He lines up in the main race on Sunday, the $60,000 Dubbo Cup (1600m), and the best part about him is he knows when it's time to get down to business, according to trainer Cecil Hodgson.
'He must have brains to come out and perform (when it counts),' Hodgson said. 'He doesn't knock himself around on the track. He's too smart for that.
'The weight is the only issue but he's going well. He doesn't work that flash but he races well and the Zariz horses take time. The owner was keen to come here and jockeys who have ridden him say he's got a great will to win like all good horses.'
MATT JONES'S BEST BETS
BEST BET : GAUGUIN (Race 8, No.1)
He has the top weight but so he should because he comes into this off winning form in town and he can do it again.
NEXT BEST : JAYTEE'S THE FOX (Race 3, No.9)
He jumps in grade and it's not easy to win a Class 1 after a maiden victory but he looks to have the ability to do it.
VALUE BET : TRUTH BE WRITTEN (Race 4, No.1)
Gave a good showing on debut when fourth at Wagga in a deep form race that has already delivered subsequent winners. Should have derived benefit from the experience.
Race 6: 4,5,6,7
Race 7: 1,6,7,10
Race 8: 1,3,7,15
Race 9: 1,11,12
TRAINER TO WATCH
SCOTT SPACKMAN only has two runners on Sunday, Jaytee's The Fox and Truth Be Written, but they're winning hopes.
JOCKEY TO WATCH
ROBBIE DOLAN has some nice rides including Sea Lady, Kenny Succeed and Dreamnomore.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MATT'S EXTENDED PREVIEW & TIPS
SHAYNE O'CASS'S BEST BETS
BEST BET : LUNAR TRAMP (Race 8, No.10)
Put the writing on the wall when an eye-catching third at Grafton over 1100m. No wonder she was able to sweep home down the outside to win next time (here) in a 1250m when given a great ride by a top young apprentice.
NEXT BEST : WARUNA (Race 7, No.10)
All Too Hard mare in the Kia Ora colours. The Kris Lees-trained four-year-old has won two of her three starts and was a neck second at the other one. Resumes here with the benefit of a couple of nice trials.
VALUE : SUPERBANK (Race 2, No.2)
Son of Winx's sire, Street Cry out of the handy mare Dances On Waves. This 4YO has been unplaced in his three runs but they have been better than they first appear.
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
BEN LOOKER has a fantastic book of rides — one in every single race on the eight card event, most of them can win if they are good enough.
Race 5: 1,2,5,7
Race 6: 1,2,4,6
Race 7: 1,3,6,10
Race 8: 1,3,10
A Magic Zariz shoots for his ninth win and has placed twice and one once in his past three runs and is more suited at a mile. He came from eighth on the turn to run third in the Mudgee Mug (1400m) last start and has won at Dubbo in the past.
Hodgson will only have one concern when he jumps with Winona Costin on board from barrier two.
'He's a good horse and he'd want to be with the weight (59.5kg) he's got but he does carry it well,' he said. 'I don't think Winona has ever ridden for me but her manager was pestering me about the ride so that's a good sign.
'I don't think you'd want to ride him too close even though he's got an inside gate because it's not the way he races but I'll leave it up to Winona because you don't know what will happen when they come out of the barriers.
'I think he's my best chance as long as he carries the weight.'
Another six-year-old Zariz runner will fly the flag for Hodgson in a Class 3 Handicap (1600m) in the final race of the day. Pedro's Zariz has been consistent without winning after runs over 1100m and 1400m this preparation.
He gets leading country hoop Greg Ryan to ride him from barrier nine.
'His races have been too short for him,' Hodgson said. 'He was stirred up to get out of the barriers last start and he half reared and came out last.
'Greg has ridden him before and he'll work it out. The horse is better than two wins from 17 starts. He's lost some races by close margins a few times and a mile will suit him better now.'
Little Bertie is Hodgson's other runner on the card and he's a lightly raced five-year-old who already has a win and second placing from four runs.
His last start fourth was a forgive run despite beating home six rivals and only finishing two lengths off the winner.
'This is his race now,' Hodgson said. 'He's going well and is working pretty well at home.
'All of his runs have been pretty good and I probably shouldn't have started him last start at Dubbo on that heavy track because he didn't end up handling it too well and it took a bit out of him. But he's fine now.'
BEN Looker will have his first ride on former Godolphin galloper Editors for his old master and friend Ross Stitt in the hotly contested Melbourne Cup at Manning Valley Handicap (1250m).
Looker, whose career reached a pinnacle when he won the $600,000 ATC Country Championships Final on Victorem in April, has a supreme book of rides, one in every race, including Editors whom Stitt declared his best chance.
Editors is a son of Winx's sire, Street Cry, and ran twice in Victoria in the winter of 2017 when trained by Darren Beadman. The now four-year-old gelding has won four times and placed in three others in 13 runs for Stitt.
'He is a one hundred per cent tryer,' Stitt said. 'There looks like there is a bit of speed in this race which will suit him right down to the ground. He should be a couple back, one-out hopefully, something like that from his barrier. He is not very big and it is his biggest weight-carrying test but I am confident he will handle it.'
The highest weight Editors has carried was 59.5kg on April 7 (Country Championships Final day) in a race at Taree over 1400m which he managed to win comfortably.
'He'll have a little rest after Sunday. He is eligible for a heat of the Championships so that's what his aim will be,' Stitt said.
Editors is part-owned by Stitt and a syndicate, ‘12 Lengths'. 'The chairman of the club here, Greg Coleman's son, Brad, is the manager of the syndicate and it is having a great ride.'
INSIDE MAIL WITH MATT JONES
RACE 1 (12.50pm)
1. Court In Camera didn't have a lot of luck last start but still ran on to be less than 2½ lengths off the winner and will improve off that. There's a bit of hype around first-starter Special Surprise, who trialled nicely, but she has a wide gate to contend with. 10. The Black Widow was unsuited by the heavy track last start so forgive her because she has the talent to be a force here. 4. Go Charlie Go couldn't get on the track from a wide gate last start but finished off strongly and can improve on that fourth placing. 13. Water Union trialled nicely.
BET : GO CHARLIE GO each way.
RACE 2 (1.15pm)
7. Get To The Chopper had to get across from a wide gate last start and held on well for second and he's in good form without winning. 12. Sea Lady won the heat of the Country Championships at this track earlier in the year and has good fresh form, and she gets an inside gate.
BET : SEA LADY to win.
RACE 3 (1.50pm)
13. Supreme Attraction was second to Hoges last start at Dubbo and it ran in the Heritage Stakes at Randwick on Saturday, so that's a nice formline. Mathew Cahill takes the ride. 1. Bolly was trained by Les Bridge in town and this country race should be much more to her liking. 2. The Rouseabout generally runs in the money and had Greg Ryan on from the inside alley. 9. Jaytee's The Fox was a winner a long way out last start over 1300m and will be even better here.
BET : JAYTEE'S THE FOX to win.
RACE 4 (2.25pm)
2. Song And A Prayer has come out here for a confidence-booster after missing the kick last start and weakening late but she can bounce back. 7. The Flying Scot brings up sound Victorian form which looks good enough to run well here, while 6. Audio Bay will be better out to this trip and the stable have an opinion of her. 1. Truth Be Written looked like a winner on debut only to get swamped in the last few strides and he'll take plenty of benefit from that.
BET : AUDIO BAY each way.
RACE 5 (3pm)
1. Joey's Destiny beat Molasses by five lengths last start but that was on a heavy track and it will be a whole different ballgame here on top of the ground and with a 2.5kg weight swing this time. 3. Art D'Amour was unlucky not to win first-up over 1000m and he'll now be an even bigger force over 1100m, which he's won at before at his only attempt. It's a pretty stacked race and it wouldn't surprise to see 2. Kenny Succeed and 6. Johnny Roo Boy, who has great form around, to win.
BET : JOHNNY ROO BOY to win.
RACE 6 (3.40pm)
5. Ave has been racing very well this year but her last win was in March and she's had a quiet lead-up trial and can perform fresh but the wide gate means she'll likely drop back and run on. 6. Western Parade is chance in this if he jumps. Last start he missed the kick by four lengths and wasn't a hope. 7. Dreamnomore will be better on firmer track and she drops back in grade for this and has a second-up win.
BET : DREAMNOMORE to win.
RACE 7 (4.15pm)
7. Track Flash was 3½ lengths off Eljetem in the Moree Cup last start and this is obviously an easier race. 1. Austin comes off back-to-back wins, including an eight-length win last start. 6. Spinning Dawn was trained at the provincials some time ago and is loving racing in this grade these days and is a threat once again. 10. Rehanaat drops 4.5kg off her last-start win, which will only help. 8. Zaphod and 5. Rusty Motorbike are other players.
BET : TRACK FLASH to win.
RACE 8 (4.52pm)
The weight is the only issue for 3. A Magic Zariz who is in good form and will give a good show. 1. Gauguin won in town last start with a big weight and will look to get to the front from a wide gate and don't be surprised to see him hold them off. 15. Magic Over The Bay beat A Magic Zariz last start yet somehow carries 0.5kg less. 7. Makeadane ran third in town last start but will still need to fire to win this. 10. Miami Dade and 17. Go The Gantry are each-way hopes.
BET : GAUGUIN to win.
RACE 9 (5.27pm)
1. Athonis faces a much easier task with 59kg on after the claim and he almost won a Highway race, and those prove to be strong formlines. 4. Blinkin Fast wasn't far off either in that race. 11. Pedro's Zariz is a big improver now up to a mile and a good surface helps. 12. Pretty Pine is on a quick back up, which is a great sign, and she will run some of the best final sectionals. 3. Shadow Flight drops a bit in grade but needs to start better.
BET : ATHONIS to win.