Group l racing kicks off for the new season at Randwick this Saturday where Winx headlines a crack field in the George Main Stakes, and that is the drawcard at headquarters. The weather is fine, the track is good (3) and the rail is out nine metres from the 1600m-Winning Post; Out seven metres for the remainder.
Race 1. (12:15) TAB Highway Handicap (Class 3) 1000m
5 Oakfield Time (Bet Now: $4.60) is a nippy mare for the Terry Evans yard at Tuncurry who has run well in Highways before and she strikes a winnable one here. Resumed over the short course at Muswellbrook and led all the way, albeit was lucky to win with Floki getting flattened when about to burst through. Still, she won and this is a thin race.
4 Larlabrook (Bet Now: $5.00) is an above average looking four year old for the Clint Lundholm yard. This horse created quite an impression in his first prep, winning two of three and both wins he ran quick time. Bolted up in a recent Dubbo trial, beating home Highway/City performer Somebody and ran a track record. Big watch.
10 She Knows (Bet Now: $4.40) is a Denman filly first up for the Danny Williams yard. She ran twice during the Autumn to kick off her career, finishing midfield on debut at Kembla before finishing best and winning at Goulburn, beating home a couple of subsequent winners. Resumes with no trials, but fresh in a Highway tells me she’s ready.
Race 2. (12:50) Shoot Out Mile (90) 1600m
9 Prada Miss (Bet Now: $8.00) is a Stirling Osland trained mare who is absolutely flying at the moment. Won a Highway impressively at Rosehill three back and in two runs at that track subsequent, she has run very well in similar races to this, the latest behind Mariquita when the tempo was clearly against her. If they do inject tempo here, she’s the one.
10 Royal Navy (Bet Now: $3.20) should be hard fit now after two strong runs back from a break. He ran over the Warwick Farm mile last Wednesday where he had to chase the tearaway leader Art Of Excellence and he nearly got there but the bob of the head went with the leader. He has upside and the mile suits.
3 Embley (Bet Now: $5.00) was a bit of a flop here two back behind Comin’ Through but loved the drop in depth a fortnight back at the track/distance when given a peach on speed by McEvoy to just see it out and win. Looks to map well once again, perhaps lead, and take some holding out.
Race 3. (13:25) Schweppes Heritage Stakes 1100m
1 Single Bullet (Bet Now: $4.80) is a cracking colt that resumes for the Gary Portelli yard. He didn’t have the best of luck throughout the Autumn, but he did score a dominant win in the Pago Pago. Trialled brilliantly alongside She Will Reign recently, and probably went better than her. That speaks volumes I think of how well he has come back and the stable noise backs that sentiment up.
6 Malahat (Bet Now: $2.90) is a progressive colt for the Godolphin team but I will say he is well found in betting and I’d probably wait until closer to race time to back him. Nice win against the older horses last time out at Canterbury, but things did fall in to place. The big ticks for him are that he is fit and has gate speed.
3 Goodfella (Bet Now: $15.00) is one of the more interesting runners on the program here. Bjorn Baker trained galloper who resumes after a long spell. He hasn’t raced since the Magic Millions where he closed off hard with purpose to run fourth to Houtzen. Like what I have seen from him at the trials and he dose have a touch of class/quality.
Race 4. (14:00) Bill Ritchie Handicap 1400m
7 Comin’ Through (Bet Now: $2.35) bounced back to his best form with a superb first up win at this track/distance a month back under a lovely ride from Michael Walker, who stacked them up in front before dashing on the turn and rattling off some outstanding splits to get the win. Trialled last week at Rosehill and looked good behind Trapeze Artist to keep him ticking over. This will be a good test.
3 Tom Melbourne, (Bet Now: $3.10) but I couldn’t have him on top because he is a money muncher. In saying that, his efforts under Chris Waller have been outstanding. Bad luck beat him first up at Rosehill before going to the Tramway here a fortnight back where he did a power of work in the run out wide without cover yet still hit the front, only to be nabbed by Happy Clapper. If the breaks go his way, he’ll go close.
2 Havana Cooler (Bet Now: $23.00) is the very interesting runner here. Godolphin galloper loaded with talent but is very hot and cold. He only raced once in the Autumn, in the Hawkesbury Cup, and failed to flatter behind Fabrizio. Trials have been okay, he does generally run well fresh…market will be the guide, but on his best form he’s right in this.
Race 5. (14:35) McGrath Estate Agents Tea Rose Stakes 1400m
I think only bias/bad luck will beat 2 Champagne Cuddles (Bet Now: $3.40) here and indeed in the Flight Stakes. Her two runs back this time in have been unbelievable. Went very close in the Silver Shadow before she went within a lip of beating Formality in the Furious a fortnight back, with her pattern/barrier costing her. If she can sit a length or so closer in the run, she just wins.
1 Tulip (Bet Now: $3.40) is a very good filly for the Hayes/Dabernig team who resumed at the Valley three weeks back and did a very good job I thought. Just got left a touch flat footed on the turn but once she balanced up, she charged late to just miss on picking up Roomooz. Up to 1400m on the big track looks perfect and she rates highly.
The x factor here is 9 Pandemonium (Bet Now: $8.50). Waterhouse/Bott trained filly who has won her last two starts. Bolted up at Kembla in her maiden before going to Warwick Farm where she led all the way and was quite impressive under Rachel King. From all reports, she worked brilliantly last week with Gold Standard, and we know what that horse did in the Stan Fox, so I’m respecting her enormously here.
Race 6. (15:15) Colgate Optic White Stakes 1600m
The 7 Winx (Bet Now: $1.09) show has been a spectacular one this Spring so far in two runs and no reason to see why she can’t/won’t continue the picket fence. She has been made to work to win both runs, first up her own doing, but the Chelmsford win was simply outstanding. Was six lengths off Red Excitement 250m yet still won without Bowman pulling the whip. Sit back and enjoy? No. Stand up and applaud.
This run should top off 1 Happy Clapper (Bet Now: $13.00) beautifully for the Epsom. I just thought he might need the run first up in the Tramway a fortnight back but he was brilliant, charging home from off the pace in probably not the A Ground and still savaging the line. Doubt he wins, but he’ll run a beauty.
9 Foxplay (Bet Now: $16.00) is a high class mare in her own right for Chris Waller. Her Warwick Stakes run was outstanding. Not to the level of Winx (who can), but she was still very good in her own right, running the champion mare all the way to the peg. This looks a perfect assignment for her en route to the Epsom.
Race 7. (15:55) Bowermans Office Furniture Shorts 1100m
2 Redzel (Bet Now: $2.20) just gets conditions to suit once again and given he is hard fit, and will be the leader, I think he’s the one. Had to love his win in the Concorde a fortnight back under McEvoy. Was quite aggressive from the gates, led at a decent enough clip, and just gave nothing else a look in. Not sure he has the class/brilliance of some of these, but he’s up and running, fit, in form.
5 English (Bet Now: $4.80) is a high class mare that kicks off her Everest campaign for the Waterhouse/Bott yard. It took a freak performance from Chautauqua to nab her in the TJ Smith in the Autumn and I think she probably had enough after that, with a couple of so so efforts in the All Aged and Robert Sangster. Been given two solid trials to prepare, and she does fly fresh.
6 Ball Of Muscle (Bet Now: $14.00) is the value/exotic play. Joe Pride trained sprinter that is first up after an indifferent Summer/Autumn where he threatened to win a good race but just couldn’t quite measure up. He is another that flies first up and his two trials leading in have been very good. Looks forward enough to put himself on speed and get every chance.
Race 8. (16:35) Kingston Town Stakes 2000m
11 Life Less Ordinary (Bet Now: $4.40) does look the one here. Classy animal for Chris Waller who was excellent first up over 1400m here behind Comin’ Through before lacking the turn of foot in the Chelmsford but his splits were still excellent behind Winx. Up to 2000m, third up, on the minimum, Avdulla riding…ticks the boxes.
3 Chocante (Bet Now: $4.20) is a beauty for Stephen Marsh and his first up run in the Chelmsford was outstanding. Did a power of work on speed chasing Red Excitement and he had every right to drop off but he fought on courageously behind it and Winx. Up to 2000m, soft run, Shinn steers…big ticks.
Giving another look to 7 Classic Uniform (Bet Now: $15.00). Gary Moore trained stayer who has been excellent in recent times. He in the Premiers Cup Prelude and bumped into Arbeitsam before going to the actual Premiers Cup where he did a great job to hold on to second given the amount of work on speed he endured and still had the audacity to hold on. If he gets a cheap furlong on speed here, he’ll take some holding out.
Race 9. (17:15) Tab.com.au Handicap (84) 1200m
8 Improvement (Bet Now: $9.00) is a quality mare for Gary Portelli who trialled really well prior to resuming over 1100m at Rosehill where she produced a funny run because she didn’t show her customary gate speed and was never in the hunt behind Tango Rain. Form has held up and the recent trial win was sharp. Think she can bounce back.
13 Rosa Carolina (Bet Now: $13.00) is a Kris Lees trained mare who was confidently backed off some nice trials when resuming on Wyong Cup Day but I am just not sure she was entirely happy around the tight circuit but once she balanced up, I thought she was really good late behind Alaskan Wolf. Last time she was at Randwick, she placed at blacktype level.
2 Echo Effect (Bet Now: $7.00) is a classy animal first up for Kristen Buchanan. This bloke contested some high class races during the Summer/Autumn and was heading down the Doncaster path but couldn’t qualify after failing in the Prelude. Trials leading in have been very good and he is a bomb when produced fresh.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Five Number 2 Champagne Cuddles
NEXT BEST: Race One Number 5 Oakfield Time
VALUE: Race Nine Number 8 Improvement
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 7
Leg Two: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6
Leg Three: 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 12
Leg Four: 2, 5, 6, 8, 13
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