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 track is rated a Soft 5 and the rail is out 6m 1600m-WP and 4m the remainder, with the first race set to jump at 12:30pm.
|Race 1 - 12:30PM CITY FORD ASPIRATION QUALITY (1600 METRES)|
Have been tracking Nettoyer very closely this campaign and although she probably won’t be at her absolute peak until fourth up and out to a 2000m trip, Wendy Roche has found a perfect race for her to grab a win on the way through. Most readers will remember her by her amazing 10L win at Randwick back in June last year. She loved the wet track that day but won like Winx. From what we have seen of her to date this time back, she found the 1200m too short first up before running a big race in the Guy Walter last Saturday behind Dixie Blossoms. She’ll get the sting out of the track again while Rachel King maintains her association with her. Out to the mile gives her the chance to pick up what looks appears to be a very winnable Group race.
Danger: Perfect Rhyme cleared out the pipes first up over 1300m in the G2 Millie Fox. She ran last but was only beaten 4L. Second up last time in she ran Zanbagh to half a length and the cut out of the track enhances her claims too. Karavali was good in an unsuitable race at Canterbury first up, with the leader dictating. Can make a case for The Pinnacle but she is short enough.
How to play it: Nettoyer WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Nettoyer’s fourth in the Guy Walter last Saturday
|Race 2 - 1:10PM TOKYO CITY KEIBA FIREBALL STAKES (1100 METRES)|
The speedy Houtzen fronts up for another campaign and has found an ideal race to kick off in. She is 12 benchmark points above anything else in the race but slips in with 56.5kg. The filly wasn’t brilliantly away in her Randwick trial but was very quick to muster, showing she’s lost none of her zip. Was beaten on her merits in The Everest and the Coolmore but certainly wasn’t disgraced. She’ll be highballing out in front again and prove hard to run down. Do conceded that $2.60 is short enough for her first up, but she is on top.
Danger: I Am Excited produced some outstanding sectionals to win first up running her final 200m split in 10.96s (via Punters’s Intel). She looks to be an out and out sprinter so her record probably doesn’t do her justice, with a few failures over further. Za Zi Ba is a knockout hope on the strength of her last start third behind I Am Excited. She should get a lovely cart into the race from Houtzen. Jorda flashed home to beat I Am Excited at Flemington last time we saw her. She has trialled well.
How to play it: Houtzen WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds)
Houtzen’s Randwick trial – Feb 27 (watch for Happy Clapper and Ravi in later races too)
|Race 3 - 1:45PM THE DAILY TELEGRAPH REISLING STAKES (1200 METRES)|
It should be a formality for Estijaab at the short odds. She is the $5 second favourite in the Golden Slipper and an impressive outing her could see her eclipse Sunlight as favourite by close of the day. She was beaten in the Silver Slipper but it only enhanced her reputation, showing rare ability to sustain speeds as a two-year-old. It’s generally what separates the good from the elite. Punters’s Intel reveals she ran three sub 11s before coming home in 11.25s/11.68s her last 400m. She pings like a greyhound so should be out in front, taking luck out of the equation.
Danger: Outback Barbie ran well in the Magic Millions beaten 2.3L at the finish by Sunlight. That form obviously stacks up well for this. Gongs was beaten a long way in the Silver Slipper but she’ll improve off that and might be able to close the gap somewhat. Says a lot about Estijaab’s chances when you tip a horse that she beat by 7L for third! Ennis Hill was hard in the market for the Blue Diamond and despite being disappointing, she can bounce back.
How to play it: Estijaab WIN ($1.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Estijaab and Sunlight duking it out in the Silver Slipper
|Race 4 - 2:25PM UNSW TODMAN STAKES (1200 METRES)|
Performer is not your naturally brilliant two-year-old in the shape of Estijaab or Sunlight but he could be anything when he returns as a three-year-old. However, that’s certainly not discrediting anything he has done to date. It seems like an eternity ago we saw him scramble home in the Canonbury. It was a narrow margin but they walked in that race and he ran ‘elite’ sectionals home to win that race. Punters’s Intel reveals his two final 400m splits to be 10.62s/10.67s clocking 33.05s for his last 600m. You wouldn’t be diving in at $2 if you watched his most recent trial in isolation and didn’t know the horse but that’s just him. He save his best for race day.
Danger: Ef Troop spent all of his pennies early in the Magic Millions and had nothing left at the finish. Tony Gollan has been hard at work trying to get him to harness that speed better. He said he’d happily take a sit but doubt that’ll happen from barrier 2. Expect him to be up the front, high-balling. Was taken with the win of Aylmerton on debut. His is a nice style of horse with a lovely action. Legend Of Condor goes in next.
How to play it: Performer WIN ($2 TAB Fixed Odds)
Performer winning the Canonbury Stakes
|Race 5 - 3:00PM HYLAND RACE COLOURS CHALLENGE STAKES (1000 METRES)|
Redzel got rolled in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington first up but it took an exceptional effort from straight track specialist Redkirk Warrior to nab him. He lost none of his gloss and is still the country’s benchmark sprinter. The Everest winner’s prizemoney tally will tick over $8m with a top two finish here! Peter Snowden said during the week that Redzel would be running over 1100m second up in a perfect world but this gives him an ideal lead into the TJ Smith over The Championships. Still expect him to win, and win quite comfortably. As far as the map goes, he should get a perfect trial from Super Too.
Danger: Viridine is the x-factor in the race. He’s a lightly-raced three-year-old with an imposing record of four wins from five starts, the only defeat being a fifth in the G1 Coolmore Stud Classic. Can only improve off this going into the Galaxy second up but he must be respected fresh. English has raced on this day on three occasions throughout her career and is undefeated (2015 Riesling, 2016 Challenge and 2017 Challenge). Her trials haven’t been overly flash but she tends to grow a leg in the autumn and can’t be discounted in chasing a Challenge three-peat.
How to play it: Redzel ($1.60 TAB Fixed Odds) and Redzel/Viridine QUINELLA
Redzel taking out the inaugural running of The Everest
|Race 6 - 3:35PM BISLEY WORKWEAR CANTERBURY STAKES (1300 METRES)|
Clearly Innocent finds a perfect set of circumstances second up to knock off a Sydney Group One. Out to 1300m, at Randwick and with the sting out. Throw Hugh Bowman’s booking into the mix too. He is a genuine Group One animal, boasting a great record of nine wins from 20 starts. There is a case to be made that should be a 10 in the win column having had no luck in the Southern Cross Stakes first up. All of his momentum was halted so for him to still run the fastest splits home (11.88s via Punters’s Intel) says he has returned in outstanding order. Significant that he was friendless in betting too, suggesting he would take plenty of benefit from the run. He’s the horse with the sense of timing here.
Danger: Happy Clapper just keeps getting better with age and is well suited to the WFA conditions being the highest rated runner. He was impressive first up last time in taking out the Tramway. The 1300m probably as short as he wants now but he is a genuine top liner. Liked his recent trial, where he was very strong to the line. The three-year-old Showtime has plotted a path around the Randwick Guineas and it very nearly came off with his third in the Futurity. Has turned in two great runs from him this time in – the first of those was in the Expressway where his run was much better than that of Global Glamour. Invincible Gem next best.
How to play it: Clearly Innocent WIN ($4.60 TAB)
Clearly Innocent had no luck first up
|Race 7 - 4:20PM MOSTYN COPPER GROUP RANDWICK GUINEAS (1600 METRES)|
The Hobartville has provided seven of the past eight Randwick Guineas winners and not expecting that to change this year. The barrier doesn’t do D’argento any favours - have mapped him to be out the back - but tipping him to overcome it with Hugh Bowman steering. D’argento was outstanding in the Hobartville flashing home, and that was with plenty of improvement to come being five weeks between runs. He slipped home his last 200m in 11.26s via Punters’s Intel, the fastest in the race. He has the Randwick mile stamped all over him. Looking at him in the yard compared to Kementari, D’argento the one who was going to really come on from the run.
Danger: Kementari already looked outstanding in the Hobartville, and at his top, but he doesn’t have to improve. Has been brilliant in both wins back this time in and under completely different circumstances. The slight query at the mile is the knock but will get covered up from barrier 4 to get every chance. Certainly don’t want to underestimate Pierata. Can’t wait to see him out to the mile. Hard to see him turning the tables on Kementari but the extra 200m will give him some hope. If the Hobartville form doesn’t prove true, I go down in flames…
How to play it: D’argento WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Look for the run of D’argento in the Hobartville
|Race 8 - 5:00PM SCHWEPPES WENONA GIRL QUALITY (1200 METRES)|
All of the early support for Sugar Bella has seen Ravi creep out to a very enticing price. She is lumped with 59kg but she’s a very good mare and flies fresh. Kerrin McEvoy was on her back first up last time in when she was brilliant in taking out the Sheraco Stakes. Rosehill was playing lightning quick that day but she dashed home in super slick sectionals breaking 11s for her last two splits. Perizada ran second there and although meets her 4.5kg worse off, the margin was two lengths at the finish. It was dominant. Thought her most recent trial alongside Houtzen and Happy Clapper, two very good trial horses themselves, suggested she’s humming along beautifully.
Danger: Good luck to the punters on at the $8 Sugar Bella! The mare has won three on the bounce for Kris Lees. All in much softer company than this but she has been belting her rivals. Deserves her crack at this level and her recent trial at Gosford to keep her ticking over having had six weeks off, was very good. What you see is what you get with Perizada. Think Cristian Reith has to be positive from the wide draw to put her in a spot. Slow Burn is another drawn wide but doesn’t look to be a great deal of speed so she might be able to slip across to control the race.
How to play it: Ravi WIN ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Ravi taking out the Sheraco first up last preparation
|Race 9 - 5:40PM RANDWICK CITY STAKES (2000 METRES)|
Think Alward is in for another very lucrative campaign. The import raced through the grades last time in, winning four races. It’s easy to overlook the fact that his last preparation was his first in Australia and the majority of imports improve greatly after they’ve had time to fully acclimatize. He was luckless first up at Rosehill with Chris Waller admitting after the race that the horse was very forward as he had a 2000m race targeted second up. Well, here is that race. A win here in Listed company should see his rating spike enough to contest Group races over the autumn, which is why he’d be tuned up for this assignment.
Danger: The market is being way too harsh on Singing. He pulled up with cardiac arrhythmia last time out. There is a good edge for punters in knowing when to forgive a horse. It looked too bad to be true and it was. He beat Red Excitement in the Gosford Cup prior to that. Has trialled since and went nicely – had the speed to lead in a 1000m trial at Gosford! Big watch on the Kiwi Patrick Erin. First start for Waller on a Sydney Cup path but he’s sharper than a typical two mile handicapper. Won over the mile back in October, as a $2.70F, and Hugh Bowman was bullish about the feel he gave him in his one trial.
How to play it: Alward WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds) and TRIFECTA Alward/Patrick Erin/Singing
Alward’s luckless first up third