and drawing out where he can cross then build momentum, Patrick May finds a more favourable setup.