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By Darren Winningham | Wednesday, April 10, 2019


A massive day this weekend at Randwick with the second day of the Championships – another four Group 1 races to be decided and two Group 2 races are on the ten-race program - featuring the final race for the mighty mare – WINX – or will it be her last run???

The track is rated as soft and the rail is out 3 metres the entire track this weekend. We should be racing on a surface that should not hinder any runner.

The day has another feature that may eventuate.

Chris Waller currently sits on 98 Group 1 winners. Waller has the favourite Verry Elleegant in the Australian Oaks, scheduled for 2.25pm, and with WINX nearly guaranteed to win her race at a short price forty minutes later those forty to fifty minutes may well see Waller bring up his 100th Group 1 winner. He is a superb trainer with a massive outfit across Australia that continues to be successful.



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

RACE 1 - Amercement (1) from 2,4,3

RACE 2 - Millard Reaction (12) from 11,6,10

RACE 3 - Spring Charlie (3) from 2,4,14

RACES 4 TO 9 – see extended previews below

RACE 10 - Resin (10) from 6,1,7 rough chance 5


Race 4 The Percy Sykes Stakes (Group 2)

A nice field assembled here for the two-year-old fillies over 1200 metres.

The Godolphin stable and James Cummings have launched an assault on this race with 5 of the 11 runners.

Kiamichi (1) was strong in the heavy going at Rosehill when she led and won the Golden Slipper. She backs up after running over 1400 metres in the Sires Produce last weekend. She was not disgraced in that race. I thought the 1400 metres may be too far for her – maybe, despite the large weight, she will be able to dominate this field this weekend.

Her stable mates Flit (4) and Pin Sec (3) look well placed to offer a serious challenge.

Pin Sec (3) was an ordinary run on the heavy track in the Golden Slipper. Forget that run as I think she did not handle the heavy conditions at any stage.
Flit (4) comes off a nice win at Flemington a month ago. Since then she trialled impressively at Rosehill. She looks like she will be ready to challenge and win at Group 2 level this weekend.

Peter & Paul Snowden have two runners in the race. Their runner Anaheed (2) was solid in the Golden Slipper. Back onto a firmer surface we may see a sharp improvement. The stable mate is Cheer Leader (5) who comes off an astonishing win at Moonee Valley where she dominated the field to win by five lengths when leading all the way. The time was not all that flash but she was eased down in the final stages.

The Golden Slipper form seems to be the form line to follow - with Microphone winning the Group 1 Sires last weekend.

It seems a battle of SNOWDEN v CUMMINGS for this race! Who will reign supreme?

Selections: 1-2-5-4 rough chance 3



I like another Godolphin runner here to bounce back in his own age at set weights – Encryption (2). I have been on him his last few starts and I see no reason not to go again now he is back against his own age. He has been racing at Group 1 level in his past three starts and deserves a win at Group 2 level. He has been getting back in his races and he does run on. He gets the chance this weekend to be seen in the winner’s stalls.

Chris Waller has Zousain (1) and Lean Mean Machine (3) engaged. They both come off inglorious runs in the Newmarket down the Flemington straight. However, since those runs they have had a break and both have won recent trials at Randwick over 1200 metres impressively. I would not be leaving these runners out of your exotics.

Classique Legend (7) stormed onto the stage with two wonderful career wins. Last start he stepped up to Listed level, was sent out favourite and performed well running third. I think he may be better suited on firmer ground – he gets that this weekend.

Trope (10) is only lightly raced and stepped out at Listed Level last start as well. He stormed home late in the Fireball over 1100 metres – that run strongly suggests that the extra 100 metres this weekend will be right up his alley.

Avantage (11) stepped out for her first start in Australia with a striking win at Rosehill over 1200 metres at Group 3 level. She was strong leading all the way. This New Zealand, Fastnet Rock filly has an imposing racing record of 8 starts for 7 wins and a second. Opie Bosson remains aboard this weekend. He has a 100% record on her with 3 rides for three wins.

Selections: 2-11-3-1 rough chances 7 & 10


Race 6 The 2019 AUSTRALIAN OAKS (Group 1)

Let’s start with the runners backing up from last weekend from the Adrian Knox over 2000 metres.

The winner Aliferous (6), who won at $41, stormed home late to win the race. Her runs in the lead up were all noteworthy – she did get under my guard. She seems to like the wet tracks and will be storming home late again this weekend.

My tip in the race last weekend was Rocknavar (10) from the Matthew Dunn stable at Murwillumbah. She was 14th at the 400 metres and made up many lengths in the straight to finish a gallant 8th – beaten by just 2 lengths. The run was very good (biased I am). As with many of these runners though, will she run out a strong 2400 metres? I think she can and she will.

Bye Bye Belle (13) ran seventh in the same race. She is very lightly raced and will be starting for the fifth time this weekend. She held on gamely last weekend to finish seventh – but did not really make up ground like Rocknavar (10).

Maracaibo (5) is trained by Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young. She ran a nice third in the race but did not give me the impression that she will run out a strong 2400 metres. I may be wrong!

Now let’s go back to the Vinery Stud (Group 1) over 2000 metres a fortnight ago at Rosehill. The winner Verry Elleegant (1) flew home for the Waller stables to win the race and make herself the pre-post short priced favourite for the Oaks. James McDonald stays in the saddle this weekend and she is a $1.80 chance in most markets. She looks the obvious winner for me!

Frankely Awesome (3) was second in the same race. She ran home strongly and was beaten just 1.8 lengths. Another Kris Lees runner who will be in the finish again this weekend.

Aristia (2) won the 2018 VRC Oaks at Flemington. I really think she despises wet tracks. If the track gets into the “Good” range I expect her to be the challenger to this short-priced favourite – she is good each way odds at $8.

Will this be Chris Waller’s 99th Group 1 winner? If so, that will set up a very special Group 1 landmark target for the trainer in the very next race where he would take aim to land his one hundredth Group 1 victory in what is already going to be a memorable event when WINX steps out onto the track.

Selections: 1-2-3-10 rough chances 5,6 and 13



History will be created – the crowd will be enormous at the Randwick track this weekend to see WINX (7) go out to attempt to win her 33-successive start in a row! Only bad luck will beat her!

WINX is a $1.06 chance to win her finale, which would mean she ends her career with a world record 25 Group 1 wins. I am sure there will be punters placing $5 a win on a ticket and not claiming it to say they backed her at her last race start!

The two overseas visitors could be the way to go for your trifectas – He’s Eminent (4) who led in the Ranvet and was run down late by Avilius and Kluger (5), from Japan, who went around in the Doncaster last weekend and put in a solid performance on a unsuitable track.

Then you have the two local war horses that have done battle with WINX over her racing career. Happy Clapper (1) and Hartnell (2).

Happy Clapper looked disappointing at Flemington over the mile in the All-Star Mile. I would suggest that you overlook that run. He loves this Randwick track and did run a gallant second to Winx (7) in the Chipping Norton when beaten by 1.8 lengths.

Hartnell (2) ran his normal honest race last weekend in the Doncaster. The handicap conditions last weekend did not favour him. However, he was wonderful in defeat.

Selections: 7-4-2-5 rough chance 1


Race 8 The 2019 SYDNEY CUP (Group 1)

Twenty-one starters are nominated to face the starter here. There will be a few of them that will sleep well Saturday night after running the 3200 metres of this race.

There are some runners backing up from the Chairman’s race from last weekend - Gallic Chieftan (14) and Shraaoh (16) who ran first and second respectively.

I am not a fan of backing runners who back up within a week in distance races. However, in saying that the win of Gallic Chieftan (14) was a splendid effort. I see that Glen Boss has been booked this weekend to ride this Archie Alexander runner. How good was his ride and effort on Brutal last weekend in the Doncaster!! Some people ruled the runner out as he was on it but he just proved that he is a world-class jockey and when given a reasonable chance he will take it with both hands and will not disappoint!

Sir Charles Road (7) is another runner who ran well last weekend in the Chairman’s race. He got too far back and launched a sustained run in the straight. He drops in weight this weekend and Andrew Adkins is looking for his first Sydney Cup winner. He has drawn terribly in barrier 20.

Charlie Appleby trains Dubhe (10) who won last start at Meydan in Dubai. Another Godolphin runner looking to win a distance race! They have a habit of producing these runners and making our stayers look ordinary. He has had a two month break between wins – these European trainers seem to be able to get their runners to travel, settle in and then produce on the day. He is very short in the markets at $3.20. I am not too certain that this price represents value for a runner being seen for the first time in Australia – especially having to run up that sharp rise in the Randwick straight!

Midterm (11) won the Manion Cup three weeks ago and gets in well at the weights. This is his first look at 3200 metres – he is owned by Lloyd Williams and Co. I was resolute last year in September when he went around in the Metropolitan that he could not be beaten. He drew wide and never got in the race and stormed home late to be beaten by 1.6 lengths. I think that he is a great chance here this weekend at $9. Jamie Kah retains the ride as well – she will be looking for a Group 1 win aboard this runner.

Glory Days (12) won the Auckland Cup last start. He will run the distance. He has drawn terribly in barrier 19. This should not be a problem as he gets back in his races before balancing up and coming home late. Corey Brown, who has a good record in this race, takes the ride.

Big Duke (5) lines up here for Kris Lees after a fortnight between runs. He does like these longer distances and does love a wet track. Brenton Avdulla always seems to get the best out of him as well. He will need some luck in running and hopefully will not be caught wide from barrier 21.

This is a tough race – maybe a race where a roughie may blow them all away!

Selections: 11-10-14-12 rough chances 5 & 16


Race 9 The 2019 COOLMORE LEGACY STAKES (Group 1)

A great race to finish off the program – the Group 1 Coolmore!

Let’s start with the Ron Quinton pair – Daysee Doom (3) and Dixie Blossoms (3). Both have been in great form. Both like this Randwick track as well. Daysee Doom (3) is third up this weekend – and she has raced well in the past third up. She has drawn wide and may face a challenge to get across the field and take up a forward position. Dixie Blossoms (3) backs up after racing in the Doncaster last weekend. The run was solid and she will be a great chance in this race.

There are a few runners that don’t go that well on wet tracks and who they struck them in their past few starts. Princess Posh (10) and Dyslexic (14) fall into that category. I really think we may see a dramatic improvement in their efforts this weekend on a better surface.

Dyslexic (14) is an absolute duffer on wet tracks – however, has been very good in her past two starts despite striking a heavy track. She is drawn well this weekend in barrier 7 and, if the track improves, I think she is a genuine chance for the Hawkes stables (hot off their success in the Doncaster last weekend). She is $35 and for mine is over the odds.

Nakeeta Jane (18) is trained by Mark Newnham and has been in great form. She is back to the mile this weekend – I think that that will suit her better. She was beaten only 1.2 lengths behind The Autumn Sun in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas a month ago. Since then she ran in the Vinery Stud over 2000 metres and I think the track and the distance really hindered her performance.

Seabrook (19) is the other three-year-old here. Trained in Victoria by Michael Price and to be ridden by Brett Prebble. She went around in the Vinery Stud as well – that was third up from a spell and I think that was too much to ask of her third up on a heavy track. I go back to her run in the Phar Lap when she battled with Verry Elleegant over 1500 metres at Rosehill. I think that if she brings that form here this weekend she will be very difficult to beat here in the final race.

Spanish Reef (12) cannot be underestimated as well. She has been racing in Melbourne in reliable form over a mile. She will race on the speed and, drawn barrier 4, looks well placed here. Mark Zahra is her regular rider and comes to Randwick looking to win another feature race.

Other runners that you may wish to consider are Invincible Gem (5), who won last start over 1500 metres on a heavy track when ridden on the speed and Unforgotten (7), who has been racing well against horses like Winx. Last weekend she went around in the Doncaster. Back to her own sex this weekend – maybe she can atone for the equivocal form in recent runs. She does have barrier 17 to contend with but she also does have James McDonald aboard!

Selections: 18-19-14-12 rough chances 5 & 7


Jockey’s Challenge

Looks like a battle between Hugh Bowman, James McDonald and Kerrin McEvoy. Hugh to win in a tight tussle.

Early Quaddie (races 3 to 6 NSW only)

2,3,4 / 1,2 / 1,2,3,11 / 1,2,3,10 - cost is $96 to $1

Quaddie (races 7 to 10)

7 / 10,11,12,14 / 12,14,18,19 / 1,6,7,10 - cost is $64 to $1

Value Quaddie (races 7 to 10)

7 / 10,11 / 18,19 / 6,7,10 - cost is $12 to $1

Treble (races 8 to 10)

10,11,12,14 / 12,14,18,19 / 1,6,7,10 - cost is $64 to $1

The BIG 6 (races 5 to 10)

2,3,11 / 1,2 / 7 / 10,11,14 / 14,18,19 / 1,6,10 - cost is $162 to $1

More articles

WINX (pictured above and below) - The absolute headline act of a day of headlines
WINX (pictured above and below) - The absolute headline act of a day of headlines
Winx photos: Ross Stevenson
Winx photos: Ross Stevenson
Chris Waller … poised to crack the 100 Group 1 winners milestone
Chris Waller … poised to crack the 100 Group 1 winners milestone
High Bowman … Such an integral part of the WINX team
High Bowman … Such an integral part of the WINX team
Kerrin McEvoy … could give Hugh Bowman a real go in the Jockey Challenge
Kerrin McEvoy … could give Hugh Bowman a real go in the Jockey Challenge
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