Horse Betting: Shadows Over the line
Well suited to the conditions, Overshadows looks a great each-way chance of bringing up the hat trick today.
In-form galloper Overshadows is the horse Timeform's Gary Crispe sees most likely as claiming today's Tooheys New Cessnock Cup (race 8) at Cessnock.
The Cessnock program hasn't been spared a soft track but at least they are racing, unlike their Victorian counterparts at Pakenham who lost their meeting due to rain.
And by the end of the day today, the conditions are likely to be pretty tough underfoot, which will suit Overshadows, a horse unbeaten on heavy ground.
Prepared at Port Macquarie by Tas Morton, Overshadows had five runs last campaign for a good track win at Taree and four placings. He sat out the late summer and resumed over 1200m at home on slow ground, where he settled back and wide and ran on well and would have won but for laying in the length of the straight, finishing runner-up.
Next start was over 1215m at Coffs Harbour in heavy ground. Settling fourth on the inside, he cut the corner and shot through to the lead at the top of the straight before being joined. He lifted strongly once spotting a bit of competition though and kicked back to score a narrow win.
Last start was up to 1400m at Scone where he struck a dry track and from a good gate settled in the lead. Taking off before the turn and setting up a three-length break, his early move was a winning one as he fought on well and scored by 1.5 lengths.
Overshadows carries the same weight today but this time has drawn a little wider, although by day's end that may not be a disadvantage at all. The 1350m trip suits and he is versatile enough to run on or lead, but the key is that he tries his best. Well suited to the conditions, he looks a great each-way chance of bringing up the hat trick today.
The Rodney Northam-trained Exploitable Doubt is fitter for two runs back from a spell and looks suited at the longer journey.
He resumed over 1000m at Muswellbrook and was disappointing after drawing wide and settling back but never came on. Up to 1100m in a rich race at Scone last time, he sat close to the speed from a good gate and battled away well, finishing only 1.6 lengths from Alumbrado in a tough race.
Today's assignment is easier and leading rider Robert Thompson stays aboard. Third-up last campaign he tackled this trip in Saturday class in town and ran seventh in a very strong form race. He has drawn well today and is expected to improve sharply.
Beaveroo is trained at Wyong but goes very well here and looks an each-way chance.
The gelding was runner-up at home second-up on heavy ground then was well held his next two on form conditions at Gosford then Scone. Up to a mile latest at Wyong on slow ground he boxed on well to score a length win.
He is back in trip today but will be tough at the shorter journey and gets through the ground. He has a win and two placings from three tries at the course and looks a strong contender again.
Barigan Boy ran on well fresh on heavy ground to finish fourth and can only be fitter.