It is Sydney’s Spring version of ‘Super Saturday’- Nine black type races, three majors…it’s Sydney racing at it’s best for this time of the year. The feature race is the $500,000 Group l Epsom Handicap (1600m). The history is with the four year olds, with the last five winners in that age bracket. A most interesting edition of the Flight Stakes (1600m) will be run and won. First Seal and Winx are the two key Sydney fillies, while Melbourne will be represented by Peter Moody and his unbeaten filly, Thinking Of You, who was very impressive last time out at Caulfield. Spillway is taking the Tawqeet path from 2006 in order to get to the Caulfield Cup. He is way down in the order of entry for the classic, and needs to win the Metropolitan (2400m) to earn a start in the final field. He has been well supported in betting and was an impressive winner here in the Autumn.
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Race One (12:20) : Keeneland Gimcrack Stakes 1000m:
Back Me: I was pretty impressed by the trial win of Prevail (Best Odds: $3.40). She jumped well, sat on the speed and then when asked for the effort by Bowman, she let down nicely and won over a length with plenty in reserve. Draws well, Bowman sticks and Gai is near unbeatable in these early two year old races.
Big Danger: Speak Fondly (Best Odds: $3.80) has only had the one barrier trial, resulting in a win here. She had no idea what she was doing early on, wanting to drift all over the place and getting on heels, but once she balanced up in the straight, she quickly put the trial to bed in a couple of strides under no pressure from Josh Parr. I think she’ll be a better filly in the Autumn, but again, can’t discount Gai.
Roughie: Themis, Rosie Quadrille and Igraine all finished in a line in their barrier trial in that order, but Igraine (Best Odds: $12.00) was the pick for me. Wide all the way, wobbled around the turn but balanced up and really hit the line nicely without really being extended. In a tricky race, include her in exotics.
Race Two (12:55) : NSW Thoroughbred Breeders’ Plate 1000m:
Back Me: Looks to be much more depth with the boys. I’m putting Vancouver (Best Odds: $3.60) on top. He is a beautifully bred colt who won a trial recently at Kensington by just under a length. I don’t think he beat much in the trial, but his time was very interesting. It was the second quickest of the morning outside our Big Danger, but his final 600m was half a second a quicker than the Big Danger and that horse was under more pressure I felt in the early part of the straight, so I’m going for the minor upset in the shape of Vancouver.
Big Danger: Sooboog (Best Odds: $2.10) is the boom colt for Team Hawkes. He cost $1.5 Million at the sales and is the brother of Group l winner Snitzerland, so he has the breeding to be a star, and he certainly looked it in his lone trial, winning by five lengths and running the quickest heat of the morning. Drawn near Vancouver, so I anticipate McDonald will try and get the cart over and those two could dominate the race from the front.
Roughie: Keep an eye on Brazen (Best Odds: $23.00) for David Vandyke. He finished third in his heat, which was the slowest of the morning, but the way this bloke travelled to the line tells me he could go much quicker if allowed. He’ll get back based on his trial and work home late, but he looks as if he’ll be very strong at the end of 1000m.
Race Three (13:30) : TAB Betting Dulcify Quality 1600m:
Back Me: Looks a clear race in two. This race is really set up for Hampton Court (Best Odds: $2.90) and does need to win for mine to warrant consideration for the Spring Champion and/or Victoria Derby. He was very good two back at Rosehill behind Sweynesse and First Seal, and we know how classy that pair is. Then he went to Newcastle for the Spring Stakes and attempted to lead all the way but just got a stitch late and ran fourth to Sweynesse. He should get an absolute picnic in front, Moreira on board…looks the one to beat.
Big Danger: Bachman (Best Odds: $3.50) was outclassed when resuming in the Golden Rose, then was much better last Saturday in the Stan Fox behind Shooting To Win, coming from the back and working to the line soundly. The Randwick mile should suit, as should the small field, and is one who has plenty of upside
Roughie: Thunder Lady (Best Odds: $13.00) is still a maiden, but she does show promise. She ran over 1500m at Hawkesbury last time out tried her guts out when second to Alavesa. She is a progressive type who could head towards the Oaks, so I’ll be interested to see how she performs here, because the big surroundings of Randwick and the long straight should suit her I feel.
Race Four (14:05) : Sydney City Toyota Roman Consul Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: Should be the identical result from 2013. Zoustar won the Golden Rose then came here to win this, and Hallowed Crown (Best Odds: $2.40) should do the same. He put up a big effort to win the Golden Rose despite the facts that he was on the best part of the track and did get the cart up behind Scissor Kick, but he is unbeaten and looks the best sprinting youngster in Australia at the moment. Should take care of these.
Big Danger: Brazen Beau (Best Odds: $3.80) was very good I thought in the Danehill Stakes (1200m). He sat on a good speed, near the inside, which wasn’t the place to be. He beat them off for a few strides, but being first up and near the inside just got to him late and finished fifth, and was later found to have pulled up mildly lame, so there were excuses. Would love to see him ridden with a bunny to chase, and the Danehill form has certainly held up.
Roughie: Delectation (Best Odds: $13.00) was admirable in defeat I thought in the Heritage Stakes (1200m) here a fortnight back behind Kuro. He was another victim of the bias towards those near the speed, and he couldn’t make up the required ground from the back to win, but as I said, he was still good under the circumstances. Lacks the class to win this, but is one to include for exotics, especially if he jumps and sits handy.
Race Five (14:40) : APN Outdoor Craven Plate 2000m:
Back Me: Pretty confident Rising Romance (Best Odds: $1.80) can get the job done here. I loved her first up run in the Tramway behind Lucia Valentina, making up good ground late before just tiring, then she went to the George Main and just wasn’t suited by the sit/sprint style of the race and ended up in seventh. Gets the weight pull, fitter, good gate and out to her ideal trip. Looks the safe way to go.
Big Danger: Close to D-Day for Slow Pace (Best Odds: $9.00). He is one of the better performed imports that is now in Australia, but is yet to show his international form, which saw him win Group races overseas. He was good in the Cameron given he had 59kg and the tempo was against. Quickly up to 2000m now which is a slight worry, but at his best, he’d give this an almighty shake.
Roughie: Moriarty (Best Odds: $4.60) was absolutely putrid last time out in the Hill Stakes, but his two runs prior behind Terravista and Hawkspur were very good for a stayer, so I am prepared to forgive him for the last start flop, because we know he has the class to be quite competitive here.
Race Six (15:20) : Bloodstock.com.au Premiere Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: Putting Famous Seamus (Best Odds: $2.80) on top. He produced one of the runs of the day when resuming here in the Shorts (1100m) a couple of weeks back when third to Terravista. He came from near last on the turn, rattling home late, and it was a day where it was hard to make up ground. Very good second up record, loves Randwick and finds a really good race.
Big Danger: Generalife (Best Odds: $5.50) is the interesting runner. He was the in form horse during the Winter in Sydney and capped it off with a couple of wins at Stakes level. Given a freshen up and two barrier trials to prepare for the Spring and gee he has looked impressive, in particular last week at Warwick Farm. Normally needs a run or two to find his feet, but he hasn’t been in better condition than now.
Roughie: The most interesting runner for the weekend that is resuming is Group l winner Sincero (Best Odds: $10.00). He hasn’t been seen since the Epsom Handicap last year when down the track to Boban. He had his issues in the Autumn and has been saved for the Spring, and he looks to have come back in ripping order based on his two barrier trials, where he has appeared quite forward. He has the class on his side, lethal first up and distance stats and is suited at WFA.
Race Seven (16:00) : The Star Epsom Handicap 1600m:
Back Me: I am looking for a horse who will run a very strong 1600m, and the one for mine is He’s Your Man (Best Odds: $6.00). We saw in his Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) win that he has a devastating turn of foot when ridden off the speed and saved for the straight, unlike his start prior where he was ridden upside down due to circumstances. A tough 2000m run before coming back to a Group l mile has been a proven winning formula with Chris Waller in the past and this horse fits that criteria nicely.
Big Danger: She hasn’t won for 18 months, but you can’t deny how well Royal Descent (Best Odds: $5.50) is racing at the moment. Tried her guts out first up behind Tiger Tees in the Warwick, then was nabbed right on the peg by Hawkspur in the Chelmsford before being beaten comfortably in second place by Sacred Falls in the George Main. She is clearly the best horse in the race, and although her long losing streak is a concern, she is another who will be very strong at the end of 1600m.
Roughie: Hooked (Best Odds: $21.00) won a farcical run edition of the Cameron Handicap (1500m) during the Newcastle Carnival, but full credit to Blake Shinn and John Thompson. The horse led all the way and won quite comfortably. That race used to be a good guide towards the Epsom, but it has lost its class in recent years. Still, this horse came oh so close to winning a couple of big ones during the Autumn, so we know he handles the class, and is another who is proven at 2000m and beyond. Great outside chance.
Race Eight (16:40) : Coolmore Flight Stakes 1600m:
Back Me: Race in three between First Seal, Winx and Thinking Of You. The filly I’m most confident about running the mile is Thinking Of You (Best Odds: $5.00). She was very impressive on debut at Wodonga, then went to straight to city grade at Caulfield and was even more impressive, spacing her rivals and really savaging the line at the end of 1400m, telling me she’ll have no qualms running the mile. She has a stack of upside in her and I just have a query about the other pair running 1600m compared to her.
Big Danger: Winx (Best Odds: $2.75) surprised many with her demolition job first up in the Furious Stakes (1400m) on a bottomless surface, then went to the Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) and couldn’t quite sprint with Earthquake when she put the foot down, but she eventually picked her up, but couldn’t peg back First Seal, who got the inside split. I think Winx will turn the tables on that filly. Not sure she can beat the top tip.
Roughie: There was no fluke about the impressive win of First Seal (Best Odds: $2.60) in the Tea Rose. It was dominant and she was on one rein for a majority of the straight, so the margin perhaps flattered her opposition. 1400m and 1600m at Randwick are two different beasts, and it’ll be interesting to see how she performs over the Randwick mile, but one thing she does have class, and as we know with these fillies, they might not run the distance, but their class alone can get them home.
Race Nine (17:20) : McGrath Estate Agents- The Metropolitan 2400m:
Back Me: A really good edition of this race with plenty of depth at the top of the betting. Going for La Amistad (Best Odds: $8.00). Many were quick to pot her after her flop in the Kingston Town, but she was ridden a touch too close to the speed. She then backed up seven days later in the Hill Stakes (2000m) and really had no chance given Shinn walked them in front on Junoob and gave those from the back no chance. This mare finally gets to a 2400m handicap, and the last time she ran under these conditions, she spanked her rivals by four lengths being eased down.
Big Danger: Olly probably hasn’t watched a replay of his ride on Spillway (Best Odds: $4.80) in the Naturalism Stakes (2000m) and for good reason…it was a howler. He kept running into dead ends and was never really extended until the final 50m. Comes back to the scene of his most impressive performance since coming to Australia, back in the Autumn when winning the JRA Plate. Yet to win beyond 2200m, but he certainly gives the impression he’ll run the trip. It is a must win for the horse in terms of the Caulfield Cup, and I think he’ll go close.
Roughie: Definitely have something each way on Kingdoms (Best Odds: $11.00). He was a bit of an enigma when with John O’Shea and never really fulfilled his potential, but in the six months he has been with Eagle Farm trainer Brian Smith, he has been very impressive, winning a Listed race on debut for Smith, then placing at the same level. He was spelled, trialled brilliantly, then had no luck first up before coming to Sydney and really catching the eye with his second to He’s Your Man in the Kingston Town, making up a stack of ground from the back. Went to the trials last Friday and looked very good there, winning under a tight hold from Larry Cassidy. He’ll run 2400m no worries, and is certainly up to this level.
BEST BET: Race Four Number 1 Hallowed Crown
NEXT BEST: Race Five Number 7 Rising Romance
VALUE: Race Nine Number 7 La Amistad
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8
Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8
Leg Three: 1, 2, 6
Leg Four: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12
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All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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