By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s meeting at Warwick Farm. The track will be good and the rail is in the 3m position.
|Race 1 – 1:35PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
She’s a maiden racing out of her grade but 4. Stella Victoria has shown more than enough in her two runs back to say a win isn’t far away. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the form around her. First-up she was narrowly beaten by Wooskha, who won again after that, with Mascot in third. Mascot was then first past the post at Randwick before losing on protest with Stella Victoria a close third in a race where there was plenty of interference. There’s not a lot of speed here and she can stalk from the inside alley and is entitled to be in the finish.
Danger: 2. Kissing Game broke through two starts back at Canterbury, the runner-up a beaten favourite in a maiden at the Gold Coast last weekend, then no match for Sasso Corbaro at Randwick. She’s racing very well and should have every chance but I think she’s a little under the odds. 1. High Low Bet looked good winning on debut at Randwick in April (runner-up is still a maiden) then returned in August and didn’t do a whole lot. Her two trials have been very quiet and her place in the market in the last 10 minutes will be significant. One of the chances but, still, it’d be a small surprise to see her win. 5. After Thought was a dominant maiden winner at Kembla a couple of weeks ago where she sprinted clear early in the straight and safely held off the chasers. May well control the race in front and could give a sight if she can run up to that effort.
How to play it: Stella Victoria WIN ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Stella Victoria’s close third at Randwick on January 1
|Race 2 - 2:15PM CASINO PRINCE@VINERY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
I have to be with 7. Ombudsman on the back up from last week at Canterbury where he was in a highly unsuitable race but still ran very well and was half a length from running second. He’s looking for the 1400m and probably a mile. Hugh Bowman rides here over the stablemates, I take that as a good pointer, and if he’s close enough on the home turn he should be going very close this time.
Punters Intel: Ombudsman's final 600m last week was 34.74, a clear 0.24 seconds faster than any other runner in his race.
Dangers: 8. Song And A Prayer also comes through the Randwick event on New Year’s Day where she was making her debut and attacked the line quite well running sixth beaten less than a length. I thought she bottomed out close to the line so will only be fitter and if she doesn’t want further she’s a genuine threat. 1. Condor is an interesting runner. He’s raced against much stronger company on Saturdays in his four starts to date for three city placings. He’s drawn wide and his latest trial was a pass mark but if he brings his race day form here and has a bit of luck he’s capable of featuring. 11. Milanese Girl promised a bit early but hasn't done a lot since that handy debut placing. However, her two trials this time in have suggested a win isn't beyond her and she could surprise.
How to play it: Ombudsman WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Ombudsman hits the line late at Canterbury last week
|Race 3 - 2:50PM TAB HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
There’s entitled to be at least a genuine tempo in this scamper if those that are noted leaders run to their pattern. In a tricky one it’s worth forgiving 2. Akasaki for failing when up to 1200m at Randwick on Boxing Day. He was forced to chase the promising Montreal and was still third at the 100m before dropping right out. Back to the sprint trip here, drawn to have a nice sit just off them and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t finish top three.
Dangers: 4. I Can Rock usually runs well on his home track and was runner-up to Akasaki here back in July. He was never a threat when resuming at Randwick but he’ll fare a lot better here with some speed on. Best effort at 1000m so far is a third placing but has the chance to improve on that. 6. Anna’s Joy is a bit of an unknown as she’s lightly raced and won two from three at Kembla and Wagga back in August. She’s led or been right there in all three starts and from gate two she’s going to have to at least hold her spot. Could measure up. 7. Moccasin Miss proved a bit too good when resuming at Muswellbrook before running on without threatening at Canterbury in mares company. Her form usually takes a dip second-up so forgive that run and she should be hitting the line strongly here.
How to play it: Akasaki E/W ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds).
Akasaki running second first-up at Warwick Farm – December 6
|Race 4 - 3:25PM #THERACES HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
8. Witches got the job done at her first run for Brad Widdup and this race is certainly no harder, especially after the scratchings. There appears to be enough speed to have her able to settle midfield or so with cover and come with one run as she did at Randwick in what was a strong win. Her second-up form is patchy but I’m ignoring that to an extent because she’s with a new stable now and if she holds her form, or improves, she’ll be very hard to beat.
Punters Intel: Witches ran 33.16 for her last 600m in winning at Randwick and her 11.20 final 200m was clearly the fastest of the race.
Dangers: 6. Uno Best was second-up when he led and gave quite a good account before running third behind Witches. He can only be fitter and will be up on the pace again here so if he happens to get a breather, which he may with the scratchings, he could be harder to catch. 9. Elouera is probably a bit better at 1400m but she has run some handy races at 1200m and comes here fresh. Will get back from the wide gate and look for her to be running on. Each-way chance. 7. Vega has been disappointing of late but faces a lot less depth here than he did at Randwick on Boxing Day. Could improve into the placings.
How to play it: Witches WIN ($2.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Witches produces a strong finish to score first-up at Randwick – January 1
|Race 5 - 4:05PM TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
Confidence in this race has been knocked around with the scratching of Prometheus from a race that looked to be his. 3. Sir Barb is getting close to a win and will appreciate a slight drop in grade on his second-up fifth at Randwick where he did find the line particularly well in the last 100m. The mile suits him and he did win over this course before going for a spell. Expecting him to run a big race.
Dangers: 9. Tahsin has been freshened up since winning the Mudgee Cup about seven weeks ago but kept ticking over with a barrier trial. He’s a consistent type and can settle just about anywhere so from gate one there are options for him. Should run well. 11. Fournette won a very good form race first-up at Goulburn before failing at Rosehill second-up. Freshened and she fared a lot better running fourth to Regine. With this race falling right away depth wise she's well in contention. 2. Multifacets is a horse that always scares me, though he hasn't won for a while. He did run a nice second when resuming last time in and has found Bowman to ride. Yot have to throw him in the quaddie at worst.
How to play it: Sir Barb E/W ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds).
Sir Barb's second-up effort at Randwick on January 6
|Race 6 - 4:45PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
Another race with some important scratchings changing the face of the event. 2. Hillary Step has the chance to return to the front-running pattern that brought success at Wyong three starts back and that would definitely give her a winning chance. Solid enough two starts back when a beaten favourite at Canterbury but was never really a hope behind Fortensky last time. Worth another chance in a wide open race.
Dangers: 5. Magicaz is one of those horses that doesn’t win out of turn but she has bobbed into the placings a bit of late. Boxed on okay at Randwick last start against the boys and back to mares company with a soft draw she is an each-way chance. 8. Vinnie Power has been racing in good form at the provincials recently and was beaten by the bob of the head last time at Newcastle. Rarely runs a bad one and gets a chance in town here. Not sure what to do with 10. Nines Enough who started $2 when beating one home at Canterbury second-up. I was negative on her chances in that race though we'll never really know how she'd have fared as interference cost her any chance. I think she is unders but she has her chance to bounce back.
How to play it: Hillary Step E/W ($8.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Hillary Step leading all the way to win at Wyong in November
|Race 7 - 5:20PM 2018 ATC MEMBERSHIP HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
I know he’s going to need a bit of luck but it’s hard not to be impressed with the way 2. Travancore has come back this time in as a gelding. He was a bit unlucky second-up at Kembla then was well ridden and nailed Smartedge late, turning the tables from Kembla, at Randwick. Stays at 1400m and while drawn wide the 1400m start is pretty fair as there’s basically a straight run to the home turn. So if he can find some cover and not concede too much ground I’d back him to pick them up late.
Punters Intel: Travancore was the only horse to break 34 seconds for the last 600m in his race at Randwick, running 33.68.
Dangers: 12. Danzie is an interesting runner. He’s had three starts out of town for a narrow debut win when not favourite and two close defeats when an odds-on favourite. He ran away from Canberra in their trial at Rosehill last week under a bit of a push but from gate one he’ll have every chance. If he’s solid in the market closer to the race then he commands respect but keep safe regardless. 4. Time Out Of Mind has found the line pretty well in two runs this time in, the latest behind Witches at Randwick. Up to the 1400m he might settle a little closer and is definitely one you want to have in trifectas etc. 5. Vaniloquio did quite a good job when runner-up to Choice Harvest at Wyong second-up and has featured both times he's started on his home track. Each-way claims.
How to play it: Travancore WIN ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds), Quinella with Danzie.
Travancore arrives in time to win at Randwick on January 1