By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Saturday’s Kensington meeting at Randwick. Selections based on a soft to heavy track.
|Race 1 – 1:15PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1150 METRES)|
There’s a number of first starters who have trialled very well versus some mixed form from those that have raced. Slight leaning to 9. Four Moves Ahead, who is a half-sister to Group 3 winner Emeralds and races in the same colours. All her trials have been pleasing none more than the latest, on a heavy 8, at Randwick just before Christmas. She showed good gate speed there and tractability so we’ll leave it to Tommy Berry to get the steering right. Read trainer John Sargent's comments here.
Dangers: 10. Laurelin is a sister to Group 1 winner Kementari and on the evidence of the one trial she’s contested she has her share of talent. In that trial, on a soft 7 at Canterbury, she enjoyed a nice run behind the speed and cruised down the outside to score comfortably. Expecting from the draw she sits just off them and will be hard to hold out. 5. Mura Mura has the form on the board from three starts for three placings. Every chance when leading at Warwick Farm first-up but will be fitter. 4. Jet Pack has done nothing wrong at the trials though Tommy Berry has elected to go with Four Moves Ahead.
How to play it: Four Moves Ahead WIN ($3.20 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Four Moves Ahead wins a trial at Randwick on December 22
|Race 2 – 1.50PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
If we were dealing with a good track you’d confidently say 3. Mother’s Mercy deserves to be a short priced favourite. She’s still the horse to beat but is unproven on a wet track of any kind (her dam was competent in the wet without being a mudlark) so that’s the only query. Had to be impressed with her two Scone wins since an 11 month break and with a 6.5kg drop on the latest win she will have her chance.
Dangers: 5. Rich And Shameless had some support first-up at Randwick and ran right up to it with a strong win at 1300m. He’s clearly come back in great order as that was his first ever fresh win so expect him to hold form. Wouldn’t want a bottomless wet track but soft would be fine for him. 12. Belleistic Lad was only getting warm at the finish of the 1300m Highway behind Rich And Shameless and an extra 100m plus a wet track are in his favour. Will get back again but may well be harder to hold out. 2. King’s Trust is a perennial in these races of late and has been a little in and out to be fair. Made plenty of ground last start behind Another One, who bolted in, and always goes into the mix.
How to play it: Mother’s Mercy WIN ($2.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Mother’s Mercy wins at Scone on December 11
|Race 3 – 2:25PM HEINEKEN HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
4. Parry Sound looks set up nicely to improve on a very solid effort two weeks back behind Gone Bye at 2000m. He was off a six week break going into that race and loomed dangerously before behind just out-toughed by the race fit winner. He’s proven at 2400m, proven in soft to heavy ground and on the Kensington track. Plenty to like about him and we get the 2kg claim for Tom Sherry as well.
Dangers: 5. Harpo Marx is starting to hit his straps in Australia though does have a low percentage racing style. Against that he can stay and he outstayed them over the 2400m at Warwick Farm on a soft 7. Will give a start but will keep coming. 1. Skymax showed his true ability at his second local start when Josh Parr took off midrace behind a slow pace and the gelding put a big space on them. Only drops half a kilo for the class rise but he has upside. 2. Trevelyan comes through the same race as Parry Sound and meets him 2kg worse but if he runs up to that effort can be in the finish again.
How to play it: Parry Sound WIN ($3.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Parry Sound runs second at Randwick on December 19
|Race 4 – 3:00PM PRECISE AIR HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
2. Private Eye appears to be a nice horse in the making and did nothing but impress winning on this track to complete a hat-trick. Granted he had a race run to suit and was able to get to the outside and hit the line but there’s a chance the tempo will allow him to present plenty of danger at the business end, and he has a wet track win to his name. No reason he can’t win again.
Dangers: 6. Count De Rupee is a lot better than his performance in the Wyong 3&4yo Magic Millions and that run might be best forgotten. That said would have liked to have seen him hold his ground a bit better late. Sensational win first-up so give another chance. 9. Super Effort was solid in betting at his Sydney debut at Warwick Farm and didn’t get a crack at them at any stage so a bit wary of him here. You’d imagine he’ll find some air this time from the barrier and no surprise if he’s a big improver. 4. Vreneli and 8. Never Never River were impressive maiden winners first-up and appear to have more to give, the latter might be suspect if it’s heavy.
How to play it: Private Eye WIN ($3.70 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Private Eye wins at Kensington on December 17
|Race 5 – 3:40PM MAROUBRA HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
2. Edison goes on top, he has to, he’s flying at the moment but he’s rock bottom price wise. He rises 3kg on his easy Randwick win a couple of weeks ago where he controlled the race from outside the lead and held them at bay safely. A wet track is no worry, he’s a heavy track winner at 1500m so a bit more ground is no worry and he makes his own luck. Clearly the horse to beat, your decision if the price is right. Read trainer Bjorn Baker's comments here.
Dangers: 1. Passage Of Time was beaten 3.7 lengths by Edison last start but there’s a case to be made that he could go close to turning the tables. Meets him 5kg better at the weights and the smaller field might see him a lot closer in the run. His wet form is mixed but while he’s been behind the placings in three runs back each effort was solid enough. 7. Soldier Of Love is a big improver with the sting out of the ground. Forget his last run where he was wide on the speed and dropped out. To be fair his first two runs were only pass marks but his best form last prep was in the wet. Keep him safe. 3. Order Again threatens a lot but it’s been a while between wins. Form around Trumbull and Mugatoo from the winter reads well so watch betting.
How to play it: Edison WIN ($1.95 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Edison wins at Randwick on December 19
|Race 6 – 4:20PM THE AGENCY REAL ESTATE HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
4. Smart Image is the best horse in the race and the most promising, while he’s a bit shorter than you’d like to take for a three-year-old with only four starts to his name taking on seasoned rivals he’s the horse to beat. Very good ride when scoring under 59kg first-up at Canterbury and the form out of it has held up okay so far. Did fail on a bottomless heavy track before a break but a soft track won’t stop him.
Dangers: 8. Nordicus can be the big improver on a total forgive run first-up on this track. He drew in and by his race the winners were coming right down the outside and he was left stranded close to the fence. That won’t be a problem from gate 10, he trialled so well before resuming and handles the wet so could easily rebound. 10. Terrace House is an interesting runner up from Victoria and it’s fair to say he hasn’t helped himself in his last couple. Tends to over race and did that when beaten at Warrnambool fresh and the blinkers come off here. If he settles he could be dangerous. 2. Irish Songs was never in the race won by Edison two weeks ago but prior to that was racing fairly well. Does handle the wet and smaller field suits. Not out of it.
How to play it: Smart Image WIN ($2.25 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
Smart Image wins at Canterbury on December 11
|Race 7 – 5:00PM SKY RACING ACTIVE HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
It’s not easy to convert a Highway win to a Benchmark win but wouldn’t shock if 8. Remlaps Gem is able to achieve that feat. He’s only lightly raced and while the race was run to suit him he smashed his Highway rivals three weeks back. No experience on worse than soft 5 but his first trial was on a heavy and he skated through it. Worth a shot at this. Read jockey Billy Cray's comments here.
Dangers: 7. De Grawin made the leap from a Nowra BM58 to win at Randwick in August on a heavy track and went straight to the paddock. Looked in order winning her latest trial and she will be in this for a long way. 6. Our Bellagio Miss had excuses when beaten on this track two runs back but showed plenty of fight to score at this level at Randwick. Proven in the wet and is hard to leave out. 5. Mossman Gorge was dominant winning over this course second-up, if they overdo it as they did in that race he could swamp them late again.
How to play it: Remlaps Gem E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Remlaps Gem wins at Randwick on December 12
|Race 8 – 5:40PM TAB HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
3. Snowfire is an up and comer and with even luck he can atone for a game defeat second-up at Randwick where he raced wide throughout and refused to surrender any ground. Beaten a length there and had no favours. Small field shaping up in his favour. Same class, same weight, same jockey and if the track stays in the soft range he’ll be mighty hard to beat.
Dangers: That said 4. Cisco Bay looks a threat and there probably shouldn’t be so much between them in the market. He loved a strong pace when winning the Nowra Cup then produced some slick sectionals running into third in a slowly run race at Randwick two weeks ago. Versatile type who could win this without surprising at all.1. Badoosh was never in the race won by Edison first-up from a break and he shouldn’t be judged on that. Handles all ground, won impressively here at 1800m in September and while he will need a good ride he is a likely improver. 9. Wairere Falls was unsuited in a slowly run race at Warwick Farm and is suited by a small field.
How to play it: Snowfire WIN ($1.90 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Snowfire runs fourth at Randwick on December 12
|Race 9 – 6:15PM RANVET HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
So long as the track isn’t well into the heavy range 5. Salina Dreaming will be the horse to beat. She’s always shown promise and stepped up to city grade a few weeks ago and was able to get the better of The Face, who has since been placed in the Listed Gosford Guineas. She’s able to lead if needed or sit off them as she showed last start and will run well.
Dangers: 11. Turnstyle tends to find one or two better but she’s always around the mark. Drops 3.5kg on her placing behind Shaik last time out and did stretch Stolen Jade a few starts back. Each-way. 10. Never Talk won her first four starts including a couple in the wet before a plain effort at Warwick Farm back on top of the ground. She was a big drifter that day and while she ran on she was never in it. Since trialled quietly and showed too much promise beforehand to drop off completely. 1. Lillemor held on to score over this course first-up and handles the wet, her chances may be dictated by whether Goldfinch tries to lead or not.
How to play it: Salina Dreaming WIN ($3.30 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Salina Dreaming wins at Randwick on December 12