PRICING POWER - The Clarry Connors-trained Pricing Power looks well placed in the Central West Electrical Benchmark 57 Handicap (1100m). A three-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible, Pricing Power has to overcome the older horses but her run at Wyong when resuming on January 6 suggests the filly is up to the task. Although defeated by over three-lengths into third spot, Pricing Power’s effort had plenty of merit after enduring a wide run in transit and chasing home a couple of promising gallopers in Soothing and Ballet Rose. Back to country grade at Bathurst with the first-up run under her belt gives Pricing Power every chance to record her second career win.
CHOREOGRAPH - Midweek Brisbane metropolitan form is often seen in horses crossing the border to races on the Northern Rivers of NSW and can trap punters but that doesn’t look the case with the Steven O’Dea-trained Choreograph. With prizemoney for midweek Brisbane races similar to that of country meetings in NSW the reality is that Brisbane midweek form is no stronger than the Country NSW form however we rarely see last start winners head South. Choreograph heads to NSW after winning a Doomben midweek maiden on January 3. Resuming from a spell, Choreographer raced on the speed before winning by a length and produced speed figures good enough to suggest the son of Choisir can go back to back in the Sky Central Class 2 Handicap (1400m).
GLITRA - Gee I’m confident Glitra will run a substantially better race than the $12 in early betting markets would suggest. Trained at Port Macquarie by John Sprague, Glitra will be having his third run back from a break when the gelding lines up in the Tursa January Handicap 1400m. Unbeaten in three 1400m runs, the 61kg that Glitra has been asked to carry by the handicapper would seem a considerable hurdle at first glance but delving into his form we find he won a Taree Cup Prelude carrying 60.5 winning by close to four-lengths last preparation so doesn’t look badly treated with just a half kilo more. Glitra carried 65kg last start so the 61kg on Friday will feel like a feather on his back. It is worth noting Glitra was a third-up winner last preparation over 1400m lumping 60kg to win at Grafton and I reckon he's a great chance of repeating the feat on Friday.
BELLA MARTINI - Chautauqua’s stablemate Bella Martini from the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes stable comes to New South Wales chasing her third win from seven starts and three victories on the trot after wins at Moonee Valley and Caulfield. A three-year-old daughter of Stratum, Bella Martini’s last win over 1200m at Caulfield stamped her as a filly going places when she defeated the older mares in a benchmark 70 handicap carrying 57kg racing on the speed before kicking clear in the straight to win by 2-1/2 lengths. Bella Martini looked impressive to the eye and the race time added merit to the performance with the filly running quicker time than the listed Christmas Handicap winner on the day, Stellar Collision. The ability to race on the speed is a huge asset around Gosford which should see Bella Martini off and gone straightening in the Audio Central Coast Gosford Guineas (1200m).
RED EXCITEMENT - Red Excitement is chasing back to back wins in the Gosford Quarries Gold Cup (2100m) after an all the way two-length victory last year carrying 59kg. While he hasn’t been able to win since, and this year must shoulder 60.5kg but punters looking at the weight from a glass half full perspective would declare he would have won last year’s Cup with more weight. Red Excitement returned to racing on the speed last start when a close second in the Summer Cup at Randwick, a race he won last year before going to Gosford (there’s one for the glass half empty punters) with the speed map looking the key to the 2018 edition. The Gerald Ryan-trained galloper should have little difficulty finding the front here and controlling proceedings, if that’s the scenario he will take plenty of running down again.