13 February 2017 (Winx returns at Royal Randwick)






Racing at ROYAL RANDWICK with the penetrometer reading 5.16, hence looking at a GOOD (4) surface.

RAIL: +8M (1600M – WINNING POST), +6M (REMAINDER). We return to RANDWICK after massive success here last week when the rail was out +6M. If we were racing Saturday as originally expected, then I was expecting them to be getting off the fence, however really is hard to know with confidence prior to the day. Given the extreme conditions of the week, as important as ever to keep an eye on early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start with the Ranvet Handicap over the famous Randwick mile (1600m) and as illustrated by the market with every runner single figure odds, plus one at $13, it’s one tough start to the day. In saying that, don’t see why LIAPARI @ $3.90+ (most operators) can’t go back to back in consecutive weeks after saluting for followers last Saturday. Extra couple of days only helps as the slight queary was/is the quick backup, but with only 53kg, hard to beat. Main danger stablemate INVINZABEEL, then throw a blanket over the rest.

SUGGEST: LIAPARI (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $3.90+, FIRST FOUR (4 / 8 / F / F), (F / 4, 8 / 4, 8 / F) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 2: Next is the Class 3 TAB Highway over 1800m. Reckon this is a race in four (MAESTRO TOM, CIRCLE GAME, HALBERD and MEDIEVAL) and happy to play the way of CIRCLE GAME at $5+ with most operators. Simply looks to have the right credentials for this, and although not as well weighted as MAESTRO TOM (following claim) for last start defeat, I think he is better suited at the extra distance (1500m -> 1800m). Main dangers MAESTRO TOM, MEDIEVAL (both slight queries the trip) and HALBERD, who almost caused a major boilover last start behind Gold Ambition.

SUGGEST: CIRCLE GAME (EACH WAY) @ $5+, FIRST FOUR (1, 4, 6 / 1, 4, 6 / F / 3), (1, 4, 6 / F / 1, 4, 6 / 3) (CONFIDENCE 40%)


Race 3: Next is a benchmark 84 over the mile and a half (2400m) and ready to have a play on European import REGAL MONARCH at a juicy $13+ now at the right distance after two satisfactory runs over unsuitable shorter trips. Gets in well at the weights and will relish the extra distance, which he needs to given last start 7.2L defeat to rival here in EMBLEY. Then, happy to have a play on one who is very close to Dungeon follower’s hearts in THE RUMOUR FILE @ $41+ (most operators) who we haven’t touched since we saluted at $121 (Betfair exchange) five starts back! Main dangers EMBLEY, ADMIRAL JELLO and VASSAL, but race doesn’t end there and not at all straightforward with many different form lines and varying fitness levels to try and line up.



Race 4: Now for the two year old INGLIS CLASSIC and found it hard to split SWEET DEAL and ULTRAMARINE here, with a slight lean the latter simply due to the better price on offer ($5.50+ v $4.40+) with most operators. SWEET DEAL who was forced to cover ground on debut when we were aboard, but still good enough to run a drum, only beaten 0.7L. Can atone here, however the concern is most definitely the sticky gate (13), meaning she will need luck. Hence, ULTRAMARINE seems the ‘safer’ play from barrier 2 after good debut in what looks a good form race. Happy to simply play the two in multiples, early quaddies, and similar.



Race 5: Next is the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes over 1200m and sticking with one who was extremely good to followers back on Derby Day when the dungeon simply had a day out including a piece of a huge quaddie. **LE ROMAIN** @ $6.50+ (most operators) is the one and that was surprisingly the last time this class galloper has been seen at a race track. In saying that, has been seen in two lead up trials where the 4YO gelding has looked ready and primed for a first up assault. Happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main dangers DOTHRAKI and IMPENDING, would expect the winner to come from that trio, hence would be looking at no more than three in your early quaddies and similar.

SUGGEST: **LE ROMAIN** (EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, FIRST FOUR (roving 1, 2, 5 / F) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 6: Next is the Group 3 Spring Stakes (was originally scheduled to be race 7) however now brought forward to race 6. Open affair with many chances, however slight lean towards **GAUGUIN** at a tidy $10+ with UBET. Looks great each way value, after running slick time last time. Up in grade but has done little wrong in two starts and looks more than capable at this level. Also, doesn’t seem to be a heap of pace, hence will hopefully be able to dictate up/near the front. Happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day at a juicy double figure price. Also, want something on THE GRANDSON at a juicy $34+ also with UBET. Similarly, done very little wrong, and jumps in grade, and although needs to improve more than GAUGUIN, happy to take the punt her can given the juicy price. Happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers most definitely the Snowden pair of FIRST APPROVAL and ROYAL NAVY, but race doesn’t end there.  

SUGGEST: **GAUGUIN** (EACH WAY) @ $10+, *THE GRANDSON* (EACH WAY) @ $34+, FIRST FOUR (3, 4 / 3, 4, 7, 8 / F / 7, 8) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 7: Next is the Group 2 Light Fingers for the three year old fillies run over 1200m and going with one I rate very highly, despite only being a young three year old filly. SPRIGHT @ $5+ (most operators) is her name and in her short career as already pocketed $320k+, including black type (listed and Group 3) wins at her past two. I think she’s above average and as decent as this field is, going with the ‘best horse’ rule or atleast the one I think will end up being the best galloper in the race. The slight query is the sticky gate (10) but hoping class will prevail. Recent trial was impressive. Main danger HONESTY PREVAILS (talk about impressive trials) and GLOBAL GLAMOUR, dual group 1 winner, hence very well weighted at set weights, however the only query being the drop back to 1200m. Be very surprised if the winner doesn’t come from one of the three, despite the depth to the race on paper. Relatively narrow start to the revised quaddie, which many would argue is simply a treble.

SUGGEST: SPRIGHT (EACH WAY) @ $5+, FIRST FOUR (1, 5 / F / 1, 5 / 2), (1, 5 / 1, 5 / F / 2) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 


Race 8: And now for the big one, the Group 2 Apollo Stakes over 1400m, or better known as the return of superstar WINX. No matter which way you look at this, WINX wins, barring a mishap of sorts. However, we’re not in the game to tip $1.20+ (BET365) shots standalone, although do think the $1.20+ is not a bad price. For example, if we happened to be off and running with a rollover bet with a decent accumulated bank, then I wouldn’t have too many hesitations playing. As usual, with those expected to win but short, prefer to try and extract value through multiples, quaddies, multies to reduce risk associated with a standalone outlay. If clutching for a play elsewhere, the best value I can possibly find is one who was great to followers last Autumn in LIBRAN, despite the 100/1 long term prediction at start of Autumn, just missed at the final hurdle. 1400m is obviously much less than preferred distance, but can see running a cheeky race fresh and at $81+ (LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU, BETSTAR), but most importantly $9+ place given the WIN bet should be kept to an absolute minimum, the primary play would be to run the drum. For the sake of multiples (first fours) throw in HARTNELL, ENDLESS DRAMA and DIBAYANI however with the superstar in the poll position. And standalone selection in the quaddie. 3 in the first leg, 1 in the second, allows us to go wide in final two legs. Whatever you end up doing, minimal bet race, just sit back and enjoy. For those looking for an opportunity to a never before seen picture of the star mare be sure to check out silent auction which ends today. Details found here: http://www.puntingdungeon.com.au/sport/2017/2/1/special-opportunity-to-capture-stunning-limited-edition-piece-of-art

SUGGEST: LIBRAN (SMALL WIN / MORE PLACE) @ $81+, FIRST FOUR (11 / 1, 4, 5, 7 / F / 1, 4, 5, 7), (11 / F / F / 4) (CONFIDENCE 25%) 


Race 9: Penultimate event is the Group 3 Triscay Stakes for the mares over 1200m. Tricky race with a fair bit of guesswork in terms of fitness levels of several runners, with half the field first up from breaks. Happy to play around a couple here led by one who really stepped things up last prep meaning she goes into the ‘best horse’ basket here in DIXIE BLOSSOMS @ $4.40+ with UBET. Drawn terribly (14) but trialled very nicely and can win as long as there is decent pace up- front and track is giving those back in the field their chance. Then, also want something on ZARA BAY at $16+ with UBET. Looks to be one of few well suited over the trip also fitter for first up run. Given the narrow first two legs of quaddie, happy to take the FIELD here in a wider quaddie.

SUGGEST: DIXIE BLOSSOMS (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $4.40+, ZARA BAY (EACH WAY) @ $16+, FIRST FOUR (F / 1, 14 / F / 1, 14) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 10: We finish with a benchmark 85 again over 1200m and going with the handicapper here in #1 saddlecloth MERSAULT @ $11+ with BET365, and best of all not actually the top Nick Heywood, dropping from 61kg down to 58kg. Then, want something on one at a big price *IN A WINK* at a very juicy $34+ with BET365. Trialled well enough to give us some hope here at a price in an even race. Given the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main danger HANWRITTEN, ahead of PICK ME UP, YOUR WAY and BAROOD, however race runs very deep again. Another potential for a FIELD quaddie leg, given the skinny first two legs.

SUGGEST: MERSAULT (EACH WAY) @ $11+, *IN A WINK* (EACH WAY) @ $34+, FIRST FOUR (6 / 1, 11, 13, 14, 15 / F / 1, 11), (F / 6, 13, 14, 15 / 6, 13, 14, 15 / 1, 11) (CONFIDENCE 30%)



Average odds $19.31+ per suggested runner!

** BEST VALUE **: LE ROMAIN @ $6.50+, GAUGUIN @ $10+