By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s midweek meeting at Warwick Farm. The track is rated a good 4, and the rail is in the 5m position from the 1000m to the WP, 3m the remainder.
|Race 1 – 12:50PM PRIDE OF DUBAI@COOLMORE AUSTRALIA PLATE (1200 METRES)|
This looks to be anyone’s race. Last Saturday’s results make the form around 7. Quick Nick look pretty handy for a midweek maiden. Let’s not get carried away but he was closing on the first two home at Newcastle and the runner-up was of course El Dorado Dreaming, who is now a Group 1 winner. Take that fact away and it was still an excellent effort, running the fastest last 600m of 34.68 and was the only horse to break 12 seconds (11.97) for the last 200m (Punters Intel). Whether he’s looking for a little further than 1200m now remains to be seen but he’s drawn favourably and has each-way claims at least.
Danger: 4. Gem Song commands a lot of respect as when Kris Lees brings them to town on debut it’s usually a sign of a horse’s ability. He won a Wyong trial in good fashion a couple of weeks ago and I can’t leave him out. 9. Dream Child appeared to have her chance at Rosehill on Easter Monday but she did fight back well when headed so the 1200m might be up her alley. She will go forward and if they hand her the lead she can take running down. 1. Altair was a drifter in betting on debut and didn’t have the best of luck early in the straight so to be beaten 2.8 lengths isn’t terrible. Wouldn’t surprise to see him improve sharply if he has time to wind up.
How to play it: Quick Nick E/W ($8.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Quick Nick closes strongly at Newcastle on March 31 behind a subsequent Group 1 winner
|Race 2 - 1:25PM PLUCK@VINERY HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
I’m a little surprised that 6. Semper Fidelis hasn’t won a race as yet but that could all change this time around. She ran a much improved race at Gosford third-up, hitting the line well, and there looks to be at least an even tempo with a few potential leaders engaged. She is becoming costly, beaten favourite her last four starts, but she’s worth one more go in a very winnable race.
Dangers: If there’s money around for 2. Savvy Ken it might be worth jumping ship as he’s the big query of this race. Ex-Victorian, first run for Clare Cunningham and we all know how well her stable is going. On his southern form he’s an on pacer and if the betting suggests he’ll run well he will be hard to beat. 4. Omineca tackled a good form race on debut placing behind Sondelon and Gresham, both of whom have won since, at Newcastle about six weeks ago. Kept fresh, trialled and steps to a mile. Keep safe. 3. Given Time had every possible chance when runner-up at Hawkesbury last week as a $1.16 favourite and it would be quite an improvement if he were to win this race. But, you have to keep him in mind being from the Waller camp as he can improve sharply.
How to play it: Semper Fidelis WIN ($2.90 TAB Fixed Odds); save Savvy Ken E/W ($5.00).
Semper Fidelis runs on into second at Gosford on March 21
|Race 3 – 2:00PM RIBCHESTER NEW TO DARLEY HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
With the step up to the mile I can just see 4. Grand Finalist look to take a bit of control. He’s been solid in two runs back, beaten less than a length on both occasions, and kept coming as he chased a leader that kicked away early in the straight at Rosehill. From the outside I’d be shocked if he doesn’t lead or sit outside and in a race with less depth than he met last time he’s entitled to go close.
Dangers: 1. Higher Ground took a while to warm up but he was quite strong late when he resumed at Warwick Farm two weeks ago behind Dissolution. That form is strong and he will appreciate the mile. I wonder if it’s one run too soon for him but no shock at all if he proves too good. 3. Cedarwood is hard to line up because he mixes his form. Never in it all in the same race as Grand Finalist at Rosehill last time but he did win second-up at Newcastle. Drawn well, light weight so the writing’s on the wall to improve here. 6. Animalia has been costly in two runs back as a beaten favourite. Safely held at Kembla second-up but did have 61.5kg and drops 7kg into this. If he’s going to produce his best form he has conditions to suit, the question is will he?
How to play it: Grand Finalist WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Grand Finalist’s close up fourth at Rosehill on April 2
|Race 4 – 2.35PM TAB HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
Happy to take the punt that (each-way) that 9. Royal Advance could be a handy one on the strength of an impressive debut win at Hawkesbury. He looked to be chasing, even though he was on the pace, all the way and only got stronger as the race went on. Extra 200m suits and the blinkers go on, which is interesting, so expect him to be right up on the pace and he could be hard to get past.
Dangers: 8. Destiny’s Hero also comes through a Hawkesbury event fresh and there was plenty to like about the way he attacked the line over the 1300m. Perhaps he is looking for a little further but he won’t have to concede as big a start as he did last time from a wide gate and he’s in the mix. 1. Toga Picta is fitter for two runs back in Melbourne and it’s fair to say he’s had his chance though he hasn’t been far away. Blinkers go on here and if he’s going to strike a win then he has every opportunity to fire here. 2. Molten has been thereabouts in two runs back and held his ground well enough in a similar race at Wyong a month ago. Blinkers back on here, drawn soft and has each-way claims at least in an open race.
How to play it: Royal Advance E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Royal Advance proves too strong on debut at Hawkesbury on March 27
|Race 5 - 3:10PM BOWERMANS OFFICE FURNITURE HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
This is one of those races that looks to contain a reasonable amount of speed on paper and that can make things tricky. Often the speed doesn’t materialise. So, taking a bit of an each-way punt on 8. Good Weather who attacked the line strongly first-up at Hawkesbury over the unsuitable 1000m, running his last 200m in 11.12 (Punters Intel) only bettered by the winner. Goes to 1300m here from an inside gate and previously he’s been able to either lead or sit handy at similar trips. Can’t be super confident but he hasn’t done anything wrong to date and is a good chance.
Dangers: 5. Art Of Excellence stayed on well first-up over 1200m on this track when third behind Arancini and the extra 100m is in his favour, though I wonder if 1400m would be more ideal. That depends on whether he can find the front or is forced into a trailing position like he was fresh. Sure to run well. 2. Dortmund disappointed me first-up, though he wasn’t disgraced, then finished midfield in the same event mentioned above here on March 28. Blinkers off and if he can find his best he’s right in the mix. Not sure what to make of 10. Kotinos who ran them ragged at Newcastle in a major form reversal last start. Similar tactics would make it interesting.
How to play it: Good Weather E/W ($10 TAB Fixed Odds).
Good Weather’s handy first-up second at Hawkesbury on March 27
|Race 6 - 3:45PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
Massive D-Day coming up here for 3. Marsupial after seconds from as many starts this time in. Run down by a smart one first-up then tried hard behind Provincial Championships hope Manhattan Mist in the heavy at Gosford three weeks ago. Good track, perfect draw, everything looks in place for him to break through. Much like stablemate Trekking a couple of weeks ago. He’s entitled to be a short priced favourite and equally entitled to win.
Dangers: 7. Rebel Miss hasn’t been beaten far in her two runs back though she can be a little hot and cold. In her favour is a weight drop and if she has the breaks fall her way then she can take holding out. One of those horses you just have to throw in. 5. Cockles did the job narrowly at Dubbo on Country Championships day, atoning for a luckless defeat at Newcastle prior. Yet to prove himself at this level but racing very well and will be strong at the finish. 4. After All That rarely runs a bad one and overlooking his first-up run last prep in the Group 3 Shorts behind Redzel as a pointer to him fresh. Beat Suncraze second-up in that prep and while 1100m is short of his best he should be competitive.
How to play it: Marsupial WIN ($1.85 TAB Fixed Odds).
Marsupial is narrowly beaten at Gosford on March 21
|Race 7 - 4:20PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Tough race and I reckon you can do worse than have something each-way on 3. Veladero first-up from a spell at a suitable trip. He didn’t have a great spring campaign though he was $6-$4 first-up at Rosehill and raced wide throughout before weakening. He trialled quite strongly over 794m a couple of weeks ago and if he can take advantage of the inside gate and be in the first six or so he should be in the finish, assuming he’s back in business.
Dangers: 14. Balmain Boy is one of those horses that doesn’t win out of turn but does enough to keep him in contention from a form perspective. He was consistent without winning through the summer and he worked home nicely in a trial behind Redzel on March 26. I can see him running a cheeky race here fresh. 2. Peacock played catch me if you can at Rosehll second-up and they couldn’t run him down in a performance we haven’t seen from him in a while. From the 12 gate you’d think similar tactics will be adopted and while he is up 5.5kg he is down in class and a repeat performance sees him hard to run down. 6. Philosophy has to go in among the chances though I am a little concerned that she’s unders. Not raced since October and has had a colic operation in the meantime. She won fresh and was hit and miss last prep, her trials have been the same though the latest clearly wasn’t a serious test. Rather include than dismiss but I can’t back her.
How to play it: Veladero E/W ($9.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Veladero wins his trial well at Warwick Farm on March 23
|Race 8 - 4:55PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
10. Can Dream caught the eye with a hard held third in her only trial this time in, at Randwick a cuple of weeks back, and she sets up well to run a nice race fresh. Only run last prep she chased hard to finish second to Montreal at Randwick on Boxing Day off a similarly nice trial effort. Lightly raced and I’d be surprised if she doesn’t feature in the finish, and we get each-way odds to find out.
Dangers: 5. Resin is on the up this time in with an easy maiden win here, over a subsequent winner, then an all the way success at Gosford though not as convincingly. She will press forward from the wide alley and should give another good account. 1. Yulong Xingsheng won’t know herself in midweek restricted company after taking on the Light Fingers and Surround Stakes in her two runs back. She wasn’t up to that level but was stakes performed in the spring so no surprise to see her bounce back to form. 3. Conchita is another back in grade and she was never in the picture in the Birthday Card on Golden Slipper Day. Her first-up fourth to Serene Miss is probably a better pointer to her chances in this race but her record says her form can be patchy so take a bit on trust. That said she’s entitled to improve here.
How to play it: Can Dream E/W ($11 TAB Fixed Odds).
Can Dream trials nicely at Randwick on March 26