By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Randwick.
The rail is out 6m and the form has been done for a soft track.
|Race 1 - 1:15PM SKY RACING ACTIVE HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
1. Matowatakpe knocked up noticeably first up over 1200m in BM78 company. It was a race with a lot more depth than this and he was forced to sit outside of hard fit leader Lancaster Bomber. The four-year-old was on empty at the 100m and was beaten 3.5L by All Time Legend but was only a length off second place. He’ll strip fitter for that, drops back in grade and back to 1100m looks suitable too second up. With two obvious leaders, including stablemate 2. Malkovich, imagine Tom Sherry will be looking to park on their back as opposed to being a sitting shot again. All three of his career wins have been when he is ridden with cover. The son of Dream Ahead handles all surfaces and gets an ideal set up here to run up to his best which would give this a shake.
Dangers: 7. Dawn Too Good is the one runner here I’m determined to not underestimate. Particularly with just 51kg on his back after the claim of Cejay Graham. More was expected of him at Newcastle last start but he has failed his last two cracks at 1200m now. First up, over 1100m, he ran Private Eye to a length at Gosford giving him 2.5kg. Malkovich slips back to a BM72 having failed in the Listed Gosford Guineas despite being hard in the market. Was it the wet track or 1200m that pulled him up? There were no other excuses to be found in the stewards’ report. 3. Triple Ace won his fourth straight last start but took long time to get there and overall time was slower than Virgo’s maidens win earlier in the meeting, coupled with the bunched finish, there are a couple of indicators to be wary pf that form line.
How to play it: Matowatakpe WIN ($6 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Matowatakpe feeling the pinch late first up
|Race 2 - 1:50PM TAB HIGHWAY CLASS 3 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
4. Pinnacle Prince should continue his march through the grades and knock off this lot too. The talented three-year-old colt trained out of Scone by Brett Cavanough only won by half a length first up at Randwick but don’t let that fool you, it was an exceptional win. Punters Intelligence reveals that the son of Hinchinbrook clocked the fastest last 600m (33.64s) of the entire meeting, and did so comfortably. The next best was 34.02s. 3. Toro Toro is rated as the biggest danger, according to the early market, yet Pinnacle Prince brushed straight past him two weeks ago. Toro Toro meets him 4kg better off but he was beaten 1.8L and Pinnacle Price doesn’t draw the outside here so will settle closer. Out to 1200m suits. Looks the winner.
Dangers: 8. Joey’s Chance is five weeks between runs but he is flying this time back, bolting in at Warren before taking ground off subsequent city winner Dame Kiri at Newcastle. Draws awkwardly, however. If 6. Texas Storm is ready to go first up (market confidence?), he’ll run much better than his price suggests. Handy horse on his day, possessing a booming finish. 5. Moyassar is chasing three straight and gets the blinkers on for the first time.
How to play it: Pinnacle Prince WIN ($1.65 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: EVENS
Pinnacle Prince winning first up
|Race 3 - 2:25PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
It’s impossible to know just how good 9. Fifteen Aria is at this very early stage in her career but I’m certainly willing to gamble that it’s better than BM72 company. There was late support for the Fastnet Rock filly on debut to beat her stablemate Overlord and she delivered, spearing through the pack to score with authority, despite the narrow margin. There still looked to be more there if it was required. The overall time for the race stacked up well against the older horses on the day and the runner up Flexible has since won well. Chris Waller jumps the three-year-old straight out to the mile and to Saturday company but with just 52.5kg on her back, a lovely soft draw, it’s a great set up. Three years ago Jay Ford jumped aboard a filly named Unforgotten in similar grade. This youngster looks to have the same scope to be competitive in early spring features.
Dangers: 4. Zing was perhaps a pair too close to a fast speed at Randwick second up but it’s looking for excuses, really. She’d still have won if she was good enough. She beat Fulmina third up last preparation on a wet track so the timing is right for her to chalk up win number three but perhaps she is maxing out talent wise. 1. Lando Bay was too bad to be true last start with John Thompson citing that perhaps he needs it wetter. He gets that here, and the blinkers go back on. 2. Foxborough is a last start winner in this grade and warrants respect but there little upside to her. 8. Chateaux Park is the one the early markets have missed. Has returned a better horse this time back.
How to play it: Fifteen Aria WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Fifteen Aria was impressive on debut
|Race 4 - 3:00PM THE AGENCY REAL ESTATE HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
4. Subedar hasn’t been sighted at the races in 65 weeks, not the profile of a horse you’d typically want to be tipping first up, particularly given how impressive 5. All Time Legend was first up, but he is a classy horse. That last start was a fast finishing fourth in the G1 Caulfield Guineas behind Super Seth and Alligator Blood. Prior to that he ran second to Just Thinkin’ at Listed level and was again runner up but this time splitting Shadow Hero and Quick Thinker in the G3 Gloaming. The four-year-old was found to have bled from both nostrils in an August trial. That saw him miss the spring. His latest trial was a beauty though, slipping past his rivals at Hawkesbury and James Cummings has an exceptional strike rate first up with horses that have had extended time on the sidelines.
Dangers: All Time Legend was suited by the pressure up front two weeks ago but he smashed up his rivals, taking his record to four wins from 6 starts. Kerrin McEvoy takes over from Chris Williams, with McEvoy having ridden the gelding in his five starts prior. He’s still on the up and is hard to knock. If it’s not Subedar, it’ll be All Time Legend. Just don’t think the price gap should be as big. 10. Dream Circle also jumps in grade but stays right down in the weights, coming off a dominant win. 2. True Detective can improve.
How to play it: Subedar WIN ($3.90 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Subedar’s latest Hawkesbury trial
|Race 5 - 3:40PM RANVET HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
Wipe 8. Above And Beyond’s last start 12th from the record books. The gelding was tracking into the race well but a wall of horses greeted him at the 200m mark and he went to the line untested. 1. Juventus and 7. Greek Hero both finished in front of him but I’d reason that there’d have been little been the trio if Above And Beyond wasn’t caught up in the scrimmage. Given that Above And Beyond is double their odds in the first market, it looks a worthy gamble. Prior to last start, the five-year-old had been racing as well as ever. First up at Randwick he handled a soft 7 rating to just miss behind Never Talk so as long as it’s not heavy, he should handle the going. Thereafter he ran third to Snowfire and then fourth behind Surreal Step with Rammstein in second. That’s good enough to give this a shake.
Dangers: 4. Ulysses was beaten fair and square by 6. Brutality last start but he drops 4kg after the claim of Tom Sherry and just found the 1300m too sharp third up, racing like he wants this extra trip now. After being left flatfooted, he was coming again across the line. The gate perhaps dictates a positive ride too. That’s no knock on Brutality. He has won three of his past five and that first up win suggested he has come back better again. He is typically well placed by Joe Pride to make the transition into Saturday company. Juventus gets some weight relief from last start with Chris Williams’ claim and another win doesn’t look far away while Greek Hero gets his chance again.
How to play it: Above And Beyond EACH WAY ($15 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: EVENS
Above And Beyond never got a crack last start
|Race 6 - 4:20PM HEINEKEN HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
2. Big Parade has won four from nine but interestingly, the four-year-old has never strung two together. It’s a love-hate relationship he shares with punters. The Mark Newnham-trained speedster sat outside of the leader over this same track and trip three weeks ago before zipping clear to put 3.3L on her nearest rival. He’ll face a similarly rated track, and stays in the same grade. The only notable difference is that he rises 3kg at the weights having shot up from an 80 to be an 86 rater. If he reproduces what he did last start does he win this too? Yes, the equation is probably as simple as that, but given his past indiscretions, there is some trepidation in diving in at the short odds. He was disappointing at Kembla Grange back in late November when he was also expected to win having been so dominant at Canterbury prior.
Dangers: It’s hard to make a case for the likes of 6. Mo’s Crown, despite how well he is racing this time back, to turn the tables on Big Parade from last start which leaves 7. Handspun and 4. Bandersnatch as the two most likely to knock him off. Handspun resumed over 1100m on a wet track last preparation, when beaten just 0.6L by Adelong. She clocked the fastest last 200m of the entire meeting and has trialled just as well this time back. Would be surprised if she doesn’t run well. Bandersnatch won his first start for Team Hawkes, having formerly been with Gerald Ryan, before luck deserted him at Flemington. Back to 1200m from 1400m leaves a slight question mark.
How to play it: Big Parade WIN ($2 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Big Parade bouncing back to his bets last start
|Race 7 - 5:00PM JANUARY CUP (2000 METRES)|
She is testing the friendship but want to give 11. Fulmina another chance given the set up. Suspect she’ll be ridden cold, which might very well be the key to getting the best out of her. Her best run this preparation was first up where she drew wide, was allowed to balance up and rip home. It was also how she won at Rosehill back in June last year. Kerrin McEvoy takes over now fourth up and although she is on with 53.5kg, she isn’t well weighted looked at her rival’s ratings. That said, there’s generally little between middle distance horses at Listed level. What makes the scenario particularly appealing is the speed up front which could play into the hands Fulmina, providing she produces the turn of foot we know she possesses.
Dangers: Fulmina’s stablemate 2. Spirit Ridge won the most obvious form reference for this, the Summer Cup, a fortnight ago appreciating the step out to 2000m. Second or third, Best Of Days and Black On Gold, aren’t here either. It was a length back to 3. Laure Me In, who had every possible chance, in fourth. Spirit Ridge is unlikely to get as charmed a run as he did last start but imagine Robbie Dolan is positive from the wide draw as the good tempo could break this field up for him to slot in. 6. Gone By is yet another runner for Mark Newnham. He brings benchmark form but he is a rock hard fit on pacer that doesn’t take defeat lying down.
How to play it: Fulmina WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Fulmina’s last start Gosford run
|Race 8 - 5:40PM PRECISE AIR HANDICAP (1800 METRES)|
11. Space Is Deep is eligible for easier races than this but in a very even event he is right down in the weights, loves wet tracks and has a turn of foot. The four-year-old took seven starts to crack his maiden but once he got it out of the way he won another two within his three subsequent starts. One of those was at Warwick Farm on a heavy track, sweeping past his rivals to win going away. First up he resumed on the Kensington track and liked the way he worked to the line over 1550m behind Trajection and 12. My Demetra. He has had a tickover trial since then. The little question mark is whether we’re jumping on a run too soon but we’re getting double figure odds to find out. Still has upside, which is important in a race like this.
Dangers: 6. Sacramento maps to get some kind of control from up front which makes him dangerous, but he is very one paced so staying at 1800m is the knock. Suspect he is better on top of the ground too. That said, his first up run, absorbing plenty of pressure, was terrific. Has clearly returned well. There wasn’t a lot between 1. Kiss The Bride and 4. Word For Word when they met last start and they are hard to split again in this. Kiss The Bride does look ready to win now third up but he doesn’t put races away even when it does fall into place. Five of his six career wins have been by half a length or less. 3. New Arrangement was a dominant winner last start. He enjoyed the perfect run but put his rivals away. It was long overdue. Can he do it again? 5. Criminal Code is racing well but could want a touch further now.
How to play it: Space Is Deep EACH WAY ($10 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Space Is Deep working to the line first up
|Race 9 - 6:15PM TAB HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
On their day most, if not all, of the mares here are capable of winning this race but none of them match the recent form of 6. Dame Kiri. The Allan Denham-trained five-year-old has returned in career-best form, winning first up over 1200m at Newcastle before putting her rivals to the sword on the Kensington track with Rachel King in the saddle. Pitchfork and Miss Redoble filled the minors. King, unsurprisingly, sticks with the Wyong-based galloper and this race sets up similarly to last start, allowing the pair to park just worse than midfield before thundering home down the middle of the track. The wet track holds no fears, nor does the rise in trip out to 1500m. Only has to hold her form to measure up. It’s guess work with a lot of her rivals as to whether they are going to bring their best.
Dangers: 10. More Prophets ran third at Randwick last start, beaten by Jason Coyle’s pair that ducked up inside of her. She should be at her top now third up. Is yet to finish outside of the top three in her six career starts and is well placed to maintain that record. Other than Dame Kiri, 12. Bowery Breeze is the only other last start winner here having beaten Zing two weeks ago. It was her first crack at the mile. 8. Strawb has run well at her last two outings so it’s hard to be too critical but she doesn’t appear to be savaging the line like last preparation. Was convinced that she had black type ability but starting to question that now.
How to play it: Dame Kiri EACH WAY ($8.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: EVENS
Dame Kiri’s thumping last start win