The weather heading into the Randwick suggests there is rain around. Late Friday night and early Saturday morning there is a chance of showers. Can't see that being enough to send the track into the soft range and expect that the meet starts on a good4. A brief shower may come late in the meeting, but again not significant enough to put the track in the soft range. Confident we get a good track through the entire card.
The wind could play a major role, north-easterly winds of gusts over 20km/h are expected over the course of the meeting. That will be a cross-wind as they they head down the side of the track which could cause some issues for runners on the fence. In the straight it will be a direct head-wind, so horses who are peeling off backs and using the slipstream will have the momentum to really fling past horses.
The rail heads back into the true after being 4m from the 1600-2000m and 6m the rest of the course. Last meet in the true position (September 19) with similar winds, two of the leaders won and horses were also able to run on. This suggests to me that the track will play very fair and i don't expect any bias at all. As per the last 2-weeks at Randwick, race-pace dependant.
RACE 3 - THE STAR MILE (1600m)
JUST THINKIN' is the only leader here and should find the lead quite comfortably. MISSYBEEL presses forward also and LAURE ME IN as well to box-seat. PURPLE SECTOR will be just behind the pace and from the inside barrier OPACITY likely midfield on the fence. LOOKS LIKE ELVIS and PANCHO come next from gate-1 and 2. The last four SO YOU WIN, TUMULTUOUS, MATOWI and TREVELYAN likely go back and settle in barrier order.
JUST THINKIN' will find the lead easy, and will likely run this whichever way Tim Clark sees fit. The horse is rock hard fit and back from a slow run 2000m so i think to make the most of that it wont be slow. Somewhere between a even-fast tempo seems likely. Horses if good enough will get their chance.
The map horses for me are the first four, in-particular PURPLE SECTOR who gets cover from the win and can then slipstream right into the race off the back of MISSYBEEL - she gets a great sit outside leader. JUST THINKIN' gets every chance if good enough running his own race out front. LAURE ME IN, box-seating, also maps real well. LOOKS LIKE ELVIS also close enough and is a map horse.
OPACITY will need a heap of luck stuck on the rail, same can be said for PANCHO, TUMULTUOUS and TREVELYAN. SO YOU WIN and MATOWI don't get any favours being right out the back.
LOOKS LIKE ELVIS finds his right race to me. Coming back from the G1 Epsom where he came 5th and ran the 3rd fastest last 600m of the race. He's got some form around some of the elite milers which is just far superior to anything else in this field. Main problem is he is a non-winner and backing him, even in what looks a good setup, seems detrimental. PURPLE SECTOR is another who doesn't win much, but brings home some super late splits from last start. Maps super and if he runs up to those figures he's every possible chance. JUST THINKIN' from the front should get an easy enough time out in-front, but I'm not sure how much I like him dropping back from the 2000m to the 1600m. It wasn't a testing run by any means but that drop back in distance can take the zip out of the legs of some. LAURE ME IN and MATOWI are coming out of the same very fast run race. They stay at the 1600m though. I'm honestly not sure how they go, ideally they'd go up in trip after such a run. They do drop some weight though and you can't discount them.
This race really exemplifies what the day at Randwick presents to us, aside from the features. A lot of runners who aren't winners racing each other. Think it will be a tough day here. If I were to choose a horse out of these it would probably be PURPLE SECTOR who has the perfect set up to run well in this race as well as the likely favours from the map. MATOWI if there's any pace will be flying home also. LOOKS LIKE ELVIS is the class runner of the field and LAURE ME IN and JUST THINKIN' won't be too far away.
RACE 4 - TRESEMME REGINALD ALLEN QUALITY (1400m)
FORBIDDEN LOVE crosses to lead and SWEET REPLY likely comes with her. ELIZABEEL will be on pace, but being a slight risk at the 1400m she will box-seat. NICCI'S FLING won't be far away and ONLY MINE settles the inside. JOVIALITY could quite easily be cast 3-wide from gate-11, she may even press forward to be in the one-one and make SWEET REPLY work a little more. DARLING DIAMOND faces a similar task to JOVIALITY. TIME IS PRECIOUS next with BARGAIN to the inside. NEWS READER will go back, as will ZERO TO HUNDRED and OBVIOUS STEP.
They'll go at a decent click here as i think i can see a fair few speed influencers. FORBIDDEN LOVE enjoys rolling along and should get it mostly her way out in the lead. Even to fast tempo seems likely here.
Map horses are easily NICCI'S FLING and ELIZABEEL, who sit just off the pace and can search for runs at the right time. ONLY MINE gets a good map too given I can see them rolling off the fence and she will find room also. FORBIDDEN LOVE and SWEET REPLY are both neutral runners if they get it easy enough up front.
JOVIALITY and DARLING DIAMOND are at a major disadvantage likely being posted 3-wide. NEWSREADER, ZERO TO HUNDRED and OBVIOUS STEP probably get too far back too and will have to be very good. BARGAIN also finds a tricky spot on the fence. TIME IS PRECIOUS if finds the gaps is neutral.
Easy play here in FORBIDDEN LOVE. She brings cream of the crop form being 1.8 lengths 3rd behind both DAME GISELLE and WILD RULER. Figures back up that both are good runs. Her sire is ALL TOO HARD who won multiple Group 1 races at 1400m and her dam also raced over longer, suggests to me she will relish the extra distance. One of the more confident bets on the card for me. Not sure on JOVIALITY coming out of the flight, all horses who have stayed at the distances out of that have flopped, HUNGRY HEART and VANGELIC. Happy to risk her. ONLY MINE looks a filly on the rise, and although she was impressive breaking her maiden last start, she didn't beat much and she will need to be good to beat a few of these. Danger, but think FORBIDDEN LOVE has her covered. ELIZABEEL I'm happy to risk at the distance. SWEET REPLY and NICCI'S FLING come out of the same race also and are decent chances.
FORBIDDEN LOVE for me is a great play. She's got the form lines and the figures and I like her gate. 59kg could be the only query but she's a good horse and could have a little on a few of these.
RACE 5 - THE KOSCIUSZKO (1200m)
The likely speed influencers in this are MAN OF PEACE and FENDER who likely go forward. TWO BIG FARI is the interesting one who has lead in the past but does draw well here - expect him to take a site. HANDLE THE TRUTH from wide could be cast 3-wide, however I don't see many speed influencers in this and think he can settle in the one-one. Next pair are likely ICE IN VANCOUVER and AL MAH HAHA who are the only others who really have any other sort of gate speed. LORD VON COSTA and REDOUBLE with inside barriers come next. They could push forward and hold some others out but i find that unlikely. IRISH SONGS gets well back and I like the spot IT'S ME gets too from gate-7. ANETHOLE and AKASAKI may have to go back to last but I feel they will end up cast 3-wide. Last pair LIGULATE and INTUITION who have tricky draws.
Don't predict too much speed here. FENDER and MAN OF PEACE will get it pretty easy out the front, with no other real leaders in the race. Takes out a lot of the horses from the back which means forward of midfield will be the place that is easiest for to win from. Good horses from the back can win, will be difficult.
Map horses are probably MAN OF PEACE and FENDER to me. They should get it so nice out in front and will mighty hard to run down. TWO BIG FARI, HANDLE THE TRUTH also map really nicely, and ICE IN VANCOUVER should find a nice cart into the race.
IRISH SONGS, INTUITION and REDOUBLE back in the field on the fence will be in a heap of bother and think they will struggle. ANETHOLE and AKASAKI will find similar trouble mapping 3-wide. LIGULATE will get room to run on but is also a long way back. IT'S ME and LORD VON COSTA are neutral as they will get room to work home.
IT'S ME is super hard to knock and absolutely deserves to be favourite. Her set-back, if you could call it that, does worry me slightly. She just has far superior figures though, the last 600m splits she has been running are that of a group quality horse. Even with the setback, being against her doesn't seem to be a smart play. In saying that, I'm happy to try and find one to beat her as a saver play. This takes me to the horses identified as the map horses; FENDER and MAN OF PEACE. FENDER makes his own luck on-pace. His last run in the race WILD PLANET won was massively disappointing and I think he's a level below IT'S ME. The main upset chance comes from MAN OF PEACE, who is ultra consistent and keeps on going. His level probably isn't quite up there with IT'S ME but none of them really are.
IT'S ME is probably the bet that is worth taking. Even-odds is a decent enough price, but given her issues during the week it is a slight risk. She should be too good, but saving on MAN OF PEACE would be the recommendation. I will be staying out of this one.
RACE 7 - THE TAB EVEREST (1200m)
Best race of the day and it was rather easy to map. NATURE STRIP and EDUARDO will go forward for sure. DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR will make both work a little bit but don't think he will force the issue and try to lead. HAUT BRION HER comes next a little further back. BEHEMOTH from gate-2 finds a lovely spot and I'd say TREKKING will sit behind him and track him. GYTRASH next, as Kerrin McEvoy on CLASSIQUE LEGEND will let him in and track him the whole way - hopefully a nice tow into the race. TOFANE, BIVOUAC and LIBERTINI from wide gates will head back and SANTA ANA LANE will round them up - no surprises.
NATURE STRIP, being his Grand Final will be putting in his best run so I can see this being run as a ridiculously fast tempo to try and really break their hearts. Stable of EDUARDO have said that they won't make it easy for him so that adds to the likely pressure. Won't shock me if this exceeds a fast tempo and is closer to very-fast. You don't want to be too far off, but given the tempo, all should get their chance
Map wise, GYTRASH around midfield is likely the map horse. CLASSIQUE LEGEND in a similar spot to GYTRASH. I like BEHEMOTH also who should get gaps once they fan out, TREKKING the same. EDUARDO, NATURE STRIP and DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR enjoy a tempo so they're neutral runners. As are TOFANE, LIBERTINI and SANTA ANA LANE who will be flying late.
There are two horses i see at a disadvantage; HAUT BRION HER and BIVOUAC. HAUT BRION HER will have to ride a hot tempo and I'm not sure she's up to it. BIVOUAC hates fast races and will be trapped well back on the inside - can't have him.
The play to me doesn't seem winner based, however I see seven live chances and think that the other five have no chance. SANTA ANA lane isn't going well enough. EDUARDO, DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR and HAUT BRION HER don't have the class here. BIVOUAC hates fast run races and can't kick off them and will be too far back.
That leaves the chances; NATURE STRIP deserves favouritism and Chris Waller gets things right in grand finals. Everyone knows it - his best blows this field away. If you like him, be with him - he's my top pick. Next is BEHEMOTH, he is flying and the 1400m back to the 1200m doesn't seem a problem since he just loves brutally run races and is just a big brut who runs on regardless. He would have to find a new level but I don't see why he doesn't get there. Next is GYTRASH, who has already knocked off NATURE STRIP over the 1000m and he's flying. He just keeps elevating, and can do it again. TREKKING has to round out my top-4. Beat GYTRASH in the Goodwood in Adelaide and finished in front of NATURE STRIP in this race last year. Just a good horse and the brutal tempo suits. The other three I give chances too are x-factors. LIBERTINI put in a massive run first-up and she showed in her 3yo season that there's a lot of talent there. Draws awkwardly so whilst i think she's a chance would have to be seriously good. CLASSIQUE LEGEND has been spruiked by his trainer, but I believe it's justified. Has shown a lot and can definitely run up to these. My concern is that he maps behind GYTRASH and TREKKING and I'm not convinced he's a better horse than them, therefore he's not in my top 4. TOFANE to me is a bit of a sleeping giant. She has had two of the softest runs, in her latest was arguably a moral beat. She has form around these Sydney group 1's and is severely underrated by the market. Have to respect her.
I can't tip anything straight up but NATURE STRIP has to be on top. I think playing exotics around the seven I have given chances is the play. Those numbers are in the betting strategy.
OTHER RACE COMMENTS
RACE 1 - KALASHNIKOV is the only raced horse. He was 3-wide, minimal cover, and was still strong late running some good closing figures. He draws a very sticky gate again though so although he looks talented, could be cast deep again. EMERALD BAY trialled the best of the debutants, to my eye. She jumped nicely and showed some really nice early speed. She travelled all the way, when challenged, Tim Clark gave her a nudge and she put 2 lengths on rivals in the last 100m and was still travelling very well through the line. Overall time for the trial was only 4 tenths of a second from YAO DASH on the morning - she's fast. Gets the outside gate, but by the looks of it has the speed to cross them or at least be outside whoever leads. SHE'S ALL CLASS ran a similar trial but she got challenged and was really niggled to press on. CAPTIVANT was also nice, showing a blistering turn of foot to close and win trial from the back - can run a big race. BACCHANALIA and MONTANA FLASH were also solid, both however are big green colts and will be better for the experience. I'm siding with EMERALD BAY with her race pattern (lead and kick) which is perfect for early 2yo's. Plus she just looks like a really professional type, particularly for a 2yo. Can't write off any of the other five mentioned - don't think any outside of that can win.
RACE 2 - Ugh, highway. Crackneck (Emergancy) would be my pick. Needs to get in and I have no confidence in highways. Relying solely on his figures which are significantly better than most runners in this. Would look for better insight in this from elsewhere.
RACE 6 - This race was near impossible for me. By default I have landed on SPECIAL REWARD who has the form around the right types and is a winner, but with no confidence. DEPRIVE was massive first up and can definitely run a massive race here. TRUMBULL is the clear x-factor and threatened last prep to break the dam wall and crack group status. He's just so untrustworthy and is hard to have. I'm more than happy to stay out of this. SPECIAL REWARD if you twisted my arm.
RACE 8 - Many echo my thoughts here, STAR OF THE SEAS at 2000m seems a complete lay. However, I said that about KOLDING at his last start and he bolted in. STAR OF THE SEAS has the right platform to get the trip and is but far the best horse in this race - not sure if he is over 2000m. One who I can see relishing the 2000m is VANNA GIRL and so she would be my pick. But i do query how she is going this prep. Positive here is i think she get's a slow run race, which she prefers, and can use her elite turn of foot to potentially run over them. LIFE LESS ORDINARY isn't going great at the moment but does find a winnable race and couldn't count him out.
RACE 9 - This race makes me feel sick. She's Ideel is coming out of BM88 level and I'm not sure she can match up at this level. PATHS OF GLORY is the one who is up to this class and can get the distance. BRIMHAM ROCKS shocks me as favourite - in saying that will absolutely waltz in. Can't invest in this race.
RACE 10 - MIRRA VISION probably best horse in a raffle of a race. Have to be with her. She was beaten by BEST STONE last start but BEST STONE wins at Canterbury where their last battle was and given she is 3/3 there and hasn't won anywhere else, I'm confident MIRRA VISION can turn the tables. Looks like one of those races that something can pop up from nowhere and win though. Will save my money here.
BETTING STRATEGY & TOP PICKS
RACE 1 - EMERALD BAY (2 units W) - 9th by 5.2L at $6.00 / $2.43 Betfair SP.
RACE 2 - CRACKNECK (no bet)
RACE 3 - PURPLE SECTOR (no bet)
RACE 4 - FORBIDDEN LOVE (3 units W) - 1st by 0.3L at $7.19 / $2.61 Betfair SP.
RACE 5 - IT'S ME (top pick) & MAN OF PEACE (saver) (no bets)
RACE 6 - SPECIAL REWARD (no bet)
RACE 7 - Boxed First Four - 1/2/3/5/7/10/11 (no bet)
RACE 8 - VANNA GIRL & LIFE LESS ORDINARY (no bets)
RACE 9 - BY DEFAULTE & PATH'S OF GLORY (no bets)
RACE 10 - MIRRA VISION (no bet)
Total Unit Outlay = 5.00 units
Total Units Returned = 21.57 units
Unit Profit at Betfair SP = 16.57 units (overall unit profit with Caulfield of 11.12 units)
Betting Strategy has a max bet of 5 units. 'W' = Win bet, 'P' = Place bet, 'E/W' = Each-Way bet.
Speed Maps provided using Punting Form.
Analysis by @Max_Wills_.