Fri, Dec 29, 9:17am by Staff Writer
After a Boxing Day meeting on Tuesday, Sydney racing is back at Randwick on Saturday. The rail is out six-metres and the track was a soft-5 at acceptances although with strong winds and minimal rain forecast, it’s likely to improve.
The Listed Christmas Classic (1200m) is the main race of the day with 12 set to line up. Music Magnate ($3) has opened the favourite as he makes a return to the races after a Brisbane winter campaign which began with a Group 2 win at Eagle Farm and was followed by back-to-back lasts in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m) and Group 1 Kingsford-Smith (1300m) – the latter on a shifty and heavy Eagle Farm surface. He’s had two trials leading into this and won them both with two wins and a placing from five fresh attempts. He’s got top weight of 61kg and will jump from barrier 10.
Kuro ($6.50) finished second to Music Magnate at the beginning of the year in the G2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) which came off the back of a successful spring and summer campaign of 2016. This spring, he’s finished at the back of the field in his three starts before a short let-up and a third to Zestful and I Thought So in the Listed Razor Sharp (1200m) a fortnight ago.
Supreme Effort ($8) had a win, two minors and a fourth placing last campaign and down on the 53kg limit, he’s had early market support for his resumption on Saturday. Eckstein ($4.80) was last seen in the Group 1 Myer (1600m) of the spring when beaten in a photo-finish to Shoals. She’s since run fourth to Dothraki ($11) in a trial who also lines up here and he was ninth of 12 in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill earlier in the month – which was run on a heavy-8. Team Snowden also saddle up Snippets Land ($9), Denpurr ($26) and My Country ($16).
Race eight is a BM83 over 1800m with Chris Waller potentially having seven of the 12 runners in the race although Tim Martin’s Gambler’s Blues ($3.70) holds early favouritism. A seven-year-old with 32 career starts and 14 minor placings he made a long-awaited return to the winners circle last start to record his fourth career victory. Zourkhan ($6) and Xebec ($12) finished behind the in-form Sedanzer at their last start while Chatelard ($5) finished ninth of 14 in the same race but wasn’t tested over the concluding stages.
Race four is a BM75 over 1100m and although there are only the seven runners – after the two early scratchings – it’s an intriguing little race.
Another Sin ($8) has only had the two career starts with his debut run making headlines when backed as if unbeatable in a Class-2 Highway race over 1100m. He won by a nose before going on to finish last – beaten seven-lengths – in the Group 3 San Domenico (1100m) at his next start. He’s down on the 53kg limit on Saturday plus he gets Rachel King’s claim and he’s had early betting support once again.
Kennedy ($3.50) is the favourite for the race with two wins and four placings from his eight career starts while Junglized ($4.80) has the two wins, a second and a fourth from his four runs this preparation.
Pendolique ($5) was a photo-finish second to the smart Viridine back in May and has finished behind Music Magnate and Dothraki at his two trials leading into this. Equal Balance ($5.50) was a Highway winner two starts back before a 0.3L third at Rosehill last start, Lady of Crebilly ($6) brings some South Australian – and Sandown – form into the mix while From Within ($11) was once a boom filly from the Chris Waller yard who is now having her second start for new trainer Ed O’Rourke.
Suggested Bet: It’s a tricky day at Randwick and the feature event is a tricky affair. Music Magnate is the class horse and he ticks a lot of boxes but he’s drawn wide and needs to lug 61kg. Supreme Effort ($8, race 7, number 8) is a consistent horse who had a good preparation last campaign. He’s drawn well, he’s down on the limit and trialled nicely leading into this. He opened at $11 and was backed early, and is worth an each-way bet.
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