This week it has been reported that the Commonwealth Games could be returning to Melbourne in 2026, two decades after the city last hosted the event to much fanfare and triumph.
Hello Epsom Day! This old darling is right up there with my favourite race days of the year, bettered only by the Slipper and Doncaster monsters in autumn.
After giving a few pennies back last week, I’m happy to be back at Randwick – the massive fields in the big ones are arduous, but there’s certainly value (if we can find it).
With various ways to play the card (short versus speculative), my run down will be how I’m playing, with a few options for people who fancy spice. The carnival-standard 16 units are in play.
Best up here: Randwick Race 8, 13 Angel of Truth
Best down there: Caulfield Race 7, 12 Finche
Weekly speculator: Caulfield Race 6, 11 Admire Robson
Dixie’s 2020 tally
Units bet: 362
Units won: 414.10
Stats are based on one unit being equal to a $1 win bet New South Wales dividends. See the comments for any changes based on scratchings or track condition.
Race 1 – 11 Betcha Flying (one unit)
I am starting off with Betcha Flying. She’s in beautifully here, she meets Discharged five kilos better for a 1.4 length third to him three weeks ago, she’s since run well in midweek grade and is primed here, fitter and over slightly further. That is no knock on Discharged – he’s a winner and is definitely in form, but the extra weight is against him and I’m going around. Testashadow is interesting. He meets the fave with a similar weight drop, but might not quite be at his best. He does have Louise Day on board though, which is a big tick.
No selections in Races 2 and 3 – they are the first starting two-year-olds.
Race 4 – 2 Kolding (one unit)
Kolding was back to his 2019 best, winning the George Main last start. I’m backing him to maintain that form now and at the better price, I will take him over Fierce Impact (a winner last time). Kolding is zero from one at the trip (heavy track in the autumn). I’m taking confidence from the fact that was his autumn grand final and team Waller likes that trip for him. The obvious risk is Fierce Impact, which is a super horse.
Race 5 – 1 Dame Giselle (one unit)
Unlike the other Sydney tips so far, I’m sticking solid in this one with Dame Giselle. I’ve had her for her last two wins (she’s won in spite of my tip!). Maybe Hungry Heart runs a better 1600. Montefilia is a question mark, but I am happy to have my money on the horse that’s done the business so far this prep.
Race 6 – 2 Classique Legend (one unit)
I had the big yarn about my golf partner before Classique Legend won fresh. I (maybe thankfully) haven’t seen him since. I’m going to back up here, probably more on the back of the wraps Les Bridge gave him after that run. If he’s the best horse he’s trained, he’s not only going to frighten Nature Strip, it’ll take beating in the Everest. Whatever beats those two is probably also heading to the big one in a fortnight. I can’t see it though.
Race 7 – 11 Probabeel (one unit)
The fun really starts! What an Epsom. There are chances everywhere. It is a great job by the handicapper. Where do you look? I’ve tossed and turned over Rock and Yulong Prince, but have ended with Probabeel. She’s been great this prep, is better over longer and gets the big weight drop against some of the guns. She has drawn a barrier in a UNSW lecture theatre (another new reference), but maybe she’s the star? The rest? Riodini? Reloaded? Star of the Seas? The short way home in ratings order: Probabeel, Rock, Star of the Seas, Imaging (car park), Mister Sea Wolf. The spicy way home: Yulong Prince and Reloaded.
Race 8 – 14 Angel of Truth (two units)
I had Angel of Truth a fair way in front of these, mainly with the big weight drop from his run in the Kingston Town, where he battled late after being caught wide early. He covers Zebrowski, who had the run in the same race and didn’t finish off. Carif, however, did finish off nicely and the extra distance and weight drop works. I’m wary. He’s for spicy players. Hush Writer rates well and has that Clark-Waterhouse combo I love. Mugatoo is a gun. He is classy but gives weight to everyone here other than his mate Mustajeer.
Race 9 – 6 Athiri (one unit)
This is another Dixie moneymaker. I’ll finish by showing loyalty for Athiri. She does pick up three kilos for her domination last start. Fingers crossed she’s taken the next step.
Race 2 – 8 September Run (one unit)
In a tricky little day, his last-start win was pretty phenomenal and it will take a good one to beat him.
Race 4 – 4 Tofane (two units)
Tofane is a good’un. She might prefer 1400, but is great second-up and was very good fresh. Class.
Race 6 – 11 Admire Robson (one unit)
This horse was backed from $31 into $19 at the time of writing. It seems I’m not alone in thinking this bloke can do the job here at odds. This horse was great first-up behind Creedence, and meets him 4.5 kilos better for that. This horse will be fitter and 2400 is probably his go.
Race 7 – 12 Finche (two units)
This horse had a ripping run first-up. Last year’s Melbourne Cup favourite (1.4 lengths off) meets Vow and Declare on good terms here and is rock solid at 2000. It is a yes from me.
Race 8 – 2 Rubiaski (one unit)
I am forgiving Rubiaski’s blank first-up and taking her on last time in. She just kept winning.
Good luck everyone. It is a massive day. I hope you end up on the right side, particularly spicy players. Send through tips and comments throughout the day. Stay safe, bet wide.