9-race card here at Randwick this Saturday and again we’re met with wet with a soft track.
The track is currently rated a Soft 5, but a fine day is expected on course.
The rail is out at 3m for the entire circuit.
QUADDIES (Races: 6-7-8-9)
SKINNY PLAY: 3,5,6,7 / 6 / 3,4,5,6 / 2,3
WIDE PLAY: 1,3,4,5,6,7,8 / 5,6,7 / 1,2,3,4,5,6,8 / 2,3,4,6,9,11
R1 12.00pm MORAITIS COMMUNICATIONS HANDICAP 1400m
SUPER TYCOON has hit a purple patch of form, winning his last three outings in Saturday grade and his latest was his most impressive when streaking away to score by 3.8L. Edging up in the weights now and has to carry 60kg, but he is unbeaten in four runs at this distance and looks the one to beat again. He should get a nice run from barrier (5).
TORGERSEN took the step up to Group racing last campaign and did a good job with placings in the Tulloch Stakes and Packer Plate. Hasn't fired fresh yet, but has had two trials and should be hitting the line hard from barrier (1). Small concern with carrying 61kg.
PINDAN PEARL drops in distance but has been freshened for it and did win over 1400m at Rosehill four runs back. From barrier (2) with Tye Angland on board, she should get the perfect run.
CONARCHIE might find this a bit tougher than his last couple but he is racing well and is a four-time winner at this trip. Barrier (3) also ideal with Avdulla on board.
SELECTIONS: No3 SUPER TYCOON, No1 Torgersen, No6 Pindan Pearl, No7 Conarchie
VALUE RUNNER: No1 Torgersen
R2 12.35pm THE RANDWICK MAYOR’S CUP 2400m
LIE DIRECT couldn't have been any more impressive when he led and bolted away to score by 9L at this course and distance. That was on a heavy track so he would relish those conditions again and while he is up in weight he was a close second at his only other try at this distance. Barrier (7) is a tough gate for apprentice Deanne Panya, but he’s the one to beat.
BRACES is a super honest customer who has been top two at his past five runs including a Warwick Farm win two runs back. Spaced by Lie Direct last time but does meet him 4.5kg better and may prefer a slightly firmer surface. From barrier (3), he should get a handy run into the race.
The import RICHARD OF YORKE could be the big improver. He made some ground to place at his second Australian run and third up at the longer journey may be his go. Hugh Bowman on board and barrier (4) are two big bonuses.
MAJOR MAJOR was disappointing last time but was on the quick back up and is capable of better. He has had six attempts at the track and distance and won two of them.
SELECTIONS: No2 LIE DIRECT, No1 Braces, No3 Richard Of Yorke, No5 Major Major
VALUE RUNNER: No5 Major Major
R3 1.10pm TAB HIGHWAY PLATE 1600m
AKIKO GOLD just missed in a similar race to this at Rosehill last time. Had won her previous start at Nowra and expect she is ready for the mile at her fourth run this time in having won at the trip before. From barrier (7) she’ll need some luck early, but Tommy Berry may be the right man for the job.
EPINICIAN was a touch disappointing last time but caught the eye hitting the line hard when resuming. Expect he can peak third-up and is a lightly-raced horse with some upside. He’s drawn perfectly in barrier (5) and will carry only 56kg at an each-way quote.
GRAND ROUGE has run close up placings in this type of race at his past two and should be in the mix again. He has drawn awkwardly out in barrier (13).
DISTINCTIVE LOOK takes a step up in class but did rate well in his last-start victory and Hugh Bowman is a key booking. Along with Bowman, barrier (1) means he should get a soft run through the early stages.
SELECTIONS: No13 AKIKO GOLD, No14 Epinician, No8 Grand Rouge, No7 Distinctive Look
VALUE RUNNER: No14 Epinician
R4 1.45pm PRIMO SMALLGOODS UP AND COMING STAKES 1300m
THRONUM looks to cross to the front and could take catching if he can control the tempo. He did that last start and packed too many guns in holding off the highly regarded Mediterranean. That was his third win from three starts and doubt the extra 100m holds any fears for him.
DERRYN was super impressive when charging home to win at Caulfield when resuming. Stepping up in trip quickly but expect the longer distances will suit him and is open to natural improvement at just his third career run. He’ll need some luck in his third start from barrier (7) with Tim Clark on board.
DIVINE PROPHET always gave the impression as a juvenile that he would improve with maturity but still managed a G1 placing. Has had two trials to prepare for this, so look for him to finish hard. From barrier (9), Tommy Berry will be forced to settle back in the field.
The same can be said for Champagne Stakes winner PRIZED ICON, who will want further with a long campaign ahead but ability can see him sprint well fresh. He’s drawn nicely in barrier (3) with Hugh Bowman on board.
SELECTIONS: No2 THRONUM, No4 Derryn, No3 Divine Prophet, No1 Prized Icon
VALUE RUNNER:No5 Taj Mahal
R5 2.20pm ALPHA FLIGHT SERVICES SILVER SHADOW STAKES 1200m
OMEI SWORD should be suited by all of the speed that appears to be present in this race. She showed terrific promise in a short juvenile campaign that produced a steaming midweek win and a close second to race rival Calliope. As a daughter of High Chaparral, she should be a better filly this time around and will be ready to fire after three barrier trials. She’s drawn well in barrier (5) and should have no excuses.
CALLIOPE is troublesome at the gates, but if she can get away cleanly she is a talent, as she showed in her Gimcrack and Magic Night Stakes wins. Query as to how much she can develop into her three-year-old year but won her only start here. James McDonald can definitely steer her to victory here.
MANAYA impressed winning a Listed race at Scone on debut. Had a quick turnaround into the spring and this is tougher but if she has progressed she comes right into this. She’s drawn nice in barrier (6) and the money has come early for her.
QUICK FEET was competitive against these type of fillies in the autumn and has a fitness edge with a run under her belt. From barrier (3) she should get a lovely run and it will be up to Kerrin McEvoy to do the rest. She’s a nice each-way chance in the race and one to include in your exotics.
SELECTIONS: No5 OMEI SWORD, No1 Calliope, No4 Manaya, No6 Quick Feet
VALUE RUNNER: No6 Quick Feet
R6 3.00pm BOB INGHAM SHOW COUNTY QUALITY 1200m
LE ROMAIN appears to have found the perfect race to return in. He ran top three at his first seven starts as a three-year-old, progressing from the provincials to a G1 win in the Randwick Guineas. Could be better again this time around and has terrific fresh, distance and course statistics so could finish over the top of them. From barrier (1), he’ll be stalking them as they turn for home.
VASHKA has been off the scene since last spring but won back to back Group races in that campaign. He is fitter for two good trials and has only once missed a place first-up. He should also get a nice run from barrier (5).
TYCOON TARA had things her own way in the small field in the Missile Stakes but still produced the goods to lead throughout. Doubt she will get it as easy today but does drop in weight under the handicap conditions and her run maps out well from barrier (6).
BOSS LANE may not have the class of some of his rivals but is a five-time winner at both the course and the distance and has twice won fresh. He’s also drawn to get all of the favours throughout the run from barrier (4) and there has been early support for him.
SELECTIONS: No5 LE ROMAIN, No3 Vashka, No7 Tycoon Tara, No6 Boss Lane
VALUE RUNNER: No6 Boss Lane
R7 3.40pm WARWICK STAKES 1400m
WINX, she’s back. She will be ready to go after two trials and has won four of five fresh runs, with strong statistics also at the course and distance. Won't be fully wound up with a long campaign ahead, but with most of her rivals also resuming she is the obvious choice and should be too classy.
LUCIA VALENTINA was the other star mare of the autumn, landing the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. She too will have improvement to come this early in the carnival but she has produced some big fresh runs in the past. She’ll be powering home late.
REBEL DANE is the one with the fitness edge after a second in the Missile Stakes first up. He doesn't find it easy to win and lacks some class on the two top mares but is in the mix for the placings from barrier (2).
VANBRUGH is a G1 winner and may be kept to shorter distances this spring so wouldn't surprise to see him run well fresh.
SELECTIONS: No6 WINX, No7 Lucia Valentina, No4 Rebel Dane, No5 Vanbrugh
VALUE RUNNER: No5 Vanbrugh
R8 4.20pm FORUM GROUP TOY SHOW QUALITY 1300m
DIXIE BLOSSOMS showed terrific promise at her initial campaign, winning her first two runs in the city before progressing to a stakes placing behind a subsequent G1 winner. Will need to go to another level to win a race like this first-up but expect she can do just that and will be ready to fire after two recent trial placings.
PEARLS can mix her form but is good enough to win this on her day. Is a G2 winner and has also been successful fresh, with just a lack of pace the only potential obstacle. From barrier (2), she’ll be ready to pounce as they turn for home.
PIONEERING faces her class test but couldn't have done much more winning her past three and has the fitness edge on the better-performed mare. Her run maps out perfectly from barrier (4).
ELLE LOU also has fitness through her off-season form and has been kept up to the mark with a recent trial. Barrier (8) makes her task a bit harder.
SELECTIONS: No6 DIXIE BLOSSOMS, No3 Pearls, No5 Pioneering, No4 Elle Lou
VALUE RUNNER: No2 Slots
R9 5.00pm SYDNEY MARKETS FOUNDATION HANDICAP 1000m
HAPTIC has been off the scene since last spring but was placed in his three runs that campaign, all at stakes level. Has a win and a placing from two previous fresh runs and has looked good at the trials with a win and a close second. Support has come quickly for him and he’ll be in the mix from barrier (6).
SOUTHERN LEGEND looked a progressive type last campaign winning all three of his runs including a Listed race. His only two unplaced runs were on rain-affected going so that is a potential area of concern but expect he is a much better horse now. Barrier (13) and 60kg make this a tough assignment.
ZOUTENANT didn't fire in two runs last campaign but has been gelded since and if he reproduced his second to Exosphere in the Roman Consul Stakes from last spring he would be hard to beat. Barrier (9) means Adam Hyeronimus will have some tough decisions to make early in the race.
GLENBAWN DAME has been consistent of late but does have to overcome barrier (12).
SELECTIONS: No3 HAPTIC, No2 Southern Legend, No6 Zoutenant, No4 Glenbawn Dame
VALUE RUNNER: No6 Zoutenant