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 rail is in the True position and the track is rated in the Good range. Hot weather is forecast so expect a Good 3 come Saturday afternoon.
|Race 1 - 12:40PM ATC OWNERS BENEFIT CARD HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
With Calculated scratched, Aqua D’Ivina goes in on top. Worth noting that she is also nominated for Canterbury on Wednesday but if Matthew Smith opts for this race, she’s no doubt in it up to her ears. She is a beautifully bred filly (Pierro x Aqua D’amore) and has returned in good order this time in. She put the writing on the wall first up at Canterbury over 1200m before cruising to victory at Wyong, when out to 1350m. Smith has been very patient with this three-year-old, taking his time and looks set to reap the rewards now. Stick with her.
Danger: It was interesting to note that Chris Waller said in his weekly stable video that they are keen to find cover on Scream Park. The lead looks there for the taking though so will be interesting to see how it plays out. This Ocean Park three-year-old has had races and conditions to suit at his past two, but you can’t do any more than win. The step back to 1400m isn’t ideal but he’s going too well to dismiss off that alone.
How to play it: Aqua D’Ivina WIN ($3.20 TAB Fixed Odds)
Aqua D’Ivina never looked like losing at Wyong
|Race 2 - 1:20PM TAB HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Futooh loomed to win at Warwick Farm on debut before peaking on her run. Like that there was money for her on that occasion. Punters’ Intel reveals that she ran her 400-200m in 11.20s, which was the fastest in the race, before 11.72s saw her home. That was in comparison to the better closing splits of the quinella Condemened and Sokudo, the later who she meets again here. Jason Collett hasn’t been done any favours with barrier 11 for Futooh but if she can find a three-wide trail, tipping she has enough improvement in her to go a couple better at her second career outing.
Danger: Sokudo ran in a hot Breeders’ Plate on debut before he returned with an encouraging second at Warwick Farm. He had his chance there but he’ll come on from the run, draws favourably and finds another winnable race. Eawase, who is out of Karuta Queen, didn’t show the zip of her mum on debut but did enough to warrant respect in this. Ligulate the sharp improver.
How to play it: Futooh WIN ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Watch for the runs of Futooh and Sokudo
|Race 3 - 1:55PM #THERACES SPRINT (1200 METRES)|
The Pharaoh was a shade disappointing at his first outing for Richard Litt, having formerly been trained by Gerald Ryan, but he is worth another chance here. Like the drop back from 1400m to 1200m and that the blinkers have been thrown on to fire him up. There is no doubting the four-year-old’s quality and if Litt can instil some confidence in him, we certainly haven’t seen the last of him in the winners’ stall. Adam Hyeronimus retains the ride and is still a largely underrated hoop, with a particular affinity on free-rolling types.
Danger: Fanning is on the fringe of being a genuine Saturday class horse but he doesn’t find a vintage BM79. He didn’t have the clearest of passages at Randwick last time out and there are no rivals of Brave Song’s quality in this. Think he is more dynamic with cover so will be interesting where he gets to from barrier 7. Tswalu has fewer convictions than her rivals and still has upside but will need to improve off her Wyong Class 1 victory.
How to play it: The Pharaoh WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
The Pharaoh will need to improve off his last start effort
|Race 4 - 2:30PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
Awesome Pluck is still very much a work in progress and probably needs another 12 months to grow into his gangly frame, but he should still be way too classy for TAB Highway Handicap company. This three-year-old from the Jenny Graham stable jumped $2.10 favourite at Randwick first up in a BM70 but punctured to run third behind Savatiano and Calculated. Tye Angland reported after the race he’d be better with a sit and out in trip. Both scenarios should eventuate here and Hugh Bowman steers. Sure, he was a little disappointing on face value first up but he has been placed to win here second up.
Danger: Kopi Luwak looked the wildcard but has been scratched. Runway Ready was dominant at Ipswich last start and has the Matty Dunn polish. She ran in a Highway last preparation but never looked comfortable on a heavy track there. As she has shown this campaign, she is much more dynamic on top of the ground.
How to play it: Awesome Pluck WIN ($1.75 TAB Fixed Odds)
Awesome Pluck first up in better company
|Race 5 - 3:05PM YOUTH INSEARCH INSPIRE MILE (1600 METRES)|
Cellarman is eight runs into a campaign, stretching back to September, which has to be some small query but you can only take his form on face value which suggests this Mossman gelding is clearly thriving in his work, holding his form over the past two months. That has seen him win three of his past five with the misses an admirable third to Sedanzer and another third to King Darci in an unsuitably slow-run race. He stalked a small field at Warwick Farm last start and was too good at the finish. It was a confident ride from Blake Shinn on that occasion. Where he gets to from barrier 1 will be interesting but with clear galloping room, he looks to be too strong at the business end again.
Danger: Medaille closed nicely from a long way back at Warwick Farm last start, and being six weeks between runs there there’ll be improvement to come. Maps to be much closer from barrier 2 and Bowman takes over. All being equal, it’s hard to see Caerless Choice turning the tables on Cellarman but he certainly finds a suitable Saturday race to be in the money. Positive Problems should get on pace favours.
How to play it: Cellarman WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds)
Cellarman rounding up his Warwick Farm rivals
|Race 6 - 3:40PM SPINALCURE RACING4RESEARCH SPRINT (1000 METRES)|
We’ll get a good idea of exactly where My Maher sits after this race but I want to be with her at her first crack in town. Mathew Smith has done a great job to date placing her all over the state – Scone, Albury, Nowra, Goulburn and Newcastle. She has built an imposing little record of four wins and a second from five starts and her trials this time in, the latest in which she matched motors with dual Group One winner Global Glamour, suggest she has improved again. Of course there are question marks about the depth of her prior form but she can’t do any more than win and outside of the toppy Guard Of Honour, she strikes a very winnable Saturday race.
Danger: Terrified of Guard Of Honour. He returned a gelding at Muswellbrook and was really tough on speed first up to win with 60.5kg. He probably isn’t as good as he promised to be early days when he found himself in an Oakleigh Plate but he still has a class edge on these. The 7.5kg weight difference and the odds swing me the way of My Maher though. Speedsters Fickle Folly, who pulled up lame last start, and Don’t Tease Me, in the form of her life, will be the ones to run down. If there is a wildcard, it’s a fresh Loverboy Charlie.
How to play it: My Maher EACH WAY ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
My Maher’s latest trial with Global Glamour – Dec 19
|Race 7 - 4:20PM 2018 ATC MEMBERSHIP HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
This preparation has so far been a forgettable one for Siren’s Fury. This Jason Coyle-trained mare doesn’t do herself any favours with her racing pattern but there has been genuine excuses for all of her defeats. She won’t get a better opportunity to break through for win number three than on Saturday though. It’s a race ripe for the picking. Jason Collett is a positive jockey booking and if he can swing her to the outside at the top of the straight, her turn of foot should have these covered. It’s easy to forget she is twice placed at Listed level. There aren’t too many races I’d be prepared to take $4 about Siren’s Fury in but she won’t find a more suitable race than this. It’s D-Day!
Danger: Live To Dream turned her form around, at least on paper, with a positive ride last time out. She was brave at the finish holder off Pioneering and Queen Misty. She is back to 1400m from the mile but she’ll be making her own luck and is the only runner with a recent ‘1’ in the form book. We know her limit but Mollyfied maps well, has no weight on her back and is honest. Few boxes ticked there.
How to play it: Siren’s Fury WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds)
Siren’s Fury running third last time out
|Race 8 - 5:00PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Lanciato has returned in particularly good order this time in. Loved his trials and what he did first up over 1200m with 61kg. He weaved through the pack and liked his Punters’ Intel sectionals between the 600-400m (10.97s) and then the 400-200m (10.90s). He is undefeated second up, fires off these month freshens and 1400m is his pet trip (6:2-2-1). Furthermore, it’s a perfect grade of race for him and he is in very light after the claim of Rachel King, dropping 8kg. It was good to hear a bit of confidence from Mark Newnham during the week too, saying that this is the race they’ve had picked out for him all preparation. It all sounds pretty rosy until you look at the map. He’ll be last and there doesn’t look to be a heap of speed up front. Still, happy to take the gamble he is going well enough to overcome it.
Danger: Noire has won three on the trot and beat Pecans in the latest of those who has since won the Belle Of The Turf. The early odds on quote is short enough coming up against the boys but is a deserving race favourite. Would be surprised if he doesn’t start black odds so hold tight if you fancy her. So Willie won first up last campaign albeit over a mile on a heavy track but he did beat Stampede. Coolring is fully fit now and should get his chance again from in front. Monitor the market on Coolring’s stablemate Show A Star. First start for Bjorn Baker and he’s a handy horse at his best.
How to play it: Lanciato WIN ($4.80 TAB Fixed Odds)
Lanciato’s eye-catching return at Rosehill
|Race 9 - 5:40PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Have settled on Level Eight in a tricky closer. The Snowden-trained galloper simply got too far out of his ground last start at Randwick before doing his best work through the line. Punters’ Intel reveals only placegetters ran quicker splits home there. Originally had some query staying at 1400m third up but he ran over the same trip all last preparation and his form didn’t waver a great deal. Drawn barrier 3 is the key to his chances, as is the engagement of Hugh Bowman, as he won’t be giving as big a start. There doesn’t look to be a great deal between the top dozen chances in the race so the map looks decisive.
Danger: Francesco was good chasing all the way leader Poets Advocate first up at Wyong in slick time. He doesn’t make a habit of winning but has bumped into some pretty handy animals recently. He’ll be thereabouts yet again, and is double figure odds. Think Jemedar can improve sharply back onto a dry track while we can forgive Pipeline’s last start flop. He is a better horse on top of the speed. The knocks on the two early favourites are that Samadoubt is a better wet tracker and that gelded or not, Malaise is a thinker.
How to play it: Level Eight WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Level Eight closed off to finish sixth last start