By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s very strong meeting at Rosehill Gardens. The track has improved to a Soft 7 but could still improve further. The rail is in the 8m position.
|Race 1 – 1:25PM CASINO PRINCE@VINERY HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
If you’ve read my trial reviews in recent weeks you’ll know I’ve been impressed by 11. Wagner and while this race could potentially turn out very strong he’s looked well above average. Both trial wins have been over the short trip, which is always a bit of a concern, but the way he accelerated, seemingly under a hold, to win the latest says there’s a powerful motor. Unfortunately he has been so impressive in those trials we have to take a short price to find out how good he is, on a wet track, but I can’t possibly tip against him.
Danger: 3. Chabreet would probably start odds-on in any other two-year-old maiden and he’s a worthy second pick on the back of two nice trial wins in his own right. His trials have been at 900m and 799m, so not as short as Wagner’s, and I’d expect Kerrin McEvoy will use gate two and put him right up there. 9. Ringerdingding has also been trialling quite well and appears to have some ability. Might have struck a tough one for his debut but finished his 1030m trial off with gusto at Rosehill on February 19 and it wouldn’t surprise to see him run well. 10. Vega One was sent out big odds at his debut but was very competitive finishing less than a length from Zousain earlier this month. Race experience can often be an asset and if he can progress, and handle a soft track, he’s right in the mix.
How to play it: Wagner WIN ($1.90 TAB Fixed Odds).
What do you make of Wagner’s trial win at Randwick on February 12?
|Race 2 - 2:00PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
4. Cristobal has been on the radar ever since she had her first trial under the name Quaintly at the official trials in September. She’s obviously needed some time, as she didn’t race in the spring, and there’s been plenty to like about her two trials in February, both over 900m. The latest was a nice effort behind Sweet Ava and if she handles the conditions (no reason to think she won’t at this point) then she’s hard to beat. Good early price too.
Dangers: 11. Thank Heavens is one horse, on pedigree, you’d back to love the sting out of the ground being out of noted mudlark Reggie. She’s a half-sister to Heavens Above who also likes some give and she was very well hidden in her only public trial. Watch for some support and if there is any it’d be worth including her. 6. Miss Fabulass is the blueblood of the race being by Frankel out of former topliner Samantha Miss. She looked the part in her latest trial, though question on what she beat, and with a bit of luck from the wide gate (which may not matter so much on a soft track) she can be competitive. 7. Rosina Kojonup cost $425,000 largely because she’s a half-sister to She Will Reign (who cost $20,000) and she was impressive enough in her only trial earlier this month to keep her in the mix. Don’t see any issue with soft ground on breeding and she did stretch out nicely down the outside from off the pace in her trial. 1. Terminology has tackled a couple of very strong races, including her last start second to Sunlight, and obviously has to be respected. She has won three trials so far but is yet to be as effective on race day. Slight risk for mine.
How to play it: Cristobal E/W ($8.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Cristobal runs a close second to Sweet Ava in a Rosehill trial on February 19.
|Race 3 – 2:35PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1800 METRES)|
We’ll find out a lot more about whether 1. All Too Soon is an ATC Oaks contender after this race and there’s no reason to suggest she can’t continue to climb the ladder here. She was dominant at her only attempt at this trip back in November then resumed and carried 60.5kg to a narrow but strong win first-up at Kembla. Wet track is no issue and she’ll put herself in the first four, you’d expect. Would shock me if she’s not in the finish.
Dangers: 2. Condor is starting to put it together after being just behind the Saturday class types in the winter and he backed up a promising return to easily account for a subsequent city winner at Canterbury a few weeks back. Any kind of wet track isn’t an issue and he’s a serious chance. 3. Deladies Boy has had a mixed preparation so far and it’s probably a matter of which version turns up as to his chances here. Did nothing at Warwick Farm two starts back then turned it right around at Canterbury up to the 1900m. An each-way chance if the same horse from last start arrives. 4. Huangshan hit the line quite well in the same race to finish third and he’s another that seems to be getting his act together now. Hugh Bowman rode him to win at Gosford and is back on board here. Well worth including in the main hopes.
How to play it: All Too Soon E/W ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
All Too Soon gets the job done first-up at Kembla Grange on February 6
|Race 4 – 3.10PM TAB HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
I erred in not going with 3. Renewal first-up and I hope it’s the right thing to jump back on board because he won that race at Canterbury with authority, with a nice dash from the 400m-200 of 11.68 (Punters Intel). The only small worry for me isn’t the soft track, it’s the fact he won impressively on debut then was beaten second-up. But, he went straight for a break after that so perhaps he’s more furnished now.
Dangers: 2. Our Mantra tried to go with Renewal in that race at Canterbury but I couldn’t offer any excuse, the winner just had a better turn of foot when it counted. His last soft track run, behind Kaonic at Randwick, wasn’t too bad as he had a torrid run on that occasion so I don’t think the ground is a negative. He has a 2kg turnaround on Renewal so I guess he has his chance. 12. Canadienne is eligible for much easier races but she’s lightly raced and has shown some ability in three starts down south. Won on a soft track at Seymour and her second trial this time in behind Regimen was solid enough. Each-way claims. 4. Al Mah Haha is a better horse than his inglorious effort at Canterbury on February 2 would suggest and I’d expect a tactics change given what was said in the stewards report after that failure. Blinkers off, he handles soft tracks and it wouldn’t surprise to see him hitting the line much stronger here.
How to play it: Renewal WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Renewal downs Our Mantra at Canterbury on February 8
|Race 5 - 3:50PM BOWERMANS OFFICE FURNITURE HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
I must admit after two unlucky placings on end I thought 11. Gaytime Girl would be a lot better found in the market even though she is favourite. She should have gone very close to beating All Too Soon two starts back then she stepped away a shade slow and found herself buried on the fence at a vital stage at Canterbury a couple of weeks back. Drawn away from the fence here and she’s won on a soft 5. If you’ve been on her lately you’re entitled to back up in a winnable race.
Dangers: 7. Stella Victoria needs the race run to suit her with a bit of tempo, especially coming back from the mile, but if that occurs she can be a serious threat. Only won the one race but she’s been right around the mark in this sort of company and is hard to leave out. 13. Makfi Lass was hard to miss first-up in what was a fairly strong Highway at Warwick Farm, getting a long way back but working home very strongly to be beaten four lengths and finish midfield. The 1400m and soft ground are both ticks and she’s a big chance. 1. Aonair has only put in one bad run and that was in Listed company so she bears close watching fresh. Can’t take a lot out of her two trials but won fresh last prep at 1400m and she’s definitely one to include in the multiples and quaddies.
How to play it: Gaytime Girl E/W ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Gaytime Girl’s luckless second at Canterbury on February 16
|Race 6 - 4:30PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
Scratchings have opened this race right up and I'm left with 5. Merovee who found the 1300m too short when he resumed at Rosehill a month ago but he did make up some ground late. He improved with racing last time in and second-up in the spring was an eye-catching second at 1300m at Randwick. Has another 200m here and Hugh Bowman to ride. Good chance. .
Dangers: 4. Kaonic is entitled to perform second-up here but I have to be a bit cautious as he really wasn’t interested when he resumed behind Don’t Give A Damn at Rosehill. Perhaps he was underdone and the 1500m on a soft track. I’d rather find out how he's going before taking $2.30 but again the scratchings have helped his cause. 6. Onslaught is hard to fault of late and with seven left in the race he's impossible to leave out as he makes his own luck. I'm not entertaining anything else as a winning chance.
How to play it: Merovee WIN ($2.90 TAB Fixed Odds).
Merovee found the trip too short but still hit the line well first-up at Rosehill on February 5
|Race 7 - 5:05PM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
2. Reach For Heaven is well worth another chance after a disastrous second-up run where he went back from a wide gate, found some trouble and never got into the hunt at Canterbury. Has weight relief with the claim and hopefully barrier one isn’t a disadvantage but he’s the type that can put himself in a race from a good gate. Unlucky also first-up when trapped wide and handles the sting out fine. More than capable of bouncing back.
Dangers: 4. Tenorino strikes me as a big improver third-up now he’s up to a little more suitable trip with a bit of give in the ground. He ran well first-up then stayed at 1100m and was never a factor but closed off his race out wide like a horse wanting more ground. Can be a big improver. 1. Sanctioned is the class runner first-up as a gelding since the spring. He was runner-up to Ace High in the Gloaming and fourth in the Spring Champion and has performed well fresh in the past. Massive class drop, obviously, and he’s one to keep very safe. 5. Thaad isn't really one of my horses but on his first-up run behind Tip Top he's a chance, a bit plain last time behind Bratislava.
How to play it: Reach For Heaven WIN ($3.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Reach For Heaven’s first-up effort when a close second at Randwick in January.
|Race 8 - 5:40PM SO YOU THINK @ COOLMORE AUSTRALIA HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
I’d say just about anything goes in this staying contest. 2. Multitude has found Beijing Board just a little bit too good at his last couple but if he gets some breaks in the run here he has a good chance to go one better. On paper it appears to me he’s likely to be softened up a bit on the pace but if for some reason that doesn’t happen he will be very hard to catch. Blinkers off and Hippo on are changes hard to ignore so include him in everything.
Dangers: 12. Mazaz was probably ridden out of his comfort zone at Warwick Farm two weeks ago but it was effective and he atoned for a luckless second at Randwick a week earlier. I’m expecting him to take a sit here and if the track is on the better side of soft he’s right in this again. 5. The Gavel always gets under the radar but produced his best in no uncertain terms winning over this trip at Randwick with a barnstorming finish. Likes some give in the ground too and is always an each-way chance. 10. Go Benny might be a bit under the radar here. Close up behind The Gavel at Randwick then a popular winner back in class at Orange. Wide gate but tends to get back and could get into the finish at odds.
How to play it: Multitude E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Multitude tried hard when running second at Warwick Farm on February 10