Thu, Aug 2, 11:45am by Staff Writer
The new season of racing kicks off on Saturday at Randwick where the rail is out four-metres and with no rain in sight, the track will be in the good range.
The Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) is the feature of the day with a field of ten to line up, eight of which are returning from a spell. Kementari ($2) is one of those as he looks to build on a successful campaign last prep which saw him win three-straight, including that valuable G1 Randwick Guineas (1600m).
He got within 1.6L of Winx after that before ending his campaign with a mid-field finish in the G1 Doncaster (1600m) when near favourite. The now four-year-old has had two trials leading into this, catching the eye in his most recent and a dominant win here could land him one of the remaining Everest slots.
Pierata ($4.20) finished second to Kementari in the G2 Hobartville and G1 Guineas last campaign which came after back-to-back wins in QLD – a G3 at Doomben and the rich 3YO Magic Million Guineas (1400m) – and he also resumes here.
She Will Reign ($9) was a first-up winner last campaign when beating a small field of six after being sent out $1.24 favourite. The G1 Golden Slipper (1200m) winning filly of two years ago won her most recent start-studded trial with connections using this race as a guide on whether she stays over the shorter trips or extends out to 1400m and beyond.
Lanciato ($26) flashed home for fourth at his second trial as he begins his campaign towards the G1 Epsom (1600m) at the end of the Sydney spring. He’s drawn ten of ten but will drift back anyway and look to charge home late.
Bjorn Baker saddles up Music Magnate ($8) and Egyptian Symbol ($14) who both have impressive first-up stats. Music Magnate has three wins and two seconds from his seven first-up attempts and he’s back from a one-run trip to Dubai which saw him finish at the tail of the field – although he’s won both his trials leading into this. Egyptian Symbol is four from five when first-up and she’s finished behind Music Magnate at both her trials coming into Saturday.
Showtime ($11) only has the two wins from 15 career starts but he did run two minor placings at Group 1 company behind Brave Smash and Trapeze Artist in the Futurity (1400m) and All Aged (1400m) last autumn. Takedown ($34) has had 33 career starts and only one hasn’t been in black-type grade while The Monstar ($31) and Boss Lane ($151) are the only two runners already into their campaign.
Outside of the Missile, it’s a competitive – and perhaps standard – day of winter racing but one thing of note is race 3 – a BM88 over 2400m. Chris Waller has 25 runners accepted for the day (including emergencies) with an amazing 11 of the 12 in race 3 although a couple will come out due to running on Wednesday with others also accepted to run in Melbourne. Raqeeq ($2.35) and Follow Suit ($13) are the only last start winners in the race with Red Alto ($7.50) up from Victoria for Brent Stanley as he looks to break his run of outs which include four minors from his nine runs this campaign – his last win being back on August 5 of 2017 at Flemington over 1200m.
Suggested Bet: Avilius ($4, race 5, number 2) is an interesting runner for Godolphin as he makes his Australian race debut here on Saturday after seven starts overseas which netted him two wins and three minors. Godolphin wouldn’t bring him ‘Down Under’ unless they had somewhat loftier ambitions than benchmark racing and while the 1600m might be short of his best, hopefully Randwick will suit and he can start his Aussie career with a win. Similar could be said for Brimham Rocks ($10) who is now in his second campaign in Oz.
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