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By Darren Winningham | Thursday, April 12, 2018


Back at Randwick this weekend after Happy Clapper grabbed a win in the Doncaster last week giving Blake Shinn his first win in the race.!

What about WINX – going for 25 wins in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes! Can she equal the Black Caviar record?

This is a tough field and she will need to be at her peak for this run. Let’s hope we see history created at Randwick this weekend.

The track is rated “GOOD” (at the time of writing) and the rail will be out 3 metres out for the entire track. Fine weather scheduled for the weekend.I am certain we are going to see a second great week of racing at headquarters!

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

We start the program with a 2-year-old race over the famous Randwick magic mile.

This is the first time over the distance for most of these youngsters.

Aristocratic Miss (6) is nice two-year-old filly out of the strong Tony McEvoy yards who has had a solid season with his two-year-old team this year. Two starts ago in the VRC Sire’s at Flemington she settled off the speed and motored home late. Then last start at she settled back at Rosehill and, after three weeks between runs, I thought she worked home nicely from the rear of the field. That run suggests to me that the longer distance, wider track and better surface will benefit her.

Vega One (7) had a similar run to Aristocratic Miss (6) last start in the same race. This John Thompson trained colt should be better suited over the mile. Look for an improved effort here with some speed on in the race.

Bold Arial (11) from the Waterhouse & Bott stable is second up. The team has enlisted Joao “The Magic Man” Moreira to ride this filly. I think that if she is ridden just off the speed we will see her finish off strongly late.

Selections: 6-7-11-8


Race 2

Isaurain (2), a Godolphin runner, was unlucky last start at Rosehill. He raced in the worst section of the track and was held up on two occasions in the straight. Hugh Bowman retains the ride here this weekend and I expect him to be very competitive.

Moreira is riding Sparky Lad (5) for Chris Waller. He comes off restricted race company last start at Warwick Farm. Whilst he rises in class here I think that he has shown in previous starts that he will be competitive.

This year’s Golden Slipper winning team of Hawkes and Brenton Avdulla unite with Renewal (3). Last start he raced in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes where he was very competitive – a month between runs and a barrier trial and back to Listed race level he looks well placed this weekend.

Selections: 2-5-3-1


Race 3

Another 2-year-old race – this time over 1200 metres and at Group 2 level.

Fiesta (2) was beaten last start in the Golden Slipper by just 3.3 lengths. I thought that run was good enough for here.

The Choisir filly is trained by Chris Waller and is to be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy. She has a recent barrier trial - just a week ago. She was not extended and worked home well.

Khulaasa (3) is a runner from the Hayes & Dabernig stables in Melbourne making her Sydney debut. She won her last start at Flemington a month ago and has drawn a little wide here in barrier 10. The stable has had some success in Sydney in recent weeks. Despite the slow time in winning last start she shapes up well here.

Pure Elation (6) ran a close second to the Golden Slipper winner Estijaab two starts ago here. She really extended Estijaab in that run and has since won easily midweek at Warwick Farm. She is trained by Peter & Paul Snowden and with that win under her belt she may be hard to toss here.

Gongs (5) from the Godolphin team looks well placed as well and comes off a small break.

Selections: 2-6-3-5 rough chance 1


Race 4

This race looks like a tough assignment.

Another leg of the NSW Provincial Championships over 1400 metres. Last weekend it was a victory for the Port Macquarie based Jenny Graham with Victorem ridden by the Northern Rivers jockey Ben Looker.

This weekend the best performed runners are Serene Miss (10) and the top weight Just Dreaming (1) both who are trained at Newcastle by Kris Lees. I have a slight leaning to Just Dreaming (1) to be ridden by Hugh Bowman. The last start run in the Group 1 Coolmore Classic was sensational when beaten under 1 length. Look, she goes up in weight – but I tell you what - she must be difficult to beat in this class of race. At around $4 I think she is a great bet.

Serene Miss (10) has drawn wide and jockey Jason Collett may have to go back from the wide barrier. However, she does race well with speed on and can sustain a long run late – that will suit her if she can handle this Randwick track.

Princess Posh (11) round out my top three in a difficult race – and you guessed it – trained at Newcastle by Kris Lees!

I wonder if that has ever been done – a country trainer training a trifecta at Randwick?

I hope I have not placed a mock on the stable now!

Selections: 1-10-11-4 rough chance 12


Race 5

A three-year-old race at set weights – some are backing up after going around last weekend.

I thought Catchy (7) was unlucky last weekend – carried a massive weight and got caught too far back out of her ground, then really tried hard in the straight and had to climb across heels to get clear without much luck. $17 on offer as well.

Then you have the Gary Portelli trained She Will Reign (6) at around $15. She has been racing in Group 1 company in Melbourne and returns home to Sydney for this assignment. A three week freshen up and back to Randwick where she has tasted victory previously – watch out for her to blow them out at a massive price!

Winning form is good form and I Am Excited (10) from the David Pfieffer yards has done nothing wrong since resuming from a spell with a hat trick of wins. Sure, this is a rise in class from Listed racing to Group 2 level but you cannot knock her fighting wins recently.

The top weight is the Godolphin runner trained by James Cummings – Viridine (1) - who comes off a slashing run in the Group 1 Galaxy three weeks ago. He has a distinct liking for the Randwick circuit with two previous wins here. He is right in the race as well.

Well I said last week – “Now Toby Edmonds is probably breathing a sigh of relief as I have not tipped his filly Houtzen (4) in my top four!” – AND … she won. It was a brave run and she was amazing! I suppose history may repeat itself this weekend as I have not put her in my top four. There you go Toby and Trent Edmonds – no kiss of death from WINNO again this weekend!

Selections: 7-6-1-10 rough chance 9


Race 6 - Group 1 Australian Oaks

This race is very good Group 1 contest.

Unforgotten (3) with the Waller/Bowman team for mine.

She was beaten last start by Hiyaam (2) who scooted out in front at Rosehill where leaders seemed to get all the favours. Despite settling back in the field, Unforgotten (3) made a long-sustained run and was beaten by 1.8 lengths – this week the tables will be turned!

The Ciaron Maher trained Aloisia (1) is one to respect. This Azamour filly always races well fresh and second up has a wonderful record. I think she will be better suited at Randwick. I am suggesting you forget the last start run at Rosehill and look for a solid performance here.

Last weekend the John Sargeant trained Luvaluva (5) won the Adrian Knox Stakes carrying 60 kilograms. Jockey Kerrin McEvoy through everything at her to win – I just hope that run has not flattened her. You must respect trainer John Sargeant as he knows how to train these fillies and get them to peak on the big day!

I mentioned the win of Hiyaam (2) who was ridden so boldly in front last start to victory by Michael Dee. I am not sure that he will use the same tactics here this weekend – but she will be competitive!

Selections: 3-1-5-2


Race 7 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

The lethal Hugh Bowman and Chris Waller team is looking for consecutive Group 1 on the program with a win here with their mighty sensational mare WINX (9)

She will not just win, she will street them!

Look everyone loves a champion – so GO WINX! She is awesome for racing!

The challengers have to be the Darren Weir trained Humidor (3) and Happy Clapper (1) both who raced in the Doncaster last weekend – and both who have stretched Winx in the past.

Selections: 9-3-1-2


Race 8 Group 1 Sydney Cup

A quality field of stayers has been assembled for the 2018 Sydney Cup.

I think the Lloyd Williams pair of Almandin (1) and Aloft (10) will be competitive here.

I like the second string Aloft (1) who, with the handicap conditions, gets in well with 51 kilograms and this weight factor could be vital over the final 200 metres here with some of the more fancied runners having to carry some weight. In addition, Kerrin McEvoy has been booked to ride the Galileo gelding for the Williams stable and will ride him at the 51 kilograms.

Almandin (1) won last start at Rosehill in the Group 1 Tancred where he raced handy to the speed when leaders were winning and dominating on the program. This Liam Howley trained eight-year-old is going strong and will be in the race for a long way.

Sir Charles Road (13) comes off a solid win last weekend here over 2600 metres in the Group 2 Chairman’s. The start before he performed well in the New Zealand Cup at Group 1 level where he may have been considered a touch unlucky. If he has progressed well from last weekend’s run, he will be hard to beat again.

I like one at odds here – Libran (3) from the Chris Waller stable to be ridden by Brenton Avdulla. He is around the $41 mark and despite drawing barrier 20 has a wonderful third up record (5 starts – 2 wins and 1 second).

Selections: 10-13-1-3 rough chance 6


Race 9 Group 1 Coolmore

The last Group 1 race on the program. The WFA conditions of this race make it an even bunch.

I think the two Melbourne trained horses hold the key to the race.

I find it interesting that the Andrew Noblet trained Silent Edition (5) ran a dynamic race in the Coolmore Classic at Rosehill and then headed home and has a month off between runs. History shows that this War Chant mare races well fresh. She has had a lovely barrier trial on 3 April at Cranbourne where she won it without being pressured. I think that unlike the other runners who have been slogging it out in Sydney in recent weeks she may be the one with some spring in her step and with that freshen up may be the one to beat here.

Oregon’s Day, trained by Mick Price, has run two slashing second placings in consecutive starts in Sydney and has her hoof on the till. She will be partnered again this weekend by apprentice Michael Dee. She will run out the distance and will be in the finish again.

Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott have Prompt Response (4) coming off a last start win. I know she is a wonderful mare – however, I am just not sure whether she will run a solid mile at Randwick. She has the maestro of the Randwick mile jockey Blake Shinn aboard.

Dixie Blossoms (4) – she has won 4 times with 3 placings from 8 starts at Randwick so she loves the place. She has drawn wide this weekend, but I think she will settle back in the field and there appears to be some speed in the race, so she may trail nicely into the race late.

If you want some value – ironically maybe you should be looking at the Richard Laming trained Payroll (10) who always races well fresh and with Damien Oliver in the saddle. This weekend she is second up after being pipped first up in Brisbane carrying 60.5 kilograms where she was held up in the straight and crossed heels but by some miracle kept on flying home and was narrowly beaten in a photo. She is up in grade here and whilst she has only competed once prior at Group 1 level I think that she is a genuine chance at massive odds of $31.

Selections: 5-9-3-4 rough chances 1, 6 & 10


Race 10

The last race on a massive day of racing that could go down in history! It is a Group 2 race for the girls over 1200 metres.

Sugar Bella (11) was far from disgraced last start when beaten by the Darren Weir trained Quilista (10) who she meets here again this weekend. She has a three starts for three-win record here at Randwick. I think that she goes better on firm tracks as well. She should get perfect conditions here this weekend and look for the tables to be turned.

Invincibella (14) is fresh after 13 weeks off since a wonderful win at the Gold Coast before heading for a short let up.

Her recent barrier trial was sound, and she will strip fitter and will not be out of place in this field.

Quilista (10) is certain to be difficult to beat again – but she did get conditions and the race run to suit last start at Rosehill. Randwick may prove a little harder this weekend!

Lubiton (7) trained by Bjorn Baker and to be ridden by Blake Shinn has had two recent trials. Her normal pattern of racing is to lead, and she has drawn to get all the favours from barrier 1 this weekend – she may just oulast them all at great each way odds of $21. She has had two solid hit outs in barrier trials at Rosehill and I think she will be very forward for this run.

The others that should be considered are Ghisoni (2) a lightly raced Lonhro mare from the Godolphin team. Her trail recently at Randwick was impressive. She has a nice strike rate first up – 2 wins from 4 starts.

Spright (3) won first up – a solid win – she will be coming late out wide!

Selections: 11-14-10-7 rough chances 2 & 3


Jockey Challenge

Looks like Hugh Bowman who has a solid book of rides.
If you are looking for some value I would suggest a nibble at Kerrin Mcevoy.

Early Quaddie (races 3 to 6 NSW only)

2,3,6 / 1,10,11 / 1,6,7 / 1,3 - cost is $54 to $1

Quaddie (races 6 to 9)

9 / 1,10,13 / 3,5,9 / 2,7,10,11,14 - cost is $45 to $1

Value Quaddie (races 6 to 9)

9 / 1,10 / 5,9 / 2,11 - cost is $8 to $1

Treble (races 7 to 9)

1,10,13 / 3,5,9 / 2,7,10,11,14 - cost is $45 to $1

BIG 6 (races 4 to 9 NSW only)

1,6,7 / 1,3 / 9 / 1,10,13 / 3,5,9 / 7,10,11,14 - cost is $216 to $1

Good luck and good punting!

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