By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Saturday’s meeting at Randwick. Selections based on a good to soft track.
|Race 1 – 1:00PM DARLEY LONHRO PLATE (1000 METRES)|
12. Testimonial looks a nice filly in the making. Loved her debut effort back in October where she drew wide and got back to last but was the one with the flashing light late. She’s trialling up very nicely for a big run first-up. It could be heart in mouth stuff at the 1000m, she may be at her best over slightly further, but have to be with her on everything she’s done so far.
Dangers: 2. Conglomerate had three months between trials but looked the part winning easily at Gosford recently. He sprung out of the gates to lead that heat so has the speed to offset a wide alley and does look to have some quality about him. 1. Conexy has the gun draw and freshened up since a couple of handy efforts in Brisbane for his first couple of starts. Was just warming up at the end of his trial a couple of weeks back and from gate one he should stalk and put himself in the finish. 5. Nasdaq Dubai was impressive to the eye in his only barrier trial appearance where he led all the way and wasn’t ever threatened. The time wasn’t there but the style was. Expect he’ll show good speed and give a sight.
How to play it: Testimonial E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Testimonial’s trial at Randwick on January 21
|Race 2 – 1.35PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
1. Another One is Country Championships bound and he can head to the Wagga qualifier with back-to-back Highway wins to his name. He stands head and shoulders over this field on what he’s done to date and if anything is even better suited than when he romped home here back in December. Trialled well leading in, drawn perfectly with blinkers on and is hard to go past.
Dangers: 8. Southern Appeal looked like he wants 1400m with his closing third in an 1100m Highway a couple of weeks ago. The extra 100m suits him and he will be fitter but he’ll be giving a smart one a decent head start so will need some favours. At his best he’s good enough to threaten if things go his way. 15. Red Kanzi is starting to hit her straps this time in despite being quite green. She’s produced a powerful finish at the end of 1000m at Canberra at her last two starts and with a nice smother, if she does everything right, it wouldn’t shock to see her measure up. 2. Depth That Varies gets back but has been competitive at this level in the past. Ran out of ground fresh at Tamworth and will be fitter.
How to play it: Another One WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Another One wins a trial at Wagga on January 26
|Race 3 – 2:10PM HEINEKEN HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
It’s hard to go away from the exciting filly 6. Written Beauty who really does look to be a talent. The price probably tells you that already. She was explosive in her first two runs for the Hawkes stable then made hard work of it down the straight but still got the job done before a break. Zipped around the 900m at Warwick Farm in a trial on Monday and with 53.5kg and something to chase she should round them up comfortably.
Dangers: 7. Zaniah can run a very cheeky race fresh particularly if the pace is on early. She was super first-up at 1000m last winter and was Group 3 placed at Flemington at her last run. Showed speed in her Gosford trial and is capable of running into the placings. 2. Spaceboy will take some catching if he’s allowed to do his thing in front and roll along in the zone. Small field suits him. 3. Royal Witness is a 1000m specialist who is back fresh off a two month break with blinkers on and is a place contender.
How to play it: Written Beauty WIN ($1.35 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Written Beauty wins a trial at Warwick Farm on February 1
|Race 4 – 2:45PM RANVET HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
8. April Rain is another very promising, lightly raced, horse who can continue working through the grades. This race will be no gimme though and she’s awfully short. She’s simply been far too good in her two Canterbury wins and while they have been against lesser opposition than what she meets here she’s showing no signs of hitting the ceiling just yet. Put together some smart sectionals when rounding up a small field in a slowly run race last time. Looks adaptable and with even luck can continue on her winning way.
Dangers: 1. Madam Legend is ready to win a race without a doubt and she poses a realistic threat. Big run first-up at 1200m then back to 1100m and while she sat handy she was outsprinted at the sharp trip. Has a perfect gate and a claim and is back in her preferred distance range. 2. Outback Diva is due for a change of luck and there was plenty to like about her effort after a wide run over 1400m here two weeks back. If she can get some cover she’s well up to figuring in the finish. 4. Starla continues to race well and must be included while 11. Fashchanel has promised to be handy and is worth watching fresh.
How to play it: April Rain WIN ($1.90 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
April Rain wins at Canterbury on January 22
|Race 5 – 3:20PM INGLIS MILLENNIUM (1100 METRES)|
Another short priced favourite and, again, it’s difficult to go away from 1. Profiteer on what we’ve seen of him to date. He has plenty of speed, looks to be strong and hasn’t put a foot wrong. If there’s a negative it’s this is a 16 horse field and he’s basically only ever led and never taken on no more than seven rivals. However, he has drawn ideally and looks to be the best horse in the race. Therefore he’s the horse to beat. Read trainer Mick Price's comments here.
Dangers: 11. Nice For What, the half-sister to Montefilia, is potentially dangerous despite a wide gate as she looks to be a strong filly (a bit like her sister) given her debut effort behind Dosh at Flemington where she charged from last. Not marking her down for her Sydney trial which was clearly just an outing. Respect. 14. Paper Daisy has a bit going for her having beaten older horses on debut at Kembla. She stretched out well there and should have no trouble taking cover from a soft gate. Each-way. Read trainer Joe Pride's comments here. 9. Ashema gave a good sight in the Inglis Nursery on debut then wasn’t able to get comfortable off a wide gate and boxed on okay here two weeks ago in her lead up run. She can lift.
How to play it: Profiteer WIN ($1.55 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Profiteer wins a trial at Rosehill on January 27
|Race 6 – 3:55PM AQUIS ESKIMO PRINCE STAKES (1200 METRES)|
2. Prague signalled he’s come back in good order with his second to Mizzy in a Randwick trial recently. His Sydney form has been pretty solid so overlooking his two runs last prep and if he can get the right run he should be strong at the finish. Like to see some market support but has to run well. Read trainer Annabel Neasham's comments here.
Dangers: 8. Tommy Gold came a long way through 2020 and if he’s come back a better horse he will measure right up against these. Had to love his latest trial where he closed off well and Hugh Bowman stays on board. Good each-way hope. 3. North Pacific has superior race form, though it isn’t winning form, through his Run To The Rose and Golden Rose placings. The concern is, to be frank, he hasn’t looked to trial as you’d like to see from a horse of his profile and that’s enough to risk him a bit. That said, trials are trials and if there’s an avalanche of support he could easily be too good. 5. On The Lead is a similar type to Tommy Gold in that he showed promise in the spring and any improvement this prep, note he has blinkers on, would make him competitive.
How to play it: Prague E/W ($7.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Prague runs second in a trial at Randwick on January 21
|Race 7 – 4:35PM INGLIS SPRINT (1200 METRES)|
1. Ole Kirk missed last week’s Expressway, at WFA, where he looked hard to beat so back against his own age at set weights it’s impossible to tip against him. He showed he’s come back in good order with a nice brush home to run fourth in a trial and in a race with good speed, the sting out of the track, and a draw that will allow him to get to the outside he has a good platform to win.
Dangers: If something goes awry then 10. Dame Giselle has the class to upset him. She went through the spring under rated despite winning the Silver Shadow, Furious and Tea Rose before having no luck at all in the Flight. Nice trial against Nature Strip and Bivouac and she’s the threat. Read trainer Peter Snowden's comments here. 6. Osamu ran a very nice race first-up behind The Face where it didn’t look like he loved racing inside horses. Fitter for that and though he’s still a maiden he has his share of ability. 3. The Bopper disappointed first-up but he did have to do some work and tired, a little more than you’d like to see, late. With that run he should improve and gets a nice trail from barrier one. Read trainer Kris Lees' comments here.
How to play it: Ole Kirk WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Ole Kirk runs fourth in a trial at Rosehill on January 15
|Race 8 – 5:15PM DAVALI THOROUGHBREDS CUP (1600 METRES)|
Whoever wins the tactical battle here will win this race and have to be with 8. All Time Legend after his unlucky third over the Randwick mile two weeks ago. His run was well documented, he led early then took a trail but from there didn’t get a shot at them until inside the 200m and it was all too late. Drops 6kg to 53kg and while drawn out he’s the only noted on speed runner and should be able to get across. Whether he leads from there remains to be seen but he can atone. Read jockey Kerrin McEvoy's comments here.
Dangers: 7. Mount Popa’s tactics will be interesting as its standard for the stable to be conservative with horses like him first-up. That said he should settle in front a of at least a few. Could be very smart, his two Australian runs have been first class and is the logical threat. 3. Order Again is also capable of winning under the right circumstances and look for a tactics change on his second-up run at 1400m where he got well back and only warmed up late behind Bandersnatch. He can be closer at this trip and in this field. 2. Shared Ambition wound up okay late in his trial and blinkers on first-up at a mile signals some intent. Needs a win but sure to run well.
How to play it: All Time Legend WIN ($1.75 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
All Time Legend runs third at Randwick on January 23
|Race 9 – 5:55PM THE AGENCY REAL ESTATE MILE (1600 METRES)|
8. Zing can bounce back after what on paper looks just a fair run but in reality was quite creditable. She led when winning here a month ago then from a wide gate went right back, the leader won, and she ran on only to be beaten 2.4 lengths. Blinkers go on and drawn to return to settling closer to the speed. Expecting her to fire.
Dangers: 6. Blaze A Trail is a promising colt and he attacked the line stylishly at 1300m when he resumed three weeks ago and will love the extra trip. Barrier one could be gold or poison by race nine but if it’s the former he’s a top chance. Read trainer Matt Vella's comments here. 12. Sky Lab is the X-Factor horse thrown in the deep end somewhat after an impressive win at Wyong first-up on a heavy track. He made an early move there so that adds merit. Trip a plus, drawn well and down on 52kg. If he is smart he’s right in it. 9. Derbari continued his good form with a fighting second at 1400m last week. The mile isn’t beyond him, draw’s a bit tricky and he’s in the mix.
How to play it: Zing E/W ($9.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Zing runs sixth at Randwick on January 23