By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Monday’s New Year’s Day meeting at Royal Randwick, and it looks a tricky program on paper. The track is expected to be in the good range and the rail is out to 9m (it was 6m on Saturday where they ran fast times on a good 3).
|Race 1 – 1:00PM HAPPY NEW YEAR HANDICAP (1800 METRES)|
I’m a little torn between two of the three Chris Waller runners and it’s the softer gate that makes me lean to 6. Savacool. Her two Canterbury runs have been sound, beating home subsequent winner Higher Ground two starts back then chasing home smart stablemate Seaway. Looking for a race with a bit more pressure and might get that here too. Good chance to go one better.
Dangers: 7. Velocita showed she has plenty of talent with an awesome maiden win at Wyong then lost the compass at Canterbury in a small field up to the 1900m. She’ll relish getting to Randwick where she can really wind up and she’s a real threat. 1. Bull Market hasn’t had an ideal preparation for this race having missed a run at Warwick Farm last week. That means he hasn’t raced since November 25 and goes from 1400m to 1800m. No doubt he’ll relish the trip and if the betting in the last 10 minutes or so points to him being in the finish then respect him even more. 5. Greenspan is an up and comer who had a bit on his maiden rivals scoring at Newcastle last week and there was a decent gap to third, which is always a good sign. Each-way claims.
How to play it: Savacool WIN ($3.70 TAB Fixed Odds); Quinella with Velocita.
Savacool just finding Seaway a bit too strong at Canterbury last start
|Race 2 - 1:35PM TAB HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
Lack of pace here looks a bit of a concern, so I’m assuming the two drawn widest will look to work across on the speed. With race fitness and a strong form line 4. Bastia has a very good chance to go one better than last time where he split King Darci and Cellarman at Rosehill. Those horses since fought out a race at Warwick Farm last Saturday week. Has won at a mile and placed up to 1900m and is entitled to be in the finish.
Dangers: 1. Nothing Box had no hope at all after getting well back first-up at Wyong. He was beaten less than three lengths at the finish so the run was solid enough and up to the mile I’d be surprised if there isn’t a tactic change announcement that he’s going forward. If that’s the case he is a big, big threat. 3. High Mist is capable of pulling out a big run on his day but you’re better than me if you can catch him. I can’t see this race being run to suit him but I put him in as next best. 7. Takewing ran well fresh then flopped at Canterbury though that seems to be his trend. Likely improver.
How to play it: Bastia WIN ($1.95 TAB Fixed Odds).
Bastia running a close second to King Darci at Rosehill – December 9
|Race 3 - 2:10PM BOOK SUMMER HOSPITALITY TODAY PLATE (1400 METRES)|
I’ve said previously that I think 1. Balearic is a handy type in the making and at start number seven I think it’s time for him to put up and show it. He had excuses last start when settling last and making a long run around them to finish a close fourth at Canterbury. Gets to 1400m again, on a good track this time, from a nice barrier and he’s the one they have to beat.
Punters Intel: Balearic ran the fastest last 600m of his race at Canterbury, in 35.07.
Dangers: 12. Stella Victoria resumed in the same race as Balearic and attacked the line quite well to run second. She’s had eight attempts so far and probably not as well drawn this time but she’s close to a win. 14. Ombudsman is a likely improver second-up. He trialled very well prior to resuming at 1200m at Canterbury and wasn’t really in the hunt there. Bigger track and extra distance are pluses and he’s well worth keeping safe. 2. Cool Dude Ausbred drifted well back from a wide gate and left it very late but worked home in good style at Hawkesbury. Wouldn’t surprise to see him closer in the run here and is definitely one to throw in. was a drifter in betting first-up at Canterbury and gave a good sight in front before running third. The other horse that worries me is 10. Press Review who trialled very handily before her only start where she was a drifter and boxed on fairly. Well bred and I’m sure the stable would expect improvement from her.
How to play it: Balearic E/W ($4.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Balearic running fourth, with Stella Victoria second, at Canterbury – December 20
|Race 4 - 2:45PM TATTERSALLS CLUB HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Confidence levels in this race are low so tread carefully and any significant market moves could be worth following. For my part I’d like to keep 10. Witches safe at her first run for Brad Widdup. Ex-Godolphin mare who was placed in four of her five starts last time and did bump into some handy ones like Live To Dream, Long Time Ago and La Chica Bella in those placings. She’s had two trials, the first in the Music Magnate/Victorem heat then she didn’t wear her blinkers at Hawkesbury on December 18. Has to each-way but no surprise to see her run well.
Dangers: 6. Pirapala has had a good preparation so far and that failure on a heavy track can be overlooked. Last start winner at Moonee Valley, not sure how to line that up to some of these but I can say she’s struck a winnable race and has drawn to have every chance. 1. Pure Rebel won three of his last five last time in and while he hasn’t been placed in three first-up attempts I have to include him due to the openness of this race. 3. Time Out Of Mind ran home well without threatening at Scone when resuming under the 61.5kg. Not sure where she gets to in the run here but fitter and has each-way claims.
How to play it: Witches E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Witches (in the Godolphin blue) runs a close third at Kembla Grange in July
|Race 5 - 3:20PM YOUTH INSEARCH INSPIRE MILE (1600 METRES)|
If there’s one gear change I find significant it’s blinkers first time and that’s the case with 9. Regine who it’d be fair to say was a bit one paced at Newcastle last weekend. But that was her first run for a month and she beat a couple of subsequent winners over the mile at Gosford prior to that. Looks to get a nice run just behind the speed, which doesn’t look that hectic, and given she was $3.90-$2.90 last time you’re entitled to give her another chance with the shades on.
Dangers: 10. Bolly is coming along well this time in and attacked the line nicely despite being a drifter at Hawkesbury second-up. I don’t think this race is significantly harder and she’s an each-way chance. 1. Jaunty is the highest rated horse in the race but I find her hard to work out and unless they want to lead on her I can’t see anything other than her getting back and needing luck. So I’m a but negative on her but I wouldn’t be leaving her out of the quaddie. 8. Maddison Avenue is enjoying a consistent preparation and was the only one standing of the on pacers when runner-up at Wyong last time out. Still have a query at a strong Randwick mile but she will get a nice run and is one of the chances. 3. Lightning Nic would be next best though he’s getting costly.
How to play it: Regine E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Regine’s easy win at Gosford two starts ago – November 25
|Race 6 - 4:00PM LISTED TATTERSALLS CLUB CUP (2400 METRES)|
Happy enough to give 2. Broadside another chance after going under at $1.85 in the Christmas Cup where he admittedly had every chance. But in the absence of a dominant stayer at this level there’s every likelihood that he can bounce back as he was second-up off a two-month break regardless of the fact he won the ATC Cup fresh. Newcastle Cup winner in the spring and he will lead, with Adam Hyeronimus one of the best front running riders going around he’s entitled to be rated the one to beat.
Dangers: 3. Vassal has sprung back to winning form recently with two wins from his last three including his easy win over Broadside a couple of weeks back. But Vassal is Vassal and he doesn’t win two on end since early 2016. If the same horse turns up from last start then he’ll take holding out. 1. Destiny’s Kiss probably wants a soft track to be a serious winning chance but he is the reigning champ in this race. He also ran third in the 2014 edition. Even effort second-up in the Summer Cup and 2400m at Randwick is really his backyard so no surprise to see him in the finish. He’s under the odds though unless there’s a significant weather change. 4. Prince Cheri is racing consistently without winning since joining John O’Shea. Had his chance and was fought off by Broadside to wind up third last time out but another placing isn’t out of the question.
How to play it: Broadside WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds).
Broadside is run down by Vassal in the Christmas Cup – December 16
|Race 7 - 4:40PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
I’m expecting there to be a solid speed on here and that might help negate the wide gate 2. Pedway has to contend with. He was quick enough to land outside the leader first-up before sailing away late to win at Gosford. He’ll be up there somewhere in the first four or five and if he can find the back of something for some cover I think he can finish over the top of them late. Small concern is his two wins have both come when first-up but kept on the fresh side for this.
Punters Intel: Pedway ran his last 200m at Gosford in 11.73.
Dangers: 10. Goldfinch is very quick with both her wins coming at 1000m after leading. I thought she trialled quite well behind Secret Lady at Warwick Farm recently and with the light weight and inside gate she will land on the speed and can take running down if she’s not overly pressured. 12. Tip Top is very lightly raced for a five-year-old and resumes since a nice third at Canterbury back in August. Has run well fresh on both occasions and should be hitting the line strongly. 11. Figtree has been in the finish with huge weights in both recent runs on his home track. With a 7.5kg drop and Corey Brown back on board it would be no surprise to see him prominent at the finish. There are other chances, of course.
How to play it: Pedway E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Pedway’s easy first-up win at Gosford on December 7
|Race 8 - 5:20PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
3. Smartedge resumed with quite a good win at Kembla Grange and has always promised to graduate to decent city company as he showed breaking his maiden at Warwick Farm before a spell. He was scratched from a similar race on Boxing Day for this where he was a dominant favourite in early betting. Six scratchings have helped his cause from a barrier perspective as he takes on older horses but he looks a horse with plenty of upside and is definitely the one they have to beat.
Dangers: 6. Tinker Dan is racing in excellent form with wins at Gosford and Scone of late. Plenty to like about the way he found the line when winning at Scone while still looking a bit on the green side. Probably looks for cover in the second half but I know better than to leave an in-form horse ridden by Jason Collett out of my quaddie. Each-way chance. 9. Echo Jet failed on a heavy track last time out and that run can be completely overlooked. Two wins prior were in good style and with a bit of a freshen up and return to Sydney he can’t be left out of the chances. 11. Travancore comes through the same race as Smartedge and was well supported there when running into a close third. Faces a task from the barrier but if you can run on wide out he’s a definite chance to be in the finish.
How to play it: Smartedge WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Smartedge’s impressive first-up win at Kembla Grange – December 16