Tips by Brad Gray
Brad Gray's tips and insights for Royal Randwick on Saturday. There are winners to be found for nine races!
Spring is in the air! A number of stars will launch their carnivals in the G2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday including Kementari, Pierata and Music Magnate. The rail is out 4m, the track a Good 4 and the first set to jump at 11:55am.
|Race 1 - 11:55AM WINTER RACING HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Think the market is really underestimating the chances of the Chris Waller-trained Beidi. He is priced as the race outsider but I’m prepared to all but wipe the two latest runs from his record. He didn’t look at all comfortable in the wet ground with Tye Angland reporting post-race that he travelled well but didn’t let down. That wasn’t the case when we saw him win on debut at Canterbury. That was on a good track and he won in the style of a pretty handy horse. He has had a five week freshen from his last run with a tickover trial at Randwick since – finding the line but was ridden very quietly. In that second start he started $3.40 favourite ahead of subsequent winner Dio D’oro. The market on Saturday hasn’t been as forgiving as me. Big hope back on top of the ground from the good draw.
Danger: Danawi is a deserved favourite on the back of a second to The Autumn Sun on debut. The blueblood colt (Exceed And Excel x Secret Admirer) has been scratched from two midweek maidens – the first of those due to the horse dumping the jockey on the way to the gates. Tim Martin admitted that it was always the plan to be second up in this race with an eye then on the Up And Coming. It’s never ideal when a preparation is disrupted which makes me a touch wary of taking $2.60. There is no denying his quality though. Of the rest, Onthetake was outstanding first up and can turn the tables on Osorno.
How to play it: Beidi EACH WAY ($16 TAB Fixed Odds)
Beidi winning on debut at Canterbury
|Race 2 - 12:30PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Magic Choir chased home Gitan and Nicconita last start which shapes as being a reasonably deep Highway Handicap. There was little between him and Cliff who also lines up here but there’s more improvement from Magic Choir given he was only second up on that occasion while Cliff is deep into a campaign. Punters Intel reveals Magic Choir ran her last 600m in 35.53s, compared to Cliff’s 34.97s. That’s certainly not discounting the chances of Cliff though, and have him pegged as the danger with James McDonald going on. Magic Choir is a lightly-raced five-year-old with three wins from eight outings. Aaron Bullock looks a clever booking too as the hoop has won two from two on him.
Danger: Outside of Cliff, expect Fui San to come on plenty from his first up effort in Canberra. He wasn’t at all suited in the leader-dominated race but worked home well at the finish. His Randwick record is very strong (3:1-1-1) which included a Highway win last preparation albeit over the mile. Cisco Bay hit the front at Coffs Harbour last start only to be run down. He looked to have his chance but his two runs prior were a seventh in the Grafton Guineas while first up he beat All From scrap.
How to play it: Magic Choir WIN ($6 TAB Fixed Odds)
Cliff and Magic Choir running third and fourth last start
|Race 3 - 1:05PM CINDY SULLIVAN MEMORIAL HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
Concede that Raqeeq is short enough at $2.40 but he is the horse to beat in a race where Chris Waller has all but one of the runners, that being Brent Stanley’s Red Alto. On the back of two eye-catching efforts first and second up, he won at Rosehill last week in pretty emphatic fashion. Kerrin McEvoy couldn’t have given him a sweeter ride and he won’t be afforded that same luxury from a wide draw here, but he’s hard to knock and still has more upside than any of these. In Australia he has yet to be tried beyond 2000m but in France he won over 2400m and even contested a 3000m race where he ran midfield.
Danger: Sayed has been his own worst enemy in his latest two efforts, racing keenly before not being able to finish off. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if James McDonald let the six-year-old stride along out in front to get him to find his rhythm. He is lumped with 62kg but if ridden for momentum that could be negated. His best would just about win this, the gamble being how he settles in the run. Exoteric has Hugh Bowman engaged which is half a tip in itself being Waller’s leading hoop, albeit restricted to the horses at the top of the weights. Don’t discount Red Alto either in what would be a memorable win!
How to play it: Raqeeq WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Raqeeq won on the back of a peachy McEvoy ride
|Race 4 - 1:40PM EVEREST CARNIVAL ON SALE HANDICAP (1800 METRES)|
Sweet Victory might have looked a touch disappointing there at Rosehill last week but after booting clear travelling in behind good speed she was run down by the closers the last 150m or so. She did present as the winner. She maps to stalk the speed again here from barrier 3 and has Hugh Bowman on board. Wouldn’t be surprised if she landed in front given the fitness base she has under her belt but that’ll depend on Belle Du Sud. Like the step back from 2000m back to 1800m too, as perhaps she was found a little wanting there last start in a genuinely run 2000m event. Prior to that she boxed on bravely in limited room against hardened older male stayers to finish sixth.
Danger: There is a quiet confidence from Mitchell Beer about the prospects of Dreams Of Paris and the Victorian trainer has every right to be bullish. His mare was great at Canterbury last start chasing home Gauguin. Out to 1800m and back to her own sex looks perfect now fourth up and she should get every chance tucked in behind the speed. Live To Dream turned her form around at Warwick Farm out to the mile and with more positive tactics. Expect her to hold that form now and 1800m looks to suit even better.
How to play it: Sweet Victory WIN ($3.60 TAB Fixed Odds) and Dreams Of Paris ($13)
Sweet Victory is on the back up from this effort
|Race 5 - 2:15PM TONY CRAWFORD 50TH HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
It takes a giant leap of faith but going with the Godolphin import Avilius. Off his French form he is a 2000m horse so the 1600m first up in Australia shouldn’t be too far out of his comfort zone. If it was 1400m, I’d likely be looking elsewhere. Thought we saw enough from the five-year-old in his two trials to suggest he has acclimatised to our way of racing. In the first of them he sat out the back and went to the line largely untested (albeit with plenty there) while we saw more from him in his second outing when allowed to weave his way past a few runners late before finding the line. Don’t think Glyn Schofield has any other option other than to ride him patiently from the draw but how many of these would not only run second to one of the world’s best in Cracksman, but also start $8 against him? Admittedly it was over 2400m, but even still. Will be fascinating to see what the market does with him late in betting.
Danger: Gresham is a honest campaigner and what you see is what you get. We know his level and although he didn’t have it all his own way last start, Gaulois was simply too good for him at the finish. He’ll be the one to chase down and Kerrin McEvoy is often in a league of his own when it comes to rating front-runners. Dagny ran third to Gresham last start and has to be in the mix again while Brimham Rocks looks set to run well off two sharp trials.
How to play it: Avilius WIN ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Avilius working home into third in a Warwick Farm trial – 20 July
|Race 6 - 2:50PM ATC OWNER BENEFITS CARD HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Forget Oriental Runner’s last start effort in Queensland. He went up in trip to 1350m and was ridden back in the pack when his form suggests he is much more dynamic when allowed to roll. That was evidenced at Warwick Farm two starts back when he was carved up in front but still only went down 0.3L. It was an incredibly brave showing. Prior to that he ran in the Listed June Stakes, on a heavy track and was posted wide, while first up at Rosehill he ran second to Albumin. There have been a number of things against this horse all campaign which have resulted in him being winless but it doesn’t do justice how well he is going. He’ll have company up front in this, namely from Masterati but happy to play at the double figure odds.
Danger: Reach For Heaven can be hit and miss but his best is certainly good enough to win this. He really caught the eye first up with Punters Intel revealing his closing sectionals were not dissimilar to Paret, who has since won well himself. Smartedge ran second in that same race, and has scored at the midweeks since, but wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Reach For Heaven turn the tables, particularly from the inside draw allowing him to settle a few pairs closer. Smartedge has claims but looks very well found at $3, while the same can be said for Intuition. Ziggy Willie the blowout.
How to play it: Oriental Runner EACH WAY ($10 TAB Fixed Odds)
Oriental Runner’s brave Warwick Farm effort two back
|Race 7 - 3:30PM MOSTYN COPPER GROUP MISSILE STAKES (1200 METRES)|
No prizes for finding Kementari at the price but he does look the banker of the day at Randwick. He launches his spring in a very deep edition of the G2 Missile Stakes but the Randwick Guineas-winner looks the horse to beat. He was explosive winning first up at Warwick Farm settling midfield before shooting clear. Check out the video below for a Punters Intel insight from that particular win. This looks to set up similarly for him. He is now a four-year-old but is still a lean, athletic horse so should be firing first up. There’s every chance that a win here will secure him one of the three remaining Everest slots. Outside of Winx, he is arguably the most exciting horse in the country.
Danger: Music Magnate is the bombproof WFA sprinter that will expose any chinks in the armors of the four-year-old crop. The seven-year-old has won nine from 21 and has Hugh Bowman doing the steering. The horse makes his own luck out in front, always fires fresh and has trialled as well as he ever has. Prepared to forget his failed overseas jaunt to Dubia. There is a huge boom on Pierata ahead of this spring with trainer Greg Hickman and new rider James McDonald leading the chorus. Will he be sharp enough to beat Kementari over 1200m? His trials certainly suggest so with the latest of those behind speedy duo Invincible Star and Super Too. Showtime’s last start third in the All Aged Stakes behind Trapeze Artist, in record time, suggests he’s right up to this too.
How to play it: Kementari WIN ($2.10 TAB Fixed Odds)
Hello again Kementari!
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) August 1, 2018
|Race 8 - 4:10PM HALF YEARLY MEMBERSHIP HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Island Missile got exactly what he needed last start which was confidence-boosting win. He had to drop back to midweek company to do it but don’t hold that against him as he really put his rivals to the sword. His two runs prior to that were deceptively good as well, running sharp sectionals home, but his acceleration was there for everybody to see last start back on top of the ground. Punters Intel reveals he ran his 400-200m split in 11.07s and then his last 200m in 11.21s. They were really dominant figures over his rivals. Looking forward to possibly seeing him tackle a mile in time but Saturday’s 1400m assignment does look very suitable. Drawn barrier 3, expect him to settle midfield and with James McDonald steering, should get his chance to go back-to-back.
Danger: Can make a strong case for Dancers from the Brad Widdup yard at the big odds. She should’ve won first up at Kembla after being strung up between runners before driving through late to run second in a blanket finish. Has some strong form lines through her last campaign including a fifth in the Kembla Grange Classic beaten only 1.9L by Luvaluva and Torvill. Vive Marie is an import that caught my eye in her latest trial. All of her German form is over the mile so 1400m should be okay fresh.
How to play it: Island Missile WIN ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds)
Island Missile running away from his rivals last start
|Race 9 - 4:50PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
Pendeloque looks set to fire fresh for trainer Gerald Ryan on the back of an eye-catching trial splitting Music Magnate and Egyptian Symbol. Love how this mare goes about her racing – she has great speed to hold a spot, settles and then fights when the race is there to be won or lost. She has won two from two first up and is also unbeaten in two Randwick starts. She has drawn the inside here and although there is a good deal of speed in the race, she does have the versatility to take a sit if something wants to take her on. Don’t be put off by her last start flop in February either as she pulled up with cardiac arrhythmia, so we can scrap that. Hear she has been flying in her work at home too.
Danger: You still get the impression that we haven’t yet seen the best of Soothing. She shouldn’t be too far away from the good draw which will give her the chance to charge home over the top of her rivals if they overdo it in front. Off what we have seen of her to date, she looks to do her best when kept on the fresh side so particularly wary of her here off a seven week break. Confident the market has it right with those two clearly on top but if there is a smokey it’s Petrossian. He has got 62kg and has drawn off the track but he’ll be steaming home if everything works out perfectly for him.
How to play it: Pendeloque WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
"She is a very quick, determined mare and fires fresh."
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) August 2, 2018