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EXCEEDANCE@VINERY CLASS 1 HANDICAP Tips (Race 4)
Scone Next Best Bet - Race 4 No. 1 Miss Kono
This daughter of Star Witness takes on another talented filly in Patino Ruby but with a first-up win under her belt and strong prior form over this trip, we'll give the nod to Miss Kono.
She was tipped out after a runner-up to Triple Ace at start two in October via a fast run Provincial Maiden, bettering the overall time and last 600m of Never Talk on that same program, a galloper that has since won two in town and was only narrowly beaten in last Saturday's Group Two Light Fingers Stakes.
Triple Ace won three of his next four outings following that Newcastle victory (narrowly beaten at his latest behind the speedy Malkovich) so the form is reading very well around Miss Kono who was too slick for her rivals on January 30 and is only going to a Country Class 1 here.
MERCHANT NAVY @ COOLMORE BENCHMARK 58 HANDICAP - HEAT OF THE RISING STAR Tips (Race 7)
Scone Best Bet - Race 7 No. 3 Fleet Air Arm
Kris Lees and apprentice jockey Dylan Gibbons combine again with this three-year-old who was a stylish debut winner and in these Rising Star Heats, it is advantageous for the competing hoops to already have an association with their respective engagement.
By Rich Enuff and the dam Florabella, a daughter to Group One winning mare Shindig, Fleet Air Arm sustained a wide and early move off slow tempo up front on January 22, making very light work of Schiller Bay in the process, a gelding that was runner-up the start prior to a handy one in French Bonnet.
Dragon Dream was beaten over eight lengths in that Port Macquarie contest and won a Maiden by nearly five lengths on February 15 while barring the resuming Deepwood Vale, who may just need this first-up, it's a thin race and this three-year-old can go on with it.
VALE BETTY SHEPHERD COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW- CLASS 4 HANDICAP Tips (Race 8)
Scone Value Bet - Race 8 No. 4 Syncline
After showing some promise in two Provincial outings back in late 2019, this son of Stratum resumed last winter an easy kill via a Taree Maiden and made it back-to-back victories in all the way victory via a Class 1 at Hawkesbury.
While the Heavy 10 attributed to a big defeat as favourite on August 1 when going to Randwick for a Benchmark 72, Syncline was also slow to recover following that event and was spelled as a result, resuming Eagle Farm in the Spring where he was disappointing fresh.
Opting to ride him colder in that last first-up run, it did look as though they just took away his main asset with that tactics change - which was a high cruising speed and here in a Class 4 Country affair that doesn't have a stack of tempo, a return to form wouldn't shock if they're positive early.