By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Saturday’s Kensington meeting at Randwick. Selections based on a good track.
|Race 1 – 1:15PM HYLAND RACE COLOURS HANDICAP (1150 METRES)|
Chris Waller produces a $1.7 million colt called 4. Osamu and he might well hold the key to this two-year-old race. James McDonald rode him to his first trial win a few weeks ago and Waller sent him out on Monday for a quiet spin on his home track. Drawn nicely, McDonald rides and if he is an ‘autumn colt’ as Waller suggests he’ll go close. Read more here.
Dangers: 1. Hinchbeast didn’t do a bad job to hold on for third after leading behind Aim at Randwick a couple of weeks ago and he can give a sight. Seems a bit one paced so don’t be surprised if he tries to stretch them out. 5. Remorseless took on some A-graders last start in the Wyong Magic Millions feature and on face value this is a bit easier. 3. Formentera is another well bred colt from the Waterhouse/Bott yard who improved at his second trial. You’d expect him to race handy from the good gate and shouldn’t be underestimated.
How to play it: Osamu E/W ($4.80 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Osamu has a quiet trial at Rosehill on December 30
|Race 2 – 1:50PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Horses coming off solid performances in city Benchmark races invariably fire back to a Highway and that’s what can be expected from 2. Irish Songs. He steps to 1400m for just the second time and given how strong he was at the end of a solidly run 1250m at Canterbury, where he ran the fastest last 200m (11.61 Punter’s Intelligence), it should be ideal. There’s enough pace for him to enjoy a nice bit of cover and he gets his chance to win another Highway.
Dangers: 1. Greenspan has put two excellent efforts together in Highway company and though he was $26 when winning a fortnight ago it was no fluke and an extra 100m suits him. 8. Acquittal has been costly for all involved, forget last run when he took charge of the rider. Interestingly, the last time Tom Marquand rode him he ran second to Noble Boy. Next best 3. Peyton Place can give a good account up on the speed and also respecting 6. Jawwaal who has been gelded since a second at Orange in a small field in November.
How to play it: Irish Songs WIN ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Irish Songs runs third at Canterbury on December 13
|Race 3 – 2:25PM SKY RACING ACTIVE HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
1. Discharged has the form on the board and just kept coming back to him in a race where he could get a level of control. He beat older horses in this class first-up and has since been beaten just over a length by the likes of Diamond Thunder and Hightail. Sure he has 60kg but he rolls and it’s hard to see the form around him not stacking up despite a few promising ones.
Dangers: 6. Arousal is no guarantee to start from the outside gate but if she does it says trainer Mark Newnham thinks she can overcome it, read about that here. Looks a smart filly in the making. Same can be said about well bred colt 3. Geo who managed to defy some traffic and score a sharp win on this track at his second start. Barrier one suits jockey Nash Rawiller, read more here, so he could take the step up. 9. Satin Socks did get very close to Adelong when resuming, she’s had a few chances but from a soft gate can be included.
How to play it: Discharged WIN ($3.70 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Discharged runs fourth in the Gosford Guineas on December 27
|Race 4 – 3:00PM SCHEWEPPES HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
There should be good speed here and it might suit 7. Lashes who draws to trail them. She hasn’t trialled as well going into a first-up run as she’s done recently, and it could be significant she’s sat just off the speed in both. Her first-up stats are a little misleading, she’s run a close third to Vegadaze and bumped into Sir Elton at her last couple. Scratched from Friday night to run here and she’ll run well.
Dangers: 2. Adelong is hard to fault winning three from three but we’re likely to need to see a different side to her here as a soft lead is looking unlikely. If somehow she isn’t pressured she could easily win again. 1. Spiritual Pursuit is well in with the claim but faces competition to get onto the speed. Took a trail when resuming and may need to again here. 8. Enfleurage faces her biggest test, she was handed the race in a small field at Hawkesbury but her Canterbury win was strong and the form has held up.
How to play it: Lashes WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Lashes wins a trial at Hawkesbury on December 16
|Race 5 – 3:40PM TAB HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
Weights and measures say it’ll be tight but 4. Guise is just so consistent and puts herself in the right spot she can offset a 3kg swing against her over 1. House Of Cartier for their clash two weeks ago where there was a length between them in Guise’s favour. Though not proven yet at 2400m she parks second or third in the run and will be hitting the front first, hopefully she can hold on.
Dangers: The map is House Of Cartier’s biggest worry as she tends to settle back but has to be the threat. 6. Quality Seeker will run out the trip strongly, he enjoyed a good run before proving too strong on Boxing Day and drops 4.5kg. Don’t undersell 11. Dance Away who didn’t have the best of luck over the trip in the same race last start. Impressive winner prior to that and is a horse on the up.
How to play it: Guise WIN ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Guise runs second at Randwick on December 21
|Race 6 – 4:20PM RANVET HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
9. He’s A Hotshot is due a change of luck after being forced to race wide at both runs back but he’s also boxed on strongly to run third. Very different set up for him this time with less obvious speed and it wouldn’t shock if Kerrin McEvoy took him to the front. He skips a grade to drop the 4.5kg and can’t see him getting a better opportunity.
Dangers: 5. Celer is ready to win a race, there was plenty to like about his second-up effort in what looks a handy form race going forward from Gosford last week. 6. Jen Rules will likely settle in the second half and run on strongly as she did when winning over this trip at Rosehill five weeks ago. Throwing in 4. Drachenfels who doesn’t win out of turn but he’s sneaking home enough to suggest his turn is coming. Poked through late in a race with more depth last week. Can be his own worst enemy though.
How to play it: He’s A Hotshot WIN ($3.30 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
He’s A Hotshot runs third at Randwick on December 26
|Race 7 – 5:00PM MAROUBRA HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
A race lacking speed on paper and it’s an opportunity for 9. Mushaireb to bounce back from a rare flop a week ago as favourite in a Benchmark 78. He didn’t appreciate being on heels there last week and was basically untested. Sure he’s up to open company but meets a crew of horses that aren’t known for stringing wins together, he gets in with just 52kg and can race on the speed.
Dangers: 8. Reflectivity is in the same boat, up in class but after a win and can race handy. You’d imagine the fact he has just 50kg would be used to his advantage. Read more about him from co-trainer Michael Hawkes here. 4. New Universe wasn’t disgraced first-up and will be fitter but will need everything to go his way. 2. Sir Plush will find this a lot easier than in the Summer Cup. Finished midfield in The Gong and was narrowly beaten over a similar trip at Doomben two starts ago. Can show up.
How to play it: Mushaireb WIN ($3.10 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Mushaireb has no luck at Randwick on December 28
|Race 8 – 5:40PM BISLEY WORKWEAR HANDICAP (1550 METRES)|
4. Cinquedea signalled he is in for a good prep with a super first-up run and while he finished sixth two weeks back it was a big effort to track wide and still loom up before knocking up to be beaten under three lengths. He seems to race best when he can be covered up and that should happen from barrier two. Big chance to atone. Co-trainer Richard Freedman said: “He looks fine, he's working fine and he'll go at least as well as he did last start and that's probably good enough with a decent run’’.
Dangers: 3. Word For Word has been a beaten favourite at her last two, she had no luck fresh then got into a bumping duel which probably cost her a win last time. At peak and gets another shot. 10. Baanone should have won two starts ago and hit the line well again two weeks back. Smaller field helps his cause and he’s in the mix. 7. Above And Beyond raced forward and was just cut down by Edison at 1400m second-up signaling a return to form. Will be in the first couple in the run and that gives him a chance.
How to play it: Cinquedea E/W ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Cinquedea has a wide run when sixth at Randwick on December 21
|Race 9 – 6:15PM HEINEKEN 3 HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
Lots of speed on paper though some of it has come out through scratchings. Like the chances of 3. Rare Episode who has had the misfortune of being forced to race wide on the pace in both runs back and last time was only beaten 1.5 lengths. Drops 3kg with a claim for in-form apprentice Billy Owen and draws to get cover behind some speedsters. Needs the run at the right time but good chance.
Dangers: 6. November Man is very much a specialist on this track and over the short course. Freshened up since a failure down the straight at Flemington, yet to miss a top three finish at 1000m here. He’ll get back but watch out late. 2. Ghostly is back in class and back to 1000m and it wouldn’t shock to see him get back to the form that realised a first-up win. 1. Royal Witness is four from four over 1000m here and wouldn’t rule him out either. Did beat November Man and Witherspoon in a similar race last year. If he gets across to lead or outside the lead, which he may do now, he can be hard to beat.
How to play it: Rare Epsiode E/W ($4.80 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Rare Episode run sixth at Randwick on December 21