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Group l racing for the 2020/21 Australian racing season begins on Saturday at Randwick where it is Winx Stakes Day. The weather is fine, the track is soft (7) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

Winx Stakes 🏆: View the Field for the Winx Stakes


Race 1. (12:00) Gold Coast T.c. Trophy (bm78) 2400m

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2 Desert Path (Bet Now: $3.90 TOP ODDS), now that he has found winning form, can go right on with it now. Chris Waller trained stayer who had been teasing to win one, but I dropped off him two back after a below par effort behind Korcho. But Nash jumped on two weeks ago and the way Nash rides, he was taking no BS from Desert Path, put him into the race and the horse reacted with a spank job. Reproduces that effort here, he’ll go close again.


6 Birth Of Venus (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS) is a Chris Waller trained mare that is honest and more often than not, around the mark. Ran second to Desert Path at Rosehill a fortnight ago and I thought her effort had plenty of merit to it. Chased throughout in a strongly run 2400m and battled away gamely in defeat, albeit Desert Path won comfortably. Runs well again. Just needs to find that bit more to win.

Long Shot

8 Red Hot Chillypins (Bet Now: $14.00 TOP ODDS) is a Joe Pride trained stayer that’s going well and while I doubt she beats these, she’s one for multiples given she’s right down in the weights. Last couple of runs have come at Warwick Farm, winning two back before battling away okay in defeat last time out behind Space Is Deep. Knockout chance.

Race 2. (12:35) Tab Highway Hcp (c2) 1100m

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I’m confident 14 It’s Me (Bet Now: $3.90 TOP ODDS) can measure up here. Stable have been patient with her, with the mare debuting over 1000m at Scone and while I doubt she beat much, gee she was impressive in the way she put them away, winning by a space, smashing the clock relative to the day and ran the best late splits of the meeting. Off that, she’ll measure up here for sure and is hard to beat.


12 Skara Brae (Bet Now: $10.00 TOP ODDS) is a key threat for me. This mare last raced in a Highway on that Kenso meeting where the inside was absolute gold. She was back and very wide, and was no hope of winning, but her late splits were some of the best of the day in an excellent effort. Has had the break between runs and if the track is playing fair, think she can finish over the top.

Long Shot

1 Leo (Bet Now: $18.00 TOP ODDS) is a son of I Am Invincible for the Mark Schmetzer team that was bolters odds when winning a Highway first up over 1000m here before going to the Tallis Highway on the Kenso track where he was back in the run and it was a day where those near the speed were advantaged. He’s better than that, so give him another chance.

Race 3. (13:10) Heineken (bm78) 1600m

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Going with 11 This Is So (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS) for Anthony Cummings. First two runs for the prep suggested a win wasn’t far off and third up, over 1550m at Canterbury, he duly saluted, fighting back hard to get the better of Baanone in a close go. Harder here, but should love the Randwick mile and fourth up, should be cherry ripe fitness wise.


2 New King (Bet Now: $3.60 TOP ODDS) is the one with upside and progression. Lovely ride from J Mac saw this import win at Rosehill a fortnight back, sitting much closer in the run than usual and that tactic won the race for him, just fending off a very gallant Word For Word. If he handles the Randwick wet track, he’s really hard to beat.

Long Shot

Always been a fan of 6 Attorney (Bet Now: $26.00 TOP ODDS) and I find him such a fascinating runner. Matty Smith trained French galloper that was really disappointing in the Autumn after a really promising prep prior. Been given a good break, the gear changes tell me they’re starting again with him and if he brings his best, he can win for sure.

Race 4. (13:45) Silver Shadow Stakes 1200m

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Enormous respect to 3 See You Soon (Bet Now: $3.30 TOP ODDS). Was specifically set for the Slipper and while she didn’t quite measure up in the big dance, she was far from disgraced behind Farnan before an excellent third in the Percy Sykes, and was tipped out soon after. Closed off very strongly last Friday in a trial here and anticipate she’ll run a big race fresh.


The firmer the better for 1 Dame Giselle (Bet Now: $4.00 TOP ODDS). Team Snowden trained filly who is okay on wet ground, but is much more effective when the track is dry so the weather will determine how strong her winning claims are. Her trial last Friday was very good and while some here will be better over further, she looks a sprinter.

Long Shot

4 Philizzy (Bet Now: $13.00 TOP ODDS) is a daughter of Snitzel for Anthony Cummings that resumes. This girl hasn’t raced since the Champagne Stakes where the stable had a throw at the stumps after a midfield effort in the Percy Sykes and she finished down the track behind King’s Legacy. Two trials have been solid enough and she seems best suited at a sprint trip.

Race 5. (14:25) Show County Quality 1200m

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2 Special Reward (Bet Now: $4.80) does have a touch of class about him. High quality sprinter for Kris Lees that resumes, having not raced since the Newcastle Newmarket when proving too strong for stablemate Delectation Girl in an impressive effort from near the speed. Three trials leading in have been good and he’s a very good fresh horse.


3 Funstar (Bet Now: $2.70) has so much class and it will carry her a long way. Her Autumn was very good, highlighted by a dominant Phar Lap Stakes triumph, and placings at Group l level in the Surround and Coolmore Legacy. Liked the way she trialled, loves Randwick…just a matter of tempo, because I suspect Special Reward will get a picnic in front.

Long Shot

1 Le Romain (Bet Now: $23.00) is getting on in years for Kris Lees but he’s a proven performer at Randwick and has trialled well in readiness for the Spring. Only had the one run in the Autumn, which came in the Hall Mark when fourth to Greyworm in a good effort. Two trials leading in have been pretty good and has a fab fresh record.

Race 6. (15:05) Toy Show Qlty 1100m

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6 Adelong (Bet Now: $2.00) is a talented mare for Brad Widdup that finds such a lovely race to snare some blacktype. Talented mare that really put things together during the early part of the Winter, winning three on the bounce in very impressive fashion, and the stable tipped her out with an eye towards blacktype. She won’t get a better chance than here.


The class runner of the field is clearly 1 Sweet Deal (Bet Now: $6.00). John Thompson trained mare who had a pretty good Autumn prep. Outstanding first up win in the Triscay before being beaten a lip in the Guy Walter. Then went to the Coolmore Classic and Coolmore Legacy and was far from disgraced each time. Two solid trials to get ready and stable finds J Mac for the resumption.

Long Shot

2 Evalina (Bet Now: $23.00) is a Kris Lees trained mare that can measure up here for sure. Started her career in Australia and produced some really good efforts before heading to NZ where she was very good in both the Railway and Telegraph. Now back with Kris Lees and her trials leading in have been strong, so keen to see how she goes.

Race 7. (15:45) Winx Stakes 1400m

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1 Dreamforce (Bet Now: $8.00) is a John Thompson trained veteran that is always hard to beat in these kind of races. He is a bulldog that hasn’t raced since the All Aged when running just about a career worst when beaten over 13 lengths by Tofane. He’s had two trials to get ready, notably without his Blinkers, so keen to see how he resumes.


2 The Bostonian (Bet Now: $5.00) has an unbelievable first up record and I think he can continue that trend and win another Group l. Gee he’s underrated this guy. Three time Group l winner that won the Canterbury Stakes first up last prep over 1300m here, aided by a lovely ride from Nash. In the care of John O’Shea for Tony Pike and thought the trial back home in NZ was very good.

Long Shot

Gee 4 Fierce Impact (Bet Now: $16.00) looks silly odds. High quality galloper for Matty Smith that resumes with a Cox Plate as a potential target. He has done little wrong for the last 12 months, well and truly establishing himself as a Group l horse. Loved the way he has trialled, he sprints well fresh, likes Randwick, wet ground no issue…bit surprised he’s nearly $20.

Race 8. (16:25) Tab (bm88) 1400m

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16 Minted (Bet Now: $5.00) has done a pretty good job this time in for Joe Pride. Ran over 1200m at Rosehill two weeks ago and in a farcically run race, he closed off really well I thought when second to impressive winner Tailleur. Interesting to see how he will handle Randwick, but is hard fit, going well and is right down in the weights.


He’s a beauty 8 Poetic Charmer (Bet Now: $5.00) and even though he’s much better suited on firmer footing, he’s been racing so well on these wet tracks. Looked in a bit of trouble over 1300m at Rosehill four weeks ago but he lifted hard the last 50-75m and was able to get up and win. Up to 1400m I do like and is one of the hardest to beat.

Long Shot

I’d love to know what Chris Waller has in mind for 6 Masaff (Bet Now: $18.00). I think he could be a Stakes class horse with time. Produced excellent efforts in three runs to start his Australian career, the last two coming at Flemington. Whatever he does here, he will improve on, but has somewhat residual fitness and will be strong late.

Race 9. (17:05) Cactus Imaging (bm78) 1200m

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Going the way of 11 Best Stone (Bet Now: $5.00). John Thompson trained mare that had excuses first up at Randwick behind Tailleur before going to Canterbury where put into a lovely spot just off the speed before angling to clear air and despite being challenged strongly late, she fought on and was too good. Hard fit now third up and is hard to beat.


9 Icebath (Bet Now: $4.60) is a progressive mare for Brad Widdup that resumes. This girl hasn’t raced since the Hawkesbury Guineas where she tried hard but was no match for a quality youngster late when third to Dawn Passage. Been given a good break, did win impressively first up last prep and finds a suitable race to kick off her prep.

Long Shot

4 Cristal Breeze (Bet Now: $9.00) is a nice horse for Kris Lees and Australian Bloodstock that is better than this grade. Just not sure if he wins here, but has got the quality if things go his way. Hasn’t raced since July 4 here when good behind Handspun. Stable have been waiting for firmer footing, so hopefully the weather is kind for his supporters.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Five Number 2 Special Reward

NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 14 It’s Me

LONG SHOT: Race Seven Number 1 Dreamforce


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1, 6

Leg Two: 1, 2, 4, 8, 12

Leg Three: 6, 8, 11, 16

Leg Four: 4, 6, 9, 11

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