Jay’N’Jay has raced well without winning in his career and looks a little over the odds to break through for a maiden race win. The Gregory McFarlane-trained gelding has placed in both his starts this time in and should enjoy the step up to the mile after finding the line strongly over the 1400m a fortnight ago at Bathurst. Jockey Chris O’Brien has finished runner-up in three of his four starts aboard the six-year-old and has plenty of options here from barrier 9.
It’s worth watching the market here, but I think Lord Avatar has strong each-way claims having his third run back from a spell. The three-year-old returned to the races in good order when third over the 1200m at Port Macquarie followed by an eye-catching run from midfield when fifth over the 1400m in his next start. He’s won third-up before and was a winner over the distance at Kempsey last August. Lots to like here.
Bandahara has returned to the races in good order and should really appreciate his first look at the mile in the fifth at Taree. The son of Fastnet Rock was beaten two lengths fourth first-up at Port Macquarie and was narrowly second-up by a nose to Value Abbey at Muswellbrook. The four-year-old strips fitter here and maps to get a nice late run from the wide draw.
Roy’s Command is a winner over the course and distance and should go better here on top of the ground. The Todd Howlett-trained five-year-old was beaten by a nose over the mile at Taree in his last start on the Soft 7, but should find this much easier on a firmer surface. Andrew Gibbons retains the ride and with a little luck, the pair should be swooping in down the straight.