Racing & Sports expert selections.
RACE 1 - CHOCOLATIER (3) tough old gelding who indicated a win was imminent when making up good ground late to secure second over 1900m at Armidale on October 9. Has won this trip and a repeat of latest will see him figure prominently. PROPHETS DE'VINE (5) is a Neasham-trained mare improving rapidly as she steps up in trip. At her peak now after making up good ground late when a solid second at Murwillumbah over 2020m on October 10. Can race closer from the good gate and has genuine top-three prospects. AMBRIDGE (2) has a good record this track and trip and desperate for this distance now after running eighth over 1400m at Coffs Harbour two-and-a-half weeks ago. Best figures have him right in this. NATURE BOY (4) next best.
RACE 2 - Group 3 placegetter VOLDEMORT (7) doesn't boast the best winning strike rate but looks placed to advantage here with the claim. Has finished close-up at his last two outings and will have little trouble running out the 1700m. Will take catching. OCEAN SHORES (5) can do better than last start at Lismore and can contest today. AZURE PRIDE (1) started favourite last time out and won well in easier class. Can measure up again here. IRISH KNIGHT (3) got up for his Maiden win two back but struggled last start. Could sneak a place.
RACE 3 - ENTERPRISE LUCIA (11) consistent filly with her hoof on the till. Close up again from the wide gate when a solid third over 1200m at Coffs Harbour on October 13. Drop in trip suits and has race experience on her side. Go close. OUR PAPPY (2) Charge Forward gelding resuming after making a solid debut when fifth over 1000m at Port Macquarie on May 16. No trial form but expected to be primed for this. BRAVE SAILOR (4) in need of the run when returned from a spell two-and-a-half weeks ago when sixth over 1000m at Coffs Harbour. Fitter now and gets the right run. Has each way claims. MAWSONS EXPEDITION (10) unraced gelding by Outreach out of Emissary. Trialled a while ago when fourth on July 23. Look for any market moves.
RACE 4 - DARK EURO (2) nice return when stuck on well to finish fifth over 1300m at Ballina in stronger company on October 1. Has good second up figures and no surprise to see him win this. GOBBLED (3) racing in career best form and should handle the weight rise after scoring a 2 len victory over 1300m at Armidale three weeks ago. Drawn to stalk the speed and Morgan keeps the ride. PRIDE OF PYINGERRA (1) missed the frame last start over 1200m at Murwillumbah, beaten 2.75 lengths into sixth. Well placed here to bounce back. MISTER SMARTEE (6) can contest for a place.
RACE 5 - KIMMELA (14) even return at second prep when a plugging fifth over 1280m at Muswellbrook on October 2. Extra trip suits and finds a fairly weak maiden. Go close. BELLABATOOTA (4) had no luck from the wide gate at latest when seventh over 1250m at Taree on October 20. Go on sound effort two back when assessing her chances. CHANGE THE DATE (12) holding form well after finishing runner up at three of his last four starts. Gets the right run again today and on the quick back-up with the claim. Genuine top-three contender. HARD TRUTH (7) improving with racing and close to a win. Put together back-to-back placings over 1300m at Armidale at her last two runs and gets every chance here from the inside gate.
RACE 6 - BUCK PHAROAH (1) is a classy American Pharoah gelding resuming since February 12. Has excellent first up figures and not asked to do much when sixth in a 805m trial at Coffs Harbour on September 4. Carries the big weights well and gets every chance from the inside gate. KING'S GOLD (3) resumes today after finishing fourth over 1050m at Gold Coast Poly on May 13. Has good figures this track and trip and latest trial win over 800m was full of merit. Has to be respected. DIS IS HEAVEN (5) fitter after two runs back and much better performance when stormed home late to run fifth over 1000m at Taree. Both wins have come over this distance and can feature in the finish. PANUARA BOY (2) has been about the mark in small fields of late. Last start finished third at Lismore over 1110m. Backs up quickly and should go well.
RACE 7 - BERTINELLI (4) racing in career best form and will take plenty of catching here. Came across from the wide draw when sat on the speed for a solid nose second over 1100m at Murwillumbah on October 10. Expected to go close again. SHARKOSPHERE (5) was a strong maiden winner at start eight when defeating a handy field from the wide gate over 1000m at Coffs Harbour on October 13. Re-unites with Ben Looker and should handle the class rise. WEDDING TENT (6) racing well and can sneak into the minor money after running third over 1250m at Ballina on October 1. INTOXEL (2) took control a long way from home last start when she scored a stylish win at Murwillumbah. Drawn well and in the mix.
RACE 8 - WRITTEN FAME (16) demolished a maiden field in good style when a slick 3 len winner over 1010m at Murwillumbah when resuming on October 10. In leading yard and has the upside to overcome the wide gate. OLIVIA'S SPIRIT (1) has a tidy record and will find this easier third up after jumping in grade when a poor ninth over 1200m at Newcastle in Bm68 class on October 17. Undefeated this track and can bounce back to winning form here. TAKING THE MIKKI (10) had mixed success in three runs back and should find this easier after running sixth over 1200m at Newcastle on October 14. In leading yard and expecting more today. TAIKUN TOMMY (5) only the three wins from 31 starts but has his hoof on the till. Ranged up late when a sound nose third over 1200m at Coffs Harbour in C3 company on October 13. Claim and good draw will see him hard to hold out.