The next chapter of Australian racing begins this Saturday, with day one of the inaugural championships at Randwick, and what a card of racing it is. Nine races, four at Group l level, including the $3 Million Doncaster Mile and the $2.5 Million T J Smith Stakes (1200m), which is now the richest open sprint race in the world. Bring it on!
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Race One (12:15) : Widden Kindergarten Stakes 1100m Form Guide
Back Me: Going for the Canberra speed demon in I Am Snippety (Best Odds: $8.00) who never gave her rivals a chance in the Wellington Boot, scooting around the tight track to bolt in. Her form throughout her career reads very well, alongside the likes of Chivalry, Wandjina and Lucky Raquie, and despite the fact that 1100m on a wet Randwick track will be tough, I’m hoping she’ll be too nippy.
Big Danger: I was quite keen on Kuro (Best Odds: $15.00) in the Pago Pago, and after receiving the perfect sit off the pace, he wanted to do a few things wrong in the straight and ended up in seventh. His debut win at Hawkesbury was that of a quality horse, so he can bounce back here.
Roughie: Loved Up (Best Odds: $41.00) was backed as if unbeatable on debut at Wagga and she just charged clear in the straight to win by a space and ran the time to match. Not sure how she’ll go with the soft conditions, but she looks very promising.
Race Two (12:50) : Telegraph Carbine Club Stakes 1600m Form Guide
Back Me: Best bet on the card for me in Sinjoren (Best Odds: $15.00) He was fantastic when resuming at Warwick Farm, sitting well off the speed in a leader dominated race, but hugged the rail and ran to the line very strongly late for third. To me, he looks like an ideal Hawkesbury Guineas runner, or perhaps something better up North, maybe even a Stradbroke/Queensland Guineas. He is a really exciting prospect for Darley and I am very keen on his chances.
Big Danger: Doncaster emergency Gypsy Diamond (Best Odds: $2.50) returns to her own age after failing against the older mares in the Coolmore behind Steps In Time. Has since been to the trials and looked quite good behind Lankan Rupee. She is the class horse and can handle the wet.
Roughie: Rock Sturdy (Best Odds: $6.50) tried very hard over the 1800m at Kensington when a narrow second to Singing Flame, who ran second in the Tulloch last week and is a live chance in the Derby, so that form reads very well for a race like this, and he’ll be very strong at the end of 1600m.
Race Three (13:25) : The Other Woman P J Bell Stakes 1200m Form Guide
Back Me: Waddle your finger across the field and good luck! Despite the wide draw, I’ll go with Politeness (Best Odds: $9.00). She was enormous at Sportingbet Park last start, giving the leaders at least a dozen lengths on the turn before pulling wide and savaging the line late for second. It had been a while since she showed that turn of foot and form, so now that she has got that back, she can reproduce her form from the Spring, where she was competitive alongside the likes of Gregers and Marianne.
Big Danger: Miniature (Best Odds: $9.00) really put it all together in the latter part of the Spring, winning three races from four runs, twice against the older mares, which is hard to do for a new three year old. Has looked forward enough in the trials to suggest she can run a big race fresh.
Roughie: Bound For Earth (Best Odds: $6.50) bounced back to form with a narrow second to Sidestep in the Darby Munro, making ground near the inside, which wasn’t the place to be at that stage of the meeting. She did beat Guelph over this track/distance six runs back, so the class is there. Definite chance.
Race Four (14:00) : Schweppes Chairman’s Handicap 2600m Form Guide
Back Me: Sertorious (Best Odds: $3.50) was enormous in the BMW last week given he did work early on in the run, then went very wide on the home turn and looked gone before picking up late to run fourth, beaten just under three lengths. That form should nearly get him home here, but the 59kg here is a slight concern.
Big Danger: The Offer (Best Odds: $2.80) will probably start favourite given how dominant he was in the Manion Cup, and is a definite threat here and in the Sydney Cup, but he does rise sharply in weight and takes on a stronger field. If you like him, I’d say wait til race day because you’ll get a better price then.
Roughie: Like A Carousel (Best Odds: $41) tried very hard in the Adelaide Cup, coming from a long way back to run a credible fourth to Outback Joe. Has to rise a bit in depth, but he is rock hard fit and will stay longer than the mother-in-law.
Race Five (14:35) : Inglis ATC Sires Produce Stakes 1400m Form Guide
Back Me: Kumaon (Best Odds: $6.50) was a tragedy beaten in the Pago Pago, missing the start, settling last, going back to the worst part of the track yet making up a stack of ground late to only go down narrowly to Time For War. 1400m looks ideal, as does the bigger track, and he ran quite well on a wet track in that race.
Big Danger: Believe Yourself (Best Odds: $4.40) was unbelievable last week in the Slipper. Remember, she was only having her second career start and made up many lengths to run fourth to Mossfun. Provided she has pulled up well and has done well during the week, she’ll prove very hard to beat.
Roughie: There will be no qualms with Zululand (Best Odds: $13.00) running a strong 1400m. He has dodged the Slipper and has been specifically targeted for this and the Champagne. Looked sharp in a trial win at Randwick last week and is definitely capable of winning this.
Race Six (15:10) : BMW ATC Australian Derby 2400m Form Guide
Back Me: I was quite taken with how comfortably Gallatin (Best Odds: $17.00) won the Tulloch last Saturday. The margin might have only been small, but gee he let down strongly in the straight to win and Nash said afterwards the horse is capable of winning the Derby. I had been on him at his previous three outings and he had been disappointing, but the wet track and extra distance suited him. I was going to put the big danger on top, but the wet track sways me this way.
Big Danger: I really liked Teronado (Best Odds: $13.00) in this race, actually declaring him a fortnight back before the Guineas at Rosehill, but after seeing him place there, I have a question mark on him on the wet track. I still think he is a massive chance given he is bursting for the 2400m, but the wet track leans me towards Gallatin.
Roughie: Tupac Amaru (Best Odds: $17.00) was quite solid late in the Rosehill Guineas and was one of only a few throughout the day to scout wide and make ground. Did run a strong second in the Geelong Classic (2200m) on a bottomless surface, so any rain won’t harm him, and he’ll run the distance out with no issues.
Race Seven (15:50) : Darley T J Smith Stakes 1200m Form Guide
Back Me: Bit surprised to see double figures on offer still for Gordon Lord Byron (Best Odds: $7.00). He was simply outstanding in the George Ryder, cutting back to the inferior ground near the inside and sprinting hard late to grab Speediness. Don’t worry about the drop back to 1200m because he is a Group l winner over the distance last year and the pace here should be absolutely frantic. As much as I love Lankan Rupee, I am taking him on big time here given it’s his first go at WFA against the best of the best and it’s his first time away from Victoria
Big Danger: Villa Verde (Best Odds: $16.00) was outstanding when winning the Challenge Stakes first up for new trainer Anthony Cummings, then got a long way back and worked home well late for third to Tiger Tees in the Galaxy. Bred to swim, and has performed well on rain affected ground, plus she is in form and is back to the scene of her first up win.
Roughie: Rebel Dane (Best Odds: $11.00) is a bit of a forgotten horse in this race due to the fact he is first up. He hasn’t been seen since finishing seventh to Buffering in the VRC Sprint Classic during Cup week. Trialled very nicely behind Zaratone recently on a bottomless Rosehill surface and is definitely wound up to win fresh.
Race Eight (16:30) : The Star Doncaster Mile 1600m Form Guide
Back Me: Sticking solid with Messene (Best Odds: $6.00). I’ve liked him for the Doncaster for a while now, and so far he hasn’t let me down in the lead up runs, in particular his stunning win in the Ajax to qualify for this race. Gets in so well at the weights, should lap up the Randwick mile and has abundance of upside this preparation. Really keen on his chances.
Big Danger: Royal Descent (Best Odds: $11.00) is the forgotten horse here for mine. I thought she was solid enough in the Millie Fox behind Red Tracer, then was fantastic in the Coolmore, coming from last to run a two length fifth. This time last year, she won the Oaks by 10 on a bottomless surface, so she’ll love the wet, and will be very strong at the end of 1600m, which is what you need to do in order to win a Doncaster.
Roughie: Weary (Best Odds: $6.00) was very impressive last week in the Prelude, like El Roca, being ridden closer to the speed than anticipated, but it doesn’t faze him, gaining the upper hand over Leebaz close to home. He is a horse who has serious Group l form in France and also drops in weight. A great knockout chance.
Race Nine (17:10) : TAB Adrian Knox Stakes 2000m Form Guide
Back Me: Amanpour (Best Odds: $8.00) for me. She strung together two impressive wins at Kensington and Canterbury respectively, bowling along in front, then missed the kick in the Keith Nolan and sat last before weaving her way through the ruck to finish just over two lengths from Zanbagh. She will run a strong 2000m if she jumps cleanly and can give some cheek.
Big Danger: Lady Cumquat (Best Odds: $5.50) is a handy kiwi filly for Roger James who earned a ticket to Australia after an impressive win in the Manawatu Classic. She certainly doesn’t have the class of Rising Romance, her kiwi counterpart, but can certainly measure up to this.
Roughie: Role Model (Best Odds: $9.00) ran a beauty at her Australian debut for Gai Waterhouse in the Keith Nolan, sitting close to the speed and fighting on well to run second to Zanbagh. Should improve fitness wise, and although a query at the distance, she is on her home track and does have solid Group form across the ditch.
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Best Bet: Race Two Number 3 Sinjoren (Best Odds: $15.00)
Next Best: Race Five Number 5 Kumaon (Best Odds: $6.50)
Best Roughie: Race Six Number 8 Gallatin (Best Odds: $17.00)
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 5, 8, 12
Leg Two: 1, 2, 5, 18
Leg Three: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 17, 18, 19
Leg Four: 2, 4, 8, 11
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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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