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Tips for Australian Derby Day at Royal Randwick, April 13

Sat, Apr 13, 11:36am by Kevin Pitstock

We take a look through the nine race program at Royal Randwick for the Australian Derby Day, April 13

Start the day with a free $200 bet from


Race 1: Group Three Ticketek Kindergarten Stakes (1100m)
The opening race in what is going to be a history making day. Putting the Peter Snowden-trained No 2 Safegaurd on top here. Touted early on as a Golden Slipper prospect after winning impressively on debut, not much went right for the colt since, returning to the track today. Is by Exceed And Excel who is the current leading stallion in the country and is one of the best bred of the day. Going with  No 6 Il Cavallo from the Peter Moody stable who was an impressive debut winner a few weeks back and was an emergency for the Group One Golden Slipper last weekend. Is closely related to a yearling that sold for $2.4m during the week at the Inglis Easter yearling sales and if  the jump from 900m to 1100m possess no issues he should be right in the finish.  No 4 Divine Calling from the Gai Waterhouse yard won well last start after a second the start before that behind Diamond Oasis (a colt he meets here). Improvement expect from the stable as it is carnival time. Filling the top four with No 1 Iconic a well-bred Bel Esprit gelding who has won his past two starts and with pace will set them something to catch.
Verdict: 2-6-4-1

Race 2: Group Three Barcardi Rum Carbine Club Stakes (1600m)
The second of the day sees the three-year-old’s over 1600m and we are putting the last start impressive winner  No 2 Toydini from the Guy Walter stable as the number one selection. He has always had ability but now that he has been gelded, it appears to be bringing the best out in him. Is on a Gorup One Queensland Derby campaign and should be winning here. The Peter Snowden-trained No 1 Tatra is a quality galloper on his day and he has finished third at his most recent two starts, both at Group One level, both behind It’s A Dundeel. Drops back from the 2000m to the mile, but will run well. No 8 Bradman was disappointing last start after two very good wins. Two starts back he defeated Ninth legion, who came to Sydney and finished second last time out to Toydini, so form should stack up, while No 5 Flying Snitzel is the only filly in the race, and two starts back was outstanding before finishing just under four lengths off the winner in the Group One Coolmore Classic, rates a chance here.
Verdict: 2-1-8-5

Race 3: Group Three Tabcorp Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m)
The three-year-old contest for the fillies heading towards the Group One Australian Oaks next weekend, and it is an open race with No 7 Sail from the Peter Snowden stable being one at odds who appeals. Was seventh last time out behind stablemate Cameo in the Group Three Keith Nolan Classic and did work home very well. The jump to the 2000m is a query, but her style of racing suggests she should handle it and could be very good value. No 3 Unimpeachable is likely to start the race favourite after a last start second over 1800m at Randwick and from six starts to date has only been out of the top two once.  No 1 Royal Descent from the Chris Waller yard is a very very well-bred Redoute’s Choice filly out of Mulan Princes and has the form on the board – two starts back finished fourth to Dear Demi at Group Two level and then last time out second to Cameo at Group Three level. No 10 Divertire from the Guy Walter stable is one to keep an eye on as she heads towards the Oaks – she will need to run very well here for her connections to pay the late entry fee, but was an impressive winner last time out and rates highly again, especially from a trainer who knows a thing or two about this race and the Oaks!
Verdict: 7-3-1-10

Race 4: Group Two Schweppes Chairman’s Quality (2600m)
A field of gallopers who are heading to the Group One Sydney Cup and we are going with  No 1 Mourayan from the Rocket Hickmott stable. This seven-year-old always races well in Sydney and third up and while his form this time in has been disappointing, he rates highly here. No 6 Vatuvei has had three runs in this campaign and has finishes seventh each time, gets to a trip that is likely to suit and was touted as a possibly Cups horse last campaign and would need to improve here to make that leap in the Spring. No 7 Aliyana Tilde is an interesting runner on a Sydney Cup path – being a four-year-old Daughter of Snitzel, you wouldn’t expect her to stay, but she is proving that it is her caper and on 53kgs is a good light weight chance. No 2 Julienas has won his past two starts both stakes races at 1900m and 2600m and is the current nominal favourite for both this race at the Sydney Cup.
Verdict: 1-6-7-2

Race 5: Group One Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m)
The first of the Group One races on the day, and this one for the two-year-olds. Hard to go past last week’s Group One Golden Slipper winner Overreach, the exciting Exceed And Excel filly who is unbeaten this time in for trainer Gai Waterhouse and Corumbene Stud. Aiming to be the first filly since Merlene in 1996 to win the double and she looks more than capable of doing so.  No 8 Guelph is the logical danger after a fast finishing fourth in the Group One Golden Slipper after getting long way back, and her dam Camarilla won this race. This is the best quinella of the day and looks to give Exceed And Excel his second Group One quinella in a week. No 2 Champollion will be a rough chance but the manner in which he won last Saturday suggest he is one that will continue to improve. Another two-year-old by Exceed And Excel, he could provide the trifecta here! Going with No 4 Havana to filly the top four after he produced a very good effort over the 1200m last time out to work home well for third behind Citerion, with that horse being slightly unlucky in the Group One Golden Slipper last week.
Verdict: 7-8-2-4

Race 6: Group Three BMW Doncaster Prelude (1600m)
A lead up for next week’s Group One Doncaster Handicap, with  No 9 Raspberries from the Peter Snowden yard looking a good chance here off the back of two pleasing runs this time in. Third up last preparation, as she is today, she finished a length behind Appearance at Group One level, and on that alone, she rates as the one to beat.  No 5 Alma’s Fury has been up for what seems a lifetime, but is still in good form, and is dropping back from the 1900m of his last run (which is a concern), but there appears to be pace on in this race and he should be able to get a good spot from his gate and work home well.  No 13 Mahisara has always promised a very good race win, and while anything is a rough chance of beating Pierro in the Doncaster next week, I feel this galloper who can run a cheeky race at odds, in order to do that next week, he needs to stand up this week.  No 3 Skyerush is one in the filed who is not Doncaster bound, but instead will head to the Group Two Emancipation Stakes over 2000m, a race she won last year, so would like to see her hitting the line hard, which she can do.
Verdict: 9-5-13-3

Race 7: Group One David Jones Australian Derby (2400m)
The Australian Derby – barring incident – it really is all sewn up isn’t it?  No 1 It’s A Dundeel has been a dominant winner of his last two starts in the group One Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas and there is no reason to see his winning streak stopping now. Unbeatable.  No 3 Philippi was a very good winner last time out over 2000m, and while he races as if the trip of the 2400m will suit, I am unsure if he will pose any problems to the favourite.  No 5 Hippopus from the Gai Waterhouse stable could run a good race at odds as his form has been very good to date.  No 4 Solemn has always been aimed at this race, but unfortunately he just does not have the form on the board, but giving him one last chance
Verdict: 1-3-5-4

Race 8: Group Two Belvedere Sapphire Stakes (1200m)
Three-year-old and upwards fillies and mares over the 1200m.  No 7 Miss Stellabelle from the Waterhouse yard had her chance last time out behind Arinosa, but now third up she should be fit and ready to produce the goods.  No 5 Arinosa is the form race of the day and should prove very hard to beat. The mare just flies down the outside with ease and looks to be capable of doing it again here.  No 9 Detours from the Snowden yard has three wins from four first up runs and is first up here and looms as a danger to the top two.  No 16 Shamal Wind finished second last time out behind Arinosa, and looms as a very good chance.
Verdict: 7-5-9-16

Race 9: Group One Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m)
The final race of the day, and outside of It’s A Dundeel in the Derby,  No 9 Black Caviar is the best bet of the day. How can she be beaten?  No 3 Rain Affair will get out and lead and reports are that he is going to play a catch me if you can tactic – similar to what Hay List tried last year in this race.. but we all know how that turned out!  No 2 Bel Sprinter a last start winner in the Group One Galaxy Handicap was super impressive that day, and is clearly one Australia’s best sprinters (outside of Black Caviar).  No 11 Epaulette is a class three-year-old who is resuming. Was a winner of the Group One Golden Rose last campaign and does have two wins from three first up runs and could run a cheeky race.
Verdict: 9-3-2-11

Best On Breeding: Race 1, No 2. Safeguard 2yo c. (Exceed And Excel x Preserve, by Canny Lad), trained by Peter Snowden. His sire Exceed and Excel needs no introduction after a one-two-four finish in the Group One Golden Slipper last week, but his Group One-winning dam Preserve is a half-sister to Lonhro’s Group One-winning son Denman.

Best Quinella of the day:  Going with an Exceed And Excel quinella, just like in the Group One Golden Slipper, this time in the Group One Sires’ Produce Stakes with No 7 Overreach and No 8 Guelph.

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