26 December 2015 (Boxing Day racing at Royal Randwick)






Racing at ROYAL RANDWICK with the penetrometer reading 5.68, so currently looking at a SOFT (6) surface, how high chance (80%) of more showers Saturday afternoon.

RAIL: +6M (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to ROYAL RANDWICK after racing here two weeks back (December 12, 2015) when the rail was out +3M. Given the softer surface and rain expected, assuming they will get off the fence later in the day, but query is what will happen in the early races if more rain hasn’t come as yet. As a result, as always, be sure to monitor early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start with the two year olds and given the softer track, some additional guesswork in addition to limited race experience to content with. Concede DETECTIVE is a big chance, but poison odds at $1.95+. Instead think best value lies in the form of debutant WHO SAID IT”S EASY @ $18+ with LUXBET after a couple of nice trials. Then going to throw HIGHLAND BEAT into the multiples in the hope we can get the red hot fave beat.

SUGGEST: WHO SAID IT’S EASY (EACH WAY) @ $18+, FIRST FOUR (2 / F / F / 6), (F / 2 / F / 6), (F / F / 2 / 6) (CONFIDENCE 25%)


Race 2: Benchmark 70 over 1200m and I think the handicapper has this one spot on with my numbers 1 to beat 2, 3, 4. Top pick RIVER WILD @ $3.30+ (most operators) on the back of impressive trial win which should have him wound up and ready to fire first up. Wide gate, not a concern as he should be able to cross comfortably and dictate terms. Lead, kick, win! Suggest a play on a WIN only basis given expected/current odds. Main dangers BAROOD, SIR BACCHUS and DINGHU MOUNTAIN.  

SUGGEST: RIVER WILD (WIN) @ $3.30+, FIRST FOUR (2, 3, 4 / 1 / F / F), (F / 2, 3, 4 / 1 / F), (F / 1 / 2, 3, 4 / F) (F / F / 1 / 2, 3, 4) (CONFIDENCE 55%)


Race 3: Now for the feature, early in the card with the Group 3 Summer Cup over 200m and unfortunately only a very small field of 7 runners assembled. Pace/tactics key with no natural leader in the race, which could equate to a slow pace up front. Instigating the best horse rule here in the form of JUNOOB @ $4+ (SPORTSBET) who can be ridden more positively with gun hoop Blake Shinn aboard. Yes, he has a stack of weight to carry, but this is a very mediocre Group 3, so class to hopefully prevail. Best longshot BANKSTERS BONUS @ $15+ (BET365) who can also be ridden more positively from the much better gate. Was good first up before being checked in the straight last time just when building some momentum from the rear, hence the margin not as bad as it reads on paper. Note, no third dividend given only 7 runners.



Race 4: Class 3 over the mile and must add I’m a fan of the country race taking up a race on a Saturday in metropolitan Sydney. Great initiative to give smaller trainers and owners a chance to enjoy the experience and excitement of heading to a track like Royal Randwick on a Saturday. Keen on one we were on at a juicy price two starts back when hit the line very well from a mile back before just peaking on his run late in a bunched finish at Rosehill. The one in question is **VAN HALEN** @ $13+ with BET365 who should appreciate a decent tempo up front and also softer ground which I think he prefers. Best run and only win was four starts back at Canterbury on a soft track beating Waltzing Willie who would be very short in this field. Then, gets gun hoop Blake Shinn aboard also as the cherry on top. Given the odds will make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main dangers KING’S OFFICER, HIGHLAND SECRETS and LION OF AFRICA.

SUGGEST: **VAN HALEN** (EACH WAY) @ $13+, RUNNING DOUBLE (VAN HALEN / TREE OF JESSE, KARAKUCHI), FIRST FOUR (4, 7, 9 / F / F / 3), (F / 4, 7, 9 / F / 3), (F / F / 4, 7, 9 / 3) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 5: Benchmark 78 over 1200m and a competitive affair with pace/tactics key once again with half decent speed up front. IL MIO DESTINO got within inches of saluting for us last week @ 70/1, but not so keen today at the shorter 1200m, with the bigger weight. Instead liked the trial of **TREE OF JESSE** in recent times and leaning here @ $7+ with BET365, given the odds will make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Ahead of KARAKUCHI @ $4.80+ (most operators) for the white hot Matthew Dale stable. Suggest a WIN only play there also. Main dangers IN A WINK, THUD, BONETE and HARD TO HOLD.

SUGGEST: **TREE OF JESSE** (EACH WAY) @ $7+, KARAKUCHI (WIN) @ $4.80+, FIRST FOUR (2, 3, 7, 10 / 4 / F / 6), (2, 3, 7, 10 / F / 4 / 6), (F / 2, 3, 7, 10 / 4 / 6), (F / 4 / 2, 3, 7, 10 / 6) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 


Race 6: Open handicap over the mile and I hate to sound like a broken record but pace/tactics key with minimal pace on paper here given recent runs, however some of these are capable of taking more forward positions here. Will be interesting how track is playing and whether leaders/in pacers are holding their own up until Race 6. TELEPATHIC is the obvious and looks terribly hard to beat here however is rock bottom odds @ $2+. Had there been decent pace up front, I’d be unloading, but given the lack of pace on paper, think the $2 is some risk. As a result, prefer to leave for multies/savers/one out quaddie leg instead of s standalone investment. Instead, will take the safer route in terms of outlay and have something smaller on each of MONTON @! $19+ (most operators), PHEIDON @ $16+ (BET365) and FAUST @ $31+ (BET365).

SUGGEST: MONTON (WIN/EACH WAY) @ $19+, PHEIDON (WIN/EACH WAY) @ $16+, FAUST (WIN/EACH WAY) @ $31+, FIRST FOUR (3 / F / F / 1, 2, 5), (F / 3 / F / 1, 2, 5) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 7: Now for the Listed Canterbury Classic over 1200m and a good, competitive field assembled. Loved the trial of STRAWBERRY BOY and despite this being a touch short, looks a good each way price at $8.50+ (SPORTSBET, BET365) on the assumption that leaders are getting their chance. We will know by Race 7. Then, loved the trial of *DECISION TIME* and despite the wide gate, happy to risk he’ll find a spot and if so, represents excellent value at $51+. Given the odds, will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME, CRADLE ME, BOSS LANE and SEBRING SUN. I’VE GOT THE LOOKS and ECHO GAL for wider multiples/quaddie but happy to take on at the shorter price tags. Throwing HIDDEN WARRIOR into 4th spot @ $71+ (UNIBET) in our first fours alongside DECISION TIME.

SUGGEST: STRAWBERRY BOY (EACH WAY) @ $8.50+, *DECISION TIME* (EACH WAY) @ $51+, FIRST FOUR (3, 4, 7, 12 / 1 / F / 6, 11), (3, 4, 7, 12 / F / 1 / 6, 11), (F / 3, 4, 7, 12 / 1 / 6, 11), (F / 1 / 3, 4, 7, 12 / 6, 11) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 


Race 8: Benchmark 85 over 1000m and another tactical affair with minimal pace on paper, in addition to a bit of guesswork with a couple unknown on softer track (notably HUSSON EAGLE) and one we haven’t seen for a while in PRINCE HARADA. Be sure to monitor betting for additional guides on both runners. Think *FLORAL INSIGHT* is excellent value @ $34+ with a massive weight swing on key rival RULE THE RIVER here and despite being drawn awkwardly and needing some luck from the gate, happy to take the gamble given the big price. Given the odds will make another BEST LONGSHOT of the day. KING’S TROOP should get a soft run up front and as long as the track is giving leaders their chance and isn’t too ran affected (SOFT (6) no major concern) happy to play on a WIN only basis at $2.50+ with SPORTSBET. Main dangers RULE THE RIVER who is flying, HUSSON EAGLE (if handles wet should go very close) and PRINCE HARADA the respect runner.

SUGGEST: *FLORAL INSIGHT* (EACH WAY) @ $34+, KING’S TROOP (WIN) @ $2.50+, FIRST FOUR (2, 3, 7 / 11 / F / 8), (2, 3, 7 / F / 11 / 8), (F / 2, 3, 7 / 11 / 8), (F / 11 / 2, 3, 7 / 8) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 


Race 9: We finish with a benchmark 75 over the 1400m and it does look a simpler finish here with the two at the top of the market the two I expect to be fighting out the finish here. Slight lean DISGRACEFUL @ $4+ (PALMERBET, BET365), just ahead of ALEGRIA @ $4.20+ with SPORTSBET. Both drawn well, both appreciate apprentice claims to offset big weights and most importantly both can handle heavier conditions, should the rain come down. Arguably the more rain the better as some others will start to struggle should there be a bit. Happy to simply play around the two on WIN only basis’ in a narrow finish to your quaddie.




Average odds a juicy $14.71+ per suggested runner!