Fri, Aug 18, 9:30am by Staff Writer
Racing is at Royal Randwick on Saturday – the rail is out three-metres and with dry weather forecast for the most part, the track should be in the good range.
In a solid day of racing, the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) is the feature event and it also sees the return of Winx ($1.08). The six-year-old mare has won 21 of her 27 career starts, her last 17 in a row and a win here will see her break the $13-million in prize money.
She won this race last year easily accounting for Hartnell, Rebel Dane and Lucia Valentina, and she even won a trial for the first time in her career leading into this assignment. She’ll be joined by stable mates Antonio Giuseppe ($19) and Foxplay ($18) who also begin their spring campaign on Saturday – in fact, Harper’s Choice ($26) is the only runner who has already had a run this preparation.
Antonio Giuseppe was a first-up winner in the autumn over 1500m when track talk was suggesting he was going to be the next big star, while Foxplay – now a four-year-old mare – was a close second to Global Glamour when fresh last time in.
Harper’s Choice was a fifth of eight when resuming in the G2 Missile (1200m) behind Invincible Gem and Le Romain while stable mate Red Excitement ($126) is a six-time winner over 1400m with four wins from nine at Randwick. Ecuador ($26) was third to Black Heart Bart on two occasions in the autumn over this distance and both were at G1 level, beaten 1.5L and 0.6L and he himself has four wins at 1400m.
Allergic ($151) went to the paddock a winner after taking out the Listed McKell Cup (2400m) while Inference ($18) was a G1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) winner on a heavy-10 when beating home Invincible Gem.
A small but select field of three-year-old fillies open the day in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m). Godolphin’s Alizee ($2.40) is the only runner who already has a run under her belt this campaign, with that run being a strong win over Songlike in a Warwick Farm midweek – Songlike franking that form with a win at Canterbury on Wednesday.
Champagne Cuddles ($3.20) has impressed in her two unbeaten starts to date with the Bjorn Baker-trained filly resuming off a nine-week let-up. She’s had two trials since, winning the first and splitting Dixie Blossoms and Russian Revolution at her second, and she’s been back in early markets for Saturday.
Formality ($3.40) is a Group 1 Blue Diamond (1200m) place-getter, One More Honey ($11) is a G2 Sweet Embrace (1200m) winner with Villa Carlotta’s ($13) only win coming on debut at maiden level although she did run third and fourth in two runs at G2 grade in the autumn.
The Group 3 Show County (1200m) is an interesting race with Omei Sword ($2.25) making her first appearance since her G1 Coolmore (1500m) seventh of 19 back in March. She bled on that occasion which incurred a mandatory three-month break and she’s had two trials in preparation for her return, with early market punters crunching her into favouritism.
Invader ($7.50) was a G1 Sires (1400m) winner of the autumn, finishing second in the G1 Champagne (1600m) after that when sent out an odds-on favourite. He’s had two trials in preparation for this – his most recent behind Winx – with Peter Snowden saying he should be ready to produce off those ‘two pretty good trials’.
Spectroscope ($5.50) burst onto the Australian scene with two wins before finishing mid-field in the G1 Doncaster (1600m) and G3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) after that, while Daysee Doom ($7.50) had a strong campaign last time which ended in a well-deserved win in the G3 Dark Jewel (1400m) at Scone, and she steps out of fillies and mares class for the first time since her maiden.
Deploy ($7.50) has six wins and six placings from his 14 career starts while one time Stradbroke place-getter The Virginian ($19) is having his first start for the Brett Cavanough stable. Burning Passion ($11) is a dual acceptor and may head to Caulfield instead.
Suggested Bet: Race 7 is a typically open affair for the fillies and mares. Sweet Redemption is one of seven runners resuming and has been backed early. Hetty Heights will enjoy the drop in weight while Zanbagh, Euro Angel and Imposing Lass are good mares on their day but if Dixie Blossoms ($3.70) can produce what she has at her last two fresh attempts she will be hard to beat. She was third in a blanket finish in the G3 Triscay (1200m) in the autumn and second in this race last year beaten 0.2L by Pearls. She jumps from barrier five, with Hugh Bowman to steer.
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