The Melbourne Carnival is done…bring on Sydney! The Sydney Carnival heats right up this Saturday with the $600,000 Group l Randwick Guineas (1600m), which has assembled a high class field, headed up by Dissident and El Roca. Zoustar makes his long awaited return to the track and will tackle the $500,000 Group l Canterbury Stakes (1300m), but he won’t have it all his own way, with the likes of Appearance and Not Listenin’tome also taking their place.
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Race One (13:17) : Skyline Stakes 1200m Form Guide
Back Me: Going for a bit of value in the shape of Modoc (Best Odds: $15.00) for Paul Perry. He put together two very impressive wins at Newcastle and Scone respectively, then was a gallant second in the Inglis Premier at Mornington before not handling the wet track at Rosehill in the Silver Slipper behind Mossfun. Drops a fair bit in class on that last start effort, and returns to a much fairer racing surface to tackle his Inglis Premier conqueror, Gold Force.
Big Danger: I certainly think that Gold Force (Best Odds: $4.20) was flattered by the dynamite on pace bias at Mornington, but in saying that, he was on debut and was taking on some handy types, so he obviously has ability. Can he measure up to a Golden Slipper? I’d say no, but he is a definite threat here.
Roughie: Valentia (Best Odds: $4.00) looks a clear Sires/Champagne horse. That was evident last start over this track/distance where he wore down Greco in the closing stages, running through the line strongly. Has the class to beat this lot, but will need to be near the speed.
Race Two (13:52) : Sweet Embrace Stakes 1200m Form Guide
Back Me: Going for value again, this time in the shape of Puzzle (Best Odds: $10.00). I tipped her on debut at Kensington after her brilliant trial win. She had the charmed run and looked ready to pounce, but inexperience probably got to her late and she didn’t let down. Tipped out, back to the trials and has been excellent, winning a Randwick trial before placing behind Oakleigh Girl in a Warwick Farm barrier trial on Tuesday. That should have her wound up for this.
Big Danger: Press Report (Best Odds: $6.00) stuck to the task quite gamely first up in the Silver Slipper when a distant second to Mossfun, making ground on the worst part of the track. She certainly is one of the hardest to beat, but the betting will be interesting. If you like her, don’t take anything ridiculously short.
Roughie: Occitan (Best Odds: $10.00) was a tough but impressive winner on debut at Kensington back in November before running there and finishing down the track behind Unencumbered. Looks to have ability, well bred and drawn well.
Race Three (14:27) : Randwick City Stakes 2000m Form Guide
Back Me: Really good edition of this race. Going for a bit of value yet again in the shape of Sea Moon (Best Odds: $13.00). I’m prepared to say that Flemington isn’t his track, because he has produced three duck eggs from as many runs there now after his flop last week in the Blamey. This is a massive, massive drop in class for him, Bowman back on board, and the last time he was on the seven day back up, he saluted at Group ll level in a much stronger race than this. $11 looks great overs.
Big Danger: Junoob (Best Odds: $2.50) put together two high quality wins at Rosehill, then just didn’t appear comfortable in the wet going when a distant third to Opinion. Firmer track will suit him more I think and he gets a 2kg weight pull.
Roughie: The Offer (Best Odds: $12.00) wasn’t too bad first up at Rosehill behind Ecuador over an unsuitable distance and on a wet track. Firmer surface, back on his home track, fitter, on the minimum and maps quite well. Could be the value knockout hope.
Race Four (15:02) : Aspiration Quality 1600m Form Guide
Back Me: Any Day Will Do (Best Odds: $7.00) was ridden too close to the tempo last week in the Wiggle, holding the rails and the lead before gradually fading to run seventh to Catkins. She has been touted as a stakes winner. She won’t get a better chance to do that than here.
Big Danger: I loved the return to racing of Lucky Lago (Best Odds: $4.60) in the Millie Fox behind Red Tracer, hugging the rail, which was like quick sand, and stuck on well for third. Another mare who deserves blacktype, and she also gets her chance to do that here in a pretty thin race.
Roughie: The value horse in this race for me is Port Macquarie mare Danesiri (Best Odds: $81.00), who I tipped in the Member’s Cup at Eagle Farm, starting $101 and running second, beaten just under a length. She will love the Randwick mile and a genuine speed. Look for her to blouse these late if they go hard enough in front.
Race Five (15:37) : Challenge Stakes 1000m Form Guide
Back Me: I’ll concede that Lankan Rupee is the rising star in the sprinting ranks, but certain “experts” have clearly forgotten the Queensland bulldog Buffering (Best Odds: $2.90). This is the horse who kept placing behind Black Caviar and Hay List, then in the Spring won three of the toughest Group l Sprints in Australia, leading all the way in each. He has sizzled in work, exhibition gallops, and should blitz this field before probably going on to win the TJ Smith.
Big Danger: Snitzerland (Best Odds: $3.30) got her deserved Group l win last start when sitting on the speed and kicking very strongly to win the Lightning. What you have to consider though when backing her is the fact she was just about 100% for that run. There won’t be much improvement left. Be aware of that if you back her.
Roughie: Bel Sprinter (Best Odds: $16.00) hasn’t done a great deal on Australia shores since racing in the TJ Smith last year, placing behind Black Caviar. Went on to run a beauty in Singapore, then hasn’t really done much in a few runs in Melbourne. On his best form, he is a chance.
Race Six (16:12) : Roy Higgins Tribute Quality 1200m Form Guide
Back Me: Really keen on A Time For Julia (Best Odds: $3.70). Was keen on her first up in the Bellmaine at Caulfield and she duly saluted after being well backed late in betting, then ran a cracking second to Red Tracer in the Millie Fox on a wet track, something she doesn’t like. She is absolutely flying at the moment, and strikes a very winnable race here.
Big Danger: Recoinage (Best Odds: $12.00) was ridden for the bias two back here and won before steaming home from well back to run second to Lilliburlero in the Triscay. She is hitting peak form now and is rock hard fit.
Roughie: Aerobatics (Best Odds: $12.00) is a little ripper for Darley. She doesn’t contest the big races, but will always pick up a stakes race or two in a prep. Liked the way she trialled recently and is a good horse fresh, and races quite well at Randwick.
Race Seven (16:47) : Royal Randwick Guineas 1600m Form Guide
Back Me: Going to stick solid with El Roca (Best Odds: $4.00) despite the awkward barrier draw. I thought his effort last week in the Liverpool Cup was outstanding. He is a three year old, he didn’t get the weight pull on the other favoured runners yet was only beaten a long head by a genuine Doncaster contender in Terravista. That run should have topped him off beautifully for this, and he should eat up the Randwick mile.
Big Danger: Once again, Dissident (Best Odds: $9.00) is at great odds. He ran second to El Roca first up in the Eskimo Prince before wearing down Atlante to win the Hobartville. He will only improve off that, and gets back to a firmer track, which looks ideal. He’ll roll forward and take some beating.
Roughie: Teronado (Best Odds: $26.00) finally draws a decent barrier. His efforts in the CS Hayes and Australian Guineas were outstanding considering how far back he was in each run. I’d like to think he’ll take advantage of the good draw and coming back to racing clockwise should only benefit plus Froggy sticks.
Race Eight (17:22) : Canterbury Stakes 1300m Form Guide
Back Me: Going with crack three year old Not Listenin’tome (Best Odds: $4.20). He could not have been more impressive first up at Caulfield, dismantling a fair field with ridiculous ease. I think he has improved big time from the Spring, while Zoustar…the jury is out for mine as to whether or not he has improved after two barrier trials.
Big Danger: Hard to believe that $5 is on offer for Red Tracer (Best Odds: $4.80), but that tells you how big of a reputation that the three year olds have. In saying that, she has taken on the big boys before and ran superb in the past, and her first up win in the Millie Fox was brilliant despite the fact she had a tummy on her.
Roughie: Appearance (Best Odds: $6.50) is certainly one of the better mares in Australia at the moment, winning twice from as many runs this time in, and being quite devastating at each. Was supposed to run last week in the Chipping Norton, but had a slight hiccup, but she is too good to ignore.
Race Nine (17:57) : Fireball Stakes 1100m Form Guide
Back Me: Going with Cosmic Endeavour (Best Odds: $4.20) to close off the card. I liked her first up at Rosehill and she just bolted in after sitting outside the speed. I think she is much better on top of the ground, and getting back to her home track as well as being fitter…she’ll take some beating here.
Big Danger: Polarmore (Best Odds: $13.00) ran sixth in that race mentioned above, and if you backed her, I wouldn’t jump off her because she wasn’t suited there, getting too far back. Her lone second up run produced a brilliant win at Kensington, so I think she is a ripping chance here.
Roughie: Open Book (Best Odds: $6.00) looked a star in his first two runs during the Spring, then ran two placings behind Aussies Love Sport and Zoustar respectively. He has trialled very nicely leading up to this, and despite the draw, he will be a force here I think.
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Best Bet: Race Six Number 6 A Time For Julia (Best Odds: $3.70)
Next Best: Race Seven Number 2 El Roca (Best Odds: $4.20)
Best Roughie: Race Two Number 8 Puzzle (Best Odds: $10.00)
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 2, 3, 6, 7, 9
Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Leg Three: 6, 8, 10
Leg Four: 1, 4, 5, 9, 12, 13
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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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