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The Grand Finals of Australian racing is The Championships at Randwick and the two day carnival gets underway this Saturday. The weather is fine, the track is soft (7) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

Doncaster Field 🏆: View the Doncaster Mile Field

TJ Smith Field 🏆: View the TJ Smith Stakes Field

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Race 1. (12:10) Kindergarten Stakes 1100m

Back Me

Really good race for the babies. 1 Bivouac (Bet Now: $6.50 TOP ODDS) is a James Cummings trained who hasn’t raced for four weeks since contesting the Todman where she was on speed and though well held by Yes Yes Yes, he was far from disgraced I thought. Dodged the Slipper and instead trialled last Friday where he looked very good to my eye behind Diamond Thunder. Keen to see what he does here.


I think back to 1100m and back in grade could see some improvement from 8 Athiri (Bet Now: $2.60 TOP ODDS). This filly was heading down the Slipper path but couldn’t quite get the job done in the Magic Night when third to stablemate and Slipper winner Kiamichi. She ran an honest race but struggled to pick her feet up. Suited back to this level and is a definite winning chance.

Long Shot

I think with a clean jump, 3 All Cylinders (Bet Now: $14.00 TOP ODDS) can only run well. Was well supported when contesting the Black Opal last time out but unfortunately a tardy get away meant he had to do work on speed, wide no cover, and was gassed late behind Pin Sec. Trial last week was quite good and back to 1100m, hopefully lands on speed and will prove hard to run down.

Race 2. (12:45) Carbine Club Stakes 1600m

Back Me

1 Ringerdingding (Bet Now: $3.40 TOP ODDS) is a classy animal who can definitely win this. Throw into the deep end last time in the George Ryder where he faced a bottomless track and a progressive mare in Winx, and both of those factors broke his heart. He’s a high quality animal at his best and back to his own age at Group lll level, he will be hard to beat at his best.


7 Winning Partner is three weeks between runs for the Tony McEvoy stable after contesting the Phar Lap at Rosehill where he looked to be a winning threat at the top of the straight but once he was an asked for an effort, the wheels started spinning and couldn’t let down at all. Should get a much firmer surface this time around and can definitely win this.

Long Shot

6 Fun Fact (Bet Now: $9.00 TOP ODDS) has had a few runs now for Bjorn Baker and has been luckless at her past two. Ran over 1800m on the Kensington track here last time where he had not much like at a vital stage when second to Foreign Territory. Trialled very well behind Happy Clapper last week and is going well, knocking on the door to win. Not sure it’s here, but goes in all multiples.

Race 3. (13:20) Adrian Knox Stakes 2000m

Back Me

Have to give 3 Zalatte (Bet Now: $11.00 TOP ODDS) another look. She was just too bad to be true in the Phar Lap and Tommy Berry did say post race the filly was in a foul mood, she didn’t handle the heavy track so a couple of genuine excuses for her. If you like her, I’d say wait until you see her in the mounting yard, because that will be a good guide as to what sort of mindset she has for race day.


David Briedoake rarely gets it wrong when he comes to Sydney and he brings a handy filly here in the shape of 1 Princess Jenni (Bet Now: $9.00 TOP ODDS), who has plenty of room for improvement. Given a sweet steer from Olly last start in the Alexandra at the Valley, sitting back, wide with cover, before getting the ideal drag up, peeling wider and finishing best to win. 2000m should be fine and has upside.

Long Shot

There’s a couple of horses I’m keen to see step out in trip, one of those being 15 Bye Bye Belle (Bet Now: $61.00 TOP ODDS) for Mick Kent, who could well be on the Oaks path with a win here. She’s a very progressive stayer who looked in all sorts of trouble last time out in a Yarra Valley but thankfully John Allen got her into clear air and she finished best. Big track, 2000m, upside…plenty going for her.

Race 4. (13:55) Country Championships Final 1400m

Back Me

Normal luck and 1 Noble Boy (Bet Now: $2.90 TOP ODDS) will be far too good for this lot. He looks to have proper Stakes class potential. Unfortunately the firm track at Goulburn didn’t allow him to show that but he got conditions to suit in the Wildcard at Muswellbrook and he was arrogant under Bowman. 1400m on the big track, give in the track, Bowman sticks…gee there’s plenty to like.


Giving serious respect to the Donna Scott trained 13 Bennelong Dancer (Bet Now: $11.00 TOP ODDS). She gave them an absolute spanking in the Albury Qualifier, sitting just off the speed before McDougall gave her clear air on the turn and once he clicked her up, she romped in and was the most impressive Qualifier winner iMO. The trial since was brilliant, showing she’s come on from the win. Ran well in this race last year, but clearly going much better 12 months on.

Long Shot

2 Unbiased (Bet Now: $17.00 TOP ODDS) is a Cody Morgan trained gelding who was very well supported when resuming in the Tamworth Qualifier and under a lovely steer from Mitch Bell, he pounced when the gaps appeared and bolted in. Not the strongest Qualifier across the Series IMO, but it was one of the more dominant wins. 1400m no issue and has run well in town before.

Race 5. (14:35) Chairmans Quality 2600m

Back Me

Have to give 14 Shraaoh (Bet Now: $6.00) another chance. Was all over him when he contesting the Manion Cup a fortnight ago but he just looked to really struggle on a bottomless surface when third to Midterm. Think back to Randwick and back on firmer footing will really help his cause and up to 2600m, at his best, certainly one of the hardest to beat and has to be respected.


19 Supernova (Bet Now: $3.40) looks to be heading in the right direction for Team Hawkes en route to potentially the Sydney Cup. Ran over 1900m at Rosehill three weeks ago where he was given a 12/10 ride from Avdulla, sitting just off the speed before angling into clear air and despite probably not being 100% happy in the going, he was far too good for his rivals. Confident he can measure up.

Long Shot

11 Gallic Chieftain (Bet Now: $16.00) has had a couple of runs for Archie Alexander and has been quite good each time he has stepped out. Resumed in the Blamey and was strong late behind Fifty Stars. He then went to the Yarra Valley Cup where he didn’t appear 100% happy on the tight track but kept finding the line. Up in trip and on the bigger track, he can threaten.

Race 6. (15:15) Inglis Sires' 1400m

Back Me

12 Loving Gaby (Bet Now: $4.20) is the pick of the Slipper runners for this race IMO. She was only having her third start when lining up there, did plenty of work out wide, didn’t appear to handle the track at all but kept finding the line behind Kiamichi and was very game in defeat. The question is how she’s come through that. I’m guessing it’s been positive otherwise she wouldn’t be lining up here, and 1400m should be fine.


2 Microphone (Bet Now: $5.00) is a James Cummings trained colt who was well fancied when lining up in the Slipper and he tried his heart out, but couldn’t get past surprise winner and stablemate Kiamichi, but was strong to the line, suggesting 1400m will be fine. Hopefully can get cover from the barrier and be strong at the end. Like Loving Gaby, just have to take a gamble that he’s come through the Slipper well.

Long Shot

The weather will be the key to 13 Tenley (Bet Now: $10.00) and how strong her winning chances are. She won 3/3 to start her career prior to going the Slipper, where she was hard in the market but couldn’t pick her feet up on the bog track in a total forgive. I think Soft5/6 will be fine for her and can bounce back big time from the good draw. Anything worse and I’d be worried.

Race 7. (15:55) Australian Derby 2400m

Back Me

14 Declarationofheart (Bet Now: $13.00) is the one I’m very wary of here. He’s had a bit of a boom on him since day one and for the most part, he hasn’t really lived up to it. In saying that, I thought his Australian Guineas run was full of merit before going to the Alister Clark where he was ridden perhaps a touch too close to the speed and hit the front too early when pipped by Global Exchange. With a bunny to chase, I think he’ll be much better.


2 Madison County (Bet Now: $9.00) is one of the better three year olds in NZ so the fact double figures is on offer is a bit surprising. His run in the Tulloch last Saturday was excellent. Early on, on speed/rail was the A1 spot to be and unfortunately for his supporters, he was forced wide and back on the turn, which left him with too much to do. Stable could have gone to the Doncaster, but they go to the Derby, a sign of confidence I think.

Long Shot

I think 6 Surely Sacred (Bet Now: $12.00) has been somewhat ignored from a Derby perspective after the Rosehill Guineas. He was warming to the task really nicely in Guineas but I reckon his condition just gave out late behind The Autumn Sun. The forecast is for fine weather so I am expecting him to be much better on a dry track and for mine, he looks stupid odds given how well he went without luck in the NZ Derby.

Race 8. (16:35) TJ Smith Stakes 1200m

Back Me

The talk is that 7 Osborne Bulls (Bet Now: $4.80) is the best sprinter in Australia. Well…he’s taking on the best sprinters here, so it’s contender or pretender time for him. Can make a case he should have won his first two runs this prep, starting in the Lightning when beaten narrowly by In Her Time before the Newmarket where he got too far back and launched late to just miss out on Sunlight. Tick over trial last week was okay without being great, but he’s a race day beast. D-Day though.


The weather is the key to 3 Santa Ana Lane (Bet Now: $7.00). Dry track, Soft5 or better, one of the hardest to beat. Anything worse and I think he’s in a little bit of trouble but I think he’s flying. He resumed in the Newmarket and copped a little bit of interference in the run but balanced up and was excellent over the concluding stages behind the filly. Loved the way he closed off in a trial last week and will be charging at the end. Just depends how the track is, going wise and pattern wise.

Long Shot

11 Sunlight…(Bet Now: $8.00) she’s a champion filly, no doubting that. She can lay claims to being the second best horse in Australia behind Winx if she can win here. Outstanding on speed wins in the Newmarket and William Reid at her past two, especially the William Reid because she burned the candle at both ends but the champion qualities came to the fore late to get the job done. Lands on speed and will give her all.

Race 9. (17:15) Doncaster Mile 1600m

Back Me

Before the race, I was somewhat against 18 Fundamentalist (Bet Now: $10.00), but the final field and barrier draw just sees her get the run of the race so each way, happy to be in her corner. Hasn’t raced since the Randwick Guineas where she did all the work chasing Miss Fabulass, putting pay to her and booting clear but was pipped on the peg by The Autumn Sun. Think Ben Thompson will land box seat either behind Dreamforce/Siege Of Quebec and be hard to beat.


1 Hartnell (Bet Now: $9.00) is an absolute beauty. As good as Mystic Journey was in the All Star Mile and deserving of the win, Hartnell should have won had he got clear air. Got badly stopped in his tracks when having plenty to offer before eventually getting clear and just missing. Proven big time performer, especially at the Randwick mile, and looks to get a really run just off the speed.

Long Shot

I can’t believe there was $21+ offered last weekend all in for 6 Dixie Blossoms (Bet Now: $15.00). I think Ron Quinton has her flying at the moment. Resumption in the Guy Walter behind Alassio was excellent before going to the Coolmore where she took full advantage of the inside gate and once the gaps appeared, she put them away and won with such authority. Tumbles down to 53kg, back to her fav track, in career best form…think she can only run well.

Race 10. (17:50) PJ Bell Stakes 1200m

Back Me

I reckon 15 Laburnum (Bet Now: $19.00) has turned the corner. Was a bit of a non winner but Rachel King rode her a treat at Kembla and she scored an impressive win. Then went to the Kensington track where she ran second to Eugene’s Pick, who has since run well at a good level twice. Laburnum then ran runner up in the Canberra Guineas behind Final Award where she was game in defeat. Been freshened up and her trial last week was very good behind Trapeze Artist.


11 Causeway Girl (Bet Now: $10.00) is three weeks between runs for the Mick Price stable since racing down the Flemington straight where she was given a 12/10 steer from Olly and the filly dashed hard late to get the win. Has been really effective at 1000m-1100m, but a bit unknown at 1200m. In the right stable though and should always be respected when they come to Sydney.

Long Shot

Have to give 14 Into The Abyss (Bet Now: $18.00) another chance. John Thompson trains this filly, who trialled like a Group l horse prior to her resumption in the Birthday Card where the track played on speed early on in the day and considering she was back on the testing track, she didn’t fire but should be forgiven. The trials were too good to dismiss off one run IMO.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Eight Number 7 Osborne Bulls

NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 1 Noble Boy

LONG SHOT: Race Ten Number 15 Laburnum


Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):

Leg One: 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 14

Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7

Leg Three: 1, 6, 9, 16, 18

Leg Four: 1, 7, 11, 14, 15

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