Fri, Sep 5, 2:40pm by Daryl Curnow
Randwick might be playing second fiddle to Moonee Valley but there is still plenty of great racing action available in Sydney. Some of Sydney’s best horses are running throughout the four stakes races and the day kicks off with a Rating 80 Handicap over 1600 metres at 1.40pm.
The David Payne-trained Foreign Prince is the current $2.80 favourite after opening at $3 following a last start second placing behind Rock Sturdy. The four-year-old won his start prior at Randwick and he now makes the step up in distance to the mile, where he has yet to have a run. The son of High Chaparral likes to mix his form as he showed four starts back when winning by 2.75 lengths only to run sixth at his next start. He comes right into contention with Winona Costin’s 3kg claim, taking his weight down to 55kg and that makes him a major player in this.
Black Revolver finally broke through for an overdue win last start at Rosehill and he has every chance to kick on with it now. The Chris Waller-trained gelding has had 12 starts for two wins and three placings, with his last win an impressive 1.25-length victory over The Alfonso. The son of Lonhro stays in the same grade for this run but he does go up in weight by 2kg. James McDonald sticks with him however and he should be able to be competitive again in this.
Hunter Jack hasn’t quite turned up this campaign after much was promised early on in his career. The Tim Martin-trained gelding is twice a winner from 18 starts and he had every chance to win last time out. He does save his best racing for Randwick – one win and placing from two starts – so there can be confidence taken out of that. He did win his only start on a wet track so with rain in the area, his chances increase dramatically. He opened at $5 and has drifted out to $6 but we expect money to come for him if the rain does.
Recommended bet: Foreign Prince to win ($2.80) at Sportsbet.com.au
Former Kiwi runner Surpass showed his true colours last start when taking full advantage of the wet track. The Michael Moroney-trained gelding has an impeccable wet track record of eight starts for three wins and five placings, including his last start where he narrowly defeated Jo Jo Girl along the inside of runners. The six-year-old won his only start at this track and this distance is ideal. Brodie Loy takes 3kg off his back, taking his weight down to 57kg where he will be very competitive. He opened at $5 and has drifted out to $5.50 but he is still solidly supported in the market.
The Chris Waller-trained Specific Choice didn’t get all favours last start when eighth at Randwick as he traveled three wide throughout and never had the chance to run on. The son of Lonhro hasn’t shown signs of running well on a wet track as all his form has come on good tracks – 10 starts for three wins and five placings – but he has been well supported in the market at $5.50 and that’s worth consideration. His win three starts back when beating subsequent winner Saigon Tea was super impressive and he needs to replicate that run in order to feature here.
Disclaimer hasn’t featured at all in two runs this campaign but that’s typical of a stayer resuming and it hasn’t deterred punters as of yet. The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained gelding finished last at Rosehill on the 16th of August when well favoured in the market at $4 but allow another chance as he looks to prefer wet tracks. The imported runner might have taken his time to acclimatise to Australian conditions, hence his poor form so it will pay to forgive his most recent efforts. James McDonald has jumped aboard so follow any positive market moves.
Recommended bet: Surpass to win ($5.50) at Sportingbet.com.au
The much anticipated return of Earthquake is set to have racing fans glued to their sets. The John O’Shea-trained filly was set to return to racing a fortnight ago but was scratched due to the track conditions, however, with conditions meant to be similar she is still the raging hot $1.75 favourite. The Godolphin-owned daughter of Exceed And Excel last run in the Group One Golden Slipper where she tasted defeat for the first time in her five race career. She was caught near the line by Mossfun on a heavy track but her wins prior came very easily when winning the Group One Blue Diamond by 1.5 lengths and the Group Two Reisling by 1.25 lengths. She won her only start at Randwick and the world is at her feet. Take the $1.75 if the track doesn’t appear to be too bad.
A horse that comes into calculations with wet weather is Peggy Jean. The Gerald Ryan-trained filly has won and placed on a heavy track and the win came in the Group One Sires’ Produce on this track – where she has won two from three. The daughter of Myboycharlie has placed once in a fresh state and she has always shown good potential, even if her racing style doesn’t always go to plan. She gets back in her races and runs on well so the 1200 metres fresh up might leave her wanting. That being said, rain is a great equaliser and if she gets luck in the running, she could finish over the top of them. She opened at $4.80 and has been drifting since opening to $5.50.
Alpha Miss didn’t fire fresh up at Randwick in the Group Two Silver Shadow but she is undefeated in two second up runs and she doesn’t deserve to be at such long odds of $26 and $8. The Gary Nickson-trained filly is a three-time winner from seven starts who last won the Listed Lonhro Stakes at Warwick Farm on a slow track and she should get conditions to suit here. It won’t be easy to topple Earthquake but she is a solid place chance at big odds.
Recommended bet: Earthquake to win ($1.75) at Sportsbet.com.au
Washington Heights looks like a very nice bet in this at $2.25. The Gerald Ryan-trained colt has finished second in both career starts but they have come in the Group Three Kindergarten Stakes at Randwick and last time out in the Group Three San Domenico Stakes at Rosehill where he flashed home to narrowly miss against Nostradamus. The son of Commands can handle a wet track and despite his wide draw of nine, he will likely drop back and run on strongly. He opened at $2.50 and has been bet solidly so watch the market for any more positive leans.
Panzer Division won nicely on debut at Kembla Grange when beating subsequent winner Bascule by 3.5 lengths. The Paul Messara-trained colt then finished second in the Group Three Up And Coming Stakes but Liberation took out half the field and made Panzer Division’s run look better than it was. The three-year-old was able to avoid any trouble and sneak through along the inside with eventual winner Scissor Kick. We can’t take that run away from him but it can come across as misguiding in the form books. The experience on the heavy track will suit and his opening price of $9 has been slashed into $5.50, with the help of the scratching of Meursault.
Lady Sharapova was rather impressive last start at Canterbury. The Hawkes-trained filly beat a field of six by a length but it included the well performed Twirl and that form should be respected. The daughter of Fastnet Rock was third in the Talindert Stakes on debut before running a game sixth in the Group Two Magic Night. She is bred to be better than average and the stable has a high opinion of her. Her $10 opening quote is now $6.50 and we expect money to continue to come for her.
Recommended bet: Washington Heights to win ($2.25) at Sportsbet.com.au
The Hawkes-trained Entirely Platinum was the short $1.70 favourite when resuming at Rosehill last start and he got the job done well. The Pentire gelding looked good last campaign when winning three straight, including the Group Three Sky High Stakes. The winner of six from 13 has been bet well again but he is at better value this time around. He opened at $3 and has drifted slightly to $3.40 which is a good price considering he is unbeaten in three starts second up. Good chance for another win.
Royal Descent is the class animal of the field and her fresh up run for second in the Group Two Warwick Stakes was a good form indicator. The Chris Waller-trained mare is working her way up in distance and she usually goes well second up with one win and one placing from two starts. The daughter of Redoute’s Choice has drawn the inside barrier which will mean she can drop back without expending any energy. She loves this track with seven starts for two wins and four placings and any rain won’t be an issue. She has yet to win at this distance but she has placed in every run and her $3.80 quote represents her real chances.
Chris Waller also lines up Sacred Falls who battled on well for fourth in the Group Two Warwick Stakes last start. The former New Zealand runner has class on his side as he won the Group One Doncaster Handicap last season and he’s warming up nicely for the spring this season. In five second up runs he has won two and he has won on every track condition with two coming on the heavy. There is no denying his talent and he will be there or thereabouts in the straight. His opening quote of $4.80 has stayed rock steady.
Recommended bet: Royal Descent to win ($3.80) at Centrebet.com
The John O’Shea-trained Sessions was set for a big campaign last season but it never really eventuated. The five-year-old’s best run was for fourth in the Group One Galaxy when 1.7 lengths behind Tiger Tees but the rest of his form wasn’t up to scratch. The son of Lonhro does however show good form early in his campaign with five starts fresh for three wins and one placing. He has won and placed at Randwick and he finished second in a trial to prepare for this. He is currently at $4.20 in the betting and that suggests he is forward for this run.
Rain Affair is aptly named as he loves racing in the wet conditions. The Joseph Pride-trained gelding couldn’t find his best form last campaign either. The seven-year-old sprinter’s best finish was for ninth in the Group One Canterbury Stakes and that’s nothing to be proud of. He has won three times in a fresh state and the rain around will help him immensely. He has won five from six on a slow track and two from three on a heavy. The son of Commands will likely lead and this distance is right up his alley. The trainer is confident this time around, subsequently his opening price of $8.50 has dropped to $7.50.
Atmospherical opened as the equal $4.20 favourite but has pushed out to $4.40. The David Pfieffer-trained mare has won all but one of her five race day starts and she last won the Listed Denises Joy Stakes at Scone. The daughter of Northern Meteor is usually well backed and she has drawn that attention in this race too. She has won both starts in a fresh state but there are some classy sprinters in this and we’re not sure she is up to that level yet. Might pay to watch any positive market moves in her favour.
Recommended bet: Rain Affair to place ($2.35) at Centrebet.com
The Chris Waller-trained Weary is the current $3 favourite despite running poorly last start on the heavy track at Randwick. The five-year-old had a very good preparation last season which saw him win the Group Three Doncaster Prelude before running third in the Group One Doncaster Handicap. The grey gelding’s fresh up run behind Sweet Idea has been franked after Sweet Idea placed in the Group One Memsie Stakes last week but he looked very average last start and he will need to pick up to feature in this. He has placed in two runs at Randwick and he usually handles the wet track – four starts for two wins and one placing – but he didn’t last start and that worries us. He has been given two runs to get fit and he should now show his best, but $3 is too short.
Tiger Tees has come back in fantastic order by winning his last two races since returning from a spell. The Joseph Pride-trained gelding won the Group Three Aurie’s Star at Flemington before saluting again in the Group Two Warwick Stakes, beating Royal Descent by 1.25 lengths. He’s not quite a mud lark but he does race better in the wet with five wins coming on either slow or heavy tracks. He has won twice at this track and his $5 price is very good value. He opened at $5.50 and he is due a let down but punters have come solidly for him.
The Hawkes-trained Toydini has never won in a fresh state but he showed glimpses of very good form last campaign and he’s a long shot chance in this. The five-year-old last finished sixth in the Group One Queen Elizabeth Handicap and he was rarely far away in the big races last season. He does prefer dry tracks but he has won at this course and James McDonald jumps on for the first time. He was well favoured by bookmakers at $10 upon opening but that has since drifted out to $15.
Recommended bet: Tiger Tees to place ($1.70) at Sportingbet.com.au
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