By Brad Gray
Tips and race by race preview by Brad Gray for Randwick on Saturday.
The rail is out 6m and the form has been done for a heavy track.
|Race 1 - 12:15PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1800 METRES)|
The market has this race well cornered but siding with 4. Onemore Sapphire despite his form this campaign suggesting he is a long way off his best. Willing to gamble that he simply wants 1800m and the cut out of the track. The four-year-old has raced in six Highway Handicaps already, within his 15 start career. He is yet to knock one off for Tuncurry trainer Terry Evams but hasn’t had the clearest of paths on a number of occasions. Last start at Port Macquarie the form guide reads 10th of 13 but he was making late ground up the fence. It wasn’t as bad as it reads. That’s pretty much the story of his three runs prior to that too. We’re taking him on trust but like that he is proven in this company, and it’s a very winnable race.
Dangers: 5. Rostam has won two races in his career – both on wet tracks. Surprised how well found he was in opening markets but there is obviously plenty of respect being shown on the back of him getting his preferred conditions. Three starts ago he ran second to Gunga Din in an 1800m Highway. Hasn’t first a shot since. Todd Howlett’s All Too Hard gelding 12. Sir Leo cleared out with the winner last start when second. Found the line at Tamworth prior to that. Has come back well and looks to want the extra ground now. 9. Cap’s Boy was a dominant winner at Wagga last start and maps to get some kind of control with 1. Harbouring up front.
How to play it: How to play it: Onemore Sapphire EACH WAY ($8.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Onemore Sapphire’s last start at Port Macquarie
|Race 2 - 12:50PM CATANACH'S HANDICAP (2400 METRES)|
4. She’s Ideel was brilliant winning over the Randwick 2000m last start, giving her rivals a start and a beating. Punters Intelligence shows her last 600m was a slick 34.13s, which was 1.5L quicker than the next best with a last 200m of 11.53s. That strength through the line suggests she’ll have no trouble extending out to 2400m. We have to add a heavy track into the mix but she has handled soft decks in the past. Bjorn Baker’s four-year-old has won three from seven, including her last two, and looks a staying mare capable of transitioning to Group company this autumn. Her turn of foot should see her continue to work her way through benchmark races. It’s easy to forget she is still only a 71 rater so there’s still plenty of room to move. Expect her to win again, as the market suggests.
Dangers: 2. Birth Of Venus was no match for She’s Ideel last time out but in her favour is the heavy track. The start prior to that this five-year-old relished the wet to clear out with Magic Over The Bay at Rosehill. Meets She’s Ideel 2.5kg better off for a three length defeat. Will find it hard to turn the tables but will run well. 1. Dark Pearl was very strong late last start, again behind She’s Ideel. The fast overall time of that race makes it the logical form reference for this. Dark Pearl wasn’t suited back to 2000m off a 2400m win. Despite that, his last 200m of 11.65s ranked second to only the winner. Went awful in his one heavy track run but he wasn’t running well on top of the ground that preparation either.
How to play it: She’s Ideel WIN ($1.80 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: EVENS
She’s Ideel was so impressive at Randwick last start
|Race 3 - 1:25PM RADISSON BLU HOTEL SYDNEY HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
Would have preferred 1. God Of Thunder drawn out as the map looks sticky from the inside draw, with apprentice Brock Ryan taking over from regular rider Brenton Avdulla, but still siding with the four-year-old as keen to see how far he can progress this autumn. Early days he did so much wrong, racing on fear, but now he has been gelded, he’s made steady improvement each campaign. He certainly looks capable of knocking off a Group race. Despite winning one from five last campaign, he was excellent and unlucky on three occasions, progressing from a BM78 to running second in the G2 Caulfield Sprint as the equal favourite. The win, meanwhile, was on a heavy track where he tucked in behind the speed before scoring a dominant win still with a gear or two up his sleeve. There is no question how well God Of Thunder has returned on the strength of his brilliant Rosehill trial win.
Dangers: 5. Goldfinch is very fast and very honest. All six of her career wins have been over the 1000m. Was nailed on the line in her only previous heavy run, which was over 1100m so that box is ticked. Blinkers go on and looks the likely leader from barrier 2. 8. Sei Stella is another 1000m specialist (9:5-2-0) and she loved Randwick. She'll surge forward to eyeball Goldfinch in the run. 2. Coruscate has ability but it’s a big ask fronting up here after a year on the sidelines. His trials have been great, however. Don’t underestimate swimmer 9. Miss Exfactor.
How to play it: God Of Thunder WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS
God Of Thunder trialling at Rosehill – January 28
|Race 4 - 2:00PM DARLEY LONHRO PLATE (1000 METRES)|
What do we do with 7. Dame Giselle? A dry track and we’d be clambering to back her at even money given the dominance of her Golden Gift win given the depth of form that comes through that race and the time she clocked (faster than the older horses on the day). But we’re faced with a heavy track with is unknown for this filly, currently on the second line of betting for the Golden Slipper. As a general rule, the I Am Invincible breed don’t tend to love heavy ground but her damn Ballet Society got through it just fine. In the Golden Gift, where Cellsabeel rattled home from last to run fourth, albeit still beaten 4.8L, Dame Giselle was outstanding. The winkers went on after she floated in front on debut and she responded, exploding clear late clocking the fastest last 200m in the race (11.21s).
Dangers: 11. Fall On A Star didn’t get much room late in the Gimcrack on debut where she started hard in the market. The blinkers went on in her latest trial and she put her rivals to the sword. In her first trial, however, she was beaten by her unraced stablemate 15. Snitzari. Kris Lees has thrown the Snitzel filly in the deep end on debut, off just one official trial, but that’s a push in itself. Include her in everything. There was nothing between 2. Mission River and 10. Ticket To Ride chasing home the very smart Rulership at Randwick. Ticket To Ride clocked the equal quickest last 600m across the entire meeting (33.28s). Can settle closer.
How to play it: Dame Giselle WIN ($1.85 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS
Dame Giselle winning the Golden Gift
|Race 5 - 2:35PM CELLARBRATIONS SOUTHERN CROSS STAKES (1200 METRES)|
All eyes will be on baldy-faced 2. Cascadian when he wanders into the mounting yard on Saturday to see if this classy miler has acclimatised yet. Despite his woolly coat never looking right, the last time we saw the French import he savaged the line behind Fierce Impact in the G1 Cantala. First up last time in, he sprinted brilliantly over 1200m with Punters Intelligence revealing his last 600m of 32.31s was the quickest of the meeting. That was when fifth behind sharp sprinters Deprive and Trope. The son of New Approach has never seen a heavy track before but has won on soft in the past and a more testing 1200m plays into his hands. Trialled well at Rosehill when allowed to balance up and work home out wide. I’d suggest Bossy rides here with the intention of sticking with him through to the Doncaster. I’d suggest punters do the same.
Dangers: Wangaratta trainer Dan McCarthy has chased the rain with 4. Ashlor given the six-year-old’s wet track stats (5:2-2-0 on soft and heavy). Was only beaten 2.5L in the G2 Australia Stakes behind Scales Of Justice last start, albeit off a $91 SP. Microphone and Begood Toya Mother finished behind him. Australia’s favourite mudlark 1. Jungle Edge has raced on Randwick wet tracks eight times for just the one win but has placed in Group races. Won at Caulfield at $21 last star. Here he is as favourite. Too well found. The same price knock is on 6. Special Reward, especially given he has never seen heavy. 5. Desert Lord is explosive at his best but didn’t love the heavy track first up last time in.
How to play it: Cascadian WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds) and QUINELLA 4,9 Odds & Evens: EVENS
Cascadian first up over 1200m last campaign
|Race 6 - 3:10PM HEINEKEN 3 HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
Call me crazy but confident 14. Monsieur Sisu will finish in the top three. The five-year-old cops a bad rap as a non-winner with just three victories from 22 starts but he is very consistent and gets the perfect set up on Saturday. He doesn’t have a turn of foot but rather a grinding finish which is why he is so effective on heavy tracks (7:3-2-1) and the mile is his best trip (6:2-2-1). Now, in four runs over the mile on heavy tracks he is 4:1-2-1. Second up last campaign he faced this exact track and trip on a wet deck and made Villers Stakes winner Quackerjack work to beat him. That’d certainly see him in the finish here. Be forgiving of his first up run on a good track, where he raced in restricted room and went to the line eased down. Maps to just tuck in behind the speed and gets in with 52kg given the rise in grade.
Dangers: 7. Attorney has won both of his starts for Matt Smith since being imported from France. It’s very encouraging that the five-year-old has hit the ground running and equipped with the turn of foot he showed to win at Canterbury the last time we saw him, he’ll motor through the staying ranks. The knocks are that he hasn’t seen a heavy track and is very well found as the clear race favourite. Jason Coyle has enlisted the help of Tom Marquand to get 4. Insensata home. She teased last start when edged out by Romani Girl. Handles the wet and is hard fit. Have to respect 3. Mongolian Wolf through that same form line and he was first up there.
How to play it: Monsieur Sisu EACH WAY ($14 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Monsieur Sisu second up last preparation
|Race 7 - 3:50PM TAB LIGHT FINGERS STAKES (1200 METRES)|
4. Libertini measured up against Exceedance and Bivouac in the G1 Coolmore the last time we saw her. This crop of three-year-olds are exceptional and she’s as good as any of them. She was stunning in winning over 1200m at Randwick first up last campaign, the key difference here being the heavy track. In that win though she smashed the clock running fast time, not far off the track record then held by Santa Ana Lane, and did so with Tommy Berry kidding to her for much of the race. The filly has trialled well again this time back, as we’ve come to expect from her. Drawn wide, but that mightn’t be too much of a disadvantage come late in the meeting. Imagine Berry will be positive to tail 1. Kiamichi and 9. Sangria. Her two Soft 7 runs at Randwick have been excellent.
Dangers: The classy trio of Godolphin fillies look the hardest to beat with 3. Flit the pick of them. She resumed in the same race as Libertini first up last campaign with Punters Intelligence revealing that her last 600m was a length faster than the winner. Gets the blinkers on for the first time here. Didn’t have that much between her and Libertini. 2. Lyre took a stack of late ground off Kiamichi in the Golden Slipper, run on a heavy track. Kiamichi’s most recent trial suggested she is ready to recapture he two-year-old form but can we trust her just yet? Sangria blitzed her rivals first up and shouldn’t be underestimated despite the rise in grade. 8. Emeralds for multiples. Deep race.
How to play it: Libertini WIN ($2.20 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Libertini first up over 1200m at Randwick last preparation
|Race 8 - 4:30PM AQUIS APOLLO STAKES (1400 METRES)|
2. Dreamforce is a genuine weight-for-age horse these days and if it wasn’t for the wet track, he could be marked considerably shorter than what he already is. What’s in his favour is that he looks to get control of the race from the front, he flies fresh (9:4-2-1) and the 1400m is his pet trip (10:6-2-1). The evergreen seven-year-old, that seems to get better every preparation, has trialled brilliantly on two occasions to suggest he has come back as well as ever. Now to counter all of that, John Thompson’s gelding isn’t at his explosive best on wet tracks. Particularly heavy ones. Soft, you’d still be willing to take the gamble. He ran second to Brutal on a Soft 7 in a Doncaster. First up last campaign he belted Te Akau Shark with Kolding finishing a luckless fifth. That’s irresistible but he was certainly flattered by the way the track played that day.
Dangers: 1. Happy Clapper mightn’t be the force he once was but the nine-year-old showed last campaign that he is far from done with yet and thought he trialled much better this time back than prior to the spring. He won’t want it too wet and Pat Webster has flagged that the veteran is nowhere near screwed down. This race really swings on exactly how heavy Randwick is but the wetter the better for 10. Danzdanzdance. The former Kiwi-trained mare is 3:1-1-1 on heavy decks with the defeats coming at the hands of Melody Belle and Avilius. Will be giving away a big start in a race without much obvious tempo. 8. Alizee has been priced on her best form again, and need to be convinced that her form isn’t tapering off a touch despite the merit of her first up run.
How to play it: Dreamforce WIN ($3.20 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: ODDS
Dreamforce first up over 1400m last campaign
|Race 9 - 5:10PM ROBRICK LODGE TRISCAY STAKES (1200 METRES)|
Can make a case for most of these mares but 13. Lashes appears to be the one that bookies have underestimated. Expect a blanket finish so being able to handle the wet, racing pattern and fitness levels play a big part in finding the one. Lashes fits the bill on all three fronts there. She was beaten as an easing favourite last time out on a good track against the boys but still ran credibly. Prior to that she was explosive in winning first and second up. That second up win was a sit and sprint at Rosehill but she skipped through the heavy ground to win going away. That was with 59kg on her back, here she is up in grade but with 53kg. From the perfect draw, she should find herself in the first four upon settling and with three runs already under her belt this preparation, she has a big fitness edge on a number of her key rivals.
Dangers: 12. River Bird charged to the line first up on a heavy track, clocking the fastest closing splits all meeting at Rosehill before flattening off second up. She can bounce back from that given she finds another wet track. Loved the one trial from 1. Reelem In Ruby. She is better over 1400m and pays the penalty for her remarkable consistency, lumping 58kg but you can never rule her out. The last time Rachel King and Godolphin mare 6. Resin combined was on a wet track over 1200m at Randwick and the result was a dominant Group Three win. There was a lot to like about the way this pocket-rocket trialled too. The chances certainly don’t end there!
How to play it: Lashes EACH WAY ($14 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Lashes winning on a wet track two starts ago
|Race 10 - 5:50PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
Thought the trials of 10. Travancore have been exceptional this time in, even if they were a touch hidden. The six-year-old has had three hitouts, the latest of those the most obvious eye-catcher working to the line strongly under a light niggle. The 1200m is certainly on the short side for him but if the track chops out towards the inside and he is scooting wide from the draw, he’ll take some holding out. The gelding had seven runs in his first campaign for Clare Cunningham and never finished further back than third. He won two of them and there were a couple of hard luck stories along the way. Suspect we’ll see the best preparation of this galloper’s career and placed to advantage, as the stable does so well, he’ll certainly be adding to his win tally shortly.
Dangers: 7. Royal Celebration never got a crack at his rivals first up after a year on the sidelines. Exactly how close to 5. Roheryn would he have got? It’s impossible to say but the four-year-old had plenty to offer. Unfortunately, it wasn’t missed by the bookies either. On Roheryn, he maintained his perfect fresh record first up. Didn’t fire second up last campaign but is kept to 1200m, not stretched to 1400m. 2. Vegadaze was only beaten 2.7L in a bunched G2 Expressway Stakes field. The jury is still out as to whether he can recapture his three-year-old form. 2. Cuba will strip fitter but might need this too while 12. Poetic Charmer will appreciate dropping right down in the weights.
How to play it: Travancore EACH WAY ($9.50 TAB Fixed Odds) Odds & Evens: SPLIT
Travancore’s third trial – Warwick Farm, February 3