The best racehorse on turf is Winx and she is back on the track to kick off what will hopefully be a history making 2017 and her return in the Apollo Stakes (1400m) highlights a fab card at Randwick on Monday, postponed from Saturday . The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out eight metres from the 1600m-Winning Post; Out six metres for the remainder.
Race One (13:20) : Ranvet Handicap (90) – 1600m:
Back Me: 2 Dylan’s Rojo (Best Odds: $7.00) for me here. Was very game in defeat over 1400m here behind Careless before stepping up to the 1500m at Rosehill where he was gifted the lead and Andrew Adkins took full advantage and the horse kicked on strongly to get the win. Gets map favours once again and I don’t see the mile being an issue if that eventuates.
Big Danger: 3 Astronomos (Best Odds: $7.50) is the interesting one here. Handy stayer that resumes for the John Thompson stable after a mixed Winter prep, which ended with a seventh to Benzini in the Brisbane Cup. That form, on face value, might not read great, but the form out of that race has been outstanding and the winner went on to run a beauty in the Hong Kong Vase. I’m sure whatever he does here he will improve on, but he is unbeaten at Randwick and you always have to respect stayers first up off a decent break.
Long Shot: 4 Invinzabeel (Best Odds: $8.00) had been pretty ordinary to start off this prep but I thought there was a bit of merit into his last start effort behind Dylan’s Rojo. He couldn’t quicken once the leader/winner did, but he kept on and was good to the line in fourth spot. Randwick mile looks as if it’ll suit him perfectly, and if he can blend in rather than being pocketed, he’ll be much more effective.
Race Two (13:55) : TAB Highway Handicap (Class 3) – 1800m:
Back Me: 9 D’Beak (Best Odds: $12.00) for mine an an each way basis. He is a tough, gritty stayer for the in form Joseph/Jones yard who comes here off a 2000m run at Moruya where he kept grinding away Matty Cahill and he tried hard but couldn’t quite quicken well enough. Randwick 1800m suits and the big tick for him is that he will stay all day.
Big Danger: 6 Medieval (Best Odds: $4.20) is from the i form Matty Dunn yard who looks suited up to 1800m after racing over the Doomben mile on Australia Day where he got back in the run before getting clear and really finishing his race off with purpose to get the job done. Will love the rise in trip and we know the record the stable has.
Long Shot: 5 Backhouse Billy (Best Odds: $9.00) ran over 1500m on his home track at Port Macquarie last time out where he got back in the field before Looker eased him wider and he finished off well late to run third to Glitra. Has since been kept up to the mark with a trial there on Friday where he got back and went to the line nicely in a fast trial, so he’ll be wound up for sure.
Race Three (14:35) : Open Markets & BMYG Handicap (85) – 2400m:
Back Me: 3 Admiral Jello (Best Odds: $3.80) looks the one to beat here. He ran over this track/distance four weeks back where he sat off that brutal tempo set by Zatopaz and guided by James Doyle, the Kris Lees trained stayer loved it and rounded them up to sprint clear and win in dominant fashion. Despite the break between runs, I think he can go, right on with it.
Big Danger: 5 Burning Energy (Best Odds: $7.50) ran third behind Admiral Jello here before backing up seven days later and dropping back to 2000m where he attempted to lead all the way and just felt the pinch late behind Montauk. Back up to 2400m should suit and is a definite threat provided he doesn’t do too much work on speed.
Long Shot: 4 Regal Monarch (Best Odds: $10.00) is the knockout hope here. He is an import who has had a couple of runs for Chris Waller, the latest coming over 2000m at Rosehill a fortnight back where he was near last in a slowly run race and couldn’t dash, but was good late behind Embley. 2400m with upside, in the right stable…can definitely see him winning this.
Race Four (15:10) : 2017 Inglis Classic – 1200m:
Back Me: Really keen to see what 3 Junction (Best Odds: $18.00) does here. Was confident it would win on debut on his home track at the Gold Coast off the back of a sharp trial win and though taking time to wind up, picked up late and drew right away. Looked to work very well earlier this week and you always have to respect the stable.
Big Danger: 4 Ultramarine (Best Odds: $4.60) is a nice looking type for Team Snowden who was a drifter in the market when debuting at Randwick where he got back in the run and though never a winning threat, I thought he stuck on well behind Exceeds in a handy form race. Should come on from that and you have to respect the stable.
Long Shot: 7 Frolic (Best Odds: $7.00) is a handy filly for Michael Freedman who has finished runner up in both career outings, the latest coming under the lights at Canterbury when working home to run second to Marsupial. Does have the solid city race experience on her side and will be strong late.
Race Five (15:50) : The Chi-X Southern Cross Stakes – 1200m:
Back Me: 1 Le Romain (Best Odds: $5.50) despite carrying the grandstand, is the one to beat for mine. Clear class runner who ran so well during the Spring, most notably here in a brutal Epsom Handicap before going to the Cantala where he was given a peach from Bowman to get another deserved Group l. Trials leading in have been outstanding and stable have been lethal with their first up runners recently.
Big Danger: 4 Snippets Land (Best Odds: $13.00) is the hard fit runner in ripping form at the moment for Team Snowden. He comes through the Magic Millions Cup at the Gold Coast where he got a mile back in the run before getting the splits at the right time and just missing out on picking up Testashadow. Back in Sydney, well weighted, maps well. Hard to beat.
Long Shot: 3 Big Money (Best Odds: $12.00) drops a touch in grade after contesting the Expressway where he dashed for a brief period and looked for a moment as if he was going to seriously threaten but the WFA scale was against him when fourth to Music Magnate. This looks more his go and he does have a hard fitness edge.
Race Six (16:25) : Trainer Connections Spring Stakes – 1600m:
Back Me: Keen here on 4 Royal Navy (Best Odds: $4.60). Could well be a Derby horse and he is heading in the right direction now that the blinkers have been applied. He ran over 1400m at Rosehill a fortnight back where Corey Brown gave him an absolute peach of a steer and despite wanting to do some things wrong, he finished best. Randwick mile looks perfect and he rates highly.
Big Danger: 12 Faraway Town (Best Odds: $8.50) doesn’t have the greatest winning record, but you have to remember she has contested some high class races throughout her career. She comes through the Magic Millions Guineas where she got a mile back in the run yet finished off her race with real purpose to run fifth to Flying Jess. Group l performer at the track/distance and strikes a very winnable race.
Long Shot: 8 The Grandson (Best Odds: $19.00) rises sharply in grade but gee there was plenty to like about his first up win at Goulburn. he was back in a slowly run race over an unsuitable trip and though he took his time to get there, he did get the job done without Collett pulling the whip. He has Derby written all over him, and I can see him loving the Randwick 1600m second up.
Race Seven (17:05) : TAB Light Fingers Stakes – 1200m:
Back Me: 2 Spright (Best Odds: $5.50) is a star filly who takes on some top class types here, but who is to say she is not top class herself. She really came of age in the Spring, winning the Brian Crowley here before going to the straight on Oaks Day where she looked the good thing of Cup Week and ran right up to that, aided by a peach from McEvoy. Trials have been very good and that turn of foot she has is Group l class.
Big Danger: 3 Foxplay (Best Odds: $7.00) is another talented filly, this one trained by Chris Waller. She swept through most of the Princess Series during the Sydney Spring before going to Caulfield for the Thousand Guineas where the slow tempo was against her behind Global Glamour. Looks forward enough to sprint well fresh and she has class herself.
Long Shot: 9 Gridelin (Best Odds: $11.00) is the hard fit filly for Godolphin who has been quite impressive in both starts/wins this prep, starting off with a strong maiden win at Gosford before giving them a nice touch up at Canterbury. Hardest test to date, but is up and running, draws well and rates highly to my eye as a knockout chance.
Race Eight (17:40) : The Star Apollo Stakes – 1400m:
Back Me: 11 Winx (Best Odds: $1.15) is not only the queen of the turf she is the best in the world on turf, and she rightfully holds that tag after what she did in the Spring, highlighted of course by her stunning second Cox Plate triumph. She isn’t normally the best trialler, but her two trials leading in have been super…scary thought for her rivals.
Big Danger: 1 Hartnell (Best Odds: $9.50) probably didn’t get the recognition he deserved for what he did in the Spring. He spanked them in several races, the best being in the Turnbull where he dominated the subsequent Caulfield Cup winner under a hold. He of course ran second to Winx in the Cox Plate then ran a mighty third in the Melbourne. I’m sure whatever he does here he will improve, but he has the class/brilliance to run a beauty.
Long Shot: 14 Lasqueti Spirit (Best Odds: $151.00) stunned the racing world with what she was able to do in the Crown Oaks (2500m) where Avdulla just ran them along in front and gave nothing else a look in, spacing her rivals. Highly doubt she will be winning and threatening, but it’ll be interesting to see what she does heading forward toward the Australian Oaks.
Race Nine (18:15) : Rocbrick Lodge Triscay Stakes – 1200m:
Back Me: 1 Dixie Blossoms (Best Odds: $4.00) is a classy mare that resumes for Ron Quinton. She really came of age in the Spring, winning the Angst over the mile here before going to the Myer Classic where like most in that race, she just had no luck in the straight. 1200m is short of her best, but I liked her trial and she can sprint well fresh.
Big Danger: 3 Nancy (Best Odds: $7.00) is the very interesting runner here. Ran twice during the Spring and failed to fire so Team Snowden sent her out for a break. Back now and gee she looked the part in winning a trial last week, beating home high class animals, Winx included. Big watch here.
Long Shot: 7 Press Report (Best Odds: $19.00) is an absolute beauty for Kris Lees but she just can’t quite crack it for a win at this level. Her efforts under Lees have been quite encouraging and she has indicated that she could well be ready to go close. Liked her trial recently at Newcastle and looks wound up to win.
Race Ten (18:50) : Schweppes Handicap (85) – 1200m:
Back Me: 6 Hanwritten (Best Odds: $4.00) was kept very safe in the market when resuming over 1000m here on Australia Day where he sat on speed under Bowman and when he asked for the supreme effort, the horse found and drew clear late in the piece. 1200m is a different pain barrier, especially with more depth here, but there is just so much upside.
Big Danger: 3 Bullrush (Best Odds: $7.50) was a horse who I thought could measure up to Stakes grade in the Spring but after three below par runs, he was tipped out. Trialled at Rosehill last week and looked pretty good to my eye when fifth to Cocoexcel. Goes very well fresh and on his best form, he’ll go very close here.
Long Shot: 13 Pick Me Up (Best Odds: $8.50) stuck on strongly first up at Canterbury when second to Magic Of Dreams before racing over this track/distance on Australia Day where he was given a sweet steer by Hyeronimus and the horse dashed right away late. More depth here, but down in the weights and should have upside left.
BEST BET: Race Nine Number 1 Dixie Blossoms
NEXT BEST: Race Ten Number 6 Hanwritten
VALUE: Race Two Number 9 D’Beak
Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):
Leg One: 1, 2, 3, 7, 9
Leg Two: 11
Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, 14
Leg Four: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 13, 14
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All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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