CALIFORNIA SURPRISE - I Am Invincible filly Californiasurprise won the Greg Cribb Memorial on debut last November with Winona Costin in the saddle and the combination look set for a unique double in the 2018 edition on Sunday after the change of programming. Californiasurprise hasn’t finished in the placings in four subsequent runs but has contested provincial and city class races on each occasion. After racing without success in Victoria at her first two runs, Californiasurprise was given a 43-day let-up with Sunday’s race in mind and was far from disgraced taking on the older horses when fourth beaten 2-3/4-lengths in a class one at Kembla on May 29. Back to her own age and the desire of the Snowdens to win the race, Californiasurprise stands out as the day’s best bet on form but the emotions will get a work out as well.
HELAKU - Californiasurprise’s stablemate Helaku takes on the older horses in the Pirtek Muswellbrook Maiden Handicap (1280m) but looks up to the task. A two-year-old son of Written Tycoon, Helaku has only been to the races on two occasions being well beaten on debut at Wyong before showing considerable improvement when only 1-1/4-lengths from the winner Barnabas when fourth in a Kembla maiden last start. It is reasonable to assume there is still plenty of scope for improvement in Helaku and if that’s the case the gelding will take plenty of beating on Sunday.
ALL STAND - Shinn rides All Stand for Muswellbrook trainer Todd Howlett in the M & S Print Wauchope Sprint (1006m) with barrier one the key to the son of I Am Invincible returning to the winner’s stall. A Randwick Highway Handicap winner over 1100m last preparation, barrier nine in a field of 11 was All Stand’s undoing when a beaten favourite at Gunnedah last start with the gelding posted wide without cover just of the speed. All Stand looks to have superior early speed to his rivals on Sunday and should find the lead comfortably, however if any horse decides to take him on Shinn has the option to take a sit. Whatever the scenario, Shinn on all stand looks to be in complete control which makes All Stand a solid bet.
KING VIV - Confident the Kim Waugh-trained King Viv is the reason Shinn is in Port Macquarie after the leading jockey had no luck on the gelding resuming at Rosehill on June 2. After settling at the rear of the field and making ground approaching the turn first-up over 1500m, King Viv never saw clear running in the straight and looked to have plenty to offer eventually finishing just over three-lengths from the winner Volpe. With the first-up run under his belt and a proven second-up performer, King Viv stands out as the day’s best bet in the Wauchope RSL Club Cup (1506m).
CANYONERO - A set of blinkers for the first time and back to maiden company should see the Mark Newnham-trained Canyonero record his first career win in the Unconquered Sprint (1100m). Placed in the Inglis Nursery on debut last December before having genuine excuses in his remaining first preparation when a beaten favourite in a Saturday grade two-year-old handicap won by Futooh, Canyonero resumed with a 1-1/2 length third behind Ronstar and River Bird at Rosehill doing his best work over the latter stages. Canyonero has always raced like a horse that will benefit from wearing the shades and it would be no surprise to see Josh Parr be a touch more aggressive on the son of Pierro and either lead or settle outside the leader in the run.