Mackay Tips February 9

  • Guide to the best chances at Mackay races
Mackay Races Mackay Racing

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Below is our guide to the best chances at Mackay today:

 

What was once going to be a race in three, now looks a race in two with the scratching of I Did It Again (withdrawn due to a stone bruise picked up in training). The Bannon Racing Team still have last-start winner Brad to represent them and he lines here a big chance but I am favouring the Jared Wehlow-trained DURIF to spring a surprise and win this one on fresh legs. At his last appearance (15 months ago), he stormed home to beat all but Mason’s Chance home in an Open Hcp over 1400m at Townsville. He was then paddock-bound and remained there for the last 67 weeks. He ran his personal best on this track when he won in Class 6 company, running the trip 1.5 lengths quicker than benchmark, which is the best PB here by 3 lengths. He is two from four in first-up performances and has regular rider Ryan Wiggins back in the saddle who boasts four wins and three minor placings from his seven previous rides. Wehlow is an astute trainer who knows how to prepare horses for first-up races. Drawn nicely in gate five he maps to sit just behind the pace, but in front of Brad and with a tight turning home corner and small(ish) home straight, I believe with the weight advantage, Durif can get away with this one.

 

The locally-trained SIRFINA stopped the up-and-coming Overseas from recording a hat-trick here last start, and dropping in grade today, looks the one to beat again. Five starts this preparation has seen the Choisir gelding finish top-three in four of them and none more impressive than his latest effort. With apprentice Cody Collis aboard, he landed in front but was challenged by $17 chance Vernazza who kept the pressure on to the turn. Weakening out of it then, Sirfina was then left to defend his lead from the $1.50 favourite (Overseas) who came home well, but the 7kg weight difference told in the end, leaving Sirfina to take out first prize by a long neck on the line. He ran that trip out, 2 lengths slower than benchmark but that was 12 lengths better than the next best here. He has to carry 9kgs more today but is dropping back sharply in grade and has too many ticked boxes to ignore here. Unbeaten at the track and trip, he also has Ash Butler joining him again who won with him at his only previous ride on the gelding. He draws ideally in gate two and should lead comfortably from there. Whatever catches him today, wins the race.

 

Locally-trained by Olivia Cairns, SCENT OF FEAR is second-up today and has the stats that all her rivals here should respect. First-up off a three-month spell, the Stratum mare was far from disgraced when finishing fourth behind that Sirfina-Overseas battle here two weeks ago. She was sitting near last, six lengths behind Sirfina on the turn, and managed to finish fourth, less than two lengths behind on the line. She finished that run 4 lengths slower than benchmark but still 6 lengths quicker than her opposition here. Today, she steps up in distance which is ideal for her racing style and has Adam Sewell sticking with her as well. She has a good turn of gate speed and maps to settle in the first half dozen here. She is already a track and trip winner and is two from three when second-up. A trouble-free run here should see her right there at the finish.

 

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