By Ray Hickson
Tips and race by race preview by Ray Hickson for Saturday’s Rosehill Gardens meeting. Selections based on a soft to heavy track.
|Race 1 – 1:05PM IRON JACK HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
7. Cellsabeel was one of the best runs out of the Golden Gift and that’s a form race that’s expected to be a strong one. Clocked the fastest last 600m there of 33.27 (Punter’s Intelligence). She’s trialled up impressively twice in recent weeks, the latest in the blinkers, and both her sire and dam were effective in wet ground. It’d surprise if she doesn’t go close. Read jockey Tommy Berry's comments here.
Dangers: 2. Beyliks has a soft track placing from his Breeders’ Plate debut and he also trialled well leading into his first-up run. Plenty of respect for him. 1. Return With Honour will probably cross to lead as he did on debut where he was chased by another handy Godolphin youngster. If he handles the conditions is right in it. 6. Lord Of War is bred to be fine in the wet and was in the market but had a tough run behind Return With Honour so could rebound.
How to play it: Cellsabeel WIN ($2.30 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Cellsabeel wins a trial at Randwick on January 9
|Race 2 – 1:40PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
There’s a case that 7. Acquittal is best with some sting out of the ground and if that’s what he needs it could be his day. Ignoring his flop two starts back where he went way too hard in front, his efforts either side were sound. He’s chased home Noble Boy and Star Fall on soft tracks and while he’s enigmatic at best, give him one more shot (each-way though).
Dangers: 5. Sennacherib had no luck in the same race as Acquittal last time and was going well before that. If he handles wet tracks he’s a good chance. 1. Show Me The Honey backs up after a luckless Highway run last week. Hard to say where he would have finished but a lot closer than tenth is a given. Wet is a tick and the extra ground is okay. 6. Absolute Trust disappointed first-up when favourite then won out late in a two horse war at Muswellbrook. Unknown in the wet, he might love it, but seems unders.
How to play it: Acquittal E/W ($7.50 TAB Fixed Odds); Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Acquittal runs since at Randwick on January 4
|Race 3 – 2:15PM LOU COX HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
1. Lashes will be the shortest priced favourite of the day and while there are challenges for her to overcome, and she is on the short side price wise, she’s hard to tip against. Relished sitting off a strong pace first-up and spanked her rivals late, racing well clear. She’s beaten Kylease on a heavy track and you’d expect her to get a nice trail again. Goes up to 59kg but looks a different horse this time in. Read trainer Matthew Smith's comments here.
Dangers: 5. Echo Gem failed in Brisbane last start but she ran well fresh and she has a very consistent wet track record from last prep. Expect her to lead or sit second and she can be dangerous. 6. Switched was narrowly beaten by Aquitaine in a strong form race three weeks ago. Seems to handle all conditions and is a winning chance. 2. Press Box has no wet track credentials though she’s probably 50-50 on breeding to get through it. Ran well above her price in the Kosciuszko and still has a rung or two she can climb. Place chance.
How to play it: Lashes WIN ($1.70 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: ODDS.
Lashes wins at Randwick on January 4
|Race 4 – 2:50PM NSW BOOKMAKER CO-OPERATIVE HANDICAP (1350 METRES)|
If there’s one horse that has been looking for some give in the track it’s 6. Stella Sea Sun and she’ll get it here off a slashing first-up effort. She had a case to be a little unlucky in that strong form race won by Aquitaine fresh, she’s unbeaten second-up and her most impressive win last prep was on a heavy track. Take beating.
Dangers: 3. Jen Rules is flying at present on good tracks but the view out there is she’s a bit better with the sting out of the ground. Hard to ignore her. 7. Julian Rock can be hot and cold but he was hot when destroying them at Randwick on Boxing Day with a sweeping run. A wet track winner overseas. 1. Royal Tudor had a hard run first-up but wasn’t disgraced and tends to race well in the wet. Can only improve and is capable of posing a threat.
How to play it: Stella Sea Sun WIN ($2.70 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Stella Sea Sun runs fourth at Randwick on December 28
|Race 5 – 3:30PM JACK ASHMAN HANDICAP (1300 METRES)|
6. Unguarded is ready to win a race, there’s been a heap to like about her two runs back, particularly the latest where she was held up at the back of the field as the winner enjoyed a soft lead. Hit the line well when clear, clocking a race best 34.31 for the last 600m (Punter’s Intelligence), extra 100m a plus and her best performance came on a heavy track back in June.
Dangers: 3. Big Parade is the big stumbling block, he looks to have the most upside and he did so much wrong but still kept fighting in a blanket finish behind Embracer three weeks ago. Unknown on wet ground but he could be better than them too. 10. Fasano could be a good chance at odds fresh, he has promised a bit, his trials have been nice and he did win fresh on a soft track (albeit in a maiden) last prep. 8. Aim For Perfection was in the same race as Unguarded first-up and disappointed. Down in weight, blinkers off and she handles wet tracks (without looking to love them).
How to play it: Unguarded E/W ($8.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Unguarded runs second at Randwick on December 26
|Race 6 – 4:10PM MARK MERLINO HANDICAP (1200 METRES)|
It’s been a long time between drinks for 5. Dio D’Oro since he strung together three wet track wins in mid-2018 but there was something about his latest trial that says he might be in order now he’s been gelded. Only placing last prep was on a heavy track behind Sir Elton and there’s enough speed on paper for him to find a spot midfield or better. Worth a look.
Dangers: 6. Coterie hasn’t been disgraced in three of his four runs this time in and hit the line well behind Jen Rules two weeks ago. Capable of featuring. 7. He’s A Hotshot had every possible chance in front in the same race when run down by Jen Rules. He’s not proven in the wet but only had one look away from a good track. The 1200m is in his favour. 9. Drachenfels ran last in that race but he can do that. Interestingly he’s usually around the placings on wet tracks so he has to go in your quaddie in case he springs to life.
How to play it: Dio D’Oro E/W ($5.00 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Dio D’Oro win a trial at Warwick Farm on January 2
|Race 7 – 4:50PM BILL WATERHOUSE HANDICAP (1100 METRES)|
There appears to be good speed here and that will suit 8. River Bird. She was a revelation last time in winning four of her six starts including a couple of heavy track wins at Rosehill. Trucked home nicely in her latest trial and can only see her running well. Read trainer Jason Coyle's comments here.
Dangers: 6. Embracer does have an alarming heavy track failure to his name but aside from that he’s been bombproof lately. Superium/Splintex form looks pretty good and if he gets any peace he’ll be the one to beat. 4. Invictus Salute was brave in defeat when we last saw her five weeks ago. Trialled nicely behind Embracer since then and handles all conditions. In the mix. 1. Connemara doesn’t run bad races and she’s trialling well too for a handy first-up run. Each-way hopes. Placed in both heavy track attempts and yet to a miss a place fresh.
How to play it: River Bird E/W ($7.50 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: EVENS.
River Bird runs third in a trial at Randwick on January 9
|Race 8 – 5:30PM BOOKMAKER RECOGNITION DAY TROPHY (2000 METRES)|
This race is a test for how forgiving punters are. 4. Word For Word has been a beaten favourite at her last five starts but she’s yet to win on a good track and arguably her best performances last prep were on wet ground including a close second to the Queensland Oaks winner. Good speed here on paper and this is the ultimate D-day.
Dangers: 7. Killer Instinct is a progressive mare coming off a confidence boosting win where she sat right behind the speed and surged away. Up in class and faces a wet track – though she is from the Samantha Miss family - but huge threat. 5. Mr Dependable isn’t going to get control in this race without burning the turf and he’s on the back up after last week’s nightmare for punters where he was four in front at the 300m and succumbed to working hard early. Did beat Rocha Clock prior so he’s obviously good enough. 13. Magic Over The Bay is racing well for Clare Cunningham and is adept in rain affected ground.
How to play it: Word For Word WIN ($4.20 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Word For Word runs third at Randwick on January 4
|Race 9 – 6:10PM ROSEHILL BOWLING CLUB HANDICAP (1500 METRES)|
9. Welsh Legend is another looking to improve on an ordinary strike rate and the wet track is an opportunity for her to fire first-up. She blew the start in a trial on Tuesday but closed off very well beaten a length in the 900m heat. Barrier blanket goes on, like to see support for her and if it comes she may be the one.
Dangers: 8. Bandersnatch will probably lead and be the one to run down. Too fast for Twentyfour Carat, who has won since, two back then just found Leviathan too good last time. His heavy track failure was on debut as a colt. 4. Condor will race on the pace and is in super form at the moment in slightly easier company. Too good at Canterbury last time, handles it wet ok so has a show. 6. Muswellbrook has been battling a little of late though was placed here three starts ago at 1400m. Yet to race on a heavy track but blinkers and Tom Marquand go on so could fire.
How to play it: Welsh Legend E/W ($3.80 TAB Fixed Odds). Odds & Evens: SPLIT.
Welsh Legend runs fourth in a Rosehill trial on January 14