There are two meetings to look at on Sunday, with Gunbower and Newcastle getting my attention.
After a solid result last week, Sydney racing takes a dip behind an exceptional Moonee Valley card.
But never fear, there’s still plenty of prize money on offer (seriously a lot, thanks Peter V’landys) and winners to be found across the ten-race Randwick program.
The weather people have got it wrong again, with predicted falls not really coming, so we’re looking at a good surface.
How will Randwick play? That’s the big one, with the rail out after a few weeks it may be an advantage to be nearer the lead.
As well as my usual Sydney stuff, if you’re brave enough to keep reading I’ll have a dip in the big one down south and (ssshh) let you in on a ripper running in Adelaide.
Dixie’s 2021-22 season tally (from August 1)
Outlay: 128 units
Return: 108.4 units
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.
Sydney racing selections
No bet in Race 1 for untried two-year-olds.
Race 2 – 9 So Say You (one unit)
It is an open little Highway to get us started. So Say You has been around the mark all preparation at this level. I expect her to be a bit closer to the front this time with a better barrier. The rise in distance should suit too. I thought of the on-pace types that 14. Freedom Square might be one to watch down in weight after a good win at Tamworth.
Race 3 – 2 Mazu (one unit)
There are a few different ways to attack this lot. I’m going with the proven form of 2. Mazu. He’ll be up and around the speed and has been solid behind stars like Shaquero, Paulele, In The Congo and Count De Rupee. In saying that, 5. Able Willie is very short but won impressively on debut, while 7. Zarastro was under two lengths behind Paulele at his only start.
Race 4 – 12 Pandora Blue (one unit)
Onto the Midway, I will stick on speed and back 12. Pandora Blue. She’s won three of five career starts and by a margin. She could be the best of the bunch moving forward. 2. Undeniable is another winner. She won at this level last start in the metro midweeks, which is good for this. 9. Little Steiny isn’t the worst at 30/1 and above.
Race 5 – 7 Starspangled Rodeo (two units)
7. Starspangled Rodeo hasn’t fired yet this prep, but gets out to a suitable 1400-metre trip (5:3-1-1) and finds a good surface (10:4-3-0). I’m happy to risk 4. Criaderas. He’s the class horse but will likely be a long way back. 1. Emerald Kingdom rates well and its Queensland form has been standing up, and 5. Prime Star was a length off the Epsom winner giving him weight first up.
Race 6 – 13 French Bonnet (one unit)
There is not much between a few here. I’ll go 13. French Bonnet, hoping for favours going forward and down in weight from a nice midweek win. She’s building a nice little record. Behind her I had 10. Ladylovesagamble as a blowout, 9. Ma and Pa and 12. Sammy. 1. Mayfair Spirit will carry weight but has good stats at the mile and on firm surfaces.
Race 7 – Cepheus (three units)
I am keen to back 2. Cepheus now that he gets out to his sort of distance range. He’s been going okay getting ready for this sort of trip and goes close on his UK form. He’s best on hard tracks so that’s another plus. 3. Zeyrek is a good one and the Montefilia form is good for this. 8. Savvy Valentino and 9. Torrens are both each-way chances.
Race 8 – 1 Hilal (two units)
A $1 million race seems a bit out of place with this lot, but alas, 1. Hilal beat a few of these well last time and is the likely improver, whereas 2. Coastwatch might have peaked after some big efforts earlier this prep. Good luck the rest.
Race 9 – 12 Startantes (one unit)
$2 million, wow! Fillies and mares race for the big bucks, I’ll take the filly 12. Startantes, she’s been good in A-1 three year-old company, her run on in a slick Golden Rose puts her in this. Hard track is ideal. 6. Entriviere is probably the best of the bunch, she’s drawn poorly again and will need a Tommy Berry special. 10. Icebath would love some rain but is still running well in good races. Maybe 2. Nudge can take the next step?
Race 10 – 9 Gravina (four units)
I am pulling the four-unit card to end the day. 9. Gravina looks like a good thing. She was a tragic beat last start, flying home behind Big Parade, who had all the favours. Since then Big Parade has won a Group 2. She looks like a good thing. If I was having a quinella I’d lean towards 11. Quantico. I’m a fan and he won well last start.
Cox Plate selection: Moonee Valley Race 9 – 9 Anamoe (one unit)
It is a great edition of Australia’s weight-for-age championship. I generally have a soft spot for three-year-olds having a throw at the stumps with the featherweight advantage.
If we consider some of the past youngsters to have won, Anamoe stands right with the best or above them, which places him at the top of the tree for this. In saying that, the drier track will suit 7. Probabeel. 6. Verry Elleegant was poor last start but started at 2.10 against Incentivise (!!), and 1. Zaaki was such a good thing a month ago that TAB paid out futures punters on him winning. Pumped.
Around the grounds: Morphettville Race 5 – 8 Enchantingly (three units)
It was a dark Saturday in mid-August, which required a plonk on 8. Enchantingly in the land of the Chappells to get me out of trouble. She won by seven under a hold! From there she went to Melbourne and wasn’t disgraced at Group 3 level, and now comes back freshened to 76 grade? Even at 1000 metres, it’s a hard yes from me.
Good luck all, enjoy the day and hit me up with your best.