Tips by Brad Gray
Brad Gray's tips and insights for Royal Randwick on Saturday. There are winners to be found for nine races!
The rail is out 11m from the 1600m to the winning post and 8m the remainder. The form has been done for a track in the Soft 5 range. The first jumps at 12:55pm.
|Race 1 - 12:55PM 2019 MEMBERSHIP HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
2. Royal Celebration didn’t look comfortable at all on the heavy track last start failing to reel in Yulong January. Nothing wrong with that form though – Yulong January since run a Listed second at Caulfield behind Ranier. Ron Quinton’s three-year-old certainly wasn’t disgraced though and I’ve got no doubt will bounce straight back on a drier track. His run prior to that, when first up, was outstanding. He raced without cover but still went down fighting to Gem Song. Royal Celebration has always promised to be a handy horse, as his record of 5:1-4-0 suggests. He just needs to start turning those second into wins. His second to The Autumn Sun last preparation jumps off the page now, while in his maiden win, he accounted for Wagner.
Danger: 6. Fifteen Rounds didn’t fire a shot in the Brian Crowley last week on heavy ground. He is better than that and can turn his form around on top of the ground. Joe Pride backing him up suggests he is thriving. 5. Evalina charged home last start in a Listed race with Punters Intel revealing her last 600m of 35.58s was 2.5L superior to the next best in the race, with her last 200m particularly dominant. That was behind 3. I Like It Easy who ran the race to suit herself out in front but that looks to again be the case here. 1. Nicco Lad won easily back to the provincials last start after failing on heavy ground in the same race as Royal Celebration behind Yulong January. Expect him to roll forward.
How to play it: Royal Celebration WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds)
Royal Celebration’s last start second
|Race 2 - 1:30PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
There is a real sense of timing about Chris Waller-trained mare 3. Sexy Eyes. She jumps a few grades here having charged home to run second in a BM70 last start, to contest an 88 but it’s a very winnable race and she plummets in the weights. Third up last campaign she strolled home at Warwick Farm off an identical preparation of 1100m, 1300m then out to 1400m. The barrier ensures she’ll be closer to last than first settling down but with only seven runners she still should be close enough if good enough. The Queenslander 2. Stella Victoria looks very short in opening markets so we’re getting a backable price for Sexy Eyes.
Danger: Stella Victoria has undoubtedly been flying for Rob Heathcote, stringing three together. Her latest victory was particularly strong running 6L quicker time than the Class 6 Plate for the colts and geldings on the same day. She’ll be right up on top of the speed. 7. Damselfy’s Kept will keep her honest though with Mitch Beer’s mare an all-the-way winner at Albury last start. Her best chance will be to run along with the 52kg and pinch it from the front. Don’t discount 1. Our Malambo. She is the class runner of the field and will appreciate the sting out of the track. Her run two back was very good. Forget last start when posted wide.
How to play it: Sexy Eyes WIN ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds)
Sexy Eyes chased gamely last start on the Kensington track
|Race 3 - 2:05PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1800 METRES)|
Highway Handicap’s are rarely straightforward but this week’s is particularly tricky over 1800m. Siding with 7. Mother To Race Her for obvious reasons. The mare is trained by Matthew Dunn for one. What I also like about this four-year-old is the grounding she has had over the staying trips. She already has two runs over 1710m and then 1900m under her belt. She’ll roll forward making her luck and with that fitness base underneath her, she’ll be hard to chase down. Sam Weatherley claims 2kg normally but rides at 53.5kg minimum he’ll only take 0.5kg off here. Still, you lose nothing with the Weatherley aboard. Has only won one from 10 starts but she is rarely far away.
Danger: 9. Athena’s Voice was impressive last start rounding up her rivals from the rear. The start prior to that she didn’t have the clearest of paths behind Frankely Awesome at Scone but still only finished 2.8L away at the finish. She is good enough to win this, and carries just 50kg after the claim of Rachel Hunt, but her pattern makes her impossible to tip with any confidence. Will be charging home though. 6. Vertex has placed in two Highways her last two starts. Handles all conditions and Kathy O’Hara seems to have clicked with her. She is another that will get back.
How to play it: Mother To Race Her WIN ($3.70 TAB Fixed Odds)
Mother To Race Her at Ballina last start
|Race 4 - 2:40PM ROBRICK LODGE FILANTE HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
5. Just Dreaming was comprehensively beaten first up but there was merit in the effort with Punters Intel revealing she ran her first 600m there in 35.94s. That was deceptively quick and included an 11.02 from the 1200-1000m. She never got to pinch a breather so was found wanting the Just Dreaming at the finish running 12.26s her last 200m compared to the winner’s 11.87 (Doubt Defying). The five-year-old rarely fires fresh up but second up it’s a totally different story with three wins and a second from four second up runs. That miss was a second to I Am Serious, beaten less than a length. 1. Fabrizio looks the likely leader with Just Dreaming and Brenton Avdulla stalking him. That’s an ideal scenario for Just Dreaming as it’ll give her something to chase.
Danger: 3. Sambro probably should have won first up, finishing a luckless third behind Best Of Days. He then tackled the G3 Cameron Handicap at Newcastle where he finished midfield. He started hard in the market that day. The month between runs should ensure that dash is back in his legs and liked the way he towed Tye Angland to the line in a tickover trial at Randwick. He is a big threat to the favourite and should box seat. 2. Spectroscope hasn’t won for a while (and might be lacking some desire) but first up last preparation he finished fourth beaten 1.9L by Lanciato, with Mister Sea Wolf second. That’s good enough to win this.
How to play it: Just Dreaming WIN ($2.20 TAB Fixed Odds)
Just Dreaming’s first up effort at Randwick
|Race 5 - 3:15PM LA BOHEME PINOT NOIR ROSE HANDICAP (1800 METRES)|
Have got plenty of time for lightly-raced mare 8. Aqua D’ivina and like trainer Matt Smith, I expect her to be competitive in Group races before too long. The timing would be right next start for a race like the G2 Matriarch Stakes at Flemington. Despite an injury-enforced layoff, the four-year-old has picked up where she left off. First up she worked to the line nicely over 1400m which put the writing on the wall for her last start win out to the mile. She skipped through the wet to put a margin on her rivals. The daughter of Pierro rises a few grades here but drops in weight and gets out to 1800m. 2. Zourkhan is flying but this mare has more upside, and more dynamic on top of the ground.
Danger: Zourkhan has won two on the bounce and is responding to Chris Waller’s training method of keeping him fresh and around the mile range. He has been dominant in his last two wins, albeit aided by heavy tracks. He is a swimmer. He won’t get a heavy track this time but the soft track still suits. The next line of chances are all teases - 3. Abdon (gets the blinkers first time), 5. Instant De Reve and 9. Valentino Rossa. The push for the latter is the 52kg and the Port Macquarie Cup form with Exoteric and Social Element running one-two in last Saturday’s Tatt’s Cup.
How to play it: Aqua D’ivina WIN ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Aqua D’ivina forging clear at Warwick Farm
|Race 6 - 3:50PM CHANDON S SPRINT (1000 METRES)|
5. Beacon was deceptively good first up at Randwick on a heavy track. It was a race to the outside fence so it didn’t help his cause being tucked in behind the leaders turning for home. Still, he endeavoured to plot a wide path. Beacon ran a slick 600-400m split of 11.32s (Punters Intel) before his condition blew out, beaten 3.5L at the finish. Last preparation he was only fair first up before bouncing off that to go close at Warwick Farm second up. If that pattern is anything to go by, I’d expect him to improve sharply second up and given the merit in his fresh run, that has him in the finish here. Staying at 1000m is a query as he got out to 1400m last campaign but with 2. Single Bullet and 6. Goldfinch carving each other up in front, the shape should suit him.
Danger: Royal blue stablemate 1. Revenire beat home Beacon last start but was afforded the luxury of scooting straight down the outside fence having drawn wider and with his get-back style. He is still a huge threat though. The drying track certainly plays into his hands as he possesses a sharp turn of foot. The four-year-old couldn’t quite reel in Brook Magic last campaign when they met but he meets her 3kg better off here and on a soft track, not a heavy track. On brave mare Brook Magic, the set up looks ideal as she loves 1000m, wet tracks and flies fresh (4:3-1-0) but Goldfinch drawn 10 with Deanne Panya on has no option other than to carve across. That’ll soften her up in front.
How to play it: Beacon WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds) and SAVE Revenire ($3.50)
Beacon and Revenire met first up at Randwick
|Race 7 - 4:35PM HEINEKEN 3 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Going to have a throw at the stumps with 4. Bezel in this at monster odds. It’s a wide open race and to me, the market is paying too much respect to those at the pointy end. Bezel has found a home with Mudgee-based trainer David Smith after Godolphin gave him the boot. As a three-year-old he started $6 in a G3 Carbine Club. He showed last campaign that he is still a very capable galloper with a couple of wins, one of those a comprehensive victory over Seaway at the midweeks. Kicking off over 1400m suits as first up last preparation he only warmed up at Warwick Farm over 1200m when the race was over. With leaders 1. Chapelco and 11. Man Of Peace drawn out, he should get his chance to run on.
Danger: 7. Chaussure was last sighted at the back end of 2016. He’s a curious runner here as for what he gives away in race fitness he makes up for in class. His two wins, from his three starts, have been impressive. Kicking off over 1400m suggests Chris Waller has him relatively forward ahead of his return. Big watch on any market moves. He very well could end up needing the run but inclined to keep him safe. 8. Metamorphic was only fair on the Kenso behind Chapelco last start but gets some weight relief and is rock hard fit. 11. Man Of Peace is the early favourite but has to get out from the skinny quote. He was gifted the race first up. The chances certainly don’t end there!
How to play it: Bezel EACH WAY ($31 TAB Fixed Odds)
Bezel beating Seaway last preparation
|Race 8 - 5:20PM CELLARBRATIONS HANDICAP (2000 METRES)|
4. Raqeeq is the runner that the market appears to have underestimated here. He doesn’t stay 2400m so scrap the two poor runs in the middle of this preparation. Since dropping back to 2000m his three runs since have been great and have him right in the mix. Two of them were behind stablemate The Lord Mayor, and he would’ve nearly beaten him had he got the splits at Rosehill back on September 22. In his latest effort he got a long way out of his ground on a heavy track but ran home hard behind the leader Cosmologist, who got it all his own way. Drawn barrier 4, Tommy Berry should be able to use the gate to at least settle first half. He’s in this up to his ears at the double figure odds.
Danger: We’ll really get to see what 3. Savacool is made of in this. The four-year-old has come back in great order and put her rivals away out to 1550m last start after hitting the line sweetly in two runs over 1400m. Out to 2000m is the right progression now but drawn wide and with 59.5kg, this is no easy task. Not discounting her though. She can win with the right breaks. Kiwi raider 7. Mark Two won as expected at Gosford first up. She did run fifth to Savvy Coup in the G1 NZ Oaks. 6. Sky Boy is hard in the market on the back of a dominant last start win. He ran significantly faster time than Savacool on the same day. He’s a player but can’t get him as short as the current market ($3.70).
How to play it: Raqeeq EACH WAY ($10 TAB Fixed Odds)
Raqeeq running on from the rear last time out
|Race 9 - 6:00PM SPRING RACING HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Put the pen through the last start effort of 3. Coruscate. The Godolphin gelding was never better than five and six wide the entire trip. Drew the car park and never got in. He did well to finish as close as he did in the end, given the ground he covered. His two wins prior to that were explosive. Particularly the victory at Canterbury where he sat last before picking up his rivals in a matter of strides. That was on a track with the sting out, which he should get again here at Randwick. Brenton Avdulla will be able to use the good draw to park just in behind the speed, and there doesn’t look to be a lot of it. Everything lines up for him. He’s the best of the day.
Danger: 12. Kawaikini is three from three first up but that’s deceptive as all three wins were at Nowra. She’s too highly rated to be kicking off at Nowra now! The five-year-old was very good last campaign winning three from eight and finishing around the money in most of them, including a second to Pecans. If you are playing multiples include 5. Generalissimo chased bravely first up last time in and would expect a similar showing here. He trialled well at Warwick Farm. Of the rest, 1. O’Rachael is a curious runner. Now with Mick Price. She’s handy on her day and fresh last time in ran second to Epidemic.
How to play it: Coruscate WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds)
Coruscate winning brilliantly at Canterbury two back