Sapphire Coast preview: Tips, best bets and inside mail

Keith Dryden will end the week on a quest for a hat-trick of wins at a soggy Sapphire Coast on Sunday.

He’ll start next week by welcoming back stable heavyweight Handle The Truth, who is almost guaranteed his place in history in 2021 by becoming the first horse to contest three runnings of the $1.3m Kosciuszko.

Dryden’s first runner of his south-bound trio on Sunday is Emma’s Gift, a half-sister to his own Canberra National Sprint winner, Tougherthantherest.

Emma’s Gift is a lightly-raced daughter of Delago Deluxe who has been in competition six times for a win and a second.

The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!

She could easily have added another medal of some description at Nowra on May 23 had it not been for some bad luck late in the piece.

“I think she would have finished in the prizemoney somewhere if she hadn’t put out of the race,’’ Dryden said.

“I am a bit wary about the Sapphire Coast with her but Jeff (Penza) said she handled the wet down at Nowra the other day but the time before Jordan Mallyon who rode here down at the Sapphire Coast said she didn’t like it too well on the shifty ground down there.

“She is going to be a chance I think. I’d love to win with her because a couple of mates I play golf with, we bred her ourselves and own her together.’’

Dryden is naturally hoping that he pulled the right rein by electing to scratch Shenandoah from his scheduled engagement at Wagga on Friday to run this Sunday instead.

“Just looking at the two races on paper, Sunday’s race just a bit easier race to me,’’ the trainer said.

“He is also one of these horses that you always get a run out of him. I think in his last five starts, fourth or fifth is as far back as he has finished. He is due.’’

Keith Dryden hugs jockey Nash Rawiller after Handle The Truth’s win in the 2019 Kosciuszko. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

Dryden is eager to see what his bargain basement purchase La Mia Via can offer up when she makes her debut in the Jane And Chrissy 50 Past The Post Maiden Plate (1012m).

Bred at the historic Newhaven Park Stud, La Mia Via is bred to win being by Your Song out of a mare by Rubiton.

On top of that, her grand-dam is the stakes-winning Bumptious, herself a daughter of wet-track supremo Quest For Fame.

“I bought her for nothing, I paid $6000 for her at the Classic Sale,’’ Dryden said.

“I bought her for myself originally. I just had a look at her and I thought I can’t see much wrong with her.

“I didn’t really intend to buy her but when she came into the sale-ring they couldn’t get a bid on her.

“I think she is going to be a better next prep and I would have loved to have found a two-year-old race for her but there’s not much difference this time of year.’’

SHAYNE O’CASS’ TOP SELECTIONS

BEST BET

Race 3 No.2: LE MAY

Been here twice; runner-up at his first visit then bolted in here 12 days ago on the Soft 7.

NEXT BEST

Race 4 No.7: SOJO

Third run and ready to peak in what shapes as perfect race for daughter of So You Think.

VALUE BET

Race 6 No.9: RUFINA

Ordinary in two strong races when housed in Sydney. Debuts today for Theresa Bateup off a great trial.

QUADDIE

R3: 2

R4: 7

R5: 3, 5, 7, 10

R6: 8, 9, 13, 14

JOCKEY TO FOLLOW

Ellen Hennessy will take a power of beating in today’s TAB Jockey Challenge.

INSIDE MAIL: SAPPHIRE COAST

RACE 1

Theresa Bateup, as she often does, gave a set of new owners an instant return when her stable recruit Factorize won here at the Sapphire Coast on June 1. The daughter of The Factor was given what Bateup says was a “12 out of 10” ride by Ellen Hennessy. Barrier two in the small field, you would think Factorize gets a lovely run. Merc is down in class on his last two bearing in mind that his very handy stablemate, Delightful Dream, won the race at the Wagga carnival that Merc ran in before Merc’s last start fourth at Kembla – beaten 2½ lengths there too just as was the case at Wagga. Loose Wire ran well here first-up. in fact, her best runs have all been at the Sapphire Coast.

Bet: Factorize win, quinella 3,7.

RACE 2

Farage is a very cleverly named horse being a son of Eurozone, as in Nigel Farage. If ever a horse had more talent than one win from 19, it’s Farage. That said, he has placed seven times, five of them are seconds. He is no stranger to this venue with six visits resulting in four seconds and a third. One of those seconds was as recently as 12 days ago behind Factorize who will have already run today. Linden beat a horse named Chalkley first-up at Kembla – Chalekey placed in town to the star Ibaraki. Lightly raced filly from a top stable, has the right formlines for this. Keep it Down is a last start winner. Emma’s Gift was unlucky at Nowra.

Bet: Farage win.

RACE 3

Le May was winless in 13 starts prior to the breakthrough victory here 12 days ago where he landed some significant bets by the looks of his flucs – $4.20 into $3.70. He drew nine of nine that day and came from last in the mid-stages but that was 1407m, but bear in mind he has raced on the speed at a mile and up before. Vallauris is a superbly bred Matthew Dale trained gelding who is also a last-start winner. The son of Medaglia D’oro beat a handy enough line-up in that particular Class 1 and most important to note, the track was a Heavy 8 and he shouldered all of his 60.5kg. Costa Chin Chin rounds out a trio of last start winners.

Bet: Le May win, exacta 2 to beat 1, quinella 1,2.

RACE 4

Sojo trialled well prior to fair debut at Canberra on April 23. The daughter of So You Think was a great deal better the next time out when she stepped up to 1400m at Parkes and even though she was beaten as the $1.85 favourite, hers was probably the run of the race. Mile today! Little Wand is getting very close indeed to a first win. The Luke Pepper-trained filly comes back here 12 days after she finished a distant (on pace) second to the aforementioned Le May on a 1407m maiden. Kayla Nisbet sticks. Singing Dixie needs to lift but has claims.

Bet: Sojo win, exacta 7 to beat 5, Daily Double 1st leg (7), 2nd leg (9).

RACE 5

Shenandoah has quite a tidy little CV at this point in life with two wins, two seconds and a third from his 13 starts. He doesn’t shape as a muddie by any means but has won on a heavy track. On top of that, he comes through some pretty strong form races. Lady Tabloid trialled well before her debut here 12 days ago hence the $2.90 SP. She was never going to lose in the run leading throughout to win by upwards of a length which is no mean feat having your first run at 1207m on a soft track with just one trial under the belt. Pluck Sans Ma won a Moruya maiden at his last start on a Heavy 8. Drawn favourably again.

Bet: Shenandoah win, box trifecta 3,5,7,10.

RACE 6

Rufina started out as a Warwick Farm resident, she had two runs for Joe Pride and ran last at both of them beaten a combined margin of 30 lengths. Granted they are both thrashings but they were at Kembla (behind Namjah) and then at Gosford to Colours. Rufina trialled really well for Theresa Bateup the other day and could be worth a look here. Poetic Miss likewise did nothing to speak of in her two starts back in the summer but could also add some value to the exotics. Keith Dryden’s $6000 yearling La Mia Via is bred to swim – admittedly it doesn’t always work that way.

Bet: Rufina each-way, box trifecta 8,9,13,14.

Originally published asSapphire Coast tips: Dryden hopes trio can Handle it

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