By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Saturday’s meeting at Royal Randwick.
The rail is out 9m from the 1600m to the winning post and 7m the remainder.
|Race 1 - 12:55PM JANUARY HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
1. Star Fall would be a timely win for training partnership Ciaron Maher and David Eustace with the duo recently securing boxes at Warwick Farm. The trainers have really targeted Sydney in the past period and it’s paying off. This three-year-old colt again looks nicely placed over 1000m in BM74 grade. The son of Zoustar has won two in a row this campaign, the latest at Caulfield. He is the highest rated runner in the field so lumps 59kg. Linda Meech is three from three aboard Star Fall and makes the trip up to ride him. He’ll settle in the first three from the good draw and be hard to beat with class on his side.
Dangers: Big watch on 10. Riviera for Team Hawkes. Trialled well this time back after winning in Melbourne on debut back in May last year. Monitor betting with her. 8. Exceltic broke his duck at Gosford last start and can go right on with it now. Has the talent. 4. Miss Invincible is an honest speedster and this is her right level. 3. Star Boy has won three straight but can’t see him crossing from the wide draw. Looks sticky.
How to play it: Star Fall WIN ($2 TAB Fixed Odds)
Designer Made making it two straight at Newcastle
|Race 2 - 1:30PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
3. Fui San is no stranger to Highway Handicaps having run in seven already. He has won one and placed in a further three. There is a sense of timing about this Terry Robinson-trained gelding third up out to the mile and this looks to have been a target race from the start of his campaign. He found the line nicely over 1400m at Canberra last start which will have him primed for this. Expect Jean Van Overmeire to be positive from the wide draw. The five-year has settled midfield in his two runs back but his general pattern is to be handy once he gets out in trip and has a couple of runs under his belt. Happy to play him each way at double figure odds.
Dangers: The knock on 1. Hemmerle is the price. Can’t have him at $2.15 when Fui San is $3.10 to run a place. Danny Williams is of the impression that it was the tighter Warwick Farm track that beat the four-year-old last start. Staying at the mile might be some query but he should be at his peak now third up. He is becoming costly for punters though so it’s a mini D-Day for him on Saturday. Not sure what Tom Marquand does from the wide draw. Three wide with cover would be ideal. Throw 5. Haames into any exotics. He has been very competitive in Highways before is another that should be at his top now third up.
How to play it: Fui San EACH WAY ($12 TAB Fixed Odds)
Fui San running home at the end of 1400m at Canberra
|Race 3 - 2:05PM THE AVIARY @ ROYAL RANDWICK SPRINT (1200 METRES)|
1. Catesby has his hoof on the till. The four-year-old has been a handy pickup for Greg McFarlane with a couple of placings before running midfield last start. The ducks looked aligned for Catesby to be in the finish there at Warwick Farm last start but he didn’t handle the heavy conditions all that well. That was a lot deeper race than this with the likes of Test The World, Sir Plush and Pecans all behind him. He is sharply back in grade here, hence the weight rise but Robbie Dolan is flying and claims 3kg. Was very confident about his chances even with Mad For Art in the field but now the likely leader is scratched, Catesby should get complete control which makes him even harder to beat. Blinkers go on too.
Dangers: There is no denying that 10. Taniko has come back in good order this time in, having won two of her five outings and that should be three with a luckless Canterbury fifth in there. Her last start fourth was much better than it reads on paper behind Clipper. In a race dominated by horses up front, Punters Intelligence reveals the Godolphin mare ran her last 200m in 10.99s with a final 600m of 32.67s. She’s too short at $3.10 though. 2. Ghostly hit the line sweetly in his first outing for David Pfieffer and looks better suited out to 1200m. His best is good enough. Big threat.
How to play it: Catesby WIN ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Catesby running midfield at Warwick Farm last start
|Race 4 - 2:40PM 2019 MEMBERSHIP HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
Here’s the Hail Mary for the day at Randwick! 2. Letter To Juliette is an unassuming sort of horse so tends to slip under the radar when it comes to her price. First up last campaign, in this same grade of race, the Gary White-trained five-year-old won at $31 beating Sweet Victory, who is a $7 chance here. Letter To Juliette meanwhile is $34 (in from $51 opening) with TAB Fixed Odds. The major difference between this first up run is it’s over 1500m and not 1800m but drawn to get all of the favours, she’s right in this and certainly worth an each way ticket at monster odds. It’s the right profile of race to gamble on a roughie.
Dangers: 6. Toryjoy finds the right Saturday race to make the transition from midweek company. In a race that changed shape several times throughout, Toryjoy was brave to keep finding despite going keenly early which forced James McDonalds hand to let her stride forward. Her tickover trial since was strong. This is the most suitable race 8. Laussel has found herself in this campaign. 1. Hussterical was very plain at Gosford last start but had been going well prior and will give these something to chase. 3. Sweet Victory might want further now but a positive ride may combat that. 5. Strome is close but keeps missing the kick.
How to play it: Letter To Juliette EACH WAY ($34 TAB Fixed Odds)
Letter To Juliette winning first up last time in
|Race 5 - 3:15PM SUMMER SPRINT (1000 METRES)|
1. Jungle Edge isn’t getting any younger but underestimate him at your peril. He was too slippery for his rivals at Ballarat last start and it certainly doesn’t appear to be the last time we’ll see him in the winners’ stall. In this 1000m race he should get complete control, especially now with rank outsider Battle Anthem scratched, which will give him his chance to steal a few cheap middle splits before pinching a break on his rivals. The query will be the drying track. Keep an eye out on any track upgrades but we'll start in the soft range. If he is at his best, he’ll blow these away.
Dangers: 3. Marsupial was slow to recover at Randwick last start. He doesn’t win out of turn but it better than that and this is very suitable. 8. Single Bullet is somewhere in the mix with his featherweight of 49kg but leave me out at $2.70. He was $11 in a BM88 last start when running home into sixth. 5. Frolic has the talent but we need to see her recapture her two-year-old form before backing her with any confidence. Did like the intent to lead in her most recent trial though.
How to play it: Jungle Edge WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Last time we saw Jungle Edge in Sydney
|Race 6 - 3:55PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
14. Vihari has a lot less convictions than many of her rivals here. The four-year-old has displayed great versatility this campaign kicking off over 1100m, being stiff not to win second up over 1300m before working her way out to a staying trip last start. She tackled 2360m at Newcastle and towelled up her rivals. It was a BM64 so the 6L margin could be a touch flattering but Allzin was back in third. It was her first crack at a staying trip and that’s enough for me to put her on top. She meets some tough old stayers here including five from the Chris Waller camp, but quietly confident she’ll make her presence felt. Drawn to get every chance and with 52kg on her back, will be thereabouts.
Dangers: Besides from the handful horribly out of form here, there is a little case to be made for most of them. 10. Devil’s Lair was second to Tunero (scratched from this) last start, but there wasn’t a great deal between them at the finish. 2. Follow Suit peaked on his run first up over 2110m on a heavy track, as he was entitled to. 5. Solo Mission and 9. Earth Angel just need to repeat their last start efforts to be in the finish again here.
How to play it: Vihari EACH WAY ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Vihari bolting in at Newcastle last start
|Race 7 - 4:35PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Promoting 6. Sweet Deal to top selection after the scratching of Paret. The four-year-old mare is racing in career best form and only has to hold it to be in the finish again here. She hasn't finished outside of the top two in four runs back. The latest of those was when second behind Redouble in a sit-sprint. It was a bob of the heads that beat her, otherwise it'd be three straight coming into this. She'll roll forward to sit outside of 4. Samadoubt and make her own luck. If the track stays in the soft range, don't let her wet form put you off. Both of her past soft track runs were early in her career - one in Group company behind Tulip and Alizee and the other over 1100m.
Dangers: 5. Organza has not only a fitness edge over Paret but also a versatility edge. Tipping the Godolphin stable will be instructing Tom Marquand to be very positive. I’ve mapped her second, trailing Samadoubt. Punters Intelligence reveals Organza’s closing splits in the Belle Of The Turf last start were the fastest in the race (33.32s last 600m), some three lengths quicker than the next best. The four-year-old is flying at the moment. Samadoubt has to be a chance again controlling proceedings from in front like last week.
How to play it: Sweet Deal WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Paret first up last campaign, running the fastest last 600m of the meeting
|Race 8 - 5:20PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
What you see is what you get with 1. Turnberry. There is no flashiness about him. He’s just a tough, honest miler racing in his right grade. Although he wasn’t far away last start at Randwick out to 1800m, it’s certainly no disadvantage in my eyes for him to be back to 1500m. On the evidence to date it’s his best distance range. He’s an uncomplicated horse and now a very fit one so Robbie Dolan, claiming 3kg, which sees Turnberry nicely in with 58kg compared to his lesser rated rivals, will fire him out from the inside draw, try to stack them up and keep grinding away at the finish. Would be surprised if he isn’t top three again.
Dangers: 9. Thy Kingdom Come trotted in on the Kenso track last start to beat Love Shack Baby by 4.8L. That second horse has subsequently won two on the bounce himself. You still want to see a horse like him do it a second time. Suspect the margin was a touch flattering on the back of a beautiful steer from James McDonald, who doesn’t ride here being in Queensland for Magic Millions. He is short enough at $2.25. 3. King Tomlola is the horse most likely to press the two favourites for early speed. Expect him to improve second up.
How to play it: Turnberry WIN ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds)
Turnberry’s last start third over 1800m
|Race 9 - 5:55PM AUTUMN CARNIVAL ON SALE HANDICAP (1800 METRES)|
7. Monsieur Sisu’s chances here will largely rely on how many of the emergencies make the field. Without them, he gets complete control from the front. He got that last start at Warwick Farm and despite being entitled to win more comfortably than what he did, the way he was holding off his rivals across the line suggests he wants this extra journey now. The four-year-old with Paul Cave has returned in excellent form this campaign with the only blip in the G3 Festival when he found the company too hot. The best way to ride him is to get him rolling and that’ll be how this plays out. He’ll be tough to peg back.
Dangers: 3. Live And Free was an explosive winner over this same track and trip last start with Punters Intelligence revealing a final 600m of 33.22s, some two lengths quicker than the next best. 11. Island Missile ran second to Live And Free which was his first try at the trip. He can only improve off that. Astoria has been scratched but another horse costly to punters, 1. Astoria. He meets Monsieur Sisu 4kg better for a narrow defeat recently and was good back to 1300m last week. There is a sense of timing about 12. So You Win third up out to 1800m.
How to play it: Monsieur Sisu WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Monsieur Sisu holding off his rivals at Warwick Farm