By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Saturday’s meeting at Royal Randwick.
The rail is out 3m, the track rated in the Good range and the first set to go at 12:50pm.
|Race 1 - 12:50PM PIERRO PLATE (1100 METRES)|
On exposed form, 3. Covert Ops deserves to be a clear favourite in the Pierro Plate. The speedy two-year-old, trained by Gerald Ryan, gave a big sight on debut back in September in the Breeders' Plate only to be run down late by Dubious. The colt showed a great burst of acceleration at the top of the straight but he peaked on his run a touch. The query is the 1100m, as that was 1000m, but with the spell he can only have strengthened. Drawn wide but has excellent gate speed to offset that and lead these up. Hard to catch and will be tuned up as all of these lead ups are mini grand finals with the Golden Slipper drawing closer.
Dangers: The Canonbury rated much better than the Widden, which puts a slight query over the run of 7. Rotator. Did like the way she attacked the line but she looks under the odds off that debut. 6. Fiery Red started hard in the market in the Breeders’ but was weak late. Has looked sharp in his trials again this time in. Debutant 12. Valdostana was only sighted once at the trials but looked strong through the line.
How to play it: Covert Ops WIN ($3.90 TAB Fixed Odds)
Covert Ops and Fiery Red in the Breeders’
|Race 2 - 1:30PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1800 METRES)|
Scrap the run of 1. Nothin’ Like Harry last time out at Sandown. He was keen in behind a slow tempo before the race changed complexion with horses whipping forward which saw him shuffled back in the pack. The four-year-old never looked comfortable at any stage. You can be sure Hugh Bowman will get him into a rhythm here from the good draw. His second to Lamborghini (subsequently won another two races and most recently ran second in the Hobart Cup) looks a very strong reference back to Highway company. The gelding is no stranger to Highways having run in a 1500m edition three runs back but never saw daylight. Gets his chance to atone over 1800m.
Dangers: 5. Fui San hasn’t had much go right this campaign. Another wide draw doesn’t help his cause but with any luck, he can bounce back to his best which is good enough to figure. Ran second over the Randwick 1800m to Mate Story some 12 months ago. That was deep into a campaign too. He appears to hit his straps fourth, fifth and sixth up. 4. Weston is trained by Matt Dunn and is holding his form. 10. Pontmain won a Wagga maiden on debut and is straight into the deep end here. No denying he has upside.
How to play it: Nothin’ Like Harry WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds)
Nothin’ Like Harry in Highway company
|Race 3 - 2:05PM HURUN REPORT CUP (2400 METRES)|
2. Reneged’s finishing positions this time back don’t make for very inspiring reading but suspect he is going better than they suggest. He was outsped over 1400m first up before getting a long was back at Randwick over 1800m. Last time out he needed room earlier. He started to make a run turning for home but a wall of horses greeted him. The last 200m of his race, via Punters Intelligence, was 12.25s which ranked fourth behind only Cyber Intervention, Nobu and Botti. I’d like to be backing any three of those horse in this. The six-year-old has looked particularly dour this preparation so the 2400m suits. He ran third in the Grafton Cup over this trip last campaign. Hopefully he can be midfield from the inside draw.
Dangers: Can 5. Gayatri come from last in a muddling run race? Perhaps, but I’m not going to take odds on to find out. She has won two on the bounce and did a good job on the Kenso to reel in Dusk Falls. She has started $1.45, $1.70 and $2.05 in her last three starts so her starting price profile is strong. Hugh Bowman will be creeping into the race from the middle stages. 3. Monsieur Sisu is on trial over the 2400m trip but he gives the impression that he will handle it. He won’t find a more winnable Saturday staying race than this whichever way you look at it. Last start the four-year-old was left in front a long way from home when the leader folded up on the turn and he was swallowed up late. He stuck on okay.
How to play it: Reneged EACH WAY ($23 TAB Fixed Odds)
Reneged and Monsieur Sisu both ran at Rosehill
|Race 4 - 2:40PM LUNAR NEW YEAR HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
2. Don’t Give A Damn is three from three fresh and 1300m first up suggests he is ready to go again here. First up last preparation he gave Trekking a touch up and there was another sizeable gap back to third. In an ideal world the track would be in the soft range for him but he has shown in the past he goes on firmer decks too. The last time we saw him at the races he won at Rosehill on a Good 3. Map wise he’ll punch up from the inside with Kerrin McEvoy riding and tag the likely leader 9. You Make Me Smile into the straight. The five-year-old is beautifully placed to keep that undefeated fresh record intact and given he is always loved by the market, I expect him to start favourite ahead of 10. Diplomatico.
Dangers: 1. Special Missile is a silly price ($31 at time of writing this). He finished third to Osborne Bulls second up last time in and at the backend of that preparation ran third in two Listed races. He found 1100m too sharp first up when settling back in the field. With the blinkers back on, out to 1300m and the intention to ride him closer, he’ll bounce back. 9. Diplomatico didn’t quite live up to the hype in the G1 Coolmore where he started single figure odds. Was hard to get a guide on his quite trial on Monday. He’s a talent but too well found at $2.70. 5. Paret will be flashing late. Glyn Schofield blamed the wet track for his last start flop. Bowman back on here and has won his last three rides on the four-year-old.
How to play it: Don’t Give A Damn WIN ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds)
Don’t Give A Damn exploding first up last preparation
|Race 5 - 3:15PM SOUTHERN CROSS STAKES (1200 METRES)|
4. Lanciato looks a big price in the Southern Cross Stakes. 9. Brutal is a dominant favourite but that has seen some very handy horses, namely this one and Chris Waller's 5. Noire, at double figure odds with TAB. If you need a reminder of Lanciato's first up run last time in, he smoked home from the tail to run fourth behind Pierata and Kementari in the Missile Stakes. Punters Intelligence highlights he ran 32.60s for his last 600m. That race was set up for him to run home and I do conceded there is a lack of speed here but he is capable of overcoming it. His two best runs last prep came over 1200m – he’s not the miler everyone had him pegged as early days. Rachel King rides and knows him better than anyone.
Dangers: Noire just gets better every year and Chris Waller is expecting her to improve again this autumn. The late maturing five-year-old is versatile too. First up last time in she ran a big race behind Invincibella at Rosehill over 1200m. It was a heavy deck which may have flattered her. She finished the spring with two midfield efforts in Group One races (starting $12 and $13). Brutal could very well prove to be a star three-year-old but there is a lot of trust required in taking $1.80. It’s his first run in Sydney and he has much bigger targets down the track. 3. Kaepernick won this race last year off a near identical run at the Gold Coast prior. 2. Dreamforce exploded fresh two preparations ago, but not so last campaign. The straight track to blame?
How to play it: Lanciato WIN ($12 TAB Fixed Odds)
Lanciato launching home in the Missile Stakes
|Race 6 - 3:50PM THE STAR APOLLO STAKES (1400 METRES)|
Remember what 5. Winx did last campaign first up over 1400m? No? Well, she broke the clock once more. It was her own race, the Winx Stakes, so she was entitled to put on a show, and she delivered. In a slowly run race Hugh Bowman worked her to the outside and although she took some warming up, once she clicked through her gears the race was over. Punters Intelligence details that Winx ran her 400-200m in 10.48s before running a sizzling 10.79s her last 200m. It’s freakish what she is capable of. Everything suggests she is as well as ever. Age shall not wary Winx. Win number 30 in a row, here we come.
Winx Out Market: Wonder if 1. Happy Clapper recognises Winx now? Eight times he has been skittled by her. He keep fronting up though and you’ve got to admire trainer Pat Webster for that. Happy Clapper is a three-time Group One winner himself. It was a forgettable spring for the eight-year-old in Melbourne, and was cut short by a bleed. His trials have been excellent. Would be surprised if he doesn’t claim second. For the 4. Tom Melbourne fans, the worry is he’ll fire up if he is left in front, which looks very likely.
How to play it: Happy Clapper WINX OUT MARKET ($1.80 TAB)
What happened the last time we saw Winx over 1400m?@BradJGray breaks down her win using Punters Intelligence. This is what makes her the best in the world #GoWinx @7horseracing @winx_horse @tabcomau @CandiceHare_ pic.twitter.com/lfGZfTNs2g
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) February 13, 2019
|Race 7 - 4:30PM TAB LIGHT FINGERS STAKES (1200 METRES)|
Have mapped Brenton Avdulla to come out aggressive on 8. Sylvia’s Mother. If that’s the case, she is going to take beating. There is very little speed engaged outside of 4. Terminology, the obvious leader. Sylvia’s Mother has drawn 10. The Snitzel filly with Team Hawkes has won her last four straight working her way through to the grades and now earning a shot in Group company. She looked in all sort of trouble last start but her devastating acceleration came to the rescue and she won with a gear or two still in hand. There are very few genuine sprinting types in this field and she catches them on the hop fitness wise.
Dangers: 6. Miss Fabulass was doing plenty wrong in her races over the autumn but still towelled up her rivals in the Tea Rose, when ridden more quietly, before her manners cost her the Flight Stakes. Her trials have been typically strong. Will be giving a start and potentially race fresh first up. She’s a star but there are a few queries there as the early favourite. 9. Madam Rouge lost her way a touch in the spring after resuming so impressively at Canterbury. Has looked sharp in her trials. Might pay to forgive her poor Randwick form. 4. Terminology will get on pace favours. 5. Melt is a smart former Kiwi. Don’t underestimate her.
How to play it: Sylvia’s Mother WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds)
Sylvia’s Mother escaping to win last start
|Race 8 - 5:10PM ROBRICK LODGE TRISCAY STAKES (1200 METRES)|
11. All Over Bosanova should be cherry ripe now third up. She was a year on the sidelines before kicking off this campaign so was entitled to knock up in her first two runs back. She certainly did that first up before only feeling the pinch the last 200m last time out. She steps up to Group Three company here but comes back to her own sex having raced against the boys, and drops down 4kg. There are better credentialed mares in the race but she is a race-fit mare that rolls along in front so she catches the likes of 1. I Am Excited and Invincible Gem at the right time. There’s no shortage of speed in the race but Rachel King is one of the best in the business judging front runners.
Dangers: Invincible Gem wasn’t far away from Trapeze Artist and Redzel in the Premiere Stakes first up last time in. Santa Ana Lane smashed the clock that day. Punters Intelligence reveals her last 600m of 32.81s was only bettered by the winner and Shoals. She ran okay in Melbourne after that without threatening, the latest in Group One company. It’s a long time between wins (560 days). 10. Alassio is on the back up having run third last Saturday in the Breeders Classic. Won well two back taking a sit and might get that same shape here. Princess Posh is underrated. 4. Bella Martini wasn’t far off Osborne Bulls first up last campaign.
How to play it: All Over Bosanova EACH WAY ($26 TAB Fixed Odds)
All Over Bosanova giving a big sight last start
|Race 9 - 5:50PM CHINESE FESTIVAL OF RACING HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
8. Girl Tuesday was too bad to be true first up. Forgive a good horse one bad run. It’s a saying that has served punters well over time. Chris Waller blamed the soft track. She was slow to recover too. The money flooded in for her as she started $2.15 and was even money for a period. The four-year-old was pegged as a group class mare (guilty!) prior to her return. On the strength of her first campaign it wasn’t a particularly bold claim to make. A good track and better draw can see her bounce back. Note that Kerrin McEvoy hasn’t lost the faith and stays aboard. He should be able to settle the daughter of Street Cry much closer from barrier 2. She has never started longer than $2.70 in her career so the $4.80 appeals, even if you have to back her on trust.
Dangers: Was surprised how hard 4. Penske stayed in the Carrington market last start. Certainly respect that back from Listed company behind Tom Melbourne to a BM88. He was six weeks between runs there and has a great record out to the mile. 7. Smartedge was no match for Seaway first up but there is no shame in that. He’s knocking on the door but he does a lot of that! Of the roughies to include in exotics, 3. Cosmologist has looked very sprightly in his trials. He clung on to win over 1400m first up at Hawkesbury last time in. Also include 1. Almost Court. He was only 4.8L off Best Of Days first up over the spring and didn’t have much room.
How to play it: Girl Tuesday WIN ($4.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Girl Tuesday wasn’t flash first up…