Tips by Brad Gray
Brad Gray's tips and insights for Royal Randwick on Saturday. There are winners to be found for nine races!
Safe to say we’ll be on another heavy surface at Royal Randwick on Saturday. The rail is out 6m the entire with the first to be run at 11:25am local time.
|Race 1 - 11:25AM LIVING TURF HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Dio D’oro won well at Randwick first up, putting his rivals away pretty comfortably in the end. That was on a Heavy 9 so he ticked that box in the process. He has to stretch that form out to 1200m from 1000m but he certainly wasn’t paddling late and boasts a third over 1200m last campaign, albeit in midweek company. It was all said prior to his return but let’s not forget he ran second to Estijaab on debut before Gary Portelli tested him in the G3 Canonbury behind Performer. The son of Medaglia D’Oro goes up 1kg for his win but that shouldn’t stop him. Thought he’d be a touch shorter than the $4.20 available (on Friday morning) with TAB Fixed Odds.
Danger: Unguarded ran home nicely on debut on the Kensington track. The way the race was run she was never a winning hope and tipping she can turn the tables on the winner there King’s Trust. Marmaris showed promise in his first campaign, getting close to Sandbar at his second outing before winning by a space at Canterbury. Has trialled nicely twice. There will be no fitter horse in the race than Silent Explorer on the back up from 1400m. Happy to risk Beidi on the wet having not handled it last time behind Dio D’Oro.
How to play it: Dio D’oro WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds)
Dio D’oro winning at Randwick first up
|Race 2 - 12:00PM DAD & DAVES TURF HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Easy Eddie was outstanding when winning on the Kensington surface last time out, with the blinkers going on for the first time. He showed versatility too, in being able to take a sit and sprint past his rivals. I’d suggest he’d go back to his customary role of leader in this though, unless Lisdoonvarna wants to slide across in front of him. The start prior to that 3.8L win he ran a gallant second to Dawn Dawn in what has turned out to be a deep winter form race. Nicci’s Gold and Curdled (6th and 7th there) subsequently fought out the finish at Rosehill last Saturday. A Soft 6 at Canterbury is a different ball game to a heavy Randwick track but at least Easy Eddie gave us some inclination last start he likes wet ground. Joe Pride has made no secret of the fact that he believes the three-year-old will relish a heavy track the day he finds one.
Danger: Amanda Turner and Mauro Poletti, the co-trainers of Lisdoonvarna, have turned into storm chasers with their filly. She loves the wet. The only time she has seen a heavy track she belted her rivals at Warwick Farm – in second was Savatiano. She is a month between runs but drops back from 1400m runs so should have enough of a fitness base there to fall back on. Don’t want to underestimate Pierina. The former Kiwi has won both starts for Kris Lees and she beat Popular (subsequent city winner) pretty easily at Gosford last time out. Keep her safe.
How to play it: Easy Eddie WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds)
Easy Eddie certainly won easily on Kensington track last start
|Race 3 - 12:35PM EVERGREEN TURF HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
The majority of these have been knocking around against each other at the midweeks with the exception of Richard Of Yorke, dropping back from the two miles of the Stayers Cup. I keep coming back to the last start effort of Solo Mission behind Hallelujah Boy at Randwick on a heavy track. Those two really cleared out from their rivals at the end. That was over 2000m, and on the back of a couple of even efforts after impressing on his Aussie debut, but on his overseas form I’d be surprised if the 2400m pulls him up. In that Aussie debut he reeled in Bastia with Punters Intel revealing he ran home his last 200m in 11.76s, so he does have a turn of foot.
Danger: Only Tiger has had 11 runs this campaign so far but seems to be getting better! The four-year-old has won two on the bounce, simply outstaying his rivals on heavy tracks. He faces the same set of circumstances here (and many of the same rivals) so he only has to hold his form to be whacking away at the finish again. Follow Suit has found some form since getting onto wet tracks. Fourth up 2400m on another heavy track looks perfect. Gets some weight relief from the 60kg he has asked to carry last time too, when second to Only Tiger.
How to play it: Solo Mission WIN ($3.60 TAB Fixed Odds)
Solo Mission’s second to Hallelujah Boy
|Race 4 - 1:10PM SOUTHERN CROSS TURF HIGHWAY (1200 METRES)|
My Blue Jeans won a deeper Highway Handicap than this last Saturday, which featured Dia De Reyes and Radiant Choice. So why is the three-year-old $6 here on the back up? He is 1500m back to 1200m. It’s certainly not ideal but happy to back the judgement of Danny Williams who is placing his horses beautifully in town at the moment. The wet track helps the drop in trip, ensuring some stamina will be required to win the race. On the subject of wet tracks, the Barbados gelding has only seen them twice, in his last two starts, and he has won them both. Could this be the race that gives young Kiwi apprentice Sam Weatherley a dream start to his Aussie stint? Here’s hoping.
Danger: Nicconita is easy enough to find coming off the back of two dominant wins at Wagga and then Goulburn but there is a real query around the talent of her rivals. The second horse from her latest victory, Lincoln Cash Man, has since been beaten out of sight at the Sapphire Coast. A four length defeat at the hands of Oria (where she started hard in the market) at just her second ever race start, reads rather well now.
How to play it: My Blue Jeans WIN ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds)
My Blue Jeans winning over 1500m last week
|Race 5 - 1:45PM ELITE SAND & SOIL MILE (1600 METRES)|
We lost our two early favourites in Noire and then Seaway which leaves Special Missile a very short priced favourite. It’s hard to dive in given his penchant for finding one or two better. Throw into the mix too that his better form is all on top of the ground. He struck an extremely heavy track at Wyong one day and was rolled in a five horse maiden. Happy to side with Mighty Lucky at the odds, despite his patchy wet form. This eight-year-old is an unassuming sort of galloper and because of that, he has slipped under the radar again coming into this. Punters Intel reveals his last start effort was much better than it reads on paper. Firstly, he lost his spot early and was shuffled back in the run before dashing home his last 600m in 34.23s (only a length slower than the winner Sir Bacchus) while his 400m-200m split was the fastest in the race (11.16s).
Danger: Depending on how aggressive Josh Parr is on Dark Eyes, will decide whether Special Missile gets a picnic out in front. There is no doubt Special Missile finds a very winnable race. Karavali comes back from Queensland having been beaten 10L by Egg Tart in a Group Two. She is a Group Three winner over the Randwick mile and handles the wet fine. She looks dangerously weighted on 53kg. Sons Of John, Dark Eyes and Beijing Board all have to bounce back from plain last start efforts.
How to play it: Mighty Lucky WIN ($7 TAB Fixed Odds)
Mighty Lucky is going better than his recent finishing positions suggest. @BradJGray puts Mighty Lucky under the Punters Intel Spotlight ahead of the eight-year-old running over the mile at @royalrandwick on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/YTkuNRB0wh
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) June 21, 2018
|Race 6 - 2:25PM SCG TRUST HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Star Reflection had her first up run this campaign back in November of last year but she certainly isn’t showing any signs of training off. She’s a very honest mare, handles the wet and has the right form to be in the money again. Think she’ll relish getting out beyond 1200m for the first time in a while. There was little between Star Reflection and Savvan last start behind Noire and although Savvan might have more improvement from that being only second up, my concern is that the run takes a bit out of her and she throws in a flat one here. Suspect she is a better mare with some freshness kept in her legs too. I might be wrong on that but what I am confident about is that Star Reflection shouldn’t be double the odds of Savvan.
Danger: Outside of Savvan, wouldn’t be surprised to see Filomena’s Grace run a cheeky race with no weight on her back and a fondness for wet tracks (just like her dad Love Conquers All). Tried to make a winning case for her but it’s the class rise that is the worry. She won well at Canterbury last start but was beaten in a Nowra Class 2 prior to that.
How to play it: Star Reflection WIN ($7 TAB Fixed Odds)
Savvan and Star Reflection filling the placings behind Noire
|Race 7 - 3:05PM ELITE HAULAGE HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Trainer Mick Bell, with heart on his sleeve, declared that Jungle Edge is the best wet tracker in the country after he cruised to victory in the June Stakes a fortnight ago. My favourite quote from the post-race from Mick though was that he had lost his wet track mojo for a while but it’s back now. He’s right! Jungle Edge strikes another heavy track. The evergreen mudlark had to absorb a bit of early pressure there last start before booting home at the finish. Punters Intel reveals that only Shiraz had better closing splits, and as a leader, if you can do that, it makes you near impossible to run down. He was allocated 63.5kg here under the handicap conditions which forced Bell’s hand into claiming with Georgina Cartwright. She has won on the horse before so happy to back her in.
Danger: Was it the blinkers first time or the wet track that sparked Shiraz last start? Probably both to be honest. Punters Intel reveals that his last 600m (34.99s) and 200m (12.01s) splits were not only the quickest in the race, but across the entire day. It’s worth noting that after the claim of Cartwright, he meets Jungle Edge 2.5kg worse off for a 1.3L defeat. Those two should fight it out again. I Thought So was set a task but finished a distance third in the June Stakes. It’s hard to see him turning the tables. Aide Memoire strikes her first heavy track in Australia (9:4-3-0 in NZ).
How to play it: Jungle Edge WIN ($2.90 TAB Fixed Odds)
The June Stakes featuring Jungle Edge, Shiraz and I Thought So
|Race 8 - 3:45PM HI QUALITY TURF HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Travancore was heavily backed first up at Randwick ($17-$8) over 1200m but peaked on his run to finish midfield behind Noire. There are certainly no mares of her class among his rivals this time and he looks much better suited out to 1400m with the run under his belt. He handles the wet no problems and is already a Randwick winner over this track and trip back in January – where he reeled in Smartedge. He tends to miss the start which will see him get back but in a small field he shouldn’t be too far away. Can see him sweeping down the middle of the track come the second last.
Danger: We've lost The Avenger and Hypnotist in the scratchings, which leaves High Mist as the race favourite. It's hard to topple in at $2.90 but he comes off a win last start and this race sets up for him well enough to string two together. Thought Impavido was entitled to do more at Wyong first up in Class 2 company. He gets the blinkers on so that might spark him back into form.
How to play it: Travancore WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Travancore’s first up run behind Noire
|Race 9 - 4:25PM TURF DRAIN AUSTRALIA SPRINT (1000 METRES)|
The Danny Williams-trained filly She Knows has been great all preparation. She hasn’t finished outside of the top two in her last four runs and one of those was as Listed level at Scone. That said, I’m surprised we’re getting $5. Last start she loomed to go straight past Brook Magic on a heavy track at Randwick but just felt the pinch late having covered a bit of extra ground in the run. Back to 1000m on another heavy track looks tailor-made. On paper she rises slightly in grade, from a BM77 to a BM81 but this race certainly isn’t any harder and she gets some welcome weight relief because of it. That’s further helped by the claim of Sam Weatherley. She’ll travel in the first couple and with race fitness on her side, can account for her only danger in Bandipur.
Danger: Bandipur was scratched from Melbourne for this and given what the Coomands colt has done on wet tracks in the past, it’s little surprise. He won a maiden by 8L on a Soft 7 first up last preparation before two starts later winning a Listed race in Adelaide on another soft track. They are the only two times he has seen a wet track. He is the class runner in the race, there is no denying that. Would be surprised if the winner didn’t come from those two.
How to play it: She Knows WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds)
She Knows ran over 1100m at Randwick last start