By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Saturday’s meeting at Royal Randwick.
The rail is in the True with the track, as of Friday morning, rated a Soft 6. Keep an eye on that though as more rain is forecast.
|Race 1 - 1:10PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
4. Sei Stella ran her rivals ragged in a 1000m Highway the last time we saw her. Punters Intel reveals that Jay Ford, who retains the ride here, managed to conserve some energy from the 400-200m clocking 11.09s, which was the slowest of the race, before slipping home her last 200m in 11.50, which ranked fourth quickest. It was still an impressive display of sustained speed, and she looked so comfortable doing it. There is no shortage of speed here but doubt any of her rivals will be able to match her early toe. She’s the horse to beat on the strength of that win where she clocked 57.15s overall.
Dangers: 9. Mick The Hat had the blinkers removed last start and it did the trick with the three-year-old skipping clear of his rivals at Scone to score emphatically. He looked in complete control from the get-go. Drawn 1 and with 51kg on his back after the claim of Mikayla Weir he’ll be in the money, even if he has to hand up to trial Sei Stella. Cody Morgan has got new recruit 7. Anchois flying with two wins from two starts under his care. Both were emphatic on speed victories. Maps to tuck in behind the speed here but that shouldn’t faze him.
How to play it: Sei Stella WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds)
Sei Stella leading from start to finish at Randwick back in September
|Race 2 - 1:50PM SUMMER RACING HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
Have been wondering when 13. Military Zone might return having trialled so well at Canterbury back in mid-November. It’s not the most conventional preparation, with no second trial and unsighted for a month but in the Snowdens we trust! The 1100m is as short as this gelding wants so perhaps the mini-break was to ensure he is nice and fresh. He’s a talent though, having won two from four including an impressive win over subsequent Group winner Danawi at Randwick over 1200m. Punters Intel reveals he ran 32.99s home that day, two lengths superior to the next best in the race. He settled last and rounded up his rivals running 11.03s his last 200m. He’ll face a similar task here but it isn’t beyond him.
Dangers: 3. Mister Songman gave a huge sight at Rosehill when stepping out for Waterhouse and Bott for the first time. Impressive debutant Kapajack grabbed him late. The former Tassie-trained galloper stays at 1100m, which is the query as he got out to the mile earlier in his career. However, the wet track negates that. Huge threat and want to back him too if the market allows. 6. Deprive wasn’t at home on the heavy track first up. He is loaded with talent and can bounce straight back. Drier the better. 2. Dio D’Oro will show up here fresh for Gary Portelli and will handle any surface that Randwick throws up. 11. Ready To Prophet gets the blinkers reapplied.
How to play it: Military Zone WIN ($6 TAB Fixed Odds) and Mister Songman WIN ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Military Zone reeling in Danawi last campaign
|Race 3 - 2:25PM CATANACH'S HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
9. Charlayne is a mare I’ve been keen to back a number of times recently but has been scratched on three occasions! Here she is though and although it’s a deep race, we’re getting big odds about a talented galloper capable of exploding fresh. She beat Problem Solver at her second ever start and ran on from last to run second to Epidemic, beating Easy Eddie, in another of her outings. Read nothing into her quiet trials. She bled last time we saw her race so it’s not unusual for trainers to be reluctant to put them under too much pressure. Drawn well, Kerrin McEvoy will be able to have her midfield, which is important because there doesn’t look to be a great deal of speed in the race. Handles wet. Worth a ticket at the big odds.
Dangers: The only knock on 4. Seasons is the price. The Les Bridge-trained mare has won three straight and all by emphatic margins and the wet is no issue at all. Barrier 12 might look sticky on paper but there isn’t a lot of seed in the race so imagine she carts across with 13. Alassio drawn on her immediate outside. No denying that she is a huge threat. The other on speed runner and danger is Sweet Scandal. Imagine she’ll be ridden aggressively to hold the inside early. She was unlucky not to win first up but so was 2. Our Malambo who should be thrown into any exotics at bolter’s odds.
How to play it: Charlayne EACH WAY ($14 TAB Fixed Odds)
Seasons winning well last start at Rosehill
|Race 4 - 3:00PM CHRISTMAS CUP (2400 METRES)|
This is the kind of race that 1. Destiny’s Kiss has dined out on throughout his lengthy career. In fact, he already has a Christmas Cup to his name winning it in 2016 on a Heavy 8. He lacked the dash to go with 3. Exoteric and 2. Our Century when back to 2000m last start on a dry track. However, Punters Intel suggests all was not lost with the ten-year-old’s last 200m a measly 0.02s off Exoteric’s, which was the quickest in the race. He was just getting warmed up so the 2400m with the sting out is perfect. His record over the Randwick 2400m is outstanding (12:6-1-3) and he meets Exoteric significantly better at the weights, having been beaten by him at his last two starts.
Dangers: On the subject of weights, Our Century meets Exoteric 2.5kg better from their last start meeting. Exoteric was a dominant winner in the end though and the wet track holds no fears. The six-year-old is in the form of his life at the moment having won three of his past four and James McDonald sticks. Our Century looked to have every possible chance to beat Exoteric but perhaps his big first up win took it’s toll second up staying at 2000m? Maybe I’m just looking for an excuse. Should be at his peak third up fitness wise, but have always had him pegged as one of those imports that races better on the fresh side. That trio should fight the race out with 6. Heartlet set to run a typically honest race from the front.
How to play it: Destiny’s Kiss WIN ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Exoteric, Our Century and Destiny’s Kiss in the ATC Cup
|Race 5 - 3:40PM INGLIS NURSERY (1000 METRES)|
It was only a 900m maiden at Newcastle but there was a bit of quality about the way 1. Strasbourg went about his work there. He started $1.60 favourite so did what was expected of him despite being unable to go with a few of the genuine speedsters early in the race. It’s certainly worth noting that prior to his debut he matched motors with the current Golden Slipper favourite Tassort in a Canterbury trial. Peter and Paul Snowden train the colt and Corey Brown sticks, having ridden him on debut. Not overly thrilled with the wide draw but the Randwick 1000m start sees a long straight run into the home turn.
Dangers: The Snowden’s have a strong hand in the race and the biggest danger to Strasbourg could very well be debutant 5. Enforcement, also in the China Horse Club silks. Has trialled nicely and James McDonald steers. He is just one of a number of likely types stepping out for the first time in this. That includes 14. Touch Of Paradise who was green in his trial and collared by Devachan late (who runs at Canterbury), but looks to have ability. Mick Price won this race with Extreme Choice. 3. Accession will take plenty of benefit from his second on debut behind Athiri, having gone into that off the one 900m trial. Back to 1000m okay given the soft draw.
How to play it: Strasbourg WIN ($3.90 TAB Fixed Odds)
Strasbourg rounding up his rivals at Newcastle on debut
|Race 6 - 4:20PM RAZOR SHARP HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Tried but failed to make a case for anything to beat up and comer 9. Cradle Mountain. The five-year-old has won six of his nine starts including both outings this campaign. The beauty about this horse is he can burn the candle at both ends. He makes the leap into Listed company for the first time but the times that this horse has shown he can run has always suggested he was at least up to this level, perhaps even better. Last start he was ridden too conservatively, if anything. Punters Intel reveals a cheap 30.73s for his first 500m before zipping home in 33.74s for his last 600m. His asset is his high cruising speed and if he finds that rhythm, doubt any of these will be able to peg him back.
Dangers: There was always a question mark on the Starlight Stakes given how bunchy the finish was, and Invincible Star flopping at Wyong certainly didn’t help the cause, however the one horse to take form the race was 1. Deploy. Punters Intel reveals after making a move between the 400-200m (10.95s) to level up with Invincible Star, he peaked the last 200m. He’ll strip fitter and should be outside of Cradle Mountain in the run. Can he give him 8kg and beat him? Unlikely. 3. Burning Passion for the multiples after a return to form at Hawkesbury.
How to play it: Cradle Mountain WIN ($2 TAB Fixed Odds)
Cradle Mountain beating Dyslexic last start at Rosehill
|Race 7 - 5:00PM FUGEN CONSTRUCTION VILLIERS STAKES (1600 METRES)|
Like how this year’s Villiers Stakes sets up for the Queenslander 9. Doubt Defying having been freshened since contesting the G1 Mackinnon Stakes over the spring. Prior to that the Steven O’Dea-trained five-year-old had won two on the bounce – the Sale Cup and first up and winning at Randwick over 1400m. That Randwick win was on a heavy track and he glided through the going. There is a dumping of rain forecast for Friday in Sydney so keep an eye on that because if it arrives, his chances enhance even further. Can see Doubt Defying box seating behind the two leaders drawn wide and enjoying the run of the race.
Dangers: Have got plenty of respect for the flying Sky Boy who has won four on the bounce but he is rock bottom odds at $3. The four-year-old has skipped through the grades and the latest win was full of merit chasing a hot tempo over 1800m. It’s just whether that effort flattens him a touch coming back to the mile. 11. Goodfella was enormous in the Festival Stakes when seven weeks between runs. He was wide the trip but still there at the finish. Should have no problem crossing from his wide draw to sit outside of 1. Fabrizio. Very wary of 14. Gaulois down in the weights and drawn perfectly.
How to play it: Doubt Defying EACH WAY ($7.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
The only time Doubt Defying has raced at Randwick
|Race 8 - 5:35PM TOTAL CONSTRUCTION HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
Godolphin mare 15. Organza has returned in outstanding order this time in. She was unlucky not to win first up before reeling in subsequent winner Reflectivity second up when straight out to 1500m. It was a soft win on the line and looks to have made the progression this time in from a midweek/provincial level horse to a genuine Saturday class galloper. The key for her here is her versatility which would should see her settle in the first couple, in a race without much speed. She may even find herself outside of the leader 13. Arraignment. From there she’ll take plenty of beating. The only word of warning with her is she probably doesn’t want it too wet. A soft deck would be fine.
Dangers: The more they win the better the price? That old racing saying rings true with Arraignment. He dictated from the front last time out to hold out the heavily supported Gaulois. Sure, the 8.5kg weight difference had plenty to do with that but it was still a dogged win. He’s $10 here in another race with very little speed. Can see him stacking these up again from the front. Joe Pride believes the horse is better on top of the ground so that’s food for thought. 4. Roman Son doesn’t look to get the right set up here with the lack of speed but that means he can settle closer. First up Roman Son ran his last 600m in 34.10s (Punters Intel) but was only really warming up the last 200m where he clocked 11.61s, the quickest of the race. 7. Tip Top can win.
How to play it: Organza WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds)
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) December 13, 2018
|Race 9 - 6:10PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
There’s a bit of Jekyll and Hyde about New Zealand galloper 14. Campari, mixing her form but when she’s on her game she is pretty handy. Two back she won over the Randwick 1400m, which she tackles again here, and was really strong through the line to win going away. Her subsequent run was a shocker but James McDonald blamed the firmness of the track. It was too bad to be true. She jumped a heavily supported $2.90 that day, in a race where Organza and Reflectivity ran the quinella. That makes the double figure odds very appealing here despite having to take the four-year-old on trust. Has already won two races in Australia in her four run preparation and the rain around looks to suit. Drawn wide but doubt that’s a negative come the last of the day.
Dangers: There was little between 2. Drachenfels and 3. Gresham last start. Punters Intel reveals there was nothing between their sectional splits either. In the case of Drachenfels, he was wide the trip, and should have won at Canterbury two back when luckless, while Gresham was first up so has the more improvement. The major con for both of them is their respective strike rates! 9. Regent was a dominant winner at the midweeks last start and finds another suitable race.
How to play it: Campari WIN ($9.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Campari winning at Randwick two starts back