By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Tuesday’s Boxing Day meeting at Royal Randwick. The track is currently rated good and the rail is out 3m.
|Race 1 – 1:05PM HYLAND BOXING DAY SALE HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
Tricky two-year-old race with only one having had a race start. A big watch on the Godolphin youngster 3. Ligulate who we really didn’t get to see a lot of in his barrier trial earlier this month. He was badly held up all the way down the straight and beat one home. The colt has a nice barrier, should be afford a good run in transit and it would come as no surprise to see him in the finish.
Dangers: 1. Bad Boy For Love is a rare two-year-old runner for Joe Pride. He ran last in the same trial as Ligulate then trialled very nicely two weeks later behind a youngster reported to be quite handy. 7. Lilith has a couple of trial wins under her belt and both by narrow margins with seemingly a bit in hand. Given she’s had some early support she has to be respected. What can be said about the trials is they haven’t been dominant but she’s got the job done. 6. Into The Abyss lengthened quite nicely late to win her second trial at Randwick a couple of weeks ago. She looks the type that will appreciate getting out beyond 1000m and can run a nice race.
How to play it: Ligulate E/W ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Make up your own mind about Ligulate’s only barrier trial appearance at Warwick Farm
|Race 2 - 1:45PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
It’ll be interesting to see how Blake Shinn approaches the ride on 1. Calculated as this is his race to lose as far as I can see. He’s the best horse in the race and returned with a nice second behind Savatiano where he was just outsprinted before closing off very well the last 100m. I’d love to see him take up the running and take luck out of the equation. Only start at 1200m he outpointed Brave Song, who we know is quite smart, and second-up last prep he bumped into Siege Of Quebec.
Punter’s Intel: Calculated ran a race best last 200m of 11.45 first-up.
Dangers: 3. Island Missile showed plenty of promise in his first preparation with a couple of provincial wins prior to running fourth here back in September. Two trials have been sound and he did attack the line well in the second of them. Possibly better at 1400m but can run well fresh. 2. Intuition is coming through the grades this time in and hasn’t let the punters down with a pair of popular wins. As far as depth goes this isn’t a whole lot harder aside from having Calculated to beat. 6. Star Galaxy had good support first-up when no match for Junglized then struck a heavy track and battled on quite well into third. Gets plenty of favours from the inside gate in a small field so can’t be overlooked.
How to play it: Calculated WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Calculated’s first-up second at Randwick – December 16
|Race 3 - 2:20PM TAB HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
I’m not surprised that 8. Nonpariel came up favourite in early markets and the only real question to ask is whether she’s sharp enough for 1000m even being first-up. She has a solid first-up record but hasn’t won below 1200m as yet. A winner of her second trial this time in and with a bit of speed most likely here she will have her chance to finish the race off strongly. No good thing but if the race pans out as it appears it might she should be hard to beat.
Dangers: 7. Don’t Tease Me has improved with every start this time in and was bravely ridden by Rachel Hunt to hold off Bon Amis and Test The World at Rosehill a month ago. Certainly losing nothing with Rachel King taking the ride and he can take running down. 2. Petrossian was never in the race in the Razor Sharp and was probably outclassed anyway but still made some ground to be beaten five lengths. Two previous runs were solid and he’s well graded to run a good race. 4. Johnny Roo Boy was a drifter in betting first-up at Canterbury and gave a good sight in front before running third. Will put himself on the pace and with a 4.5kg weight drop could be harder to run down.
How to play it: Nonpariel WIN ($3.30 TAB Fixed Odds).
Nonpariel scores a narrow trial win at Randwick – December 11
|Race 4 - 2:55PM BOOK SUMMER HOSPITALITY TODAY HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
With Great Glen not backing up from Saturday as expected I'm going with a horse scratched from Saturday to run here in 5. Cordero though he is on trial at the 2400m. I did think he was going through the motions a bit this prep before he attacked the line with much more gusto to easily win over 1900m at Canterbury fourth-up. Untried at the extra trip but lightly raced and with the confidence boosting win under the belt he has a good chance to win again.
Dangers: 2. Richard Of Yorke started this prep in Queensland, like a few of the Waller stayers have done of late, and he has to be showing good signs to warrant returning to Sydney. This race does look suitable and now that he’s up to his best trip he should fire. Would like a little bit of sting out of the ground to help him out but he bears close watching. 4. Coonawarra is another up and coming middle distance galloper on trial at the mile and a half. He’s been well placed to win his last couple and this is an acid test but he is the likely leader (if Great Glen doesn’t run) and could take some running down. 3. Last Wish has been threatening to win a race in the last month or two and he stays under notice once again. Just fair here last time in the Christmas Cup but handy effort in this class before that. Has some claims.
How to play it: Cordero WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Cordero winning easily at Canterbury – December 15
|Race 5 - 3:30PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
There’s not a lot of speed here outside Ladder who isn’t put the foot down front-runner but will likely lead. 4. Queen Misty hasn’t been helped generally by drawing out more often than not but I’d be surprised if drawing two isn’t taken advantage of here. She flooded home first-up after getting too far back then was handy and only beaten a couple by Noire at Rosehill and that form has been confirmed. It’s getting to the stage where she needs to knock one of these over and I think she has a very strong chance to do just that.
Dangers: 7. Royal Stamp is racing in career best form and earned a shot in town with a very easy win at Newcastle over the 1850m a couple of weeks ago. Lack of pace is of some concern but while racing so well she’s well worth including. No knock on 5. Baysa though I was disappointed she didn’t put them away at Canterbury last week. In form and down in weight so she has to be considered. How she’s ridden here will be interesting as she’s proving most effective when ridden quietly. 3. Live To Dream has been quite disappointing this time in but up to the mile and with a wide gate it might force her into action and onto the speed. Definitely capable of better and this is something of a D-Day run for her.
How to play it: Queen Misty WIN ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Queen Misty running third behind Noire at Rosehill
|Race 6 - 4:10PM GROUP 3 SUMMER CUP (2001100 METRES)|
I’m not overly confident in the feature race other than to say I’d be surprised if 2015 winner 4. Mighty Lucky doesn’t run his usual honest race and put himself in the finish. He has been right behind the placegetters in all the summer features this time in including his close fourth in the Villiers last time around. This race won’t be run as brutally as that was and he’s definitely going at least as well now as he was when he won two years ago. Good chance.
Punters Intel: Mighty Lucky’s last 200m in the Villiers of 12.24 was the second fastest final split.
Dangers: 2. Red Excitement also comes through the Villiers where he finished midfield. Last summer he was quite effective around the 2000m winning this race and the Gosford Cup. I wonder if he’s the same horse since his battle with Winx earlier in the spring but has every chance here. 10. Lord Kingsley has been a real up and comer this time in and won a good form race in November before running into second in the ATC Cup. Not a great deal harder here and wide barrier isn’t a concern for him as he’ll likely drift back anyway. Each-way. 9. Montauk showed improvement second-up to run third in the ATC Cup and has had yet another trial to keep him ticking over. Once he finds form he’s pretty consistent and it would be no shock to see him in the finish. There are other chances but you can’t tip them all!
How to play it: Mighty Lucky E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Mighty Lucky runs fourth in the Villiers, with Red Excitement finishing seventh
|Race 7 - 4:50PM SPINALCURE RACING4RESEARCH SPRINT (1200 METRES)|
4. Montreal is a good thing’s price but I couldn’t come up with anything to beat him. You can punch holes in his first-up win at Wyong in a five horse field but from the perspective of an ideal first-up run after a year off the scene you couldn’t have asked for anything more. He took control and rolled along and was never troubled. You’d expect him to take control again from an inside gate and be the one they have to beat. He’ll probably anchor quite a few quaddies!
Punters Intel: Montreal scooted home in 32.85 for his last 600m at Wyong first-up.
Dangers: 14. Can Dream is also lightly raced and she did nothing wrong in five runs earlier this year. Performed against the likes of Wayanka, Noire and Our Belisa in that prep. Won her second trial back in good enough style and if there is a horse to beat Montreal she could well be the one. 3. Mon Pere has an unbeaten first-up record though that’s at 1300m. He hasn’t raced for a year but fitter for two trials and while drawn wide if there’s a bit of support it won’t surprise to see him run a cheeky race. 2. Akasaki kept coming first-up on a heavy track at Warwick Farm and has been generally consistent at this level in the past. One of the chances.
How to play it: Montreal WIN ($2.00 TAB Fixed Odds); save on Can Dream E/W ($9.50).
Montreal does it easily at his first run for a year at Wyong – December 13
|Race 8 - 5:30PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
The scratchings have helped the cause of 8. Dawn Raid who is flying through the grades out of town and a feature of his wins has been a very strong last 200m or so to secure those wins. Drawing the outside isn't as big a negative now with the five scratchings and he should be hard to hold out.
Dangers: 11. The Hipster is another promising type and he started favourite and seemed to have his chance when fourth to Drachenfels at Rosehill a couple of weeks back. Winkers on and is entitled to another chance. 14. Aquatic had cardiac arrhythmia first-up then found the like okay behind Brave Song at Canterbury. Only won once from 18 starts so really needs a win but I wouldn’t be leaving him out of the multiples or quaddies. 9. Gitan has been racing well in Highway events in two starts since a placing behind Istria here in November. Generally an on pacer and is worth including.
How to play it: Dawn Raid E/W ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Dawn Raid makes it three on end winning at Hawkesbury – December 10