Australia’s richest raceday promises, as always, to be a great spectacle.
Just Horse Racing writer Andrew Hawkins had great success last week, leading you into winners like Galizani ($13 when posted) and Salade ($9).
This week, he attempts to find more winners, including having a strong tip in one of the toughest betting races of all – the Golden Slipper.
Here is Andrew’s preview:
Race 1 – Group 3 The Schweppervescence (1400m)
What a great way to start the richest raceday in Australia! This race last year produced the likes of Skilled and Kudakulari, so it should be one to watch from a future point of view. I desperately hope DO YOU THINK gets a run in the Golden Slipper, but if he doesn’t, he’s a moral here. Very exciting horse. FLIGHT OF PEGASUS looks the only danger after his third behind Hot Snitzel and Uate. Outside of that, it looks rather thin. Maybe go with IRISH TIMES for third, should appreciate the distance. COCKY RAIDER has been gelded and is first up at 1400m, but the trainer David Payne is quite confident.
Race 2 – Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m)
I may be crazy, but I’m going to go around the favourite here for the sole fact that I’m not sure he needs the run after his fantastic second last week. I’m going for a fresh horse on the scene in BLACKIE, who came from provincial class three starts ago to win the Phar Lap Stakes. Will appreciate the step up to 2000m and looks a nice horse in the making. For second, I’m going to go with MUIRFIELD. I’ve liked him for a while, he seems to be slowly working up to something – although I still reckon he’ll need further. RETRIEVE has to go in based on class alone, while KING GLADIATOR looks and out and out stayer – he impressed behind Iron Lace last start. Would have Maules Creek in my selections, but you can’t possibly back him off his last run, while Fast Clip is a major query at 2000m. Shadowofexcellence and I Think I Do could both get in there somewhere with luck.
Race 3 – Group 1 Queen of the Turf (1500m)
The first of the Group 1s, and the question is, how far MORE JOYOUS? I cannot see them getting near her. Not close. At weight for age, MELITO probably runs second given her form. MONTANA FLYER is at a big place price considering she’ll probably get a soft lead or a soft run on the back of More Joyous, while PALACIO DE CRISTAL needs it dry but is in good form. Easiest preview I’ve had to write for a while.
Race 4 – Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m)
This race is always won by a good filly, and I think a good filly will win it this year – DO RA MI showed a stunning turn of foot last start when ridden cold. Yes, it is a big jump up in distance. Yes, she’s never raced beyond 1400m. But she’s bred to do it, and she has Peter Moody in her corner. I’m very confident she’s the winner. SWORN TO SECRECY looks the biggest danger. Very nice run against the boys in the Phar Lap Stakes and she has that Kiwi staying blood. Good filly. I’m worried how much last week would have taken out of BRAZILIAN PULSE. She can win but she’s under the odds, especially considering connections were in two minds about where she would head until last week. For fourth, go with MIRJULISA LASS – jockey Corey Brown believes she may be his best sneaky chance all day. Next best Iron Lace.
Race 5 – Group 1 The BMW (2400m)
The first of the real big ones, the BMW. Thought it may be a little lacklustre this year but I’m happy with the field. Big difference between this race and the Ranvet Stakes (apart from the distance) is the pace outlook. With Mourayan, Ginga Dude, Zavite and Descarado pushing forward, it is going to set it up for something to come from behind. And here is where I believe MALUCKYDAY will stamp his authority as Australia’s most promising stayer. Never had a chance last time out, and his run was good under the circumstances. But he’ll shine here. Much more in his favour…for second, I’m going for one from left field, the imported galloper LARISTAN. Loved his run in the Australian Cup. He’s heading to the Sydney Cup but no reason he can’t run a strong trial here. LINTON will also be suited by the strong tempo, but first time Sydney way of going is a bit of a query. Still, should run boldly. DESCARADO‘s 2400m record is near perfect – a 2nd to Shoot Out in the AJC Derby and a win in the Caulfield Cup. I think the pace won’t suit him but he should still run well.
Race 6 – Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m)
A hell of a race to figure out. I have to be loyal to the Kiwis and go with WALL STREET. Massive fan of this gelding, believe we are yet to see the best of him too! Scary thoughts. KING MUFHASA has placed in this race the last two years and I think he’ll get a track to suit here. He’ll be glad not to see More Joyous or Whobegotyou. If I tip those two, I have to have DAO DAO in calculations. Very consistent horse, would love to see him finally win one of these races. CAPTAIN SONADOR is at a big price for an Epsom winner. He was disappointing last start but it was a bog at the Gold Coast and he had a massive weight. Pretty much any horse can win this race though, didn’t mind Love Conquers All either.
Race 7 – Group 1 AAMI Golden Slipper (1200m)
Click here to watch our Golden Slipper preview. As stated in the preview, I’ve loved SATIN SHOES as a Slipper contender since her debut in October. She is a half to one of my favourite Kiwis in Zarzuela, and I’ve followed the Conners family for a while. Go girl. For second, I hope DO YOU THINK gets a run but I’m not getting my hopes up. If he’s out, then SMART MISSILE becomes my second selection, SHARED REFLECTIONS third and EMPRESS ROCK fourth.
Race 8 – Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2000m)
Actually a really nice 2000m handicap, very very good field. I’m going with RAINBOW STYLING, yet to miss top 2 second up, won the Naturalism last prep 2nd up at 2000m. Good odds too. I’ll go with him to beat BASE, who absolutely flew home at Caulfield last week. Third, let’s go with LUEN YAT FOREVER. Not entirely convinced about him at 2000m though. I think he would have been an ideal Doncaster type. For fourth, maybe KUTCHINSKY? Should appreciate going clockwise again.
Race 9 – Group 3 Sebring Stakes (1100m)
Final race on the card, and it’s quite a competitive sprint. I’m going for a bit of an upset – NIGHTOFTHEGENERAL. Unbeaten first up, always looked promising and he may finally deliver this prep. I love DORF COMMAND, always tries hard and she should like the speed on here. ATOMIC FORCE is very well suited here and is a deserved favourite, while LATIN NEWS is probably looking for further but looks well suited at the weights.
BEST BET – R4 #3 Do Ra Mi
NEXT BEST – R1 #2 Do You Think
BEST VALUE – R8 #3 Rainbow Styling