Murwillumbah cup friday

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Doing the Calcutta Thursday night for the Tweed River Jockey Club so thought I’d throw some thoughts up here for punters.


1-HAIL MANHATTAN– Very good last start, has good ability but not getting any younger and has the wide gate and 63.5kg. Good horse but needs things to go right.

2-KINLOCH- Recent form is really good. Mallyon is patient and suits this horse. Best form is when they run along and he is saved for the last shot. This looks to set up really well and he looks the one to beat if they can win from midfield or worse.

3-SEA RAIDER– Form has not been as good this prep and does need to find something. Positives are he has a good strike rate and won a recent trial by nearly 7L.

4-NEVER NO MORE– He’s not getting any younger but I think there might be a sense of timing about him. Ramornie was a big ask fresh but ran the 5th best L200m there. More than held his own 2nd up and then trialled ok leading into this. Think this trip will suit and my only little concern would be I’d have loved a drop of rain for him. I think he’s the wrong price at $26/$6

5-BATTLETON- This bloke has very good ability but it is fair to say he hasn’t reached the level I expected from him. He was G3 placed a couple of times as a 3yr old but this prep has been spent bouncing around in bm78’s. I think Cahill suits and he is one of the leading hopes. The issue is he wins like I used to tackle….. Not often!

6-WILD CHAP– The negative is recent form isn’t great and hasn’t won for a while. Wide gate not a concern as he will go forward. 40 day freshen off 1800m also a positive if we are trying to make a case for him.

7-LASTING KISS– No knock on this mare, I just find her impossible to follow. If I Zig, she Zags. Ran last beaten a space last time out and was very good beaten 0.5L in an open at EF before that. No idea what to do with her but she has won 9 of 25 and comes here rock hard fit.

8-WATEGOS- Also in at Sydney. Wide gate isn’t a concern as he has tactical speed and Orman will be positive early. Has been solid in the market and won his last two in Syd at bm78 grade. He was dominant last start and should be peaking 4th up here. Hard to find a knock to be honest and deserves to be fav.

9-EAGLEMONT- If my records are right Thompson/Dunn combo strike at 20% and have a P.O.T of 28%, that’s very good. He has been a model of consistency this prep. Nice winner of a Hway in Syd two back and solid again last start in a good CL6 at EF. Just needs a good ride the first 400m and he is a live chance here for sure.  

10-HECTOR DE MARIS– Didn’t show much down south but was able to win at Doomben first run for the new stable. Well held at $19 last time out and I’m struggling to make a case for it. Maps well is the big positive.

11-TARA JASMINE– Have always been a fan of this mare. She always had a nice turn of foot and I’d give her a chance in anything. She’s just that bit older now and I do think her very best is behind her. Drops 6kg on the last run and just watch the market with her, if the money comes I would respect it.

12-ELLA TE AMA- Has just got better each run this prep and fair to say comes here ready to show her very best. In a very good stable and good jock on top are positives. The bad gate isn’t ideal and I’m sure she’d love a drop of rain.

14-LOOK A’LIKE– Seems to race well on the northern rivers but doesn’t like crossing the border. Has started $15 or longer each run this prep. I find it hard to have in a Murbah cup. Has won 2 of his last 3 in easier grade, so there’s a positive if you want one.

15-SUBTERRANEAN– Thought this was going to be a very nice horse a couple of seasons ago but he’s just going through the motions now. The positive is his old form. The negative is his recent form.

16-BEAN FOGGY– Trained on the track and does have some ability. Has won or placed in 10 of 19 and I do like the winkers going on. Dry track is a help but he will have to bring his best to win one of the better Murbah cups we have seen in some time.

17-BEEF WEEK PRINCESS- Another genuine northern rivers horse who has shown ability but probably doesn’t have any upside left. Ran 9th of 10 at Doomben last start and needs to find 5-6L on that effort.

18-BOWRIDER- No doubt this horse is in career best form at the moment. Pushes forward on speed and has been giving a kick. Does look outclassed here but if leaders are winning he might give some sort of kick up front.

19-PERNELL– Was airborne on the poly this prep and still ok in town last start. Will get a long way back and hard to see him going past some better quality horses in this.

OVERVIEW: Of all the faves it will be WATEGOS who is up on speed and who won’t have to weave his way through traffic. That is always a positive on tight tracks and Orman just doesn’t make mistakes. Kinloch is screaming to win a race and if there is a decent tempo as expected he can show a good turn of foot late. Best races are when he’s held up for as long as possible on the back of one and let go late. Battleton and Eaglemont will be around midfield, are in form and just need good rides to be around the money. I’d have loved some rain for NEVER NO MORE but clearly feel he is the one over the odds and who can improve here at big odds.

Overall a very even and good quality cup this year. Not much between these below and best ride or good luck might be the difference between them.

Gibbo’s Cup selections.

2-KINLOCH $4.60


4-NEVER NO MORE $26/$6




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