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Royal Randwick Winners - Tips For Saturday 17th February

Tips by Brad Gray

Brad Gray's tips and insights for Royal Randwick on Saturday. There are winners to be found for nine races!

The track is rated a Good 4 and the rail is in the True with the first event timed to jump at 12:45pm.

Race 1 - 12:45PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1800 METRES)

Mate Story took the scalp of Acquittal last start which bodes well for him taking out back-to-back Highway Handicaps. Jean Dubois said after the race that the horse is at his best when rolling along at a good clip so the race played to his strengths last time out but expect Jean Van Overmeire to again turn this into a true staying test. Mate Story’s run prior to that over 1900m at Canterbury was very good when beaten only 2.7L despite being in restricted room. Not overly thrilled with the odds on quote but he certainly looks the horse to beat.

Danger: So It Is took plenty of late ground off Mate Story last start and looks to want every inch of the 1800m now. She is right down in the weights again too. She has a couple of lengths to make up on Mate Story but she’ll be doing her best work late and reckon Blaike McDougall will be keen to use the inside gate to be a touch closer in the run.

How to play it: Mate Story WIN ($1.80 TAB Fixed Odds)


Mate Story beating Acquittal last start

Race 2 - 1:25PM THE LUXURY NETWORK PIERRO PLATE (1100 METRES)

The way I’m looking at Exceltic is that you were getting $3.30 about him on debut to beat Performer, having been heavily backed. There is no such thing as an easy two-year-old race this time of year in town but he is $5 here in the Pierro Plate, without the Golden Slipper second favourite in the field. He has a real presence about him this Gary Portelli-trained youngster. In his three trials prior to his debut we saw a devastating turn of foot. On a firm deck at Randwick tipping we’ll get to see it. Just on his debut, Punters’ Intel revealed closing splits of 10.71/10.81. They walked on front but he couldn’t have done much more than that.

Danger: Santos has covered plenty of ground in both of his starts to date. For him to still finish where he did on both occasions suggests he has a bit of ticker about him. Just needs to jump clean to put himself in the first couple to be a genuine winning chance. You’ll know what you’ll get from Legend Of Condor while Toulouse can sneak into the placings at odds.

How to play it: Exceltic WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)


Exceltic’s debut in the Canonbury

Race 3 - 2:00PM FAIRFAX & ROBERTS JEWELLERS HANDICAP (2000 METRES)

Ready For Success slips into this race with 53.5kg but there is only 9 benchmark points between him and top weight Emperor’s Way. Liked the way this four-year-old from the David Payne yard chased first up to be beaten less than a length by Bye See over 1500m. Punters’ Intel reveals he covered the most ground of any runner in the race too (1508.6m). Straight out to 2000m second up could mean he is still half a run short but happy to take the gamble at $11 that he can still get away with the race. Loves this trip with a 4:2-1-0 record. He’ll be in the first couple and given there doesn’t look to be much between this field, that looks a good place to start.

Danger: Emperor’s Way showed good determination to win on the line at Rosehill last time out. His tasks aren’t getting any easier but it’s hard to knock winning form. Don’t think More Energy is the worst at odds. He kept closing behind High Opinion (scratched from this race) last start. Doesn’t possess the killer punch now as a seven-year-old to win this but include him in exotics.

How to play it: Ready For Success EACH WAY ($11 TAB Fixed Odds)


Ready For Success running third first up

Race 4 - 3:10PM ACJC SOUTHERN CROSS STAKES (1200 METRES)

Feel like I am swimming against the tide tipping Clearly Innocent to topple the popular Deploy but for everything this six-year-old sprinter has done, he is still very much an underrated horse. Clearly Innocent kicks off his autumn campaign here after a nine week spell, having last been sighted in the Darley Classic. First up last time in he charged home in limited room in the G2 Premiere to be beaten 1.2L by In Her Time with English second. Kris Lees has said he is not as forward first up this preparation, without having to showcase him for an Everest, but suspect he’ll get out to silly odds on the day. Clearly Innocent’s Wyong trial wasn’t flash but nor was the one prior to last campaign.

Danger: Deploy is the obvious danger. He forced his way into The Everest over the spring after a devastating win in the Theo Marks over Egg Tart. Punters’ Intel reveals his sustined speed where he dashed home in 33.43s. His trial didn’t look all that encouraging but he didn’t have his shades on. He’s a different beast in blinkers. He’ll no doubt improve from the outing too but he’ll be the one Clearly Innocent has to gun down. The tempo will depend largely on how aggressive Tim Clark is on Oxford Poet from the wide draw. Not sure what to do with Dothraki. Place only?

How to play it: Clearly Innocent WIN ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds – but wait until jump)


Clearly Innocent’s first up third last prep

Race 5 - 3:45PM DERUCCI HANDICAP (1600 METRES)

Prometheus was only narrowly beaten by Show A Star last time out. Reasonably confident that’s the best last start form line any of his rivals bring to the table. Had he drawn a gate there, he may have even beaten him. Prior to that the four-year-old won back-to-back races at Kembla Grange. Winona Costin knows this horse very well now so would be surprised if she didn’t use the inside gate to sit in the first couple given the galloper’s versatility. Fourth up he’ll be right at his top and Team Snowden have found the perfect race for him to win again.

Danger: Stablemate The Pinnacle was great first up and is a mare with upside. Her second to Dawn Wall last campaign in Queensland reads well for this too. King Darci is honest but a little query over the tough Randwick mile while Malaise too many convictions to tip with any confidence but it's his kind of race.

How to play it: Prometheus WIN ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds) & Prometheus/The Pinnacle QUINELLA


Prometheus running second to Show A Star last start

Race 6 - 4:25PM THE STAR APOLLO STAKES (1400 METRES)

The Global Glamour bandwagon is starting to look a little barren but I’ll be staying on for one more spin. It’s very harsh to write her off after two forgivable efforts this time back. First up at the Gold Coast she was never on the track while the step back to 1200m in the Expressway didn’t suit. She doesn’t have the turn of foot to sit and sprint over the shorter trips. Back out to 1400m with two runs under her belt I’d expect Rachel King to take no prisoners. She has won twice third-up in the past, winning the Flight Stakes and the Light Fingers last year. Both of course being at Randwick. It sets up well for her to be very hard to run down.

Danger: There wasn’t much between Global Glamour and Addictive Nature in the Expressway, which looks the stronger form race compared to the Carrington, so although surprised he is half her odds, he still poses a threat. Endless Drama covered plenty of ground in the Carrington - 1410.6m to be exact according to Punters’ Intel - and was brave to still keep coming. It was nearly 7m more than the winner Lanciato.

How to play it: Global Glamour WIN ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds)


Global Glamour and Addictive Nature met in the Expressway

Race 7 - 5:05PM ROBRICK LODGE TRISCAY STAKES (1200 METRES)

There’s an interesting form pattern for Zestful. This time last year she won a race at Canterbury, ran 10th in the Nudgee in Queensland then took out the Triscay beating Nancy and Dixie Blossoms. Fast forward 12 months and she won at Randwick, ran 12th in the Nudgee and here she is in the Triscay. She is a mare that responds well to a break between runs. She is going to have her work cut out for her to go back-to-back in the race from barrier 14 but it’s generally her style to get back anyways. For her to win, given the lack of obvious speed, Jason Collett might have to try his luck weaving through the pack. It’s not the type of gamble you’d be willing to take on a $4 chance but at $17 it’s a different story.

Danger: Miss Gunpowder has mixed her form since joining the Hayes camp but she hasn’t yet run poorly first up. Had a Rosehill trial in early February so has been in Sydney for a while now. That can only help. Looks to get on pace favours in the run. Gibraltar Girl is capable of popping up at odds while Aide Memoire is a Group One winner in NZ stepping out for Kris Lees for the first time. The chances certainly don’t end there.

How to play it: Zestful WIN ($17 TAB Fixed Odds)


Zestful winning at Randwick to back

Race 8 - 5:45PM TAB LIGHT FINGERS STAKES (1200 METRES)

There is no way this Shumookh deserves to be $12 with TAB Fixed Odds. She makes the leap into Group company having won a Canterbury maiden and then run second in a Randwick BM76 but the debut win was outstanding while last start she was beaten by only D’argento! Punters’ Intel reveals D'argento had to run 11.08s home to beat her. He is one of the early favourites for the Randwick Guineas. The Dream Ahead filly has been back to the trials since we last saw her and looked full of running winning it by 2L with plenty up her sleeve. Tim Clark will know full well the only way to win this race will be to steal it from the front. She’s a fit, inform sprinter and we really don’t know her ceiling yet. Backing Shumookh each way with a bit of confidence. Even if she runs a place we’ll be in front.

Danger: No knock on Alizee but if she is ever going to be vulnerable this preparation its first up over 1200m given she has a long campaign ahead of her and grand finals over the mile. She is a tank of a filly and would be lying if I said I’m not terrified of her but $1.75 looks very skinny. Think you might get black odds on the day. Have got plenty of respect for Kiwi raider Melody Belle.

How to play it: Shumookh EACH WAY ($12 TAB Fixed Odds)


Shumookh pushing D’argento last start

Race 9 - 6:20PM MOSTYN COPPER GROUP HANDICAP (1200 METRES)

Osborne Bulls kept improving every time we saw him in his first preparation, where he won four of his five starts. The time he was beaten he ran half a length second to Invincibella and they really cleared out from third. His recent trial suggests he is set to resume where he left off and the noises coming out of Godolphin are that he has gone ahead again. Brenton Avdulla should be able to settle him midfield, one off the fence, before winding him up in the straight. He’ll take holding out if the breaks go his way. Keep following him.

Danger: Missile Coda was very good first up chasing home Once More A Lady who has won again since. She looks to have lost her early dash but from barrier 3, Winona Costin should be able to punch up and still be in the first couple. Probably would have preferred her to have drawn out than in to be honest. Her latest win came when she was allowed to stride along in front. She can win with 53kg on her back, especially if she finds the front. Generalissimo, Suncraze, Reach For Heaven and Star Of Monsoon are all in the mix too.

How to play it: Osborne Bulls WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds)


Osborne Bulls’ eye catching Warwick Farm trial – Feb 1

Check out all the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Royal Randwick meeting.

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