Sat, Apr 20, 11:41am by Kevin Pitstock
We take a look through the nine race program at Royal Randwick for the Doncaster Handicap Day, April 20
Race 1: Newgate Farm Handicap (2400m)
The opening race on a wet and gloomy Heavy 9 for Doncaster Handicap days sees a race with surprisingly no scratchings. Putting No 2 Vittoria from the Melbourne-based stable of Michael Kent on top. A Winner of her past three starts, the mare has good form on heavy tracks and the distance will pose no issues. No 1 Studio from the Chris Waller stable has been a model of consistency this time in, winning his last start off the back of two second placed efforts. No 3 Coup Acclaim, a stable mate of the top weight has also been in good recent form and is a winner on the heavy in the past. No 9 Pizzaz San Pietro who has three wins on heavy tracks from four runs and although stepping up in class, can stay and loves the wet and is a must include.
Race 2: Listed Arrowfield Keith Mackay Quality (1200m)
The first stakes race of the days sees the two-year-old fillies line up over the 1200m. Going to put the ever consistent No 1 Everage on top. A last start second to Safegaurd in the G3 Kindergarten Stakes, this filly has a second to Overreach which rates highly enough for this race. No 2 Major Conquest from the Gai Waterhouse stable has had two starts for two very good third places and with form behind Scandiva, who then went on to finish second at Group One level, this More Than Ready filly rates highly. No 7 Scrutiny from the Peter Snowden stable was scratched from a mid-week assignment for this and we will take that as a pointer to her chances, while No 6 Quelle Beaute is the only first starter in the field and from one of the outside gates, she should stay clear of trouble throughout the run.
Race 3: Listed Adina Apartment Hotels Fernhill Handicap (1600m)
Another stakes race for the two-year-old, this time over the 1600m, which is a logical lead up to next week’s Group One Champagne Stakes at Randwick. Putting No 2 Ideal Guide as the leading chance after a very good second behind Champollion, who then jumped into Group One class at his next start. Dam was a very good galloper and is one of only two winners in the 10 strong field – rates highly. Going out on a limb with a very rough chance for second with No 10 Riocetto. Two starts to date, the Oratorio gelding is jumping from the 1200m to the 1600m and is trained on the track and could be a surprise runner. No 4 Hydro, well if it is all in the name – then he should handle the track conditions with ease! Is probably the best bred runner of the day and a last start fifth, beaten just over a length at 1400m should see him in with a chance here. Putting in No 6 Rightoncue from the Clarry Conners yard for fourth after finishing third in a good form race last start.
Race 4: Listed McGrath Estate Agents South Pacific Classic (1400m)
A quality for the three-year-olds here and we have leaned towards No 3 Eximus who should be a good price here. Does have good wet form so far, and although has never raced on a Heavy track, his recent form should see him in with a chance. No 1 Platinum Kingdom comes over from New Zealand and should have seen a wet track or two in in his homeland! Has been up a while, but is in form and rates. No 4 Limes has been slightly out of form, but is a son of Commands, whose progeny normally relish the wet, and we are going with that. Putting in No 2 Heart Testa for fourth, but is the type of galloper who could easily come out and win.
Race 5: tab.com.au Sprint (1200m)
A race that has been thrown about with many scratching’s ad on that we have gone with No 5 Eucumbene from the Guy Walter stable who races first-up today and does have three wins and a second from four starts on Slow/Heavy tracks. No 6 Australian Star has been consistent of late and is just yet to crack it this time in, but it could be today in this race if he gets share of luck. No 7 Earnest Earnest does have good recent form as well as wet form and with Jason Collett on board should run well, while No 4 Snitzky is two for two on the Heavy track and is a last start winner.
Race 6: Listed Brookfield Multiplex Japan racing Association Plate (2000m)
A lead up race to the Sydney Cup next week here over the 2000m. No 1 Kelinni who finished fourth in the Group One Melbourne Cup last campaign rates highly and although he is dropping back in trip, it is also a massive drop back in class, and fourth in the Group One BMW last start is a great form for this. No 4 Hoylonny, a stable mate to the top weight is always running on, and is likely to do it again here and get into the places. No 3 Fibrillation is a noted wet tracker and although she has a big weight and a wide gate, she could be the surprise runner here and blow them all away. No 2 Crafty Irna put in a bad run last start, but did have excuses and could bounce back here.
Race 7: Group One Patinack Farm Australian Oaks (2400m)
The first of the Group One contests for the day, and while it is a race over 2400m for the three-year-old fillies, sometimes it is won by the class runner, not the one who can stay the best. IN this race, I am going with “staying ability” with the top three chances. No 7 Summerbliss was thirds in the Group One VRC Oaks at only her third career run, and based on that we know she should be able to get the trip and going with her on top. No 2 Habibi was a winner of the Group One New Zealand Derby two starts back before working home well for third over 2000m last start at Rosehill. No 1 Dear Demi, the winner of the Group One VRC Oaks in the Spring was is a class filly and has proven she can run the trip and although may not be in the best form, she is racing as if she wants the trip again. No 8 Gondokoro will be a rough place and the full-sister to the Group One South Australian Derby winner Zabeelionaire rates a mention.
Race 8: Group One BWM Doncaster Handicap (1600m)
The main race of the day, and how can we go past No 2 Pierro? He will have to break many records in order to win, but why can’t he? His dangers could come from No 11 Appearance the winner of her past two starts, both at Group One level and she does drop well in the weights – mares in form must be followed. That is also the reason for putting in No 14 Norzita a winner of the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes last start over the 2000m. Although this race is only 1600m, you may need a horse who could run 2000m the way the conditions are. Putting in a complete rough chance with No 20 Aeronautical for fourth. He does not have any wet form, but keeps running only like the mile will suit.
Race 9: Cargo Bar Handicap (1400m)
The final race of the day, and if the rain keeps up, we could be racing on a Heavy 10 by then, so have gone with No 13 Euryale from the Peter Snowden stable who handles the wet and is first up. She will need luck from her wide gate, but stable jockey Kerrin McEvoy is on board and should rate a great chance. No 7 Irish Dream is another complete rough chance in this very large field, and without much wet form, we are going very wide. No 8 Keith’s Legacy is likely to start one of the favoured runners after a two length win last time out, while No 12 Brightest is second up and should appreciate the heavy track conditions and is another a big odds.
Best Bet Of The Day: Race 2, No 1. Everage 2yo f. (Zizou x Quipster, by Snippets), trainer Craig Carmody.
Best Rough Chance: Race 5, No 5. Eucumbene 5yo g. (Encosta de Lago x Snowdrift, Polish Precedent), trainer Guy Walter.
Best On Breeding: Race 2, No 2. Ideal Guide, 2yo g. (Red Ransom x Just Dancing, by Fusaichi Pegasus), trainer Bede Murray. Second foal of the Group Two-winning, Group One placed Just Dancing, a daughter of the Group One winner Ballroom Babe. Family of stakes winners Tahni Girl, Hidden Dragon and Maschino.
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