Tips by Brad Gray
Brad Gray's tips and insights for Royal Randwick on Saturday. There are winners to be found for nine races!
Spring is here! And with a bang. The G3 Concorde Stakes is an Everest showdown between speedsters Redzel and Invincible Star while the Tramway Stakes, Chelmsford Stakes and Furious Stakes are all mouth-watering features too. The rail is out 10m, the track expected to race in the good range and the first set to jump at 12:10pm.
|Race 1 - 12:10PM ATC HERITAGE SOCIETY HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
Nearly talked myself out of More Sundays but came back to him in the end. The Fastnet Rock colt (out of More Joyous!) towelled up his rivals on debut at Geelong. He ran five lengths faster than the BM64 later in the day but it was a Soft 7 surface and the track would have deteriorated. The second horse there Brutal Power has since run sixth at Sandown. They can only win though and his subsequent trial at Rosehill was outstanding. They don’t trial much better and he will no doubt come on from his first outing. David Hayes hasn’t mucked around in bringing him straight to Sydney with the Golden Rose on his agenda. He is a long way down the order of entry and even a win here wouldn’t guarantee him a spot. That of course doesn’t detract from his chances here though.
Danger: Ranier found Miss Fabulass too slick at Canterbury over 1100m first up but it’s worth noting that James Cummings originally intended to kick the colt off over 1250m but he had a minor setback so had to hold him back for a fortnight. The son of Lonhro is much better suited out to 1300m and on a bigger track. He’s a classy animal and beat home Sunlight on debut as a two-year-old. Ligulate and Reginae are two roughies for multiples.
How to play it: More Sundays WIN ($2.10 TAB Fixed Odds)
More Sundays winning his Rosehill trial – August 20
|Race 2 - 12:50PM NATIONAL JOCKEYS TRUST HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
Abdon did enough in his Australian debut back in April to suggest he’ll be winning his fair share of races for Chris Waller. In his Rosehill trial he ran closer to last than first but there was plenty of horse underneath the jockey and you get the impression he’d have shot through had James McDonald given him a tickle. Hugh Bowman takes the ride here which suggests that (although it’s not always the case) Abdon is the stable’s top seed in the race. The winkers go on for the first time to sharpen him up. Imagine he’ll use the good draw to settle midfield in the run. He is largely an unknown quality but there are so many of his rivals here have convictions. Yes, this six-year-old hasn’t won for over 750 days himself but it pays to be forgiving of imports in instances like this. Not an easy race though.
Danger: Instant De Reve raced keenly first up just behind the speed at Flemington on his first Australian outing. That should knock some freshness out of him and the step up to the mile suits. Tye Angland might even opt to take up the running from the inside draw, depending on Streets Of Avalon and how aggressive the tactics are on Goodfella from the wide draw. There was specking at odds ($17-$12) for Instant De Reve on that occasion too. Streets Of Avalon is short enough at the early quote but admittedly, he has found a very winnable race where on pacers certainly don’t look to be disadvantaged.
How to play it: Abdon WIN ($6 TAB Fixed Odds)
Abdon trialling quietly at Rosehill – August 20
|Race 3 - 1:25PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Expect the leaders to hum along here which will give Tristan De Angel his chance to rattle home over the top of his rivals and add another win to the Highway tally for Matt Dunn. Dunn has a knack of bringing the right horses down for this weekly race and this lightly-raced four-year-old again fits the bill. He has had three trials, winning the latest from last. The last time we saw him he ran on hard behind stablemate Cascata Rossa at Ipswich, who we’ve seen run well in Highway Handicaps before. With Athonis the likely leader, he’ll have to hold off Safe Landing and Arugla carving across from their wide draws.
Danger: Kurt Goldman’s Safe Landing belted his opponents in a Goulburn maiden last start at short odds. It was expected after he went close to winning a Canterbury midweeker the start prior. Where he gets to from the sticky draw is the question. He’s likely to be left a sitting shot. Cisco Bay pulled up lame two starts back while last start he was luckless behind Butchoy. The four-year-old was presented with a wall of horses half way down the straight and despite losing his momentum, picked himself back up to run second. There’s a case he should have won. He can win this. Could have something on Rapture Miss now she has made the field at big odds too.
How to play it: Tristan De Angel WIN ($6 TAB Fixed Odds)
Cisco Bay had no luck last start in a Highway
|Race 4 - 2:00PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (2000 METRES)|
Tactics will be crucial to the chances of Brimham Rocks but happy to be in his corner after a very encouraging return at Randwick behind boom import and current Metrop favourite Avilius. On that occasion he couldn’t match the closing splits of Avilius (32.66s) but still rattled off a last 600m of 33.19s (Punters Intel). He has been kept fresh since then with a Rosehill barrier trial keeping his fitness levels ticking over. Hugh Bowman steers here and I’d be quite keen on his chances had the five-year-old drawn a gate. I can’t see much in between – Bowman either pushes the button and he is right there or takes hold to be nearer the tail. He is a stayer with upside though and as his first up effort suggests, one with a turn of foot which will take him a long way at this level.
Danger: All Too Soon has been well supported in betting early doors on the back of a powerful Rosehill win last week with 61.5kg. The race was run to suit there with the leaders running along and suspect she relished the sting out of the track. Punters Intel reveals her last 600m of 34.43s, 2.5L quicker than any of her rivals. She is unlikely to get either of those elements on Saturday and from the wide draw you’d imagine the tactics would be to ride her conservatively. The Lord Mayor has heavily backed first up but didn’t fire a shot. Where there is smoke there is fire though. Keep him safe.
How to play it: Brimham Rocks WIN ($6.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Brimham Rocks catching the eye first up
|Race 5 - 2:35PM CONCORDE STAKES (1000 METRES)|
I’m siding with Invincible Star to topple Redzel. A mare still with enormous upside. There is no denying that Redzel is the horse with the runs on the board but if Invincible Star can’t beat him here, it’s hard to see her turning the tables come The TAB Everest over 1200m at weight-for-age. Invincible Star missed the autumn with a setback but her two trials suggest she is primed up. The first of those she matched motors with Super Too before being let stride at Randwick to win by a widening 9.8L. More importantly though, he three-year-old form was outstanding. She was a dominant all-the-way winner at Caulfield at Group Three level before starting favourite in the Coolmore Stud Classic only to be nabbed by Merchant Navy on the line. She has shown time and time again she can sustain such a high speed so will be incredibly hard to run down here over 1000m.
Danger: The shades went back on Redzel in his most recent trial and he won stylishly. The query for Redzel is whether he can recapture his very best form after being rolled in the TJ Smith Stakes (albeit by budding star Trapeze Artist) and then failing to flatter in the Doomben 10,000. Invincible Star of course comes from that same three-year-old crop as Trapeze Artist which gives me a touch more confidence. Regardless, Redzel is such a bomb-proof horse and will be stalking Invincible Star throughout. If there is the slightest of chinks he’ll be there to pounce. It’s anybody’s guess for third. The enigmatic Kaepernick to dart home fresh?
How to play it: Invincible Star WIN ($2.60 TAB Fixed Odds)
Invincible Star’s latest trial romp – Randwick 13
|Race 6 - 3:10PM TRAMWAY STAKES (1400 METRES)|
Lanciato will have the entire field to chase down at the top of the Randwick straight but this six-year-old is absolutely airborne. He was a revelation last preparation, tearing through the grades from a BM80 before ending with a seventh in the Doncaster. He is not known for his first up exploits so his slashing fourth in the Missile Stakes suggests he has gone to another level again. Punters Intel reveals he clocked 32.60s for his last 600m and 11.03s for his last 200m. That was behind Pierata who has been scratched from this. The Tramway Stakes always been his target race, with a three from three second up record, with the Epsom his third stop. In the Epsom he is $8 all in. The $7.50 here is too enticing, even factoring in his low percentage racing pattern.
Danger: Le Romain was excellent first up in the Show County with 61kg. He had a very cosy run never having to go around a horse but the overall time was very sharp. He is even better suited out to 1400m and not too perturbed by the draw as can see him coming across to site outside of Arbeitsam. Comin’ Through is a last start Group One winner and ran second in the Doncaster last preparation. He could still slip under punters’ guards. As for Tom Melbourne, his most recent trial when slipped some leather to roll along was very impressive but buyer beware…
Can Lanciato turn the tables on Pierata on Saturday?@BradJGray puts their last start meeting under the Punters Intel Spotlight ahead of the Tramway Stakes @tabcomau @royalrandwick pic.twitter.com/uaoRLanh3G
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) August 29, 2018
|Race 7 - 3:50PM BISLEY WORKWEAR CHELMSFORD STAKES (1600 METRES)|
It’s a big field but think there are only a handful of genuine winning chances. That leaves me with Unforgotten. She looks to have made the difficult transition from a three-year-old filly to open class four-year-old without too much fussing judging by her fast finishing sixth in the Winx Stakes at WFA first up. Punters Intel reveals her last 600m was 32.85s and a last 200m of 11.10s. She wasn’t alone in recording very fast closing splits but that’s humming. She’ll be even better suited out to the mile. She has such a devastating turn of foot and can see them hiking along in this race with Cabeza De Vaca and Religify taking it up. Then there’s a second layer of speed with Prized Icon, Ace High, Classic Uniform and Red Excitement all drawn wide. She’ll camp in the second half and be hammering the line. Last season’s ATC Oaks-winner has some real x-factor about her.
Danger: Single Gaze has changed trainers from Olive to Waller but one thing stays the same, Kathy O’Hara. She’ll have the six-year-old mare just off the speed from the good draw. First up last preparation she was luckless (like a lot of runners!) behind Hartnell over 1400m in the CF Orr Stakes. Prized Icon was brave first up behind Flow with 59kg. He was left a sitting shot at the finish. Unfortunately he maps to again do it tough. Religify raced keenly after the leaders dropped the anchor in the Winx Stakes. He could pinch a place from the cosy draw.
How to play it: Unforgotten WIN ($4 TAB Fixed Odds)
Unforgotten speared through late in the Winx Stakes
|Race 8 - 4:30PM DARLEY FURIOUS STAKES (1200 METRES)|
Have noticed a lot of the sentiment around Miss Fabulass ahead of the Furious Stakes is that she has been priced on potential. While that is potentially true, trying to forecast a horse’s progression before they get there is part of the punting puzzle. Tipping on Saturday she’ll announce herself as the spring’s dominant three-year-old filly. I’m treating her first up win at Canterbury in a field of three as nothing more than a pipe opener, even a second barrier trial. She stacked them up on front before dashing home her last 200m in 11s flat (Punters Intel). On debut she got back to last and ran home in 33.58s, the fastest 600m split of the day and 4.5L superior to the next best in the race. That’s a filly on debut remember. That second was behind Cristobal, and that form ties directly into Fiesta, Pure Elation and Outback Barbie.
Danger: Oohood never looked likely in the Silver Shadow but it was a day when it favoured those closer to the fence (due to the wind hitting them down the straight). She draws to be closer here, gets the blinkers on and is better suited to 1400m. Worth another chance. Fiesta had all the favours there and won’t be afforded that in this. Loathed to risk her though. Pure Elation easily accounted for Fiesta last time we saw her. She bled in that race. Her trials have been quiet but she’s top class. Pretty In Pink the best of the rest.
How to play it: Miss Fabulass WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds)
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) August 30, 2018
|Race 9 - 5:10PM HEINEKEN 3 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Best Of Days should’ve won on his Australian debut. I’m talking through my pocket but the more times I watch the replay, the more I’m convinced of it. The knock on him ahead of that race was the 1400m but he dispelled that. Now the knock will be staying at 1400m. It wasn’t exactly a tough run there at Randwick though so there’ll still be freshness in his legs. He missed the start half a length there last start, and showed the same tendency in his two trials, so expect the same again here. On his overseas form he stretched out to the 2400m most recently but did win over 1422m early in his career. James Cummings has this new crop of imports flying (Avilius, Home Of The Brave) and this five-year-old looks no different. He could be another that has Group ambitions over the spring.
Danger: Sir Plush has been great in his two runs back, even if the form guide doesn’t suggest that. Punters Intel reveals his last 600m wasn’t far off the winner Trekking last start (33.79s vs 33.88s) while first up his last splits were also very good. The query is the draw. Do they press the button to go forward? If that’s the case, he can win. Sambro has worked out his barrier manners now. He ended last campaign by beating Victorem in the Hawkesbury Guineas and then took out the Queensland Guineas. He’ll stalk the speed with Hugh Bowman steering. The four-year-old is a big hope in this grade. Just wonder whether he’ll need the run first up, as he has done in the past. Show A Star ran 9th last start but was only collared at the 200m. He’ll be that bit fitter again here and will give another sight.
How to play it: Best Of Days WIN ($3.30 TAB Fixed Odds)
Best Of Days was held up for a run first up