Race 2 – 1:05PM TASK RETAIL TECHNOLOGY HANDICAP (2000 METRES)
Was disappointed with 2. Humbolt Current’s third last start but the winner Dr Drill has since easily won the Cranbourne Cup while the runner up Rapido Chaparro subsequently won the Port Macquarie Cup just as comfortably. Even the fifth-placed High Opinion and sixth placed Master Shuhood have placed since. Humbolt Current goes up 5kg to carry 58kg but drops from a BM88 back to a 78 for this. The five-year-old has been costly for punters but he looks to have found the perfect race to chalk up his first win in Australia for Chris Waller. He’ll roll forward to be in the first couple and wouldn’t be surprised if James McDonald stoked him up at the 800m. On what we’ve seen of him to date, he seems to thrive off a genuinely run race where he can build.
Dangers: 3. Angel Of Heaven is building towards another win. Liked the way this mare closed behind Irukandji and Juventus first up over 1500m before she dropped back to the midweeks and ran on into third behind Tricky Gal and Erno, staying at the mile. That’ll give her a good grounding third up out to 2000m. She was at her best out to this trip last campaign running fourth in the Queensland Oaks. 4. Maid Of Ore has won three on the bounce for trainer Nick Olive and despite getting a cosy time of it last start outside of the leader, the five-year-old dashed home in 32.94s to beat Lewis (has form around Battenburg and Colada). 7. Johnny Vinko closed well in Maid Of Ore’s race but couldn’t win given how slowly it was run.
How to play it: Humbolt Current WIN
Race 3 – 1:40PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1100 METRES)
There is a stack of speed in this capacity Highway field over 1100m and 7. Zardoro will get the last shot at them. He really shouldn’t be eligible for Class 3 grade – he’s had so many hard luck stories in his last few runs. Traffic issues, wide draws, bumps in the run, they’ve all had a role to play. He hasn’t been sighted for a couple of months but he did have a similar break and resumed with a luckless Randwick third over 1200m behind Caccini and 11. Lady Demi. This is a deep field but not sure why Terry Robinson’s six-year-old gelding has suddenly been forgotten by the market. Zardoro has drawn well to settle within striking distance.
Dangers: Lady Demi had been knocking on the door in Highways and got her dues last time out over 1200m. Suspect she is even better over 1100m. Tackles this fresh like Zardoro. Not yet ready to give up on 3. Irish Songs. He is back to Highway company having run in two BM70s. His win over this track and trip back in July, beating Lady Demi, was brilliant. Punters Intelligence highlights that his last 600m of 33.96s ranked third quickest across the entire day. That was also on the back of a month freshen. 1. Can’t Find Snippy is the class runner here but the barrier doesn’t do her any favours. Respect 2. Burning Crown but can’t get him anywhere near as short as the market has him.
How to play it: Zardoro EACH WAY
Race 4 – 2:15PM BISLEY WORKWEAR REGINALD ALLEN QUALITY (1400 METRES)
9. Charleise didn’t get much room at vital stages in the G3 Champagne at Moonee Valley last start. She was only three lengths off Loving Gaby, with Exhilarates and Villami filling the minors. That is a very deep race compared to the one this Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained filly finds herself at Randwick. She didn’t have the speed to lead there last start but that won’t be the case here. Her general pattern is to bounce out and be right there. Can’t find a great deal of speed here so expect her to lead. In her Geelong maiden win prior to last start she ran faster time than Groundswell on the day, since third in the G1 Caulfield Guineas. On that occasion she stacked her rivals up and sprinted quickly. It’s the same set-up here.
Dangers: 7. Special Snap comes out of the midweeks but like the fight she showed first up having covered ground. She is a filly still on the up and looks to settle in the first two with Charleise. It’s been a mixed bag for 3. Maddi Rocks this preparation. She’ll win if she can reproduce her first-up effort when second to Epidemic. She chased gamely last start on a very heavy track back to the midweeks. 4. Still Single got the job done first up at $1.60 coming from the rear. The second horse has since won at Wyong. Jumps from 1100m to 1400m but J-Mac sticks. Could she push on from the wide draw? One day as a two-year-old she settled second. 5. Betcha Flying caught the eye late first up in an unsuitably run race. Looks set to suffer the same fate here too.
How to play it: Charleise WIN
Race 5 – 2:50PM THE KOSCIUSZKO (1200 METRES)
1. Victorem should prove a class above this field. The five-year-old is a genuine group horse. He hasn’t won one yet but with a couple of listed wins to his name, it’ll just be a matter of time. First up last campaign he ran second to Viridine at Scone in the Listed Ortensia, rattling to the line. Punters Intelligence shows his 33.44s last 600m was the quickest across the entire meeting. We’ve seen him in two trials and saw everything we wanted to see. Most significantly for him was that he bounced out of the gates cleanly. That offers up hope that Tommy Berry can use the perfect draw to have him midfield. As the clear top-rated horse in the field, he is extremely well in. He’ll get his dry track, unlike he did in this race last year, so all he needs now is even luck.
Dangers: 3. Noble Boy did start $2 in the listed Hinkler the last time we saw him, with Victorem $4.40. Of course the latter won brilliantly but it’s an SP profile that warrants respect. If it was a wet track, you’d switch to Noble Boy but on a firm deck, it’s a big advantage to Victorem. Noble Boy’s latest trial was against weak opposition but he looked to be humming. 12. Notation is a classy mare. She looks dangerous with 54.5kg on the back of a group placing and J-Mac steering. Prefer her at 1400m but she gets the blinkers on. Respect 8. Handle The Truth and 11. Awesome Pluck. 2. Belflyer and 5. Bobbing will be rattling home.
How to play it: Victorem WIN
Race 6 – 3:25PM CAMERA HOUSE SYDNEY STAKES (1200 METRES)
It’d be easy to jump to the conclusion that 5. Easy Eddie couldn’t possibly win a Sydney Stakes having run second at Warwick Farm to Piracy first up. However, there was a lot of merit to the run. Piracy, with 53kg, got complete control and sprinted home in 32.64s! Easy Eddie sat outside of him and had to accelerate with 61.5kg on his back. Despite clocking 32.57s, he couldn’t reel in the winner. The five-year-old has never won first up in five attempts but is two from three second up. That doesn’t include his career-best run, when third in the G1 Galaxy behind Nature Strip and Pierata, which was his second run back after a seven-week freshen. This looks a carefully considered target for Joe Pride. There’s enough speed here for him to hopefully slot in forward of midfield. Silly odds for an improving type now proven in Group One company.
Dangers: Has to be 1. Brutal. What concerns me with the last start Premiere Stakes winner, however, is staying at 1200m second up with a third up grand final out to 1500m. That fresh edge will be gone and not sure he has the tactical early speed to land outside of the leader again. If it was 1400m second up, I’d play at odds on. 13. Fiesta is a dynamite fresh horse. Her only first up defeat came on debut in the Gimcrack and she should have won. 6. Deprive is five from five at Randwick and was never in the race from the wide draw last start in group 1 company. Blinkers go back on 12. Champagne Cuddles and she had the shades on for her excellent TJ Smith and All Aged fourths. 2. Home Of The Brave needs the sting out to produce his best.
How to play it: Easy Eddie EACH WAY
Race 7 – 4:15PM THE TAB EVEREST (1200 METRES)
There is a touch of ‘freak’ about 11. Arcadia Queen. There is a question mark over her being a genuine 1200m horse given her dominance in Western Australia out to 1800m in the G1 Kingston Town, but she’s so talented that she could win just about any race you set her for. Her first run for Chris Waller was outstanding, blowing her rivals away in the Theo Marks Stakes over 1300m. Waller has kept her fresh since then, with a month between runs to ensure she is still explosive over the sprint trip. She has trialled at Rosehill and ticked over beautifully. It’s easy to forget that what she had done prior to the Theo Marks was all in her first preparation! Draws to settle midfield, giving her every possible chance. If 1. Santa Ana Lane rolls into Randwick at the top of his game, there is only one horse in this field to rise to that level with him … this girl.
Dangers: If Santa Ana Lane ran home in 33.07s in the Gilgai first up in what was a perfect pipe opener. In his past two campaigns he has exploded second up, both at Randwick over 1200m. He broke the track record in the Premiere Stakes, before striking a heavy track in last year’s Everest, before his emphatic TJ win came second up over the autumn. He is going to need luck at the right time from barrier 2 but as it stands, he is the benchmark sprinter in the country. The current three-year-old crop is very strong and 12. Yes Yes Yes will measure up against the older horses. He is superior to both Graff and Tulip. Out of sight, out of mind for 10. In Her Time. She’s big odds on what she has done fresh in the past. 2. Pierata the best of the Concorde/Shorts/Premiere form line.
How to play it: Arcadia Queen WIN
Race 8 – 4:50PM YULONG AUSTRALIA CRAVEN PLATE (2000 METRES)
2. Samadoubt will be much more at home on a firmer track at Randwick on Saturday. He won the G1 Winx Stakes and then the G2 Chelmsford on good tracks first and second up before striking two soft decks. He was still brave in the Hill Stakes last start from in front, being collared late by Verry Elleegant. No doubt he pinches it if the morning rain didn’t arrive that day. The Bjorn Baker-trained gelding is flying. It’ll be an interesting tactical battle in the early stages between him and 4. Stampede, both out and out leaders. Samadoubt draws barrier six so Stampede will have to cross him if he wants the front. Samadoubt can run his rivals into the ground so not too concerned if Stampede cranks up the tempo early, just don’t want Samadoubt being dictated to. Hold the fence!
Dangers: Stampede is back from two 2400m runs so there is a question over how sharp he’ll be back to 2000m but he won’t lack for fitness. He’ll be taking off at the 800m in typical Stampede style but won’t be able to stack them up in the middle stages. 1. Happy Clapper has run well in his two runs back but he isn’t at the top of his game. Perhaps age is finally catching up with the nine-year-old. Has had mixed success over 2000m in the past too. This is a target race for 5. Tally and liked the way he was finished off in both runs back. The latest when fourth in the Hill Stakes. He improves as he gets deeper into his preparations and there is a sense of timing about him.
How to play it: Samadoubt WIN
Race 9 – 5:30PM BENTLEY ST LEGER STAKES (2600 METRES)
11. Valac’s record when he gets beyond 2000m is 10 starts for four wins and five placings with the miss being a fourth when he had come to the end of a preparation. The eight-year-old was third up out to 2400m at Mornington last start and despite swapping the lead throughout the race he pinched a winning break turning for home. Craig Williams won on the eight-year-old last campaign and said post race that the horse is going better than ever. Mark Zahra rides Valac for the Hayes-Dabernig stable this start but imagine the instructions will be similar, using the inside draw to be handy. It’s from on top of the speed he wins most of his races. Surprised he is such big odds an in even looking race.
Dangers: 2. Patrick Erin bounced back in the G1 Metrop after a couple of poor runs back this time in. He savaged the line alongside 7. Big Duke. Out to 2600m looks to suit both of them. 1. Come Play With Me, 3. Gallic Chieftain and 4. Sir Charles Road ran the trifecta in the Metrop. The one most disadvantaged by the good track is Gallic Chieftain, however, he meets them both 2.5kg better off. There was two lengths from first to eighth in the Metrop which is a query. 6. Youngstar and 12. Our Century found the line late in the Hill Stakes behind Verry Elleegant suggesting this trip suits now. Youngstar ran sixth in a Melbourne Cup.
How to play it: Valac EACH WAY
Race 10 – 6:10PM THE STAR MILE (1600 METRES)
Can’t find much speed here. That could force Kerrin McEvoy’s hand in spearing forward with 6. Articus. The eight-year-old has produced two excellent runs at his past two outings, both of which would just about win this race too. The first of those he stalked and ran down Sweet Deal while last start he ran second in the G3 Cameron at Newcastle splitting Rock and Nettoyer. They both ran well in the G1 Epsom with Nettoyer a week later taking out the Angst. Back in sixth in the Cameron was Got Unders, with that horse subsequently giving 11. Dealmaker a fright. Like the four weeks between runs to keep Articus fresh. He’s an unassuming sort of horse and can think that’s the only reason we’re getting the odds we are.
Dangers: 10. Penske hasn’t found the right race yet this preparation – and by that, I mean a race in which he can control from the front. He is going better than the form guide suggests. He’ll be rock hard fit now fourth up and Adam Hyeronimus won’t be waiting for anybody turning for home. 1. Cascadian hasn’t shown any early toe in his three Australian starts so barrier 2 is a concern. However, with the lack of tempo he could punch up to settle midfield. The French import is classy but having seen him in the yard, his coat still hasn’t come right so is yet to fully acclimatise. His run in the G1 Epsom was certainly solid enough to recommend him sharply back in grade. 12. Junipal also ran in the Epsom but found himself posted in a frantically run race. Happy to forget he ever ran. The sting out is preferable for him but is nicely in with 52kg.
How to play it: Articus EACH WAY
Tips supplied by Racing NSW.
Full form and race replays available at racingnsw.com.au.