We head to Royal Randwick this Saturday, for Randwick Guineas day.
It’s a star studded field, with the superstar the Autumn Sun taking on the boom horse of the Autumn in Nakeeta Jane, along with the champion New Zealander in Madison County.
We’ve got a nine-race card in store for us, with eight group races, including two Group 1s in the Guineas and the Canterbury Stakes, where Trapeze Artist has opened up favourite, and takes on the likes of Kementari, Pierata and Shoals.
The bureau predicts there to be rain around with a top of 27 degrees, so whether you are at home or at the track, hopefully this article can find you a winner!
The first on the card is at group three level for the mares over 1200 metres. Really intriguing race this one, although it’s hard to go past the favourite in Spright.
Her form lines from both last preparation and her first up run this preparation are outstanding for this. She ran under a length away from Brave Smash and Spirit of Valor in the Manikato after getting too far back, and then finished under three lengths away from Santa Ana Lane and In Her Time who are now both Group 1 winners in the VRC sprint Classic.
She resumed down the straight at Flemington in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate where she stormed home to finish fifth, and had the best closing splits of the race late. They could have kept her in Melbourne for the Newmarket, but they’ve taken her up here in what is a winnable race for her, and she’ll be hard to beat dropping back in grade.
Sweet Scandal is one of the big dangers. She’s had big spaces between each run this preparation, so she should be rock hard fit. She led all the way against the likes of Harmattan and Mapmaker in consecutive starts, before running on well in the Triscay when she was forced to go back in the field from the barriers. There doesn’t look to be an abundance of pace on up front, so she’ll lead and be in it for a long way.
Winter Bride is the best of the rest. Her from last preparation was fantastic, winning two group three’s in a row against the likes of Elicazoom and Booker. She failed down the straight at Flemington, and even though she trialled well in the lead up to this run first up, it’s very possible she’s just going to face two better horses.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No.1 Spright, with a saver on No.6 Sweet Scandal.
The Fireball Stakes is the next on the program, for the three year olds over 1100 metres at listed level. Baller is a very progressive Colt, and I think he’ll be hard to beat again today. He slaughtered them at the Kensington track by three lengths three starts back, before losing by a length to the very talented Zalatte over 1400 metres at Rosehill.
He had a two month break and then come back in impressive fashion beating Spiritual Pursuit at Rosehill. They ran a much quicker time than the Benchmark in that race, and from barrier four he maps to get a lovely run again. Kerrin McEvoy jumps on, and he’ll be hard to beat. I think that is the best form race here and that’s why I’ll be saving on Spiritual Pursuit who ran a neck behind Baller last start.
She won with ease at Wyong and Canterbury in consecutive starts after leading all the way, and like I said, they went very quick in that race last start, so if she can get a cheaper sort of sectional at any time in the race, she could turn the tide on the favourite. She might have to do some work to get across early, but $12 is well overs in the current market.
Trope is the best of the rest. It seems like Tommy Berry has jumped off the favourite to ride this young Colt which is interesting. He trialled well in the lead up to his debut run and he saluted after taking a while to get past Got Your Six.
He’ll appreciate the strong tempo up front after having to get back from the wide barrier, and he’ll be winding up late with a strong finish.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No.6 Baller, and N.11 Spiritual Pursuit is worth saving on.
The first of the Group 2s for the two year olds comes here in the third, with the Reisling Stakes over 1200 metres for the fillies at set weights. It looks like a race between the two favourites here, and I’m pretty confident the second elect in Tenley can win here.
She took a while to wind up on debut last year against Blazing Miss, but she eventually got there to nab her on the line, and her last start win against Ally Cylinders and Jonah was brilliant. Exhilarates has been running slightly better times, but I think this filly will be better suited over 1200 metres, and has superior finishing power.
They’ll be running basically together, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Tenley broke away for a big win. She won’t be $17 for the Slipper on Saturday night.
Obviously Exhilarates is the second pick. Both her runs have been superb in Queensland and she’s a very good filly, but I just think she finds one better here. Wayupinthesky is the blowout chance at double figure odds.
She’s well bred, by Snitzel and out of The Darling One who is a direct cross to Lonhro, and both her trials have been fantastic. She draws well from barrier four and has an in form jockey on her in Sam Clipperton.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No.4 Tenley.
It’s the boys turn in the fourth, with it being the Todman Stakes over 1200 metres for the colts and geldings. Going for some value here in the form of Strasbourg. He won on debut easily at Newcastle, beating Stralex by two lengths when eased up on the line, and then he went to Randwick ad hit the line well, running under a length away from Accession, who’s obviously went on to win and place in some very good two year old races.
There should be a really solid tempo set here and if McEvoy can get him a nice spot off the leaders, there’s no reason to say he won’t be running over them. Good value. The favourite in Time To Reign is my on top selection, however I couldn’t take anything under $4 for him.
Everything went wrong for him in the Lonhro plate after being posted wide and over racing in the run, and he bounced back in a big way in the Silver Slipper, winning by two lengths over Tassort. He maps perfectly to sit on the speed from barrier two, and he’ll be hard to beat.
Yes Yes Yes winning wouldn’t surprise at all. He won well in front of favourite things over 1100 metres down the Flemington straight two starts back, and then won impressively again at the Valley ahead of the talented Alburq. He draws wide, but he was going back in the field anyways. He’ll be closing strongly.
Recommended bet: Small each way play on No.3 Strasbourg.
The Group 2 Challenge stakes is the nest on the card, over 1000 metres under weight for age conditions. The champion sprinter of Australia in Redzel returns for his autumn preparation, and looks very hard to beat, as this is a pretty poor field.
He won his second Everest last preparation which took him to nearly the top of the Australian earners list, and he maps beautifully in the run from barrier five to sit on the speed, and then race away in that Redzel fashion that we have come to know. Looks a moral.
The Golden Slipper winner in Estijaab is the only danger. She won the Reisling Stakes this time last year, before going on to win the slipper, and her run resuming was full of merit, narrowly going down to Fiesta. She should be better for that run, has trialled well in between runs, and she draws well from barrier three to get a nice run on the speed. Chance.
Kaepernick is the best of the rest. He got within a length of Redzel when he was resuming in the Concorde Stakes last year, before narrowly missing down the straight at Flemington behind Thermal Current. He will appreciate a hot speed that the likes of Ball of Muscle and Jungle Edge will give, and it wouldn’t surprise if he ran into second. Outside chance.
Recommended bet: Not keen to take on Redzel at $1.65, so I’d be leaving this race alone.
The first of the Group 1s on the card comes here over 1300 metres, under weight for age conditions in the Canterbury Stakes. I’m steering clear of the favourite in Trapeze Artist, and am siding with the much maligned Kementari to finally breakthrough for another win.
He stormed home last preparation in the Manikato to finish under a length off Brave Smash, and then had absolutely no luck at all in the VRC Sprint Classic where he just never got a run at them. He resumed well in the C.F Orr finishing half a length off Manuel, and he’s historically gone very well second up. He has the fitness edge on both the favourites, and if he’s ever going to win a race, there won’t be a better chance than this.
I’ll be saving on Brutal who I think is really good value here. Everyone in racing was spruiking him in the spring, when he won his first three starts, including tough wins over Tavisan and Leonardo Da Hinchi, before getting injured and being put out for the spring. He resumed well in the Southern Cross Stakes, where he travelled three wide with no cover for the entirety of the race, and still fought hard to the line, going down by under half a length.
There doesn’t look to be much speed on up front, so McEvoy should be able to dictate the pace, and he’ll be hard to run down. If we knew Shoals was fit and wound up, she’d be favourite here. Though that is the big query, and I’m not prepared to find out against this good of a field.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No.3 Kementari, and am saving on No.8 Brutal.
The feature on the program arrives in the seventh, with it being the Randwick Guineas over a mile at set weights for the three year olds. The Autumn Sun is an extremely good race horse, but he’s definitely a no bet proposition for me at the $1.60 quote, considering this is the best field he’s raced against to date.
I’m going to go with Nakeeta Jane here. I think she’s brilliant each way value and $1.80 for the place is an absolute steal. She’s come back in brilliant order this preparation, winning both the Light Fingers Stakes and the Surround Stakes over Fundamentalist and Madam Rouge respectively.
She ran a much quicker time last start over 1400 metres than the Autumn Sun ever has, and I think she’ll test him to his absolute limit today. If he’s not at his best he loses this. The mile suits her down to a tee.
I’ve been a big fan of Diplomatico since seeing him win the Brian Crowley last prep, and I can see him running a really good race here second up. He resumed at this track three weeks ago and just got too far back in the run over 1300, and He’ll be able to blend into the race a lot better over the mile. He’s undefeated second up, and he should be the horse going into the exotics around the two favourites.
Recommended bet: Place bet on No.7 Nakeeta Jane, with something small on the win.
The last of the group races on the program comes here in the eight, in the form of the Aspiration Quality over the mile for the Fillies and Mares.
Pretty keen on Luskintyre Lass here. She went down by a length to Aperitif at Canterbury over 1200 metres, before winning her last two. She beat Lady Elizabeth at Warwick Farm, who has since franked that form by winning at Rosehill last Wednesday, and then held off Pumpkin Pie by a neck in her second try at the mile.
She trialled well in between these two runs, beating Siege of Quebec and Sedanzer, and she should lead in a race without any tempo at all. Tom Berry should be able to dictate the race from up front, and she’ll be hard to beat.
Oceanex is the best horse in the race, but the step back in distance after having a seven week break is a query. She’s a very smart filly, who clocked brilliant sectionals in each of her last three wins, most noticeably last start at Flemington when beating Royal Performance with a barnstorming run. She’ll go back from barrier two, and the lack of speed in the race worries me, but talent should get her a long way in this type of a race.
Extreme Bliss is the best roughie in the field. She won well over Toryjoy two starts back, before running two lengths off Luskintyre Lass last start at Randwick. She should get a nice spot in midfield, and if there is rain around, I’ll be saving on her.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No.7 Luskintyre Lass.
The last on the program is the Randwick City Stakes, at listed level over 2000 metres for the stayers. Really open race here, being shown by the bookies having it $7 the field, but I’ve landed on Hiyaam in a very open affair.
Admittedly she didn’t do much last spring, finishing down the track on several occasions in group races, but at her best she’s probably the best horse in the race. She seems to love the Sydney way of going, winning the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill over 2000 metres last Autumn, and then going down by a length to Unforgotten in the Australian Oaks. She didn’t do anything resuming at Caulfield, but she’s only missed the top two once second up, and she looks the likely leader in a race without any speed in it at all.
Timmy Clark should be able to judge the speed up front, and she’ll be hard to run down. One Foot In Heaven is the horse I’ll be saving on. He had excuses last preparation, being vetted at the barrier in the Hill Stakes, and then running four wide with no cover in the Geelong Cup which never gave him a chance.
He resumed well behind Seaway, coming home steadily to finish three lengths off them. He goes well second up and considering the lack of pace in the race, he should get a nice spot in midfield. He’ll be hard to hold out.
Shraaoh is the best of the rest. He won a handy race last spring in his Australian debut at Flemington, before finishing six lengths off Seaway over 1500 metres resuming. He’ll appreciate the rise to 2000 metres, gets in well at the weights, and his overseas form means he can’t be discounted.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on both No.7 Hiyaam and No.3 One Foot In Heaven.
Best Bet: Race 3, No.4 Tenley
Second Best Bet: Race 2, No.6 Baller
Best Value: Race 5, No.3 Strasbourg