By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Friday’s Australia Day meeting at Warwick Farm. The track will be good and the rail is out 5m from the 1000m to the post, then 3m the remainder.
|Race 1 – 1:00PM TAB.COM.AU PLATE (1200 METRES)|
There’s a lot of question marks around this race with some of those threatening to win a race beginning to have too many convictions for my liking. I tipped 2. Irish Success when he resumed at Canterbury earlier this month and thought he did a great job to run second to Al Mah Haha after leading. Tackled this course back in May and beat all bar I Am Excited which isn’t a bad recommendation. With the run under his belt I’d expect him to lead again and be much harder to run down.
Danger: 3. Kookabaa has made a habit of running fourth, which is a worry, but he’s a new horse this time in having been gelded. The effects of that seemed to show a bit in his nice trial win at Rosehill on January 22 and he really only has to find a length or two on his form last prep to be hard to beat. 4. Reflectivity also returns as a gelding and he has the blinkers added as well. He’s shown the ability to win races and his recent trial at this track was sound. He would appear to have every chance to fire. 9. Excellent Design was kept safe in the market on debut at Gosford and there was plenty to like about the way she found the line beaten about half a length. Not sure how to line her up but if she can take a step up from that she can show up. I’m ditching 1. Balearic who has obviously had issues since his luckless fourth at Randwick on New Year’s Day and drops to 1200m. More than capable of winning on what he’s shown but I’m at the stage where I’d like to see it first.
How to play it: Irish Success E/W ($4.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
Irish Success gives a bold sight in front first-up at Canterbury on January 5
|Race 2 - 1:35PM BOOK ATC SUMMER HOSPITALITY TODAY HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
4. Jolly Honour came off second best in the tactical battle in that four horse field at Canterbury a couple of weeks ago with barrier one contributing to his downfall. Once he was in the clear he took a while to wind up then was closing fast at the line (Punters Intel: 12.04 last 200m). The mile around the Farm is a plus for him and he’s found Hugh Bowman to ride. I have to stay with him.
Dangers: 2. Rockin’ Ruga was able to take control at his second start over the 1400m here and held them all at bay. He’s the designated leader in this field too and if he’s allowed to dictate then he will be awfully hard to run down again. 1. Amanito was very well supported last time out at Kembla and he comfortably accounted for Cyrus Rocks who won at Hawkesbury on Wednesday. I’m not sure if he’s one dimensional so keep an eye out for tactics changes from the outside gate. 3. Deladies Boy is probably looking for further than a mile but he showed sharp improvement when up to this trip at Kembla going under narrowly to stablemate Prometheus. There’s more improvement in him so he has to be considered a chance.
How to play it: Jolly Honour WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds); Quinella with Rockin’ Ruga.
Jolly Honour runs a closing third at Canterbury on January 10
|Race 3 - 2:10PM TAB HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
1. Lake Lugarno is simply flying this preparation and while I doubt she’ll be handed an easy lead as she was at Canterbury last time I find her hard to go past. You know you’re going to get 100 per cent from her. She’s been to the Farm three times for three thirds though probably had excuses last time when resuming as she had to cop a heavy 10 after a storm. She’s giving away weight but she’s genuine and will be up on the pace somewhere. Sure she’ll give a good account again. Trainer Barry Molloy's comments can be found here.
Dangers: 6. Once More A Lady appears to have come back very well if her two trials are any guide and if there is some kind of speed battle up front she could be suited. Just the one win to her name is starting to become a worry but she did run very well fresh last prep and appears set up to do so again. 4. Blowing Kisses has lost me but I can’t possibly leave her out of the quaddie because if she does put in then she’s good enough to knock us out. Luckless two starts back then had her chance behind Lake Lugarno last time. On that last run you wouldn’t think she could turn the tables but racing can throw up strange things sometimes. 2. Missile Coda is unbeaten first-up so that has to be respected though she did prove a bit hot and cold last time in. Her two trials have been nice and with a bit of luck in running from the outside she’s worth including too.
How to play it: Lake Lugarno E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Lake Lugarno leads all the way at Canterbury on January 5
|Race 4 - 2:45PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
There’s a big risk of over thinking this race so I’m staying with my first impression and that’s 6. Brook Magic whose two trials this time in have been excellent and suggested a first-up win is on the cards. She’s a real 1000m horse and it looks to me that she’ll land in front early then it’s a matter of whether Puppet Master is slow away again or punches up to hold her out. I actually wouldn’t mind to have her putting the pressure on the leader on the turn. Either way, she’s in with a light weight and is set to run very well fresh.
Dangers: 4. Rose Of Man did plenty of work at Randwick second-up and was still able to hold a commanding margin in what has been a strong form race since. She’s also very much a 1000m hose and has the opportunity to stalk the speed instead of making a midrace move and looks very dangerous. 3. Loverboy Charlie produced a real eye-catcher first-up at Randwick on January 6 and arguably should have won after having to change course in the straight when winding up. Proven here and all three wins are at the 1000m. Hard to hold out. 2. Adjective didn't do a lot second-up at Randwick but on his first-up effort where he hit the line nicely over this trip he's entitled to another chance.
How to play it: Brook Magic WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Brook Magic’s impressive trial win at Warwick Farm on January 15
|Race 5 - 3:20PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
No doubt there are better races in the plan for 12. Mahalangur than a BM71 but they all have to start somewhere. He showed plenty of promise in the spring with an impressive debut win and a couple of solid efforts in tougher races, including a close fourth to Addictive Nature. He’s only had the one official trial this time in and it was an excellent one, I don’t mind him drawn out a bit and if The Gun can find some cover and give him a clear crack I can see him storming over the top of them.
Dangers: 7. All In The Reflexs was a little unfortunate not to win first-up at Canterbury when a warm favourite against the mares. She was in front of the winner coming to the turn then went looking for a run outside as the winner stayed on the fence and gained a saloon passage. She’ll be fitter and while her second-up record is only fair she’s rarely too far away. 6. Tswalu is racing with plenty of purpose this time in and while beaten second-up at Randwick her run was quite sound coming from last. The wide gate doesn’t worry me so much and the blinkers go on first time, as does Hugh Bowman. Must be respected. 8. Bold Chance is lightly raced and has a good record and is one that is a big market watch for mine. Fitter for two trials, drawn well and you just want to see a bit of support that the stable thinks he’s up to winning at his city debut.
How to play it: Mahalangur WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Mahalangur’s closing second in his Rosehill trials on January 8
|Race 6 - 4:00PM VILI’S PIES AUSTRALIA DAY CUP (2400 METRES)|
7. Cordero has the chance to stamp himself as a rising stayer if he can make it four straight wins at his first attempt in open company. There’s plenty in his favour to give him the chance, too, as he drops to the limit after successive 2400m wins at Randwick with 56kg and 57.5kg. The last one was particularly strong and I can’t believe I doubted him that day. This will be a bit of a test for him but so long as he hasn’t come to the end he’s clearly the one to beat.
Dangers: 4. Vassal is having his fifth straight run at 2400m, he won the Christmas Cup easily then had his chance but found Prince Cheri a shade better in the Tatt’s Cup. As Chris Waller often does he’s been back to the trials mid-prep and given his current mood he has to be a strong chance. 1. Destiny’s Kiss can never be left out of these staying events though he’d love a freak storm to pass through in the hour before this race to level up the playing field. He’s giving away weight as he always does but wouldn’t put it past him to be in the finish if the race is run to suit. 9. Waking Moment showed a return to her best form with a solid effort to run second behind Cordero a couple of weeks ago. She did a bit of work there too and really was a sitting shot. The weights don’t favour her but she’ll be up on the pace somewhere and is worth each-way thought.
How to play it: Cordero WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds).
Cordero makes it three straight winning at Randwick on January 13
|Race 7 - 4:40PM 2018 ATC MEMBERSHIP HANDICAP (2200 METRES)|
To be frank this race is anyone’s, if you like something then it’s as good a chance as any. 14. Itsa Fait Accompli has gained a start and he’s racing in great form this time in with a Highway win here over a mile then a narrow defeat up to 1900m at Canterbury. He gets back so the barrier doesn’t overly concern me and if he continues in the same vein he’s a good each-way hope.
Dangers: 3. Beijing Board was confidently ridden just off the speed last time at Canterbury and held a comfortable length on the line. Admittedly I find him a bit hard to catch but he’s put two good runs together and he has Hugh Bowman in the saddle. If he enjoys a similar run to last time there’s no reason he can’t win again. 4. Peribsen was being hard ridden from about the 1000m mark at Kembla Grange second-up but he responded and was simply too good for his Class 1 rivals. This is a step up but it is a wide open race and he’ll relish the extra 200m. Can’t leave him out as he should still have upside. 1. Irish Optimism had shown glimpses of talent last prep and he finally delivered at $19 narrowly beating Itsa Fait Accompli at Canterbury. I’d like to see him do it again but now he’s found his best he’s entitled to hold his form.
How to play it: Itsa Fait Accompli E/W ($7.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Itsa Fait Accompli goes under narrowly to Irish Optimism at Canterbury on January 10
|Race 8 - 5:20PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
14. Aquatic is becoming a frustration but I think there have been signs in his last few that he’s not far off a long overdue win. It was great to see him put into the race a bit more last start but he had the misfortune of bumping into Sugar Bella (Punters Intel: last 200m in 11.30, 0.01 slower than the winner). Prior to that he gave away a huge start and hit the line when it was all over. I think he’s very well placed here and has a prime opportunity to at least go close.
Dangers: 10. Onslaught tried to lead all the way when resuming at Canterbury as an easing favourite and was only ambushed in the last 100m by Kool Vinnie, who also lines up here. Fitter for that and will give himself every chance again. 1. Wahng Wah signaled she’s back in form with a very narrow defeat last Friday night at Canterbury where she sprouted wings the last 200m. Back in trip is a bit of a concern and she’s up 2kg but if she is back then she’s right in the finish of this. 12. Vaniloquio has been very game with second placings at his last couple of starts, he raced wide at Wyong and stayed on then just bumped into a better horse in Danzie last time. Each-way chance again.
How to play it: Aquatic E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Aquatic bumps into Sugar Bella when runner-up at Randwick on January 13