Randwick for Chipping Norton stakes day here and the return of the great mare in Winx. She should win again, barring Prized Icon it's a horrid field for a Group 1. Outside of that, we have eight good other races on the card with the Group 1 Surround Stakes a highlight with Alizee looking to enhance her Doncaster credentials. The rail is out 3m and with the track currently rated as soft, it may well be a 4 / 5.
QUADDIES (races 6-7-8-9)
Skinny Play: 7 - 2,4 - 4,5,9 - 1,3,10,14
Wide Play: 7 - 2,4 - 1,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 - 1,3,5,8,10,11,13,14,14
BEST BET: R3 – 2. SANTOS
Next Best Bet: R7 – 2. ALIZEE
Best Roughie: R2 – 10. JUST SHINE
No1 KEYMASTER absolutely smashed them at Bathurst last start, and wasn’t even asked to be let off the bit there, the form around that is ok enough. He should roll across from the gate here and be on speed and be very hard to catch.
No9 SEPOY’S CHOICE charged through the line from an unsuitable position last start, from the gate (7) Angland will sit just behind them here and he is Dunn’s go to in Highways.
No3 IT’S A LOTTERY started quite short in a Wednesday race last start and wasn’t too bad there, the gate is a touch sticky as Parr will need to have a few ideas for him here to have his best chance, maybe he will have to take a sit.
No10 DELUDE gets a great run on the map here from gate 1, and was too quickly up in distance from 1200m – 1600m last start and should be much better suited third-up.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 IT’S A LOTTERY
No10 JUST SHINE (BEST ROUGHIE) finished off with a withering burst to win brilliantly last start at Canterbury. He is drawn again to get a perfect run just behind the speed here, and can sprint off a dime and is a horse on the way up.
No3 ALMOST COURT was fantastic last start when dead heating. He looks to do the same yet again here as he will jump and run along, and try to get them all out of their comfort zone and he will be hard to catch.
No6 SIZZLING BULLET should be much more suited fourth up to the 2000m here. He went to 2000m too quickly last start and will have to roll across from the gate here, and be outside Almost Court to be a big chance.
No12 TAMARACK got up in the final stride last start and will be perfectly suited with the step up to the 2000m here. He drops the 5.5kgs here and comes through some very good form around him and should be in the finish.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 JUST SHINE
No2 SANTOS (BEST BET) blew them away in brilliant time first-up and looks to have come back a much better horse in his second preparation on his way to the Slipper, the timing seems perfect here for a colt in the Waterhouse yard. He reminds me of Vancouver, final tune up run at home over 1200m before the Slipper three weeks later. Good luck to these beating him.
No5 SPIN resumes here and has looked to trial quite well coming into the second preparation, I usually have a big question mark over 2yos fresh over 1200m but he has had the two strong trials. He has form around Santos and has to be considered here.
No6 ZOUSAIN was a strong winner on debut really running through the line well there, and the step up now to the 1200m looks to be suitable. He looks to be an improving type who will only get better with racing, and looks to be a sires horse more than a Slipper horse to mine.
No3 SANDBAR has done nothing wrong in the two starts and will be thereabouts as usual again, he is the type of horse who will put himself bang on speed and keep fighting and the rest will have to be at their best to get past him.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 SPIN
No2 FIESTA won in brilliant fashion fresh in the Widden when weaving a passage through them, to win in good fashion. The step up to the 1200m should only suit her even more so here and she looks to have come back better and could be a Slipper player.
No5 FUTOOH won in brilliant fashion on January 6 when coming from well off them to win in quite smart time. No trial coming in which is interesting as this will be a tough 1200m, but I will back Hayes to have her right and Collett has had the ride on her.
No1 SETSUNA was fantastic in the first prep winning two of her three races when running her opponents into the ground there. She has had the one trial coming in and looks to be quite good order for the resumption and doesn’t need to peak until Slipper day as she already has a run.
No3 SATIN SLIPPER was good against the boys first up and carried the same weight as them there. She gets a good run on the map here just behind the speed and should charge though the line like she did on debut in the Gimcrack.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 FUTOOH
No4 MACKINTOSH trialled in brilliant order in that Winx exhibition and did a good job there and looks to have turned a corner with the blinkers on, given the way he went in that trial, he should jump and run them along here.
No3 CARE TO THINK is the big boom horse coming into this meeting, but seems aggressively priced at $2.50 here considering he is yet to take on horses of this caliber. The figures that he has been running have him stamped as a very good horse, but seems to short.
No7 INTERLOCUTER resumes here and comes out of a brilliant summer campaign where he was never out of the money. He has had the one trial coming in where he looked to go quite well, one reservation is the synthetic hoof filler.
No2 CRACK ME UP was the Villiers winner in the summer, he doesn’t need to win a race until Doncaster Day as he is guaranteed a run, safe to say he will be bought along to peak for the big dollars in April.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 MACKINTOSH
No7 WINX returns here and goes for 23 in a row, and in all honesty this is a pretty bad field for a Group 1 that she is up against. The softer track fresh gives her the best chance to see her put a gap in them as well as the mile, sit back and relax.
No4 PRIZED ICON gets to the 1600m third-up from a spell here and has been looking as if he has been wanting it. He has closed off well in both runs this time in, he is a Group 1 winner over the mile at Randwick in the past and looks the logical exacta horse.
No3 LIBRAN doesn’t have the worst first-up record, and looked to finish off quite well in that trial that was put on for Winx a few weeks ago. The mile fresh for him suits and he gets a quiet run from barrier 1.
No6 JEMADAR is here to try and ruffle the feathers of the great mare, he will jump and run them along at a fast pace and will try to get every horse out of their comfort zone, good luck to them.
VALUE RUNNER: Enjoy Winx!
No2 ALIZEE (NEXT BEST BET) resumed with a barnstorming win in the Light Fingers, where she didn’t have the best of runs and wasn’t suited at all, Glyn was very soft on her late and she was all out but dug deep to win there. The step to 1400m but the added fitness benefits here make her super hard to beat, as she has only been beaten once at 1400m or more.
No4 FROLIC is the only danger for mine, and was utterly awesome when fresh for nearly a year there. She sat last, was run off her feet and charged right through the line there in some brilliant sectionals. She now goes to 1400m which looks to suit her even more. She will tag Alizee everywhere and have last shot at them. One dent in my confidence, is the trainer is not that good.
No1 SHOALS was horrible first-up simple as that, the form out of it has stood up quite well though, with Tulip winning last week and Booker running a bottler in the Oakleigh Plate. She has a “victory” over Alizee when she beat her home in the spring, she won a Group 1 after that so the form ties in well.
No6 SHUMOOKH was fantastic when stepping up in grade when just going down to Alizee, despite being three wide throughout the race. That wasn’t too bad a run as it is a chute run with one turn at Randwick. 1400m looks to be no issue at all, but barrier 1 makes it a touch tricky.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 SHUMOOKH
No9 FARAWAY TOWN has been brilliant in winning both runs this time in and running great figures as well, yet she has opened up $8. She is low flying and I don’t think the step to 1400m will be an issue for her at all.
No4 DIXIE BLOSSOMS resumes here and I like the 1400m start point for her, as she is an older mare and doesn’t have the spring in her step like she used to. Daysee Doom won well for the stable last week, and this mare looks to have trialed better.
No5 RAIMENT ran out of ground on debut when running right through the line there, and the step up to 1400m should be much more suitable here, and she looks to have returned quite well.
No8 FRANCALETTA has quite a good record coming across from NZ, and anytime that the Baker stable brings one across with this type of record, you need to respect them.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 FARAWAY TOWN
No3 OSBORNE BULLS was sensationally backed when supposed to resume two weeks ago before he was scratched. He finds the exact same race again here and that he is running suggests there is no issues with him, he is drawn well and looks hard to beat again.
No14 NO INTEREST charged through the line first-up to just miss in a race which should hold up quite well form wise, I am not worried about the gate as she is drawn to get a good run from the chute start and looks to be a chance again.
No1 ZUMBELINA looked great in the yard fresh and drops well in grade here, and brings a solid enough second-up record. The form out of the fresh run should hold up quite well and she is well weighted after the claim here.
No10 PEACOCK has had a host of gear changes coming into this and looks to have trialed in good style leading into this race, and gets McEvoy on from a good gate here and he has to be a chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 ZUMBELINA