By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Wednesday’s excellent midweek meeting at Warwick Farm. The track is rated a Good 4 and the rail is in the 3m position.
|Race 1 – 1:20PM VANCOUVER@COOLMORE AUSTRALIA PLATE (1100 METRES)|
I’m confident the best horse in the race is 1. Adana and if this were a 1200m-1300m race I’d say rush in and take the short quote. The fact he’s back 100m on his eye-catching debut second at this track about five weeks ago is a small concern, against that he’s been kept fresh with a tick-over trial in between. So long as he can stay in touch and can wind up he’ll run over the top of these and onto better things. Ran a race-best last 200m of 11.82 on debut (Punters Intel).
Danger: 3. Altair is a stablemate to Adana and trialled quietly behind that horse on March 8 then 12 days later was asked for a bit more and ran third behind Irish Bet. Has the Bowman factor and a nice draw and could pose a threat. 9. Sheriff trialled back in December then given another break. On his home track a couple of weeks ago he powered away to win an 800m trial looking pretty good. Hard to know where he stands but keep an eye on the betting for which way the confidence is headed. 7. Nicco Lad has the Snowden polish and he has trialled twice, no knock on him though he didn’t stick out as a likely first-up winner either. Another where the market might tell us more. 6. Momentum Factor is up and going and has been around the mark in similar events so can’t be left out.
How to play it: Adana WIN ($1.95 TAB Fixed Odds).
Adana hits the line strongly in a trial at Rosehill on March 8
|Race 2 - 1:55PM SLEDMERE STUD 2YO FILLIES PLATE (1100 METRES)|
If form counts for anything then it’s surprising that 7. Pure Elation isn’t a lot shorter in the market given she ran Golden Slipper winner Estijaab to less than half a length in the G2 Reisling Stakes on March 10, running the fastest last 200m of 11.39 (Punters Intel). All three starts have been in Group company and she’s performed pretty well. I’m not concerned about the wide gate with a couple of the likely leaders scratched and I’d be surprised if they don’t push forward to a degree and offset it. If she’s holding her form and runs up to last start she can break through.
Dangers: 5. Gododdin ran well on debut back in October and didn’t look completely at home in the soft conditions that day at Randwick, so a bit of extra merit can be added. She’s had two trials and was right on the placegetters’ heels in the latest. Expecting her to be competitive. 6. Invictus Salute has had two short trials to prepare for her debut and she stretched out quite well downing Enbihaar in the latest. Nicely bred filly, a half-sister to Acqume, and no surprise to see her in the finish here. 2. Bold Arial ran well first-up behind Fiesta then bumped into Aylmerton in a maiden at Canterbury, both in February, so she’s certainly capable of showing something here. Won a trial, tested out a bit, since and is sure to be in this for a long way.
How to play it: Pure Elation WIN ($2.40 TAB Fixed Odds); save Gododdin E/W ($8.50).
Pure Elation runs second to Estijaab at Randwick on March 10
|Race 3 – 2:30PM PLUCK@VINERY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Hands down the most interesting race of the day, though three scratchings from the Chris Waller yard take some of the gloss off it. Gone with the race fitness of impressive first-up winner 9. Dissolution who had his first start for Brad Widdup and bolted in over 1200m which bodes well for the campaign ahead. He was stakes placed at a mile in September and finished midfield in the G1 Spring Champion Stakes after that so the 1400m here will be right up his alley. Fitter, drawn to be handy and should be hard to beat again.
Dangers: 8. Icon Of Dubai ran down a promising horse in Leningrad at Kembla first-up with a decent gap to the rest. Wasn’t quite up to stakes level in the spring but both wins are at 1400m and he has that race fitness. Go well. 3. Higher Ground ran a bottler on debut at this track displayed staying promise as the prep went on. Likely to be a Queensland Derby prospect and he can run well fresh. 6. Thy Kingdom Come really reacted to being gelded by smashing a Class 1 field at Wyong earlier this month. Always shown some ability and no surprise to see him climb the ladder a bit.
How to play it: Dissolution WIN ($3.70 TAB Fixed Odds).
Dissolution’s impressive first-up win at Warwick Farm on March 14
|Race 4 – 3.10PM #THERACES HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
I have a very simple view of this staying race. If 2. Tamarack can run out the 2400m strongly he should kick their brains in. He’s racing very well and graduated to Saturday company with a game second to Just Shine at Randwick then ground away back 100m at Rosehill on Coolmore Classic Day. Back to midweek company and in a race with plenty of stayers who aren’t going to improve a lot he’s entitled to take care of them.
Dangers: 3. Mazaz won well here back in February then took that step up slightly in grade when narrowly beaten by Peribsen at Rosehill. Disappointed back to Gosford last week on a reasonably wet track so might be worth forgiving. Looks the loigical danger. 4. Letter To Juliette has been around the mark of late and gave a big sight when run down by Domed at Canterbury before being heavily backed up to 2400m and battling on in a close finish to just miss a place. No reason she can’t be competitive. 1. The Bandit is on the back up after doing nothing in the Manion Cup on Saturday and it’d be D-Day for him here. Wet track and the class didn’t suit him last weekend so if he’s going to perform he has the chance to show something. Blinkers first time. Couldn’t be confident, though.
How to play it: Tamarack WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds).
Tamarack sticks on for a close third at Rosehill on March 17
|Race 5 - 3:45PM BOWERMANS OFFICE FURNITURE HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Another quality race. Huge watch here on ex-NZ mare 1. I Am Poppy now with Bjorn Baker. I watched a couple of her NZ wins and she’s a front-running type who had a year off prior to two runs in the late spring where her first-up run was definitely a solid effort. Two trials since switching camps have both been good, particularly the first where Music Magnate ran her down with about five lengths to the rest. The market will tell us a lot but if there’s some support it’d be advisable to follow it.
Dangers: 6. Lisdoonvarna is another promising type and she enjoyed a very successful spring campaign with three wins from four starts. Fitter for a Kembla trial win, she’ll be in the first half in the run and is a good chance. 3. Sweet Deal gave a big sight when she resumed at Newcastle, just touched off by Tawfiq Boy who has subsequently placed in a Provincial Championships heat. Ran cheeky races in some of the good fillies events in the spring and is an each-way hope at least. 4. Vellor and 2. Artemis Rose hit the line together at Hawkesbury a couple of weeks ago and while there's more depth here they have claims.
How to play it: I Am Poppy E/W ($4.80 TAB Fixed Odds).
I Am Poppy runs second to Music Magnate in a Rosehill trial on March 8
|Race 6 - 4:25PM RANVET POWER FORMULA HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
I’m expecting a bit of speed here and that would suit 7. Trekking who is second-up as a gelding and comes off a close fourth behind I Am Excited when resuming at Rosehill a month ago. He ran a last 600m of 32.94 (Punters Intel), second only to the winner. Won a trial since, drawn to get all the favours behind them and if he’s going to be a racehorse at any better than this level I’d expect him to be right in the finish of this.
Dangers: 6. In Times Of War is back to taunt the punters but I wouldn’t be leaving her out especially if the suspected speed in the race eventuates. Looking at her trial win I don’t mind her drawn out a bit, she can settle and hit the line without worrying about bustling for a position. We know she’s good enough to go close and she’s impossible to leave out. 4. Spending To Win controlled things two starts back and was never going to be beaten. No match for the winner but a good effort at Canberra chasing Guard Of Honour and the third horse has since won. Should run well. 1. Lake Lugarno never runs a bad race and she might be able to find the lead here and they won’t want to let her stack them up. Not far form Spending To Win at Canberra last start and she can take a hand in this.
How to play it: Trekking WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds).
Trekking’s first-up fourth behind I Am Excited at Rosehill on February 24
|Race 7 - 5:05PM RIBCHESTER NEW TO DARLEY MILE (1600 METRES)|
7. Sondelon could be forgotten up on the speed and if that happens he might get a cheap sectional or two and give a sight, especially with a bit of the speed coming out of the race. Lightly raced and has been too strong in his two starts to date including leading all the way over a mile at Kembla almost two weeks ago. Always respect the Waterhouse/Bott yard when they decide to bring promising types up to city grade.
Dangers: 9. Absolute had a nice run and was able to hold off Roman Son last start so has to be considered. Meets that horse 1kg worse at the weights and may need a bit more luck from the gate this time but not counting him out. 1. Tip Top has a big weight and a wide gate to contend with but he never runs a bad race and the scratchings have helped his cause a great deal. Untried at the mile but wouldn’t be counting him out. Keep an eye on 6. See The Master and 8. Raqeeq who both resumed behind Absolute on March 14 and will relish an extra 200m – though perhaps it might still be a bit short.
How to play it: Sondelon E/W ($4.00 TAB Fixed Odds).
Sondelon leads all the way to win Kembla Grange on March 16
|Race 8 - 5:40PM TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Tricky one to finish off. 17. Albumin wasn’t suited ridden so close to the speed in the Canberra Guineas so his failure there is a complete forgive run. Liked his first-up effort at Caulfield and with a bit of speed likely here he should have the chance to sit back a bit and find the line. He’s attracted some support early which is encouraging and only has to find his spring form around Viridine to take beating.
Dangers: 9. Crafty Tycoon is one of those honest sprinting types who always puts in but tends to find one or two better. He’s been thereabouts at his last three starts and is going to be an each-way chance again. 14. Keymaster shouldn’t be dismissed here as his stablemate Cosmologist proved a couple of weeks back. He’s around that horse’s level and absolutely cantered in at Bathurst last start just over a month ago. Run down by Ori On Fire before that and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him give a bit of cheek at big odds. 3. Dortmund was a shade disappointing first-up over this course but he did box on fairly well to be beaten 1.4 lengths. The blinkers go back on here so they might sharpen him up and he’s worth including in the chances. 1. Pakaya Prince has run well in Sydney before and could show up fresh and 7. Art Of Excellence could give a sight first-up if he’s able to find the front.
How to play it: Albumin E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds).
Albumin running third to Viridine at Randwick back in September