By Neil Evans
Track likely Soft 6 and rail True
|Race 1 CLASS 1 HCP (900m):|
Randwick-based ex-Victorian filly filly 1. Miss Bosetti blew out the cobwebs in her first run for six months in deeper metro company. Huge improver dropping back to this level, and only career win so far came second-up in similar ground.
Dangers: Promising filly 2. Embeller resumes off two trials, with a gear change; while four-year-old mare 4. Dozer Bay returns without officially trialling, but won on debut at Nowra.
How to play it: Miss Bosetti to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 2 4YO & UP MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
A few chances in a thin race. Patience has been the sticking point around four-year-old 2. Lake Tai who has taken a long time to get to the races. Got through the line well in a recent trial, and looks ready to go from a handy draw.
Dangers: Ex-Victorian mare 3. Hello Sunshine resumes for a new stable off a nice trial. Improving four-year-old 9. Warphil made up late ground first-up at Port, but can settle closer here from a more economical draw; while watch the betting on provincial mare 5. Timasti who hasn't started for 14 months, but has trialled okay.
How to play it: Lake Tai to win. Odds and Evens: Split a special
|Race 3 3YO MAIDEN HCP (1200m):|
Intriguing and open race. Improving colt 1. Magic Ruler looks well placed second-up over a bit more ground. Held his position okay chasing a fast winner resuming, and can improve enough with the blinkers being added.
Dangers: Well bred colt 4. Sabor conversely has the blinkers removed for his return. Led for a long way in a one-off fresh run at Canberra in spring, and has been fitted with a forward trial where he showed good cruising speed before being run down late. Rival gelding 5. Write On also resumes, and was never far away in his first prep. Trailed Sabor in that trial before working home to win it narrowly but was pushed out to the line.
How to play it: Magic Ruler to win and box exacta 1,4,5. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 4 2YO MAIDEN PLATE (1300m):|
The babies get their turn now, and Godolphin filly 8. Larkspur Run can break through at her third start in thinner company. Has been very honest beating all bar the winner in two runs at Canterbury, and better suited here trailing the speed on a much bigger track.
Dangers: Press Statement colt 1. California Press has been taken along gradually at the trials, and draws to get a nice run on debut. Improving filly 6. Excela Bella will find this much more to her liking after dropping out under pressure in the Group 3 Widden. Can settle better down in grade with the blinkers removed. Include in exotics 9. Mikasa who also drops back from the Widden Stakes when well specked at a big price.
How to play it: Larkspur Run to win. Odds and Evens: Split
Larkspur Run finishes second at Canterbury on January 29
|Race 5 MAIDEN PLATE (1400m):|
Tricky race. Improving filly 9. Not A Choice produced a tough effort in deeper class on debut at Canterbury before struggling late in heavy ground here. Draws well, and gets a significant 3kg weight drop.
Dangers: Expect further improvement fourth-up from four-year-old mare 6. Sippety Sup who kept grinding home third-up here in heavy ground, and should be at peak fitness. Kembla filly 7. Crystal Waters hit the line impressively resuming behind a good sprinter, but a query whether she can reproduce that second-up on a wetter track.
How to play it: Not A Choice to win. Odds and Evens: Split
|Race 6 CLASS 1 HCP (1200m):|
Like three-year-old filly 5. So Far Away first-up this time over a longer trip and on a bigger track. Flashed home late on debut last autumn, and continued to find the line before breaking her maiden impressively at Hawkesbury in spring. Has had two good trial hit-outs, and will settle back and look to finish over them.
Dangers: Expect three-year-old 1. Much Much Better to come to hand quicker this prep off the back of two forward trials. Carried 60kg to claim his maiden at Canberra before spelling. Ex SA three-year-old 6. Kahaylaan has disappointed in two runs so far at the provincials for new Randwick stable, but getting on to a bigger track is a plus.
How to play it: So Far Away to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
So Far Away runs third in a Randwick trial on February 5
|Race 7 FILLIES & MARES BENCHMARK 64 HCP (1400m):|
One of the tougher and more open races of the day for the girls. Lightly raced three-year-old 5. Silent Tryst has a stack of potential. Swept home to easily win her maiden first-up at Gosford, and this is an ideal progressive trip.
Dangers: Stablemate filly 10. All That Sass jumped to the front and gave nothing else a chance fourth-up at Goulburn, although taking on some smarter ones here. Include in exotics Scone mare 3. Havin' Fun who has been in and around the money against metro opposition all prep. Sharpened up at the trials, gets a crucial 3kg allowance, and was scratched from Kensington on Wednesday to run here.
How to play it: Silent Tryst to win. Odds and Evens: Odds
|Race 8 COLTS, GELDINGS & ENTIRES BENCHMARK 64 HCP (1400m):|
We close with the boys' edition, and it doesn't get much easier. Promising Scone four-year-old 2. Pure Fuego tackles provincial grade at the right time after consecutive wins in the country, charging home from well off the speed. Rises to 60.5kg, but right at home on soft ground.
Dangers: Big watch on resuming colt 10. Socrates who resumes for only his fifth start off a nice trial, and bred to get much further. Went straight to Group 1 company last spring after bolting in his maiden at Kembla. Improving three-year-old 9. Media Starguest hit the line to miss narrowly resuming here, although normally comes back a peg second-up. Watch out for 1. Dashing 'N' Daring late. A pure wet-tracker, has won both starts ploughing home this prep, and comes in off a six week freshen-up.
How to play it: Pure Fuego to win and trifecta 2,9,10/1,2,9,10/1,2,9,10. Odds and Evens: Split