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Group l racing returns to Randwick on Saturday with the Surround Stakes (1400m) and Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) the two features. The weather is fine, the track is soft (6) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

Chipping Norton Stakes 🏆: View the Field and Odds for the Chipping Norton Stakes

Surround Stakes 🏆: View the Field and Odds for the Surround Stakes

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Race 1. (13:15) Tab Highway Hcp (c2) 1000m

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Back Me

Took a slice of the early $34 on offer for 16 Stunning Mosa (Bet Now: $21.00 TOP ODDS). I couldn’t believe she was that price. Should be half that, minimum, because with respect, this isn’t a strong Highway and she was totally luckless at Muswellbrook. Should have bolted in but had no clear air until it was all over. At the odds, have to be with her.


5 Last Chance Dance (Bet Now: $10.00 TOP ODDS) is a real model of consistency and I think she can get a deserving win on the board. Brave in defeat last start at Tamworth, sitting wide no cover and fighting on strongly when a narrow second to a pretty solid country sprinter in Lord Tony. Has good wet track form, consistent and tries hard. Tricky race, but she’s genuine.

Long Shot

8 Qadira Star (Bet Now: $26.00 TOP ODDS) is putting together a tidy little record for Sally Taylor. Had the track pattern in her corner last start at Taree, but still had to find plenty under pressure and did so to get the job done in good style. She’s got the right racing pattern to give herself every chance and wet track is no issue.

Race 2. (13:50) Skyline Stakes 1200m

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2 Captivant (Bet Now: $3.40 TOP ODDS) is my early pick for the Golden Slipper. I love him but on race day form, I’m not sure about him on a wet track. If this track was good, he’d be bet of the month here. Showed really good promise in the Spring in two runs, showcasing Slipper type quality both times. Has looked electric at the trials and if he runs up to what he has produced to date, he wins and stamps himself as top seed for the Slipper.


1 Shaquero (Bet Now: $2.50 TOP ODDS) is back at the races. It’s very hard for a Magic Millions winner to go on and win the Slipper, so will be interesting to see how he goes. It wasn’t a vintage Magic Millions he won, and the form since has been suspect, but he’s in a leading stable, trialled well and has residual fitness.

Long Shot

If you like Captivant, have to respect 3 Head Of State (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS). He ran fifth in the Golden Gift when Captivant ran fourth. Spelled and resumed at Warwick Farm where he won with a fair bit of class and authority in an impressive return. Harder here, but think he can measure up.

Race 3. (14:25) Sweet Embrace Stakes 1200m

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Back Me

5 Four Moves Ahead (Bet Now: $3.10 TOP ODDS) looks the one to beat. John Sargent trained filly that debuted several weeks ago on the Kenso track where she was kept very safe in betting and despite doing a bit of work in the run from the wide gate, the change up speed she produced was sharp and she won with class and authority. Off that effort, she looks above average, and the recent trial suggests she’s flying. Just hope the niggling issues are behind her.


I’ve got a fair amount of time for 3 Mallory (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS) for the Ryan Alexiou camp. Has been kept on ice, having not raced since recording a dominant win in the Widden at Rosehill. Did she beat much? No, but there was quality about the performance. Tick over trial was a lovely piece of work and she’ll be strong late.

Long Shot

To my eye, I don’t think 2 Nice For What (Bet Now: $9.00 TOP ODDS) is quite at the level of a Slipper contender. She would be a perfect candidate for the Percy Sykes, but she’s here and in form, so why not have a crack at qualifying for the big dance. Resumed in the Inglis Millennium and was very good late behind dominant winner Profiteer. Fitter, eats up 1200m and will be strong late.

Race 4. (15:05) Liverpool City Cup 1300m

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Back Me

The weather forecast is crucial to 10 Criaderas (Bet Now: $4.80 TOP ODDS) and how strong his winning claims. If this track is on the improve, he can win. But if it remains genuinely wet, then I’m not sure about him. What I do know is that I have him near the top of the pecking order for the Doncaster, and his trial indicates he’s come back in great order.


1 Greyworm (Bet Now: $4.40 TOP ODDS) is a beauty. Team Hawkes trained gelding that resumed three weeks ago at Caulfield when on speed and fighting on pretty well I thought in defeat behind Prophet’s Thumb in a blanket finish. He has a fab record at Randwick and with natural improvement from the resumption, he’s very likeable.

Long Shot

3 Deprive (Bet Now: $8.50 TOP ODDS) saves his best for Randwick and wet ground, so he’s a big watch here. He contested some high class races in the Spring and ran well for the most part without winning, but perhaps was expected to do a bit more. Trials leading in have been strong and he’s just reliable first up.

Race 5. (15:45) Guy Walter Stakes 1400m

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Back Me

I wouldn’t be dropping off 7 Icebath (Bet Now: $3.80). She resumed in the Triscay and paraded like she would need the run. That is how it panned out without allowing for the race shape against her. It was a pass mark to my eyes and she will be much better up in trip. Definite winning chance here.


9 Tricky Gal (Bet Now: $4.60) looks hard to beat here for Matty Smith. Resumed in the Triscay two weeks ago here and I thought was there to win. Just couldn’t get past Tailleur, who had it too soft in front and with race fitness under the belt, held on. It was a ripping return from this mare and she’s going to love the rise to 1400m.

Long Shot

6 Emeralds (Bet Now: $7.00) is several weeks between runs for John Sargent since resuming in the Expressway. I loved the way she found the line in a race where the shape of it was totally against her yet she finished off with purpose to run third to Savatiano. That form clearly reads well for a race like this.

Race 6. (16:25) Chipping Norton Stakes 1600m

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Back Me

I see no reason why 7 Colette (Bet Now: $3.20) can’t win again. If anything, she was going to be vulnerable first up in the Apollo, but in the end, she was dominant and held a safe margin on the line in an outstanding return. Like most from that race heading, there is improvement to come and IMO, she’s the one to beat.


6 Verry Elleegant (Bet Now: $2.60) is racing like she wants 2400m+. The tempo was against her first up in the Apollo, but she didn’t exactly ping when asked by J Mac but was still very solid in defeat behind Colette. Will 1600m still be too sharp for her? Perhaps, but like first up, she’s got conditions to suit.

Long Shot

9 Toffee Tongue (Bet Now: $31.00) can be an improver at odds. She’ll come into her own once she gets out in trip. Resumed in the Apollo and was a pass mark I thought given she was first up over 1400m with an eye towards 2000m+ races. Not sure she wins, but she can pinch a first four spot.

Race 7. (17:05) Surround Stakes 1400m

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Back Me

I’m very wary of 1 Montefilia (Bet Now: $11.00), who is the class runner of the field being a multiple Group l winner. She will be better suited once she gets out in trip but does have class on her side. Her two trials to get ready have been sound and I do like her resuming at 1400m, a distance long enough for her to be effective.


9 La Mexicana (Bet Now: $6.50) is just a beauty for the Freedman camp and 1400m on wet ground should be no issue at all. Has she beaten much in both runs back from a spell? I’d say no, but she has been strong to the line in winning despite doing a bit wrong last time in the Kevin Hayes. Think with a trip away, that will sharpen her up and she has fitness on her side.

Long Shot

7 Never Talk (Bet Now: $8.00) lacks the class, but she does have race fitness and is a swimmer, a proven swimmer at Randwick, which is a big tick for her. Can make a case to say she should have won the Light Fingers last time, getting held up at a vital stage before getting clear and charging late. Think with a soft trip, 1400m is okay.

Race 8. (17:40) Heineken (bm88) 2000m

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Back Me

I’m a leading member of the 13 Sky Lab (Bet Now: $4.80) fan club for the Derby so keen to see him at 2000m. He’s doing a bit wrong still, but clearly has the engine under the hood and was just outstanding when winning over the mile here last time second up. He and Great House are the standouts. Just leaning towards the youngster.


Better class races, I don’t think, will come this prep for 10 Great House (Bet Now: $2.40), but he is on his way. Chris Waller has figured out the key to getting a new wave imports. Get them lightly raced out of maiden company with room to move in ratings points, which is what Great House has despite a spank job several weeks ago of his rivals at Rosehill. Clearly hard to beat.

Long Shot

A rise in trip should suit the Chris Waller trained 2 Yonkers (Bet Now: $15.00). He has had two runs back from a spell over 1500m and 1600m respectively, and to my eye he is just racing like a horse that wants more ground, which is what he gets here, and does have more upside than most engaged.

Race 9. (18:15) Acy Securities (bm88) 1200m

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Back Me

Is it a case of out of sight out of mind with 6 Lucicello (Bet Now: $10.00). Last time we saw her was December 2019 where she was a close up third to Handspun, who at the time was a very promising mare. Has clearly had her issues but the two trials to get ready have been strong, handles wet ground…think the double figures is more than acceptable.


4 Subedar (Bet Now: $3.70) looks the horse to beat, quite clearly, provided there is no second up syndrome off a long break. Resumed several weeks ago at Randwick and worked home nicely from the back when second to All Time Legend, who should have won his past two. That form looks strong enough for this and his tick over trial was a good piece of work.

Long Shot

7 He’s A Hotshot (Bet Now: $11.00) is a beauty for Bjorn Baker that puts himself near the speed and tries hard every time he steps out. That was the case last start under the lights at Canterbury when leading and fighting on strongly to finish a close up fourth to Lancaster Bomber. Not sure I could back him to win, but a must for exotics.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Two Number 2 Captivant

NEXT BEST: Race Eight Number 13 Sky Lab

LONG SHOT: Race One Number 16 Stunning Mosa


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 2, 6, 7, 9

Leg Two: 1, 6, 7, 9, 15

Leg Three: 10, 13

Leg Four: 4, 5, 6, 7

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