By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Friday’s Kembla Grange on Friday.
The rail is in the True, the track is expected to be wet with rain forecast and the first set to go at 1:15pm.
|Race 1 - 1:15PM JIM BEAM MAIDEN HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
The scratching of Premier Rose leaves 4. Loveseat on top. She only needs to hold her form to be in the finish again here. The Godolphin filly has run second at her last two outings. To be fair, she was never going to trouble the winner in either race but she won’t get a better chance than this. It’s a very winnable race. The daughter of Savabeel has already ticked the mile box, unlike plenty of her rivals, and James Cummings throws the blinkers on for the first time.
Dangers: 9. Galahad’s Quest only plugged away at Wyong last start out to 1350m but his two runs prior to that had merit. He’s on trial at the mile and has never raced on anything other than a good track. He’s the right price to take that gamble.
How to play it: Loveseat WIN ($1.90 TAB Fixed Odds) and QUINELLA 4,9
Look for Premier Rose across the line
|Race 2 - 1:50PM STELLA ARTOIS METRO & PROV MAIDEN PLATE (1300 METRES)|
8. Taj ran second to Coterie on debut at Wyong before being tested at Warwick Farm. He didn’t quite measure up but he’s better than that. He has had two trials, both quite strong, as you’d expect from him being a big lump of a horse. Don’t mind the wide draw for him as it will allow Glyn Schofield to work across in his own time to settle in the first couple, even take up the running. The son of So You Think has led in both starts to date. He gets through the wet, we know that already, and kicking off over 1300m suggests Chris Waller has him forward in condition for his return.
Dangers: 12. Ivira is on the six day back up from Newcastle. She started favourite there on the strength of her run at Canterbury the start prior, which was on a soft track. If you can forgive her boxing last start effort the odds certainly appeal here. 2. Agassi is hard to knock. He has been around the mark in his career and will be here too. Liked his return behind Ariege and Pindus over 1000m. He’s a big threat to Taj with a fitness advantage. 9. Cappamore started a very firm $2.20 chance at Gosford first up. He couldn’t reel in the winner but ran well enough. 5. Euroblaze has caught the eye in his trials for trainer Ron Leemon.
How to play it: Taj EACH WAY ($5 TAB Fixed Odds)
Taj on debut at Wyong behind Coterie
|Race 3 - 2:25PM EDGELL CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
2. Restrained won two on the bounce for James Cummings and Godolphin before being tipped out. It’s the profile of a horse that it generally pays to follow when trained by the blue army. The son of Lonhro will keep improving. His winning margins were only narrow but he makes his own luck and shows determination when the race is there to be won or lost. Has trialled twice and although they weren’t anything flash, he wasn’t asked to extend. If we get a wet track, my confidence levels only increase as his trial, albeit different to race day pressure, on a heavy deck at Warwick Farm last campaign was the best he has produced.
Dangers: 11. Sir Owen was gelded prior to this preparation and it looks to have done the trick. It wouldn’t have been an easy choice being a half-brother to Criterion! First up he chased home the speedy Kylease, a subsequent city winner, before winning with authority himself at Wyong. 5. Sargeant is up and running and wasn’t far away at this track last start. His form suggests he prefers to be on top of the ground though. 12. Beidi is in the mix but doesn’t make a habit of winning.
How to play it: Restrained WIN ($3.20 TAB Fixed Odds)
Restrained winning at Newcastle at his second start
|Race 4 - 3:05PM ASSETT PROFESSIONAL SERVICES STAYERS CUP - BENCHMARK 70 HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
4. Fairlight stepped out on debut for Kris Lees at Gosford in a messy race. The import sat outside of the leader but the race changed complexion half way through when a number of his rivals whipped up on his outside shuffling him back to second last in the run. He whacked away at the finish looking for further than the 1900m. The lightly-raced four-year-old holds a sneaky nomination for the Sydney Cup over The Championships. The gelding has a 16L Newmarket win to his name on wet ground over 2400m, albeit in a field of three runners and as $1.65 favourite. He’s the runner in this field with real upside.
Dangers: 5. Resort was a strong winner in town last start. He seems to be okay in soft ground but a genuine heavy track throws up a problem. He is rock hard fit though. 6. My King's Counsel is an honest type and hasnt finished out of the placings in his last five runs, the latest being a win at Newcastle. Prefers dry on his exposed form.
How to play it: Fairlight EACH WAY ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Fairlight’s first Australian run was at Gosford
|Race 5 - 3:40PM CANADIAN CLUB BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
5. Colombina was heavily supported first up at Hawkesbury, jumping $1.75, but found the 1000m too sharp. She hit the line well enough to not drop off her. The other big tick is the likelihood of a wet track. She has won just the one race but it was on a heavy track at Warwick Farm when she beat The Art Of The Bar, and comfortably. Early days she was mixing it with the likes of Pure Elation and Gem Song. She is a filly with more talent than her record suggests and this is the perfect race for her. Don’t be surprised to see her measure up in much better company over the autumn, especially with conditions to suit.
Dangers: 10. Segalas raced without any luck last start and can bounce back. 8. Tootz will appreciate the tempo of 1200m. She went too hard at Canterbury last time out over 1100m and handles the wet.
How to play it: Colombina WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Columbina first up at Hawkesbury
|Race 6 - 4:20PM PFD FOOD SERVICES A J 'BERT' LILLYE MEMORIAL HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
5. Piracy was flattered by the slow tempo last start, when second to Renewal in town, but he ticks plenty of boxes here. Makes his own luck and handles all conditions. Hence why the four-year-old is rarely far away. A number of his rivals aren't all that comfortable in the ground so that's his big advantage here,
Dangers: Stablemate 3. Intuition won a BM90 at Flemington last start in good style. The market has to take him on given the heavy track. 9. Sheriff pulled out plenty to beat Call Me Royal at Rosehill last start but probably wants it dry too. His early speed will offset the wide draw.
How to play it: Piracy WIN ($3.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Spin and Piracy placing behind Renewal
|Race 7 - 4:55PM CARLTON DRAUGHT KEMBLA GRANGE CLASSIC (1600 METRES)|
Concede that the early price for 1. Pohutukawa is no spoil but this horse is airborne. She just hasn’t got the chance to show it yet! Her first up run in the Light Fingers has been well documented with Punters Intelligence revealing her last 600m was second to only Winx across the meeting. Last start she was looking for runs closer to the fence in the Surround Stakes but they never came. She is untried out to the mile but we do know she liked wet ground. In fact, she loves it. All three of her career wins have been on soft and heavy tracks. Should settle midfield with the blinkers going on. It’s a deep field but none of these, the majority being on an Oaks campaign, can match her turn of foot.
Dangers: 6. Scarlett Dream was brilliant rattling home first up at Rosehill over 1400m. The Mark Newnham-trained filly rocketed into Oaks calculations on the back of that. Expect her to be running home strongly again. Good enough to win, no doubt. 12. Sister Sledge was a late scratching from the Surround Stakes. She’ll bowl along and give a sight. Want to keep an eye on 8. Welsh Legend. She was too bad to be true first up and can improve sharply. Looks a genuine staying type so doubt she’ll be able to dash with Pohutukawa.
How to play it: Pohutukawa WIN ($2 TAB Fixed Odds)
Stewards vision of Pohutukawa last start
|Race 8 - 5:35PM TAB BENCHMARK 64 HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
14. Autumn looked a real miler at Kembla last start. The filly as doing her best work right on the line. It was eye catching. Prior to that she wasn’t all that far away from Nakeeta Jane in the Light Fingers. She was balloted out of the Kembla Grange Classic but wouldn’t have been out of place there.
Dangers: Her stablemate 9. Sydney Blue can run a big race here fresh. Want to be very forgiving of her Melbourne form. 4. Blast was excellent winning at Wyong first up. Won’t be the last time he wins a race. 12. Etheridge is another that wants every inch of the mile now.
How to play it: Autumn WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds)
Feather’s luckless last start fourth