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The champion mare that is Winx kicks off her final campaign in the Apollo Stakes (1400m) this Saturday at Randwick and the Group ll feature highlights a fab nine race card. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out three metres for the entire circuit.

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Race 1. (12:50) Pierro Plate 1100m

Back Me

I think normal luck on his side will see 3 Covert Ops (Bet Now: $3.70) winning this. Looks a very smart juvenile for Gerald Ryan who hasn’t raced since the Breeders Plate where he was well specked at odds, he led, fought hard but was gunned down late by Dubious. Overall, the Breeders Plate form hasn’t been as good as what it has been in previous years, but this bloke looked outstanding in a trial at Rosehill on Monday. Really keen on his chances.

Danger

6 Fiery Red (Bet Now: $4.80) is a son of Pierro for WaterBott who is first up. He hasn’t raced since the Breeders Plate where he was hard in the market and for mine, I thought he had his chance behind Dubious and was well held by Covert Ops, and comparing the trials leading into this, I think Covert Ops has come back better, but when it comes to two year olds, you can never really dismiss this stable.

Long Shot

9 Tenley (Bet Now: $11.00) is a grey filly for James Cummings that resumes. This girl debuted on the Kensington track back on November 22 where she was relatively unwanted in betting but the way she took the gaps and savaged the line late to get the win. Trialled at Randwick and was okay without jumping up and down, but the debut was outstanding to the eye and stable with their juveniles are low flying.

Race 2. (13:30) TAB Highway Handicap (Class 3) 1800m

Back Me

1 Nothin’ Like Harry (Bet Now: $2.25) is clearly the best horse in the race for mine and just needs to be anywhere near right fitness wise to be winning. Massive effort on speed two back at Caulfield when beaten narrowly by Lamborghini before going to Sandown where I thought he was really poorly ridden by McDougall and he was a total forgive. Hopefully gets clear air this time around and Bowman jumps on. Keen.

Danger

5 Fui San (Bet Now: $12.00) is a Terry Robinson trained gelding who is somewhat of a veteran at Highway level given this will be his 10th appearance in the race, with his best result being a win over the mile here in the Autumn. Last run came at Rosehill a fortnight where he made ground late without really threatening. Saves his best for Randwick, and up to 1800m should be okay.

Long Shot

10 Pontmain (Bet Now: $7.00) is a very interesting runner. Tim Donnelly trains this five year old gelding, who debuted at Wagga over the mile where he had the good sit behind the speed before Matthew Cahill peeled him out and the horse let down strongly to score a narrow but impressive win, beating Tycoon Dreaming, who won like Winx last week at Albury, so the form reads alright and clearly has upside.

Race 3. (14:05) Hurun Report Cup (78) 2400m

Back Me

2 Reneged (Bet Now: $18.00) would be a near good thing here if the track was heavy. I think he’s going really well for John Thompson and his run behind Cyber Intervention was good. He was left a bit flat footed when the sprint went on but he picked up and was really good late. 2400m is fine for him…just not sure the dry track will be to his liking, but just can’t go past him.

Danger

5 Gayatri (Bet Now: $1.70) is a Chris Waller trained mare who is in really good form at the moment. Ran over 2200m at the Warwick Farm midweeks where Bowman gave the mare a lovely steer just off the speed and she finished best in a driving go to the line. 2400m is a little query but I think on firmer footing, she’ll be okay and the depth here overall isn’t really strong.

Long Shot

2400m will be no issue for the John Sargent trained 6 Equipped (Bet Now: $8.00). He ran over 2200m at Warwick Farm last time on a bog where he was on speed throughout and whacked away when fourth to Gayatri. I think the firmer footing will certainly help his cause, he gets gate one and senior jock takes over, and I think he’s the sort of horse where he really needs standing over.

Race 4. (14:40) Lunar New Year Handicap (88) 1300m

Back Me

Very keen to see the resumption of the Team Hawkes trained 10 Diplomatico (Bet Now: $2.60). Was thought highly enough by the stable to be thrown in the deep end in the Coolmore on Derby Day where he ran an admiral fifth to Sunlight after coming off a lowly ranked Listed win. I think dry tracks are the key to him, which he should get here, and he looked to go about his business quite nicely on Monday in a trial.

Danger

Well this is well and truly D-Day for the Chris Waller trained 5 Paret (Bet Now: $4.40) because he gets conditions to suit. Good first up behind Bon Amis then last start at Rosehill behind All Too Royal, I think you have to be forgiving because he was back in an on pace dominated affair and when the leaders sprinted he lost sight of the compass but was good late. Dry track, 1300m, third up…looks his race…could I back him though?

Long Shot

1 Special Missile (Bet Now: $26.00) is an O’Rourke/Freedman trained galloper who looked to trial up okay prior to resuming at Rosehill where he got back in the run and was never really likely but worked to the line okay very late in the piece behind Bon Amis. Been freshened up and I thought his trial last week behind Happy Clapper was a beauty. He’ll be on speed and giving cheek I’m sure.

Race 5. (15:15) Southern Cross Stakes 1200m

Back Me

I’ll be very interested to see how 4 Lanciato (Bet Now: $10.00) goes. I hope they have trained him purely as a 1200-1400m horse, because 1600m at the top level is just a bridge too far for him, as we saw in the Epsom, but at sprinting trips, he’s really good. He’ll be spotting them a start but will be strong late, and the trials. to the eye, have looked very good. He’ll be launching late.

Danger

What to make of 9 Brutal (Bet Now: $2.20 PROMO ODDS), resuming for Team Hawkes. He’s 3/3 and was touted as a Caulfield Guineas horse, then a Coolmore horse, but injury forced him to go for a spell. He trialled at Rosehill and for mine, the trial was just okay without jumping up and down. I’ve seen him trial much better and you are being asked to take relatively short odds against some quality animals. I was against him last week on a wet track at Warwick Farm, but a firm surface, big track…that looks a much better setup for his resumption.

Long Shot

3 Kaepernick (Bet Now: $9.50) is a John O’Shea trained sprinter who I was keen on when he contested the Magic Millions Sprint at the Gold Coast where he tried hard but couldn’t quite finish it off when fourth to Egyptian Symbol. Been freshened up again and looked to trial well last Thursday behind Happy Clapper. Won this race last year and appears to be going just as well.

Race 6. (15:50) Apollo Stakes 1400m

Back Me

Recently watching ‘Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory’, there are just far too many loopholes. The main one really is how can the ‘Candy Man’ run a successful business if he keeps giving out free chocolate to the kids. Good on him and he means well…but just continually handing out freebies…he wouldn’t have a shop for much longer I’d suggest. But anyway, yeah, 5 Winx (Bet Now: $2.00 PROMO ODDS) will be winning and cheer on a champion.

Danger

Great to see 1 Happy Clapper (Bet Now: $9.50) back at the races. The Clapper is back after a two run prep in Melbourne during the Spring where he clearly wasn’t right, with the Makybe Diva run seeing him bleed. Been given a good break and his trials leading in have been quite good to the eye. He’ll run a ripping race I’m sure…just bumps into the great mare, once again.

Long Shot

While most eyes will be on Winx, I think one eye of mine will be on how 6 Unforgotten (Bet Now: $23.00) returns. She looked the heir apparent to Winx after a stunning Chelmsford win but then ran a close up third in the Epsom before being down the track in the Caulfield Stakes. She ran sub 33 first up last prep behind Winx in the race named in her honour and the two trials leading in have been okay.

Race 7. (16:30) Light Fingers Stakes 1200m

Back Me

I think this race is all about 6 Miss Fabulass (Bet Now: $2.80). If she produces anything near her best, she’ll be far too good for this lot. She’s a Group l winning filly in waiting for mine and will likely win the Surround all things being equal. Arguably should have won the Flight in the Spring but just pulled her head off in the run and cost herself the win. Two trials leading in have been outstanding and her work on Tuesday morning from all reports was very good.

Danger

Well just how good is 8 Sylvia’s Mother (Bet Now: $3.50)? In Melbourne we’ve seen the hard fit three year olds from the off season beat the top tier three year olds first up so it’ll be interesting to see if that occurs here with this filly, who is 3/3 this time in, the latest coming over 1100m here when producing an unbelievable turn of foot from a standing start pretty much to win impressively. Have to give her a look.

Long Shot

1 Oohood (Bet Now: $8.00) is a Tony McEvoy trained filly who is first up. She broke her maiden tag when winning the Flight Stakes in the last stride before running a game third in the Caulfield Guineas before having no luck at all in the Empire Rose behind Shillelagh. I think the trial says she’ll need the run, but she’s got the class/quality to warm to the task late in a flashing light run.

Race 8. (17:10) Triscay Stakes 1200m

Back Me

2 Invincible Gem (Bet Now: $5.00) is better than these isn’t she? First up a little query, but she’s surely got the class to put these away. Had three runs in the Spring and ran very well each time. Ran great late splits first up behind Santa Ana Lane before running well on a sticky track at Caulfield before sitting wide and battling well in the Empire Rose. Trials have been nothing to jump up and down about, but she has class and has never really been a great trialler.

Danger

1 I Am Excited (Bet Now: $6.00) looks one of the safer options for mine. David Pfieffer trains this quality mare, who is first up, having not raced since Derby Day down the Flemington straight when a solid third to impressive winner Divine Quality. Been given a good break and has had the benefit of a couple of trials, each time looking pretty good, and she can sprint well fresh.

Long Shot

3 Princess Posh (Bet Now: $15.00) is a Kris Lees trained mare who did an outstanding job in the Spring. Got her blacktype win in the Tibbie on Newcastle Cup Day before several placings at blacktype level, cementing herself as one of the better second tier mares in Australia. Probably just a length or so off the top Group l mares company, but the trials have been great and she has an outstanding first up record.

Race 9. (17:50) Chinese Festival of Racing Handicap (88) 1600m

Back Me

I just want to lean the way of 11 Harmattan (Bet Now: $5.00) in a good race. James Cummings trains this mare, who hasn’t raced since January 19 when given a 12/10 steer by J Mac at Rosehill to dive through late between runners and nab them on the peg. Been kept on ice since and the tick over trial was very good behind Bondi. Just think she’s the way to go in a competitive race.

Danger

The unbeaten run of 8 Girl Tuesday (Bet Now: $3.60) came to an end when she resumed at Rosehill a fortnight ago. On face value, she was very disappointing behind Seaway, but bear in mind she was first up with long term staying goals and she pulled up with a poor post race recovery. Back on firmer footing, bigger track, more speed in front…have to give her another look.

Long Shot

After 10 The Avenger’s (Bet Now: $9.50) last start, I wanted to back him wherever he was going…this looks the perfect set up for him but he strikes a very good field. Still, the run behind Thy KIngdom Come at Rosehill two weeks ago was a beauty, getting held up at times but when the split came, he really worked to the line strongly. A win wouldn’t surprise and I’ll definitely be having something on just in case.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Four Number 10 Diplomatico

NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 1 Nothin’ Like Harry

LONG SHOT: Race Five Number 4 Lanciato

 

Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 5

Leg Two: 6, 8

Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 4

Leg Four: 4, 7, 8, 10, 11

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