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 6 and the rail is out 3m the entire with the first race set to jump at 12:25pm.
|Race 1 - 12:25PM TAB HIGHWAY PLATE (1600 METRES)|
Keymaster is flying this time in. The six-year-old belted his rivals at Bathurst last time out. He has only won three from 19 but two of those have come in his last three outings. The miss was a second to Ori On Fire who is a reasonable benchmark for a race like this. Has only been tried at the mile once before but it was at his third ever race start and he packed up horribly. That’s no guide. On the strength of his 1400m win last start, and on a soft track, he shouldn’t have any troubles seeing out the trip. Has drawn a touch wide but has the speed to offset the gate and coast across to take up the running.
Danger: Matty Dunn has a knack of knowing when the timing it right for an up-and-comer to be tried in a Highway so respect Sepoy’s Choice. Battled on well over the mile at Grafton last time out and should come on from his first try at the trip. Volpe wasn’t flash in the Goulburn Country Championships qualifier but he’s better than that and gets the services of Hugh Bowman.
How to play it: Keymaster WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Keymaster spacing his rivals at Bathurst last start
|Race 2 - 1:05PM THE TAHITI TRAVEL CONNECTION HANDICAP (2000 METRES)|
Love the way Just Shine zipped to the line at Canterbury last start to win well. Punters’ Intel reveals a final 200m split of 11.94s. A stayer armed with a turn of foot is a formidable combination at this level. He was crying out for the staying trip and once he got it, produced the victory of a horse who can continue to progress through the grades. This is no doubt a much stiffer test but down on 54.5kg, he’ll take holding out. Clare Cunningham is doing a brilliant job with her small team including Just Shine who has won two from three since being transferred to her Warwick Farm base.
Danger: Tamarack’s form tapered off as a three-year-old after showing brilliance early in his career however he looks to be back on track now. He surged to the line at Canterbury last time out appreciating the 1900m journey. It was a big win and although he steps up in grade, he’ll be much better on a bigger track. Almost Court dead heated with Emperor’s Way last start which stacks up well for a race like this. The blinkers go on but how many more chances can punters give Xebec?
How to play it: Just Shine WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Just Shine charging late to win at Canterbury
|Race 3 - 1:40PM SCHWEPPES SKYLINE STAKES (1200 METRES)|
You are taking even money, or thereabouts, for Santos but he deserves to be that short. The I Am Invincible colt announced himself as a genuine Golden Slipper contender with a brilliant win in the Pierro Plate last time out. He doesn’t have the natural brilliance of Estijaab or Sunglight but he is a powerful colt with a big engine. He sat outside the leader first up and kicked clear, displaying a great turn of speed, clocking the fastest closing splits in the race (11.57s via Punters’ Intel. If you can do that from on top of the speed, it makes you hard to beat in anything. Could be forced to take a sit behind speedsters Legend Of Condor and Oxford Tycoon but shouldn’t hinder his chances.
Danger: Have got plenty of time for the Snowden-trained Spin but he has to go to a new level to beat Santos who already has the run on the board, as well as a run under his belt. There is no denying that he has trialled in brilliant fashion though. His form ties in with Santos having met in him both of his career starts. Zousain is a colt on the up and looks the wildcard.
How to play it: Santos WIN ($2.05 TAB Fixed Odds)
Santos winning the Pierro Plate
|Race 4 - 2:15PM CHANDON S SWEET EMBRACE STAKES (1200 METRES)|
Adamina was very good on debut running second to Fiesta in the Widden Stakes. The Snitzel filly showed good early toe to take up the running and would expect the same here from barrier 4. There doesn’t look to be a standout filly in this field so in-run favours looks a key element to finding the winner. We all know Gerald Ryan’s affinity with Snitzels and he looks to have unearthed another handy one, still with plenty of upside. The query is that she started $31 that day but you’re still getting near double figure odds here which is tempting enough to gamble each way in a tricky race.
Danger: Speaking of Gerald Ryan and Snitzels, don’t discount Sweet Ava who is a full sister to Menari. She only won by a narrow margin at Canterbury on debut but if was pretty soft, despite the narrow margin. Has trialled well since, getting the better of Cristobal, who won a hot midweek race at Rosehill on Wednesday. Satin Slipper, Setsuna and Fiesta ran the Gimcrack trifecta back in September and all have strong claims. Throw Futooh into mutiples.
How to play it: Adamina WIN ($9.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Fiesta and Adamina fighting out the Widden
|Race 5 - 2:50PM LIVERPOOL CITY CUP (1300 METRES)|
Artlee simply blew out the cobwebs first up at Warwick Farm resuming from a length layoff (83 weeks). The 1000m was never going to suit and despite finishing closer to the back than the front of the field, there was still plenty of merit in the run. He clocked his last 600m, according to Punters’ Intel in 33.03s, which was only bettered by two runners – and on what proved to be the worst part of the track. He was well supported in betting there too. The seven-year-old looks nicely in with 54.5kg and hoping he can use the gate to truck in behind what looks a genuine speed set by Arbeitsam, Oxford Poet and Mackintosh joining in from a wide draw.
Danger: Care To Think is tearing through the grades and we’ll know if he is a genuine Doncaster horse after this. Couldn’t take $2.30 about him in this company but he does deserve respect. Chris Waller is confident that we’ll be seeing the old Egg Tart over the autumn and if that’s the case, she can win this. She ran an enormous race behind Deploy, in track record time, first up last time in. Interlocter will find 1300m on the short side but he goes too well fresh to dismiss.
How to play it: Artlee EACH WAY ($9.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Artlee at Warwick Farm first up
|Race 6 - 3:30PM TAB CHIPPING NORTON STAKES (1600 METRES)|
Welcome back Winx! The winning streak goes on the line again but this should prove a walk in the park for the champion mare. She’s not as vulnerable tackling the mile first up as opposed to 1400m and her Randwick trial back on February 17 was outstanding. It was well documented that she ran faster time in that trial then the Southern Cross Stakes on the day and clocked 33.50s for her last 600m, slipping home in 10.95s and 11.43s (via Punters’ Intel. She travelled so sweetly too. Having seen her Thursday morning, she looks in typically magnificent order.
Winx Out: It’s hard to make a buck out of Winx at $1.08 so we might look to the ‘Winx Out’ market to find a bet. Libran ran in that same trial and looked quite sharp (breaking 12s for his last 200m). Don’t be surprised to see him run a big race fresh. Punters Intel. Prized Icon is building nicely into his campaign and looks to want every inch of the mile now after two encouraging 1400m efforts.
How to play it: Libran WINX OUT ($13 TAB)
Winx wining her trial, but watch for Libran late – Feb 17
|Race 7 - 4:10PM JAMES BOAG'S PREMIUM SURROUND STAKES (1400 METRES)|
Shumookh would fit inside Alizee but that’s not going to stop me tipping her! These two fought out the finish in the Light Fingers and although Alizee got the better of Shumookh there, she certainly lost no admirers travelling wide the trip throughout. That won’t be the case here from barrier 1. The map is what makes me keen on Shumookh as she looks to get her own way out in front while Glyn Schofield probably has no choice but to take hold and go back to last on Alizee, otherwise risk being posted wide. Go back to the start before last and Shumookh’s second to D’argento has had a nice little form upgrade with the grey since flashing home in the Hobartville behind Kementari.
Danger: Despite the map, still terrified of Alizee. She can only improve from her first up win but where she gets to in the run concerns me given the price. She’ll be thundering home. Frolic was an eye-catcher in the Light Fingers, peaking on her run late. The cut out of the track elevates her to a knockout winning chance instead of being a place hope again. Touch Of Mink can run better than her triple figure odds suggest.
How to play it: Shumookh WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds)
Alizee and Shumookh fighting out the Light Fingers
|Race 8 - 4:50PM GUY WALTER PROVEN THOROUGHBREDS STAKES (1400 METRES)|
When Raiment is on song, she is very good. Her win this time last year in the James Carr over the Randwick 1400m was brilliant. That was on a heavy track and although it won’t be as wet this time out, she tackles the same track and trip, and should still be able to get her toe into the ground. Can make a case that she should have won first up. She’ll come on from that. Think that benefit of a pipe opener gives her a big advantage over Dixe Blossoms first up. There is an opportunity for Tye Angland to grab this race by the scruff of the neck from the front. She has led and won in the past. However, if the kiwi Francaletta wants to lead at all costs she can take the drag. Not a great deal of speed otherwise.
Danger: Eckstein will be greatly improved from her run in the Triscay Stakes. She was only five weeks between runs since her Gold Coast second but her history shows she improves with racing and the 1400m is much more up her alley. The sting out of the track won’t slow her down either. Dixie Blossoms has never kicked off over 1400m, which helps her claims. Has trialled well, as she always does.
How to play it: Raiment WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds)
Raiment’s demolition job in the James Carr last year
|Race 9 - 5:30PM CHAMPIONSHIP HOSPITALITY HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Osborne Bulls was scratched at the barriers a fortnight ago having been heavily supported in the minutes before jump. He has won four of his five starts and despite having a great winning strike rate what I like most about this horse is that he improved each time we saw him. On the back of his Warwick Farm trial back in early February, he looks to have gone to another level again. Drawn to get the right kind of midfield run, or a touch worse, he should be able to chase these down. Don’t think James Cummings is yet to get to the bottom of this horse so there is still some money to be made following him in his next couple of starts.
Danger: Mana struck traffic at Canterbury last time out. With two runs under his belt, he is ready to win and the cut out of the track certainly doesn’t do his claims any harm. Proved he was a genuine Saturday class horse last campaign. Generalissimi is honest and will be in the money somewhere again.
How to play it: Osborne Bulls WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Osbourne Bulls Warwick Farm trial – Feb 1