By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Randwick on Saturday.
The rail is out +12m from the 1600m to the winning post and +10m the remainder. The track is expected to remain in the soft range.
|Race 1 - 11:35AM AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
4. Havin’ Fun shapes like she’ll relish the step out to 1400m. The daughter of All Too Hard found the line sweetly on debut against the three-year-olds over 1100m before a gun ride by Blake Shinn saw her motor to victory at Canterbury out to 1200m. There was three lengths back to third and on Wednesday the second horse Special Snap subsequently beat Rotator. Shinn sticks with the John Sargent-trained filly and should have her parked in a midfield spot. Punters Intelligence reveals her last 400m split of 23.97s was a length quicker than the next best which was 7. Starla (24.19s), a filly she meets again here. 3. Mandela raced on the same day as Havin’ Fun and clocked 0.22s faster overall time (close to 1.5 lengths), however the races were run very differently with Havin’ Fun recording the faster closing splits. That was after a mid-race slow down from the leaders.
Dangers: Mandela is very hard to beat, make no mistake about that but I just can’t justify the odds on quote compared to the early price available for Havin’ Fun. He threw the race away on debut ducking out and was forced back to the trials, where he looked brilliant dashing clear of his rivals. He’ll camp behind the speed again drawn barrier 1. Convinced that 8. War Baron is flying and he gets out to a trip now where it’ll become more evident. Staying at 1200m was against him second up after he hit the line nicely behind Funstar and Leviathan at Randwick first up. Probably needs a mile to be a winning chance against some of these sharper types but look for him to run into a placing. Starla has to be respected if not for her SP profile alone, jumping $1.90 last start but she has some work to do turning the tables on Havin’ Fun.
How to play it: Havin’ Fun WIN ($7 TAB Fixed Odds) and SAVE Mandela ($1.95) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Havin’ Fun winning at Canterbury last start
|Race 2 - 12:10PM TAB HIGHWAY (1100 METRES)|
What have I missed here for 11. Lady Demi to be the odds that she is? She beat 12. Moonshine Lady pretty comfortably at Moruya last start but because the latter has since trounced her rivals on a bottomless track at Nowra she is $11 and Lady Demi $51! Pisa My Heart ran second there and has since failed in a Highway but putting that down to the heavy track. The start prior to her Moruya win, Lady Demi ran on hard to run third at Nowra where she clocked the fastest last 600m split of the day (32.77s). The trick to the turnaround in her form looks to be the drop back from 1200m to 1000m. She tackles 1100m for the first time here, so it might be stretching her a touch but at the odds it’s worth the gamble. Doesn’t have to be last from the middle draw and gets in with 50kg after the claim. Trainer Terry Robinson is the quiet achiever of Highway Handicaps winning 11 from 64 starters putting him behind only Dunn, Williams and Dale.
Dangers: 2. Siege Warfare gets the blinkers on for the first time. He didn’t have the smoothest of passages last start, never being allowed to click through his gears. He had more to offer no doubt but 8. Caccini had his measure over the concluding stages and must be respected off that. Siege Warfare ran third to Sir Elton prior to that. Gayna Williams has another smartie in the barn in 5. Healing Hands. The lightly-raced four-year-old cruised to the line in a recent Muswellbrook trial. The last time we saw him at the races he won over 1400m at Dubbo. Slight query with 1100m being too sharp? Probably clutching at straws but he is very well found all the same. Not sure how we assess 4. Mr Wong. It looked his race to lose last start but he wanted to hang out in the straight. Has been back to the trials and drops back to 1100m. Doesn’t lack for talent but needs to iron out his manners. 1. Irish Songs is very consistent but the draw doesn’t do him any favours.
How to play it: Lady Demi EACH WAY ($34 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS
Lady Demi winning at Moruya last start
|Race 3 - 12:45PM BOOK SPRING HOSPITALITY HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
3. Sir Elton didn’t look all that comfortable in the heavy ground at Randwick last start but still won very easily at the finish. Punters Intelligence reveals Sir Elton’s last 600m was 37.06s! It was a testing track alright. Hugh Bowman sticks with the unbeaten three-year-old and shouldn’t have too much trouble dictating the race from the front having drawn barrier 2. This is his first try at 1200m but that shouldn’t stop him. His two wins prior to Randwick, at Gosford and Wyong, suggested he was a sprinter that would measure up to at least city class, and perhaps even better. There is a slight rise on grade to consider too but three of his eight rivals he accounted for last time out. He is beautifully placed by Adam Duggan to make it four on the trot. Short but sweet. Still backable at $1.90.
Dangers: 6. Haut Brion Her went straight to the front at Canterbury first up and never looked like losing. The second horse Wimlah won on Wednesday. The best part of Haut Brion Her’s race was her strength to the line with Punters Intelligence revealing her 12.58s last 200m was the quickest in the field, despite leading them up. That also presents the query about of here, however. We saw her tackle 1400m second up in her first preparation. She is back to 1200m from 1250m this time, albeit swapping Canterbury for Randwick. Like Sir Elton, she is a progressive horse herself, and despite the distance knock, looks the only logical danger to the favourite. Have mapped her to sit outside of Sir Elton so she’ll get her chance from there. 8. Misteed might be a fresh horse? Her second up run was plain.
How to play it: Sir Elton WIN ($1.70 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Sir Elton bringing up win number three
|Race 4 - 1:20PM TAB HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
It’s rocks or diamonds with four-year-old mare 6. Velocita but on the strength of her return behind Notation, she’s hard to beat in this. The daughter of Sebring, via Punters Intelligence, ran the fastest sustained splits in the race all the way from the 1000m to the 200m before peaking late. It was a tough slog that day at Randwick in heavy ground so for her to produce that first up from a spell suggests there’s a couple of wins in her over the winter. All she has to do is hold her form. That doesn’t sound like too much to ask but she has only won three from 18 and in 11 of those 15 defeats she has started single figure odds. Now that’s out of the way, she loves Randwick (3:0-1-2), handles wet ground and Blake Shinn has ridden her five times for a record of 5:2-1-2. No surprise to see the early money come for her.
Dangers: This is the easiest grade of race 1. Slow Burn has contested in a long time. Since start number five in fact, where she ran third to Osborne Bulls and In Times Of War in a BM75 at Canterbury. In the 11 runs since, six have been at Group level. The five-year-old never looked likely first up but she was okay in finishing fifth behind Passage Of Time in a BM94. Has trialled well since on two occasions. She’s more comfortable on top of the ground, however. 3. Bangkok boxed away at Randwick last start, albeit no match for Ljungberg. 2. Shazee Lee was closing the gap on her late and meets her 2kg better off. 7. Judge Judi is three from three second up but this is her first try in Saturday company. 9. High Low Bet found the right race last start but at least brings winning form.
How to play it: Velocita WIN ($3.70 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Velocita finding the line behind Notation
|Race 5 - 1:55PM EREMEIN HANDICAP (2000 METRES)|
7. Dagny mightn’t have too many runs left in her career but there is another win not too far away. Note that the barrier blanket goes on for the first time here to get her to jump cleanly. Like the way she is moving into her races, often running the best 400-200 split, before peaking. If she can settle closer and use that sharp turn of foot, she won’t be far away. The scratching of Attorney opens this race right up so she gets her chance.
Dangers: 1. Mask Of Time profiles to be at his best when he can control the race from the front but with 5. Dylan’s Romance backing up after running his rivals ragged last Saturday, he won’t get that chance. The wetter the better for mudlark 4. Wu Gok so the drying track plays against him. 8. White Boots slips into the race with 50.5kg, is so consistent and likely runs top three again.
How to play it: Dagny WIN ($8.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Attorney’s last start win at Canterbury
|Race 6 - 2:35PM EVEREST CARNIVAL HANDICAP (1800 METRES)|
This race plays out very differently if the emergencies make the field but as it stands 1. Dr Drill should be able to work across and sit outside of 5. Toryjoy from the wide draw. The four-year-old import from the Maher and Eustace yard didn’t look comfortable in the heavy ground at Randwick last start but still toughed it out to run second to Wu Gok. He was friendless in betting and four weeks between runs too. Simply “beaten by a better wet tracker” was Kathy O’Hara’s quip after the race. Hard to argue with that. Dr Drill gets his chance to bounce back on a drier surface this week. The Dansili gelding drops from a BM88 to a BM78 so the stable’s three kilo claimer Teodore Nugent takes the ride. On the strength of his Flemington win where he led and dashed clear, beating One More Try and Masculino, his stocks are still on the rise.
Dangers: 5. Toryjoy was let rip in front last start and she blew her rivals away. Now that the four-year-old has found winning form, there is no reason to suggest she can’t go on with it. Particularly given the way this race maps. That was her first try beyond the mile but the timing was right and she relished the tempo of the extra journey. She’ll give plenty of cheek again. 2. Loveissili has won three on the bounce for Kris Lees, the latest an impressive sweeping victory at Warwick Farm. The third horse there Kaapfever has won two races himself since. He is five weeks between runs but that’ll at least he ensure he is fresh enough for the drop back to 1800m from 2100m last start. 4. Gayatri did enough first up but not enough to tumble into the early price. 8. Costello cruised into the race first up but ran out of puff. He beat Helga and Final Award second up last preparation.
How to play it: Dr Drill WIN ($5 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS
Dr Drill boxing on in heavy conditions last start
|Race 7 - 3:15PM PFD FOOD SERVICES HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
5. Notation’s wins get better every time she steps out. The three-year-old filly has won three in a row this time in, the latest a dominant victory at Randwick over 1400m. The same task she faces here. The daughter of Fastnet Rock, now in the care of Matt Dale, slides up in grade again and takes on the boys but she is such a bombproof galloper it won’t phase her in the slightest. She puts herself on speed, handles all surfaces and winning is certainly a habit for her at the moment. In that latest win she travelled outside the lead and quickened brilliantly, clocking the fastest last 600m in the race (36.59s). There was plenty of power through the line too, with her 12.65 last 200m split also quicker than any of her rivals. She’ll settle in front of the favourite 8. Ljungberg and won’t be easy to peg back.
Dangers: Ljungberg got his dues last start in what turned into a slog home with the two leaders ensuring a truly run race. The River Bird form line has stacked up week after week in Sydney over the winter and two back this gelding did account for Handle The Truth quite comfortably. He’s drawn to stalk the speed in the same manner he did last time out. The jury was out on him running a strong 1400m at the end of last preparation, albeit after finishing 1.8L off Vegadaze which looks a handy form reference with the benefit of hindsight. 2. Smartedge got there in the last bound at Eagle Farm last start, appreciating not only the rise in trip but also the firmer footing. Smartedge has met 4. Sweet Deal on two occasions this year and has been beaten 1.7L and 1.8L.
How to play it: Notation WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Watch Notation’s power through the line
|Race 8 - 3:55PM WINTER RACING HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
10. Travancore was outstanding in defeat at Rosehill last start, running third in an on pace dominated affair. The five-year-old found himself last on the fence on the heavy track but made up a stack of late ground with Punters Intelligence revealing his last 600m of 35.95s was a whopping 5.5 lengths faster than the next best. Nearly an entire second quicker than the winner No Escape, which ranked second. Prior to that he was a powerful winner at Canterbury rounding up the field over 1550m. He goes in all conditions this gelding and should get enough speed up front to rattle home over the top of his rivals. He possesses a turn of foot many of these can’t match. We’ve seen enough of Clare Cunningham now to know what a brilliant job she does with tried horses. Now this miler has found his form, expect him to hold it and that’s good enough to win this.
Dangers: 2. Monsieur Sisu had his chance last start and ran well again without winning but that seems to be the life story of this four-year-old. He lacks the killer punch when the race is there to be won. Big watch on 1. Scholarly. He has spent over a year on the sidelines but he made such rapid improvement last preparation. The blinkers go on again, normally a positive gear change but this gelding won five in a row as soon as the blinkers came off. 5. Condor wants a mile now but is very one paced and the map looks sticky for him. 9. Zavance ran third in Group Three company behind Baccarat Baby last start but might have been flattered by the very wet track. She’s not far away from another win but is well found. 4. The Bandit won the Muswellbrook Cup fresh over 1500m when last in work so keep him safe at odds.
How to play it: Travancore WIN ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: EVENS
Travancore charging home from last
|Race 9 - 4:35PM ATC MEMBER TOURS HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
3. Tony Nicconi is the forgotten horse in this. The Hayes and Dabernig-trained speedster was never on the track first up in a much deeper race. Forget he ever ran there. The three-year-old drops from a BM88 to a BM78 and this time draws the inside. Would be surprised if anything had the early toe to lead him from barrier 1 so we’ll get to see exactly how fast he is. He won the G2 Vain Stakes at his second ever start before at start four running third to Written By and Encryption in the G3 Blue Sapphire. He was gelded over the break and there was plenty to like about the way he trialled at Rosehill and then Randwick before kicking off his campaign. The stable hold the sprinter in high regard and he’s worth an each way ticket at double figure odds. All going to plan he’ll punch up to hold the fence and just keep running.
Dangers: 12. Natalia was very confidently backed last start and the plunge only missed by a nose with Invictus Salute getting a narrow verdict. She raced without cover too. That won’t be the case on Saturday with the filly drawn 2. She’ll lob into a perfect stalking position, but will need the breaks in the straight. 8. Royal Witness gave a sight first up, albeit in a race where he had his chance in front, but can only strip fitter second up. They’ll go harder here and imagine he’ll need to do it all from outside of the likely leader. 6. Lion Couchant is the one that’ll spear across from the wide draw and threats to derail those on speed. 7. Taniki is a big improver back onto slow ground but she’ll likely be last in the run.
How to play it: Tony Nicconi EACH WAY ($7 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Forget Tony Nicconi ever ran last start