Wed, Jan 22, 8:41am by Daryl Curnow
Where: Randwick, Sydney
When: Wednesday, January 22. First race kicks off at 1:18pm
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Pirandello ran a top second behind Atmospherical last time out at Randwick and is the deserved favourite here. The Darren Smith-trained gelding will have to carry a big weight, but that’s not unusual for the three-year-old who is looking to win his third career race. During his last five runs, the son of Excellent Art has been sent out as an odds-on favourite on three occasions, so the $2.70 on offer is good value.
Sweet Kiss is fresh up since August after running a disappointing sixth at Warwick Farm. The Gary Dickson-trained filly was considered good enough to run in a listed event during her two-year-old season in which she ran fourth, and then placed in three consecutive events throughout Sydney. She has won and placed when fresh and she is paying a nice price here.
I’m No Phony has had an interesting start to his career having placed in the listed Breeders Plate at Randwick first up. The Gerald Ryan-trained gelding then ran second to last some eight months following and then was spelled for another seven months. He resumed at Kembla Grange for a narrow win and if he can stay injury free, he’ll be a top chance here.
Suggested bet: I’m No Phony to place ($2.10) at IASbet.com
Dog Tags is slowing working his way to a win after placing in his last three runs. The Graeme Begg-trained three-year-old settled well back last time out and flew home for second behind Hot Albert and this field looks slightly easier than that. He has had two runs for two placings on this track and a good run is expected.
Anfitriona hasn’t finished out of the money in all five of his career starts, which has included a win at Gosford. The filly by the up and coming sire Host ran a good third on this track last time out and a win doesn’t look far away. He goes up in weight for this, which is a concern, but her chances appear bright.
Double Eagle has the services of Nash Rawiller for this run and that could make all the difference. The David Payne-trained gelding has had 10 starts for five placings but he has been close in recent efforts. He drops in weight for this but whether or not he will see out the 1800 metre distance is his only worry.
Suggested bet: Dog Tags to win ($4.40) at IASbet.com
Straturbo won well at Canterbury but is forced to go up in weight for this. The Gary Portelli-trained gelding is putting together a nice record consisting of three wins and seven placings. He sat handy last time out before eventually taking the lead near the line, winning his second race this campaign. He stays in the same grade for this and another win wouldn’t surprise.
Merry Christmas has been let go by the bookies after opening at $15. The Danbird gelding put together three straight wins before running sixth at Canterbury last time out. He wasn’t disgraced that day as he finished only 2.4 lengths from the winner. He is up in weight but Kerrin McEvoy rides and his second-up form reads well.
Curfew had excuses last time out after running eighth at Canterbury and he drops in grade for this. The Darren Smith-trained gelding won his start prior by two lengths at Hawkesbury in a campaign which also featured a 6.5-length win at Wyong. This will be his first run of 2014 and his $6 quote suggests he will be right on the mark.
Suggested bet: Curfew to win ($6) at IASbet.com
Shravan looks to have a good future ahead of him after a two-length win at Kembla Grange last time out. The John O’Shea-trained gelding is a two-race winner and it looks as though the step up to 1800 metres will suit perfectly. He ran as a $1.65 favourite last time so the $3.80 on offer is a good price.
Senta Desert is a three time winner from the Gerald Ryan stables and the step back in distance should provide him with a better chance to win. The Encosta De Lago gelding has placed in both runs on this track he drops in grade from his last run.
Gai Waterhouse lines up The Baronet, who ran eighth at Randwick last time out. The son of Sir Percy arrived in Australia from Europe and the drastic increase in distance will be an assist. His form overseas was very good and Waterhouse will likely have him in good order for this.
Suggested bet: Shravan to win at IASbet.com
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