The Roar
The Roar


Saturday preview: Spring is in the air with star horses returning

James Cummings looks on during Sydney Racing at Rosehill Gardens on July 14, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
2nd August, 2018

There’s a sense of spring in the air with the sun shining brightly on the eastern seaboard and some quality gallopers making their long-awaited return from a winter spell.

The biggest race of the day is the Group 2 Missile Stakes at Randwick and some spring hopefuls will step out onto the track in what should be a hot little race.

Today I’ve focused my attention on the races at Sydney and Moonee Valley in Melbourne, but there’s also some good racing at Doomben and Morphettville, as well as Darwin, as the NT gears up for the big Darwin Cup on Monday.

Moonee Valley (VIC)Track Good 4 at time of writing. Rail in true position.

Race 6 – 3:10pm Benchmark 78 Handicap (2500m): A very ordinary field for a city meeting and you couldn’t pick any horse with any confidence in this race.

That’s why I’m going to take a gamble and select a horse that is a complete outsider in the field, but could win if he puts it all together on the day.

The James McNamara-trained Hornets’ Nest is an enigma of a horse. Supremely well bred, he’s had countless issues in his career and has been trialling over the jumps.

This horse won me a lot of money several years back when he beat Puissance De Lune at Warrnambool and even though he’s some chance to run dead last in this field, I think he’s worth having an each-way ticket on just in case.

Suggested bet: Hornets’ Nest each-way.


Race 7 – 3:50pm Open Handicap (1600m): A pretty solid field here and there are some in-form horses running around.

The horse who stands out for me is Another Coldie, who bashed through the line last time at Sandown and looks to be at peak fitness. He should get a good run in transit and prove too good for rivals if he repeats his last run.

Topweight Chamois Road shouldn’t be discounted despite the big weight, while Last Week is another hope on best form.

Suggested bet: Another Coldie to win.

Race 8 – 4:30pm Open Handicap (2040m): Former Perth Cup runner Trap For Fools is favourite in this race and probably rightly so, but he’s fairly short in the market and I’m not keen on backing him at that price.

He’s yet to win in Victoria for Jarrod McLean, but I do acknowledge he’s been improving with every run. He likely leads on Saturday and is hard to run down. I’m going to look for some better value because I don’t think he’s a good thing.

Darren Weir has got five runners in this race and I think the old timer Grand Dreamer can run a race at OK odds. He’s had four runs this prep and should be at peak fitness. He could be in the finish.

Suggested bet: Grand Dreamer each-way.


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Randwick (NSW)Track Good 4 at time of writing. Rail out four metres.
Race 7 – 3:30pm Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m): This is the only decent race on the card at Randwick and it looks a one-horse race if that one horse is fit and firing.

Kementari should have his sights on The Everest and as long as he’s 80 per cent fit his class should get him over the line.

He’s an even money favourite and although I hate backing even money favourites, he looks similar to Vega Magic last week.

A Group 1 horse in a Group 2 race. If you’re looking for something to beat Kementari, perhaps look to She Will Reign at bigger odds.

Suggested bet: Kementari to win.

Race 8 – 4.10pm Benchmark 82 Handicap (1400m): Trick race and not a lot of quality so I’m looking at Queensland raider Bergerac at odds.

He was OK at Doomben last start and will probably appreciate the room and longer straight at Randwick. His form at the Sunshine Coast suggests he likes those bigger tracks.


He’s carried some big weights in south-east Queensland and has a respectable 55.5kg on Saturday, so I think he can run well.

Favourite Island Missile is probably the horse to beat from the powerful Snowden stable, but he’s around the $3 mark and it’s not a race where you want to be on a $3 shot.

Suggested bet: Bergerac each-way.

Total spend in 2018: $406*
Total return in 2018: $561*
* Based on $20 spend per selection and CrownBet’s top tote dividend.