By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Friday’s night meeting at Warwick Farm. The track is expected to be Good. The rail is in the 3m position.
|Race 1 – 6:15PM BOOK ATC SUMMER HOSPITALITY TODAY HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
The opener is a real minefield for punters with Chris Waller training five of the seven runners. The only thing I’m prepared to say for certain is that he will train the winner. But which one? I’m prepared to give 4. Kookabaa another chance because I felt he was a little unlucky at Randwick a couple of weeks ago. He’s a horse that does need his favours and he just didn’t get any when he needed them as he was held up looking to get to the outside. He was behind the winner on the bend, that horse got the breaks while he was losing ground. No superstar and has had a few chances but entitled to another.
Danger: 2. Schoolmates led up and had his chance when runner-up behind Tangmere on debut but it was still a sound effort and he’ll be better for it. Doubt he has to lead this time and that may be to his advantage. Go well. 1. Asterius looked to have his chance to catch Condor over this course two weeks ago. The blinkers go on and he probably doesn’t need to find a lot to be in the finish. 3. Smiling Manolito had plenty of support first-up at Kembla Grange and really did look the winner early in the straight before being run down. Has to be a chance.
How to play it: Kookabaa E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Kookabaa’s third placing behind stablemate Tangmere at Randwick on February 7
|Race 2 - 6:45PM JACK COLVILLE HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
Another race that looks to be up for grabs. I don’t think there’s much doubt 6. Gaytime Girl should have finished a lot closer second-up at Kembla when running a close third (Punters Intel 11.41, fastest last 200m) behind a smart filly. She’s only won once in 12 so really does need that confidence booster and with Tim Clark on, a nice soft gate and slightly more ground she has conditions to suit her.
Dangers: 2. Queen Of Heights has been mixing distances of late and I thought she stayed on well enough over the Randwick mile last time out in a race with a bit more depth than this one. She should park just off them from the inside gate and looks hard to beat. 4. Lets Get Nauti Gal was a beaten favourite at Port Macquarie second-up from a break but the form out of the race is handy and she has a bit of upside about her. Last trip to down was in July and she wasn’t up to it behind D’Argento but there are no horses of his quality here. Keep in mind. 8. The Fox Effect is putting it all together now and did have control when leading throughout at Kembla. Expect she’ll go forward and she could give a sight.
How to play it: Gaytime Girl WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Gaytime Girl’s eye-catching effort at Kembla Grange on February 6
|Race 3 - 7:15PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
If things pan out early as they appear they might on paper then 3. Jemadar looks very hard to run down. He led all the way over the same course two weeks ago and shouldn’t have a lot of trouble crossing from the outside to the front. Adam Hyeronimus is an excellent front-running rider and if he dictates then Jemadar will be a couple clear on the turn and that’ll be good enough to get home.
Dangers: 2. Francesco finally stuck his head out to win a race here a month ago and I hate going against him. Perhaps he is a Canterbury horse, though, as he’s always run well here and is three from four at the 1550m. Other than it was a while between drinks into last time, there’s probably no reason he couldn’t win again. 1. Karavali managed to win fresh last prep so she shouldn’t be underestimated. Kicking off at this trip suggests she’s reasonably fit and she did win well in Saturday company in the late spring with the sting out of the track. One to include in the multiples at least. 5. Reiby The Red strikes me as a possible improver second-up, down in class and with the blinkers back on. He’s drawn to get a nice run and he was Listed placed in August at a mile so does have some quality. Each-way.
How to play it: Jemadar WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Jemadar leads all the way to win easily at Canterbury on February 2
|Race 4 – 7.45PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Very interesting contest and this will be a race to look back on. 7. Problem Solver is a bit of value as she comes out of a very strong race at Rosehill a couple of weeks ago where she ran the fastest last 600m of the day (32.97 Punters Intel) in running second to the promising Charlayne. Third placed Sheikha won well at Warwick Farm on Wednesday. She’s yet to finish worse than second and is very fit now. Looks very hard to hold out.
Dangers: 3. Deprive is the logical danger and he might be simply too good as there’s a bit of a rap on him. I liked him a lot heading into his debut back in October and he won well, if there’s a question mark it’s on what he beat that day. His two trials back have been excellent, though, and as mentioned if he’s a smart as suspected then he’ll be a force. 6. Warranty climbed the ladder quickly in her first prep in the spring culminating in a Listed placing during Cup week in Melbourne. Where she gets to from the barrier is a small concern but her trial was sound and she’s in the mix. The scratchings might aid the chances of 5. Pandemonium who, if she jumps, could take up the running and give a sight. She certainly showed some quality in the spring so keep safe.
How to play it: Problem Solver E/W ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds), save on Deprive ($2.70).
Problem Solver finishes strongly to run second at Rosehill on February 3
|Race 5 - 8:15PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
With the scratching of Malaigo, it leaves the race wide open and I'm left with 4. Argent D’Or on top, who should be ready to show something after two runs back despite being a bit disappointing last time. First-up he closed off well to be just behind them in the race won by Tip Top. Drawn to get a smother and Brenton knows him well. Won third-up last prep and entitled to fire here but he's a bit short for my liking.
Dangers: 5. Kool Vinnie has mixed his form this time in, nice winner second-up at Canterbury but never in the race from a wide gate at the Farm on Australia Day. A bit of a freshen may help and he’s capable of featuring if in the mood. 1. Virgilio wasn’t disgraced first-up behind Viceroy two weeks ago and he does have a strong second-up record. So expect some improvement from him and if that is the case then he could show up. 10. Marrock is back in trip after a fair effort behind Jemadar two weeks ago. He had some support behind Danzie at the Farm and boxed on okay. In a winnable race he has to be considered.
How to play it: Argent D'Or and Kool Vinnie Quinella.
Argent D'Or hits the line well first-up at Randwick on January 13
|Race 6 - 8:45PM TAB HANDICAP (1900 METRES)|
I’m expecting at least some sort of battle for the lead in this 1900m event, at least enough to allow every horse its chance. With that in mind 7. Tamarack is at worst a good each-way hope up in trip after running second over the mile at Kembla last Saturday. I’d venture as far as to say he didn’t have a hard run because he didn’t really get out and going until late (Punters Intel 11.78, fastest last 200m). so the back-up is a good thing. With a clear crack off a reasonable tempo he’s a big chance.
Dangers: 1. Allez Bien will take all manner of running down if she can dictate as she’s been able to in her wins at Gosford and Randwick of late. Untried at the trip but she’s a rolling type and will give a big sight. I just worry she may be attacked. 4. Resort is flying for his new stable and handled the step up to this sort of trip pretty well at Newcastle. This is another small step again but drawn well and sure to have his chance. 5. Red Dubawi should be pretty fit now after four runs back and he hasn’t been that far away of late. Battled on behind the in-form Emperor’s Way at Rosehill last time and this is easier. Each-way claims.
How to play it: Tamarack E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Tamarack hits the line too late at Kembla Grange on February 10
|Race 7 - 9:15PM SCHWEPPES EVENING STAR (1100 METRES)|
Races aren’t run on paper but if the don’t get along in this one it’ll be a big surprise. 5. Viceroy will likely land about midfield one off the fence you’d think and that being the case he should have the perfect scenario to pounce in the straight. He won, quite rightly, on protest here two weeks ago and a feature of that win was the amount of ground he picked up in the last 100m (Punters Intel 11.95, fastest last 200m). Creeping up in the weights but honest as they come and will give another good account.
Dangers: 2. Mana resumed with a handy enough effort over the 1000m at the Farm and he would be advantaged by any speed battle up front. Admittedly he can take a form dip second-up but he’ll be doing no work here and is entitled to find the line. 1. Top Striker would win this hands down if he could find his best form but he’s one of those horses that seemingly never has a lot of luck. He was working a fair bit first-up and dropped out but if he can land in a good spot here he has the ability to figure in the finish. It’s a matter of how much you trust him. 3. Satirical Magic won three straight here before going to Rosehill and finishing fourth in an even effort. He will need the speed on to win at 1100m but is a definite chance and I’m loath to leave out 6. Lake Lugarno, she just went too hard in front at the Farm and the form is solid. If she finds the lead and gets a breather, then look out.
How to play it: Viceroy E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Viceroy wins on protest at Canterbury on February 2
|Race 8 - 9:45PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1250 METRES)|
3. So Hard To Catch might be in the right place at the right time here sitting just off the pace. Ran on well first-up then took control at Newcastle and romped away for a soft win. Lightly raced mare who is drawn ideally and should be close to peak fitness now. She maps to get the run of the race and be the one to get past late.
Dangers: 4. Forbidden Kisses looks to get a nice run off the pace and she wasn’t disgraced behind Hillary Step last time out over this course. Well ridden to win prior to that and is capable of showing up. 1. Kopite was in the firing line throughout when third in the same race as Forbidden Kisses. Last two wins have been at Taree but gets a bit more weight relief this time around and is an each-way hope. 9. Not Surprising made some ground along the fence second-up at Canterbury but was no match for the placegetters behind Miss Que. if she is looking for more ground then she's entitled to be competitive here.
How to play it: So Hard To Catch WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
So Hard To Catch proves just that winning at Newcastle on January 20