Group l racing in Sydney this season kicks off on Saturday at Rosehill Gardens with a cracking card, highlighted by the $1 Million De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m). The weather is fine, the track is good (3) and the rail is out two metres for the entire circuit.
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Race One (12:40pm) : Ranvet Handicap (80) 1800m: Form Guide
Back Me: Going with Dance Of Heroes (Best Odds: $7.00) here. He had trialled really well prior to resuming, but his first three runs this time was just plain. He needed a confidence boost, and he got that in spades I thought last start at Canterbury with a hard fought win where he stuck his head out. Harder here, but his confidence should be up and a return to a bigger track should be ideal.
Big Danger: Artibai (Best Odds: $5.00) was well supported to win last start at Randwick over 2000m and though he was held up early on in the straight, he had his chance to run down Loophole, but he couldn’t quite bridge the gap. That horse ran a beauty last weekend to frank the form, and with Artibai, he has upside. Hard to beat here.
Big Danger: Marenostro (Best Odds: $1.00) is a very consistent galloper for Chris Waller that has been up for a long time but is still racing well. He ran over 1500m here a couple of weeks back and looked very unlucky when fourth to Centre Pivot given he got no luck in the straight when trying to get out. McDonald is a winner on the horse, and despite drawing wide, he looms as one of the hardest to beat.
Race Two (1:15pm) : Sky Thoroughbred Central Kingston Town Stakes 2000m: Form Guide
Back Me: Maurus (Best Odds: $9.00) produced a big effort to win when resuming at Canterbury. He sat wide no cover for the entire trip, and at Canterbury that pretty much should rule you out as a winning chance, but he just kept finding under pressure and got up to get the victory. He has always promised to reach this level, and he is finally here. Draws well, on the minimum and Collett remains on.
Big Danger: Silverball (Best Odds: $1.95) could not have been ridden any better by Tye Angland last time out in the Premier’s Cup (1800m), but he just failed to hold out the in form Magic Hurricane, who had the drop. Up to 2000m should suit Silverball and Avdulla is back on board, and he was the hoop that steer the horse home in his Lord Mayor’s Cup win over this track/distance last prep.
Roughie: Up in trip and back on a bigger track should suit the Brian Smith trained Kingdoms (Best Odds: $12.00), who ran very well first up over the mile at Doomben where he was totally not suited by the tight track and slow tempo, but his last 150m was excellent. He did run third in the Metropolitan last year, so his class is there, and Brian Smith is very good at travelling horses successfully.
Race Three (1:50pm) : Tab.com.au Handicap (75) 1500m: Form Guide
Back Me: The return to a firmer surface should really suit the John O’Shea trained Nazca (Best Odds: $14.00), who has been plagued by wet tracks in recent times, including last start at Warwick Farm where he really struggled to pick up his feet. Draws gate one with McDonald aboard, and back on a bigger track, so he ticks plenty of boxes.
Big Danger: Artistry (Best Odds: $4.60) sat wide no cover when resuming at Canterbury, but he just proved too good for his rivals. He was due to run a couple of weeks back but was scratched. So he trialled on Tuesday at Randwick and wasn’t asked to do much behind Handfast. He looks to have plenty of talent and this is certainly a winnable race.
Roughie: Sebrina (Best Odds: $9.00) resumed here a couple of weeks back and didn’t have the best of luck behind impressive first up winner Sultry Feeling, with Sebrina not really getting clear in the straight. Should improve off that and now she gets Moreira aboard.
Race Four (2:30pm) : Mack Trucks Handicap (85) 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: Music Magnate (Best Odds: $2.80) on top for me. She resumed three weeks back at Randwick and worked to the line strongly when running second to Fell Swoop, who franked the form by winning a Stakes race at Moonee Valley last Saturday. She trialled here a couple of weeks back and looked outstanding behind All Cerise. Confident she can get the job done.
Big Danger: Princefamous (Best Odds: $6.00) resumed over 1100m here a month back and was well rated in front by Blake Shinn to score a strong win, though he was aided by on speed bias. Harder here, but there is so much upside with him and he did score a strong second up win last time in.
Roughie: Big watch on the return run of classy Arrowfield runner Havana (Best Odds: $21.00). He has been given a good spell, but he has looked awfully sharp in several barrier trials. His record of zero from two on rain affected tracks, on face value, doesn’t read great, but those two runs were a sixth to Sidestep and a fifth to Strawberry Boy, with both runs at Stakes level.
Race Five (3:05pm): Irresistible Pools Sheraco Stakes 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: As good as this field is, just back Bounding (Best Odds: $1.90). I’ll declare myself as the number one ticket holder of her fan club. I’ve said she will win a Group l this Spring, and I did say she’d win first up, and she did that emphatically. She should beat these.
Big Danger: Catkins (Best Odds: $4.20) does look the only serious threat to Bounding. She is a star mare who hasn’t raced since the Tatts Tiara, and if you backed her, just forget she went around, and even jockey Hugh Bowman said afterwards it was a Group l ride he won’t be remembering for a while. Her trial behind That’s A Good Idea was outstanding and she is an absolute bomb when produced fresh, plus she won this race last year.
Roughie: For exotics, definitely include the in form mare Fiftyshadesofgrey (Best Odds: $51.00), who was first up for a few weeks when being completely luckless behind Sultry Feeling, trying to make ground near the inside, which was like quicksand. She should take improvement off that and should get a soft trip from gate one.
Race Six (3:45pm) : De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose 1400m: Form Guide
Back Me: I was originally keen on Vancouver to win this race, but with him out, I am finding it hard to go against Press Statement (Best Odds: $3.40) here. He resumed in the Run To The Rose (1200m) and was very good in defeat I thought when a close up second to Exopshere. He was asked to carry 60kg and he did look to have a bit of a belly on him in the mounting yard. It’ll take a strong horse to win this race, and I feel that Press Statement will be stronger at the end of 1400m compared to Exosphere, and he meets that horse 1kg better off.
Big Danger: Exosphere (Best Odds: $3.10) was given a beaut steer from Sam Clipperton to get the job done in that race mentioned above, sitting last in the run before peeling wide and letting down powerfully to get the job done quite comfortably on the line. The unknown with him is the track. If it is firm, then he is a risk because all of his wins have been on rain affected tracks. Nonetheless, he is a serious winning chance.
Roughie: Shards (Best Odds: $11.00) is a definite threat. The market support was strong for him when he resumed in the Up And Coming (1300m) and aided by a gun ride from McDonald, the colt savaged the line late to get the job done narrowly. He should take good improvement from that outing and he gets the services of Moreira, so that brings the horse right into the mix.
Race Seven (4:25pm) : Theo Marks Stakes 1300m: Form Guide
Back Me: Tough race to sort out, but I’ve landed with the Chris Waller trained Heart Testa (Best Odds: $12.00). He looked to travel like the winner when resuming in the Show County (1200m) but he just died on the run over the final 50m and had to settle for fourth, beaten a half length. He should take good improvement off that, and his record at Rosehill is fabulous.
Big Danger: Messene (Best Odds: $7.50) drops a bit in class after racing alongside the best of the best, resuming with a solid fifth behind Burbero in the Missile (1200m) before going to the Warwick Stakes (1400m) and running a cracker when a close up third to Royal Descent. He scored a dominant win in his lone run on the track, which came in the Doncaster Prelude last year. Major threat.
Roughie: Famous Seamus (Best Odds: $21.00) is a classy sprinter who came within a whisker of winning a Group l this time last year. He didn’t really fire a shot in the Autumn, but his trials leading up to his return to racing have been great. One to watch at odds and is a must for exotics, because with the right trip, he can definitely blow these away.
Race Eight (5:05pm) : TAB Rewards Handicap (80) 1400m: Form Guide
Back Me: Really keen here on the promising Team Snowden mare Nancy (Best Odds: $2.30), who resumed over 1250m at Canterbury and looked totally uncomfortable around the tight turns, but once balanced up, she just savaged the line to finish a close up second to Shengli. Bigger track and up in trip really suits her, and she has a booming finish on her.
Big Danger: Berrimilla (Best Odds: $8.00) can be hot and cold at times, but she is starting to get some more consistency in her racing, and she was given a beaut steer from Bowman to win here last start. Loses nothing with McDonald going back aboard, draws well and loves racing on her home track.
Roughie: Testashadow (Best Odds: $10.00) was an eye catcher when racing here a month back, working home well late to finish seventh to impressive winner Start Wondering, beaten just under four lengths on a day where it was hard to make up ground. He is a talented type who can beat these with the right trip.
BEST BET: Race Eight Number 12 Nancy
NEXT BEST: Race Five Number 1 Bounding
VALUE: Race Seven Number 6 Heart Testa
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 1
Leg Two: 1, 2, 5, 9
Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8
Leg Four: 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 12
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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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