Brad Gray's Tips for Randwick (Saturday)

Tips for Randwick by Brad Gray .

Racecourse : Randwick (Australia)
Racecourse : Randwick (Australia) Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty Images

Race 1 - 11:00AM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

9. Lisztomania is an untapped three-year-old with a powerful finish. Three of his five career starts have been over 1000m or shorter and he has found a couple too sharp over these trips but smoked to the line on each occasion. He won his maiden over 1350m despite sitting three deep throughout, camping outside of the leaders. Aiden St Vincent tipped him out and he strikes a Highway Handicap at the perfect time, third up out to 1400m. Last start he was taken back to last at Newcastle in Class 1 company before hitting the line hard behind Sonnet Star and Sepoy Star. The latter came out and won her next start at Kemba Grange. Don't think we've seen anywhere near the best of this gelding yet. Tim Clark is booked and the middle draw looks ideal given his racing style.

Dangers: 6. Bootscooter has come a long way this preparation, winning his maiden at Scone before taking out a Class 1 at Newcastle and then running second in a Class 3 Highway. A Highway that was dominated by the leader. He is even better placed back to Class 2 company here. Want to give his stablemate 10. Overextend the chance to bounce back. He was 1200m back to 1100m last start and couldn't quicken. Jumps straight out to 1400m now for the first time. He'd run seconds in two Highways prior. 11. Sir Ravanelli has been winning with his ears pricked this preparation. It's just a matter of how much work he'll have to do to cross from the gate.

How To Play It: Lisztomania WIN

Race 2 - 11:35AM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1600 METRES)

2. Deficit put the writing on the wall second up that another win is just around the corner. First up he tackled a Heavy 10 at Warwick Farm and was doing his best work through the line but three weeks ago he bounced off that to split Niffler and Lady Of Luxury at Rosehill. The rails hugging ride from Josh Parr meant he didn't go around a single horse but he hit the line powerfully. Niffler and Lady of Luxury have since come out and franked the form by running narrow seconds. This is effectively the same race but out to the mile which is a lovely progression for him. The same grade, restricted to three and four-year-olds. The small field and middle draw will see him park up close enough to be given no excuses. Sets up perfectly.

Dangers: 8. Tympanist wasn't suited by the lack of tempo in Midway company seven days ago when fourth behind Marnix. The first three to the home turn ran the trifecta. Forgive his second up failure where he took off early out to 1800m and knocked up. Whether 4. Indifference just needed time to mature or he has relished heavy tracks this time back, there is no denying that he has returned a much better horse winning at Goulburn and then Newcastle. This is harder again and he maps to give away a head start, however. 6. Kalino looked to have his chance behind Jojo Was A Man last start but there is less depth here and perhaps the mile will spark some improvement. 5. Journalism should find the front and give a sight.

How To Play It: Deficit WIN

Race 3 - 12:10PM MIDWAY HANDICAP (1100 METRES)

3. Nikohli Beagle has won his past three first up runs, in three preparations for trainer Jarrod Austin. What some form guides won't tell you is that he won first up in a Midway Handicap last campaign over 1100m only for the race to be taken off him due to testing positive to a prohibited substance. The five-year-old trialled well at Warwick Farm recently flagging that he has returned just as well as preparations gone by. Ellen Hennessy's 3kg claim sees the sprinter well in with 57kg and he should get his chance in the run from the perfect draw, being allowed to balance up midfield. There is more than enough tempo on paper for him. Deserves his spot in the market because if he runs to his established fresh pattern, he has to be somewhere in the finish.

Dangers: The mission for 1. Exceltic becomes so much harder from the draw but he's an equally explosive fresh horse and is no stranger to running well in Midways. It just comes down to how big of a start he is forced to give away. Setbacks have plagued 8. Conrad's career to date but he perhaps has the most talent of anything here. Has trialled four times over the course of five months so it's been slowly, slowly to get him back to the races. 14. Twice As Special continues to knock on the door. She is flying this time back, being kept to the short course sprint trips. 7. Pandora Blue and 6. Prince Invincible look the two speed influences and could give cheek while expecting 5. Monte Ditto to bounce back.

How To Play It: Nikohli Beagle WIN

Race 4 - 12:45PM PRECISE AIR HANDICAP (1300 METRES)

6. Po Kare Kare scored the softest of wins at Gosford last start under 61.5kg. That's now two wins from four starts to kick off her career. The three-year-old Savabeel filly was simply a class above her rivals at provincial level. She was taken straight out the back from the wide draw and in a race that turned into a sprint home, she produced a dominant last 400m. First up she made a sustained looping run on the Randwick Kensington and peaked late when third to Glittery. Trainer Bryce Heys looks to have found the perfect race for Po Kare Kare to progress into Saturday company – a benchmark 72 against her own age over 1300m with the kicker being that the speed should be genuine throughout. Has always given the impression that she had the talent to skip through the grades.

Dangers: 9. Bitcoin Baby has scored a couple of pass marks in her two runs back but there is more depth to her form lines than most here. She drops back from BM78 company and comes back to her own age group. 2. Huesca coasted through to take up the running at Warwick Farm last start before pinching a breather turning for home so he was entitled to win, and he did, putting his rivals away. His race will be won or lost in the first couple of hundred metres in terms of the early work he is forced to do to cross. 4. Dehorned Unicorn is a lightly-raced gelding still on the improve. He'll settle handy and comes here a last start winner. 11. Pretty Wild is completely untapped given she's had just the one start. The placegetters there subsequently ran the quinella in another midweeker.

How To Play It: Po Kare Kare WIN

Race 5 - 1:20PM QUAYCLEAN HANDICAP (1800 METRES)

Reluctant to overlook the obvious in 3. Comme Bella Fille. The top five in betting all come through the same race at Randwick over the mile two weeks ago. All runners had their chance and John O'Shea's four-year-old proved superior, despite being $15. She'll be forced to carry and extra 3kg because of that win. The step out to 1800m won't worry her, in fact, it only looks to enhance her claims of winning her third race in a row. She did run Huetor to 1.5 lengths over 2000m last preparation. Leading apprentice Reece Jones has ridden her in both of her victories this time back and he retains the ride. Unsurprisingly, given he has produced two gems. Was hard to make any excuses for those behind her a fortnight ago so she looks very hard to beat again.

Dangers: 1. Niffler was beaten on her merits last start but she is such a consistent mare so expect her to be fighting out the finish once more. 2. Flexible was only second up last start and was a month between runs so she was entitled to feel the pinch late. No excuses now third up out to the 1800m from a gate that'll allow her to park up closer. Only Comme Bella Fille had a quicker last 600m than her last start. 4. Nothinsweetaboutme pulled up slow to recover when a well beaten eighth. She has since trialled well. If it's not that race, where do you turn? Perhaps to 6. Lovetheinvasion.

How To Play It: Comme Bella Fille WIN

Race 6 - 1:55PM FURPHY STAYER'S CUP (2600 METRES)

6. Shameless Miss has relished getting out over ground. There is only one recent blemish on her record and pulled up slow to recover. That was at Randwick two starts ago. The four-year-old bounced back from that effort by winning at Warwick Farm. Our Candidate loomed up to go straight past her in the straight but she was in for the fight and going away again on the line. There was a huge gap of seven lengths back to third. That suggests she'll love the 2600m staying test here. The bonus is the huge drop in weight. After the claim of apprentice Tyler Schiller she'll carry just 51.5kg. The daughter of Shamexpress maps to settle one-out-one-back so she'll have no excuses on that front. Only has to hold her form to win this.

Dangers: There was a struck match between 1. Alakahan and Bonny Ezra last start in the Winter Cup won by Irish Sequel, who has since won again franking the form. Alakahan was pocketed momentarily. 8. Funambulist comes out of BM64 race at the provincials but he's only had nine starts and at least provides a different form line. He too plummets in weight jumping into BM90 company. 3. La Baol was confidently backed at the Gold Coast seven weeks ago, on the back of his Group form in Sydney over the carnival, but never figured. He's better than that. 7. Marakopa has hit a purple patch of form.

How To Play It: Shameless Miss WIN

Race 7 - 2:30PM ACY SECURITIES HANDICAP (1800 METRES)

9. Solar Apex was every bit as good as Skyman last start at Rosehill and his stablemate went on to win the McKell Cup in emphatic fashion last Saturday. It was a race shape that gave the backmarkers no chance. The leaders crawled in front. Then throw into the mix that Solar Apex was shuffled back in the pack when the field bunched, making his run from last and being momentarily held up. He was entitled to sprint home quickly, as were all runners in the race, but his 34.32s last 600m was the quickest across the entire meeting. His lack tactical speed is his biggest crutch. Would love to think that he'd be able to use the draw to park up midfield but it's perhaps wishful thinking. Either way, he is flying this time back and finds the perfect race fourth up.

Dangers: 10. La Chevalee was tested in Listed company in Adelaide last start. She failed as a $6 chance but a number of factors perhaps contributed to her disappointing effort. The good track and being stretched to 2000m. She loves Randwick (4:2-0-1), the sting out of the ground and has won over 1800m in the past at this track. 7. Born A King would be a clear favourite if he hadn't drawn the carpark. He may have been flattered last Saturday by finding the fence at Rosehill but it was a career best for the five-year-old. The mile is probably 1. Bethencourt's optimum distance but his last start second to Cliff's Art makes him a key player in this. The timing is right to try 4. Night Of Power over this trip again now. 6. Francesco Guardi jumps from 1400m to 1800m but is a last start winner while 12. Philipsburg continues to run well.

How To Play It: Solar Apex WIN

Race 8 - 3:05PM CHANDON CIVIC STAKES (1400 METRES)

11. Taksu didn't let down on a firm track at Eagle Farm last start. He is yet to win in nine starts on good ground. He still wasn't beaten all that far in a race that subsequently provided both the G1 Stradbroke Handicap winner and last week's Eye Liner winner. The six-year-old's form prior to that reads well for this. He had been flying prior to the Queensland failure, relishing the wet tracks in Sydney. His two previous Randwick runs saw him bolt in over this same track and trip in April while first up this campaign he ran second to Gravina. Expect Glyn Schofield to roll straight to the front on Taksu as per his usual free-rolling style and if he's allowed to find a rhythm, he'll take running down. Just won't want the track to dry out too much.

Dangers: 12. Mariamia chased home Andermatt and Dragonstone first up at Randwick over 1100m before winning second up. She more than held her own in Group company last start at Eagle Farm, albeit against her own sex. Maps beautifully in this. 17. Battleton is a three-year-old still on the up and although he has been well held in his three runs back, running three placings, those form lines should stack up for this. Just has a tricky gate to overcome. 1. Tamahere was Group One placed in the US going back just 12 months. She also has a Group Two win to her name and two Listed races. The 59kg, tackling this first up and the wide gate make things very hard for her but she's obviously a classy import. 3. Looks Like Elvis also has a wide draw to contend with. The drier the better for 5. Dawn Passage. 9. True Detective for the exotics.

How To Play It: Taksu WIN

Race 9 - 3:45PM PETALUMA HANDICAP (1100 METRES)

Have been waiting for 8. Irish Angel to drop back to 1100m. Her last three wins have come over the shorter trip. Last start she kept finding the line behind Per Inaway over 1200m at Rosehill with the placegetters Rubinocchi and Easifar subsequently franking the form. There is no denying that she isn't the easiest mare to catch, and her record of four wins from 28 starts tells you that, but she gets a perfect set up here to run up to her best, which just about wins this. It's her pet trip (11:3-3-2), there is a stack of speed engaged for her and she should get a soft track. Chad Schofield will have her smothered up on the fence looking to pick his way through the field late and with the breaks at the right time, she'll take holding out.

Dangers: Everybody knows the 1. Mamaragan story by now. Loaded with talent but he simply never wins. It's been 120 weeks now since his Skyline victory on debut. He travelled like the winner behind Dragonstone last start before fading away at the finish to run third. That still reads well for this. 7. Hulk gets his 15th different jockey on Saturday. Over to you Josh Parr. 3. Our Bellagio Miss's best two runs this campaign have been over 1000m. That's perhaps no coincidence but she maps to get the right run and wasn't far off Siege last start. All four of 12. Miss Dior's wins have come over 1000m and she resumes off a 42 week lay off but she's dangerous fresh from the low draw and looked sharp in her one trial back. This is not an easy race.

How To Play It: Irish Angel WIN

Race 10 - 4:25PM ELITE SAND & SOIL HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

8. Sinba put five lengths on his rivals at Doomben first up. He was just as impressive on the clock as he was to the eye too. The third horse there, beaten six lengths, has since won himself. A winner of four of his eight starts, we haven't seen the best of this three-year-old yet and his two wins last campaign prompted Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou to deep end him in the G1 Randwick Guineas and then the G1 Rosehill Guineas. He was found out at that level but he didn't look at that comfortable on heavy ground there either. Soft tracks have been okay for him in the past, however. He'll be allowed to balance up in the second half of the field before unleashing his powerful finish. Just hope he isn't already looking for the mile.

Dangers: 4. Jojo Was A Man has returned better than ever, winning two of his three starts and finding the lack of tempo against him in the one defeat. He went straight past Cross Talk two weeks ago. 18. Beaufort Park caught the eye late through that same race and warrants a second look at big odds. 3. Mana Nui is an interesting runner. Six of his seven starts have been in Group company. Wary of him kicking off in a BM78 over 1400m. 5. For Valour can only improve on his third to 1. Kingsheir first up and is better suited out in trip. 6. Pandano and 7. From The Bush rate mentions.

How To Play It: Sinba WIN

 


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