No weather around for the weekend at Randwick. Nearly no rain predicted before, or on the day, Saturday. NE to ENE winds throughout the afternoon will be over 20km/h which could cause some issues. Those winds will be head winds in the home straight, so we will see a few unlucky runs of horses trying to find gaps on the inside. I think it will be advantage to inside barriers who can get cover and find gaps as late as possible, which is an extremely low percentage play. For the most part, on-pace will be suited whilst it’s a NE wind, as it turns to ENE later in the afternoon, we may see runners wider on the track start to run on. My expectation is the track will play very fair throughout the day and it will be race-pace dependant on who wins from where. If you get the race shape right Saturday, you’ll pick a lot of winners.
RACE 1 - CLEANAWAY HANDICAP (BM88 - 1600m)
DISCHARGED looks the obvious leader. I see Louise Day using TESTASHADOW to force DISCHARGED to work a little bit, but he will find the fence. That will open up some gaps behind them for some regular backmarkers to push forward and find a spot. I’m confident that there’s intent shown by BETCHA FLYING with the 53.5kg. KUBRICK and PANCHO try to hold midfield, and CINQUEDEA and MATOWI behind that pair. NEW KING will go back, as will OPACITY. LAURE ME IN definitely has the capacity to be more forward 2UP, but I can’t see J-Mac using him up to get a more forward spot. If there’s one there J-Mac will take it but doubt he will force the issue. Can see this being an Even-Fast run race which will bring everyone into the race. DISCHARGED being rock hard fit will not want any of those with a turn of foot getting an easy run and will want them chasing early. Can see there being a few gaps in the field during the run.
The map horse, if she is more forward, is definitely BETCHA FLYING, gets the absolute perfect run. DISCHARGED will never be disadvantaged running sectionals out front. INTERLOCUTER also maps well. If this is run as expected then PANCHO and KUBRICK also get really good runs and are at an advantage.
TESTASHADOW just isn’t suited up on a likely fast speed. MATOWI finds trouble on the fence and will need a heap of luck, same with NEW KING. I’d say that OPACITY and LAURE ME IN will be chasing a fair way out so being at the back won’t be an advantage to them either.
Between the map, lightweight and the likely good tempo in this race, I think BETCHA FLYING is a great bet. Was only 1.4L off DISCHARGED (Sep 12) carrying 1kg less, now has 5.5kg less - have to be with her. Can’t discount DISCHARGED who is absolutely flying at the moment and will be tough to chase down. KUBRICK and PANCHO both not without chances as they’ll be close enough and both have really good turn of foot, wouldn’t talk you out of them. MATOWI if he gets room is in a similar boat. Currently though, BETCHA FLYING at around that $7-$8 mark is just too good to pass up.
RACE 4 - QUINCY SELTZER HILL STAKES (2000m)
Two leaders you don’t have to 'think' about (pardon the pun). KOLDING likely Box Seats from gate 2, and I’d say FIERCE IMPACT sits on his outside. DADOOZDART happily drops back on the fence and tracks the two favourites. Life LESS ORDINARY should sit outside DADOOZDART. The order from there is a raffle of sorts, but settled on this order. I’m not too sure on the pace they go. FIERCE IMPACT and KOLDING probably queries at the 2000m so they might try and make it a test. Thinking slow early and it could be an 800-1000m sustained sprint to take away the turn of foot advantage the two favourites have.
I think the map horse, for once, is the leader JUST THINKIN’, he will get it all his own way and if Bossy can rate him well gets every chance. THINK IT OVER is at an advantage and I’d say KOLDING / FIERCE IMPACT / DADOOZDART / LIFE LESS ORDINARY are all map horses, with every chance, as well.
SIR CHARLES ROAD and DANCETERIA clearly at a disadvantage here. The interesting runner here is AVILIUS, I think he’s a neutral map horse, but we don’t know which Big A will show up so the map could still be a massive issue for him.
FIERCE IMPACT (in my opinion) is easily the best horse in this race, but doesn’t have the right platform to go from 1600m to 2000m, especially if it gets turned into a test. I think the two to look at over this distance are the likely leader JUST THINKIN’ and DADOOZDART. JUST THINKIN’ gets everything his way out front and looks to be a good play, platforming nicely from a v-fast run 1500, to 2000m – every chance. DADOOZDART’S platform definitely doesn’t suit but there was a massive spruik on this guy over his international form and he is definitely one to consider over the 2000m. KOLDING is going really well but I just don’t think he’s a 2000m horse, however he’s got the right platform to get the distance if he’s good enough. Think this is a clear no-bet race for me at this stage. If I had to, JUST THINKIN’, would be the play and if FIERCE IMPACT got out closer to $3’s I’d probably think about him as well.
RACE 5 - DARLEY FLIGHT STAKES (1600m)
Tough race to map. VANGELIC will have to lead, MIRAVILLE from out wide has to go forward if they want to win so, likely sits outside of her. JOVIALITY will make them work a little so that she gets the one-one position. DAME GISELLE will need to conserve every bit of energy to get the 1600 so I can see her just coddling the fence and presenting as late as possible. Jmac will keep HUNGRY HEART to her outside and try and box her in. MONTEFILIA will track HUNGRY HEART the whole way too. ALIGHTED is the interesting runner. Mapped her last but could easily see her taken a more forward position. Unless something miraculous happens, this will be a pretty slowly ran race and at absolute fastest be around an even tempo.
The two map horses for me are JOVIALITY and HUNGRY HEART. Two wide running line and peel out with clear room, to me they will both get a dream run.
Has to be the two runners on the inside, ALIGHTED and DAME GISELLE. They’re both either boxed in because the leaders aren’t coming off the fence or there in the inferior ground because they are. Leaders and MONTEFELIA are neutral, map wise.
The top 3 for me are HUNGRY HEART / MONTEFELIA / JOVIALITY. HUNGRY HEART, if as good as market keeps suggesting, gets the perfect draw and likely gets a great cart into the race from JOVIALITY. JOVIALITY has shown a heap of class at lower levels, so this is a big step up for her, but I think she’s up to it. MONTEFELIA now hits a distance range which suits her and was fitter for the first up run, although probable sit and sprint doesn’t suit her. Can’t knock DAME GISELLE, just keeps winning and it would not shock me if she just finds a way again. HUNGRY HEART looks the play as she should finally get clean air for 600m instead of just the final 200-300m like recent starts. You’re taking a short price, but should be worth it, I can’t personally bet on her though.
RACE 9 - CERRONE HANDICAP (BM88 - 1200m)
MUSIC ADDITION presses forward from a good draw. HANDLE THE TRUTH will be 3-wide no cover if he doesn’t press to be outside leader, BURNING CROWN will make sure that he has to work which should ensure a FAST tempo. ATHIRI probably gets the fence like last time. HILO has a real tricky draw but with the pace on early, I think finds a spot midfield. MOUNT HOREB gets the fence from the barrier also whilst STELLAR PAULINE and ASHRANI find spots worse than midfield, then the rest follow. Predicting a fast run race here with some of the tactics employed so plenty of horses get their chance to run on.
Definitely think that the two Godolphin runners are the map horses here. HILO probably more so if Jmac finds cover midfield. ATHIRI gets a similar run to last start, may need a little more luck at stages than HILO. If they run this fast enough then ASHRANI comes into the race but will be a long way back.
HANDLE THE TRUTH will probably have to work harder than he wants to get into a decent spot. The last three; AIM SMART, CONDOR, FARMER’S FRIEND are the ones who will be in a horror spot. The rest are neutral.
I think the market has this just about right with HILO and ATHIRI being the two main chances. You can definitely match the form lines up between them. HILO was tight for room and weaved between runners last start to beat home Masked Crusader. Masked Crusader didn’t get near Prime Candidate, who got a galloping lesson from ATHIRI before that start. To me it just looks like ATHIRI is a mare in form and they just keep winning, or at least running well. HILO has proven over time that he’s just such an inconsistent runner. Can make a case for ASHRANI who will be a flashing light run no matter what and could be in the finish if they overdo it.
OTHER RACE COMMENTS
RACE 2 - KEENELAND GIMCRACK STAKES The favourite ENTHAAR has trialled up super well, as we’ve all seen, and looks awfully hard to beat. Would I be taking the short, odds-on, price about a 2yo? Definitely not. No bet for me here as I couldn’t be with/against the favourite.
RACE 3 - ARROWFIELD BREEDERS' PLATE Not mapping this 2yo race but I have found one I like at odds; MAURICE’S MEDAD. Two really nice trials where first ridden quiet behind Avaricious (Sep 8) over 735m and then was super over 845m (Sep 21) where Rachel King clicked him up for a few strides in the last 100m and he started getting through his gears. He was then eased down on the line but worked through it superbly, and a long way past it, suggesting to me he was a fair way off top gear when asked for an effort. Love that King stays on after two trials, and she likes putting horses into races which she can do from gate 6 – prefer 2yo’s being more forward. He just looks a strong imposing 2yo, a little like Rulership was. Happy to have 1u on him at the double figure quote.
RACE 6 - BISLEY WORKWEAR PREMIERE STAKES 2-horse race and a little bit of an Everest preview. FASIKA will make NATURE STRIP work a little and CLASSIQUE LEGEND will settle behind them. NATURE STRIP definitely improves 2UP, however I can see FASIKA posing a slight problem for him. CLASSIQUE LEGEND gets the perfect sit behind both leaders and if he’s improved could give NATURE STRIP a big scare. Will be interesting, I can’t be with or against NATURE STRIP – if you like CLASSIQUE LEGEND, go for it!
RACE 7 - TAB EPSOM Tough race in general and harder to map. Not much pace on paper, but this is very rarely run slowly. STAR OF THE SEAS gets a dream run, box-seating likely, but could be tight for room. Don’t give PROBABEEL and IMAGING much of a chance from their barriers, they’ll be in the 3 and 4 wide line – low percentage play. FUNSTAR presses forward and if good enough can go well. ROCK I also think goes really well, whilst I’m convinced MR SEA WOLF is airborne. WILD PLANET another who is low key flying. I can’t bet in this, but my numbers would be; 3-2-13-9.
RACE 8 - HEINEKEN METROPOLITAN Similarly to the Epsom, this is just a nightmare to map and there are several horses who could win. MUGATOO, perfect draw and has to be the top seed as the market suggests. ZEBROWSKI is the map horse and can settle close and be a pain to run down for any chasers from the back. After that it’s anyone’s guess, hence why I’m happy to stay well away from this. ZEBROWSKI E/W would be my play if you twisted my arm.
Race 1: BETCHA FLYING (2 units W) - good map and light weight. - 5th by 2.2L at a $4.88 / $1.78 Betfair SP.
Race 3: MAURICE’S MEDAD (1 unit W) - see ‘Other Race Comments’ above. - 7th by 5.1L at a $10.69 / $3.14 Betfair SP.
Race 5: HUNGRY HEART - if we can get $2.75+ then it would be a 5 unit-job. - no unit play, jumping at a $2.15 Betfair SP.
Race 9: ATHIRI (5 units W - BEST BET) - map’s well and is a mare in form. - 1st by 0.2L at a $2.45 / $1.25 Betfair SP.
Total Units Outlay = 8.00 units
Total Unit Returned = 12.25 units
Unit Profit at Betfair SP = 4.25 units
Betting Strategy has a max bet of 5 units. 'W' = Win bet, 'P' = Place bet, 'E/W' = Each-Way bet.