Saturday shapes as another big day at HQ headlined by a ripping All Aged Stakes and the babies taking on the iconic Randwick mile.
There are some nice fields and value around the place. I just missed a couple last week but a solid collect on Colette limited the damage. An unusual rail position (out seven metres) and the prospect of a dry track add to the fun this week, but a few nice hopes to get the weekly ten units sorted.
And what about Chimney? As would be expected with the added pressure, his first start alongside me ended in a duck, so he’s having a walk through the hall of mirrors this week. He’s generally pretty solid so I’m happy to have him back when he’s right.
Dixie’s 2020 tally
Units bet: 128
Units won: 119.70
Based on one unit being equal to $1 win bet, NSW dividends (see comments for any changes based on scratchings or track condition).
Race 1 – 8 Purton (one unit)
The Highway is back with a bang. We start the meeting with a big field, mixing visitors from far and wide with a few experienced Highwayers. I’m going to have a go at Purton at a nice price, hoping he goes forward here second up. The 1200 and drying track suits and he lumped a good weight to win in good time at Quirindi. Yes, Quirindi. Others? It makes sense that money has come for Hellenism as a previous Highway winner, Jailbreak has been dominating the central west and Fender brings an unblemished record.
Race 2 – 10 Miss Invincible (two units)
Another nice big field. I’m pretty keen on Miss Invincible in this one, if we can sneak a good track. She was pretty speedy with big weights last preparation, and without trying to imitate Tony Brassel, her two trials have been very good. Groundswell ran Alligator Blood to a length but hasn’t found his best yet this time in. As for the rest, Taniko and Strome rate well and Oakfield Twilight is the blowout. He meets Outrageous four kilos better for a 1.3-length defeat last prep.
Race 3 – 8 Rocha Clock (one unit)
I struggled to find something to beat Rubisaki, but at the $1.65 I’ll go around her and throw in Rocha Clock. She’s three from four and could take a soft lead. Would still need to either be very good or to have things in her favour though, the fave looks to be very promising.
Race 4 – 3 Entente (one unit)
Entente got the job for me last time. Up in trip here but he’ll eat that up and will also like a firmer surface. No huge knock on Quick Thinker, although he’s very short coming back in distance from his grand final after winning the Derby. The 2000 looks like suiting Bottega and there’s a whisper around for Chuck A Luck at good odds.
Race 5 – no selection
I still can’t get my head around the two-year-olds this season.
Race 6 – 3 Best Of Days (one unit)
Godolphin have found the right race for Best Of Days this week. While he dropped right out of the Doncaster, the rise to 2000 metres and the step down to Group 3 level are both ticks. The drier track is a big plus as well. A few others in the mix: Night’s Watch is well-in, Oceanex is better with the firm track and Norway is competitive if he brings his UK form. Good race.
Race 7 – 3 Dreamforce (two units)
There’s a bit of money for Dreamforce already – he’s $10 into $8.50 at the time of writing, and it all makes sense. His George Ryder win was A-1, is six of 11 at 1400 metres, loves Randwick and prefers a dry track. I found it hard to measure the others – some sprinters are adding an extra furlong and milers are stepping back. I can make a case for most of them, but if I was pushed I’d say Pierata is the best of the rest and Standout is definitely in the quaddie. The race is a beauty.
Race 8 – 14 Greyworm (one unit)
Greyworm rates highly here over his preferred 1200 metres. I’m hoping he can get a reasonably easy time of it on-speed and keep going. He’s very honest. The boys in blue look like the big threats: Deprive has won six from seven at Randwick and will be hunting from the back, while Trekking was a length off them in the Everest last year. If he can take the 60 kilos, he’s the best horse here. All Too Royal is the other one that scares me.
Race 9 – 1 Chief Ironside (one unit)
Another tricky one to finish, I’ll stick with the class horse and take Chief Ironside. He’s won a Group 2 since coming to Australia, although he has done very little otherwise. I’m backing the trainer change to do the trick and that he’s fit enough fresh. At his best he has something on these. Phaistos and Cutadeel rate next best, while I wouldn’t talk you out of Cradle Mountain bowling along in front (six from 12 on good) or Lanciato running on (dry and 1400 are both ticks).
Good luck and stay safe, and thanks for the comments and feedback.