By Ray Hickson
Ray Hickson’s tips and insights for a solid Wednesday Warwick Farm meeting. The track is a Soft 5 and the rail is out 5m 1000m-post, 3m remainder.
|Race 1 – 2:00PM MCGRATH ESTATE AGENTS QLD PLATE (1300 METRES)|
Enormous D-Day coming up for 3. Cuba. He’s shown a heap of promise but remains winless in six starts and has been a beaten favourite at his last two. Probably should have gone close behind Aonair two starts back then blew the start, loomed up but didn’t run out the 1500m at Kembla. Trialled strongly since, has struck a winnable race for him here and gets his chance.
Dangers: 4. Enfield Opp was run off his feet on debut at 1100m here a couple of weeks back but did find the line stylishly when the race was all over. An extra 200m is a big plus and his chances come down to whether he can stay in touch early on. 1. Astroflash and 5. Higher Ground are on debut and both have shown enough in trials to suggest they are worth keeping safe. Astroflash did a bit of work to lead his trial and just held on while Higher Ground closed off the same trial late after some early pushing so the trip will suit him.
How to play it: Cuba WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds).
Cuba’s sharp barrier trial win at Randwick – October 17
|Race 2 - 2:35PM CASINO PRINCE@VINERY PLATE (1300 METRES)|
While I’m surprised a bit at the price, I think 4. Faith In Hand has a good chance to break through. She was 1000m to 1400m and up to Listed grade when beaten a couple of lengths in the Reginald Allen at Randwick. In that event she was back and wide on a day when it was handy to be closer to the fence but she still made some ground late. Inside alley, back to a maiden and she should take some beating.
Dangers: 8. Popular is very easy to like and is a huge danger. Struck a heavy track on debut and found the line nicely from well back into the minor money. Two trials this time in have been sound and particularly the second one on October 9. Probably shouldn’t be as much between her and Faith In Hand in the market. Big watch on 10. Semper Fidelis on debut out of a couple of a good trials. Made some late ground behind Epidemic in the latest and the 1300m will suit. Also liked the way 9. Satyricon hit the line at Wyong and it wouldn’t surprise to see her somewhere in the finish.
How to play it: Faith In Hand WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds); Quinella with Popular.
Faith In Hand runs on late in the Reginald Allen at Randwick – October 14
|Race 3 - 3:10PM MCGRATH ESTATE AGENTS ACT HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
Five of the eight runners in this staying race finished within about a long neck of each other two weeks ago in a 2200m race. After some debate, against my initial thoughts, I settled on 4. Wine Bush despite the fact he has won one from 17. He was the one closing off strongly late in that race and with the promise of at least a rolling tempo here he might get the last shot at them. Certainly no good thing but as good a chance to win a race as he’ll get in town. Punter's Intel: Wine Bush was the only horse to break 12 seconds for the last 200m (11.77) in the Warwick Farm event two weeks ago.
Dangers: 1. Olympic Academy comes from a slightly different form line having run down Thewayweare (who then won the 2200m event in question) at the Farm on October 2. He does have 61.kg but is better off at the weights against that horse and while giving away a heap to Wine Bush he’s a serious threat. 5. Ready For Success is consistent and had the October 11 race won until the last stride while can’t leave 3. Thewayweare out as he’ll be up there on the pace for a long way.
How to play it: Wine Bush E/W ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Wine Bush finishes strongly late behind Thewayweare at Warwick Farm – October 11
|Race 4 - 3:50PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
11. Marble has come up very short for a three-year-old with one start under his belt landing first-up in a BM 70 but he does look to be smart. He’s actually yet to lose a trial as well as his impressive debut win back in July where he downed a subsequent city winner. You had to be rapt with his trial win on October 9 where he settled on the pace then cleared out in the last 100m or so. After the trial I wrote he’ll be a first-up winner and that opinion has not changed.
Dangers: 5. Sikhing Glory is building a very good record out of town. Followed a hard fought Kembla win with a dominant performance at Gosford where he settled a bit further back and launched in the straight. Certainly drawn to have every chance. 6. Blowing Kisses is a bit hard to read as her trials have been quiet but her first-up record is imposing with both career wins coming fresh. Wouldn’t surprise to see her show up.
How to play it: Marble WIN ($1.80 TAB Fixed Odds); Quaddie anchor.
Marble’s impressive trial win at Warwick Darm – October 9
|Race 5 - 4:30PM MCGRATH ESTATE AGENTS NSW HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
I see no reason to jump off 10. So Spledid after her first-up win especially out to a mile and with at least a reasonable speed likely. She landed a lot closer than I thought she wound before winning fresh but that just says she’s come back in great order. The speed drawing wide will help her slot in around midfield (on paper at least) and if that’s the case she’ll be hard to beat again. Second-up record is a bit better than it looks, she ran a closing fourth at 1400m second-up last time in before a close second at Randwick third-up. Punter's Intel: So Splendid ran the fastest last 600m of 34.52 first-up including the fastest 200m splits from the 400m to the post.
Dangers: 2. Grand Finalist is one of the likely leaders and is one of the harder horses to line up coming off a Class 1 win at Hawkesbury where he led all the way and never looked like being beaten. Lightest weight he’s carried to date after the claim and capable of giving a sight. 1. Shock Alert was a beaten favourite at the Gold Coast in a metro race where perhaps he didn’t quite get the 1800m. Back to a mile, where he cantered home at Kembla prior, he’s entitled to another chance.
How to play it: So Splendid E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds)
So Splendid’s first-up win at Warwick Farm – October 11
|Race 6 - 5:10PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Somewhat keen on 6. Cordero here first-up. Ran on strongly when resuming last time in with no official trials behind Wayanka and Pelorus Jack over 1200m at Canterbury, then won his next two, and lands here at 1400m off two trials. Fairly typical stable trials they were too and while barrier one may not be a big help given he tends to get back he should take holding out.
Dangers: 3. Carluca has been game in two close seconds in similar grade since a Hawkesbury win back in September. Battled on well up on the pace at Canterbury last time and note four of his five career wins have been at 1400m. 8. Lord Macau interests me a bit fresh. He’ll look to lead or be right up there and while he can be inconsistent he’s always run well first-up and with two trials under the belt should be ready to go.
How to play it: Cordero WIN ($4.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Cordero’s closing third at 1200m when resuming at Canterbury last preparation
|Race 7 - 5:50PM MCGRATH ESTATE AGENTS VIC HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Happy to stick with 2. Zonk but I do feel she is quite under the odds despite her impressive first-up win a couple of weeks back. She was able to control the race from the front, kick away early in the straight and then held them at bay safely. Goes up 100m, 1.5kg and has an outside gate to contend with here though the 1200m start isn’t so bad if you’re drawn wide. Definitely the one to beat but no value.
Dangers: 1. Vienna Romance is quite under rated and probably worth an each-way save at the $9.50. Ran on strongly behind Piracy two starts back then again sound behind Zonk’s stablemate Slow Burn who trainer Les Bridge rates as the superior of the two mares. Nice soft draw, hard fit and no surprise if she gives this a shake. 4. O’Reilly Cyrus is also worth considering in a race that’s a lot deeper than the market tells you, even with a couple of scratchings.
How to play it: Zonk WIN ($1.70 TAB Fixed Odds); save on Vienna Romance E/W ($9.50).
Zonk wins first-up at Warwick Farm – October 11