Thu, Jul 19, 2:40pm by Staff Writer
It’s been a big week for racing in NSW with the announcement of an increase in prize money and a brand new ‘Everest-style’ race for country-trained horses. On Saturday, racing is at Randwick where the rail is in the true and the track in the good range
I Thought So ($3.70) recorded a well deserved – and somewhat overdue – win last start in the Winter Dash (1200m) here at Randwick a month ago which was run on a heavy-9 and he’s opened favourite in the feature of the day, the July Sprint (1100m). That was his third career win – and third on a rain affected track – his first two victories coming at his first two starts but he has been placed a further eight times in his 17 career runs to date.
Tactical Advantage ($4.20) resumes from a spell with five wins and five placings coming from his 13 career starts. He’s one win and two placings from three fresh runs with two wins at the track and another two over the 1200m.
Sir Plush ($7.50) and Embley ($26) both resume for Bjorn Baker, Sir Plush drawing 13 of 13 while Embley’s 58.5kg is offset by Jean Van Overmeire’s 2kg claim. Both have been competitive in the past when fresh and both come into this off two recent trials.
Memes ($9.50) is two wins and two minors from four first-up attempts and she’s also first-up off two trials with the Jason Coyle yard enjoying a good run of late.
Easy Eddie ($5.50) is on the back-up after a third to the in-form Albumin last week over 1200m which came off the back of an 1100m run before that. Dal Cielo ($15) perhaps hasn’t lived up to his early promise but is more than capable on his day. Noble Joey ($11) edged out She Knows last start here at Randwick (over 1000m) while Boss Lane ($14) has been competitive in tougher races and although seven of his nine wins have come at Randwick, he’s only two from 11 when fresh.
As is often the case, the two-year-olds open the day, this week in the Rosebud Prelude (1000m). Seven of the 11 are last start winners while four are still looking for that first career win – and for those, time is running out to get that potentially valuable win as a juvenile.
Plague Stone ($2.15) is one of those youngsters trying to break his maiden but he does have two minors from his four career starts. One of those minor placings was when a close second to Written By in the G3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) and he looks primed for this after two trial wins, his most recent by 3L.
Witherspoon ($6) broke her maiden last start – at her sixth career run – after bolting in at Newcastle over 900m although she already has two black-type minors to her name. The Tenor ($6.50) was a strong debut winner at Newcastle when an odds-on favourite and he’s had good early support here.
Wimlah ($9) won her debut start at Gosford over 1000m on a heavy-8 after four trials spanning two preps. Churning ($12) made good ground late at her debut run and she’s won a trial since while Ben Hercules ($8.50) is up from Melbourne for Team Hayes/Dabernig and a victory here would give him three-in-a-row.
There were originally three nominations for race three – a BM90 over 2400m – although that increased due to the extended nom period and a field of ten finally accepted for the race. That’s already dropped to seven with three early scratchings and that could decrease again with a couple of dual acceptances.
Ombudsman ($2.25) – one of those initial three noms – was a strong last start winner over this track and distance beating the older horses and in doing so notched up his second career win.
Mongolian Wolf ($4) has shown glimpses of his old form with a win and second from his past three starts – that win and second coming in SA. Grey Lion ($6) has been competitive in stronger grade and he gets top weight here – but the 2kg claim – although both he and Mongolian Wolf are also accepted for Melbourne. Villardo ($7.50) is back from a Melbourne mission which saw him head down south for one race, coming away with the prize while Braces ($7.50) has won two from his last four and he’s on the quick back-up after a third over 2000m last week at Rosehill.
Suggested Bet: There’s been no early support for Plague Stone ($2.15, race 1, number 1) but that could be from a price angle as he’s opened up fairly short. His first two career starts read well but he didn’t do much in his next two starts which included finishing at the tail of the field when sent out an $8.50 chance in the G1 Blue Diamond (1200m). His two trial wins show intent from Godolphin as they might be keen, not only to break his maiden while he is still a 2YO but perhaps they’re eyeing off some bigger prizes in the spring.
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