One more week until Group One racing returns so it’s fitting the Spring Preview Handicap (1400m) highlights the card at Randwick, on the Kensington track, while plenty of eyes will be on stablemates Wolfe and Mister Songman.
The rail is in the True position and the track is in the Good range.
This week’s selections: BG
Saturday 17 August – KENSINGTON
VELOCITA (RACE 2) Velocita finds a very winnable race here to make amends from last start where she was desperately unlucky. First up she took a stack of ground off Notation on a very testing Randwick track before being held up for much of the straight a month ago. Like the four weeks between runs to keep her fresh. In that last start effort she jumped clear favourite ($3.90). The winner Bangkok subsequently beat Fortensky and Haunted while The Party Girl (2nd) and La Chica Bella (5th) both won at their next outing too. Now here Velocita is third up in the same grade of race, and if anything is probably a shade easier, yet has been posted $5 with TAB Fixed Odds. On to a good track only helps too.
NOVEMBER MAN (RACE 4) He loves the 1000m and dry tracks. When you put those two together his record reads 8:2-4-0. The five-year-old is certainly no stranger to the Kenso track either having raced on it seven times (for six placings). He has been freshened since we last saw him when he couldn’t pick his feet up in the heavy ground at Randwick. The freshen is something he has reacted well to in the past. It was hard to get much of a read on his two very quiet trials but if he follows the same pattern as he has in the past, he’ll be hard to hold out in this with plenty of speed engaged and Nash Rawillier riding. $9.50 TAB Fixed Odds.
COMMANDER (RACE 5) Love the booking of Nash Rawiller for Commander. It looks a perfect match. The four-year-old strikes me as the type that responds to a strong, standover type jockey. His win three starts ago at Randwick, where he beat Toryjoy, with Jackson Morris in the saddle, suggests as much. He was subsequently unlucky in the Grafton Guineas when unable to build momentum and then chased a tearaway leader at Warwick Farm, setting it up for Travancore to motor home. That didn’t play to his strengths. Can see Commander being aggressively ridden to take up the running with the plan of attack to grind his rivals into the ground. $7 TAB Fixed Odds.
THY KINGDOM COME (RACE 8) Thy Kingdom Come looks ready to win third up. There was merit in his first two runs back but he clearly needed them. In the latest he cruised into the race like the winner but faded late to finish a well beaten fourth. James McDonald takes over the reins having won on the horse twice, from three rides. In the first of those he swept around the outside mid-race to take up the running and trotted in, beating Love Shack Baby by a lazy 4.8L. That was this track and trip too. The five-year-old should find himself in the box seat from the inside draw. If he busts these up, it’s hard to see anything troubling him. The John Thompson stable is fresh off a midweek double. $3.70 TAB Fixed Odds.
MISTER SONGMAN (RACE 9) Concede that it won’t be easy for Mister Songman over 1100m from the very wide draw but he is better than a benchmark horse. Much better. That was evident the last time we saw the five-year-old when he decimated his rivals to win by seven lengths. That was in a BM76 over 1400m but it suggested that he was up to winning Group races, with the stable targeting the Epsom. He has been on the sidelines having had bone chips removed but has shown enough in his two trials to suggest he’ll resume where he left off. It’s likely that Adam Hyeronimus will be forced to cover ground given the way this race sets up but he has the quality to overcome that and still win. $3 TAB Fixed Odds.