The ‘Grand Finals’ of Australian racing is The Championships and Day One of the showpiece will be staged on Saturday at Randwick. The weather forecast is for showers, the track is heavy (8) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Doncaster Mile 🏆: View the Field for the Doncaster Mile
TJ Smith Stakes 🏆: View the Field for the TJ Smith Stakes
Race 1. (12:10) Kindergarten Stakes 1100m
In the corner of 1 Rulership (Bet Now: $2.45 TOP ODDS). Classy colt that has been freshened up, having not raced since the Blue Diamond where he just didn’t see out the hard 1200m behind Tagaloa. The run prior at this trip behind Hanseatic was a beauty so I’m trusting that form here and thought his trial last Friday was quite good behind Ole Kirk.
5 Doubtland (Bet Now: $4.80 TOP ODDS) is the interesting one. Team Hawkes trains this colt, who is having start number two after debuting with quite a strong win on the Kenso track, sitting off the speed and finishing best to get the job done. Been given a freshen up with this race in mind and the tick over trial was quite good. Bred to handle wet ground and in the right stable.
2 Not An Option (Bet Now: $7.00 TOP ODDS) is a big watch. Kiwi youngster for Tony Pike that resumes. Hasn’t raced since the Karaka Million when down the track behind Cool Aza Beel. Interesting to note the stable thinks he is much better racing anti clockwise. In saying that, the Warwick Farm trial was outstanding so he’s a definite yard/market watch.
Race 2. (12:45) Carbine Club Stakes 1600m
3 Reloaded (Bet Now: $1.95 TOP ODDS) is hard to beat here. Hasn’t won a race this prep but has been very good in both the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas, the latter seeing him sitting off speed and closing gamely for third. Interesting he comes back to 1600m but has the class factor on his side and should take a power of beating back to this level.
This looks a nice race for 4 Kubrick (Bet Now: $6.00 TOP ODDS) to find form. Hasn’t really set the world on fire in two runs back from a break but in fairness to him, he has contested a couple of quality races, the latest being the Phar Lap behind Funstar. Just think he’s a length or two off the top class three year olds so this is more his level and the trial last week was quite good.
1 Power Scheme (Bet Now: $26.00 TOP ODDS) has returned in really good order for the Hayes/Dabernig team and the stable does like using this race for a three year old on the up, which this bloke is. Comes through the Mornington Guineas where you could easily make a case that he should have won, beating Chuck A Luck. In the end, it was a bob of the head that was the difference. Hard to beat here.
Race 3. (13:20) Country Championships Final 1400m
I can’t see how 1 Bobbing (Bet Now: $4.00 TOP ODDS) doesn’t go close to winning here. Forced his way into the race via the Wildcard at Muswellbrook where he was back near last in the run before peeling widest and letting down hard. Loomed to blouse them but condition just gave out late when a narrow second to Two Big Fari. 1400m at Randwick, wet ground, off a good speed, gee he’s likeable.
It’s been a very interesting prep for this race when it comes to 6 Julian Rock (Bet Now: $7.50 TOP ODDS), who got into this race when winning the first Qualifier at Moruya where he spanked his rivals and was very impressive on wet ground. The temptation was there to have another run but instead trialled last week at Hawkesbury and was given a very solid hitout in winning.
12 Magnalane (Bet Now: $41.00 TOP ODDS) is a Jenny Graham trained gelding that was met with very good market support when resuming in the Taree Qualifier and no doubt the ride from Clenton won the race. Was positive from the barrier and after 200m was 1/1 and it was race over despite the margin being narrow. Form out of that race has been good and thought her Gosfod tick over trial was very good.
Race 4. (13:55) Adrian Knox Stakes 2000m
10 Betcha Flying (Bet Now: $10.00 TOP ODDS), to me, seems a filly who is crying out for more ground. Comes through the Alexandra at the Valley where it was a night where being on speed was certainly no disadvantage. Just had too much to do from the back but the run was full of merit. Like her up to 2000m, has upside and class. Hard to beat.
3 Colette (Bet Now: $2.30 TOP ODDS) has been singled out as an Oaks filly from the Provincials for a while now and she finally gets her chance to confirm whether or not she’s indeed an Oaks contender. Had fresh legs when racing over the mile at Kembla last start and she bolted up, landing some big bets at the short odds. Eats up 2000m and is on an upward spiral.
1 Fascino (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS) is the class runner of the field being a Group ll winner. Ran in the Vinery Stud last Saturday off a little freshen up and was jumping to 2000m from 1400m on testing ground, plus she was back in a sit/sprint, so there were plenty of excuses. Drops miles in depth, gets Nash to steer and is hard fit now.
Race 5. (14:35) Chairman's Quality 2600m
3 Gallic Chieftain (Bet Now: $8.00) is flying and think he’ll go awfully close here. The two runs back from a break suggest I’ve lost my marbles, but they have been races not suited for him at all and keep in mind he hasn’t worn the Blinkers. They are on for this, he loves Randwick and loves wet ground, and had been trialling up enormous prior to the resumption.
2 The Chosen One (Bet Now: $6.00) looks one of the key chances. Comes through the Manion Cup where I thought Lane rode a very good race on the Kiwi but he just lacked the class to go with them late, running fifth to Young Rascal, beaten a couple of lengths. Getting hard fit now and 2600m from the inside draw, he’ll be hard to beat.
12 Gayatri (Bet Now: $8.50) is a Chris Waller trained mare who is ticking over beautifully. Luckless first up here in the Aspiration before going to the Epona where she got back and presented to win, but couldn’t quite finish it off when second to Missybeel. She’ll eat up 2600m here, has upside, sense of timing and give in the track is fine.
Race 6. (15:15) Inglis Sires' Produce 1400m
Really surprised $16 was available for 8 Ole Kirk (Bet Now: $6.00). Outstanding debut win down the Flemington before going to the VRC Sires where bad luck was the only thing that beat him. Should have won. Sent straight to Sydney and loved the way he went in a trial last week. Fresh legs, sense of timing and is the clear value IMO.
No surprise that 1 Mamaragan (Bet Now: $2.90) has been slapped in early betting. Won the Skyline on debut, then went into the Slipper at start two and nearer the inside, which was quicksand, he fought on very bravely when third to Farnan. Both Nash and John Thompson think they lost the battle there, but in time, especially when he gets to three, this horse will win the war. Can he win this? From the Slipper, he’s the only one to follow.
2 Larimer Street (Bet Now: $14.00) is a little query at 1400m but he’s hard fit and in form for the Busuttin/Young stable. Far from disgraced in the VRC Sires before coming back to 1200m in the Valley Pearl where he would have been a tragedy beaten but got the split and won very comfortably. Time was nothing special, but he looks progressive and has hard race fitness.
Race 7. (15:55) Australian Derby 2400m
Think we’ve all been waiting for 1 Castelvecchio (Bet Now: $2.80) to get out to a staying trip and here he is at 2400m. It was one of the best rides I’ve seen from Williams on this colt in the Rosehill Guineas. Normally a backmarker, Williams had him in a forward spot and really, 600m out it was race over. The horse does seem to react with him on, but certainly a worthy replacement in J Mac.
2 Shadow Hero (Bet Now: $5.00) seems to be ticking along beautifully for this. Ride won the race for him in the Randwick Guineas before the Rosehill Guineas where he got back and wide on a day where that sort of run was just no good for the track. He failed in the Victoria Derby but looks a much better horse this time around and is hard to beat.
The Tulloch Stakes has been a golden form reference for the Derby in recent years and from that race, my eyes are on 7 Zebrowski (Bet Now: $14.00). Lightly raced Team Hawkes runner that put together a couple of sharp wins to start the prep before going to the Tulloch where he seemingly had his chance when second to Quick Thinker, but he was getting towards the quicksand. Didn’t stop chasing though. Bowman sticks and up to 2400m I like and should do no work from the gate.
Race 8. (16:35) TJ Smith Stakes 1200m
13 Loving Gaby… (Bet Now: $7.50) just can’t ignore her. Her William Reid win was outstanding. Williams made sure it was a hotly run 1200m contest and poured the pressure on Bivouac and in a two horse battle, this filly came out on top in stunning fashion. She races best around a bending track and can only see her running well here.
The heat will well and truly be in the mouth if you’re on 1 Nature Strip (Bet Now: $3.60). Think most would agree that at his best, he’s as good as any sprinter in the world. He does have a couple of versions, but his best was out on display in the Challenge last time out when leading and bolting up. He’ll likely cop pressure on speed but has such high cruising speed that it may not matter.
2 Pierata (Bet Now: $7.00) can win this. Thought his Galaxy run was outstanding given he was against the bias yet still clocked great late splits out wide, which was pretty much quicksand as the day progressed. He’s been set for this race for six months and if he’s within range on the turn, he’s certainly good enough to take this out.
Race 9. (17:15) Doncaster Mile 1600m
The 2000m back to 1600m formula has been proven so successful by Chris Waller in the past and I think he can do it again via 17 Shared Ambition (Bet Now: $8.50), who is four weeks between runs since scoring a strong win over 2000m here in the Randwick Stakes. Could have gone down the Sydney Cup path but instead stays at the shorter trips with an eye towards Spring. Right down in the weights, soft run from the gate and if they go hard in front, he’ll be very strong at the end.
The class of 1 Melody Belle (Bet Now: $6.00) will carry her a long way. The knock is that she’s a mare carrying topweight but hard to ignore her given her overall record, especially at Group l level. Could easily make a case that she should have won the All Star Mile. Just had no luck at a vital stage, with Pike on Regal Power ensuring she wasn’t getting out til too late. Needs luck from the gate, but she’s a star.
5 Mister Sea Wolf (Bet Now: $14.00) looks to be flying this time in for Chris Waller. Had trialled up really well prior to resuming in the Canterbury Stakes a few weeks ago in what was a fast run race and despite being well held by The Bostonian, he worked home strongly to finish third. Good second up record and recent trial, without blinkers, was very good. Got a slice of $51 so here’s hoping.
Race 10. (17:50) PJ Bell Stakes 1200m
I’ll take a punt on 15 Dazzling Damsel (Bet Now: $26.00) in the get out. She’s the one on the up that comes straight to Stakes company off the back of a midweek win, but it was very impressive the way she put the older mares away and safely held them at bay. Has the speed to overcome the barrier and noteworthy that first up win, she was the quickest of three 1100m races that meeting.
Loving Gaby aside, 2 Rubisaki (Bet Now: $2.00) is the best three year old filly in Australia. She has an unbelievable record and to be fair, she’s been so well placed since day one. Big test for her came in the Kewney and she passed with flying colours, sprinting hard from off the pace and was dominant. Back to 1200m no issue and kept up to the mark with a stretch of the legs in a Benalla trial.
Back to her own age/sex can see big improvement from the 2019 Golden Slipper winner 1 Kiamichi (Bet Now: $7.50). As Slipper Day progressed, the track dried right out and she’s a filly who loves genuine wet ground, so want to be forgiving of her down the track effort behind Miss Exfactor in the Birthday Card. Suited here and if the track is genuinely wet, she’ll give them something to chase.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Two Number 3 Reloaded
NEXT BEST: Race Race Three Number 1 Bobbing
LONG SHOT: Race Five Number 3 Gallic Chieftain
Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):
Leg One: 1, 2, 3, 7
Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 13
Leg Three: 1, 5, 17, 18, 19
Leg Four: 1, 2, 3, 6, 15
$50 Investment = 12.50% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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