Tips by Brad Gray
Brad Gray's tips and insights for Royal Randwick on Saturday. There are winners to be found for nine races!
The rail is in the True with the track on Saturday morning being upgraded to a Good 4 following some perfect autumn weather.
|Race 1 - 11:25AM ENERGY AIR PLATE (1400 METRES)|
The Autumn Sun came away from his Randwick maiden win with a boom on him, and rightly so. He took winding up but once he was allowed to click through his gears he savaged the line running his last 600m, via Punters Intel, in 33.87s. Out to 1400m is perfect now ahead of heading north for the JJ Atkins over the mile. He has trialled well since, again at Randwick, just to keep the engine ticking over. There are two negatives I can find but I will preface that by saying I think the horse is clearly good enough to overcome them. Firstly, barrier 2 doesn’t look ideal for him from what we saw off his debut. Would prefer him with room to wind up. Secondly, Kerrin McEvoy rode him perfectly on debut but heads to Doomben on Saturday. Brenton Avdulla will need to be right on his game.
Danger: Whiteley ($8) found himself closer to the rear than the front at Wyong on Tuesday and it was a big win in the end, rattling down the middle of the track. Prior to that he was just nutted at Warwick Farm. Backs up only days after his maiden win. It’s an aggressive tactic but I like it. Coterie ($14) was only two lengths away from The Autumn Sun two back before his excuse at Warwick Farm was perhaps that he already wanted 1400m. He gets that here. Brilliant Mind ($16) was very good on debut behind Gem Song at big odds.
How to play it: The Autumn Sun WIN (firming from $2.40 to $1.90 with TAB Fixed Odds)
The Autumn Sun was outstanding on debut
|Race 2 - 12:00PM SUPPORTERHUB HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Oria ($5.50) didn’t have much luck last start at Canterbury. She was ridden with a sit but was strung up on the fence and when she finally threaded through a gap she built to the line nicely. Dawn Dawn and Sweet Victory have since franked the form. From barrier 1 here I’d expect Jay Ford to be keen to hold the front for as long as he can. Even if only to keep race favourite Vontaine working to cross from the wide draw. Oria sat outside of the leader at Hawkesbury first up and won well on that occasion. Her breeding says 1400m will be right up her alley with her two siblings winning over 1400m and even the mile. The Joe Pride-trained filly had a soft trial on Monday on her home deck of Warwick Farm.
Danger: Vontaine is $2.40 with TAB on the back of a breathtaking win at Kembla Grange when straight out to the mile after winning her maiden over 1200m, again at Kembla Grange. What was most impressive about the win was her ability to sustain her speed. Despite rolling along in front, she still ran the fastest last 200m home (Punters Intel). The knock is 1600m back to 1400m and in city grade having won a weak Class 2, albeit by seven lengths! Touch Of Mink ($9) was only beaten 2.5L by Shoals in the G1 Surround three starts ago but has a nasty recent habit of missing the start. She didn’t in her recent trial though. Keep her very safe.
How to play it: Oria EACH WAY ($5.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Oria’s luckless Canterbury run last start
|Race 3 - 12:35PM MCCARTHY HOMES HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
Sasso Corbaro’s ($3.90) midfield finish at Scone first up was much better than it reads on paper. She drifted right back in the big field and just as she was starting to make her run at the top of the straight, copped a bump. She re-balanced and hit the line nicely, with Punters Intel revealing she was one of only three in the race to break 12s home. She’ll be within stalking distance of the leaders here with a field of only eight. Second up last time in she bolted in at this track where Epidemic was 3.5L back in third. Only two starts ago this Kris Lees-trained three-year-old started $6 in the G2 Light Fingers. Here she is at $3.80 with TAB Fixed Odds in a Benchmark 80.
Danger: I’ve got nothing against Zonk ($3.20) but the market always loves her! She has never started longer than $4.40 (which was on debut) but has only saluted twice for punters. She has been favourite in seven of her nine runs too. Epidemic beat her last start which ties in the form with Sasso Corbaro. Think Savatiano ($3.70) poses the biggest threat. She was ridden very confidently, and a touch out of her comfort zone, at Scone first up and picked herself up to win after being clearly headed. She won brilliantly 1300m back to 1100m last preparation so don’t hold the 1300m back to 1200m here against her.
How to play it: Sasso Corbaro WIN ($3.90 TAB Fixed Odds)
Sasso Corbaro second up at Randwick last time in
|Race 4 - 1:15PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1000 METRES)|
Larlabrook ($4.40) won a Highway Handicap first up over 1000m last preparation – beating She Knows. Here is the real kicker though. He meets She Knows ($2.60) 8kg better off here courtesy of a jump in She Know's benchmark rating on the back of a Highway win at Hawkesbury and then a second at Scone in Listed company behind the unbeaten In Good Time. Larlabrook, for Dubbo-based trainer Clint Lundholm, lost his way a little after that but he didn’t get the chance to dictate like he did in his Highway win. Seeing him romp home in a recent Dubbo trial win was enough for me to think will bounce back to his best.
Danger: She Knows has 62.5kg to lug here and bravely, Danny Williams has resisted the urge to claim. Blake Shinn, who has a great association with her, maintains the ride. I’m not a hardcore weights and measures man but for a three-year-old filly it’s one hell of a task. Certainly respect the fact that Williams is running her here though! Falerina ($3.60) has improved every time she has been produced at the races.
How to play it: Larlabrook WIN ($4.40 TAB Fixed Odds)
Round 1 of Larlabrook vs She Knows
|Race 5 - 1:55PM EML HANDICAP (1600 METRES)|
Very hard race but landed on After All That ($3.30). His win last start at Scone was there for all to see. He was heavily supported and won with a leg in the air. His two seconds prior to that were very good too, rattling home behind Plucky Girl in the Tamworth Cup while first up he was beaten only by Marsupial over 1100m at Warwick Farm. Those are the positives. To counter that he’ll likely find himself last, which is nothing terribly unusual, but there’s a real lack of speed in the race. At least on paper. Aaron Bullock will need to be mindful of that.
Danger: Bastia ($3.90) hasn’t led this preparation yet but he has in the past and he looks the most likely to take it up from the inside draw. He ran well at Rosehill last start with Solo Mission proving too good at the finish. He is always around the mark in this grade and won’t get a better chance to bring up victory number four. Philosophy ($4.80) gets the blinkers off for the first time having failed to finish the race off at Scone last start in the G3 Dark Jewel. This is her right level.
How to play it: After All That WIN ($3.30 TAB Fixed Odds)
After All That romping home at Scone
|Race 6 - 2:35PM WILSON ASSET MANAGEMENT HANDICAP (2000 METRES)|
Live And Free ($2.15) belted his rivals at Rosehill out to 1800m and the further he went in the race the further he was going away. Punters Intel reveals he slipped home his last 600m in 34.01s and stopping the clock at 11.44s for his last 200m, which equates to being about two lengths superior to anything else in the race. Out to 2000m will only suit him further and it’s significant when assessing the race that the current second favourite is the Frankel colt Merovee, who he beat by a widening six lengths last start. It’s hard to see him turning the tables. That makes the $2.60 (now $2.15) a very appealing price. He only has to repeat that last start effort and he’ll win this. He’ll be further back from the draw but with good speed engaged, can’t see that being an excuse.
Danger: What you see is generally what you get from All Too Huiying ($9.50). He carried 59.5kg last start against older horses at Rosehill and only went down narrowly. He’ll be rolling along out in front and be the one to run down. It’s just a matter of how much pressure he can absorb from Princess Mia ($31) and Savvy Ken ($9). Georgica ($16) has had a good grounding for this and would relish speed up front. His win at Hawkesbury was much better than it reads. Ombudsman ($9.50) can bounce off his dominant Hawkesbury maiden win having finally broken through.
How to play it: Live And Free WIN ($2.60 into $2.15 TAB Fixed Odds)
Live And Free at Rosehill last start
|Race 7 - 3:15PM FUJITSU AIR CONDITIONING MCKELL CUP (2400 METRES)|
Our Century ($2.50) has jumped out of the ground already for new trainer Kim Waugh, picking up the Lord Mayors Cup last time out when second-up straight out to 2000m. He beat Ecuador ($4.60) on that occasion and although meets him worse off at the weights (2.5kg to be exact), I can’t see that stopping him. He was a dominant winner there, dashing home at the finish and that was despite covering plenty of ground in the run. The overhead on the Punters Intel app reveals he only got cover about 1000m from home and shortly after that had to pop out to make his run. He’ll only strip fitter third up and the last time we saw him over 2400m he lost in a protest to Big Duke in the G3 Manion Cup.
Danger: Ecuador won this race two years ago carrying 59.5kg. He is probably going just as well at the moment but has just found one better in all three runs this time in. The older he gets the more he looks like a genuine mile and a half horse. That burst of acceleration he once had is gone but he’s tough and incredibly honest. Destiny’s Kiss ($9) flopped out in the Lord Mayor’s but found the line nicely. He is going super but would love a wet track - which he won't get today (Good 4).
How to play it: Our Century WIN ($3.20 into $2.50 TAB Fixed Odds)
Our Century getting the better of Ecuador last start
|Race 8 - 3:50PM THE MAN SHAKE HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
To Excess ($4) is a beauty. He has won six from 14 and his 1100m record is even better (6:4-1-1). He was heavily supported first up in the Ortensia Stakes at Scone and he ran out a dominant winner in the end. This is another perfect race for him over 1100m, if not a touch harder, and on a firm track. He draws to get a midfield trail and although it’s reasonable to expect some improvement second up, don’t think he has to come on much to be in the finish again here. His record says he hasn’t yet won at Randwick but on one occasion he fell in a hole late over 1200m to be beaten in a photo while in November he was wide the trip on a soft track and got rolled by Samantha ($19).
Danger: The only danger looks to be the enigmatic I Thought So ($3.80) kicking off his next chapter under Team Snowden. He has always been a talent but needed to work out how to race. Being gelded helped a little but it didn’t see him win. His two trials have been excellent this time in, although he has always been a flashy trial horse so factor that in. His prior form also suggests he prefers the sting out. If you back To Excess and save on I Thought So, reckon that’s the race sewn up.
How to play it: To Excess WIN ($4.60 into $4 on TAB Fixed Odds) and SAVE I Thought So ($4 into $3.80)
To Excess winning at Scone last start with something still in hand
|Race 9 - 4:30PM ANTHONY DIPROSE MEMORIAL HANDICAP (1400 METRES)|
Nine of the 16 come out of a midweeker at Warwick Farm where there were exactly two lengths from first back to ninth! Japanese import Fierce Impact ($5.50) was outstanding on his Australian debut for Matthew Smith there. He started $51 so it was largely unexpected but he really motored to the line along the fence. He is sure to come on plenty from that outing. His brother is a Group One winner in Japan so we’ll probably see him at his best next time out over further again but 1400m at Randwick should give him his chance against many of the same rivals he met last time. He won’t have to be last from the cosy draw either.
Danger: Beacon ($4.60) improved sharply first up into second up and expecting similar progression here again. Looks to have taken a bit longer to get fit this time in. He made a wide, sustained run at Warwick Farm last start and just peaked late after looking the winner. Don’t think he’ll have too much trouble turning the tables on stablemate Schubert ($7.50) off that. Playard ($11) is a smokey. We’ll get a line from Savatiano earlier on the card as to how deep that Scone race was he contested last start. He’ll run a cheeky race in this. Best of luck punters!
How to play it: Fierce Impact WIN ($6 TAB Fixed Odds)
THAT Warwick Farm race – watch for Fierce Impact and Beacon