World class racing returns to a world class venue this Saturday. Randwick will reopen for racing this Saturday for the first time since Sydney Cup Day. The main race of the afternoon is the $350,000 Group l George Main Stakes (1600m). The very interesting runner in the event is All Too Hard, the overhyped three-year-old who only carries 50.5kg this Saturday. Will that factor be enough for him to get the brother of Black Caviar across the line? Only time will tell.
The George Main is the main race, but the highlight appears to be the $200,000 Group ll Bowermans Furniture- The Shorts (1200m). Manawanui, Rain Affair, Spirit Of Boom, Nobby Snip…cracking race scheldued.
The Spring Champion aspirants will prepare themselves for that race when they contest the $200,000 Group lll Co-Wyn Building Gloaming Stakes (1800m). Kiwi stayer It’s A Dundeel appears to be the horse to beat, but watch out for Honorius, who was good in the Ming Dynasty, and Lunar Rise, who has looked awesome in two recent provincial wins.
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Race One: Co-Wyn Building Gloaming Stakes 1800m Form Guide
Back Me: Really surprised that It’s A Dundeel has opened at $3.30. I would have tipped him to be much shorter. But I guess that means more value for us. He is a Derby horse. His two wins from two starts this time in have been superb, both over unsuitable trips and both on tight turning tracks, which he doesn’t appreciate. The bigger surroundings of Randwick are a big tick in his favour, as is the rise to 1800m.
Don’t Back Me: I don’t know why Ninth Legion has opened favourite. I thought he was disappointing last week in the Golden Rose given he had a nice sit off a hot tempo. He had every right to run on and although he did cop some interference, he was entitled to do more. Can’t have him.
Big Danger: The Bart Cummings camp has a big wrap on Lunar Rise. And judging by his two dominant wins Kembla and Newcastle respectively, it’s hard to argue with that. He is by Starcraft out of a Saddler’s Wells mare so the 1800m should be perfect and racing on his home track. Bart might have unearthed another one.
Roughie: Honorius was excellent in the Ming Dynasty after settling back. He worked home well. Rowie was ok in the same race, as was Strength and King Of Olympia toyed with his rivals at Newcastle. If he gets a soft lead, he could be the smokey.
Race Two: Schweppes Heritage Stakes 1100m Form Guide
Back Me: Keen to see Raceway. He was tested against Pierro and to start with, he wasn’t disgraced, but then in the Champagne he had enough. Given a good spell, trialled twice, both in good fashion. He has the class and does race best fresh. If he is fit, he’ll go close.
Don’t Back Me: From all reports, Relaxed And Happy is working well but the connections feel he might need this under the belt. He might be a 1400-1600m horse, so be careful if you like him. I’d also be wary of Destruction. He was impressive on debut, beating Kabayan, but he beat nothing when he went to Brisbane and his trials have been just fair.
Danger: Agueda appears to get all the favours here. Loved her first up run at Caulfield behind Elite Elle before going to Flemington down the straight and she wasn’t disgraced in running second to Member’s Joy. She’ll appreciate the return to both home and a turning track. Gun barrier, gun rider/trainer combo and she has fitness on her side.
Roughie: Ichihara could very easily get a soft time in front and dropping back to 1100m looks ideal. I’ve got a nice opinion of Villa Splendido and she has done nothing wrong in two barrier trials to prepare for this and the other roughie is Red Excitement. Sure, it was only a class two at Canberra, but I loved the way he attacked the line despite sitting deep throughout. He could run a bold race.
Race Three: Cellabrations Handicap (85) 1600m Form Guide
Back Me: I can only see three winning hopes here- High On Believing, Studio and Jacquinot Bay. Which one to back? I’d go with Studio, because I loved the way he accelerated away from his rivals at Canterbury on his Australian debut. He looks a good type that can go through his grades.
Don’t Back Me: As I said, three horse race. It’d be wise to steer away from the others.
Big Danger: High On Believing was excellent last Saturday and it was helped by a gem of a ride from Bowman. He is starting to put it all together now and I don’t see the quick back up and the step up to the mile as an issue. Jacquinot Bay was gallant in defeat at Warwick Farm. He sat last in the run, copped a heavy bump on the turn and lost all momentum yet picked himself up and rattled late for second behind Strawberry Boy. Randwick looks ideal and he is on the limit.
Roughie: Tactless very rarely wins, and I doubt she’ll do it here. But she is consistent and can fill the first four. She worked home alright in the La Gioconda at Wyong behind Miss Stellabelle and I expect her to do the same, especially on a track that should suit.
Race Four: Coolmore Tea Rose Stakes 1500m Form Guide
Back Me: Best bet on the card here in the shape of Dear Demi. Strong first up run in the Silver Shadow before hitting the line best to record a win in the Furious. Everything points to her. She has upside, she loves Randwick, she’ll lap up the 1500m, drawn perfectly, McDonald knows her very well and she is $3.20? Please, take that.
Don’t Back Me: The problem with Jade Marauder is the fact she doesn’t have tactical speed. She generally sits back and finds the line. She can’t be giving these a start because she won’t win if that eventuates.
Big Danger: Meidung and Norzita look the two main dangers. Meidung has raced alongside Dear Demi in those two races and has placed on both occasions, but she was safely held by Dear Demi in the Furious. She should still run a nice race. Norzita had the boom on her after an impressive win at Rosehill. Then it all went horribly wrong at Warwick Farm where she wasn’t ridden the best. She then went back to Rosehill and bumped into Proisir, who appears to be a superstar. If she is ridden quietly, she can charge late.
Roughie: Vaquera does appear to be the leader. She was far from disgraced on debut at Canterbury where she did a stack of work to find the line and was only claimed over the final furlong. Gai doesn’t throw them in the deep end unless they can perform.
Race Five: Bill Ritchie Handicap 1400m Form Guide
Back Me: This is D-Day for Said Com. He has to win here to warrant a crack at the Epsom. Brilliant first up winner at Canterbury, he was beaten then at Rosehill when a $1.30 favourite. Given a few weeks to get over that run and went around in the Tramway. He got back and didn’t have a clear crack at them at any stage of the race. I think he drops in depth here, drawn to get clear space and is only a kilo over the limit. He just has to win here surely.
Don’t Back Me: I’m happy to put a line through Steps In Time. She has been terrible in two runs this time in and the $4.60 is stupid unders. Wild And Proud is by Snowland, and his progeny need the wet. He won’t get that on Saturday.
Big Danger: The interesting runner is Torio’s Quest. Hasn’t raced since the Stradbroke where he had no luck late in the race. Switched stables since and is now with David Pfieffer, who places his gallopers so well. This bloke has trialled like a bomb leading up to this and it wouldn’t shock me to see him blow this field away.
Roughie: Speediness was good when resuming in the Bobbie Lewis. He tends to produce his best at his second/third up run. He has drawn nicely and does have a touch of class about him.
Race Six: George Main Stakes 1600m Form Guide
Back Me: He may need this run under his belt, but I can’t help but like Rangirangdoo in this race. He was enormous in the Tramway. He was first up, carrying 61.5kg yet he hit the line better than anything else. He’ll only improve at least a couple of lengths on that run. He saves his best for Randwick, and the mile. Nash gets the ride and I wouldn’t be shocked if he slid forward and sat near Somepin Anypin. After that, the toughness will kick in and I am happy with the $6.50 on offer.
Don’t Back Me: As I said a couple of weeks back, I have some reservations about Secret Admirer. She is a fantastic mare…but she can’t quite put some wins on the board. She’ll be the first four, but I doubt she can win. And All Too Hard…please, enough of him now.
Big Danger: The other two Waller runners, Shoot Out and Danleigh, look great chances. Shoot Out is resuming since a mighty second to the mighty mare More Joyous in the Doncaster. Has had three trials to get ready, and he looked very good in his latest trial. He is ready to win first up. Danleigh is racing in great heart. I doubt he can improve much on his Chelmsford win, but he gets all the favours from the inside barrier with Cassidy aboard.
Roughie: The two roughies are Somepin Anypin and Yosei. Somepin Anypin should get a cosy lead here. He didn’t get that in the Chelmsford yet stuck on solidly for fourth. With some cheap sectionals midrace, he could have the dash to beat these. Yosei is probably one run away from her best, but she worked home nicely in the mares race at Flemington behind Zurella. She loves Randwick, in particular the mile here, and Michelle Payne sticks with her.
Race Seven: Bacardi Hill Stakes 2000m Form Guide
Back Me: Another good thing here I think in Mourayan. He is at $6.50 and he finished fourth behind two of the best WFA gallopers in Australia when resuming…can someone explain that to me. He has loads of class on these, he has shown he can handle racing the Sydney way. And the last time Mourayan and the favourite Lamasery met, Mourayan carried 58.5 while Lamasery carried 53. Mourayan meets him 5.5kg better at the weights. I like him alot here.
Don’t Back Me: I expect Permit to get back and find the line in readiness for the Metropolitan, but I can’t see him winning here. And Stout Hearted looks a big risk first time at WFA.
Big Danger: Lamasery has been excellent in two WFA runs at Warwick Farm. Hit the line strongly in the Warwick before getting well out of his ground and eventually got going late for third. He should be just about ready to produce. The other danger is Class Is Class. He was terrific in his Australian debut for Chris Waller in the Tramway. He sat last, peeled the widest and hit the line very nicely. He races well second up and the immediate step up to 2000m looks ideal.
Roughie: Polish Knight is another that hasn’t been suited in the shorter races alongside Lamasery. He is looking for 2400m and beyond, but if there is genuine speed here, look out for him, because he does have a nice little turn of foot if conditions suit.
Race Eight: Bowermans Furniture- The Shorts 1200m Form Guide
Back Me: If the pace is on, Emotional Circus is the one to beat. Breathtaking win first up before taking on the best of the best in the shape of More Joyous last Saturday and she wasn’t disgraced in finishing fourth. She actually had the second best closing sectionals in the race, with only the champion mare coming home quicker. The wide barrier looks perfect, as she’ll ease back, more than likely get a drag into the race, then Kathy can explode on her. Because she has a couple of things in her corner- fitness and the fact she’ll be hitting the line better than anything else. The $9.50 looks good value.
Don’t Back Me: Rain Affair needs give in the ground and no pressure in front. Those two things won’t be with him here. Lay of the day for mine.
Big Danger: Really interested to see how Pampelonne goes here. Normally he trials before his first up run, so is Tim Martin electing to run him without a trial because he is fit enough, or will this be his barrier trial as he heads towards richer events? Either way, he’ll be hard to beat if he has held his form from the autumn/winter.
Roughie: Famous Seamus never runs a bad race. His only shocker was in the Darby Munro behind Hallowell Belle where he copped severe interference and lost all chance. He was superb in the winter and looks to have come back in fine order given the way he trialled behind Combat Kitty.
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