Australia

Tough guelding to Guest star on wet Ballina track

Every winner will earn his or her keep on another rain-affected track at Tuesday's Ballina meeting, but they'll save a special cheer down the highway if one of the Big Banana's more affectionate gallopers finally wins his first race.

Tough five-year-old gelding Guest, from the Jim Jarvis yard at Coffs Harbour, is still searching for that breakthrough victory ahead of his 24th start in a Maiden Plate at set weights.

Coffs Harbour in NSW has been one of regions hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Coffs Harbour in NSW has been one of regions hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

It hasn't been through want of trying. A good wet-tracker by Chilean sire Host, Guest has run a staggering 15 placings since a Victorian debut in the summer of 2017, often narrowly missing charging home late in his customary style.

Today, though, fourth-up and coming off a surging finish in similar ground at Port Macquarie, connections and punters can finally be rewarded.

His biggest hurdle is likely to come from well-bred and progressive Far North Coast three-year-old Hogan's Dare, who missed by a head pulling off a big betting move at only his second start a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile, amid a group of good gallopers crossing the border, Gold Coast-based filly Take Tea can break a run of outs in a competitive Class 3 Handicap over 1590 metres.

A daughter of former group 1 star Testa Rossa, Take Tea boasts a 25 per cent winning strike rate from only 12 starts, and has more than held her own in tougher metro company for much of this year. She drops back from a good closing effort at Doomben three weeks back, and looks nicely placed with a 2kg claim.

And If you want a maiden to test your form resolve, look no further than Race 4 over 1000m.
It features a likely quartet of first starters, four others resuming, including two that have switched from Albury and Victorian stables, and the remaining two second-up.

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Plenty of questions will be answered, although home-track three-year-old gelding My Cousin James looks hard to beat on debut off a dominant trial win.

Tips supplied by Racing NSW.
Full form and race replays available at racingnsw.com.au

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