By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Saturday’s meeting at Rosehill Gardens.
The rail is out 3m the entire, the track rated in the Soft range (Friday morning) and the first set to go at 12:50pm.
|Race 1 - 12:50PM CANONBURY STAKES (1100 METRES)|
Have been waiting what seems like an eternity for 7. McLaren to make his debut after trialling so brilliantly. He has won all three of his outings and unfortunately for us punters, he won his latest in fast time by near seven lengths. There went the chance of getting any kind of price about the Exceed And Excel colt. Even money would have even been nice. He was asked for an effort in that latest trial but love the way he responded. There looks to be plenty of quality about him. Peter and Paul Snowden train him and James McDonald rides. Everything points to a winning debut, announcing himself a Golden Slipper contender. Should be winning at the skinny odds.
Dangers: 4. Exceed The Stars was the early favourite for the Breeders’ Plate back in September. He was a late drifter but still started hard in the market. It was a forgettable debut as he was posted wide the trip. In his most recent trial he was no match for Time To Reign but he too trialled well. 5. Deep Chill folded up on debut at Canterbury but he sat outside of Just Zerene and she set a brutal tempo. Punters Intelligence reveals Deep Chill ran a 9.99s split from the 1000-800m! He is better than his finishing position there suggests. 7. Magnate hit the line in his most recent trial.
How to play it: McLaren WIN ($1.60 TAB Fixed Odds)
McLaren gapping his rivals in a Warwick Farm trial – Jan 22
|Race 2 - 1:30PM WIDDEN STAKES (1100 METRES)|
The Widden Stakes for the fillies is much more open than the colts division! Want to take the punt on 3. Intrepidacious measuring up. The Shooting To Win filly, trained by John O’Shea, ran her rivals ragged at Canterbury on debut. The time on the night was only fair, with Punters Intelligence highlighting she had every chance given the lead speed, but she never looked like losing and still had a bit up her sleeve. She was tipped straight out after that and after trialling sweetly at Warwick Farm, her we are. She’ll slide forward from the draw with Tom Marquand riding and will just need an ounce of early luck to get in.
Dangers: 5. Mayaaseh did a great job on debut in the Gimcrack after very little went right. At the 200m she was still third last after being shuffled back in the run at the top of the straight. Her last 200m of 11.70s (Punters Intelligence) was second to only the winner and stablemate Catch Me. It’s worth noting she started the same prices as Catch Me and Peter Snowden said they were hard to split on talent. Her Canterbury trial was much better than her more recent Rosehill one but she reportedly jarred up on that occasion. 6. Amercement matched motors with Mayaaseh in the Gimcrack so has to be in the mix. 1. Avon River will provide a key form reference for the depth of Accession’s form as we head to the Inglis Millennium.
How to play it: Intrepidacious WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds) and Mayaaseh WIN ($8.50)
Mayaaseh and Amercement in the Gimcrack
|Race 3 - 2:05PM TAB HIGHWAY PLATE (1500 METRES)|
It’s not ideal to have to point out that your Highway Handicap tip has run in five of these races already and run second in four of them and third in the latest! That’s what faces 12. Nicconita though. It’s simply a matter of time before she cracks one. She is a backmarker so doesn’t do herself in favours with that pattern but with the scratching of early favourite La Scopa, she gets her chance. The wide draw will mean she’ll give away another big start, however, and it was the draw that undid her last start when third behind 10. A Snip Of Cyndy. Her last 600m of 34.58s (Punters Intelligence), was a length faster than A Snip Of Cyndy. Both have drawn wide so Nicconita won’t be conceding her a couple of lengths like last time out.
Dangers: 14. Embezzlement split A Snip Of Cyndy and Nicconita last start. Her advantage is that she’ll be a long way in front of those two in the run again. The four-year-old was 1000m to 1400m on that occasions so can only improve. Don’t let her get under your guard even with 3. Trumbo and 6. Saarim keeping her company in front. With that setup, imagine they’ll run along in this. 4. Red Liberty was an arrogant winner at Gunnedah last start, improving sharply third up. Expect him to hold that form now. Ran second to Grunt in a maiden when he was trained by Danny O’Brien.
How to play it: Nicconita WIN ($3.90 TAB Fixed Odds)
A Snip Of Cyndy, Embezzlement and Nicconita last start
|Race 4 - 2:40PM COUNTDOWN TO GOLDEN SLIPPER HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
7. Bucephalus did everything that was expected of him on debut when winning at Canterbury. It looked as though You’re Next had dropped him at the top of the straight but the Redoute’s Choice three-year-old picked himself up to win by near a length at the finish. Straight out to 1400m from 1100m looks to suit and with Team Hawkes prepping him, there’ll still be plenty more to come. The barrier (11) looks sticky at first glance but Tommy Berry shouldn’t have too much trouble sliding forward to sit outside of 10. Schnapps in the running. That’ll give him his chance. You’re largely backing Bucephalus on the scope he has going forward but happy to at the price.
Dangers: 1. Ljungberg is a curious runner here and no doubt hard to beat but he is too well found at $2.60. He had genuine excuses when rolled at $1.65 by 3. Vegadaze last time out. Punters Intelligence reveals it was a very slowly run race so maybe being wide wasn’t too much of a disadvantage? He did cover an extra 4.5m than the winner that day though and couldn’t have sprinted home much quicker than he did, running his last 600m in 33.18s and his last 200m in 11.06s. It was just a messy little race so best forget he ever ran. Won’t be caught wide here from barrier 1!
How to play it: Bucephalus WIN ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds) and SAVE Ljungberg ($2.50)
Bucephalus winning on debut at Canterbury
|Race 5 - 3:15PM TAB HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
2. Mapmaker is an unassuming kind of horse, suspect that’s why he tends to open double figure odds in first markets. There’s nothing flash about him, but he rarely runs a bad race and he strikes a very suitable assignment on Saturday. You were getting similar odds about him in the same grade of race last start, where Sweet Scandal was a short priced favourite. She won and Mapmaker ran third. There is no Sweet Scandal here. Forget the run prior to that over 1150m against Easy Eddie. There isn’t a stack of speed here so can see Brock Ryan sliding to the front and stacking them up. He loves Rosehill with 14 starts for three wins and eight placings. Just has to be in the money somewhere again.
Dangers: 6. Poetic Charmer hasn’t finished outside of the top two in five runs back this time in. He lacked the killer punch to beat All Too Royal last time out when he had every chance to run him down but that form reference looks strong enough for this and out to 1400m certainly suits (5:2-1-0 over the trip). He is another one that’ll be positive from the wide draw. 8. Paquirri’s form is much better than it reads on paper. He hit the line behind Boomsara in the Magic Millions Guineas last start from an impossible position while he ran out of room at Gosford behind Military Zone prior to that. James McDonald rode 10. Thy Kingdom Come beautifully two back. Perhaps he is the key to the horse. 3. The Avenger might still be half a run short but did more than enough fresh.
How to play it: Mapmaker EACH WAY ($11 TAB Fixed Odds)
Mapmaker boxing on behind Sweet Scandal last start
|Race 6 - 3:50PM EXPRESSWAY STAKES (1200 METRES)|
All of the early support with TAB has been for 2. Trapeze Artist. The price discrepancy was too big in the first market and is now a better reflection of their respective chances with 6. Alizee even money (opened $1.80) and Trapeze Artist $3 (opened $4.20). We have seen enough of Trapeze Artist now to know he doesn’t peak until third up but he still generally runs well fresh. He won this race last year sitting outside of Memes. I’m hopeful of a similar setup here, albeit in a much deeper field, stalking likely leader 4. Dothraki. His trial wasn’t flash but he did enough and didn’t have the blinkers on. It was a typically trial for him. His first up run last campaign was on a heavy track over 1300m and while he still ran well, this race is a better launch pad for his carnival.
Dangers: Alizee was dynamite winning at Randwick first up after a bleeding attack which saw her miss the spring. She gave away weight there and the clock backed up the win, running 33.07s her last 600m (Punters Intelligence). She cruised into the race beautifully turning for home. The niggling query in the back of my mind with her is that historically she runs well fresh before flattening off and finding her form again deeper into the campaign. The difference here is that she is a month between runs so will we see a repeat of her first up run? Or will she lack the same ping? She’s in for a monster campaign whatever happens. 3. Le Romain was outstanding winning first up last preparation in the Show County. Trapeze Artist has had his measure in their three previous outings though.
How to play it: Trapeze Artist WIN ($3 TAB Fixed Odds)
Alizee’s first up win in the Christmas Classic
|Race 7 - 4:30PM EVENTS BY ATC HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
9. Girl Tuesday is better than a benchmark horse. She has won four from four and kicking off over 1500m first up suggests that her trainer Chris Waller is very keen to protect that unbeaten record for the time being. She has drawn wide but can be a tad slow away so it won’t change anything for her. She’ll be allowed to balance up by Kerrin McEvoy and rush home in the straight. The clincher was how well she trialled at Warwick Farm recently, coasting to the line. The writing is already on the wall but suspect we’ll see the emergence of a genuine Group class mare as we get into the autumn carnival. If that’s the case, she’ll need beat these. Wet no issue either.
Dangers: 7. Smartedge hasn’t been leaving the gates cleanly himself lately which has seen him give away starts. Still, he’s likely to settle in front of Girl Tuesday. We know his level but if she isn’t on her game, he’s one that could cash in. He hit the line hard behind Redouble at the Gold Coast last start and just missed to Irithea prior to that. 3. Seaway needed the run first up last time back and is even longer on the sidelines this time in. He has been gelded in his break. Resuming over 1500m certainly suggests Waller has hit as fit as he can though. 6. Sweet Deal is better than her last start effort. She was slow to recover so forget that.
How to play it: Girl Tuesday WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Girl Tuesday’s Warwick Farm trial – Jan 22
|Race 8 - 5:10PM ROSEHILL BOWLING CLUB HANDICAP (2000 METRES)|
Have to take a leap of faith with 18. Nobu but willing to at the price on offer. It’s been a slow burn for followers of this horse waiting for him to get out in trip and he finally got out to 1900m at Canterbury last start after three runs over 1400m. Although only a narrow winner, it was a muddling run race being a small field. The son of Reliable Man had to dash home at the end, which is not really his go being a genuine staying type. Punters Intelligence reveals he broke 12s home for his last 200m. The big field, more pressure and on a bigger track, we’ll find out how good he is on Saturday. Interestingly, he is nominated for the NZ Derby.
Dangers: 4. Island Missile has ring a string of seconds. He only has to hold his form to be in the money again. 7. Nuhuel has been beautifully placed to win two on the bounce and deserves another crack at a Saturday race. Keep tabs on how Via Veneto (second to him at Canterbury last start goes on Friday night). 15. Cyber Intervention and 17. Botti were both run off their feet at Warwick Farm last start before suffering similar fates, going to the line hard held with a clump of horses spread across the line in front of them. They’ve got scope to improve out to this trip. Blinkers come off 1. Asterius. They had to try something to spark him up.
How to play it: Nobu WIN ($11 TAB Fixed Odds)
Nobu winning at Canterbury out in trip last start
|Race 9 - 5:50PM RISE UP THIS AUTUMN HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
3. Paret struck his winning run second up last time in after a similarly encouraging return. First up the four-year-old moved into the race nicely for Glyn Schofield but being held up from the 400-200m cost him any chance of mowing down Bon Amis. Junglized was second and has since won himself. Punters Intelligence highlights that the race was a real sit and sprint so losing momentum at any stage was going to be very costly. Paret ran his last 200m in 11.02s. Last campaign he tackled 1400m second up and here he is over 1200m so that’s a slight concern but I’m hopeful that he can settle a touch closer than we are used to seeing, from the good draw. If he is within striking distance he possesses a turn of foot to pick these up.
Dangers: It’s fair to say 8. All Too Royal lacks the class of some of his rivals here but he meets them at the right time. He’s fit and in winning form. This is by far his hardest test of his campaign, however. 6. Maximus comes right into the mix with the rain around. He was pipped by Soothing first up last campaign and draws to get the run of the race. The three-year-olds are fascinating runners. 9. Aylmerton is back with Jean Dubois, and trialled nicely, while it’s the first time in the seven start career of 10. Performer he has raced outside of black type company. Pay particular respect to any late betting moves for Performer. If the money comes, it’ll pay to follow it.
How to play it: Paret WIN ($3.60 TAB Fixed Odds)
Paret’s return behind Bon Amis at Rosehill