Tips by Brad Gray
Brad Gray's tips and insights for Royal Randwick. There are winners to be found for nine races!
Three Group Ones will be run and won on Saturday with the TAB Epsom Handicap, Metrop and Flight Stakes on the card while The Everest picture will become a little clearer after the Premiere Stakes.
The rail is in the True while the track is rated a Good 4.
|Race 1 - 12:20PM ARROWFIELD BREEDERS' PLATE (1000 METRES)|
Bondi is nothing but a professional off his Canterbury trial win and would be surprised if he jumped $7 come Saturday given his profile. He is trained by arguably the best two-year-old conditioners in the country in the Snowdens, whose record speaks for itself. They’ve trained the last two winners of this race (Khan and Capitalist) and both were ridden by Blake Shinn, who rides Bondi. Shinn has also steered Run For Wilson and Sebring to victory in the Breeders’ so knows a thing or two about what it takes to win the race and he has no doubt that this colt is up to it. In fact, he was rather bullish about his chances. Rightly so I say. From barrier 3, he looks the horse to beat.
Danger: Performer found the line strongly in his trial win for Chris Waller, who is not a renowned trainer of two-year-olds. He is a half to Bel Sprinter and looks a horse to follow into the future. Hiemal looks the pick of the Godolphin duo while Santos is not out of it at odds.
How to play it: Bondi WIN ($7 TAB Fixed Odds)
Bondi's trial win at Canterbury
|Race 2 - 12:55PM KEENELAND GIMCRACK STAKES (1000 METRES)|
Bold Arial displayed a brilliant turn of foot in her Canterbury trial after taking a sit behind the leaders. It was the type of professional display that wins early two-year-old races. Speaking to co-trainer Adrian Bott during the week, taking a sit wasn’t by design so if she happed to lead up in the Gimcrack from barrier 4, so be it. She looks versatile enough to sit anywhere. It looks quite an even field of fillies this year so run of the race could play a big part in the finishing order. She has already been supported in from $11 to $7.50 with TAB Fixed Odds.
Danger: Greyt Love trialled behind current race favourite Witherspoon, who will need plenty of luck from her draw, and like the way Greyt Love went about her work. She found the line nicely under very little pressure.
How to play it: Bold Arial WIN ($7.50 TAB Fixed Odds) and Greyt Love ($8.50)
Bold Aria dashed clear in her trial win
|Race 3 - 1:30PM SCHWEPPES DULCIFY QUALITY (1600 METRES)|
Sambro looks to be ready now after two runs back and he finds a very suitable race here. He scored a pass mark first up in the Ming Dynasty before running second against the older horses in a midweeker. That should have him ready. I had this colt pegged as a smoky for the spring off his trials and if he is going to tackle Group races over the carnival, he’d want to be winning this. Hypnotist being scratched makes the task that little bit easier too.
Danger: Tangled the big improver out to this trip? He found 1200m way too short first up. Gets the services of Hugh Bowman. Langley won with authority at Kembla and still has plenty of upside.
How to play it: Sambro WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds)
Sambro chasing Fortensky last start
|Race 4 - 2:05PM ILVE APPLIANCES HILL STAKES (1800 METRES)|
Changed my mind several times on the race but eventually landed on Mackintosh. This five-year-old has been solid in his two runs back, the latest behind Winx in the George Main Stakes. He finds a very winnable Hill Stakes and with Classic Uniform and Embley rolling along, should get his chance with the ‘Magic Man’ riding. He ran a narrow third in the Epsom at this corresponding meeting last year. Is he going as well? Probably not but he doesn’t need to be to win this.
Danger: Perfect Rhyme was very good in the Tibbie after covering ground and only now out to 1800m is getting out to a suitable trip. She ran second to Bonneval in the ATC Oaks over the autumn and we’ve seen what that mare has done since. Spectroscope has the ability but looks to be some way off the form that saw him start single figure odds in a Doncaster.
How to play it: Mackintosh ($2.80 TAB Fixed Odds)
Mackintosh's effort in the George Main
|Race 5 - 2:40PM FLIGHT STAKES (1600 METRES)|
One More Honey was an eye-catcher in the Tea Rose and Punters' Intel reveals that her closing speed of 61.6kh/h was better than that of Alizee at 60.8km/h. The John Thompson-trained filly didn’t have much luck finding clear running in the straight and should have finished much closer at the finish. If she can settle a touch closer out to the mile and have Alizee and Champagne Cuddles both chasing her down, instead of the other way around, she’s a big shot at turning the tables. She is already a Group Two winner and the mile will be no problems whatsoever.
Danger: Alizee was dominant in the Tea Rose, there is no denying that. You’d say she’d get 1600m but it’s always a query. Still, she is a deserved favourite. Champagne Cuddles went enormous in the Golden Rose but it was a brutally run race. Can she back up three weeks in a row? Happy to gamble no. Pandemonium looks the only other winning hope.
How to play it: One More Honey EACH WAY ($8 TAB Fixed Odds)
The Tea Rose - watch for all four of the above mentioned horses
|Race 6 - 3:20PM SANTOS COFFEE PREMIERE STAKES (1200 METRES)|
Stats don’t lie and they will emphatically suggest that backmarkers should be avoided as far as punting goes. However, there is always an exception to the rule. That exception in this case is Chautauqua. In The Shorts, using Punters' Intel the Grey Flash gave Redzel 14.7m at the 100m mark but by the time he had crossed the line the gap was just 3.4m. His amazing ability to sustain his speed was again on show breaking 11s for his last five 200m splits. Has he returned better than ever? We’ll find out in the Premiere out to 1200m but you’d be brave to bet against him.
Danger: An Everest slot goes on the line for Clearly Innocent and he’d come here with back-to-back Group Ones to his name if it wasn’t for a wide gate in the Stradbroke. Whispers suggest that he is flying and Hugh Bowman sticks. He’s the race wildcard. English next best.
How to play it: Chautauqua WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds)
Watch for the big grey flashing home in The Shorts
|Race 7 - 4:00PM TAB EPSOM HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
The deeper you dig into the race, the more it appears it is Happy Clapper’s to lose. He ran a career best last start chasing down Winx in the George Main and only has to hold his form now. That is a slight query given Winx’s ability to break the hearts of those who finish close to them. The subsequent runs from the likes of Foxplay, Red Excitement and Ecuador suggest as much. He has won $2.4m in prize money without having claimed a Group One! Tipping that changes come Saturday afternoon. Has to give away weight but he deserves it. His record over the Randwick mile is outstanding.
Danger: It would have been Egg Tart but Happy Clapper needn’t worry about her now that she’s has been scratched. Foxplay has 4.5 lengths to make up on Happy Clapper from the George Main but if he underperforms, the brave Foxwedge mare is the most likely to pounce.
How to play it: Happy Clapper WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds)
Happy Clapper and Foxplay placed behind Winx in the George Main
|Race 8 - 4:45PM THE METROPOLITAN (2400 METRES)|
Have been convinced that Life Less Ordinary would take stopping in a Metrop ever since he resumed with a slashing second over 1400m. In his two races since then he has looked desperate to get out to a trip. No excuses now out to 2400m and with just 51kg on his back. He is a two mile winner in the UK. Kerrin McEvoy is a world class rider so to have him being able to ride the weight is a huge bonus. Life Less Ordinary has his chance in the Kingston Town, no doubt about that, but this is the race he has been primed for.
Danger: Libran rediscovered his form in sensational fashion in the Kingston Town. He has to be respected as does Antonio Giuseppe (who interestingly covered 6.6m more than Libran, and the most in the race, according to Punters’ Intel). Don’t leave Foundry or the evergreen Who Shot Thebarman out of your multiples.
How to play it: Life Less Ordinary WIN ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
The Kingston Town looks likely to produce The Metrop winner
|Race 9 - 5:25PM SNITZEL SPRINT (1200 METRES)|
Tango Rain finds another really suitable race to round out the Randwick meeting. He looked to have his chance last start but handy mare Zumbelina had the drop on him. Interesting that Gerald Ryan said during the week that the two weeks between runs was probably a bit quick of a turnaround which is why he didn’t quicken home like he can. The Ryan stable is flying and Brenton Avdulla comes off the back off a four-timer at Hawkesbury. Take a line through Isorich who Tango Rain has beaten home his last two starts. Isorich beat many of these horses last start including Dagny, Improvement and I Thought So.
Danger: Spright is a Group class filly and first up last time in she hit the line sweetly over 1200m to finish third to Global Glamour and Foxplay. Barrier 1 just means she’ll need plenty of luck. I Thought So resumed a gelding at Randwick and thought he stuck on admirably given he was posted throughout.
How to play it: Tango Rain WIN ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds) and SAVE Spright ($6)
Tango rain being collared by Zumbelina