Race 3 at Coffs Harbor (Australia A) on Wednesday night is an open maiden at special weights going seven furlongs around one right-handed turn with a long run down the backstretch. The track designation is Good-4 so it should be favorable to those that like firmer ground. 

#7 Lolly Dolly looks attractive at first glance since she has improved in each of her three career starts. Her belated race debut came at age 5 and she did not show much after being forced wide early going 5 ½ furlongs. She came back two weeks later at Lismore and showed high speed before weakening going six furlongs in fast time. Last out, Lolly Dolly was an even third at long odds and her speed rating increased by six points. With her improvement ladder and the quality of this field, she merits a strong chance. 

#6 Dawn Thunder has had 11 starts to try to break her maiden but has earned six placings. What she has is blazing gate speed that she shows every time she runs. Which raises the question, if she is still a maiden going shorter, how will she be able to get seven furlongs? Five of those starts came on Soft turf so today’s ground should help. I like that Dawn Thunder gets consistently bet and is coming back on short rest after being used hard from post 10, an effort that should have her fit today. Samantha Clenton is winning at a 16.3% rate over the past 12 months.

#1 Arlington Valley had two strong pari-mutuel races to begin his career 18 months ago. He didn’t return until last month with a barrier trial then showed a big late kick going 6 ¼ furlongs at Ballina to finish three lengths behind at 9-2 odds. If he can run back to his previous speed ratings, which he might be able to do on the second start off the layoff, Arlington Valley should be a big factor. Luke Rolls rides back for John Shelton, who is 29 for 180 (16.1%) over the past 12 months.  

Dick Powell’s Pick

Lolly Dolly can handle these if she continues to show improvement in her fourth career start.