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Chris Scholtz previews the Missile Stakes meeting at Randwick on August 6 with best bets, selections for all races, Playing The Quaddie, Trial Watch and Blackbookers.
RANDWICK August 6
RACE 5 (7) PIZARRO: John O'Shea is striking while the iron is hot with this rising talent after his impressive BM72 win over 1300m at Rosehill last Saturday, his second victory in just six starts. It was always obvious this robust gelding would improve with racing and while he rises to a BM78 he rates as the horse to beat on his home track if he holds the form that saw him respond to pressure in great style last week. The mystery is why he loses Hugh Bowman with Tommy Berry taking the mount?
RACE 6 (6) SMIRNOVA: Loved the way this quality mare went about winning her recent 900m trial in soft ground at Rosehill that showed she is in the right form to add to her impressive strike rate of three wins from six starts. The astute Hawkes team have found an ideal first-up target and her favourable draw should see Willie Pike - the stable's new go to jockey - give her every chance.
RACE 7 (12) ALCYONE: Excellent first-up win over 1500m at Rosehill under 60.5kg points to this lightly raced 5YO being a big improver for the Godolphin stable this season. He's already won four times up to 2000m from just 13 starts and his form against the likes of Mr Brightside when second-up in the autumn is an undeniable pointer to his prospects in this company. He faces a strong Waller team but James Cummings has made the decisive move to use claiming apprentice Reece Jones, giving this gelding a big weight advantage with 10kg less than he carried when so dominant first-up.
RACE 1: (1) RELUCENT - Well placed this class. Distance suits.
RACE 3: (2) OUR CANDIDATE - Back in winning form at last. Can repeat.
RACE 8: (10) BELLUCI BABE - Underrated mare drawn to suit. Good trials have her ready.
RACE 1: 1-3-10-2
RACE 2: 1-11-7-5
RACE 3: 2-5-8-3
RACE 4: 13-4-10-11
RACE 5: 7-9-5-2
RACE 6: 6-4-1-3
RACE 7: 12-6-8-11
RACE 8: 10-3-5-1
RACE 9: 4-1-2-5
RACE 10: 2-1-7-11
PLAYING THE QUADDIE
RACE 7: Godolphin's (12) ALCYONE versus the Waller team of (6) LORD ARDMORE, (8) FRANCESCO GUARDI and (13) YIYI. ALCYONE and LORD ARDMORE are clear choices for those going skinny – if going wide lnclude FRANCESOCO GUARDI and course specialist (11) LA CHEVALEE. Opposing Grafton Cup winner (1) ARAPAHO back in distance and up in weight from wide draw.
RACE 8: A tricky Missile Stakes with eight of the 12 acceptors resuming and most showing good form in their trials. Underrated mare (10) BELLUCI BABE drawn to suit and appeals as the best value off two good prep trials. No knock on the trials of the classy trio (1) COUNT DE RUPE, (3) FORBIDDEN LOVE and (7) EMBRACER and are must inclusions. For those going wide Ramornie runner-up (5) GEM SONG is over the odds and the good fresh mare (4) NIMALEE are not hopeless. (2) HILAL won his trial in slow time and will gamble that he will find others too sharp over 1200m first-up.
RACE 9: A Waller conundrum as the winner can come from any of his four runners (1) BOLD MAC (rises sharply in weight), (4) IL AFFARE (looks ready with McDonald on), (5) FIRST LIGHT (fitter and gets Rawiller) and (10) FJORDLAND. Last Saturday's winner (2) CONTRIBUTINGFACTOR is sure to be a threat. (6) CASINO KID has trialled well.
RACE 10: A lottery! (2) JAI LEI can win if she gets the race run to suit while (1) GLITTERY has the form and figures but needs luck from her wide gate. (7) LADY BROOK and (11) SUNRISE RUBY rate well off their 1-2 finish here last time but there are numerous other chances – (4) RUPERATAAR (luckless last time); (8) LADY BANFF (good trials); (10) MARCHIONESS (nice first-up) and last start winners (13) EYE SEE THINGS and (14) TWICE AS SPECIAL.
SKINNY QUADDIE – 6-12/3-7-10/1-4-5/1-2-7-11
GOING WIDE – 6-8-11-12/1-3-5-7-10/1-2-4-5-6-10/1-2-7-8-11-13
TRIAL WATCH REPORT
NOTED TRIAL RUNNERS – August 6-9
RANDWICK SATURDAY: Coodarady (R4); Conqueror (R4); Grace And Harmony (R5); Smirnova (R6); Leo (R6); Count De Rupee (R8); Forbidden Love (R8); Embracer (R8); Belluci Babe (R8); Lady Banff (R10)
NEWCASTLE SATURDAY: Esky (R2; Gaylebeck (R3); Romeus (R5); Diamond Tipped (R5); Absolute Star (R5); Lamorlaye (R6)
FLEMINGTON SATURDAY: Desert Icon (R8)
GOULBURN MONDAY: Headwall (R1); Bringonthebubbles (R7); Surreal Lily (R7)
HAWKESBURY TUESDAY: Surreal Lily (R3); Bringonthebubbles (R3); Junquiera (R3)
RECENT TRIAL WATCH WINNERS: Golden Fighter; Euphrates Dream; Diamond Diesel; Zoukerino; Silvakia; Bold Mac; Willinga Freefall; Overlord; Waverider Buoy; Vientiane; Hell I Am; Headwall; Airman; Alpha One; True Crime; Humble Star; Alberich; Beer Palace; Brudenell; Reach For Gold; The Milky Bar Kid; Eponymous; Tashi.
ROSEHILL July 29: SMIRNOVA's sharp 900m win in a heat for the 3 and 4YOs points to her being ready to perform first-up. She took up the running after 250m and from there worked well within herself to easily hold her rivals under a kind ride from Tommy Berry (54.95; 35.53). The Group heat over 900m won by HILAL was run in the slowest time of the 11 trials over the distance (56.79; 35.83). The winner dictated the pace but I liked the way the classy mare GRACE AND HARMONY worked to the line for second.
GOSFORD July 29: The fastest 800m heat was won in brilliant style by SURREAL LILY (47.95; 34.55), a maiden from the Brad Widdup stable who sped to a big lead and cruised home by almost six lengths.
RANDWICK July 26 (Poly): Top class mare FORBIDDEN LOVE did it well to travel three wide in her four horse heat over 1080m (65.20; 34.35) and do just enough to get the upper hand on the line from a strong COUNT DE RUPEE.
WARWICK FARM July 22 (Poly): EMBRACER backed up a sharp trial win at Randwick on July 8 with a brilliant display to run away with his 1175m heat by more than eight lengths (69.77; 34.44); Took up the running under a big hold before Regan Bayliss let him rip from the 500m where he exploded away from the chasers with an impressive burst of acceleration. Obviously primed to perform first-up.
WARWICK FARM April 8 (Poly): Godolphin had a nice win in the juvenile trials over 740m with GAYLEBECK (43.94; 33.73), a youngster with obvious prospects.
WARWICK FARM March 11 Poly: Unraced Snitzel filly LAMORLAYE is a natural runner and has obvious prospects after scooting away to an easy win by more than six lengths in her 740m heat (45.51; 34.26)..
Eligible Blackbook Runners – August 6
RANDWICK SATURDAY: Rivabrook (R4); Grace And Harmony (R5); Il Affare (R9); Belsielle (R10); Lady Banff (R10); Sunrise Ruby (R10)
FLEMINGTON SATURDAY: Berkeley Square (R1); Grand Pope (R3); Veranskova (R3)
DOOMBEN SATURDAY: Don't Stop (R5)
RUAKAKA SATURDAY: Entriviere (R8)
RECENT BLACKBOOK WINNERS: Pizarro; Lord Ardmore; Honey Pot; Tow The Line; Midnight In Tokyo; Kanazawa; Daralina Belle; Searchin' Roc's; Go Wandji; Thron Bone; Stormy Rock; Wicklow; Skyman; Jojo Was A Man; Vinco; Political Debate; Sibaaq; Vitruvius; Surreal Step; Brosnan; Extremely Lucky.
Blackbookers – Selected July 30
(Follow for next 3 starts)
DALCHINI: Nice return. Underrated.
GOLD TRIP: Sure to benefit from his Australian debut.
OPACITY: Warming up for a suitable target.
OPAL RIDGE: Has obvious talent.
PRIX DE TURN: Set for longer races.
VA VIA: Will appreciate a bigger track.