20 August 2016 (Racing at Royal Randwick)






Racing at ROYAL RANDWICK with the penetrometer reading 5.36, hence currently looking at a SOFT (5) surface.

RAIL: +3M (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to ROYAL RANDWICK after we were on an absolute bog a fortnight back when the rail was in the TRUE position. Rail now out +3M and fingers crossed for an even track this time. As usual, be sure to keep an eye on early races for best guide, especially given the heavy 10 conditions here only two weeks’ ago and the rain forecast for race morning.


Race 1 (updated at 9:52am AEST): We start with a benchmark 83 over 1400m and not much between several of them here. In saying that, think CONARCHIE @ $5.50+ (most operators) is the one best weighted and drawn to get a lovely run just beyond a moderate tempo. Suggest a primary each way play, as well as a secondary play on MR ENTERTAINER at a juicy $26+ with most operators also. -> Given the scratching of CONARCHIE, suggest replacing with a WIN only play on SUPER TYCOON @ $2.30+ (BET365).



Race 2: Benchmark 74 over 2400m, and although somewhat speculative, happy to play **RICHARD OF YORKE** @ $4.20+ (BET365). Has a Royal Ascot win over this distance to his name, which is fantastic form for a race like this. Best horse rule, keen. Given the odds will make a BEST VALUE bet of the day.



Race 3: Class 3 Highway Plate over the Randwick mile (1600m) and there looks a clear top pick here in the form of AKIKO GOLD at a slightly better than expected $4.20+ with LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS and BETSTAR. Try and snag each way odds ($1.80+ place), if not, simply on a WIN only basis. Main dangers DISTINCTIVE LOOK and GRAND ROUGE, always worth a first four play in big Highway fields which can pay big.

SUGGEST: AKIKO GOLD (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $4.20+, FIRST FOUR (F / 13 / F / 7, 8), (F / 7, 8 / F / 13) (CONFIDENCE 45%)


Race 4: Now for the first of five group races, starting with the Group 3 Up and Coming Stakes for the three year olds, to be run over 1300m. I’m a big fan of PRIZED ICON who can run a race fresh, but a massive ask here with a big 61kg to carry. Just think it might be a bridge too far first up, although think he’s the best runner here. Instead, looking to stick with one we were on successfully last time in the form of THRONUM @ $4+ with BET365. Doesn’t look to be a heap of tempo up front, so McDonald should be able to cross and dictate or simply take a sit. Once again, look for each way odds ($1.70+ place), if not simply run on a WIN only basis.



Race 5: The next of the features, is the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes for the three year old fillies to be run over 1200m. And the bookies are seeing this just like me, with three clear top picks ahead of the rest, in the form of CALLIOPE, MANAYA and OMEI SWORD. All look capable of really stepping things up from their already impressive starts as two year olds. In saying that, leaning towards MANAYA here @ $3.90+ (UNIBET), who could not have been any more impressive in first trials and debut last prep. Has since, had a break, before returning with two quiet yet impressive trials against older (and established horses). All points to a big run here. Main dangers CALLIOPE and OMEI SWORD, whose chances are enhanced on a drier track.   

SUGGEST: MANAYA (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $3.90+, FIRST FOUR (1, 5 / 4 / F / F), (1, 5 / F / F / 4), (roving 1, 4, 5 / F) (CONFIDENCE 45%)


Race 6: Now for the Group 3 County Quality over 1200m, with a small (9) yet very competitive field assembled, with all runners with ‘some’ legitimate winning claims. Slight lean here to VASHKA @ $4.80+ (LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS, BETSTAR) who despite ultra-impressive record I think is still a touch underrated. Really liked latest trial where he actually finished ahead of a handy one known as Winx. Main danger LE ROMAIN who couldn’t have been more impressive last prep.     

SUGGEST: VASHKA (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $4.80+, FIRST FOUR (5 / 3 / F / F), (F/ 5 / F / 3) (CONFIDENCE 40%)


Race 7: Now for the race that many will be looking forward to the most, not necessarily from a betting proposition, but from a Spring focus with the return of super mare WINX. It’s the Group 2 Warwick Stakes over 1400m. The star mare will obviously be extremely hard to beat, however isn’t in an average field and I’m not personally keen enough to suggest a standalone big investment at the odds of $1.40+. Prefer to play through multies and/or one out quaddie leg to minimise risk, just in case. Actually want to have a play on stablemate *WHO SHOT THEBARMAN* at a massive $81+ with most operators, after very good trial form. Suggest small win / larger place, however please note no third dividend. Given the odds will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main danger the obvious in WINX, while also want to throw VANBRUGH in multiples.

SUGGEST: *WHO SHOT THEBARMAN* (SMALL WIN / MORE PLACE) @ $81+, FIRST FOUR (roving 1, 5, 6 / F), (F / 6 / 1 / F) (CONFIDENCE 25%) 


Race 8: Penultimate event is the last of five consecutive group races, on this occasion a Group 3 for the fillies and mares over 1300m. As usual competitive amongst the mares, however think there are three which stand ahead of the pack here, **HEAVENS ABOVE**, PEARLS and DIXIE BLOSSOMS, ahead of the Waller duo of PIONEERING and ELLE LOU. Factoring in all, especially value, suggest plays on **HEAVENS ABOVE** and PEARLS both at $8+ respectively. **HEAVENS ABOVE** is the class on the back of a brilliant prep last time, culminating with a 2L 2nd to the top class Azkadellia. Consequently, she has her share of weight, but that’s deserved and does have gun hoop Hugh Bowman, which always helps. Given the odds, will make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Loved the trial of PEARLS who looks set to run a big run fresh. Main dangers those mentioned in DIXIE BLOSSOMS (nobody missed her brilliant trial), but consequently has come up a touch short, ahead of the Waller duo, PIONEERING AND ELLE LOU who are also rock bottom odds in my opinion.

SUGGEST: **HEAVENS ABOVE** (EACH WAY) @ $8+, PEARLS (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $8+, FIRST FOUR (4, 5, 6 / 1, 3 / F / 1, 3) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 9: We finish with a benchmark 85 over 1000m and think HAPTIC can end a solid day at the office for the Godolphin Blue Army and James McDonald @ $3.10+ with most operators. Suggest a primary play on a WIN only basis after two impressive trials after lengthy break. Then, a secondary play on one who we have had luck on at big odds in the past in *IL MIO DESTINO*, on this occasion at a juicy $51+ with PALMERBET, LUXBET and CROWNBET. Given the odds, will make another BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers SOUTHERN LEGEND and SHAHRAZAD.

SUGGEST: HAPTIC (WIN - PRIMARY) @ $3.10+, *IL MIO DESTINO* (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $51+, FIRST FOUR (2, 9 / 3 / F / 2, 3, 9, 10) (CONFIDENCE 50%)



Average odds a juicy $16.97+ per suggested runner!