Here’s my preview of all Saturday’s action.
Race 6: Ingles Sires
First: Aim $10
Was unlucky behind Mamagram and Osamu in the Skyline over 1200 metres when blocked for a run before savaging the line and was far from disgraced running fourth behind Prague when getting back and hitting the line. Looks ready for the step out to 1400 metres and can go on with the job. Will need luck in running from the one but is up to these.
Second: Ole Kirk $9
A good thing beat last time out where jockey Dwayne Dunn gave him no chance of winning by getting held up before flashing late. Has since notched up a trial victory at Randwick over 1050 metres and is ready to peak third up. I expect Berry to take a midfield sit in the run and with luck in running he can win this.
Third: Mamagram $3.20
Has been heavily supported in early betting from $4.40 to $3.30 and rightfully so. He brings in the superior Golden Slipper form lines with a gallant third behind Farnan and Away Game although he got a suck run up the inside. Rising to 1400 metres is my only knock but can be open to improvement third up and maps to get a soft run in behind the speed of Holyfield and Cultural Amnesia. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him blow these away but there’s greater value elsewhere.
Fourth: Holyfield $12
On the quick back-up from an impressive victory at Rosehill last Saturday. Will roll forward from the wide draw and could prove hard to run down with fitness on his side.
Fifth: Bartley $12
Can be the sharp improver second up. One for the deeper exotics.
$50 betting strategy
$10 win: Mamagram
$10 each way: Aim
$10 each way: Ole Kirk
Race 7: Australian Derby
First: Castelvecchio $3
The rise to 2000 metres third up and Craig Williams opting to roll forward saw him return to his brilliant best last start in the Rosehill Guineas. This is his first try out to 2400 metres, but nothing suggests that he won’t handle the as he’s set to peak fourth up much like his second in the Cox Plate last preparation. Gets the in-form James McDonald in the saddle for the first time who will be forced to take more of a sit from the wide draw to find cover, but I believe that he can work forward in time to let down and put these away.
Second: Shadow Hero $4.20
Saw Castelvecchio turn the tables on him out to 2000 metres last start and failed to fire as the $3.20 favourite. He did find the line against the bias after being ridden quiet but the jury is out on him beyond the 2000 metres off the back of a poor showing as the odds-on favourite in the Vic Derby (2500 metres). Has drawn to Castelvecchio’s inside and can be more forward returning to his preferred Randwick surface, but will be wanting the track to be on the better side of a soft seven to give him every chance. Can win but I’m firmly in the corner of Castelvecchio.
Third: Quick Thinker $9
The Kiwi colt from the Baker and Forsman Colt has been exceptional in his first two starts back on Australian soil this preparation. First up he impressed when giving weight to star fillies Funstar and Probabeel over 1500 metres before making light work of weaker opposition rising to 2000 metres. Is ready to peak here out to 2400 metres fifth run in for the preparation and will appreciate the give in the ground. Shadow Hero had his measure both runs last prep but up in trip and on a wet track he can even the score.
Fourth: Warning $5
Can improve sharply fourth up and out to 2400 metres. One for the exotics but will need everything to go his way from the wide draw.
Fifth: Diasonic $33
Could be the boil-over, for the deeper exotics.
$50 betting strategy
$30 win: Castelvecchio
$10 win: Shadow Hero
$5 each way: Quick Thinker
Race 8: TJ Smith
First: Pierata $8
Got way too far back in the Galaxy over 1100 metres where he was forced wide before flashing home with the second fastest last 200 metres of the race against the bias and carrying the top weight of 59kg. Will have benefited significantly from the run and will be improved here second up out to 1200 metres. It’s one of the widest open TJs in recent times with seven realistic winning chances so I’m not getting carried away but happy to have him on top at the price. Will be declaring him next run in the All Aged out to 1400 metres bearing he runs well here.
Second: Nature Strip $3.60
If the best of Nature Strip turns up here, he may well and truly blow them away. Chris Waller has this horse peaking further into his preparations and appreciating getting out beyond 1000 metres, has drawn the one and without significant speed influences he may get a soft lead out in front and if this is the case good luck catching him. Could potentially get softened up by the outsider Vegadaze but if the track’s playing to suit, he’s the one to beat.
Third: Loving Gaby $8
Would be willing to have this star filly on top if it wasn’t for her drawing the car park here. Gets in with the bottom weight of 54.5 kilograms and has been flying this preparation with placings in the Lightning, Newmarket before blowing Bivouac and the like away in the William Reid. Gets Glenn Boss in the saddle, who will need to work his magic, but if she can somehow score cover and get an economical run look for her to be flying late.
Fourth: Santa Ana Lane $6.50
Is set to go back to back off the back of a lovely trial over 1050 metres where he got back and ran home under his own steam into second behind Nature Strip. This is his grand final and the Freedmans will have him ready to fire. Has been set a task from the inside draw but if the track’s fair and Nature Strip and Vegadaze string them along at a quick tempo watch him savage the line if Tim Clark can repeat a ride similar to that of Hanseatic in the Blue Diamond.
Fifth: Exceedance $13
Jury’s out on last spring’s Coolmoore winner but I expect him to improve sharply. Plain first up but was backed off the map into $3.20 before not handling the tight-turning Valley circuit in the William Reid. Gets back to Sydney where I believe he will appreciate the Randwick circuit. Wetter the better and Wayne Hawkes has sung his praises before his first two runs this prepartion. Can figure at odds.
$50 betting strategy
$10 win: Nature Strip
$7.50 each way: Pierata
$7.50 each way: Loving Gaby
$5 each way: Exceedance
Race 9: Doncaster Mile
First: Bradenburg $7
Want to be with the three-year-old colt who’s going to be extremely hard to beat with 50.5 kilos and Glen Boss in the saddle. His three lead-up runs have been superb with victories over Microphone, and near misses behind Shadow Hero, Dreamforce and The Bostonian. Now fourth up and fit. I expect him to get all the favours from the midfield draw, may not be the best horse in the race but the seven kilogram weight swing on key dangers Melody Belle and Kolding will prove the difference.
Second: Melody Belle $8
Was unlucky in the All-Star Mile where Alligator Blood was unable to cart her into the race before fading away and blocking her for a run, where she eventually savaged the line. Is the best horse in the race but will have to be at her brilliant best with 57 kilograms. Has drawn wide and will need to roll back from the draw but has the ability to run them down. Wetter the better.
Third: Kolding $17
Has been lacklustre in his first two runs this preparation and the jury’s out if he’s come back as good. My belief is that he just doesn’t appreciate the Melbourne way of going and will improve significantly returning to Randwick. I’d be shocked to see him get the better of Bradenburg and Melody Belle as he’s weighted right up to his peak and drawn wide, but all things suggest he can be a sharp improver and at the odds can figure.
Fourth: Star Of The Seas $41
Was phenomenal first up over 1100 metres before failing to fire last Saturday out to 1400 metres when well fancied. Although disappointing on face value he stuck on well when back and wide against the pattern of the day. Now third up rising to 1600 metres with 53 kilograms can see him figure. Over the odds and ready to peak off the quick back up.
Fifth: Mr Quickie $41
Was a fancied commodity first up in the All-Star Mile but was caught up for much of the race back in the field and ran home well enough to suggest he’ll be open to improvement second up. Has drawn the car park but will settle back in the field and be running home strongly. I expect him to give sight if the track’s playing fair come Race 9.