6 January 2017 (Racing at Royal Randwick)






Racing at ROYAL RANDWICK with the fine weather forecast (sunny, 30 degrees), with the penetrometer reading 5.03, hence currently looking at a GOOD (4) surface.

RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to RANDWICK with the rail remaining in the TRUE position. Hoping for an even track, but as always, be sure to keep a close eye on early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start with a benchmark 76 for the three year olds over 1400m. Only a small field of five runners, however all with legitimate claims. Toss-up between two of them here for mine in the form of ISLAND MISSILE at $5+ (BET365) and AQUA D’IVINA at $3 with most operators. As a result, will lean towards the better odds on offer with ISLAND MISSILE, with Shinn able to potentially dictate terms up front from barrier 1, as I expect race favourite SCREAM PARK (who is dropping in distance from the mile with $1M target in 3 weeks in NZ) expected to be ridden colder here. Should hopefully set things up for Shinn to hopefully pinch a race winning lead on the turn. Scared stiff of AQUA D’IVINA who looks very well suited here. Note, no third dividend.

SUGGEST: ISLAND MISSILE (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $5+, FIRST FOUR (6 / 1, 3, 4 / 5 / 1, 3, 4) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 2: Next is a two year old handicap over 1200m. Really liked the trial of PICARO and as a result think $8.50+ with most operators is a very nice each way price for the Pierro two year old colt for the very much in form Gary Portelli stable. Happy to play there, ahead of main dangers SOKUDO, CANYONERO and LIGULATE but doesn’t end there, many with legitimate claims as you get with these two year old affairs.

SUGGEST: PICARO (EACH WAY) @ $8.50+, FIRST FOUR (1, 2, 6 / F / 1, 2, 6 / 3), (F / 1, 2, 6 / 1, 2, 6 / 3), (1, 2, 6 / 1, 2, 6 / F / 3) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 3: Next is a benchmark 79 over 1200m for those 3YO and up and speed map looks to have a fair bit of pace up front here, hence may pan out best for one to run over the top of them. Slight lean **VICEROY** here at a generous $10+ with CENTREBET. Always goes well first up and won accordingly, however second up stats aren’t near as good and hence why we get the price on offer here. Has been placed once from four attempts, however closer inspection reveals has been very close at past two, hence thinking he simply was outclassed in previous second up runs behind the likes of Super Cash, Badawiya, Tivaci and co. As a result more than happy to play, and make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Then, a saving WIN bet on FANNING at $7.50+ with BET365. Meets our top pick 2kg better at the weights for 1.9L defeat two back and a more patient run in transit, especially from barrier 7 behind what looks a strong tempo up front can definitely suit. Throw a blanket over the rest with little between them.

SUGGEST: **VICEROY** (EACH WAY) @ $10+, FANNING (WIN – SAVER) @ $7.50+, FIRST FOUR (F / 3, 4 / F / 3, 4) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 4: Next is a Class 3 TAB Highway over 1300m. Well this one is pretty simple. If AWESOME PLUCK relaxes and settles for Bowman (if he can’t do it, nobody can) then the three year old gelding wins. However, do we want to take a skinny $1.55 - $1.60 with that one concern in the back of our mind? It probably bolts in here and I’d suggest for a one out early quaddie leg and even an anchor for some multies, but just can’t leap in standalone in what would need to be a decent investment given the skinny odds. Instead smaller play RUNWAY READY at $4.40+ (POINTSBET), ahead of a longer shot play on *MISTER MARMALADE* at a juicy $19+ with most operators, which is actually shorter than many markets opened up, so some confidence about first up. RUNWAY READY won well last start and you’ll hopefully get similar the place than AWESOME PLUCK the win come jump time, or at least that’s the thinking/hope. *MISTER MARMALADE* is known for longer races than this, but first up runs in recent times over shorter trips have been okay for this, but really only if the hot pot favourite plays up. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Happy to play around the three, however throw AWESOME PLUCK into all multies, multiples etc and try and extract some value that way.  

SUGGEST: RUNWAY READY (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $4.40+, *MISTER MARMALADE* (EACH WAY) @ $19+, FIRST FOUR (roving 2, 7, 8 / F), (2 / 7, 8 / F / F) (CONFIDENCE 25%)


Race 5: Next is a benchmark 85 over the mile (1600m). Similar to the race before, CELLARMAN is the clear cut one to beat and is in excellent form. If the 4YO gelding has had no ill effects from last start win (when pulled up with heat stress) then will be winning this. However, ‘heat stress’ scares me at a skinny $2.50 price. Waller says the gelding seems 100% fine after some saline was used to treat the issue, but I’m gun shy with 30 degrees expected once again. Instead going to lean towards POSITIVE PROBLEMS at $4.20+ with most operators. Has been very good of late and there importantly doesn’t look to be a great deal of pace on paper here. Will be rolling along making own luck out in front and can hopefully pinch a break at the right time. Main danger most definitely CELLARMAN, another for a once out early quaddie leg (this is the last leg) and/or for some of your multies.

SUGGEST: POSITIVE PROBLEMS (EACH WAY) @ $4.20+, FIRST FOUR (3 / 4 / F / F), (3 / F / F / 4) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 


Race 6: First leg of the main quaddie is a benchmark 85 over 1000m. Tough race, plenty of chances, many different form lines to line up. Slight lean towards FICKLE FOLLY at $4.80+ with SPORTSBET, POINTSBET and BET365. Runs time which is key in a race like this where you would expect them to go quick, and just needs a touch of luck from the gate (11 of 11) to be hard to beat here. I think we’ll know our fate after 200m or so depending where we land. Three wide with cover just behind the leading (hopefully trio) would be A1. Also, want a secondary play on the Gerald Ryan runner here in LOVERBOY CHARLIE at a tidy $12+ with most operators. First up from a decent break, but has been backed in early markets for strong stable and is the one down in class here (in my humble opinion, given opposition faced in the past in technically the same grade). Happy to play around the two in an open race. Luck in running to play a part one feels.  



Race 7: Next is a benchmark 80 for the fillies and mares over 1400m. Tricky little race, despite only seven starters. Think SIREN’S FURY is the one to beat here at $2.80+ with most operators. Benchmark status is similar to what she has been competiting of late, however the quality of opposition in those races looks superior to others here with form around the likes of Sedanzer and Wayanka on benchmark 82-85s, dropping to an 80 here. Also, importantly looks suited to the 1400m here, while many others are either dropping from the mile or potentially looking for longer. Primary play ahead of TENNESSEE HUSSY here at a tidy $11+ with most operators. Gets in very well at the weights here with only 53kg (meets MOLLYFIED 1.5kg better even after the claim). Has been close without winning of late, but interestingly Shinn jumps aboard LIVE TO DREAM (despite ridding TH past three starts), however Avdulla rides. Main danger LIVE TO DREAM. Note, no third dividend.



Race 8: Penultimate event is a benchmark 94 over 1400m. NOIRE is all the rage and rightly so, but I just can’t get overly enthused about the $1.75 on offer. Like a couple earlier, probably proves too good, but just not the type of value we’re after. Throw into a one out quaddie leg and/or your multies. There looks to be a few here I can entertain, one being LANCIATO at $4.80+ with UNIBET, CROWNBET and BET365. Ultra-consistent galloper who last time over this trip beat the more than handy Gambler’s Blues. Just looks better value when compared with NOIRE. Then, want secondary plays on the Baker pair of COOLRING and SHOW A STAR at $14+ (CENTREBET) and $16+ (UBET) respectively. Both more than capable on their day, COOLRING just battles big weights nowadays, however gets important claim here, while *SHOW A STAR* has transferred to the Baker stable after being with Archie Alexander and really going off the boil in more recent times. Maybe some fresh scenery can do the trick. Happy to play the latter two on WIN only basis’ and make the latter a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main danger most definitely NOIRE.

SUGGEST: LANCIATO (WIN / EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $4.80, COOLRING (WIN - SECONDARY) @ $14+, *SHOW A STAR* (WIN – SECONDARY) @ $16+, FIRST FOUR (boxed 1, 2, 5, 8), (5 / 8 / F / 1, 2), (5 / F / 8 / 1, 2) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 9: And we finish with a benchmark 80, yet again over 1400m. This may end up being a tactical affair with not a great deal of pace, with many here probably wanting the sit, as opposed to leading. Heard Bjorn Baker saying he wanted cover for **SAMADOUBT**, hence who leads? A bit of initiative from a jockey could pay big dividends here. Happy to put my faith into Blake Shinn to sort out the run they’re after especially from barrier 5. Looks hard to beat here at $3.70+ with LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU and BETSTAR and actually happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Throw a blanket over the rest, most with legitimate winning claims. Main danger MALAISE.

SUGGEST: **SAMADOUBT** (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $3.70+, FIRST FOUR (F / 2, 11 / F / 2, 11) (CONFIDENCE 45%) 




Average odds $8.51+ per suggested runner!

** BEST VALUE **: VICEROY @ $10+, SAMADOUBT @ $3.70+