Warwick Farm gets its chance to have the spotlight focused on it with an outstanding card this Saturday, headed up by the $500,000 Group l Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m), where all eyes will be on Boban, who hasn’t won in two runs this prep and the jury is well and truly out on him and his credentials heading forward, along with the return to racing of high class colt It’s A Dundeel. Guelph will look to bounce back into the winners list when she contests the $175,000 Group ll Surround Stakes (1400m) while some of the better class gallopers will kick off their Autumn in the $150,000 Group lll Liverpool City Cup (1300m). That race has more intrigue given that El Roca, a stewards enforced scratching last Saturday in the Hobartville Stakes (1400m), will line up in the event.
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Race One (13:02) : Tab.com.au Handicap (80) 2400m Form Guide
Back Me: With the likelihood of rain, you have to stick with the horse who currently handles it, and that is Lucky Liaison (Best Odds: $7.50). Plugged away best in the horrific conditions last week at Rosehill in what was a very ordinary race. In saying that, he did move up to the leaders quite nicely and found plenty when asked. He’ll get the trip with no problems and is the best swimmer in the race.
Big Danger: Inclined to include Pentometer (Best Odds: $1.90) than ignore him here. Has to carry the big weight and come from a wide barrier, but his last start win over this distance at Randwick was dominant, and I loved the way he trialled a couple of weeks back behind Malavio. Ticking over nicely and should be a threat here.
Roughie: Ultimate Gaze (Best Odds: $9.50) looked very keen last start at Kensington, sitting outside the speed before looking the winner 250m out, then just weakening late to run a narrow fourth. Up to 2400m is a concern, but he is racing well enough to not leave him out.
Race Two (13:40) : Lonhro Plate 1100m Form Guide
Back Me: With the run under his belt, I’ll go with Wandjina (Best Odds: $4.40), who was a most impressive winner of the 1000m here a couple of weeks back after trialling sensationally. There has always been a wrap on him since day one, and now he might be fulfilling his potential.
Big Danger: Memorial (Best Odds: $3.60) hasn’t been seen since putting together two effortless wins at Rosehill towards the end of the Spring. Trialled okay recently at that track, where she sat out the back and wasn’t asked to do much. Bred to swim, but fitness will be the concern with her.
Roughie: Brazen Beau (Best Odds: $4.60) could not have gone any better on debut at Canterbury, leading all the way and bolting in, running slick time over this distance. Question mark in the ground, but certainly has the ability to figure in the finish.
Race Three (14:20) : Ibis Milano Dinner Specials Handicap (95) 1100m Form Guide
Back Me: If he can handle the wet track, then That’s A Good Idea (Best Odds: $3.20) will win this. Excellent first up run at Randwick in the Southern Cross when chasing a hot tempo and sticking on well to run fourth to stablemate Terravista. Blinkers back on, should lead, roll along and just about win. He is one of the best bets across Australia for the weekend.
Big Danger: The interesting runner here is Barbed (Best Odds: $3.20) for Darley, who hasn’t been seen since running fifth in a stakes race during Cup week. Did run second to Zoustar in the Brian Crowley, so the class is there, and did trial quite nicely recently.
Roughie: Oh George (Best Odds: $13.00) has been very good since joining the Tony McEvoy stable, winning in Adelaide before being freshened up, sent to New South Wales and winning first up at Hawkesbury before running a narrow second to Angel Bee at Canterbury. Carries 51kg now, and did bolt in a barrier trial on a wet track back in 2012, running good time.
Race Four (15:00) : Wiggle Stakes 1400m Form Guide
Back Me: Is it a case of Catkins (Best Odds: $2.65) just winning? I say yes, because she was just superb in the Breeders Classic, knuckling down strongly to grab Steps In Time in the shadows of the post. She is the heir apparent to Red Tracer who will be winning Group l’s before her time on the race track concludes, and should take care of this lot.
Big Danger: Big watch on star Queensland mare Fire Up Fifi (Best Odds: $8.50),who ran an absolute beauty when resuming in the Falvelon Quality at Eagle Farm, warming to the task late and powering through the line, finishing sixth. The Warwick Farm track probably isn’t her go, but she has class like the top tip and that will carry her a long way.
Roughie: Miss Stellabelle (Best Odds: $11.00) was quite unlucky in two runs in Tassie during their carnival, getting held up when resuming, then sitting wide with no cover at her next outing and only getting beat two lengths. Back in Sydney now with Gai, drawn well and is rock hard fit.
Race Five (15:40) : Chipping Norton Stakes 1600m Form Guide
Back Me: Looks a perfect race for star galloper It’s A Dundeel (Best Odds: $2.00) to kick off his preparation. Hasn’t been seen since running a gallant eighth in the Cox Plate to Shamus Award after being injured leading up to the race and then being caught wide in the run. Trialled sensationally a couple of weeks back at Randwick, and if he holds that sort of form here, he’ll win.
Big Danger: It’s D-Day now for Boban (Best Odds: $4.00). Two runs back from a wonderful Spring have been better than what you see on face value. Didn’t get clear first up, then was wide all the way in a messy edition of the Apollo. Schofield gets back on board, which is vital, and now he should be near ready fitness wise.
Roughie: I think Monton (Best Odds: $19.00) definitely deserves to be mentioned here. He is absolutely flying at the moment, winning three of his past four and should have won the other. He won’t be winning, but is a must for exotics.
Race Six (16:20) : Liverpool City Cup 1300m Form Guide
Back Me: He might have been a sensational scratching last week prior to the Hobartville, but the connections of El Roca (Best Odds: $3.50) will feel a bit better after he wins this. He was just so dominant in the Eskimo Prince, comfortably beating Dissident, who narrowly won the Hobartville. In terms of ability, he is one of the best Australasia has to offer, right up there with Zoustar. Should win this.
Big Danger: White Sage (Best Odds: $3.90) fought on very well late when third to Catkins and Steps In Time in the Breeders Classic at Rosehill. Has to step it up a notch now, but looks to have real class and quality about her. However, betting wise, she is far too short.
Roughie: The value runner is clearly Pinwheel (Best Odds: $14.00), who is coming off a close up third in the Futurity behind Moment Of Change and Sertorious. He hasn’t seen a wet track for a while, but he is very effective on it.
Race Seven (17:00) : Surround Stakes 1400m Form Guide
Back Me: Should be no problems for Guelph (Best Odds: $3.30) here to get back into the winners list. Bowman, he himself admitted, didn’t give one of his best rides on the filly when resuming in the Light Fingers, blundering at the start then being hunted forward, taking the star out of her comfort zone. On her home track now, McEvoy back on…should be far too good for this bunch.
Big Danger: It’s hard to ignore Sweet Idea (Best Odds: $3.25), who clearly runs second to Guelph as the best three year old filly in Australia. Dominant win in the Light Fingers, and she should only improve off that also. I think with normal luck, Guelph wins, but if she doesn’t get it, then this is the horse to be on.
Roughie: Real Surreal (Best Odds: $10.00) looked enormous in the mounting yard ran an absolute bottler in the Light Fingers, her first race since winning the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions. That run in the Light Fingers proved and confirmed she has the class to match it with this lot, and certainly cannot be underestimated.
Race Eight (17:40) : Schweppes Handicap (85) 1600m Form Guide
Back Me: Entirely Platinum (Best Odds: $2.40) could not have been more impressive when resuming over the 1400m here a few weeks back on the bottomless track, charging clear late and going through the line like a horse who is only going to benefit. The only query is the second up syndrome, but if that doesn’t eventuate, he just about wins.
Big Danger: Canny Ballad (Best Odds: $5.50) was given an absolute peach ride by Blake Shinn last start at Randwick, but couldn’t quite peg back Leebaz, a real up and comer for Team Hawkes. Should be cherry ripe now fitness wise, on his home track, up in distance, drawn well and handles the wet.
Roughie: D-Day here for Our Desert Warrior (Best Odds: $4.50). Tempo was against him first up behind stablemate Almighty Charge, then was found to have chipped a tooth when down the track to Monton. Cassidy booked means one thing- He’ll lead and at a strong tempo. At his best, he goes very close, but I’d rather watch than back him.
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Best Bet: Race Three Number 3 That’s A Good Idea (Best Odds: $3.30)
Next Best: Race Six Number 11 El Roca (Best Odds: $3.50)
Best Roughie: Race One Number 6 Lucky Liaison (Best Odds: $7.50)
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 1
Leg Two: 11
Leg Three: 1
Leg Four: 1, 4, 5
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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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