As the Autumn carnival draws closer, Saturday racing is heating up. We will look to give you an early edge by identifying key runners for the upcoming big races and suggest plays in early markets where available.
Osborne Bulls – Rosehill Race 9: 1st ($3.20F): The 4YO son of Street Cry was heavily supported late in betting against in stablemate Beau Geste ($4.20). Both ran excellent races with Beau Geste finding the worse ground in the straight and Osborne flying down the outside to win easily in the end. Both are worth following for the flying Godolphin operation, however the superior times and upside of Osborne Bulls make him the pick of the two. His IVR performance ratings see him continually improving this preparation into the +3 lengths range.
We haven’t yet seen the gelding’s ceiling and with a benchmark of 93 the Randwick 100 Handicap looks a great option sticking to 1400m three weeks between runs with possible trial between runs (a massive tick for Cummings runners).
Targets: Royal Randwick 100 Handicap: 21/04
Ambitious – Rosehill Race 6: 2nd ($21): Came over from Japan with a massive boom having run some excellent figures against world-class gallopers such as Maurice, Kitisan Black and Neorealism. He’d failed to show any of his overseas form up until last weekend, running second to Almandin in the G1 Tancred Stakes. He found significant trouble from the 400m-200m and finished up the inside in inferior ground. With the margin recorded as 1.3L there is a significant case to say he could’ve won. He’ll be nearing peak fitness now and will be a key player in The Championships but may be running for second against Winx.
Targets: Queen Elizabeth Stakes: $26 or The Sydney Cup: $8.50 (both same date)
Widgee Turf – Caulfield Race 8: 1st ($10): He’s a gelding who relishes high pressure racing and that’s exactly what the almost suicidal speed of Theanswermyfriend ($3.30F) assured. Dropping right out the back to settle last in the big field of 16, his late splits were exceptional. Recording 11.26s, 10.92s and 11.26s for his last three furlongs with an overall rating of +5.5 lengths above benchmark. The 4YO is in stellar form recording 5 wins from his last 6 starts, likewise trainer Patrick Payne who has a phenomenal strike rate at present. He’ll go to the VOBIS Mile in 3 weeks’ time, the extra 200m looking ideal for him now.
Targets: VOBIS Gold Mile: 21/04
Markets aren’t yet available for Osborne Bulls or Widgee Turf.
Having most of his form in the 2000m range overseas the $8.50 in the Sydney Cup seems well under the odds. I’m thinking they’ll go to the Queen Elizabeth and with most of those shorter in the market running this weekend or possibly being tipped out, the $26 seems a good trading opportunity.