Tips by Brad Gray
Brad Gray's tips and insights for Hawkesbury on Saturday. There are winners to be found for nine races!
The spotlight shines on Hawkesbury with the stand alone meeting featuring three Group races highlighted by the $175,000 Godolphin Crown (1300m).
|Race 1 - 11:50AM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
Tried to find something to beat She Knows but came up empty handed. She’s a three-year-old filly with 59kg and has drawn 9 of 9 at a price of $1.70. Surely she’ll creep out from those odds come closer to jump? The daughter of Denman is certainly no stranger to Highways having already run in four of them for a record of 4:1-2-1. She has only has seven starts so Highways are pretty much all she knows! First up she was really brave taking it to Try A Lil Harder despite travelling wide before she ran at Flemington to only be beaten 2.9L down the straight and was the first runner home on the inside. It’s hers to lose but not willing to dive into $1.70.
Danger: Don’t Doubt Her chased hard to win at Scone last start beating the handy Swiss. The 1300m at Scone back to 1100m at Hawkesbury certainly isn’t ideal but she should be able to settle closer from barrier 4. Call Me Brad on the other hand, gave a sight at Scone last start only to be pulled in 100m from home. The swap to Hawkesbury plays into his hands and tipping they’ll try to pinch this race from the front. He’s not the worst at $19.
How to play it: She Knows WIN ($1.70 TAB Fixed Odds – wait for better on the day)
The last time She Knows ran in a Highway
|Race 2 - 12:25PM TAB CLARENDON STAKES (1300 METRES)|
Orcein has always given the impression that further would suit so the fact he is 1300m here first up suggests that Chris Waller has him ready to fire. On debut back in November he worked to the line very nicely behind the speedy Secret Lady before surging late again behind Gongs at Rosehill. He was only fair at Doomben after that but may have had enough by then, or perhaps he didn’t respond to blinkers, which come back off here. He has trialled well on two occasions the latest behind Graff when he went to the line without the rider ever releasing the hand break. He’ll get back but has the talent to round these up, presumably on his way to Queensland for the JJ Atkins being a half-brother to Anchor Bid.
Danger: Graff couldn’t have been any more impressive on debut at Rosehill. Don’t think he beat much with the placegetters (I Like It Easy and Dream Child) both failing to flatter in subsequent runs but he did it easily at the finish. Didn’t have a great deal of early speed so 1300m looks to suit but certainly don’t expect him to be much closer. Orcein and Graff both map in the second half which isn’t ideal, especially with Federation coming out, but they look to be the two key hopes. Momentum Factor next best while debutant Mickey Blue Eyes is the unknown. Monitor betting there.
How to play it: Orcein WIN ($3.70 TAB Fixed Odds)
Orcein and Graff trialled together at Randwick – April 2
|Race 3 - 1:00PM BLAKES MARINE HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
This tip all comes down to forgiveness. Stonebrook went awful last start and despite the stewards’ report revealing little, he simply went too bad to be true. This was a horse that the start prior was nosed out at Kemble Grange by Oxford Poet with the luckless Osborne Bulls back in third. He started $5.50 last start in what was a much deeper race than the one he faces on Saturday. He was forced to trial and liked what we saw from him at Gosford in that hit out. If he can bounce back to his best, which I’m confident he can, he’s the horse to beat. The four-year-old won at Hawkesbury on debut too so it’s an extra box ticked.
Danger: Missile Coda has lost a bit of her early zip but if she can hold a prominent position from barrier 2, she can bounce back. Forgive her last start ninth in the Birthday Card on a wet track and she raced wide throughout. In Times Of War doesn’t win very often but she is rarely far away. She chased home Trekking first up in slick time and can only come on from that. Her second up record? Three starts for three seconds. Probably best sums her up. Gaulois not without a hope but looks short enough at $4.
How to play it: Stonebrook WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Stonebrook at Kembla Grange first up
|Race 4 - 1:35PM HAWKESBURY GAZETTE HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
Why can’t Bezel win again? The ex-Godolphin trained galloper, now with David Smith, jumped out to 1550m having had two runs over the sprint trip and proved a dominant winner. He put two lengths on Seaway at the finish who is a handy horse in his own right. Interestingly enough, Smith revealed after the race that he was surprised as he had Bezel trained to peak fourth up for a Highway Handicap. He’s overachieved so now finds himself in a BM84. He’ll have to drift back from the draw but Nat King Cu, Poet’s Advocate and Taikomochi should ensure the race is run at a good clip.
Danger: Japanese import Hallelujah Boy is working his way towards a first win in Australia. He didn’t get much room in the Provincial Championships Final when he needed to start winding up. This race sets up well for him and he won’t get a better chance to notch up another win. Up ‘N’ Rolling only boxed away over 1400m last start behind Osborne Bulls and despite there being no rivals of that quality here, he still probably wants further than 1500m. Next time for him out in trip again.
How to play it: Bezel WIN ($7.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Bezel winning at Kensington last start
|Race 5 - 2:10PM LISTED HAWKESBURY XXXX GOLD RUSH (1100 METRES)|
Not sure what Plan A will be for Glenall from the draw. That’s the query. Banking on Brenton Avdulla taking the cart from Tango Rain, who Glenall has beaten home in their two previous meetings, who’ll be fired out to take up the running. Glenall ran in the Oakleigh Plate first up which suggests Team Hawkes were particularly happy with him before he ran a distant second to Whispering Brook (who is flying!). He was tried over 1400m last start and faded out of it late. Back to 1100m looks more to his liking with a month between runs. Might keep creeping out in price with the support for Tango Rain.
Danger: Tango Rain will be hard to chase down here with 53kg on his back and Kerrin McEvoy steering. The four-year-old resumes a gelding this time in and he certainly looked to have his mind on the job in his most recent trials. The son of Manhattan Rain is a speed horse and they can be a touch vulnerable first up but Gerald Ryan is very good at having horses ready to fire upon resumption. Isorich is another who matches up well head to head with Tango Rain with sitting at two-two. Forget last start when posted.
How to play it: Glenall WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Glenall vs Tango Rain last preparation at Rosehill
|Race 6 - 2:50PM GROUP 3 GODOLPHIN CROWN (1300 METRES)|
Slow Burn lost all hope at the start in the Sapphire Stakes behind Quilista last start when squeezed out at the start. That saw her get back to last. What she did from there was outstanding though. Punters’ Intel reveals that she recorded 32.97s for her last 600m, that was the fastest last 600m sectional of the entire day, across all races. Slow Burn met Sedanzer in very similar circumstances last campaign and there was little between them with Sedanzer just prevailing in a tight finish. The differences being this is at Hawkesbury 1300m compared to Rosehill 1400m which plays into Slow Burns hands and there’s a 3.5kg swing in Slow Burn’s favour. Drawn wide but hoping she can follow Lubiton across.
Danger: White Moss also ran in the Sapphire and had to cart the field up to the tearaway winner. It was a gutsy effort from her first up to still be there at the finish. She’ll come on from that and was a G3 winner second up last time in. The stable have the Tiara in mind for Sedanzer so she has been kept sharp this time in but there’s still a query for me at 1300m. Think a mile is her best trip. Invincibella certainly warrants a mention too. Ran fourth in the Sapphire and second up 1300m looks perfect now.
How to play it: Slow Burn EACH WAY ($14 TAB)
The Sapphire Stakes is the key form reference for this
|Race 7 - 3:30PM GROUP 3 LIVAMOL HAWKESBURY GOLD CUP (1600 METRES)|
Duca Valentinois is ready to win now. The six-year-old hasn’t had much go his way this preparation so don’t let his finishing positions in the form guide put you off. First up he should have just about won over 1200m. Glyn Schofield went to the line with plenty of horse underneath him. Then he was posted the trip in the Newcastle Newmarket before the wide draw cruelled his winning chances in the Doncaster Prelude. He still ran really well there, running the fastest splits from the 400-200m in the race (via Punters’ Intel). He should be able to settle a few pairs closer from 3 on Saturday. Has had a little freshen up since we last saw him and a tick over trial at Randwick – a recipe James Cumming uses with great success. Like this horse on the fresh side too. He was a dominant Hawkesbury winner last preparation too.
Danger: Ecuador is the class runner in the field and will give them all something to chase. He is a real grinder nowadays as an eight-year-old so Adam Hyeronimus, who knows him better than anyone, will be keen to run them along. A sit and sprint doesn’t suit him. It’s nearly five years to the day that Hippo first sat on Ecuador! Mister Sea Wolf was out of his depth in the Doncaster as it turned out but his third in the Doncaster Prelude stacks up well for this. Plaisir savaged the line in the Provincial Championships Final. He’s out of his grade here and will need the race run to suit as he tends to miss the kick but he’ll be motoring home.
How to play it: Duca Valentinois WIN ($6 TAB Fixed Odds)
The last time Duca Valentinois raced at Hawkesbury
|Race 8 - 4:10PM GROUP 3 BLACKTOWN WORKERS GROUP HAWKESBURY GUINEAS (1400 METRES)|
Victorem couldn’t have been any more impressive in winning the Country Championships Final. Think it’s important to point out that in its three years prior the race has produced Artlee and Clearly Innocent. Tipping we’ll see a similar projection from Victorem. Not to say he’ll become a genuine Group One horse but he’s got the scope. That’s probably the most exciting element about this horse – we still haven’t seen the very best of him. He’s starting to put it all together now and we got a taste of that last start. The wide draw isn’t ideal here drawing 14 of 14 and concede he is short enough at $2.70 but still think he’s good enough to be back and wide, creep into the race turning for home and reel these in.
Danger: Warranty shapes as a the danger and a big one at that. The Snowden-trained filly was a strong winner on the Kensington track last start. The margin was narrow but she did it from near last and over 1100m. She’ll be much more at home over 1400m and will be a long way in front of Victorem turning for home. Couple of scratchings who would have been on pace give her a further advantage over Victorerm too. Forget her Canterbury run prior to last start where she pulled up lame. I’ve just about had enough of Beau Geste as have most punters but he fits into this race okay. Think the mile sees him out so happy to forgive last start. Sambro had no luck at all in the Carbine and went to the line untested. Back to 1400m is far from ideal though.
How to play it: Victorem WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds) and Warranty WIN ($8.50)
Victorem taking out the Country Championships
|Race 9 - 4:50PM RICHMOND CLUB PROVINCIAL STAYER'S HANDICAP (2100 METRES)|
Certainly not hard to find Roman Son. No one was surprised by that fact that he won at Rosehill last start but few would have predicted he’d do it so easily. As soon as Kerrin McEvoy found clear room this horse exploded clear to win by 4L, and still had another gear in hand. He was only second up there out to 1800m. Punters’ Intel reveals his last two splits were 11.34s/11.39s from the 400m-200m and 200m-home which is humming. Prior to that he hammered the over 1400m so he is a horse clearly thriving in his work at the moment. He looks destined for Group races so should have no worries putting these away too. McEvoy sticks and so should punters. No flash odds but should be winning with bad luck from the inside draw his biggest threat.
Danger: Perhaps the best reflection of the hold Roman Son has on this race is the fact I’ve got Mornington in for second. He was beaten 4.3L by Roman Son last start. He meets him 3kg better off and was first up there but it’s still hard to make a case for him to turn the tables. He’ll run well though. Naval Warfare was ridden much more positively at Sandown last start and the result was immediate, scoring in a dogged win. His best is still yet to come given he is an import still in his first Australian preparation. Roman Son will have the Waller army chasing him down but would be surprised if they beat him.
How to play it: Roman Son ($1.90 TAB Fixed Odds)
Roman Son dominating his rivals last start