By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Randwick.
The rail is in the True position and the form has been done for a soft/heavy track.
|Race 1 - 1:15PM TAB HIGHWAY CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
6. Water Dove finds the right race to make it three wins from four starts. The Brett Cavanough-trained filly was last seen at the races five weeks ago when she was gunned down by Art Cadeau, a subsequent Country Championships heat winner and one of the favourites for the final. The daughter of Headwater had her chance parking outside of the lead and getting 7kg off the winner but that reference looks the best form line coming into this 1000m Highway. The drop back in trip shouldn’t be a concern and she won on a wet track on debut, albeit in a Dubbo maiden with the surface rated a Soft 6. Jason Collett and Cavanough have formed a lethal partnership with the pair combining 13 times in the past 12 months for eight winners.
Dangers: 1. Leo is a reliable short course sprinter and won over the Randwick 1000m on a heavy track first up last preparation. That was a Class 3 too. He comes back to Class 2 company here but lumps 4.5kg more. 2. Mr Magical has been costly to punters after bursting on the scene but he has a very strong SP profile throughout his six-start career. He’d be better placed on soft ground as opposed to heavy. 7. Superior Witness was well beaten by Water Dove last start but he won both starts prior to that on heavy tracks and the drop back in trip looks to suit. 5. Last Chance Dance is also some hope but the barrier doesn’t help.
How to play it: Water Dove WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Water Dove last start against Art Cadeau
|Race 2 - 1:50PM PRECISE AIR SKYLINE STAKES (1200 METRES)|
5. O’President doesn’t have flashy form lines but what he does have in his favour is a forward racing style and a heavy track win to his name, albeit a Canterbury wet track is different gravy to a Randwick wet. That four length win, where the time stacked up well against the two BM72s at the same meeting, was over 1250m so his strength late won’t be a query. Tim Clark will bounce O’President out from the wide draw to potentially lead this field up. There is a big question mark as to where O’President fits into the bigger picture in terms of his class but he looks an appealing each way play given the set up.
Dangers: These two-year-olds have had 17 starts between them and only two have ever clashed. That was 2. Captivant and Head Of State in the Golden Gift where they finished fourth and fifth. That paints the picture of this being a very tricky race to line up. Captivant has trialled brilliantly since and gets the blinkers on for the first time but he didn’t look all that comfortable on a soft track in the Golden Gift when a beaten favourite. 1. Shaquero ran away with the Magic Millions while 6. Hilal savaged the line to win on debut. 4. Sing A Love Song isn’t out of this either!
How to play it: O’President EACH WAY ($9 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
O’President winning at Canterbury last start
|Race 3 - 2:25PM DRINKWISE SWEET EMBRACE STAKES (1200 METRES)|
How far would have 5. Four Moves Ahead won the Silver Slipper by? That’s redundant now as she of course missed the race with a knock to her knee and lines up a week later back to her own sex. There is more depth to this race but she still boasts the best exposed form. That was six weeks ago on the Kensington track where she skipped through the wet to win with arrogance. There is a new factor to consider now, however, and that’s the little setback she had. It must have been minor for John Sargent to line her up a week on, and by all reports she has worked well since, but it’s never ideal for a two-year-old to have a hiccup in their preparation. Still want to be in her corner as she isn’t without a shot in a Golden Slipper if she can build again on what she did on debut.
Dangers: There is nothing wrong with the form lines of unassuming filly 3. Mallory. She was a convincing winner of the Widden Stakes last start, running significantly faster time than the boys in the Canonbury, while she chased home Enthaar when second in the Gimcrack back in October. 7. Jamaea is the knockout. Loved her close last start over 1000m. Out to 1200m suits and although barrier 1 doesn’t look ideal, given the pattern will likely be to get off the fence, it does mean she can settle closer in the run. 1. She’s all Class was unlucky in the Magic Millions last start while happy to give 8. Hi Hi Hi another chance. Expect the tactics to be aggressive, like when she was so impressive on debut.
How to play it: Four Moves Ahead WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS
Four Moves Ahead’s dominant debut
|Race 4 - 3:05PM QUAYCLEAN LIVERPOOL CITY CUP (1300 METRES)|
2. Trumbull won the Sydney Stakes off a similar 12-week break last preparation, holding off Standout. The wide draw looks sticky on paper but with 11. Discharged and 1. Greyworm drawn out with him, and not a lot of speed elsewhere, James McDonald could potentially jag the one-one. McDonald has ridden the five-year-old four times for two wins and a narrow second. The other big factor for Trumbull is that he handles all surfaces. There are plenty here that match up well on ability but aren’t as comfortable on wet ground. Trumbull has looked great in his two trials and jumped cleanly on both occasions. Forget his last start failure in The Hunter as he pulled up 3/5 lame.
Dangers: Why is 7. Looks Like Elvis one of the rank outsiders? He would’ve been in the finish first up last preparation in the Show County with any luck before being beaten 1.8L by Kolding in the Tramway. He wasn’t beaten far in the Epsom either, albeit with 50kg. Definitely worth a speck at the big odds. Greyworm is incredibly consistent but he was entitled to do more first up at Caulfield given the cosy time he had in front. Strips fitter but with 59kg, he’s well found in an open race. Discharged probably wants the mile now but a testing track could offset that. All eyes will be on 10. Criaderas late but have always had him pegged as a dry tracker.
How to play it: Trumbull WIN ($7.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Trumbull’s latest trial at Gosford
|Race 5 - 3:45PM GUY WALTER PROVEN THOROUGHBREDS STAKES (1400 METRES)|
7. Icebath peaked on her run 100m from home in the G3 Triscay first up which saw her run a fading third. It was a steady return from the four-year-old that matched motors with Colette in the Golden Eagle at the backend of last campaign. The Brad Widdup-trained mare will strip fitter for that outing as she tracks towards the Coolmore and we’re seen enough of her to know that she swims so the wetter the better. The other little advantage she has is her versatility in terms of settling position. Scratchings could potentially change the shape of this race and the ability to sit in the first half could be crucial, especially when considering her main threats.
Dangers: If the track plays on the better side of soft, 4. Sweet Deal becomes the horse to beat. She'll lead this field up and possesses a brilliant turn of foot on dry ground. The track is key. 9. Tricky Gal went straight past Icebath when they clashed first up behind Tailleur. However, Icebath meets her 4kg better off and as brilliant as Tricky Gal was fresh, she hasn’t been able to replicate it second up in her past two campaigns. 6. Emeralds will be ridden quietly so she’ll give away a start but liked her return behind Savatiano and Kolding in the G2 Expressway. 5. Bam’s On Fire didn’t have much luck behind Probabeel first up and gets the services of James McDonald.
How to play it: Icebath WIN ($3.60 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Tricky Gal and Icebath first up
|Race 6 - 4:25PM TAB CHIPPING NORTON STAKES (1600 METRES)|
7. Colette was brilliant in winning the G2 Apollo Stakes a fortnight ago and off that victory, she’s the horse they all have to beat again. The four-year-old possessed acceleration none of her rivals could match, clocking a 33.64s last 600m, the quickest across the entire meeting. The Golden Eagle and Oaks winner has clearly returned better than ever. The knock post-race was whether she could now replicate that on drier ground, well she won’t have to prove that this week as the conditions will be right up her alley again given she is five from five on soft and heavy tracks. I’d expect Rachel King to be positive from the draw to camp in the first four. She’ll want to be a length or two in front of 6. Verry Eleegant, just like last start.
Dangers: Verry Elleegant has a two length margin to turn around but she was tardy away, which forced her to work early in the run. The extra 200m suits and, alongside Colette, she is one of the best wet trackers in the country. She is most vulnerable if the race turns into a sit-sprint which could be the case in this. 2. Avilius hasn’t won since September 2019 but he is another that eats mud. Don’t be too quick to dismiss the seven-year-old even though his best is likely behind him. 1. Kolding will run well but the wet track thwarts his winning chances. 4. Master Of Wine went missing over the spring. Let’s hope he can find the form he was in this time last year.
How to play it: Colette WIN ($3.30 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Colette winning the G2 Apollo last start
|Race 7 - 5:05PM CELLARBRATIONS SURROUND STAKES (1400 METRES)|
Can’t resist the price about 1. Montefilia, winner of the G1 Flight Stakes and G1 Spring Champion over the spring. Sure, 1400m is short of her best but this’ll be a testing 1400m on a Randwick wet track with a stack of speed up front. First up last preparation her third on the Kensington on a heavy track was the best run across the entire meeting given the rail bias that ensued. She then towelled up her older rivals, again on a heavy track. 3. Dame Giselle was too sharp for her in the Tea Rose, on a dry track, but this is a very different set up. Montefilia’s two trials have been a touch inconclusive, but that’s nothing new to her. Judge her off her performances on the track, and if you do that, and see her rating compared to the rest of this field, you’re left to wonder why we’re getting double figure odds in early betting.
Dangers: 6. Forbidden Love is versatile enough to park in behind the speed and like the way she put her rivals to the sword at Gosford two runs back. 4. Every Rose ran her rivals into the ground in the Light Fingers but she faces a much tougher task out in trip and with company up front. 7. Never Talk flooded home into second behind her and was clearly the best of the closers. What we know is that she loves wet ground. What we don’t know is how strong she’ll be at the end of 1400m. 2. Away Game wasn’t far away in third but there’s also a query over her at the trip. 3. Dame Giselle was the dominant sprinting filly in Sydney over the spring but she won’t want the track any worse than soft.
How to play it: Montefilia WIN ($10 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Montefilia winning thee G1 Flight Stakes over the spring
|Race 8 - 5:40PM HEINEKEN HANDICAP (2000 METRES)|
13. Sky Lab sprinted brilliantly last start over the mile, in behind a slow tempo. Punters Intelligence clocked Sky Lab’s last 600m at 34.42 with a last 200m of 11.64, two lengths faster than the next best in the race. That compared very well to the rest of the card. He did it after diving back to the inside of the Randwick track which had been a no-go zone for the meeting. Perhaps it evened out come the last couple of races, but it’s worth noting. The progression out to 2000m looks perfect now and up in grade, the three-year-old stays down in the weights. On what he has done this preparation already, he is a genuine ATC Derby contender. Wouldn’t have thought it’d be any disadvantage drawing wide come the second last race on the Randwick card this week.
Dangers: Found it hard to split Sky Lab and Chris Waller’s promising stayer 10. Great House with the price the deciding factor in the end. In a complete contrast to Sky Lab’s race last start, Great House comes out of a brutally run 2000m contest, which he clearly relished. The import has been freshened since, with a tickover trial keeping him up to the mark. Stays at 2000m but he still has enormous upside. 1. Soldier Of Love becomes dangerous if he is left alone in front. He raced flat last start but his history suggests he does his best racing dictating from in front or parking outside of the leader. The wet track suits too.
How to play it: Sky Lab WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Is this talented three-year-old a genuine Derby contender?
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) February 25, 2021
|Race 9 - 6:15PM ACY SECURITIES HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
5. Zakat wanted to lay in first up at Flemington, which was his first crack down the straight, and that proved costly. The winner powered past him late and is a gun straight tracker so perhaps it wouldn’t have made any difference. Regardless, this four-year-old has obviously come back as well as ever, which was also obvious going by his eye-catching trials prior to his resumption. He ran third on a heavy track at the backend of last preparation but was so brave with 60kg given how hard to leader went in front. It was an enormous run. The son of Lonhro was also a second up winner last campaign, holding off Icebath. He’ll tuck in behind the speed from the low draw, has James McDonald in the saddle and handles all conditions. The one to beat.
Dangers: 1. Poetic Charmer comes back from 1300m to 1200m but he is a last start winner in this grade and this assignment is no harder. He showed plenty of desire to pin his ears back the last 50m to nab Academy on the line. His fitness edge has a significant role to play too. Especially when you’re considering the chances of 6. Lucicello, a mare that has spent over a year on the sidelines. There is no knock on her talent though and she is a heavy track winner already. 8. Bound To Win bombed the start first up last preparation and did a reasonable job to get as close as she did. Her campaign was a disaster thereafter. She is better than that.
How to play it: Zakat WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS
"He'll race handy, has James McDonald in the saddle and he handles all conditions."
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) February 25, 2021