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 and the track will race in the good range.
|Race 1 - 1:20PM COUNTDOWN TO GOLDEN SLIPPER SPRINT (1100 METRES)|
Here’s a forecast, not only will 1. Espaaniyah win this race on Saturday but she’ll also go on to claim the $2m Inglis Millennium in a fortnight. We’ve seen the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained filly once at the races and she showed he rivals a clean pair of heels at Moonee Valley over 1000m on Cox Plate day. She gives away weight to the boys but she’s classy. Loved the way this daughter of I Am Invincible trialled at Randwick and drawn 1, she’ll use that to boot up and lead. It’s a big field but they’ll all be behind her in the run, and hopefully for our sake, still be behind her at the finish line.
Dangers: Espaaniyah’s unraced stablemate 6. Dawn Passage looked outstanding in his most recent trial at Wyong. He was surprisingly sharp being by Dawn Approach. Mark him down for longer races but should be hitting the line. It’s easy to be dismissive of 14. Syliva’s Memory coming off a Coffs Harbour maiden over 800m but it was that or another barrier trial so Marc Quinn opted for the race. Will have to work across from the wide draw but she looks up to city class. 4. Aussie has Snowden training and Bowman riding with the blinkers going on.
How to play it: Espaaniyah WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Espaaniyah trialling at Randwick – Jan 11
|Race 2 - 1:55PM DOUG CARROLL HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
8. She’s Spicy had two years off after her debut but has returned in sparkling form. The four-year-old looks a mare with untapped ability. As we are well accustomed to now, trainer Matt Dunn knows exactly the right horses to target Highway Handicaps with. The stable’s record in the race speaks for itself. The daughter of Real Saga won her maiden by panels before next dismantling a Class 2 field at Doomben. She was beaten at her latest outing but it was by an all-the-way leader dictating in a small field. That won’t be the case here with a big field thundering around Randwick creating plenty of pressure. From the perfect draw, Brenton Avdulla will park her a couple of pairs back.
Dangers: Can make a small case for the toppie 1. I Am Magnificent at big odds. The six-year-old is now trained by Dean Mirfin and he has looked in need of his three runs back from a near two year break. He comes out of city benchmark races and was a Warwick Farm winner back in November of 2016. Big watch on 13. I Am A Cool Kid as Gayna Williams tests the waters for a tilt at the Country Championships series. The lightly-raced six-year-old has a stack of talent. The map from the extreme outside did look sticky but scratchings play in his favour. 2. Acquittal hit the line nicely first up in a BM74 behind Star Fall. He probably wants 1400m but if the leaders overdo it, he’s a knockout chance.
How to play it: She’s Spicy WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds)
She’s Spicy working to the line last start
|Race 3 - 2:30PM MAURICE ROLFE HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
2. Sylvia’s Mother is the nominal shortie of the day. This mare has looked brilliant in her two wins back this campaign and looks destined for black type so the step into Saturday company for the first time is of no concern. Last start at Canterbury she ran the fastest last 600m split of the entire night (34s flat via Punters Intelligence) to chase down Alassio and Transmitter, with both of those horses winning their subsequent starts. The win was better than it looks with Alassio backing off in the middle stages meaning Sylvia’s Mother had to be really sharp the last 400m in particular (22.21s). The four-year-old has won three on the bounce and with the Hawkes placement, that picket fence still has a few more palings to come.
Dangers: 1. Star Fall has won four of his six starts and his last three straight. Linda Meech again makes the trip up to ride him and has said she thinks the three-year-old has the scope to be competitive in much better races. The Zoustar colt gave his rivals weight at Randwick last start and a beat down, coasting to victory. He’s the benchmark for Sylvia’s Mother but she gets in 3.5kg lighter and looks to have even more scope. Ideally this race would be 1200m for 4. Exceltic but the extra 100m will help close the gap between him and Star Fall from last start. His last 600m there of 33.06s was 1.5L faster than the next best in the race (Punters Intelligence).
How to play it: Sylvia’s Mother WIN ($1.70 TAB Fixed Odds)
Sylvia’s Mother winning at Canterbury last time out
|Race 4 - 3:05PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
3. Toryjoy was enormous at Randwick last start, when being pegged back by 4. Extreme Bliss on the line. There aren’t too many races run over 1500m at Randwick but they annihilated the track record and ran six lengths quicker than Turnberry on the same day. Extreme Bliss came from last while Toryjoy was ripping along out in front. Her ability to sustain her sectionals was really impressive and riding her in front has been the making of her. Her last 200m, according to Punters Intelligence, was 12.10s so she hadn’t yet hit a brickwall hence the big gap back to third. Hugh Bowman, off four winners at Canterbury, will take her straight to the front and she’ll stay there. Best bet of the day.
Dangers: Extreme Bliss had the race run to suit last start and although there does look to be good speed again here, she’ll need all the right breaks again. It was a brilliant ride from Andrew Mallyon last time out after she half missed the kick. 1. Nicci’s Gold is another one that falls into that bucket. Luck deserted her last week at Rosehill when she needed clear running earlier. She’d have won if she got it. Everything that could have gone wrong first up for 2. Letter To Juliette did. Forget she ever ran and include her in any exotics.
How to play it: Toryjoy WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Round one of Extreme Bliss vs Toryjoy
|Race 5 - 3:40PM JHB SYNDICATIONS SPRINT (1100 METRES)|
6. So You Win put his rivals to the sword last week at Rosehill. This will be his third week at the races in a row so he is a horse clearly thriving in his work. The four-year-old was a while between drinks until last start but he has always possessed the talent and is the type that could progress through to Group races now he has found winning form. Punters Intelligence reveals just how dominant he was. Brenton Avdulla, who unsurprisingly maintains his association with him, was still swinging off him turning for home but he clocked 11.21s from the 600-400m, the quickest in the race, and the event was as good as over from there. So You Win’s last 600m was 34.12s, some 2.5L faster than the next best.
Dangers: 5. Berdibek has put two good runs together, which he didn’t do last preparation. The five-year-old is four weeks between runs but on the strength of his last start second to Tip Top over the mile, he’s a big player in this. 2000m, tick. 7. Island Missile is another horse knocking on the door. He has been stretched out to middle distance trips this campaign and it’s added a new string to his bow. He’ll be relieved to find no Live And Free here. 10. Mercurial Lad maps to get control of this race from the front, which gives him the chance to be in the finish again.
How to play it: So You Win WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
So You Win trouncing his rivals last week
|Race 6 - 4:20PM ROGER HAWKE HANDICAP (1350 METRES)|
8. Sei Stella is a very fast mare. The question here is whether she can stretch it to 1100m. The four-year-old is going to be judged off her 1100m run on the Kensington track last preparation but I’m happy to forget that. She went too bad to be true that day and was at the end of her first racing campaign. Last start she matched motors with Heart Conquered over 1000m, smashing the Kensington track record. Interestingly, Punters Intelligence reveals she ran the fastest last 200m of the race clocking 11.23s, despite going down. The two out in front were going further away from their rivals at the finish, not sitting down. There is speed drawn inside her but her early brilliance should still see her cross 10. Happy Mo to lead.
Dangers: 3. Junglized is a rocks or diamonds kind of horse. That’s highlighted by his three runs this campaign – sandwiched between two outstanding efforts behind Bon Amis was a shocker. He can do that though. Last start he was outgunned by Bon Amis in a photo finish. He is new to the seven day backup but if he reproduces that effort, albeit this won’t be a sit and sprint like that was, he’ll be in the firing line again. 7. Taniko keeps making leaps forward and was a dominant winner last time out. The drop back to 1100m a slight negative. 5. Oriental Runner is a smart sprinter on his day but have always thought him to be more effective when he dictates.
How to play it: Sei Stella WIN ($3.30 TAB Fixed Odds)
Sei Stella going down fighting vs Heart Conquered
|Race 7 - 5:00PM ERIC 'MO' CONLON HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
1. Endless Drama contested the Carrington Stakes first up last year and ran a monster third despite covering a stack of ground three-wide the entire. He made a dash before being collared by Lanciato. Punters Intelligence reveals he covered 1410.6m while Lanciato pinched ground through the pack to cover 1403.8m. Endless Drama gave Lanciato 5.5kg that day. Here he is tasked with giving the early favourite 11. Penske 7.5kg. After that, the seven-year-old won the Apollo Stakes beating Global Glamour and Comin’ Through. He hasn’t looked likely in four runs since then but they’ve all been in Group Ones. Back to a Listed race he pays the penalty at the weights but he is drawn to be smothered up behind the speed. His trial was very strong this time in too.
Dangers: Dare I put 5. Tom Melbourne in for second, again? The cult hero has had three first up runs for Chris Waller, and yes, you guessed it, he has run second in all three of them. The margins have been 0.3L, 0.2L and 0.2L. He gets too close at the finish to doubt his desire! The draw is sticky so expect Blake Shinn to settle him in the second half. He’ll still get his chance. Forget 4. Flow ever ran at Doomben. The five-year-old is very appropriately named as he likes to do exactly that into his races, building momentum. The knock on Penske is the price. He won a BM78 first up at double figure odds.
How to play it: Endless Drama WIN ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds)
Endless Drama winning his Rosehill trial – Jan 15
|Race 8 - 5:40PM BOOKMAKER RECOGNITION RACE DAY TROPHY (2000 METRES)|
How about the trials of 8. Sondelon! They’ve been excellent. The Waterhouse and Bott-trained four-year-old has been off the scene for 36 weeks but he won two from four in his first campaign culminating in being tested in Group Three company. Spending his days at Tulloch Lodge has me confident this horse will be ready to go fresh, despite the lay off. The other key to this race is the lack of an obvious leader which gives Tim Clark the chance to work across from the wide draw. The son of Lonhro isn’t the cleanest of beginners so much prefer him drawn out there as opposed to inside where he’d have to be hunted out.
Dangers: Very wary of 10. Dealmaker. Against him, when comparing his profile to Sondelon, is that he’ll be somewhere towards the rear and we know Chris Waller leaves plenty of gas in the tank. The three-year-old still has the class to overcome it and there’s no doubt he’ll be a player over the autumn in Group races against his own age group. Just the one trial but he looked very strong through the line and first up last campaign over 1400m he rattled home behind Danawi, albeit on a soft track which took away the zip from some of his sharper rivals. The Queenslander 7. Reckless Choice is the wild card.
How to play it: Sondelon WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds)
Sondelon’s eye-catching latest trial – Randwick Jan 11
|Race 9 - 6:15PM RICHARD HUTT HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
It’s a rematch between 4. Samadoubt, 9. Onslaught and 6. Organza from last start where there was just 0.1L between the three of them. Half way down the straight it looked as though Samadoubt was going be beaten quite comfortably but rallied back on the line. Punters Intelligence shows that Samadoubt failed to go with Onslaught and Organza when they dashed from the 600-200m but there was very little between them in the final 200m split (Samadoubt 12.03s, Onslaught 11.99s, Organza 12s). It was the run of a horse desperate for the mile, which is what he gets here. He’ll have 11. King Tomlola and 1. Gresham for company in front but I’d suggest the five-year-old will be set alight from the wide draw to cross and run these horses along. The Bjorn Baker-trained galloper finds himself in career-best form and is rock hard fit.
Dangers: Gresham’s narrow last start win had a lot more merit than meets the eye. Firstly, of course, he beat Sir Plush and he subsequently won the Gosford Gold Cup. Then there is the times Gresham ran home in. The race was a dawdle early, with Punters Intelligence revealing the four-year-old ran his last 600m in a lightning 32.62s, with a last 200m of 10.86s. He couldn’t go any faster. Organza found 1400m a touch too sharp last time coming back from the mile. This trip suits better at this stage of her preparation. This is Onslaught’s first crack at the mile and he rises 2.5kg from his win. 3. Rodrico can improve sharply.
How to play it: Samadoubt WIN ($7 TAB Fixed Odds)
Watch for Samadoubt rallying back on the line