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By Darren Winningham | Friday, September 15, 2017

Last weekend I was out of luck with many of my selections running seconds. I just could not take a trick!

This week Randwick race is the focal point of the racing in Australia.

I am a little concerned with the placement of the rail at Randwick – out 9 metres from the 1600metres to the winning post and then 7 metres for the rest of the track.

I’m ust not sure how the track will race with the rail in this position.

However, we should be racing on a “GOOD” surface so everyone should get an equal chance to win!

So I am back – let’s see what we can do this weekend!

NB: As this form assessment was made prior to raceday, please check final fields and track conditions for any changes on the day.

Race 1

This week we start off the program with the TAB Highway handicap - an open field to bet on.

There has been a big go for one here – She Knows (10) from the powerful Danny Williams stable to be ridden by Jay Ford. This stable likes a bet. When they put their money on they seldom do not go away with a result!

I like the recent consistent form of Undaoaf (2) from Nick Olive’s yards. He gets in nice with the claim for Lee Magorrian who takes three kilos of his back. His last start win at Canberra was good.

The danger I think is Larlabrook trained at Dubbo by Clint Lundholm. My NSW spies are telling me that this one is going great on the track and his recent barrier trial win at Dubbo showed that he is ready to be competitive first up. Only concern is barrier 11, but he has the super talented record breaking jockey Greg Ryan aboard.

He must be a serious contender as Greg has come to town to partner him again. He has ridden him in all three career starts so far.

Selections: 2-4-10-3


Race 2

Bjorn Baker has two serious chances in this race – Imposing Lass (1) and Embley (3). I like these two to quinella the race.

In the past the form out of the strong Mona Lisa held at Wyong normally holds up in the coming weeks after the race. This year Imposing Lass (1) ran second in the race and I think she is a great bet here despite the 61.5 kilograms. Hugh Bowman to pilot – she ticks a few boxes!

The stable mate Embley (3) won last start here at Randwick a fortnight ago so he has winning form at the track and distance and should be hard to toss again.

There has been some serious coin for the Peter & Paul Snowden trained Royal Navy (10) down the bottom – a lightweight chance for mine. Tim Clark takes the ride. He comes off a magically winning treble last weekend at Rosehill!

Selections: 1-3-9-10


Race 3

This race looks to be dominated by the Godolphin team of James Cummings.

Viridine (2) is undefeated in two career starts and has drawn well. Marsupial (7) looked good first up and may have been short of a run just wilting in the final 100metres – so he should strip fitter here.

Then you have the other stable mate Malahat (6) who was the victim of the Eagle Farm track during the Brisbane Winter Carnival. He won second up at Canterbury with Bowman in the saddle and has race fitness on his side.

Goodfella (3) was solid in the 2017 Magic Millions on the Gold Coast beaten just 2.9 lengths by Houtzen. He powered home that day. I think that he will be better suited over a longer distance and will be one to follow.

Selections: 7-2-6-3


Race 4

The Bill Ritchie Handicap at Group 3 – a nice race!

So this race looks like it is going to be dominated by the Chris Waller team!

Tom Melbourne (3) just keeps trying but can find a way to get beaten. Blake Shinn is back aboard this weekend – maybe he can keep the horse’s mind on the job and get him first past the post.

Waller’s other runner is Comin’ Through (7) who won first up a month ago here at Randwick. He is up in grade this week, down in weight and has recently had a solid hit out in a barrier trial at Rosehill. He could be a serious threat here.

This could be a Waller quinella.

The rest of the field is even – take your pick!

Selections: 3-7-9-5


Race 5

The 2017 Tea Rose Stakes over 1400 metres (Group 2) – probably a few looking for a win here to grab a start in next week’s Golden Rose.

The race looks a match in two.

Firstly there is Tulip (1) from the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig team. She was super competitive earlier in the year and was solid first up at Moonee Valley.

The other contender is Champagne Cuddles (2) from the Bjorn Baker team. She has run two placings since resuming and I really think that the 1400 metres this week is right up her alley.

So it is a true battle – Victoria V NSW! Who will come out on top?

There is one here at nice odds – around $26 that could be super value for your exotics . One More Honey (3), from the John Thompson yards. It could be another solid ride for Blake Shinn. She will definitely derive benefit from the 1400 metres. Watch for her to just settle off the speed and come at them late in the final 150 metres.

Selections: 2-1-3-6


Race 6

The White Stakes – Group 1 level.

Can the others provide any race tactics to bring the mighty champion mare Winx (7) unstuck this weekend?

It is a brave man to tip against her and say she cannot win. The history of this race over the years does not support a favourite winning the race, but the favourites have never been as good as her!

Oh, I am thinking, I should tip away from her – but I will stay solid and say she will win by less than 1 length!

So it is all go WINX!

The danger for mine is Foxplay (9). She will be probably be making a run just in front of Winx – Bowman may rely on that one to bring her into the race ... but will there be a breakneck speed set in front like in the Chelmsford by Red Excitement (3)?

I am tipping a unique Waller trifecta with McCreery (4) to round out the placings. I think he will be best suited in the “good” surface and I truly think we did not see the best of him in the Brisbane Winter Carnival.

Selections: 7-9-4-1


Race 7

The 2017 SHORTS (Group 2) – now this is a super race with speed galore!

I suppose if we are hoping to see history and crowd favourites on the program I should be tipping the ghostly grey gelding to settle out the back – swoop – come wide and run over them! I am talking about the sprinting freak Chautauqua (1).

Well I am not too sure that this will be the script this weekend!

I was on Redzel (2) first up and I am keen to get on again this weekend . The bulldog run in front with a massive weight last time - it really looks like the gelding has come back from the spell in fine fettle.

I have always had an opinion of the quality mare English (5). She is a real competitor and I think that Blake Shinn will settle her somewhere off the speed here this weekend, look for a lucky gap in the straight and make his move. She can win this!

The other one that I like is one of my favourites - Takedown (3) trained by the flamboyant and passionate Gary Moore. Look there are no excuses for his form in Brisbane over the Winter Carnival – he just didn’t race well and obviously didn’t come up after the spell. He is better than that mark my words!

He has been trialling strongly, has drawn nicely and probably won’t lead this lot – but if he does manage to settle and get some luck he will be there about in the finish!

This is a wonderful race. I will be glued to the screen watching it!

Selections: 2-5-1-3


Race 8

This must be the toughest race on the program – the 2017 Kingston Town Stakes (Group 3).

This race is hard to assess as most of the runners come out of the Chelmsford two weeks ago in an oddly run race where Winx triumphed.

I am staying with the Brisbane Winter Carnival form with Chocante (3) from the Stephen Marsh stable. This five year old gelding won the Brisbane Cup over 2200 metres and I think may get to the lead here and not be pressured. On a “good” track he looks well placed.

The two Chris Waller runners – Antonio Giuseppe (6) and Life Less Ordinary (11) - both returned from spells with solid runs. They are both are third up here and should be ready to show something.

Looking forward towards other distance races in the weeks to come I would suggest you keep your eye on the Nigel Tiley trained Kiwi runner Megablast (10) especially if the tracks get in the “heavy” range when the rain does come.

Selections: 3-6-11-10


Race 9

The last race of the day I hope we are all alive in the exotics and looking for a good result here!

I Thought So (5) raced in the Brisbane Winter Carnival and, taking this form into a first up run, I think he looks well placed.

He is a little lighter than last preparation as he now returns to racing as a gelding and this may have been why he just didn’t have his mind on the job last preparation. This weekend should see whether that was the case or not.

The Peter & Paul Snowden runner Missile Coda (15) is an emergency and will be very competitive if she gets into the field. She was very impressive winning at Canterbury around a month ago. Snowden has given her a solid hit out in a barrier trial at Rosehill on September 4 where she won impressively.

The Victorian raider, trained by Robert Smerdon, is Theanswermyfriend (7). It has run two consecutive second placings and has run well here last preparation at Randwick – maybe he can be competitive again here on the weekend.

I am looking for a better run from the aptly named Improvement (8) who ran some good races last preparation in some higher grades. She is owned by Gerry Harvey (Harvey Norman) and I think she could step out and get the job done in the last if any of these other favoured runners are a little short in fitness.

Trainer Gary Portelli gave her a solid hit out last Friday at Warwick Farm in a barrier trial that she won. Look for a dramatically improved run! She is good odds as well at $12.

Selections: 5-15-7-8 rough chance 13


Early Quaddie (Races 2 to 5 - NSW TAB only)

1,3,10 / 2,6,7 / 3,7,9 / 1,2,3 - cost is $81 for $1

Quadrella (races 6 to 9)

7,9 / 1,2,5 / 3,6,11 / 5,7,8,15 - cost is $72 to $1

Small Quaddie (races 6 to 9)

7 / 2,5 / 3,6 / 5,7 - cost is $8 to $1

Mad Quaddie (races 6 to 9)

7 / 2 / 3,6 / 5,8 - cost is $4 to $1

Treble (races 7 to 9)

1,2,5 / 3,6,11 / 5,7,8,15 - cost is $36 to $1

BIG 6 (Races 4 to 9 - NSW TAB only)

3,7 / 1,2 / 7 / 2,5 / 3,6 / 5,7,8,15 - cost is $64 to $1


Jockey Challenge

Looks like a great battle between Hugh Bowman and Blake Shinn – I am going Hugh this week!

Best Bets

Race 2 - Imposing Lass (1) around $3.10
Race 4 - Tom Melbourne (3) around $2.70
Race 7 – Redzel (2) around $3

Good luck and good punting!

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Darren Winningham
Darren Winningham
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Redzel ...
Redzel ...
Takedown ... and others. A race with speed galore! (see race 7)
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I am staying with Chocante in race 8. from the Stephen Marsh stable. I remember the great moment I had with jockey Jimmy Byrne when this five year old gelding won the Brisbane Cup over 2200 metres during the Winter Carnival

Chautauqua photo: Courtesy Hong Kong Jockey Club. All other photos: Graham Potter
I am staying with Chocante in race 8. from the Stephen Marsh stable. I remember the great moment I had with jockey Jimmy Byrne when this five year old gelding won the Brisbane Cup over 2200 metres during the Winter Carnival

Chautauqua photo: Courtesy Hong Kong Jockey Club. All other photos: Graham Potter
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