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Chris Scholtz previews the Civic Stakes meeting at Randwick on June 25 with selections for all races, quaddie analysis, Trial Watch and Blackbook runners.
RANDWICK June 25
RACE 2 (2) DEFICIT: Hard to beat up in distance to 1600m as he gets in well with the 2kg claim after finishing off well for second over 1400m at Rosehill whens second up. This track suits him and he is fitter now - just have to trust the tempo will be strong enough to suit his style.
RACE 4 (6) PO KARE KARE: It's all about the potential of this exciting Savabeel filly who is lining up her for only her fifth career start after two wins and two placings in two well-spaced preps. This will be the first time she has gone to a third start in one prep but the manner of her last start win over 1200m at Gosford when she never got out of second gear rounding up her rivals from last under 61.5kg in exceptional time was proof that the patience of trainer Bryce Heys is going to take this girl a long way. She's well placed to take the next step if the track is playing fair for backmarkers.
RACE 5 (2) FLEXIBLE: Godolphin had other options at Rosehill and Caulfield with this mare and respect this choice as her recent racing has her ready to run up to her excellent Group form that includes a third as favourite to Duais in Randwick's G3 Adrian Knox and a luckless fourth in the G1 Australasian Oaks at Morphettville. She's had two solid conditioning runs a month apart since resuming with her last start fifth behind Comme Bella Fille and Niffler over 1600m at this course when making ground from last an excellent pointer to her prospects over this extra trip. The 2kg claim for Tyler Schiller also gives her a small weight edge in the rematch with her rivals from that race.
RACE 7 (9) SOLAR APEX: Easy to make excuses for his last start fifth when beaten 1.8 lengths behind Surf Dancer over 1800m at Rosehill on June 4 as he was the victim of a farcical slow pace, leaving him awkwardly placed with little chance to improve his position until the last 200m. Significantly he was still able to post the fastest last 600m of the entire meeting and the race form has already been franked as his stablemate Skyman came out of that BM94 to win the a Listed race at Rosehill last Saturday. That's a strong recommendation for this gelding's chances in this easier BM88 where he will appreciate the 2kg claim for the in-form apprentice Reece Jones.
RACE 10 (4) JOJO WAS A MAN: We won't get the same generous odds as last time when he won for us over this course and distance but happy to stick with this in-form 4YO under similar conditions. He has to contend with the expected weight increase but he's gone to a new peak winning two of his three starts since resuming and his soft barrier should see him camp behind the pace and get all the favours over his poorly drawn main rivals who have also been penalised for their last start wins in this class.
RACE 1: 13-6-9-5
RACE 2: 2-6-4-8
RACE 3: 14-10-1-8
RACE 4: 6-2-4-9
RACE 5: 2-1-3-6
RACE 6: 6-7-8-4
RACE 7: 9-6-12-1
RACE 8: 9-8-11-12
RACE 9: 8-7-3-1
RACE 10: 4-8-1-18
RACE 3: Rail out 6 metres (3m last Randwick meeting) makes barriers important over the short course but it may be too early in the program to distinguish if the rail is a yay or a nay. (14) TWICE AS SPECIAL is good value for the exotics - going as well as any of those with recent racing but respect significant early support for the resuming pair (3) NIKOHLI BEAGLE and (8) CONRAD off good trials. (1) EXCELTIC flies fresh and has the claim to offset his topweight while (10) DON LUIGI is reliable under these conditions
RACE 4: Bank on exciting filly (6) PO KARE KARE as an anchor bet. (2) HUESCA is an obvious danger off his Warwick Farm win as he should cross for the lead and will take running down if allowed to dictate. 4, 9 and 11 for those going wider.
RACE 5: Good mare (2) FLEXIBLE is well placed with a 2kg claim on the quality Group form she displayed as 3YO. Fitter and it's a good lead that Godolphin kept the dual acceptor in Sydney for this race. (1) NIFFLER and (3) COMME BELLE FILLE also get allowances but will find FLEXIBLE a tougher rival over this longer distance than when they met here two weeks over the mile.
RACE 6: Lightweights invariably perform well in these unattractive staying races. (6) SHAMELESS MISS has shown plenty of fight winning three of her last five starts and will tough out the 2600m as well as any of them with a 6.5kg drop from her latest success at Warwick Farm. (7) MARAKOPA also gets in with a nice weight now that he is holding form. Proved his upset win in the heavy at this course two runs back was no fluke with a creditable fifth in the G2 Brisbane Cup.
RACE 7: The Waller stable has narrowed its attack down to (6) FRANCESCO GUARDI and (9) SOLAR APEX. The latter is the weight horse and is ready to win after he posted big sectionals when a luckless fifth in a good form race at Rosehill. Hard to quantify the improvement in the Frankel import FRANCESCO GUARDI off his game Brisbane win over 1400m as this is the first time he has raced beyond 1600m in Australia. 1, 4 and 12 for the exotics.
RACE 8: Wide open but expect the honest (9) TRUE DETECTIVE – placed in this race last year off similar prep - can get into the frame at good odds. (11) TAKSU rates well but is it wet enough for him? Easy to make a case for 3, 5, 8, 10 and 12 – they will all attract support.
RACE 9: Tough leg so go as wide as you dare! Strong pace should suit a closer – the Waller pair (8) HULK and (9) IRISH ANGEL have convictions but fit the bill. (3) OUR BELLAGIO MISS can take advantage of her good draw and 3kg claim. Topweight (1) MAMARAGAN can win at his best but it's hard to trust a horse without a victory in 16 starts since his winning debut 28 months ago! Good trials from (6) CONSCRIPT and (12) MISS DIOR have them ready to run boldly first up. (15) I CALL JUNEE HOME is down in the weights and improving with every start.
RACE 10: Good clash between the strong last start winners (1) KINGSHEIR, (4) JOJO WAS A MAN and (8) SINBA. JOJO WAS A MAN is flying this prep. Has the best draw and is the one with the last start course and distance form in this class. SINBA rises sharply in weight for his Brisbane win but he was impressive putting a big margin on them and his stable hold him in high regard. KINGSHEIR also likes Randwick. He is a mountain of a horse who is certain to be fitter for his strong first-up win for his new stable. Watch out for Tim Clark to try and steal it on (5) FOR VALOUR, interestingly having his first start on his home track. (18) BEAUFORT PARK can put value into the exotics.
TRIAL WATCH REPORT
NOTED TRIAL RUNNERS
RANDWICK SATURDAY: Conrad (R3); Conscript (R9); Miss Dior (R9); Miss Jay Fox (R9);
EAGLE FARM SATURDAY: King Of Sparta (R9)
NEWCASTLE SATURDAY: Canada Bay (R3); Alpha One (R3); Surrenders (R3)
SCONE MONDAY: Wild Amber (R3); Headwall (R3); Jacquine Reward (R5); Cinque Torri (R7)
RECENT TRIAL WATCH WINNERS: True Crime; Humble Star; Alberich; Beer Palace; Brudenell; Reach For Gold; The Milky Bar Kid; Eponymous; Tashi; The Himalayas; Rita May; Cliff's Art; Waihaha Falls; Resistible; Osipenko; Kiku; Pinnace; Parlayed; Kibou; Saquon; Cinderella Days; Emilia Romagna.
ROSEHILL June 20: The Snowdens should place the well performed ALPHA ONE to advantage after his comfortable 900m heat win (55.22; 35.23). CINQUE TORRI is worth following on the strength of his fastest 1030m heat win (62.04; 34.49)
WARWICK FARM June 10: Unraced Dream Ahead youngster HEADWALL returned as a gelding for his second trial and looked much improved form the version we saw at the start of the season. Open to improvement on his strong work to win his 808m heat in good time (48.20; 34.12). A sharp first trial by Pariah youngster WILD AMBER, running away with his 808m heat in fast time (48.02; 34.07) to win by more than four lengths.
ROSEHILL June 7: In the open heats over 900m there was a lot to like about a solid win by CONSCRIPT (54.01; 35.36). He built a handy record through his last prep and looks set for another successful campaign.
RANDWICK May 18: Speedy 5YO mare MISS DIOR went out for a spell in winning form in September and looks ready to go again after a sharp win her 742m heat (45.30; 35.10), leading comfortably from the start and having plenty in reserve to win by a soft 1.9 lengths. She's a short course specialist as all her four wins have been at 1000m.
GOSFORD MAY 18: The effort of JACQUINE REWARD (62.40; 36.86) to finish third in his 1000m open heat in his first trial for 12 months after stable changes had a lot of merit.
WARWICK FARM April 11 (Poly): CONRAD had the advantage of leading on the rail in his 740m heat (43.98; 33.56) and did it well to get home by a comfortable half length.
Eligible Blackbook Runners – June 25
EAGLE FARM SATURDAY: Metallicity (R7); Honey Pot (R7); Atishu (R8)
RANDWICK SATURDAY: Oscar Zulu (R8); Rainbow Connection (R9)
CAULFIELD SATURDAY: Thron Bone (R2); Duchess Of Dorset (R3); Good And Proper (R5); Squid Game (R6)
RECENT BLACKBOOK WINNERS: Stormy Rock; Wicklow; Skyman; Jojo Was A Man; Vinco; Political Debate; Sibaaq; Vitruvius; Surreal Step; Brosnan; Extremely Lucky; Zapateo; Twin Stars; Soxagon; Rustic Steel; Premium Choice; Aleas; Indifference; Rights Of Man; Bandersnatch; Je Suis Belle; Milford.
Blackbookers – Selected June 18
(Follow for next 3 starts)
IRISH LEGEND: Capable import with plenty of upside.
MAYBE THE BEST: Made the grade but left it too late.
OSIPENKO: Will make a nice 3YO.
SEARCHIN ROC'S: Quality filly. Best over a longer trip.
TAVIDANCE: Worked home nicely first-up. Fitter next time.