By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Saturday’s meeting at Kembla Grange featuring the $1m The Gong. Selections based on a good track.
|Race 1 – 1:00PM CANADIAN CLUB 3&4YO BM72 HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
1. Wairere Falls has something about him in the way he’s rounded them up from the back for a couple of soft wins since transferring to Chris Waller’s Sydney base. The form out of them has held up okay so far which is encouraging. He will need to be able to run on, if the track is on the quick side it could be tricky to make ground but that’s just a suspicion. Freshened with a few weeks since his Kensington win and trucked around strongly in his tick over trial. On a level playing field he’ll get to the outside on the home turn and wind up and be finishing over the top of them.
Dangers: 6. Air To Air and 3. Atlantic King both have big finishes on them as well – the former had no luck at all at Rosehill and she did break her maiden status on the Kembla track while the latter beat a subsequent winner when he scored at Randwick a couple of weeks ago. You could make a good case for all three but like where Wairere Falls is heading. 2. Bigboyroy was a drifter in betting first-up and just battled running fourth to Enchanted Heart at Kensington. He is capable on his day, the challenge is catching him on his day.
How to play it: Wairere Falls E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Wairere Falls wins at Kensington on October 28
|Race 2 – 1:35PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
3. Obelos is a percentage play really thinking that he will he land just behind the speed and be the one to hit the front around 300m out. From there it’d be a matter of whether the backmarkers can reel him in. Three starts back he won comfortably (at big odds) at Kembla then he went way too hard in front in a Randwick Highway. He was freshened with a month between runs and ridden a little more conservatively, in third and fourth, he loomed up and probably just didn’t let down on the heavy track. He’ll give you a good sight.
Dangers: The horse to be frightened of is 5. Activation who should be unbeaten since joining Kody Nestor from the Chris Waller stable. Certainty beaten first-up at Coonamble then cantered home at Dubbo and Warren. He will likely drift back and if he can run them down then he’ll be a Country Championships horse for the autumn no doubt. 8. Eva’s Deel is a stablemate of Activation and she made up plenty of late ground in running sixth in an 1800m Highway at Randwick a month ago. Kinder draw here and wouldn’t be underestimating her. 15. Diorissima is still a maiden so is right out of her grade but she measured up running sixth in a Class 3 Highway at Rosehill two weeks ago. Unlucky prior to that at Hawkesbury and is one to keep an eye on.
How to play it: Obelos E/W ($9.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Obelos runs fourth at Rosehill on November 7
|Race 3 – 2:10PM I98’S MARTY, CRAMMY AND LYNDAL BM78 HANDICAP (2000 METRES)|
3. Navy Cross should be at his peak after three runs back from a spell, the past two on heavy tracks. Gave a very good sight behind Archanna at Rosehill last time and that tough run on a wet track will have him in good stead for the 2000m. Will roll forward as usual and we know if he gets control he can be hard to run down.
Dangers: 5. Kirwan’s Lane will also appreciate a dry track and looks over the odds on his best form. He was dynamic winning at Canterbury and Warwick Farm before striking that heavy track at Rosehill so forgive that. He did start $6 there so he’s over the odds. 2. Stockman is a superior wet tracker but can be as effective on a dry track? His record says he’s capable on good ground and this is a chance for him to prove he is a progressive stayer. 11. Accountablity showed a sharp turn of foot to run down Stockman when they met at Rosehill but is significantly worse off at the weights with the senior rider going back on. He is a good track winner over 2110m from last prep and can only be fitter for the two runs back. Has a case but wary he was $31 last start.
How to play it: Navy Cross E/W ($7.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Navy Cross runs second at Rosehill on October 31
|Race 4 – 2:45PM EVERGREEN TURF AUSTRALIA BM78 HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
7. Destination has proven twice now he’s not particularly comfortable when it gets on the wet side at Randwick so we’ll forgive him his unplaced effort behind The Bopper there back on October 24. He wasn’t disgraced but he wasn’t himself. If you go on his previous run when charging into second behind Wild Ruler, who won again after that, with Forbidden Love (subsequently Group 1 placed) that form reads very well. He won a two-year-old race at this meeting last year and scored over 1000m at Kembla back in July. Drawn to get a nice soft run behind what looks a strong tempo and he can produce a big sprint under those circumstances. Deserved favourite and hard to beat.
Dangers: If there’s a danger it is 8. Hulk who will have the last shot at Destination. He’s only won two from 20 but he hasn’t raced better than in this preparation. 3. Broken Arrows was a certainty beaten in this race last year and as usual has trialled up quite well leading into this preparation. If he gets the breaks at the right time he could easily be in the finish. 9. Brazenpine is another who contested this race in 2019 and she ran third. Sparingly raced since, she has trialled twice and will get plenty of cover from the inside alley. Not the worst.
How to play it: Destination WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Destination runs second at Rosehill on September 26
|Race 5 – 3:25PM ABAX CONTRACTING CG&E BM78 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
2. Big Parade has been gelded since his 5.5 length win at Canterbury on September 9, that was due to an eventful attempt to run him at the same track two weeks later, and on the evidence of his trials it hasn’t made him go backwards. Really strong in winning the second of them just 10 days ago and the wide gate should be no concern for him as he has the early speed to get across. He will either lead them or happily sit outside anything that kicks up underneath. He’s finished top two in five of his seven starts as a colt so if gelding improves him he’ll run through the grades and this is no harder than what he’s met previously. Read trainer Mark Newnham's comments here.
Dangers: 1. Pandemic has the best sprint of anything in this race and it’s just a question of whether he can use it at 1200m as he loomed and didn’t finish it off at his only try (in a questionable Group 3 race). Ran slick sectionals first-up and if Tom Sherry can time his run he will be charging. 6. Mo’s Crown was a bit plain first-up at Rosehill but that was on a heavy track and while he handles the going it can be a tough ask to do it fresh. Fitter for that and drawn well, wouldn’t surprise if he puts himself right in the finish. 4. Onslaught might be a good roughie. He is not a heavy tracker so forgive his entire winter campaign. His two trials have been fine for him, he gets a soft draw and at the odds you can do worse than throw him in the trifectas.
How to play it: Big Parade WIN ($2.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Big Parade wins a trial at Randwick on November 10
|Race 6 – 4:05PM TRAFFIC LOGISTICS F&M BM78 HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
12. Stolen Jade is just flying this preparation and while she steps up in class again there’s no reason to drop off her. She sat wide when winning arrogantly first-up at Gosford then led all the way, though with something trying to kick up inside her, at Canterbury last Friday night charging away at the finish. Imagine she will put herself in this race somewhere in the first four, she’s tough and it’s hard to know where her limit is just yet. You know what they say about mares in form! Her only unplaced run at this track came on a heavy 9 before a spell and we can all see what she’s done since. Great each-way chance.
Dangers: 2. Intrepidacious has been treading water waiting for a dry track since her first-up win at Warwick Farm in early October. Kept up to the mark with a couple of easy trial wins and she will go forward and, if able to control, take some catching. 13. Macushla ran well at her first start for Chris Waller and stays under notice too. Whether coming back to 1200m is in her favour remains to be seen but did more than enough last time so warrant inclusion. 9. Macroura did look to have her chance when resuming behind Switched at Rosehill when a solid favourite. Will be better for it and won on debut here. Impossible to leave her out at this stage of the campaign.
How to play it: Stolen Jade E/W ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Stolen Jade wins at Canterbury on November 13
|Race 7 – 4:45PM THE GONG (1600 METRES)|
7. Dawn Passage ran out of his skin in the Golden Eagle on a heavy track, which he doesn’t particularly love, and it was an effort that says he’s ready to win a big race. This one looks tailor made for him with the small caveat that he may need some breaks to get clear air from barrier one. He was the eye-catcher of the Silver Eagle then in the $7.5m feature he sat wide without cover, loomed like the winner at the 200m and just couldn’t sustain it. He’s fitted up with an extra trial and gets back on a dry track. This is his chance. Read co-trainer Adrian Bott's comments here.
Dangers: All that said 11. Purple Sector is a worthy rival, he’s been a different horse since he was gelded and he was dynamic over a mile at Randwick on Everest Day running the fastest last 200m of the meeting. He was all at sea at Flemington and still won last time, drawn well and if Dawn Passage doesn’t win he probably will. Read trainer John Thompson's comments here. 3. Cascadian is a backmarker who will need the breaks to run them down but if they come his way he’s shown he’s more than capable despite not being a regular winner. Huge run from last in the Cantala at Flemington last time, he will be hitting the line strongly. 14. Asiago is on the back up from her solid third in The Hunter at 1300m and her mile form is compelling enough to entertain her. Won the Fillies Classic over this course earlier in the year and was beaten a length in the Group 1 Empire Rose prior to the Hunter. Drawn well and a winning chance.
How to play it: Dawn Passage WIN ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Dawn Passage runs third in the Golden Eagle at Rosehill on October 31
|Race 8 - 5:25PM POLYTRACK BM88 HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
3. Soldier Of Love appeals as a big improver second-up in a race that looks a bit tricky from a map perspective given it’s one that doesn’t look to have a heap of speed. To be fair he was just okay first-up in the Goulburn Cup but he was supported there and his, consistent as it is, record says he improves into a preparation. This fellow has some tactical speed so it wouldn’t surprise to see him roll across and take up a spot in the first three or four and from there he’s more than capable of winning. Just keep an eye on betting for any late pointer. Read trainer Bjorn Baker's comments here.
Dangers: 1. Berdibek signalled he is in for a good summer campaign by winning first-up in the greys race at Flemington over 1400m with a strong late burst. Mile helps but he will be giving away a start. If he runs well but doesn’t win keep with him as he gets out in distance. 4. Matowi is on the back up and is the type of horse, with a sharp turn of foot, that could steal a race like this if slowly run. 9. Vegas Jewel has to be included now she runs in this race though did think 2000m earlier was a better option for her. She’ll appreciate the dry track and does have the sprint required to attack them late. 11. Ulusaba backs up after a game enough third at Newcastle last week and there is a chance he could get another soft lead, if that’s the case he has a show.
How to play it: Soldier Of Love E/W ($9.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Soldier Of Love’s first-up run in the Goulburn Cup on November 7
|Race 9 - 6:00PM PFD FOOD SERVICES BM78 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
We’re getting towards last chance territory but 7. Night Of Power will leave Kembla with no excuses if he can’t go very close this time. He’s first-up as a gelding and has trialled very nicely, as he can do, but crucially strikes a dry track which he didn’t do last prep first-up when heavily backed. He found himself on the slow section and we were all left to wonder what might have been. This is a very winnable race and James McDonald has been found to ride him, as he did in that previous first-up attempt. Again, betting late will tell a story but he has to run well.
Dangers: 2. Rule The World is some chance of getting control up on the pace and he did beat a smart one in Grand Piano first-up two preps ago at 1400m. Clearly didn’t come up in the autumn but trialling with purpose and is a threat. 10. Greek Hero will have fans given he’s trialling well and won at Kembla on his Australian debut three runs ago. Scratched from Rosehill on Friday for this, he is getting very short in the market though. 12. Main Stage is an interesting runner having his first start for Gwenda Markwell. Granted he doesn’t have a great winning strike rate but he was nominated for The Gong and with a good gate he might be worth a market watch.
How to play it: Night Of Power E/W ($9.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Night Of Power runs second in a Rosehill trial on November 12