Tips by Brad Gray
Brad Gray's tips and insights for Royal Randwick on Saturday. There are winners to be found for nine races!
Welcome back Winx! The champion mare chases 26 straight wins in the Group One Winx Stakes (1400m) but standing in her way is Kementari and D'argento. The rail is out 7m the entire and the track will race in the good range. The first is set to jump at 12:05pm.
|Race 1 - 12:05PM TAB HIGHWAY PLATE (1600 METRES)|
Have been tracking Panzerfaust ever since she bombed the start and ran home powerfully behind Outrageous on debut at Newcastle. Since then she swept home to win at Scone first up before being beaten by the wide draw at Muswellbrook last time out. It’s no surprise to see Paul Messara jump her sharply out in trip to the mile as she gives the impression she’ll relish it. She is a sister to Panzer Division, who ran fifth in a George Main behind Sacred Falls over 1600m. She gives away experience to this Highway Handicap field but she’s still untapped. Kerrin McEvoy takes the ride and she should be able to settle much closer from barrier 6.
Danger: It’s rocks or diamonds with Wallander. He produced diamonds last time out winning a Highway Handicap comfortably, adding to the Highway tally for Matt Dunn. He has led and rolled along in both of his career wins. He should be able to find the front in this, with Glyn Schofield aggressive early. Evopex was a really strong winner at Coffs Harbour last time out. He is a five-year-old right at the top of his game. The start prior to that he beat Cisco Bay, who is also here, which ties him into Highway form. Butchoy was posted last start. He can bounce back with Hugh Bowman steering.
How to play it: Panzerfaust WIN ($3.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Panzerfaust last start at Muswellbrook
|Race 2 - 12:40PM BOB INGHAM HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
Don’t think it was a fluke what Red Alto did last start when famously repelling Chris Waller’s eight runners. Happy to play at double figure odds to find out, anyways. He was brave, fighting off Vaucluse Bay, who also line up here too. The 2.5 lengths back to third is significant. Could you take $3.50 about Raqeeq to turn around the three length margin with a 2.5kg weight swing? Long story short is that Red Alto’s win has seemingly been underestimated by the early market. He is a fit, in form stayer and despite creeping up to 60.5kg, still keen to be in his corner. He’ll put himself right in the race once again and be a tough nut to crack.
Danger: Vaucluse Bay tends to mix his form but he seems to respond to being ridden ugly. Three back he won despite covering a stack of extra ground without cover before last Jason Collett put him into the race turning for home. Collett, who also rode him to that aforementioned win, sticks with him which is significant. Just Shine will have caught up to these fitness-wise and should be at his top now. He is on trial at 2400m but gives the impression it won’t be a problem, with Punters Intel revealing his last 200m was 11.83s, the fastest in the race.
How to play it: Red Alto EACH WAY ($10 TAB Fixed Odds)
Red Alto and Vaucluse Bay duking it out
|Race 3 - 1:15PM FORUM HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
Really liked what we saw from Brook Magic when the blinkers went on last time. I am guilty of having her pegged as a 1000-1100m specialist. She disproved that last start, running out a strong 1200m only being collared the final 100m after running along out in front. Punters Intel reveals her first 600m split was three lengths quicker than the other 1200m race on the day. She drops back to the 1000m but her record over the trip is very good (6:3-1-0) and would still expect her to hold the front from her draw. Expect Corey Brown to take no prisoners in this knowing he is on a very fit speed horse. She’ll have these chasing at the top of the straight and with the rail out 7m will give them all something to chase down.
Danger: Sharpe Hussler went enormous at Rosehill last start breezing past Condor Heroes running his last 600m in 33.18s (Punters Intel). That was 4.5L quicker than anything else in the race and the fastest of the day. That was a big peak performance and on face value, makes him the horse to beat but can he reproduce that again? Sam Weatherley will have taken plenty from his first sit on the horse and if Gweneth pours the pressure onto Brook Magic, he’ll be rattling home. Almanzora has been a costly horse for punters but always seems to find herself hard in the market. She’s a classy mare and we can pen her luckless first up effort, but she’s hard to have at $2.50. You should get better closer to jump.
How to play it: Brook Magic WIN ($3.90 TAB Fixed Odds)
Brook Magic fighting on bravely last time out
|Race 4 - 1:50PM DARLEY SILVER SHADOW STAKES (1200 METRES)|
Don’t let the fact that Oohood is still a maiden put you off. If the cards fell her way we’d potentially ne heralding the return of the Golden Slipper winner. She was also luckless in the Sires Produce, cruelled by the draw in the Blue Diamond… the list goes on. Speaking of luck, she’ll need some degree of it to finish over the top of her rivals here over 1200m given the sticky barrier but with the blinkers going on Ready For Prophet, expect her to zip along with Secret Lady to keep her company. Can see this working out beautifully for her to steam home. She is the best credentialed horse in the race, so happy to back her in. Tony McEvoy is already talking about the Golden Rose so she’ll want to be handling these first up.
Danger: Futooh has really caught my eye at the trials. She won the Fernhill over the mile last time we saw her but she certainly looked sharp enough to run a big race fresh over 1200m. Especially with the likely good speed up front. She won a Randwick 1200m race at just her second ever start, albeit in much lesser company. The early market flucs with TAB have been interesting with her - $9.50 into a low of $6.50 before getting back out to $8.50. Fiesta is tough and so honest. Liked her latest trial. Outback Barbie is in the mix too. She should have beaten Pure Elation the last time we saw her.
How to play it: Oohood WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Oohood running second in the Golden Slipper
|Race 5 - 2:25PM SYDNEY MARKETS UP AND COMING STAKES (1300 METRES)|
There are so many different ways to cut this race up but playing it with as straight a bat as possible leaves me with Military Zone. This three-year-old was outstanding winning at Randwick last time out. He bombed the start before rattling him his last 600m in a very slick 32.99s (Punters Intel) to run down Danawi. That was two lengths superior to the next best while his last 200m of 11.03s was 1.5 lengths faster than the next best. There was a tail wind and Randwick can play fast when it’s dry so you have to factor that in when looking at the sectionals in isolation but it was still an impressive win from long last.
Danger: Danawi will strip fitter from that first up showing but assuming Military Zone begins cleanly, it’s hard to see him turning the tables. There is every chance Military Zone sits on his shoulder here, as was the plan last start. Spin scored a confidence-boosting win at Kembla first up. We didn’t learn a great deal as you’d expect any of these horses to beat that field by four lengths. It might be just what he needed though. Boasts a second to Santos and a third to Written By (where Sandbar was second) as a two-year-old. Master Ash next best.
How to play it: Military Zone WIN ($4.80 TAB Fixed Odds)
Military Zone rounding up his rivals last start
|Race 6 - 3:00PM WINX STAKES (1400 METRES)|
Winx. I could probably leave it there to be honest. Just her name is enough now. Sure, she is most vulnerable at 1400m at this stage in her career but she is a freak in every sense of the word. The noises coming out of the Winx camp suggest she is flying. Her trials suggest as much too. As did her piece of work early on Thursday morning. Hugh Bowman said it felt like he was skiing, the way she glided across the ground. Chris Waller also fired the ominous shot that “there’s a chance that she could be better than ever.” Yikes. In this race last year she bombed the start before running her last 600m in an impossible 31.98s. I’m not sure how the Punters Intel recording chip didn’t melt. Is Kementari a serious threat? Not if it’s a fair fight. With an uninterrupted run, she is way too good again.
WINX OUT: Kementari is a very firm $1.45 favourite in TAB’s Winx Out market. That leaves D’argento a $4 second pick. There shouldn’t be that big of a price discrepancy. That’s no knock on Kementari as he is an outstanding horse but rather a nod to D’argento being underrated. He is a star in his own right. Have loved his trials this time in, looking fresh and full of running, and there is a real buzz coming from the Waller stable about how well this horse has come back. He is set for a big spring, starting here. If he can camp on the back of Kementari and get the last crack at him, he can run him down.
How to play it: D’argento WINX OUT ($4 TAB Fixed Odds)
Don't forget about D'argento on Saturday!@BradJGray puts the flashy grey under the Punters Intel Spotlight ahead of his clash with Winx and Kementari at @royalrandwick @StarTbreds @tabcomau pic.twitter.com/XD5NQZNjQn
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) August 16, 2018
|Race 7 - 3:40PM NEXON SHOW COUNTY QUALITY (1200 METRES)|
Siege Of Quebec is the best of the day at Randwick. Have been really impressed with how sharp this four-year-old has looked in his trials and in a recent exhibition gallop alongside very speedy stablemate Invincible Star. This time last year in the Rosebud he ran second to Menari before his autumn 3YO form is around the likes of Kementari, Pierata, Trapeze Artist, D’argento and Ace High. Siege of Quebec gets 8kg off the topweight Le Romain and I quite fancy the wide draw as he can work across in his own time. There is speed underneath him but he’ll still be in the first three. Confident the son of Fastnet Rock will resume a winner. It’s a perfect race for him to launch his spring.
Danger: There is no denying the class of Le Romain. He is a genuine Group One horse (he has won three!). Two of those were over a mile though and one on a Heavy 10 over 1300m. He needed the run first up over 1200m last time back but he has only had nine weeks off this time, having played a part in the Queensland winter carnival. The six-year-old loves Randwick too with a 13:4-6-0. James McDonald should be able to stalk the leaders from the inside draw and if they overdo it, he won't be stopping. Would be surprised if the winner didn't come from the two favourites.
How to play it: Siege Of Quebec WIN ($2.90 TAB Fixed Odds)
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) August 16, 2018
|Race 8 - 4:20PM RYDE TOYOTA TOY SHOW QUALITY (1300 METRES)|
Could make somewhat of a case for every one of these runners but none with a great deal of conviction. It doesn’t help when the map is so up in the air. There is a real lack of speed in this. Sharpness looks the most likely to take it up. Hoping Hugh Bowman rides I Am Coldplay positively as that’s the way I’ve gone. The former Kiwi-trained mare has now found a home with Chris Waller. She never cracked it at Group One level across the ditch but has four Group races to her name. Three of those were over the mile but she has looked sharp enough in two very quiet trials. Back in November she ran third, despite covering ground, at Pukekohe. In second was Francaletta who we saw ran third to Dixie Blossoms in the Guy Walter over the autumn. Wouldn’t be surprised if she is well backed late.
Danger: Insensata looks very well suited to the shape of this race. She’ll be a lot closer from the cosy draw and has shown in the past she can stalk the leaders if the opportunity presents. She is a mare with a deadly turn of foot so if she can slip inside the leader in the straight, mightn’t have to go around a horse to win this. Her first up run behind Albumin was very good. Nettoyer can win this but only with a positive early move. Drawn 10 it might force Rachel King’s hand. If she lobs outside of the leader, off the back of a very sharp trial win, she’ll be hard to chase down. Inclined to risk Egyptian Symbol second up with her past form suggesting she can flatten off a touch.
How to play it: I Am Coldplay WIN ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
I Am Coldplay’s last trial – Rosehill August 7
|Race 9 - 5:00PM NICHOLAS MORAITIS HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Shogun Sun lost his way for a while but his career is right back on track now. He mowed down Natch at Doomben last start and there was a huge gap back to third. Prior to that, Natch beat Bergerac who we’ve subsequently seen win in Sydney, albeit in a touch easier grade. Shogun Sun won a race as a three-year-old at Randwick which put him on a Golden Rose path. He didn’t quite measure up in the end, with Trapeze Artist romping in, but there is no shame in that. Corey Brown will need to be right on his game from the inside draw but if the breaks fall his way, expect him to be spearing through the pack late.
Danger: Kaonic resumed a winner and despite being unsighted for a month since, it’s been by design with Chris Waller wanting to keep him fresh, tackling 1400m again second up. The stable have the lofty target of the Epsom Handicap in mind for him so he’ll need to keep raising the bar. The four-year-old has shown glimpses of brilliance but needs to string two together now. James Cummings seems to have picked up a handy bunch of imports this time around with Avilius and Home Of The Brave hitting the ground running. Expect the same from Best Of Days. Would have been more confident is he tackled a mile first up though.
How to play it: Shogun Sun WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Kaonic getting home first up at Randwick