One of Sydney’s premier racedays presents a tough challenge for punters tomorrow in most races.
Just Horse Racing writer Andrew Hawkins has been through tomorrow’s fields and has compiled a race by race preview for readers.
Here is his preview:
Race 1 – Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m)
A tricky little affair to start the day, complicated by the debut of two runners. In my opinion, it is best to stick with race experience. Hence I am putting ANISE on top. Not disgraced behind the likes of Foxwedge, Elite Falls and Satin Shoes – all acquitted themselves relatively well in the Golden Slipper last week. That form should be good enough here. For second, let’s go with ROLSTON. Had a good wrap on him before his debut second, where he didn’t run all that badly. He’ll be improved. The big firmer in markets has been the first starter CONROY’S GAP, so he obviously has some ability. For fourth, let’s go with AUBAZINE. Trialled really well this time in, won her latest trial by nine lengths. But can’t bet confidently here.
Race 2 – Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m)
Sticking with the favourites here. I’m convinced that coming back two stone lighter has really been the difference with KUDAKULARI. That, and maturity. He’s always promised a lot but I think his Canberra Guineas win showed that he has put it all together. Very exciting galloper, I think he’ll win here. NEEDS FURTHER has shown a lot of promise, I think he’ll improve over ground in time. That exacta won’t pay overly much but it is what I would take. SHADOWS IN THE SUN and QUARTERBAR are both enigmas, but both have shown promise and will be suited here. I would stick with the favourites though.
Race 3 – Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m)
Prime Sydney Cup lead up here, and they’ve got a very classy field engaged. The prospects for the Sydney Cup look bright if they can get most of the stayers from The BMW and from this race to the Cup. Kiwi stayer SHOWCAUSE has been in impressive form over the Tasman. He’s tough, fit and looks well suited here. I truly believe C’EST LA GUERRE improves five lengths going clockwise, and he’ll appreciate getting up to this trip. OLDER THAN TIME was impressive over 1900m last start. She’s reminding me a lot of Divine Rebel (they are both Don Eduardo mares), who won this race before going on to place in the Sydney Cup. ANUDJAWUN has been crying out for this trip and I think he’ll run well. Galizani and Speed Gifted next best in an open affair.
Race 4 – Group 3 Doncaster Mile Prelude (1600m)
Okay, I reckon this is a race to completely avoid the favourites. $7 the field shows you how open this field is. If I was to tell you there was a horse that ran third to More Joyous in a Group 1 weight for age race over this trip and at this track in the spring, surely you’d rush to back it? Furthermore this horse has a fantastic second up record, has a good barrier and gets in well at the weights. Well, dismiss him at your own peril. The horse is EMPIRES CHOICE and at juicy odds he’s the one I want to be on. MENTALITY is a 1600m Randwick specialist, and he’ll appreciate the drying track. Definitely a big chance on his best form. VIKING HERO is another one at odds. I think he’ll be competitive in a race like the Doomben Cup, so for that to be a chance he needs to run well here. HERCULIAN PRINCE is going to have a tough time from the wide draw and with the massive weight. That said, his 1600m record and second up record is impeccable. Not out of it by any means.
Race 5 – Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m)
Do I really need to explain why I have BLACK CAVIAR on top? I think every other media outlet has done it for me! She’s incredible, she’s amazing, I’ve been lucky to see her in person twice and tomorrow will make it three. I hope Sydney welcomes her warmly. For second, I’m going with ALL SILENT. A notoriously bad trackworker, he has apparently worked incredibly this week. May finally be back on track after a series of frustrating runs. SHOOT OUT won the Bletchingly Stakes fresh last year and while this is 10 notches above the Bletchingly, I think he’s a nice place chance. CRYSTAL LILY has chased home Black Caviar her last two starts. May run second again! But here’s hoping Black Caviar wins – she’s unbackable, but everyone will be cheering for her. It is horses like her that prove horse racing isn’t all about gambling.
Race 6 – Group 1 ATC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m)
Some pundits believe this race is better than the Golden Slipper. I think that’s an exaggeration, but I think there are some very nice horses from a future viewpoint here. DO YOU THINK was ridden upside down last week and was still arrogant. Only horse with 1400m experience in the field and I think he wins, especially with the scratching of Smart Missile. The fillies ELITE FALLS and SHARED REFLECTIONS ran on well in the Golden Slipper and have a good chance if they reproduce those runs – both are screaming for 1400m. EXCEED AND EXALT was a big run in the Pago Pago Stakes behind Salade and must be given a chance.
Race 7 – Group 1 AJC Australian Derby (2400m)
The 150th running of the AJC Derby. Sadly, while the 150th Melbourne Cup last year arguably had one of the better fields in recent years, this looks to be the poorest Derby in some time. That said, there are some good horses here. I’ll be disappointed if JIMMY CHOUX doesn’t win. He’s been the benchmark three year old in New Zealand and he came here and won the Rosehill Guineas impressively. Despite his NZ Derby win, I think there is still some query about him at 2400m. But he should win on exposed form. If he wins impressively, I reckon there’ll be a new early Cox Plate favourite. PRAECIDO is the best place bet in the race. He’s screaming for 2400m, ran a bottler behind Lion Tamer in the VRC Derby (quick side track – it’s disappointing Lion Tamer isn’t here…) and really should be running on well late. He reminds me of Littorio – I doubt he can win but he’s a great place chance. SHAMROCKER is taking on the boys here, and I reckon she’ll produce a mammoth Oaks trial tomorrow. She’s proven at the trip and has been in much better form this spring. Definite chance. Bart Cummings was overheard saying I THINK I DO will win the Derby. When the great man is confident, get on. Big run in the Tulloch last week, and although I’m not sure it is the formline I want to follow, he looks a promising stayer. Next best He’s Remarkable, then Masquerader.
Race 8 – Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m)
What an even group of fillies and mares! While doing the form, it was amazing to see how many of these mares hate Randwick – even some trained on the track! I may keep an eye out for that in the future…it was tough to decide a winner, but I’ve gone with GRACEFUL ANNA. I think her best distance is 1200m, and the step back from the 1500m of the Coolmore Classic will suit perfectly. Should sit near the speed and I reckon she can get home for a well deserved victory. ZINGALING was very good winning first up in the Birthday Card Stakes. She has good records at this distance and second up, and looks to have come back in good form. Big chance. LADY’S ANGEL is drawn to get the good run, she seems to have quite a bit of scope, while HURTLE MYRTLE should produce her best back at Randwick.
Race 9 – Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m)
I was happy to tip her before, but it seems EVERYONE is rushing to tip this maiden filly. Go DREAMWORKER! She was great in the Keith Nolan behind Brazilian Pulse and she looks like the trip will suit. She’s been heavily backed, and in my opinion, rightly so. I’m just envious that my colleague Morgan Payne managed to get on in the Oaks at 150-1! WILLOW CREEK looked like she could have been something special after her win in the Magic Night last year, but she had been disappointing until her last start third. I think they might finally have her right, and I think 20o0m will suit. I wouldn’t normally be keen on Newcastle maiden form for this but I don’t think SONG AND ROSES is without a hope. She won convincingly last start and Kevin Moses has had some success with the Song of Taras (No Wine No Song, Let Them Have It). Will have no problems with the distance. BOOKLET is a classy filly who should appreciate 2000m now.
BEST BET (outside of Black Caviar): R2, No. 1 Kudakulari
NEXT BEST: R7, No. 1 Jimmy Choux
BEST VALUE: R4, No. 6 Empires Choice
Written by Andrew Hawkins